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Richard III

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March on. Join bravely. Let us to it pell mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.
His oration to his army
What shall I say more than I have inferred?
Remember whom you are to cope withal,
A sort of vagabonds, rascals, and runaways,
A scum of Bretons and base lackey peasants,
Whom their o'er-cloyèd country vomits forth
To desperate ventures and assured destruction.
You sleeping safe, they bring to you unrest;
You having lands and blessed with beauteous wives,
They would restrain the one, distain the other.
And who doth lead them but a paltry fellow,
Long kept in Brittany at our mother’s cost,
A milksop, one that never in his life
Felt so much cold as overshoes in snow?
Let’s whip these stragglers o'er the seas again,
Lash hence these overweening rags of France,
These famished beggars weary of their lives,
Who, but for dreaming on this fond exploit,
For want of means, poor rats, had hanged themselves.
If we be conquered, let men conquer us,
And not these bastard Bretons, whom our fathers
Have in their own land beaten, bobbed, and thumped,
And in record, left them the heirs of shame.
Shall these enjoy our lands, lie with our wives,
Ravish our daughters?
March on, be brave in battle, and let’s go pell-mell to heaven, if not hand in hand to hell. (to his army) What more can I say? Remember who you’re dealing with—a random bunch of bums, rascals, runaways, Breton scum, and peasant hangers-on whom an overcrowded nation vomits out to populate every desperate, sure-to-fail enterprise. You have been sleeping soundly, and they bring unrest. You own land they want to steal. Those of you who are blessed with beautiful wives, they want to defile them. And who’s leading them but an inconsequential fellow who for the longest time lived in Brittany at his mother’s expense? A girly man, a man who never in his life felt more cold than seeps into one’s boots in the snow? Let’s send these stragglers back over the sea. Let’s whip these arrogant relics of France—these starving beggars, tired of their lives, who would have hanged themselves, poor rats, if it weren’t for this foolish enterprise they’ve been dreaming about—back to France. If we’re going to be conquered, let men conquer us, and not these French bastards whom our forefathers already beat, thrashed, and pummeled on their own turf, and shamed them forever in the history books. Should these people enjoy our lands? Sleep with our wives? Rape our daughters?
Drum afar off
Drum heard far off.



360
Hark! I hear their drum.
Fight, gentlemen of England.—Fight, bold yeomen.—
Draw, archers, draw your arrows to the head.—
Spur your proud horses hard, and ride in blood.
Amaze the welkin with your broken staves—
Listen! I hear their drums. Fight, gentlemen of England! Fight, brave landlords! Draw your bows all the way back, archers! Spur your proud horses hard, horsemen, and ride in blood. Startle even the sky with the sound of your lances cracking.

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