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    RICHARD III

    A monologue from the play by William Shakespeare


    CLARENCE: O, I have passed a miserable night,
    So full of fearful dreams, of ugly sights,
    That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
    I would not spend another such night
    Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days--
    So full of dismal terror was the time.
    Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower
    And was embarked to cross the Bergundy,
    And in my company my brother Gloucester,
    Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
    Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England
    And cited up a thousand heavy times,
    During the wars of York and Lancaster,
    That had befall'n us. As we paced along
    Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
    Methought that Gloucester stumblèd, and in falling
    Struck me (that thought to stay him) overboard
    Into the tumbling billows of the main.
    O Lord! methought what pain it was to drown!
    What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
    What sights of ugly death within mine eyes!
    Methoughts I saw a thousand fearful wracks;
    A thousand men that fishes gnawed upon;
    Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
    Inestimable stones, unvaluèd jewels,
    All scatt'red in the bottom of the sea:
    Some lay in dead men's skulls, and in the holes
    Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept
    (As 'twere in scorn of eyes) reflecting gems,
    That wooed the slimy bottom of the deep
    And mocked the dead bones that lay scatt'red by.
    I passed (methought) the melancholy flood,
    With that sour ferryman which poets write of,
    Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
    The first that there did greet my stranger soul
    Was my great father-in-law, renownèd Warwick,
    Who spake aloud, 'What scourge for perjury
    Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?'
    And so he vanished. Then came wand'ring by
    A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
    Dabbled in blood, and he shrieked aloud,
    'Clarence is come -- false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
    That stabbed me in the field by Tewkesbury:
    Seize on him, Furies, take him unto torment!'
    With that (methoughts) a legion of foul fiends
    Environed me, and howlèd in mine ears
    Such hideous cries that with the very noise
    I, trembling, waked, and for a season after
    Could not believe but that I was in hell,
    Such terrible impression made my dream.

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