Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)

The Tragedy
I am determined to prooue a villaine,
And hate the idle pleasures of these daies:
Plots haue I laid inductious dangerous,
35By drunken Prophesies, libels and dreames,
To set my brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate the one against the other.
And if King Edward be as true and iust,
As I am subtile, false, and trecherous:
40This day should Clarence closely be mewed vp,
About a Prophecy which saies that G.
Of Edwards heires the murtherers shall be.
Diue thoughts downe to my soule,
Enter Clarence with
Heere Clarence comes,
45Brother, good dayes, what meanes this armed gard
That waites vpon your grace?
Clar. His Maiesty tendering my persons safety hath ap-
po nted
This conduct to conuay me to the tower.
Glo. Vpon what cause?
50Cla. Because my name is George.
Glo. Alacke my Lord that fault is none of yours,
He should for that commit your Godfathers:
O belike his Maiesty hath some intent
That you shalbe new christened in the Tower.
55But vvhats the matter Clarence may I know?
Cla. Yea Richard when I know; for I protest
As yet I doe not, but as I can learne,
He harkens after Prophecies and dreames,
And from the crosse-rowe pluckes the letter G:
60And saies a wisard told him that by G,
His issue disinherited should be.
And for my name of George begins with G,
It followes in his thought that I am he.
These as I learne and such like toies as these,
65Haue moued his highnes to commit me now.
Glo. Why this it is when men are rulde by women,
Tis not the King that sends you to the tower,
My Lady Gray his wife, Clarence tis she,