Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)


of Richard the third.
Cancell his bond of life, deare God I pray,
That I may liue to say, the dog is dead.
2850Qu. O thou didst prophecie the time would come,
That I should wish for thee to helpe me cursse,
That botteld spider, that foule bunch-backt toade.
Qu Mar. I cald thee then, vaine floorish of my fortune,
I cald thee then, poore shadow, painted Queene,
2855The presentation of, but what I was,
The flattering Index of a direfull pageant,
One heaued a high, to be hurld downe belowe,
A mother onelie, mockt with two sweete babes,
A dreame of which thou wert a breath, a bubble,
A signe of dignitie, a garish flagge,
2860To be the aime of euerie dangerous shot,
A Queene in ieast onelie to fill the sceane,
Where is thy husband now, where be thy brothers?
Where are thy children, wherein doest thou ioye?
2865Who sues to thee, and cries God saue the Queene?
Where be the bending peeres that flattered thee?
Where be the thronging troopes that followed thee?
decline all this, and see what now thou art,
For happie wife, a most distressed widow,
2870For ioyfull Mother, one that wailes the name,
For Queene, a verie caitiue crownd with care,
For one being sued to, one that humblie sues,
2875For one commaunding all, obeyed of none,
For one that scornd at me, now scornd of me,
Thus hath the course of iustice whe'eld about,
And left thee but, a verie praie to time,
Hauing no more, but thought of what thou wert,
To torture thee the more, being what thou art,
2880Thou didst vsurpe my place, and doest thou not,
Vsurpe the iust proportion of my sorrow,
Now thy proud necke, beares halfe my burthened yoke,
From which, euen here, I slippe my wearie necke,
And leaue the burthen of it all on thee :
2885Farewell Yorkes wife, and Queene of sad mischance,
These English woes, will make me smile in France.
Qu. O