Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)


The Tragedy
Bloudie thou art, bloudie wil be thy end,
2975Shame serues thy life, and doth thy death attend.
Exit.
Qu. Though far more cause, yet much lesse spirit to curse
Abides in me, I saie Amen to all.
King. Staie Maddam, I must speake a word with you.
Qu. I haue no moe sonnes of the royall bloud,
2980For thee to murther for my daughters Richard,
They shalbe praying nunnes not weeping Queenes,
And therefore leuell not to hit their liues.
King You have a daughter cald Elizabeth,
Vertuous and faire, roiall and gracious.
2985Qu. And must she die for this? O let her liue!
And ile corrupt her maners, staine her beautie,
Slander my selfe as false to Edwards bed
Throw ouer her the vale of infamie,
So she may liue vnskard from bleeding slaughter,
2990I will confesse she was not Edwards daughter.
King Wrong not her birth, she is of roiall bloud.
Qu. To saue her life, ile faie she is not so.
King Her life is onlie safest in hir birth.
Qu. And onlie in that safetie died her brothers.
2995King Lo at their births good stars were opposite.
Qu. No to their liues bad friends were contrarie,
King All vnauoided is the doome of destinie,
Qu. True when auoided grace makes destinie,
My babes were destinde to a fairer death,
3000If grace had blest thee with a fairer life.
3015King Madam, so thriue I in my dangerous attempt of hostile
As I intend more good to you and yours,
Then euer you or yours were by me wrongd.
Qu. What good is couerd with rhe face of heauen,
3020To be discouerd that can do me good,
King The aduancement of your children mightie Ladie.
Qu. Vp to some scaffold, there to loose their heads.
King No to the dignitie and height of honor,
The high imperial tipe of this earths glorie.
3025Qu. Flatter my sorrowes with report of it,
Tell me what state, what dignitie, what honor?
Canst