Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)


Enter Clarence, Brokenbury.
Brok. Why lookes your grace so heauily to day?
Clar. Oh I haue past a miserable night,
So full of vgly sights, of gastly dreames,
840That as I am a christian faithfull man,
I would not spend another such a night,
Though twere to buy a world of happy daies,
So full of dismall terror was the time.
Brok. What was your dreame, I long to heare you tell it.
845Cla. Me thoughts I was imbarkt for Burgundy,
And in my company my brother Glocester,
Who from my cabbine tempted me to walke,
Vpon the hatches thence we lookt toward England,
850And cited vp a thousand fearefull times,
During the wars of Yorke and Lancaster:
That had befallen vs, as we pact along,
Vpon the giddy footing of the hatches:
Me thought that Glocester stumbled, and in stumbling,
855Stroke me that thought to stay him ouer board,
Into the tumbling billowes of the maine.
Lord, Lord, me thought what paine it was to drowne,
What dreadfull noise of waters in my eares,
What vgly sights of death within my eies:
860Me thought I sawe a thousand fearefull wracks,
Ten thousand men, that fishes gnawed vpon,
Wedges of gold, great anchors, heapes of pearle,
Inestimable stones, vnualued Iewels,
865Some lay in dead mens sculs, and in those holes,
Where eies did once inhabite, there were crept
As twere in scorne of eies reflecting gems,
Which woed the slimy bottome of the deepe,
And mockt the dead bones that lay scattered by.
870Brok. Had you sueh leisure in the time of death,
To gaze vpon the secrets of the deepe?
Clar. Me thought I had, for still the enuious floud
Kept in my soule, and would not let it foorth,
875To seeke the emptie vast and wandering aire,
But smothered it within my panting bulke,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.
Brok. Awakt you not with this sore agony.
Cla. O no, my dreame was lengthned after life,
880O then began the tempest to my soule,
Who past me thought the melancholy floud,
With that grim ferriman, which Poets write of,
Vnto the kingdome of perpetuall night:
The first that there did greet my stranger soule,
885Was my great father in law renowmed Warwicke,
Who cried alowd what scourge for periury.
Can this darke monarchy affoord false Clarence,
And so he vanisht, then came wandring by,
A shadow like an angell in bright haire,
890Dabled in bloud, and he squakt out alowd,
Clarence is come, false, fleeting, periurd Clarence,
That stabd me in the field by Teuxbery:
Seaze on him furies, take him to your torments,
With that me thoughts a legion of foule fiends
895Enuirond me about, and howled in mine eares
Such hideous cries, that with the very noise
I trembling, wakt, and for a season after
Could not beleeue but that I was in hell,
Such terrible impression made the dreame.
900Bro. No marueile my Lo: though it affrighted you,
I promise you, I am afraid to heare you tell it.
Cla. O Brokenbury I haue done those things,
Which now beare euidence against my soule
For Edwards sake, and see how he requites me.
I pray thee gentle keeper stay by me,
910My soule is heauy, and I faine would sleepe.
Bro. I will my Lo: God giue your Grace good rest,
Sorrowe breake seasons, and reposing howers
Makes the night morning, and the noonetide night,
915Princes haue but their titles for their glories,
An outward honour, for an inward toile,
And for vnfelt imagination,
They often feele a world of restlesse cares:
So that betwixt their titles and lowe names,
920Theres nothing differs but the outward fame.
The murtherers enter.
In Gods name what are you, and how came you hither?
925Execu. I would speake with Clarence, and I came hither
Bro. Yea, are you so briefe.
2 Exe. O sir, it is better to be briefe then tedious,
Shew him our commission, talke no more.
He readeth it.
930Bro. I am in this commanded to deliuer
The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands,
I will not reason what is meant hereby,
Because I wilbe guiltles of the meaning:
Here are the keies, there sits the Duke a sleepe,
935Ile to his Maiesty, and certifie his Grace,
That thus I haue resignd my charge to you.
Exe. Doe so, it is a point of wisedome.
2 What shall I stab him as he sleepes?
9401 No then he will say it was done cowardly
When he wakes.
2 When he wakes,
Why foole he shall neuer wake till the iudgement day.
1 Why then he will say, we stabd him sleeping.
2 The vrging of that word Iudgement, hath bred
945A kind of remorse in me.
1 What art thou afraid.
2 Not to kill him hauing a warrant for it, but to be dānd
For killing him, from which no warrant can defend vs.
1 Backe to the Duke of Glocester, tell him so.
2 I pray thee stay a while, I hope my holy humor will
Change, twas wont to hold me but while one would tel xx.
1 How doest thou feele thy selfe now?
2 Faith some certaine dregs of conscience are yet with
1 Remember our reward when the deede is done.
9602 Zounds he dies, I had forgot the reward.
1 Where is thy conscience now?
2 In the Duke of Glocesters purse.
1 So when he opens his purse to giue vs our reward,
Thy conscience flies out.
9652 Let it go, theres few or none will entertaine it,
1 How if it come to thee againe?
2 Ile not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing,
It makes a man a coward: A man cannot steale,
But it accuseth him: he cannot sweare, but it checks him:
970He cannot lie with his neighbors wife, but it detects
Him. It is a blushing shamefast spirit, that mutinies
In a mans bosome: it fils one full of obstacles,
It made me once restore a purse of gold that I found,
It beggers any man that keepes it: it is turned out of all
975Townes and Citties for a dangerous thing, and euery
Man that meanes to liue wel, endeuors to trust to
To himselfe, and to liue without it.
1 Zounds it is euen now at my elbowe perswading me
980Not to kill the Duke.
2 Take the diuell in thy minde, and beleeue him not,
He would insinuate with thee to make thee sigh.
1 Tut, I am strong in fraud, he cannot preuaile with me,
983.1I warrant thee.
2 Spoke like a tall fellow that respects his reputation.
985Come shall we to this geere.
1 Take him ouer the costard with the hilts of thy sword,
And then we wil chop him in the malmsey But in the next
2 Oh excellent deuice, make a sop of him.
9901 Harke he stirs, shall I strike.
2 No, first lets reason with him.
Cla. Where art thou keeper, giue me a cup of wine.
1 You shall haue wine enough my Lo: anon.
995Cla. In Gods name what art thou.
2 A man as you are.
Cla. But not as I am, royall.
2 Nor you as we are, loyall.
Cla. Thy voice is thunder, but thy lookes are humble.
10002 My voice is now the Kings, my lookes mine owne.
Cla. How darkly, and how deadly doest thou speake:
Tell me who are you, wherefore come you hither?
Am. To, to, to.
1005Cla. To murther me. Am. I.
Cla. You scarcely haue the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot haue the hearts to doe it.
Wherein my friends haue I offended you?
10101 Offended vs you haue not, but the King.
Cla. I shal be reconcild to him againe.
2 Neuer my Lo: therfore prepare to die.
Cla. Are you cald foorth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? what is my offence.
1015Where are the euidence that doe accuse me:
What lawfull quest haue giuen their verdict vp
Vnto the frowning Iudge, or who pronounst
The bitter sentence of poore Clarence death,
Before I be conuict by course of law?
1020To threaten me with death, is most vnlawfull:
I charge you as you hope to haue redemption,
1021.1By Christs deare bloud shed for our grieuous sinnes,
That you depart and lay no hands on me,
The deede you vndertake is damnable.
1 What we will doe, we doe vpon command.
10252 And he that hath commanded, is the King.
Clar. Erronious Vassaile, the great King of Kings,
Hath in the tables of his law commanded,
That thou shalt doe no murder, and wilt thou then
Spurne at his edict, and fulfill a mans?
1030Take heede, for he holds vengeance in his hands,
To hurle vpon their heads that breake his law.
2 And that same vengeance doth he throw on thee,
For false forswearing, and for murder too:
Thou didst receiue the holy sacrament,
1035To fight in quarell of the house of Lancaster.
1 And like a traitor to the name of God,
Didst breake that vowe, and with thy trecherous blade,
Vnript the bowels of thy soueraignes sonne.
2 Whom thou wert sworne to cherish and defend.
10401 How canst thou vrge Gods dreadfull Law to vs,
When thou hast broke it in so deare degree?
Cla. Alas, for whose sake did I that ill deede,
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake:
Why sirs, he sends ye not to murder me for this,
1045For in this sinne he is as deepe as I:
If God will be reuenged for this deede,
Take not the quarrell from his powerfull arme,
He needes no indirect, nor lawlesse course,
1050To cut off those that haue offended him.
1 Who made thee then a bloudy minister,
When gallant springing braue Plantagenet,
That Princely Nouice was stroke dead by thee?
Cla. My brothers loue, the diuell, and my rage.
10551 Thy brothers loue, the diuell and thy fault
Haue brought vs hither now to murder thee.
Cla. Oh if you loue my brother, hate not me,
I am his brother, and I loue him well:
If you be hirde for meede, go backe againe,
1060And I will send you to my brother Glocester,
Who will reward you better for my life,
Then Edward will for tydings of my death.
2 You are deceiu'd, your brother Glocester hates you.
1065Cla. Oh no, he loues me, and he holds me deare,
Go you to him from me.
Am. I, so we will.
Cla. Tell him, when that our princely father Yorke,
Blest his three sonnes with his victorious arme:
1069.1And chargd vs from his soule, to loue each other,
1070He little thought of this deuided friendship.
Bid Glocester thinke of this, and he will weepe.
Am. I, milstones as he lessond vs to weepe.
Cla. O doe not slaunder him for he is kind.
1 Right as snow in haruest, thou deceiu'st thy selfe,
Tis he hath sent vs hither now to slaughter thee.
Cla. It cannot be, for when I parted with him,
He hugd me in his armes, and swore with sobs,
That he would labour my deliuery.
10802 Why so he doth, now he deliuers thee,
From this worlds thraldome, to the ioies of heauen,
1 Makes peace with God, for you must die my Lo:
Cla. Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soule,
To counsell me to make my peace with God;
1085And art thou yet to thy owne soule so blinde,
That thou wilt war with God, by murdring me?
Ah sirs, consider, he that set you on
To doe this deede, will hate you for this deede.
2 What shall we doe?
1090Cla. Relent, and saue your soules.
1 Relent, tis cowardly and womanish.
Cla. Not to relent, is beastly, sauage, diuelish,
My friend, I spie some pitty in thy lookes:
Oh if thy eye be not a flatterer,
1100Come thou on my side, and intreat for me,
A begging Prince, what begger pitties not?
1 I thus, and thus: if this wil not serue,
He stabs him.
Ile chop thee in the malmesey But, in the next roome.
11052 A bloudy deede, and desperately performd,
How faine like Pilate would I wash my hand,
Of this most grieuous guilty murder done.
1 Why doest thou not helpe me,
By heauens the Duke shall know how slacke thou art.
2 I would he knew that I had saued his brother.
Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say,
For I repent me that the Duke is slaine.
Exit.
1 So doe not I, go coward as thou art:
1115Now must I hide his body in some hole,
Vntill the Duke take order for his buriall:
And when I haue my meede I must away,
For this will out, and here I must not stay.
Exeunt.