Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)


2770
Enter Queene Margaret sola.
Q.Mar. So now prosperitie begins to mellow
And drop into the rotten mouth of Death:
Here in these confines slilie haue I lurkt,
To watch the waining of mine aduersaries:
2775A dire induction am I witnesse to,
And wil to Fraunce, hoping the consequence
Wil prooue as bitter, blacke and tragical.
Withdraw thee wretched Margaret, who comes here?
Enter the Qu. and the Dutchesse of Yorke.
2780Qu. Ah my young princes, ah my tender babes!
My vnblowne flowers, new appearing sweets,
If yet your gentle soules flie in the ayre
And be not fixt in doome perpetual,
Houer about me with your aierie winges,
2785And heare your mothers lamentation.
Qu.Mar. Houer about her, saie that right for right,
Hath dimd your infant morne, to aged night.
Quee. Wilt thou, O God, flie from such gentle lambes,
And throw them in the intrailes of the Wolfe:
2795When didst thou sleepe when such a deed was done?
Q.Mar. When holie Harry died, and my sweet sonne.
Dutch. Blind sight, dead life, poore mortal liuing ghost,
Woes sceane, worlds shame, graues due by life vsurpt,
2800Rest thy vnrest on Englands lawful earth,
Vnlawfullie made drunke with innocents bloud.
Qu. O that thou wouldst aswel affoord a graue,
As thou canst yeeld a melancholie seate,
Then would I hide my bones, not rest them here:
2805O who hath anie cause to mourne but I!
2805.1Duch. So manie miseries haue crazd my voice
That my woe-wearied toong is mute and dumbe.
Edward Plantagenet, whie art thou dead?
Qu.Mar. If ancient sorrow be most reuerent,
Giue mine the benefite of signorie,
And let my woes frowne on the vpper hand,
If sorrow can admitte societie,
2809.1Tell ouer your woes againe by vewing mine,
2810I had an Edward, till a Richard kild him:
I had a Richard, till a Ricard kild him:
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kild him:
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard kild him.
Duch. I had a Richard to, and thou didst kill him:
2815I had a Rutland to, thou hopst to kill him.
Qu.Mar. Thou hadst a Clarence to, and Richard kild him:
From forth the kennell of thy wombe hath crept,
A hel-hound that doeth hunt vs all to death,
2820That dogge, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worrie lambes, and lap their gentle blouds,
That foule defacer of Gods handie worke,
Thy wombe let loose, to chase vs to our graues,
O vpright, iust, and true disposing God,
How doe I thanke thee, that this carnal curre,
Praies on the issue of his mothers bodie,
And makes her puefellow with others mone.
2830Duch. O, Harries wifes triumph not in my woes,
God witnes with me, I haue wept for thine.
Qu.Mar. Beare with me, I am hungrie for reuenge,
And now I cloie me with beholding it,
Thy Edward, he is dead, that stabd my Edward,
2835Thy other Edward dead, to quitte my Edward,
Yong Yorke, he is but boote because both they
Match not the high perfection of my losse,
Thy Clarence he is dead, that kild my Edward,
And the beholders of this tragicke plaie,
2840The adulterate Hastings, Riuers, Vaughan, Gray,
Vntimelie smothred in their duskie graues,
Richard yet liues, hels blacke intelligencer,
Onely reserued their factor to buie soules,
And send them thether, but at hand at handes,
2845ensues his piteous, and vnpittied end,
Earth gapes, hell burnes, fiendes roare, saintes praie,
To haue him suddenly conueied away.
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 thou wel skild in curses, staie a while,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
Qu.Mar. Forbeare to sleepe the nights, and fast the daies,
2890Compare dead happinesse with liuing woe,
Thinke that thy babes were fairer then they were,
And he that slew them fouler then he is,
Bettring thy losse makes the bad causer worse,
Reuoluing this, wil teach thee how to curse.
2895Qu. My words are dul, O quicken them with thine.
Q.Mar. Thy woes wil make them sharp, & pierce like mine.
Du. Why should calamitie be ful of words?
Exit Mar.
Qu. Windie atturnies to your Client woes
2900Aerie succeeders of intestate ioies,
Poore breathing Orators of miseries,
Let them haue scope, though what they do impart,
Helpe not at al, yet do they ease the hart.
Duch. If so, then be not toong-tide, go with me,
2905And in the breath of bitter words lets smother
My damned sonne, which thy two sweet sons smotherd,
I heare his drum, be copious in exclaimes.
Enter K. Richard marching with Drummes
and Trumpets.
King Who intercepts my expedition?
2910Duch. A she, that might haue intercepted thee
By strangling thee in her accursed wombe,
From al the slaughters wretch, that thou hast done.
Qu. Hidst thou that forehead with a golden crowne
Where should be grauen, if that right were right,
2915The slaughter of the Prince that owed that Crowne,
And the dire death of my two sonnes, and brothers:
Tel me thou villaine slaue, where are my children?
Duch. Thou tode, thou tode, where is thy brother Clarence?
2920And little Ned Plantagenet, his sonne?
Qu. Where is kind Hastings, Riuers, Vaughan, Gray?
King A flourish trumpets, strike alarum drummes,
Let not the heauens heare these tel-tale women
2925Raile on the Lords annointed. Strike I saie. The trumpets
Either be patient, and intreat me faire,
Or with the clamorus report of war:
Thus will I drowne your exclamations.
2930Du. Art thou my son?
King. I, I thanke God, my father and your selfe,
Du. Then patiently here my impatience.
King. Madam I haue a touch of your condition,
Which cannot brooke the accent of reproofe.
Du. I will be mild and gentle in my speach.
King. And briefe good mother for I am in hast.
Du. Art thou so hastie I haue staid for thee,
2940God knowes in anguish, paine and agonie,
King. And came I not at last to comfort you?
Du. No by the holie roode thou knowst it well,
Thou camst on earth to make the earth my hell,
A greuous burthen was thy berth to me,
2945Techie and waiward was thy infancie,
Thy schoele-daies frightful, desperate, wild, and furious.
Thy prime of manhood, daring, bold and venturous,
Thy age confirmed, proud, subtile, bloudie, trecherous,
2950What comfortable houre canst thou name
That euer grac't me in thy companie?
King. Faith none but Humphrey houre, that cald your grace
To breake fast once forth of my companie,
2955If I be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend your grace.
Du. O heare me speake for I shal neuer see thee more.
King. Come, come, you art too bitter.
Du. Either thou wilt die by Gods iust ordinance,
Eeare from this war thou turne a conqueror,
2965Or I with griefe and extreame age shall perish,
And neuer looke vpon thy face againe,
Therefore take with thee my most heauy curse,
Which in the daie of battaile tire thee more
Then all the compleat armor that thou wearst,
2970My praiers on the aduerse partie fight,
And there the little soules of Edwards children,
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies,
And promise them successe and victoric,
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 thou demise to anie child of mine.
King. Euen all I haue, yea and my selfe and all,
Will I withal endow a child of thine,
3030So in the Lethe of thy angrie soule,
Thou drown the sadd remembrance of those wrongs
Which thou supposest I haue done to thee.
Qu. Be briefe, least that the processe of thy kindnes,
Last longer telling then thy kindnes doe.
3035King. Then know that from my soule I loue thy daughter.
Qu. My daughters mother thinkes it with her soule.
King. What do you thinke?
Qu. That thou dost loue my daughter from thy soule,
3040So from thy soules loue didst thou loue her brothers,
And from my harts loue I do thanke thee for it.
King. Be not so hastie to confound my meaning,
I meane that with my soule I loue thy daughter,
And meane to make her Queene of England.
3045Qu. Saie then, who dost thou meane shal be her king?
King. Euen he that makes her Queen, who should be else?
Qu. What thou?
King I euen I, what thinke you of it Maddame?
3050Qu. How canst thou wooe her?
King That would I learne of you.
As one that are best acquainted with her humor.
Qu. And wilt thou learn of me?
King Madam with al my hart.
3055Qu. Send to her by the man that slew her brothers,
A paire of bleeding harts thereon ingraue,
Edward and Yorke, then happelie she wil weepe,
Therefore present to her as sometimes Margaret
Did to thy father, a handkercher steept in Rutlands bloud,
And bid her drie her weeping eies therewith,
If this inducement force her not to loue,
Send her a storie of thy noble acts,
3065Tel her thou madst awaie her Vncle Clarence,
Her Vncle Riuers, yea, and for her sake
Madst quicke conueiance with her good Aunt Anne.
King Come, come, you mocke me, this is not the waie
To win your daughter.
3070Qu. There is no other waie
Vnlesse thou couldst put on some other shape,
And not be Richard that hath done all this.
King Infer faire Englands peace by this alliance.
Qu. Which she shall purchase with still lasting war.
3130King Saie that the king which may command intreats.
Qu. That at her hands which the kings king forbids.
King Saie she shalbe a high and mightie Queene.
Qu. To waile the title as her mother doth.
King Saie I wil loue her euerlastinglie.
3135Qu. But how long shall that title euer last.
King Sweetlie inforce vnto her faire lyues end.
Qu. But how long farely shall her sweet life last?
King So long as heauen and nature lengthens it.
Qu. So long as hell and Richard likes of it.
3140King Saie I her soueraign am her subiect loue.
Qu. But she your subiect loaths such soueraintie.
King Be eloquent in my behalfe to her.
Qu. An honest tale speeds best being plainlie told.
King Then in plaine termes tell her my louing tale.
3145Qu. Plaine and not honest is to harsh a stile.
King Madame your reasons are too shallow & too quicke
Qu. O no my reasons are to deepe and dead.
Too deepe and dead poore infants in their graue.
3150King Harpe not one that string Madam that is past.
Qu. Harpe on it still shall I till hartstrings breake.
King Now by my George, my Garter and my crown.
Qu. Prophand, dishonerd, and the third vsurped.
King I sweare by nothing.
Qu. By nothing, for this is no oath.
3155The George prophand hath lost his holie honor,
The Garter blemisht pawnd his knightlie vertue,
The crown vsurpt disgrac't his kinglie dignitie,
If something thou wilt sweare to be beleeude,
Sweare then by something that thou hast not wrongd.
King Now by the world.
Qu. Tis ful of thy foule wrongs.
King. My Fathers death.
3165Qu. Thy life hath that dishonord.
3160King. Then by my selfe.
Qu. Thy selfe, thy selfe misusest.
King. Whie, then by God.
Qu. Gods wrong is most of all,
If thou hadst feard, to breake an oath by him,
The vnitie the king my brother made,
3170Had not bene broken, nor my brother slaine.
If thou hadst feard to breake an oath by him,
The emperiall mettall circling now thy brow,
Had grast the tender temples of my childe,
And both the princes had bene breathing heere,
3175Which now, two tender plaie-fellowes for dust,
Thy broken faith, hath made a praie for wormes.
King. By the time to come.
Qu. That thou hast wrongd in time orepast,
3180For I my selfe, haue manie teares to wash,
Hereafter time, for time, by the past wrongd,
The children liue, whose parents thou hast slaughterd,
Vngouernd youth, to waile it in their age,
The parents liue, whose children thou hast butcherd,
3185Olde withered plantes, to waile it with their age,
Sweare not by time to come, for that thou hast,
Misused, eare vsed, by time misused orepast.
King. As I intend to prosper and repent,
So thriue I in my dangerous attempt,
3190Of hostile armes, my selfe, my selfe confound,
Daye yeeld me not thy light, nor night thy rest,
Be opposite, all planets of good lucke,
To my proceedings, if with pure heartes loue,
3195Immaculate deuocion, holie thoughtes,
I tender not thy beauteous princelie daughter,
In her consistes my happines and thine,
Without her followes to this land and me,
To thee her selfe, and manie a Christian soule,
3200Sad desolation, ruine, and decaie,
It cannot be auoided but by this,
It will not be auoided but this :
Therefore good mother (I must call you so,)
Be the atturney of my loue to her.
3205Pleade what I will be, not what I haue bene,
Not by desertes, but what I will deserue,
Vrge the necessitie and state of times,
And be not pieuish, fond in great designes.
Qu. Shall I be tempted of the diuell thus.
3210King. I, if the diuell tempt thee to doe good.
Qu. Shall I forget my selfe, to be my selfe.
King. I, if your selfes remembrance, wrong your selfe.
Qu. But thou didst kill my children.
King. But in your daughters wombe, I buried them,
3215Where in that nest of spicerie they shall breed,
Selfes of themselues, to your recomfiture.
Qu. Shall I go winne my daughter to thy will.
King. And be a happie mother by the deede,
Qu. I goe, write to me verie shortlie.
King. Beare her my true loues kisse, farewell.
Exit.
Relenting foole, and shallow changing woman.
Enter Rat.
3225Rat. My gracious Soueraigne on the westerne coast,
Rideth a puissant Nauie. To the shore,
Throng manie doubtfull hollow harted friendes,
Vnarmd, and vnresolud to beate them backe:
Tis thought that Richmond is their admirall,
3230And there they hull, expecting but the aide,
Of Buckingham, to welcome them a shore.
King. Some light-foote friend, post to the Duke of Norff.
Ratcliffe thy selfe, or Catesbie, where is hee?
Cat. Here my Lord.
King. Flie to the Duke, post thou to Salisburie,
When thou comst there, dull vnmindfull villaine,
Whie standst thou still? and goest not to the Duke.
3240Cat. First mightie Soueraigne, let me know your minde,
What, from your grace, I shall deliuer them.
King. O, true good Catesbie, bid him leuie straight,
The greatest strength, and power he can make,
And meete me presentlie at Salisburie.
Rat. What is it your highnes pleasure, I shall do at Salisbu-
King. Whie? what wouldst thou doe there before I goe?
3250Rat. Your highnes told me I should post before.
King. My mind is changd sir, my minde is changd.
How now, what newes with you?
Enter Darbie.
Dar. None good my Lord, to please you with the hearing,
3255Nor none so bad, but it may well be told.
King. Hoiday, a riddle, neither good, nor bad:
Why doest thou runne so many mile about,
When thou maist tell thy tale a neerer way.
Once more, what newes?
3260Dar. Richmond is on the Seas.
King. There let him sinke, and be the seas on him,
White liuerd runnagate, what doeth he there?
Dar. I know not mightie Soueraigne, but by guesse.
King. Well sir, as you guesse, as you guesse.
3265Dar. Sturd vp by Dorset, Buckingham, and Elie,
He makes for England, there to claime the crowne.
King. Is the chaire emptie? is the sword vnswaied?
Is the king dead?the Empire vnpossest?
What heire of Yorke is there aliue but we?
3270And who is Englands King, but great Yorkes heire, ?
Then tell me, what doeth he vpon the sea?
Dar. Vnlesse for that my liege, I cannot guesse.
King Vnlesse for that, he comes to be your liege,
You cannot guesse, wherefore the Welshman comes,
3275Thou wilt reuolt, and flie to him I feare.
Dar. No mightie liege, therefore mistrust me not.
King Where is thy power then? to beate him backe,
Where are thy tennants? and thy followers?
Are they not now vpon the Westerne shore?
3280Safe conducting, the rebels from their ships.
Dar, No my good Lord, my friendes are in the North.
King. Cold friends to Richard, what doe they in the North?
When they should serue, their Soueraigne in the West.
3285Dar. They haue not bin commaunded, mightie soueraigne.
Please it your Maiestie to giue me leaue,
Ile muster vp my friendes and meete your grace,
Where, and what time, your Maiestie shall please.
King. I, I, thou wouldest be gone, to ioyne with Richmond,
3290I will not trust you Sir.
Dar. Most mightie Soueraigne,
You haue no cause to hold my friendship doubtfull,
I neuer was, nor neuer will be false.
King. Well, go muster men, but heare you, leaue behinde,
3295Your sonne George Stanlie, looke your faith be firme,
Or else, his heads assurance is but fraile.
Dar. So deale with him, as I proue true to you.
Enter a Messenger.
3300Mes. My gracious Soueraigne, now in Deuonshire,
As I by friendes am well aduertised,
Sir William Courtney, and the haughtie Prelate,
Bishop of Exceter, his brother there,
With manie mo confederates, are in armes.
3305
Enter another Messenger.
Mes. My Liege, in Kent the Guilfordes are in armes,
And euerie houre more competitors,
Flocke to their aide, and still their power increaseth.
Enter another Messenger.
3310Mes. My Lord, the armie of the Duke of Buckingham.
He striketh him.
King. Out on you owles, nothing but songs off death.
Take that vntill thou bring me better newes.
3313.1Mes. Your grace mistakes, the newes I bring is good,
3315My newes is that by sudden floud, and fall of water,
The Duke of Buckinghams armie is disperst and scattered,
And he himselfe fled, no man knowes whether.
King. O I crie you mercie, I did mistake,
3320Ratcliffe reward him, for the blow I gaue him,
Hath any well aduised friend giuen out,
Rewardes for him that brings in Buckingham.
Mes. Such proclamation hath bene made my liege.
Enter another Messenger.
3325Mes. Sir Thomas Louel, and Lord Marques Dorset,
Tis said my liege, are vp in armes,
Yet this good comfort bring I to your grace,
The Brittaine nauie is disperst, Richmond in Dorshire
Sent out a boate to aske them on the shore,
If they were his assistants yea, or no:
Who answered him, they came from Buckingham,
Vpon his partie, he mistrusting them,
Hoist sale, and made away for Brittaine.
3335King. March on, march on, since we are vp in armes,
If not to fight with forreine enemies,
Yet to beate downe, these rebels here at home.
Enter Catesbie.
Cat. My liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken,
3340Thats the best newes, that the Earle of Richmond,
Is with a mightie power landed at Milford,
Is colder tidings, yet they must be told.
King. Away towardes Salisburie, while we reason here,
A royall battell might be wonne and lost.
3345Some one take order, Buckingham be brought,
To Salisburie, the rest march on with me.
Exeunt.