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  • Title: Richard the Third (Modern)
  • Editor: Adrian Kiernander

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Adrian Kiernander
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Modern)

    Enter two citizens [at separate doors.]
    1 Citizen Neighbor well met, whither away so 1435fast?
    2 Citizen I promise you, I scarcely know myself.
    1 Citizen Hear you the news abroad?
    2 Citizen Aye, that the King is dead.
    1 Citizen Bad news by'rlady, seldom comes the better;
    1440I fear, I fear, 'twill prove a troublous world.
    Ent[er] another cit[izen].
    3 Citizen Good morrow neighbors.
    Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?
    14451 Citizen It doth.
    3Then masters, look to see a troublous world.
    1 Citizen No no, by God's good grace his son shall reign.
    3 Citizen Woe to that land that's governed by a child.
    2 Citizen In him there is a hope of government
    1450That, in his nonage, council under him,
    And in his full and ripened years himself,
    No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.
    1 Citizen So stood the state when Harry the Sixth
    Was crowned at Paris but at nine months old.
    14553 Citizen Stood the state so? No, good my friend, not so,
    For then this land was famously enriched
    With politic grave counsel; then the King
    Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.
    2 Citizen So hath this, both by the father and mother.
    14603 Citizen Better it were they all came by the father,
    Or by the father there were none at all.
    For emulation now, who shall be nearest
    Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
    Oh, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester,
    1465And the Queen's kindred haughty and proud,
    And were they to be ruled and not to rule,
    This sickly land might solace as before.
    2 Citizen Come, come, we fear the worst, all shall be well.
    3 Citizen When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
    1470When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;
    When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
    Untimely storms make men expect a dearth;
    All may be well, but if God sort it so
    'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.
    14751 Citizen Truly the souls of men are full of dread.
    Ye cannot almost reason with a man
    That looks not heavily and full of fear.
    3 Citizen Before the times of change still is it so.
    By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
    1480Ensuing dangers, as by proof we see
    The waters swell before a boisterous storm.
    But leave it all to God. Whither away?
    2 Citizen We are sent for to the justice.
    3 Citizen And so was I, I'll bear you company.