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  • Title: Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)
  • 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
    Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)

    The Tragedy
    To Bona sister to the king of Fraunce,
    These both put by a poore petitioner
    2405A care-crazd mother of a many children,
    A beauty-waining and distressed widow,
    Euen in the afternoone of her best daies
    Made prise and purchase of his lustfull eye,
    Seduc't the pitch and height of al his thoughts,
    2410To base declension and loathd bigamie,
    By her in his vnlawfull bed he got.
    This Edward whom our maners terme the prince,
    More bitterlie could I expostulate,
    Saue that for reuerence to some aliue
    2415I giue a sparing limit to my tongue:
    Then good my Lord, take to your royall selfe,
    This proffered benefit of dignitie:
    If not to blesse vs and the land withall,
    Yet to draw out your royall stocke,
    2420From the corruption of abusing time,
    Vnto a lineall true deriued course.
    Maior. Do good my Lord, your Cittizens entreat you.
    Cates. O make them ioifull grant their lawful suite.
    2425Glo. Alas, why would you heape these cares on me,
    I am vnfit for state and dignitie,
    I do beseech you take it not amisse,
    I cannot nor I will not yeeld to you.
    Buck. If you refuse it as in loue and zeale,
    2430Loath to depose the child your brothers sonne,
    As well we know your tendernes of heart,
    And gentle kind effeminate remorse,
    Which wee haue noted in you to your kin,
    And egallie indeed to all estates,
    2435Yet whether you accept our suite or no,
    Your brothers sonne shall neuer raigne our king,
    But we will plant some other in the throane,
    To the disgrace and downfall of your house:
    And in this resolution here we leaue you.
    2440Come Citizens, zounds ile intreat no more.
    2440.1Glo. O do not sweare my Lord of Buckingham.