Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • Title: Richard the Third (Folio 1, 1623)
  • Editor: Adrian Kiernander

  • Copyright Adrian Kiernander. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Adrian Kiernander
    Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Folio 1, 1623)

    The Life and Death of Richard the Third.
    2. Mur. I would he knew that I had sau'd his brother,
    Take thou the Fee, and tell him what I say,
    For I repent me that the Duke is slaine. Exit.
    1. Mur. So do not I: go Coward as thou art.
    1115Well, Ile go hide the body in some hole,
    Till that the Duke giue order for his buriall:
    And when I haue my meede, I will away,
    For this will out, and then I must not stay. Exit

    Actus Secundus. Scoena Prima.

    Enter the King sicke, the Queene, Lord Marquesse
    Dorset, Riuers, Hastings, Catesby,
    Buckingham, Wooduill.

    King. Why so: now haue I done a good daies work.
    1125You Peeres, continue this vnited League:
    I, euery day expect an Embassage
    From my Redeemer, to redeeme me hence.
    And more to peace my soule shall part to heauen,
    Since I haue made my Friends at peace on earth.
    1130Dorset and Riuers, take each others hand,
    Dissemble not your hatred, Sweare your loue.
    Riu. By heauen, my soule is purg'd from grudging hate
    And with my hand I seale my true hearts Loue.
    Hast. So thriue I, as I truly sweare the like.
    1135King. Take heed you dally not before your King,
    Lest he that is the supreme King of Kings
    Confound your hidden falshood, and award
    Either of you to be the others end.
    Hast. So prosper I, as I sweare perfect loue.
    1140Ri. And I, as I loue Hastings with my heart.
    King. Madam, your selfe is not exempt from this:
    Nor you Sonne Dorset, Buckingham nor you;
    You haue bene factious one against the other.
    Wife, loue Lord Hastings, let him kisse your hand,
    1145And what you do, do it vnfeignedly.
    Qu. There Hastings, I will neuer more remember
    Our former hatred, so thriue I, and mine.
    King. Dorset, imbrace him:
    Hastings, loue Lord Marquesse.
    1150Dor. This interchange of loue, I heere protest
    Vpon my part, shall be inuiolable.
    Hast. And so sweare I.
    King. Now Princely Buckingham, seale y^u this league
    With thy embracements to my wiues Allies,
    1155And make me happy in your vnity.
    Buc. When euer Buckingham doth turne his hate
    Vpon your Grace, but with all dutious loue,
    Doth cherish you, and yours, God punish me
    With hate in those where I expect most loue,
    1160When I haue most need to imploy a Friend,
    And most assured that he is a Friend,
    Deepe, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile,
    Be he vnto me: This do I begge of heauen,
    When I am cold in loue, to you, or yours. Embrace
    1165King. A pleasing Cordiall, Princely Buckingham
    Is this thy Vow, vnto my sickely heart:
    There wanteth now our Brother Gloster heere,
    To make the blessed period of this peace.
    Buc. And in good time,
    1170Heere comes Sir Richard Ratcliffe, and the Duke.

    Enter Ratcliffe, and Gloster.

    Rich. Good morrow to my Soueraigne King & Queen
    And Princely Peeres, a happy time of day.
    King, Happy indeed, as we haue spent the day:
    1175Gloster, we haue done deeds of Charity,
    Made peace of enmity, faire loue of hate,
    Betweene these swelling wrong incensed Peeres.
    Rich. A blessed labour my most Soueraigne Lord:
    Among this Princely heape, if any heere
    1180By false intelligence, or wrong surmize
    Hold me a Foe: If I vnwillingly, or in my rage,
    Haue ought committed that is hardly borne,
    To any in this presence, I desire
    To reconcile me to his Friendly peace:
    1185'Tis death to me to be at enmitie:
    I hate it, and desire all good mens loue,
    First Madam, I intreate true peace of you,
    Which I will purchase with my dutious seruice.
    Of you my Noble Cosin Buckingham,
    1190If euer any grudge were lodg'd betweene vs.
    Of you and you, Lord Riuers and of Dorset,
    That all without desert haue frown'd on me:
    Of you Lord Wooduill, and Lord Scales of you,
    Dukes, Earles, Lords, Gentlemen, indeed of all.
    1195I do not know that Englishman aliue,
    With whom my soule is any iot at oddes,
    More then the Infant that is borne to night:
    I thanke my God for my Humility.
    Qu. A holy day shall this be kept heereafter:
    1200I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
    My Soueraigne Lord, I do beseech your Highnesse
    To take our Brother Clarence to your Grace.
    Rich. Why Madam, haue I offred loue for this,
    To be so flowted in this Royall presence?
    1205Who knowes not that the gentle Duke is dead? Theyall start.
    You do him iniurie to scorne his Coarse.
    King. Who knowes not he is dead?
    Who knowes he is?
    Qu. All-seeing heauen, what a world is this?
    1210Buc. Looke I so pale Lord Dorset, as the rest?
    Dor. I my good Lord, and no man in the presence,
    But his red colour hath forsooke his cheekes.
    King. Is Clarence dead? The Order was reuerst.
    Rich. But he (poore man) by your first order dyed,
    1215And that a winged Mercurie did beare:
    Some tardie Cripple bare the Countermand,
    That came too lagge to see him buried.
    God grant, that some lesse Noble, and lesse Loyall,
    Neerer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood,
    1220Deserue not worse then wretched Clarence did,
    And yet go currant from Suspition.

    Enter Earle of Derby.
    Der. A boone my Soueraigne for my seruice done.
    King. I prethee peace, my soule is full of sorrow.
    1225Der. I will not rise, vnlesse your Highnes heare me.
    King. Then say at once, what is it thou requests.
    Der. The forfeit (Soueraigne) of my seruants life,
    Who slew to day a Riotous Gentleman,
    Lately attendant on the Duke of Norfolke.
    1230King. Haue I a tongue to doome my Brothers death?
    And shall that tongue giue pardon to a slaue?
    My Brother kill'd no man, his fault was Thought,
    And yet his punishment was bitter death.