Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Adrian Kiernander
Peer Reviewed

Richard the Third (Folio 1, 1623)

The Life and Death of Richard the Third.
Who sued to me for him? Who (in my wrath)
1235Kneel'd and my feet, and bid me be aduis'd?
Who spoke of Brother-hood? who spoke of loue?
Who told me how the poore soule did forsake
The mighty Warwicke, and did fight for me?
Who told me in the field at Tewkesbury,
1240When Oxford had me downe, he rescued me:
And said deare Brother liue, and be a King?
Who told me, when we both lay in the Field,
Frozen (almost) to death, how he did lap me
Euen in his Garments, and did giue himselfe
1245(All thin and naked) to the numbe cold night?
All this from my Remembrance, brutish wrath
Sinfully pluckt, and not a man of you
Had so much grace to put it in my minde.
But when your Carters, or your wayting Vassalls
1250Haue done a drunken Slaughter, and defac'd
The precious Image of our deere Redeemer,
You straight are on your knees for Pardon, pardon,
And I (vniustly too) must grant it you.
But for my Brother, not a man would speake,
1255Nor I (vngracious) speake vnto my selfe
For him poore Soule. The proudest of you all,
Haue bin beholding to him in his life:
Yet none of you, would once begge for his life.
O God! I feare thy iustice will take hold
1260On me, and you; and mine, and yours for this.
Come Hastings helpe me to my Closset.
Ah poore Clarence. Exeunt some with K. & Qneen.
Rich. This is the fruits of rashnes: Markt you not,
How that the guilty Kindred of the Queene
1265Look'd pale, when they did heare of Clarence death.
O! they did vrge it still vnto the King,
God will reuenge it. Come Lords will you go,
To comfort Edward with our company.
Buc. We wait vpon your Grace. exeunt.

1270Scena Secunda.

Enter the old Dutchesse of Yorke, with the two
children of Clarence.

Edw. Good Grandam tell vs, is our Father dead?
Dutch. No Boy.
1275Daugh. Why do weepe so oft? And beate your Brest?
And cry, O Clarence, my vnhappy Sonne.
Boy. Why do you looke on vs, and shake your head,
And call vs Orphans, Wretches, Castawayes,
If that our Noble Father were aliue?
1280Dut. My pretty Cosins, you mistake me both,
I do lament the sicknesse of the King,
As loath to lose him, not your Fathers death:
It were lost sorrow to waile one that's lost.
Boy. Then you conclude, (my Grandam) he is dead:
1285The King mine Vnckle is too blame for it.
God will reuenge it, whom I will importune
With earnest prayers, all to that effect.
Daugh. And so will I.
Dut. Peace children peace, the King doth loue you wel.
1290Incapeable, and shallow Innocents,
You cannot guesse who caus'd your Fathers death.
Boy. Grandam we can: for my good Vnkle Gloster
Told me, the King prouok'd to it by the Queene,
Deuis'd impeachments to imprison him;
1295And when my Vnckle told me so, he wept,
And pittied me, and kindly kist my cheeke:
Bad me rely on him, as on my Father,
And he would loue me deerely as a childe.
Dut. Ah! that Deceit should steale such gentle shape,
1300And with a vertuous Vizor hide deepe vice.
He is my sonne, I, and therein my shame,
Yet from my dugges, he drew not this deceit.
Boy. Thinke you my Vnkle did dissemble Grandam?
Dut. I Boy.
1305Boy. I cannot thinke it. Hearke, what noise is this?

Enter the Queene with her haire about her ears,
Riuers & Dorset after her.

Qu. Ah! who shall hinder me to waile and weepe?
To chide my Fortune, and torment my Selfe.
1310Ile ioyne with blacke dispaire against my Soule,
And to my selfe, become an enemie.
Dut. What meanes this Scene of rude impatience?
Qu. To make an act of Tragicke violence.
Edward my Lord, thy Sonne, our King is dead.
1315Why grow the Branches, when the Roote is gone?
Why wither not the leaues that want their sap?
If you will liue, Lament: if dye, be breefe,
That our swift-winged Soules may catch the Kings,
Or like obedient Subiects follow him,
1320To his new Kingdome of nere-changing night.
Dut. Ah so much interest haue in thy sorrow,
As I had Title in thy Noble Husband:
I haue bewept a worthy Husbands death,
And liu'd with looking on his Images:
1325But now two Mirrors of his Princely semblance,
Are crack'd in pieces, by malignant death,
And I for comfort, haue but one false Glasse,
That greeues me, when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a Widdow: yet thou art a Mother,
1330And hast the comfort of thy Children left,
But death hath snatch'd my Husband from mine Armes,
And pluckt two Crutches from my feeble hands,
Clarence, and Edward. O, what cause haue I,
(Thine being but a moity of my moane)
1335To ouer-go thy woes, and drowne thy cries.
Boy. Ah Aunt! you wept not for our Fathers death:
How can we ayde you with our Kindred teares?
Daugh. Our fatherlesse distresse was left vnmoan'd,
Your widdow-dolour, likewise be vnwept.
1340Qu. Giue me no helpe in Lamentation,
I am not barren to bring forth complaints:
All Springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
That I being gouern'd by the waterie Moone,
May send forth plenteous teares to drowne the World.
1345Ah, for my Husband, for my deere Lord Edward.
Chil. Ah for our Father, for our deere Lord Clarence.
Dut. Alas for both, both mine Edward and Clarence.
Qu. What stay had I but Edward, and hee's gone?
Chil. What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone.
1350Dut. What stayes had I, but they? and they are gone.
Qu. Was neuer widdow had so deere a losse.
Chil. Were neuer Orphans had so deere a losse.
Dut. Was neuer Mother had so deere a losse.
Alas! I am the Mother of these Greefes,
1355Their woes are parcell'd, mine is generall.
She for an Edward weepes, and so do I: