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  • 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.
    Yorke. What, will you goe vnto the Tower, my Lord?
    1725Prince. My Lord Protector will haue it so.
    Yorke. I shall not sleepe in quiet at the Tower.
    Glo. Why, what should you feare?
    Yorke. Marry, my Vnckle Clarence angry Ghost:
    My Grandam told me he was murther'd there.
    1730Prince. I feare no Vnckles dead.
    Glo. Nor none that liue, I hope.
    Prince. And if they liue, I hope I need not feare.
    But come my Lord: and with a heauie heart,
    Thinking on them, goe I vnto the Tower.
    1735A Senet. Exeunt Prince, Yorke, Hastings, and Dorset.

    Manet Richard, Buckingham, and Catesby.

    Buck. Thinke you, my Lord, this little prating Yorke
    Was not incensed by his subtile Mother,
    To taunt and scorne you thus opprobriously?
    1740Glo. No doubt, no doubt: Oh 'tis a perillous Boy,
    Bold, quicke, ingenious, forward, capable:
    Hee is all the Mothers, from the top to toe.
    Buck. Well, let them rest: Come hither Catesby,
    Thou art sworne as deepely to effect what we intend,
    1745As closely to conceale what we impart:
    Thou know'st our reasons vrg'd vpon the way.
    What think'st thou? is it not an easie matter,
    To make William Lord Hastings of our minde,
    For the installment of this Noble Duke
    1750In the Seat Royall of this famous Ile?
    Cates. He for his fathers sake so loues the Prince,
    That he will not be wonne to ought against him.
    Buck. What think'st thou then of Stanley? Will
    not hee?
    1755Cates. Hee will doe all in all as Hastings doth.
    Buck. Well then, no more but this:
    Goe gentle Catesby, and as it were farre off,
    Sound thou Lord Hastings,
    How he doth stand affected to our purpose,
    1760And summon him to morrow to the Tower,
    To sit about the Coronation.
    If thou do'st finde him tractable to vs,
    Encourage him, and tell him all our reasons:
    If he be leaden, ycie, cold, vnwilling,
    1765Be thou so too, and so breake off the talke,
    And giue vs notice of his inclination:
    For we to morrow hold diuided Councels,
    Wherein thy selfe shalt highly be employ'd.
    Rich. Commend me to Lord William: tell him Catesby,
    1770His ancient Knot of dangerous Aduersaries
    To morrow are let blood at Pomfret Castle,
    And bid my Lord, for ioy of this good newes,
    Giue Mistresse Shore one gentle Kisse the more.
    Buck. Good Catesby, goe effect this businesse soundly.
    1775Cates. My good Lords both, with all the heed I can.
    Rich. Shall we heare from you, Catesby, ere we sleepe?
    Cates. You shall, my Lord.
    Rich. At Crosby House, there shall you find vs both.
    Exit Catesby.
    1780Buck. Now, my Lord,
    What shall wee doe, if wee perceiue
    Lord Hastings will not yeeld to our Complots?
    Rich. Chop off his Head:
    Something wee will determine:
    1785And looke when I am King, clayme thou of me
    The Earledome of Hereford, and all the moueables
    Whereof the King, my Brother, was possest.
    Buck. Ile clayme that promise at your Graces hand.
    Rich. And looke to haue it yeelded with all kindnesse.
    1790Come, let vs suppe betimes, that afterwards
    Wee may digest our complots in some forme.

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter a Messenger to the Doore of Hastings.

    1795Mess. My Lord, my Lord.
    Hast. Who knockes?
    Mess. One from the Lord Stanley.
    Hast. What is't a Clocke?
    Mess. Vpon the stroke of foure.

    1800Enter Lord Hastings.
    Hast. Cannot my Lord Stanley sleepe these tedious
    Mess. So it appeares, by that I haue to say:
    First, he commends him to your Noble selfe.
    1805Hast. What then?
    Mess. Then certifies your Lordship, that this Night
    He dreamt, the Bore had rased off his Helme:
    Besides, he sayes there are two Councels kept;
    And that may be determin'd at the one,
    1810Which may make you and him to rue at th'other.
    Therefore he sends to know your Lordships pleasure,
    If you will presently take Horse with him,
    And with all speed post with him toward the North,
    To shun the danger that his Soule diuines.
    1815Hast. Goe fellow, goe, returne vnto thy Lord,
    Bid him not feare the seperated Councell:
    His Honor and my selfe are at the one,
    And at the other, is my good friend Catesby;
    Where nothing can proceede, that toucheth vs,
    1820Whereof I shall not haue intelligence:
    Tell him his Feares are shallow, without instance.
    And for his Dreames, I wonder hee's so simple,
    To trust the mock'ry of vnquiet slumbers.
    To flye the Bore, before the Bore pursues,
    1825Were to incense the Bore to follow vs,
    And make pursuit, where he did meane no chase.
    Goe, bid thy Master rise, and come to me,
    And we will both together to the Tower,
    Where he shall see the Bore will vse vs kindly.
    1830Mess. Ile goe, my Lord, and tell him what you say.
    Enter Catesby.

    Cates. Many good morrowes to my Noble Lord.
    Hast. Good morrow Catesby, you are early stirring:
    1835What newes, what newes, in this our tott'ring State?
    Cates. It is a reeling World indeed, my Lord:
    And I beleeue will neuer stand vpright,
    Till Richard weare the Garland of the Realme.
    Hast. How weare the Garland?
    1840Doest thou meane the Crowne?
    Cates. I, my good Lord.
    Hast. Ile haue this Crown of mine cut frõ my shoulders,
    Before Ile see the Crowne so foule mis-plac'd:
    But canst thou guesse, that he doth ayme at it?
    Cates. I,