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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.

    Scaena Quarta.

    Enter Buckingham Darby, Hastings, Bishop of Ely,
    1965Norfolke, Ratcliffe, Louell, with others,
    at a Table.

    Hast. Now Noble Peeres, the cause why we are met,
    Is to determine of the Coronation:
    In Gods Name speake, when is the Royall day?
    1970Buck. Is all things ready for the Royall time?
    Darb. It is, and wants but nomination.
    Ely. To morrow then I iudge a happie day.
    Buck. Who knowes the Lord Protectors mind herein?
    Who is most inward with the Noble Duke?
    1975Ely. Your Grace, we thinke, should soonest know his
    Buck. We know each others Faces: for our Hearts,
    He knowes no more of mine, then I of yours,
    Or I of his, my Lord, then you of mine:
    1980Lord Hastings, you and he are neere in loue.
    Hast. I thanke his Grace, I know he loues me well:
    But for his purpose in the Coronation,
    I haue not sounded him, nor he deliuer'd
    His gracious pleasure any way therein:
    1985But you, my Honorable Lords, may name the time,
    And in the Dukes behalfe Ile giue my Voice,
    Which I presume hee'le take in gentle part.

    Enter Gloucester.

    Ely. In happie time, here comes the Duke himselfe.
    1990Rich. My Noble Lords, and Cousins all, good morrow:
    I haue beene long a sleeper: but I trust,
    My absence doth neglect no great designe,
    Which by my presence might haue beene concluded.
    Buck. Had you not come vpon your Q my Lord,
    1995William, Lord Hastings, had pronounc'd your part;
    I meane your Voice, for Crowning of the King.
    Rich. Then my Lord Hastings, no man might be bolder,
    His Lordship knowes me well, and loues me well.
    My Lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborne,
    2000I saw good Strawberries in your Garden there,
    I doe beseech you, send for some of them.
    Ely. Mary and will, my Lord, with all my heart.
    Exit Bishop.
    Rich. Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
    2005Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our businesse,
    And findes the testie Gentleman so hot,
    That he will lose his Head, ere giue consent
    His Masters Child, as worshipfully he tearmes it,
    Shall lose the Royaltie of Englands Throne.
    2010Buck. Withdraw your selfe a while, Ile goe with you.
    Darb. We haue not yet set downe this day of Triumph:
    To morrow, in my iudgement, is too sudden,
    For I my selfe am not so well prouided,
    2015As else I would be, were the day prolong'd.

    Enter the Bishop of Ely.

    Ely. Where is my Lord, the Duke of Gloster?
    I haue sent for these Strawberries.
    Ha. His Grace looks chearfully & smooth this morning,
    2020There's some conceit or other likes him well,
    When that he bids good morrow with such spirit.
    I thinke there's neuer a man in Christendome
    Can lesser hide his loue, or hate, then hee,
    For by his Face straight shall you know his Heart.
    2025Darb. What of his Heart perceiue you in his Face,
    By any liuelyhood he shew'd to day?
    Hast. Mary, that with no man here he is offended:
    For were he, he had shewne it in his Lookes.

    Enter Richard, and Buckingham.

    2030Rich. I pray you all, tell me what they deserue,
    That doe conspire my death with diuellish Plots
    Of damned Witchcraft, and that haue preuail'd
    Vpon my Body with their Hellish Charmes.
    Hast. The tender loue I beare your Grace, my Lord,
    2035Makes me most forward, in this Princely presence,
    To doome th' Offendors, whosoe're they be:
    I say, my Lord, they haue deserued death.
    Rich. Then be your eyes the witnesse of their euill.
    Looke how I am bewitch'd: behold, mine Arme
    2040Is like a blasted Sapling, wither'd vp:
    And this is Edwards Wife, that monstrous Witch,
    Consorted with that Harlot, Strumpet Shore,
    That by their Witchcraft thus haue marked me.
    Hast. If they haue done this deed, my Noble Lord.
    2045Rich. If? thou Protector of this damned Strumpet,
    Talk'st thou to me of Ifs: thou art a Traytor,
    Off with his Head; now by Saint Paul I sweare,
    I will not dine, vntill I see the same.
    Louell and Ratcliffe, looke that it be done: Exeunt.
    2050The rest that loue me, rise, and follow me.

    Manet Louell and Ratcliffe, with the
    Lord Hastings.

    Hast. Woe, woe for England, not a whit for me,
    For I, too fond, might haue preuented this:
    2055Stanley did dreame, the Bore did rowse our Helmes,
    And I did scorne it, and disdaine to flye:
    Three times to day my Foot-Cloth-Horse did stumble,
    And started, when he look'd vpon the Tower,
    As loth to beare me to the slaughter-house.
    2060O now I need the Priest, that spake to me:
    I now repent I told the Pursuiuant,
    As too triumphing, how mine Enemies
    To day at Pomfret bloodily were butcher'd,
    And I my selfe secure, in grace and fauour.
    2065Oh Margaret, Margaret, now thy heauie Curse
    Is lighted on poore Hastings wretched Head.
    Ra. Come, come, dispatch, the Duke would be at dinner:
    Make a short Shrift, he longs to see your Head.
    Hast. O momentarie grace of mortall men,
    2070Which we more hunt for, then the grace of God!
    Who builds his hope in ayre of your good Lookes,
    Liues like a drunken Sayler on a Mast,
    Readie with euery Nod to tumble downe,
    Into the fatall Bowels of the Deepe.
    2075Lou. Come, come, dispatch, 'tis bootlesse to exclaime.
    Hast. O bloody Richard: miserable England,
    I prophecie the fearefull'st time to thee,
    That euer wretched Age hath look'd vpon.
    Come, lead me to the Block, beare him my Head,
    2080They smile at me, who shortly shall be dead.