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.
2210Yet who so bold, but sayes he sees it not?
Bad is the World, and all will come to nought,
When such ill dealing must be seene in thought. Exit.

Enter Richard and Buckingham at seuerall Doores.

Rich. How now, how now, what say the Citizens?
2215Buck. Now by the holy Mother of our Lord,
The Citizens are mum, say not a word.
Rich. Toucht you the Bastardie of Edwards Children?
Buck I did, with his Contract with Lady Lucy,
And his Contract by Deputie in France,
2220Th'vnsatiate greedinesse of his desire,
And his enforcement of the Citie Wiues,
His Tyrannie for Trifles, his owne Bastardie,
As being got, your Father then in France,
And his resemblance, being not like the Duke.
2225Withall, I did inferre your Lineaments,
Being the right Idea of your Father,
Both in your forme, and Noblenesse of Minde:
Layd open all your Victories in Scotland,
Your Discipline in Warre, Wisdome in Peace,
2230Your Bountie, Vertue, faire Humilitie:
Indeed, left nothing fitting for your purpose,
Vntoucht, or sleightly handled in discourse.
And when my Oratorie drew toward end,
I bid them that did loue their Countries good,
2235Cry, God saue Richard, Englands Royall King.
Rich. And did they so?
Buck. No, so God helpe me, they spake not a word,
But like dumbe Statues, or breathing Stones,
Star'd each on other, and look'd deadly pale:
2240Which when I saw, I reprehended them,
And ask'd the Maior, what meant this wilfull silence?
His answer was, the people were not vsed
To be spoke to, but by the Recorder.
Then he was vrg'd to tell my Tale againe:
2245Thus sayth the Duke, thus hath the Duke inferr'd,
But nothing spoke, in warrant from himselfe.
When he had done, some followers of mine owne,
At lower end of the Hall, hurld vp their Caps,
And some tenne voyces cry'd, God saue King Richard:
2250And thus I tooke the vantage of those few.
Thankes gentle Citizens, and friends, quoth I,
This generall applause, and chearefull showt,
Argues your wisdome, and your loue to Richard:
And euen here brake off, and came away.
2255Rich. What tongue-lesse Blockes were they,
Would they not speake?
Will not the Maior then, and his Brethren, come?
Buck. The Maior is here at hand: intend some feare,
Be not you spoke with, but by mightie suit:
2260And looke you get a Prayer-Booke in your hand,
And stand betweene two Church-men, good my Lord,
For on that ground Ile make a holy Descant:
And be not easily wonne to our requests,
Play the Maids part, still answer nay, and take it.
2265Rich. I goe: and if you plead as well for them,
As I can say nay to thee for my selfe,
No doubt we bring it to a happie issue.
Buck. Go, go vp to the Leads, the Lord Maior knocks.

Enter the Maior, and Citizens.

2270Welcome, my Lord, I dance attendance here,
I thinke the Duke will not be spoke withall.

Enter Catesby.

Buck. Now Catesby, what sayes your Lord to my
2275Catesby. He doth entreat your Grace, my Noble Lord,
To visit him to morrow, or next day:
He is within, with two right reuerend Fathers,
Diuinely bent to Meditation,
And in no Worldly suites would he be mou'd,
2280To draw him from his holy Exercise.
Buck. Returne, good Catesby, to the gracious Duke,
Tell him, my selfe, the Maior and Aldermen,
In deepe designes, in matter of great moment,
No lesse importing then our generall good,
2285Are come to haue some conference with his Grace.
Catesby. Ile signifie so much vnto him straight. Exit.
Buck. Ah ha, my Lord, this Prince is not an Edward,
He is not lulling on a lewd Loue-Bed,
But on his Knees, at Meditation:
2290Not dallying with a Brace of Curtizans,
But meditating with two deepe Diuines:
Not sleeping, to engrosse his idle Body,
But praying, to enrich his watchfull Soule.
Happie were England, would this vertuous Prince
2295Take on his Grace the Soueraigntie thereof.
But sure I feare we shall not winne him to it.
Maior. Marry God defend his Grace should say vs
Buck. I feare he will: here Catesby comes againe.

2300Enter Catesby.
Now Catesby, what sayes his Grace?
Catesby. He wonders to what end you haue assembled
Such troopes of Citizens, to come to him,
His Grace not being warn'd thereof before:
2305He feares, my Lord, you meane no good to him.
Buck. Sorry I am, my Noble Cousin should
Suspect me, that I meane no good to him:
By Heauen, we come to him in perfit loue,
And so once more returne, and tell his Grace. Exit.
2310When holy and deuout Religious men
Are at their Beades, 'tis much to draw them thence,
So sweet is zealous Contemplation.

Enter Richard aloft, betweene two Bishops.
Maior. See where his Grace stands, tweene two Clergie
Buck. Two Props of Vertue, for a Christian Prince,
To stay him from the fall of Vanitie:
And see a Booke of Prayer in his hand,
True Ornaments to know a holy man.
2320Famous Plantagenet, most gracious Prince,
Lend fauourable eare to our requests,
And pardon vs the interruption
Of thy Deuotion, and right Christian Zeale.
Rich. My Lord, there needes no such Apologie:
2325I doe beseech your Grace to pardon me,
Who earnest in the seruice of my God,
Deferr'd the visitation of my friends.
But leauing this, what is your Graces pleasure?
Buck. Euen that (I hope) which pleaseth God aboue,
2330And all good men, of this vngouern'd Ile.
Rich. I doe suspect I haue done some offence,
That seemes disgracious in the Cities eye,
And that you come to reprehend my ignorance.
Buck. You
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