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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.
    Rich. Euen so, and please your Worship Brakenbury,
    You may partake of any thing we say:
    We speake no Treason man; We say the King
    95Is wise and vertuous, and his Noble Queene
    Well strooke in yeares, faire, and not iealious.
    We say, that Shores Wife hath a pretty Foot,
    A cherry Lip, a bonny Eye, a passing pleasing tongue:
    And that the Queenes Kindred are made gentle Folkes.
    100How say you sir? can you deny all this?
    Bra. With this (my Lord) my selfe haue nought to
    Rich. Naught to do with Mistris Shore?
    I tell thee Fellow, he that doth naught with her
    105(Excepting one) were best to do it secretly alone.
    Bra. What one, my Lord?
    Rich. Her Husband Knaue, would'st thou betray me?
    Bra. I do beseech your Grace
    To pardon me, and withall forbeare
    110Your Conference with the Noble Duke.
    Cla. We know thy charge Brakenbury, and wil obey.
    Rich. We are the Queenes abiects, and must obey.
    Brother farewell, I will vnto the King,
    And whatsoe're you will imploy me in,
    115Were it to call King Edwards Widdow, Sister,
    I will performe it to infranchise you.
    Meane time, this deepe disgrace in Brotherhood,
    Touches me deeper then you can imagine.
    Cla. I know it pleaseth neither of vs well.
    120Rich. Well, your imprisonment shall not be long,
    I will deliuer you, or else lye for you:
    Meane time, haue patience.
    Cla. I must perforce: Farewell. Exit Clar.
    Rich Go treade the path that thou shalt ne're return:
    125Simple plaine Clarence, I do loue thee so,
    That I will shortly send thy Soule to Heauen,
    If Heauen will take the present at our hands.
    But who comes heere? the new deliuered Hastings?

    Enter Lord Hastings.

    130Hast. Good time of day vnto my gracious Lord.
    Rich. As much vnto my good Lord Chamberlaine:
    Well are you welcome to this open Ayre,
    How hath your Lordship brook'd imprisonment?
    Hast. With patience (Noble Lord) as prisoners must:
    135But I shall liue (my Lord) to giue them thankes
    That were the cause of my imprisonment.
    Rich. No doubt, no doubt, and so shall Clarence too,
    For they that were your Enemies, are his,
    And haue preuail'd as much on him, as you,
    140Hast. More pitty, that the Eagles should be mew'd,
    Whiles Kites and Buzards play at liberty.
    Rich. What newes abroad?
    Hast. No newes so bad abroad, as this at home:
    The King is sickly, weake, and melancholly,
    145And his Physitians feare him mightily.
    Rich. Now by S. Iohn, that Newes is bad indeed.
    O he hath kept an euill Diet long,
    And ouer-much consum'd his Royall Person:
    'Tis very greeuous to be thought vpon.
    150Where is he, in his bed?
    Hast. He is.
    Rich. Go you before, and I will follow you.
    Exit Hastings.
    He cannot liue I hope, and must not dye,
    155Till George be pack'd with post-horse vp to Heauen.
    Ile in to vrge his hatred more to Clarence,
    With Lyes well steel'd with weighty Arguments,
    And if I faile not in my deepe intent,
    Clarence hath not another day to liue:
    160Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
    And leaue the world for me to bussle in.
    For then, Ile marry Warwickes yongest daughter.
    What though I kill'd her Husband, and her Father,
    The readiest way to make the Wench amends,
    165Is to become her Husband, and her Father:
    The which will I, not all so much for loue,
    As for another secret close intent,
    By marrying her, which I must reach vnto.
    But yet I run before my horse to Market:
    170Clarence still breathes, Edward still liues and raignes,
    When they are gone, then must I count my gaines. Exit

    Scena Secunda.

    Enter the Coarse of Henrie the sixt with Halberds to guard it,
    Lady Anne being the Mourner.

    175Anne. Set downe, set downe your honourable load,
    If Honor may be shrowded in a Herse;
    Whil'st I a-while obsequiously lament
    Th' vntimely fall of Vertuous Lancaster.
    Poore key-cold Figure of a holy King,
    180Pale Ashes of the House of Lancaster;
    Thou bloodlesse Remnant of that Royall Blood,
    Be it lawfull that I inuocate thy Ghost,
    To heare the Lamentations of poore Anne,
    Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtred Sonne,
    185Stab'd by the selfesame hand that made these wounds.
    Loe, in these windowes that let forth thy life,
    I powre the helplesse Balme of my poore eyes.
    O cursed be the hand that made these holes:
    Cursed the Heart, that had the heart to do it:
    190Cnrsed the Blood, that let this blood from hence:
    More direfull hap betide that hated Wretch
    That makes vs wretched by the death of thee,
    Then I can wish to Wolues, to Spiders, Toades,
    Or any creeping venom'd thing that liues.
    195If euer he haue Childe, Abortiue be it,
    Prodigeous, and vntimely brought to light,
    Whose vgly and vnnaturall Aspect
    May fright the hopefull Mother at the view,
    And that be Heyre to his vnhappinesse.
    200If euer he haue Wife, let her be made
    More miserable by the death of him,
    Then I am made by my young Lord, and thee.
    Come now towards Chertsey with your holy Lode,
    Taken from Paules, to be interred there.
    205And still as you are weary of this waight,
    Rest you, whiles I lament King Henries Coarse.

    Enter Richard Duke of Gloster.

    Rich. Stay you that beare the Coarse, & set it down.
    An. What blacke Magitian coniures vp this Fiend,
    210To stop deuoted charitable deeds?
    Rich. Villaines set downe the Coarse, or by S. Paul,
    Ile make a Coarse of him that disobeyes.