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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.
    Buck. To morrow then we will attend your Grace,
    And so most ioyfully we take our leaue.
    Rich. Come, let vs to our holy Worke againe.
    Farewell my Cousins, farewell gentle friends. Exeunt.

    2470Actus Quartus. Scena Prima.

    Enter the Queene, Anne Duchesse of Gloucester, the
    Duchesse of Yorke, and Marquesse Dorset.

    Duch.Yorke. Who meetes vs heere?
    My Neece Plantagenet,
    2475Led in the hand of her kind Aunt of Gloster?
    Now, for my Life, shee's wandring to the Tower,
    On pure hearts loue, to greet the tender Prince.
    Daughter, well met.
    Anne. God giue your Graces both, a happie
    2480And a ioyfull time of day.
    Qu. As much to you, good Sister: whither away?
    Anne. No farther then the Tower, and as I guesse,
    Vpon the like deuotion as your selues,
    To gratulate the gentle Princes there.
    2485Qu. Kind Sister thankes, wee'le enter all together:

    Enter the Lieutenant.

    And in good time, here the Lieutenant comes.
    Master Lieutenant, pray you, by your leaue,
    How doth the Prince, and my young Sonne of Yorke?
    2490Lieu. Right well, deare Madame: by your patience,
    I may not suffer you to visit them,
    The King hath strictly charg'd the contrary.
    Qu. The King? who's that?
    Lieu. I meane, the Lord Protector.
    2495Qu. The Lord protect him from that Kingly Title.
    Hath he set bounds betweene their loue, and me?
    I am their Mother, who shall barre me from them?
    Duch.Yorke. I am their Fathers Mother, I will see
    2500Anne. Their Aunt I am in law, in loue their Mother:
    Then bring me to their sights, Ile beare thy blame,
    And take thy Office from thee, on my perill.
    Lieu. No, Madame, no; I may not leaue it so:
    I am bound by Oath, and therefore pardon me.
    2505Exit Lieutenant.

    Enter Stanley.

    Stanley. Let me but meet you Ladies one howre hence,
    And Ile salute your Grace of Yorke as Mother,
    And reuerend looker on of two faire Queenes.
    2510Come Madame, you must straight to Westminster,
    There to be crowned Richards Royall Queene.
    Qu. Ah, cut my Lace asunder,
    That my pent heart may haue some scope to beat,
    Or else I swoone with this dead-killing newes.
    2515Anne. Despightfull tidings, O vnpleasing newes.
    Dors. Be of good cheare: Mother, how fares your
    Qu. O Dorset, speake not to me, get thee gone,
    Death and Destruction dogges thee at thy heeles,
    2520Thy Mothers Name is ominous to Children.
    If thou wilt out-strip Death, goe crosse the Seas,
    And liue with Richmond, from the reach of Hell.
    Goe hye thee, hye thee from this slaughter-house,
    Lest thou encrease the number of the dead,
    2525And make me dye the thrall of Margarets Curse,
    Nor Mother, Wife, nor Englands counted Queene.
    Stanley. Full of wise care, is this your counsaile, Madame:
    Take all the swift aduantage of the howres:
    You shall haue Letters from me to my Sonne,
    2530In your behalfe, to meet you on the way:
    Be not ta'ne tardie by vnwise delay.
    Duch.Yorke. O ill dispersing Winde of Miserie.
    O my accursed Wombe, the Bed of Death:
    A Cockatrice hast thou hatcht to the World,
    2535Whose vnauoided Eye is murtherous.
    Stanley. Come, Madame, come, I in all haste was sent.
    Anne. And I with all vnwillingnesse will goe.
    O would to God, that the inclusiue Verge
    Of Golden Mettall, that must round my Brow,
    2540Were red hot Steele, to seare me to the Braines,
    Anoynted let me be with deadly Venome,
    And dye ere men can say, God saue the Queene.
    Qu. Goe, goe, poore soule, I enuie not thy glory,
    To feed my humor, wish thy selfe no harme.
    2545Anne. No: why? When he that is my Husband now,
    Came to me, as I follow'd Henries Corse,
    When scarce the blood was well washt from his hands,
    Which issued from my other Angell Husband,
    And that deare Saint, which then I weeping follow'd:
    2550O, when I say I look'd on Richards Face,
    This was my Wish: Be thou (quoth I) accurst,
    For making me, so young, so old a Widow:
    And when thou wed'st, let sorrow haunt thy Bed;
    And be thy Wife, if any be so mad,
    2555More miserable, by the Life of thee,
    Then thou hast made me, by my deare Lords death.
    Loe, ere I can repeat this Curse againe,
    Within so small a time, my Womans heart
    Grossely grew captiue to his honey words,
    2560And prou'd the subiect of mine owne Soules Curse,
    Which hitherto hath held mine eyes from rest:
    For neuer yet one howre in his Bed
    Did I enioy the golden deaw of sleepe,
    But with his timorous Dreames was still awak'd.
    2565Besides, he hates me for my Father Warwicke,
    And will (no doubt) shortly be rid of me.
    Qu. Poore heart adieu, I pittie thy complaining.
    Anne. No more, then with my soule I mourne for
    2570Dors. Farewell, thou wofull welcommer of glory.
    Anne. Adieu, poore soule, that tak'st thy leaue
    of it.
    Du.Y. Go thou to Richmond, & good fortune guide thee,
    Go thou to Richard, and good Angels tend thee,
    2575Go thou to Sanctuarie, and good thoughts possesse thee,
    I to my Graue, where peace and rest lye with mee.
    Eightie odde yeeres of sorrow haue I seene,
    And each howres ioy wrackt with a weeke of teene.
    Qu. Stay, yet looke backe with me vnto the Tower.
    2580Pitty, you ancient Stones, those tender Babes,
    Whom Enuie hath immur'd within your Walls,
    Rough Cradle for such little prettie ones,
    Rude ragged Nurse, old sullen Play-fellow,
    For tender Princes: vse my Babies well;
    2585So foolish Sorrowes bids your Stones farewell.
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