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.
Prayes on the issue of his Mothers body,
And makes her Pue-fellow with others mone.
2830Dut. Oh Harries wife, triumph not in my woes:
God witnesse with me, I haue wept for thine.
Mar. Beare with me: I am hungry for reuenge,
And now I cloy me with beholding it.
Thy Edward he is dead, that kill'd my Edward,
2835The other Edward dead, to quit my Edward:
Yong Yorke, he is but boote, because both they
Matcht not the high perfection of my losse.
Thy Clarence he is dead, that stab'd my Edward,
And the beholders of this franticke play,
2840Th'adulterate Hastings, Riuers, Vaughan, Gray,
Vntimely smother'd in their dusky Graues.
Richard yet liues, Hels blacke Intelligencer,
Onely reseru'd their Factor, to buy soules,
And send them thither: But at hand, at hand
2845Insues his pittious and vnpittied end.
Earth gapes, Hell burnes, Fiends roare, Saints pray,
To haue him sodainly conuey'd from hence:
Cancell his bond of life, deere God I pray,
That I may liue and say, The Dogge is dead.
2850Qu. O thou did'st prophesie, the time would come,
That I should wish for thee to helpe me curse
That bottel'd Spider, that foule bunch-back'd Toad.
Mar. I call'd thee then, vaine flourish of my fortune:
I call'd thee then, poore Shadow, painted Queen,
2855The presentation of but what I was;
The flattering Index of a direfull Pageant;
One heau'd a high, to be hurl'd downe below:
A Mother onely mockt with two faire Babes;
A dreame of what thou wast, a garish Flagge
2860To be the ayme of euery dangerous Shot;
A signe of Dignity, a Breath, a Bubble;
A Queene in ieast, onely to fill the Scene.
Where is thy Husband now? Where be thy Brothers?
Where be thy two Sonnes? Wherein dost thou Ioy?
2865Who sues, and kneeles, and sayes, God saue the Queene?
Where be the bending Peeres that flattered thee?
Where be the thronging Troopes that followed thee?
Decline all this, and see what now thou art.
For happy Wife, a most distressed Widdow:
2870For ioyfull Mother, one that wailes the name:
For one being sued too, one that humbly sues:
For Queene, a very Caytiffe, crown'd with care:
For she that scorn'd at me, now scorn'd of me:
For she being feared of all, now fearing one:
2875For she commanding all, obey'd of none.
Thus hath the course of Iustice whirl'd about,
And left thee but a very prey to time,
Hauing no more but Thought of what thou wast.
To torture thee the more, being what thou art,
2880Thou didst vsurpe my place, and dost thou not
Vsurpe the iust proportion of my Sorrow?
Now thy proud Necke, beares halfe my burthen'd yoke,
From which, euen heere I slip my wearied head,
And leaue the burthen of it all, on thee.
2885Farwell Yorkes wife, and Queene of sad mischance,
These English woes, shall make me smile in France.
Qu. O thou well skill'd in Curses, stay a-while,
And teach me how to curse mine enemies.
Mar. Forbeare to sleepe the night, and fast the day:
2890Compare dead happinesse, with liuing woe:
Thinke that thy Babes were sweeter then they were,
And he that slew them fowler then he is:
Bett'ring thy losse, makes the bad causer worse,
Reuoluing this, will teach thee how to Curse.
2895Qu. My words are dull, O quicken them with thine.
Mar. Thy woes will make them sharpe,
And pierce like mine. Exit Margaret.
Dut. Why should calamity be full of words?
Qu. Windy Atturnies to their Clients Woes,
2900Ayery succeeders of intestine ioyes,
Poore breathing Orators of miseries,
Let them haue scope, though what they will impart,
Helpe nothing els, yet do they ease the hart.
Dut. If so then, be not Tongue-ty'd: go with me,
2905And in the breath of bitter words, let's smother
My damned Son, that thy two sweet Sonnes smother'd.
The Trumpet sounds, be copious in exclaimes.

Enter King Richard, and his Traine.
Rich. Who intercepts me in my Expedition?
2910Dut. O she, that might haue intercepted thee
By strangling thee in her aceursed wombe,
From all the slaughters (Wretch) that thou hast done.
Qu. Hid'st thou that Forhead with a Golden Crowne
Where't should be branded, if that right were right?
2915The slaughter of the Prince that ow'd that Crowne,
And the dyre death of my poore Sonnes, and Brothers.
Tell me thou Villaine-slaue, where are my Children?
Dut. Thou Toad, thou Toade,
Where is thy Brother Clarence?
2920And little Ned Plantagenet his Sonne?
Qu. Where is the gentle Riuers, Vaughan, Gray?
Dut. Where is kinde Hastings?
Rich. A flourish Trumpets, strike Alarum Drummes:
Let not the Heauens heare these Tell-tale women
2925Raile on the Lords Annointed. Strike I say.
Flourish. Alarums.
Either be patient, and intreat me fayre,
Or with the clamorous report of Warre,
Thus will I drowne your exclamations.
2930Dut. Art thou my Sonne?
Rich. I, I thanke God, my Father, and your selfe.
Dut. Then patiently heare my impatience.
Rich. Madam, I haue a touch of your condition,
That cannot brooke the accent of reproofe.
2935Dut. O let me speake.
Rich. Do then, but Ile not heare.
Dut: I will be milde, and gentle in my words.
Rich. And breefe (good Mother) for I am in hast.
Dut. Art thou so hasty? I haue staid for thee
2940(God knowes) in torment and in agony.
Rich. And came I not at last to comfort you?
Dut. No by the holy Rood, thou know'st it well,
Thou cam'st on earth, to make the earth my Hell.
A greeuous burthen was thy Birth to me,
2945Tetchy and wayward was thy Infancie.
Thy School-daies frightfull, desp'rate, wilde, and furious,
Thy prime of Manhood, daring, bold, and venturous:
Thy Age confirm'd, proud, subtle, slye, and bloody,
More milde, but yet more harmfull; Kinde in hatred:
2950What comfortable houre canst thou name,
That euer grac'd me with thy company?
Rich. Faith none, but Humfrey Hower,
That call'd your Grace
To Breakefast once, forth of my company.
2955If I be so disgracious in your eye,
Let me march on, and not offend you Madam.
Strike vp the Drumme.
Dut. I prythee heare me speake.