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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.
    How now, what newes?

    Enter Ratcliffe.

    3225Rat. Most mightie Soueraigne, on the Westerne Coast
    Rideth a puissant Nauie: to our Shores
    Throng many doubtfull hollow-hearted friends,
    Vnarm'd, and vnresolu'd to beat them backe.
    'Tis thought, that Richmond is their Admirall:
    3230And there they hull, expecting but the aide
    Of Buckingham, to welcome them ashore.
    Rich. Some light-foot friend post to y^e Duke of Norfolk:
    Ratcliffe thy selfe, or Catesby, where is hee?
    Cat. Here, my good Lord.
    3235Rich. Catesby, flye to the Duke.
    Cat. I will, my Lord, with all conuenient haste.
    Rich. Catesby come hither, poste to Salisbury:
    When thou com'st thither: Dull vnmindfull Villaine,
    Why stay'st thou here, and go'st not to the Duke?
    3240Cat. First, mighty Liege, tell me your Highnesse pleasure,
    What from your Grace I shall deliuer to him.
    Rich. O true, good Catesby, bid him leuie straight
    The greatest strength and power that he can make,
    And meet me suddenly at Salisbury.
    3245Cat. I goe. Exit.
    Rat. What, may it please you, shall I doe at Salis-
    Rich. Why, what would'st thou doe there, before I
    3250Rat. Your Highnesse told me I should poste before.
    Rich. My minde is chang'd:

    Enter Lord Stanley.

    Stanley, what newes with you?
    Sta. None, good my Liege, to please you with y^e hearing,
    3255Nor none so bad, but well may be reported.
    Rich. Hoyday, a Riddle, neither good nor bad:
    What need'st thou runne so many miles about,
    When thou mayest tell thy Tale the neerest way?
    Once more, what newes?
    3260Stan. Richmond is on the Seas.
    Rich. There let him sinke, and be the Seas on him,
    White-liuer'd Runnagate, what doth he there?
    Stan. I know not, mightie Soueraigne, but by guesse.
    Rich. Well, as you guesse.
    3265Stan. Stirr'd vp by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton,
    He makes for England, here to clayme the Crowne.
    Rich. Is the Chayre emptie? is the Sword vnsway'd?
    Is the King dead? the Empire vnpossest?
    What Heire of Yorke is there aliue, but wee?
    3270And who is Englands King, but great Yorkes Heire?
    Then tell me, what makes he vpon the Seas?
    Stan. Vnlesse for that, my Liege, I cannot guesse.
    Rich. Vnlesse for that he comes to be your Liege,
    You cannot guesse wherefore the Welchman comes.
    3275Thou wilt reuolt, and flye to him, I feare.
    Stan. No, my good Lord, therefore mistrust me not.
    Rich. Where is thy Power then, to beat him back?
    Where be thy Tenants, and thy followers?
    Are they not now vpon the Westerne Shore,
    3280Safe-conducting the Rebels from their Shippes?
    Stan. No, my good Lord, my friends are in the
    Rich. Cold friends to me: what do they in the North,
    When they should serue their Soueraigne in the West?
    3285Stan. They haue not been commanded, mighty King:
    Pleaseth your Maiestie to giue me leaue,
    Ile muster vp my friends, and meet your Grace,
    Where, and what time your Maiestie shall please.
    Rich. I, thou would'st be gone, to ioyne with Richmond:
    3290But Ile not trust thee.
    Stan. Most mightie Soueraigne,
    You haue no cause to hold my friendship doubtfull,
    I neuer was, nor neuer will be false.
    Rich. Goe then, and muster men: but leaue behind
    3295Your Sonne George Stanley: looke your heart be firme,
    Or else his Heads assurance is but fraile.
    Stan. So deale with him, as I proue true to you.
    Exit Stanley.

    Enter a Messenger.

    3300Mess. My gracious Soueraigne, now in Deuonshire,
    As I by friends am well aduertised,
    Sir Edward Courtney, and the haughtie Prelate,
    Bishop of Exeter, his elder Brother,
    With many moe Confederates, are in Armes.

    3305Enter another Messenger.

    Mess. In Kent, my Liege, the Guilfords are in Armes,
    And euery houre more Competitors
    Flocke to the Rebels, and their power growes strong.

    Enter another Messenger.

    3310Mess. My Lord, the Armie of great Buckingham.
    Rich. Out on ye, Owles, nothing but Songs of Death,
    He striketh him.
    There, take thou that, till thou bring better newes.
    Mess. The newes I haue to tell your Maiestie,
    3315Is, that by sudden Floods, and fall of Waters,
    Buckinghams Armie is dispers'd and scatter'd,
    And he himselfe wandred away alone,
    No man knowes whither.
    Rich. I cry thee mercie:
    3320There is my Purse, to cure that Blow of thine.
    Hath any well-aduised friend proclaym'd
    Reward to him that brings the Traytor in?
    Mess. Such Proclamation hath been made, my Lord.

    Enter another Messenger.

    3325Mess. Sir Thomas Louell, and Lord Marquesse Dorset,
    'Tis said, my Liege, in Yorkeshire are in Armes:
    But this good comfort bring I to your Highnesse,
    The Brittaine Nauie is dispers'd by Tempest.
    Richmond in Dorsetshire sent out a Boat
    3330Vnto the shore, to aske those on the Banks,
    If they were his Assistants, yea, or no?
    Who answer'd him, they came from Buckingham,
    Vpon his partie: he mistrusting them,
    Hoys'd sayle, and made his course againe for Brittaine.
    3335Rich. March on, march on, since we are vp in Armes,
    If not to fight with forraine Enemies,
    Yet to beat downe these Rebels here at home.

    Enter Catesby.

    Cat. My Liege, the Duke of Buckingham is taken,
    3340That is the best newes: that the Earle of Richmond