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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.
    Enter the Ghost of Clarence.
    Ghost. Let me sit heauy in thy soule to morrow.
    3580I that was wash'd to death with Fulsome Wine:
    Poore Clarence by thy guile betray'd to death:
    To morrow in the battell thinke on me,
    And fall thy edgelesse Sword, dispaire and dye.
    To Richm. Thou off-spring of the house of Lancaster
    3585The wronged heyres of Yorke do pray for thee,
    Good Angels guard thy battell, Liue and Flourish.
    Enter the Ghosts of Riuers, Gray, and Vaughan.
    Riu Let me sit heauy in thy soule to morrow,
    Riuers, that dy'de at Pomfret: dispaire, and dye.
    3590Grey. Thinke vpon Grey, and let thy soule dispaire.
    Vaugh. Thinke vpon Vaughan, and with guilty feare
    Let fall thy Lance, dispaire and dye.
    All to Richm. Awake,
    And thinke our wrongs in Richards Bosome,
    3595Will conquer him. Awake, and win the day.
    Enter the Ghost of Lord Hastings.
    Gho. Bloody and guilty: guiltily awake,
    And in a bloody Battell end thy dayes.
    Thinke on Lord Hastings: dispaire, and dye.
    3600 Hast. to Rich. Quiet vntroubled soule,
    Awake, awake:
    Arme, fight, and conquer, for faire Englands sake.
    Enter the Ghosts of the two yong Princes.
    Ghosts. Dreame on thy Cousins
    3605Smothered in the Tower:
    Let vs be laid within thy bosome Richard,
    And weigh thee downe to ruine, shame, and death,
    Thy Nephewes soule bids thee dispaire and dye.
    Ghosts to Richm. Sleepe Richmond,
    3610Sleepe in Peace, and wake in Ioy,
    Good Angels guard thee from the Boares annoy,
    Liue, and beget a happy race of Kings,
    Edwards vnhappy Sonnes, do bid thee flourish.
    Enter the Ghost of Anne, his Wife.
    3615 Ghost to Rich. Richard, thy Wife,
    That wretched Anne thy Wife,
    That neuer slept a quiet houre with thee,
    Now filles thy sleepe with perturbations,
    To morrow in the Battaile, thinke on me,
    3620And fall thy edgelesse Sword, dispaire and dye:
    Ghost to Richm. Thou quiet soule,
    Sleepe thou a quiet sleepe:
    Dreame of Successe, and Happy Victory,
    Thy Aduersaries Wife doth pray for thee.
    3625Enter the Ghost of Buckingham.
    Ghost to Rich. The first was I
    That help'd thee to the Crowne:
    That last was I that felt thy Tyranny.
    O, in the Battaile think on Buckingham,
    3630And dye in terror of thy guiltinesse.
    Dreame on, dreame on, of bloody deeds and death,
    Fainting dispaire; dispairing yeeld thy breath.
    Ghost to Richm. I dyed for hope
    Ere I could lend thee Ayde;
    3635But cheere thy heart, and be thou not dismayde:
    God, and good Angels fight on Richmonds side,
    And Richard fall in height of all his pride.
    Richard starts out of his dreame.
    Rich. Giue me another Horse, bind vp my Wounds:
    3640Haue mercy Iesu. Soft, I did but dreame.
    O coward Conscience! how dost thou afflict me?
    The Lights burne blew. It is not dead midnight.
    Cold fearefull drops stand on my trembling flesh.
    What? do I feare my Selfe? There's none else by,
    3645Richard loues Richard, that is, I am I.
    Is there a Murtherer heere? No; Yes, I am:
    Then flye; What from my Selfe? Great reason: why?
    Lest I Reuenge. What? my Selfe vpon my Selfe?
    Alacke, I loue my Selfe. Wherefore? For any good
    3650That I my Selfe, haue done vnto my Selfe?
    O no. Alas, I rather hate my Selfe,
    For hatefull Deeds committed by my Selfe.
    I am a Vlllaine: yet I Lye, I am not.
    Foole, of thy Selfe speake well: Foole, do not flatter.
    3655My Conscience hath a thousand seuerall Tongues,
    And euery Tongue brings in a seuerall Tale,
    And euerie Tale condemnes me for a Villaine;
    Periurie, in the high'st Degree,
    Murther, sterne murther, in the dyr'st degree,
    3660All seuerall sinnes, all vs'd in each degree,
    Throng all to'th'Barre, crying all, Guilty, Guilty.
    I shall dispaire, there is no Creature loues me;
    And if I die, no soule shall pittie me.
    Nay, wherefore should they? Since that I my Selfe,
    3665Finde in my Selfe, no pittie to my Selfe.
    Me thought, the Soules of all that I had murther'd
    Came to my Tent, and euery one did threat
    To morrowes vengeance on the head of Richard.

    Enter Ratcliffe.

    3670Rat. My Lord.
    King Who's there?
    Rat. Ratcliffe my Lord, 'tis I: the early Village Cock
    Hath twice done salutation to the Morne,
    Your Friends are vp, and buckle on their Armour.
    3675King. O Ratcliffe, I feare, I feare.
    Rat. Nay good my Lord, be not affraid of Shadows.
    King. By the Apostle Paul, shadowes to night
    Haue stroke more terror to the soule of Richard,
    Then can the substance of ten thousand Souldiers
    3680Armed in proofe, and led by shallow Richmond.
    'Tis not yet neere day. Come go with me,
    Vnder our Tents Ile play the Ease-dropper,
    To heare if any meane to shrinke from me.
    Exeunt Richard & Ratliffe,

    3685Enter the Lords to Richmond sitting
    in his Tent.

    Richm. Good morrow Richmond.
    Rich. Cry mercy Lords, and watchfull Gentlemen,
    That you haue tane a tardie sluggard heere?
    3690Lords. How haue you slept my Lord?
    Rich. The sweetest sleepe,
    And fairest boading Dreames,
    That euer entred in a drowsie head,
    Haue I since your departure had my Lords.
    3695Me thought their Soules, whose bodies Rich. murther'd,
    Came to my Tent, and cried on Victory:
    I promise you my Heart is very iocond,
    In the remembrance of so faire a dreame,
    How farre into the Morning is it Lords?
    3700Lor. Vpon the stroke of foure.
    Rich. Why then 'tis time to Arme, and giue direction.
    His Oration to his Souldiers.
    More then I haue said, louing Countrymen,
    The leysure and inforcement of the time
    3705Forbids to dwell vpon: yet remember this,