Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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. In all which time, you and your Husband Grey
    Were factious, for the House of Lancaster;
    And Riuers, so were you: Was not your Husband,
    In Margarets Battaile, at Saint Albons, slaine?
    600Let me put in your mindes, if you forget
    What you haue beene ere this, and what you are:
    Withall, what I haue beene, and what I am.
    Q.M. A murth'rous Villaine, and so still thou art.
    Rich. Poore Clarence did forsake his Father Warwicke,
    605I, and forswore himselfe (which Iesu pardon.)
    Q.M. Which God reuenge.
    Rich. To fight on Edwards partie, for the Crowne,
    And for his meede, poore Lord, he is mewed vp:
    I would to God my heart were Flint, like Edwards,
    610Or Edwards soft and pittifull, like mine;
    I am too childish foolish for this World.
    Q.M. High thee to Hell for shame, & leaue this World
    Thou Cacodemon, there thy Kingdome is.
    Riu. My Lord of Gloster: in those busie dayes,
    615Which here you vrge, to proue vs Enemies,
    We follow'd then our Lord, our Soueraigne King,
    So should we you, if you should be our King.
    Rich. If I should be? I had rather be a Pedler:
    Farre be it from my heart, the thought thereof.
    620Qu. As little ioy (my Lord) as you suppose
    You should enioy, were you this Countries King,
    As little ioy you may suppose in me,
    That I enioy, being the Queene thereof.
    Q.M. A little ioy enioyes the Queene thereof,
    625For I am shee, and altogether ioylesse:
    I can no longer hold me patient.
    Heare me, you wrangling Pyrates, that fall out,
    In sharing that which you haue pill'd from me:
    Which off you trembles not, that lookes on me?
    630If not, that I am Queene, you bow like Subiects;
    Yet that by you depos'd, you quake like Rebells.
    Ah gentle Villaine, doe not turne away.
    Rich. Foule wrinckled Witch, what mak'st thou in my (sight?
    Q.M. But repetition of what thou hast marr'd,
    635That will I make, before I let thee goe.
    Rich. Wert thou not banished, on paine of death?
    Q.M. I was: but I doe find more paine in banishment,
    Then death can yeeld me here, by my abode.
    A Husband and a Sonne thou ow'st to me,
    640And thou a Kingdome; all of you, allegeance:
    This Sorrow that I haue, by right is yours,
    And all the Pleasures you vsurpe, are mine.
    Rich. The Curse my Noble Father layd on thee,
    When thou didst Crown his Warlike Brows with Paper,
    645And with thy scornes drew'st Riuers from his eyes,
    And then to dry them, gau'st the Duke a Clowt,
    Steep'd in the faultlesse blood of prettie Rutland:
    His Curses then, from bitternesse of Soule,
    Denounc'd against thee, are all falne vpon thee:
    650And God, not we, hath plagu'd thy bloody deed.
    Qu. So iust is God, to right the innocent.
    Hast. O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that Babe,
    And the most mercilesse, that ere was heard of.
    Riu. Tyrants themselues wept when it was reported.
    655Dors. No man but prophecied reuenge for it.
    Buck. Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.
    Q.M. What? were you snarling all before I came,
    Ready to catch each other by the throat,
    And turne you all your hatred now on me?
    660Did Yorkes dread Curse preuaile so much with Heauen,
    That Henries death, my louely Edwards death,
    Their Kingdomes losse, my wofull Banishment,
    Should all but answer for that peeuish Brat?
    Can Curses pierce the Clouds, and enter Heauen?
    665Why then giue way dull Clouds to my quick Curses.
    Though not by Warre, by Surfet dye your King,
    As ours by Murther, to make him a King.
    Edward thy Sonne, that now is Prince of Wales,
    For Edward our Sonne, that was Prince of Wales,
    670Dye in his youth, by like vntimely violence.
    Thy selfe a Queene, for me that was a Queene,
    Out-liue thy glory, like my wretched selfe:
    Long may'st thou liue, to wayle thy Childrens death,
    And see another, as I see thee now,
    675Deck'd in thy Rights, as thou art stall'd in mine.
    Long dye thy happie dayes, before thy death,
    And after many length'ned howres of griefe,
    Dye neyther Mother, Wife, nor Englands Queene.
    Riuers and Dorset, you were standers by,
    680And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my Sonne
    Was stab'd with bloody Daggers: God, I pray him,
    That none of you may liue his naturall age,
    But by some vnlook'd accident cut off.
    Rich. Haue done thy Charme, y^u hateful wither'd Hagge.
    685Q.M. And leaue out thee? stay Dog, for y^u shalt heare me.
    If Heauen haue any grieuous plague in store,
    Exceeding those that I can wish vpon thee,
    O let them keepe it, till thy sinnes be ripe,
    And then hurle downe their indignation
    690On thee, the troubler of the poore Worlds peace.
    The Worme of Conscience still begnaw thy Soule,
    Thy Friends suspect for Traytors while thou liu'st,
    And take deepe Traytors for thy dearest Friends:
    No sleepe close vp that deadly Eye of thine,
    695Vnlesse it be while some tormenting Dreame
    Affrights thee with a Hell of ougly Deuills.
    Thou eluish mark'd, abortiue rooting Hogge,
    Thou that wast seal'd in thy Natiuitie
    The slaue of Nature, and the Sonne of Hell:
    700Thou slander of thy heauie Mothers Wombe,
    Thou loathed Issue of thy Fathers Loynes,
    Thou Ragge of Honor, thou detested---
    Rich. Margaret.
    Q.M. Richard. Rich. Ha.
    705Q.M. I call thee not.
    Rich. I cry thee mercie then: for I did thinke,
    That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.
    Q.M. Why so I did, but look'd for no reply.
    Oh let me make the Period to my Curse.
    710Rich. 'Tis done by me, and ends in Margaret.
    Qu. Thus haue you breath'd your Curse against your self.
    Q.M. Poore painted Queen, vain flourish of my fortune,
    Why strew'st thou Sugar on that Bottel'd Spider,
    Whose deadly Web ensnareth thee about?
    715Foole, foole, thou whet'st a Knife to kill thy selfe:
    The day will come, that thou shalt wish for me,
    To helpe thee curse this poysonous Bunch-backt Toade.
    Hast. False boding Woman, end thy frantick Curse,
    Least to thy harme, thou moue our patience.
    720Q.M. Foule shame vpon you, you haue all mou'd mine.
    Ri. Were you wel seru'd, you would be taught your duty.
    Q.M. To serue me well, you all should do me duty,
    Teach me to be your Queene, and you my Subiects:
    O serue me well, and teach your selues that duty.
    725Dors. Dispute not with her, shee is lunaticke.
    Q.M. Peace Master Marquesse, you are malapert,
    Your fire-new stampe of Honor is scarce currant.