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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.
    O that your yong Nobility could iudge
    What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable.
    730They that stand high, haue many blasts to shake them,
    And if they fall, they dash themselues to peeces.
    Rich. Good counsaile marry, learne it, learne it Mar-
    Dor. It touches you my Lord, as much as me.
    735Rich. I, and much more: but I was borne so high:
    Our ayerie buildeth in the Cedars top,
    And dallies with the winde, and scornes the Sunne.
    Mar. And turnes the Sun to shade: alas, alas,
    Witnesse my Sonne, now in the shade of death,
    740Whose bright out-shining beames, thy cloudy wrath
    Hath in eternall darknesse folded vp.
    Your ayery buildeth in our ayeries Nest:
    O God that seest it, do not suffer it,
    As it is wonne with blood, lost be it so.
    745Buc. Peace, peace for shame: If not, for Charity.
    Mar. Vrge neither charity, nor shame to me:
    Vncharitably with me haue you dealt,
    And shamefully my hopes (by you) are butcher'd.
    My Charity is outrage, Life my shame,
    750And in that shame, still liue my sorrowes rage.
    Buc. Haue done, haue done.
    Mar. O Princely Buckingham, Ile kisse thy hand,
    In signe of League and amity with thee:
    Now faire befall thee, and thy Noble house:
    755Thy Garments are not spotted with our blood:
    Nor thou within the compasse of my curse.
    Buc. Nor no one heere: for Curses neuer passe
    The lips of those that breath them in the ayre.
    Mar. I will not thinke but they ascend the sky,
    760And there awake Gods gentle sleeping peace.
    O Buckingham, take heede of yonder dogge:
    Looke when he fawnes, he bites; and when he bites,
    His venom tooth will rankle to the death.
    Haue not to do with him, beware of him,
    765Sinne, death, and hell haue set their markes on him,
    And all their Ministers attend on him.
    Rich. What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham.
    Buc. Nothing that I respect my gracious Lord.
    Mar. What dost thou scorne me
    770For my gentle counsell?
    And sooth the diuell that I warne thee from.
    O but remember this another day:
    When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow:
    And say (poore Margaret) was a Prophetesse:
    775Liue each of you the subiects to his hate,
    And he to yours, and all of you to Gods. Exit.
    Buc. My haire doth stand an end to heare her curses.
    Riu. And so doth mine, I muse why she's at libertie.
    Rich. I cannot blame her, by Gods holy mother,
    780She hath had too much wrong, and I repent
    My part thereof, that I haue done to her.
    Mar. I neuer did her any to my knowledge.
    Rich. Yet you haue all the vantage of her wrong:
    I was too hot, to do somebody good,
    785That is too cold in thinking of it now:
    Marry as for Clarence, he is well repayed:
    He is frank'd vp to fatting for his paines,
    God pardon them, that are the cause thereof.
    Riu. A vertuous, and a Christian-like conclusion
    790To pray for them that haue done scath to vs.
    Rich. So do I euer, being well aduis'd.
    Speakes to himselfe.
    For had I curst now, I had curst my selfe.

    Enter Catesby.

    795Cates. Madam, his Maiesty doth call for you,
    And for your Grace, and yours my gracious Lord.
    Qu. Catesby I come, Lords will you go with mee.
    Riu. We wait vpon your Grace.
    Exeunt all but Gloster.
    800Rich. I do the wrong, and first begin to brawle.
    The secret Mischeefes that I set abroaeh,
    I lay vnto the greeuous charge of others.
    Clarence, who I indeede haue cast in darknesse,
    I do beweepe to many simple Gulles,
    805Namely to Derby, Hastings, Buckingham,
    And tell them 'tis the Queene, and her Allies,
    That stirre the King against the Duke my Brother.
    Now they beleeue it, and withall whet me
    To be reueng'd on Riuers, Dorset, Grey.
    810But then I sigh, and with a peece of Scripture,
    Tell them that God bids vs do good for euill:
    And thus I cloath my naked Villanie
    With odde old ends, stolne forth of holy Writ,
    And seeme a Saint, when most I play the deuill.

    815Enter two murtherers.
    But soft, heere come my Executioners,
    How now my hardy stout resolued Mates,
    Are you now going to dispatch this thing?
    Uil. We are my Lord, and come to haue the Warrant,
    820That we may be admitted where he is.
    Ric. Well thought vpon, I haue it heare about me:
    When you haue done, repayre to Crosby place;
    But sirs be sodaine in the execution,
    Withall obdurate, do not heare him pleade;
    825For Clarence is well spoken, and perhappes
    May moue your hearts to pitty, if you marke him.
    Vil. Tut, tut, my Lord, we will not stand to prate,
    Talkers are no good dooers, be assur'd:
    We go to vse our hands, and not our tongues.
    830Rich. Your eyes drop Mill-stones, when Fooles eyes
    fall Teares:
    I like you Lads, about your businesse straight.
    Go, go, dispatch.
    Vil. We will my Noble Lord.

    835Scena Quarta.

    Enter Clarence and Keeper.
    Keep. Why lookes your Grace so heauily to day.
    Cla. O, I haue past a miserable night,
    So full of fearefull Dreames, of vgly sights,
    840That as I am a Christian faithfull man,
    I would not spend another such a night
    Though 'twere to buy a world of happy daies:
    So full of dismall terror was the time.
    Keep. What was your dream my Lord, I pray you tel me
    845Cla. Me thoughts that I had broken from the Tower,
    And was embark'd to crosse to Burgundy,
    And in my company my Brother Glouster,
    Who from my Cabin tempted me to walke,
    Vpon the Hatches: There we look'd toward England,
    850And cited vp a thousand heauy times,