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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.
    1 'Tis euen now at my elbow, perswading me not to
    980kill the Dkue.
    2 Take the diuell in thy minde, and beleeue him not:
    He would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.
    1 I am strong fram'd, he cannot preuaile with me.
    2 Spoke like a tall man, that respects thy reputation.
    985Come, shall we fall to worke?
    1 Take him on the Costard, with the hiltes of thy
    Sword, and then throw him into the Malmesey-Butte in
    the next roome.
    2 O excellent deuice; and make a sop of him.
    9901 Soft, he wakes.
    2 Strike.
    1 No, wee'l reason with him.
    Cla. Where art thou Keeper? Giue me a cup of wine.
    2 You shall haue Wine enough my Lord anon.
    995Cla. In Gods name, what art thou?
    1 A man, as you are.
    Cla. But not as I am Royall.
    1 Nor you as we are, Loyall.
    Cla. Thy voice is Thunder, but thy looks are humble.
    10001 My voice is now the Kings, my lookes mine owne.
    Cla. How darkly, and how deadly dost thou speake?
    Your eyes do menace me: why looke you pale?
    Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?
    2 To, to, to---
    1005Cla. To murther me?
    Both. I, I.
    Cla. You scarsely haue the hearts to tell me so,
    And therefore cannot haue the hearts to do it.
    Wherein my Friends haue I offended you?
    10101 Offended vs you haue not, but the King.
    Cla. I shall be reconcil'd to him againe.
    2 Neuer my Lord, therefore prepare to dye.
    Cla. Are you drawne forth among a world of men
    To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
    1015Where is the Euidence that doth accuse me?
    What lawfull Quest haue giuen their Verdict vp
    Vnto the frowning Iudge? Or who pronounc'd
    The bitter sentence of poore Clarence death,
    Before I be conuict by course of Law?
    1020To threaten me with death, is most vnlawfull.
    I charge you, as you hope for any goodnesse,
    That you depart, and lay no hands on me:
    The deed you vndertake is damnable.
    1 What we will do, we do vpon command.
    10252 And he that hath commanded, is our King.
    Cla. Erroneous Vassals, the great King of Kings
    Hath in the Table of his Law commanded
    That thou shalt do no murther. Will you then
    Spurne at his Edict, and fulfill a Mans?
    1030Take heed: for he holds Vengeance in his hand,
    To hurle vpon their heads that breake his Law.
    2 And that same Vengeance doth he hurle on thee,
    For false Forswearing, and for murther too:
    Thou did'st receiue the Sacrament, to fight
    1035In quarrell of the House of Lancaster.
    1 And like a Traitor to the name of God,
    Did'st breake that Vow, and with thy treacherous blade,
    Vnrip'st the Bowels of thy Sou'raignes Sonne.
    2 Whom thou was't sworne to cherish and defend.
    10401 How canst thou vrge Gods dreadfull Law to vs,
    When thou hast broke it in such deere degree?
    Cla. Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deede?
    For Edward, for my Brother, for his sake.
    He sends you not to murther me for this:
    1045For in that sinne, he is as deepe as I.
    If God will be auenged for the deed,
    O know you yet, he doth it publiquely,
    Take not the quarrell from his powrefull arme:
    He needs no indirect, or lawlesse course,
    1050To cut off those that haue offended him.
    1 Who made thee then a bloudy minister,
    When gallant springing braue Plantagenet,
    That Princely Nouice was strucke dead by thee?
    Cla. My Brothers loue, the Diuell, and my Rage.
    10551 Thy Brothers Loue, our Duty, and thy Faults,
    Prouoke vs hither now, to slaughter thee.
    Cla. If you do loue my Brother, hate not me:
    I am his Brother, and I loue him well.
    If you are hyr'd for meed, go backe againe,
    1060And I will send you to my Brother Glouster:
    Who shall reward you better for my life,
    Then Edward will for tydings of my death.
    2 You are deceiu'd,
    Your Brother Glouster hates you.
    1065Cla. Oh no, he loues me, and he holds me deere:
    Go you to him from me.
    1 I so we will.
    Cla. Tell him, when that our Princely Father Yorke,
    Blest his three Sonnes with his victorious Arme,
    1070He little thought of this diuided Friendship:
    Bid Glouster thinke on this, and he will weepe.
    1 I Milstones, as he lessoned vs to weepe.
    Cla. O do not slander him, for he is kinde.
    1 Right, as Snow in Haruest:
    1075Come, you deceiue your selfe,
    'Tis he that sends vs to destroy you heere.
    Cla. It cannot be, for he bewept my Fortune,
    And hugg'd me in his armes, and swore with sobs,
    That he would labour my deliuery.
    10801 Why so he doth, when he deliuers you
    From this earths thraldome, to the ioyes of heauen.
    2 Make peace with God, for you must die my Lord.
    Cla. Haue you that holy feeling in your soules,
    To counsaile me to make my peace with God,
    1085And are you yet to your owne soules so blinde,
    That you will warre with God, by murd'ring me.
    O sirs consider, they that set you on
    To do this deede, will hate you for the deede.
    2 What shall we do?
    1090Clar. Relent, and saue your soules:
    Which of you, if you were a Princes Sonne,
    Being pent from Liberty, as I am now,
    If two such murtherers as your selues came to you,
    Would not intreat for life, as you would begge
    1095Were you in my distresse.
    1 Relent? no: 'Tis cowardly and womanish.
    Cla. Not to relent, is beastly, sauage, diuellish:
    My Friend, I spy some pitty in thy lookes:
    O, if thine eye be not a Flatterer,
    1100Come thou on my side, and intreate for mee,
    A begging Prince, what begger pitties not.
    2 Looke behinde you, my Lord.
    1 Take that, and that, if all this will not do, Stabs him.
    Ile drowne you in the Malmesey-But within. Exit.
    11052 A bloody deed, and desperately dispatcht:
    How faine (like Pilate) would I wash my hands
    Of this most greeuous murther. Enter 1. Murtherer
    1 How now? what mean'st thou that thou help'st me
    not? By Heauen the Duke shall know how slacke you
    1110haue beene.
    2 I