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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)

    Scena Secunda.
    Enter the Coarse of Henrie the sixt with Halberds to guard it,
    Lady Anne being the Mourner.
    175Anne. Set downe, set downe your honourable load,
    If Honor may be shrowded in a Herse;
    Whil'st I a-while obsequiously lament
    Th' vntimely fall of Vertuous Lancaster.
    Poore key-cold Figure of a holy King,
    180Pale Ashes of the House of Lancaster;
    Thou bloodlesse Remnant of that Royall Blood,
    Be it lawfull that I inuocate thy Ghost,
    To heare the Lamentations of poore Anne,
    Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughtred Sonne,
    185Stab'd by the selfesame hand that made these wounds.
    Loe, in these windowes that let forth thy life,
    I powre the helplesse Balme of my poore eyes.
    O cursed be the hand that made these holes:
    Cursed the Heart, that had the heart to do it:
    190Cnrsed the Blood, that let this blood from hence:
    More direfull hap betide that hated Wretch
    That makes vs wretched by the death of thee,
    Then I can wish to Wolues, to Spiders, Toades,
    Or any creeping venom'd thing that liues.
    195If euer he haue Childe, Abortiue be it,
    Prodigeous, and vntimely brought to light,
    Whose vgly and vnnaturall Aspect
    May fright the hopefull Mother at the view,
    And that be Heyre to his vnhappinesse.
    200If euer he haue Wife, let her be made
    More miserable by the death of him,
    Then I am made by my young Lord, and thee.
    Come now towards Chertsey with your holy Lode,
    Taken from Paules, to be interred there.
    205And still as you are weary of this waight,
    Rest you, whiles I lament King Henries Coarse.
    Enter Richard Duke of Gloster.
    Rich. Stay you that beare the Coarse, & set it down.
    An. What blacke Magitian coniures vp this Fiend,
    210To stop deuoted charitable deeds?
    Rich. Villaines set downe the Coarse, or by S. Paul,
    Ile make a Coarse of him that disobeyes.
    Gen. My Lord stand backe, and let the Coffin passe.
    Rich. Vnmanner'd Dogge,
    215Stand'st thou when I commaund:
    Aduance thy Halbert higher then my brest,
    Or by S. Paul Ile strike thee to my Foote,
    And spurne vpon thee Begger for thy boldnesse.
    Anne. What do you tremble? are you all affraid?
    220Alas, I blame you not, for you are Mortall,
    And Mortall eyes cannot endure the Diuell.
    Auant thou dreadfull minister of Hell;
    Thou had'st but power ouer his Mortall body,
    His Soule thou canst not haue: Therefore be gone.
    225Rich. Sweet Saint, for Charity, be not so curst.
    An. Foule Diuell,
    For Gods sake hence, and trouble vs not,
    For thou hast made the happy earth thy Hell:
    Fill'd it with cursing cries, and deepe exclaimes:
    230If thou delight to view thy heynous deeds,
    Behold this patterne of thy Butcheries.
    Oh Gentlemen, see, see dead Henries wounds,
    Open their congeal'd mouthes, and bleed afresh.
    Blush, blush, thou lumpe of fowle Deformitie:
    235For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
    From cold and empty Veines where no blood dwels.
    Thy Deeds inhumane and vnnaturall,
    Prouokes this Deluge most vnnaturall.
    O God! which this Blood mad'st, reuenge his death:
    240O Earth! which this Blood drink'st, reuenge his death.
    Either Heau'n with Lightning strike the murth'rer dead:
    Or Earth gape open wide, and eate him quicke,
    As thou dost swallow vp this good Kings blood,
    Which his Hell-gouern'd arme hath butchered.
    245Rich. Lady, you know no Rules of Charity,
    Which renders good for bad, Blessings for Curses.
    An. Villaine, thou know'st nor law of God nor Man,
    No Beast so fierce, but knowes some touch of pitty.
    Rich. But I know none, and therefore am no Beast.
    250An. O wonderfull, when diuels tell the truth!
    Rich. More wonderfull, when Angels are so angry:
    Vouchsafe (diuine perfection of a Woman)
    Of these supposed Crimes, to giue me leaue
    By circumstance, but to acquit my selfe.
    255An. Vouchsafe (defus'd infection of man)
    Of these knowne euils, but to giue me leaue
    By circumstance, to curse thy cursed Selfe.
    Rich. Fairer then tongue can name thee, let me haue
    Some patient leysure to excuse my selfe.
    260An. Fouler then heart can thinke thee,
    Thou can'st make no excuse currant,
    But to hang thy selfe.
    Rich. By such dispaire, I should accuse my selfe.
    An. And by dispairing shalt thou stand excused,
    265For doing worthy Vengeance on thy selfe,
    That did'st vnworthy slaughter vpon others.
    Rich. Say that I slew them not.
    An. Then say they were not slaine:
    But dead they are, and diuellish slaue by thee.
    270Rich. I did not kill your Husband.
    An. Why then he is aliue.
    Rich. Nay, he is dead, and slaine by Edwards hands.
    An. In thy foule throat thou Ly'st,
    Queene Margaret saw
    275Thy murd'rous Faulchion smoaking in his blood:
    The which, thou once didd'st bend against her brest,
    But that thy Brothers beate aside the point.
    Rich. I was prouoked by her sland'rous tongue,
    That laid their guilt, vpon my guiltlesse Shoulders.
    280An. Thou was't prouoked by thy bloody minde,
    That neuer dream'st on ought but Butcheries:
    Did'st thou not kill this King?
    Rich. I graunt ye.
    An. Do'st grant me Hedge-hogge,
    285Then God graunt me too
    Thou may'st be damned for that wicked deede,
    O he was gentle, milde, and vertuous.
    Rich. The better for the King of heauen that hath him.
    An. He is in heauen, where thou shalt neuer come.
    290Rich. Let him thanke me, that holpe to send him thi-
    For he was fitter for that place then earth.
    An. And thou vnfit for any place, but hell.
    Rich. Yes one place else, if you will heare me name it.
    295An. Some dungeon.
    Rich. Your Bed-chamber.
    An. Ill rest betide the chamber where thou lyest.
    Rich. So will it Madam, till I lye with you.
    An. I hope so.
    300Rich. I know so. But gentle Lady Anne,
    To leaue this keene encounter of our wittes,
    And fall something into a slower method.
    Is not the causer of the timelesse deaths
    Of these Plantagenets, Henrie and Edward,
    305As blamefull as the Executioner.
    An. Thou was't the cause, and most accurst effect.
    Rich. Your beauty was the cause of that effect:
    Your beauty, that did haunt me in my sleepe,
    To vndertake the death of all the world,
    310So I might liue one houre in your sweet bosome.
    An. If I thought that, I tell thee Homicide,
    These Nailes should rent that beauty from my Cheekes.
    Rich. These eyes could not endure y^t beauties wrack,
    You should not blemish it, if I stood by;
    315As all the world is cheared by the Sunne,
    So I by that: It is my day, my life.
    An. Blacke night ore-shade thy day, & death thy life.
    Rich. Curse not thy selfe faire Creature,
    Thou art both.
    320An. I would I were, to be reueng'd on thee.
    Rich. It is a quarrell most vnnaturall,
    To be reueng'd on him that loueth . thee.
    An. It is a quarrell iust and reasonable,
    To be reueng'd on him that kill'd my Husband.
    325Rich. He that bereft the Lady of thy Husband,
    Did it to helpe thee to a better Husband.
    An. His better doth not breath vpon the earth.
    Rich. He liues, that loues thee better then he could.
    An. Name him.
    330Rich. Plantagenet.
    An. Why that was he.
    Rieh. The selfesame name, but one of better Nature.
    An. Where is he?
    Rich. Heere: Spits at him.
    335Why dost thou spit at me.
    An. Would it were mortall poyson, for thy sake.
    Rich. Neuer came poyson from so sweet a place.
    An. Neuer hung poyson on a fowler Toade.
    Out of my sight, thou dost infect mine eyes.
    340Rich. Thine eyes (sweet Lady) haue infected mine.
    An. Would they were Basiliskes, to strike thee dead.
    Rich. I would they were, that I might dye at once:
    For now they kill me with a liuing death.
    Those eyes of thine, from mine haue drawne salt Teares;
    345Sham'd their Aspects with store of childish drops:
    These eyes, which neuer shed remorsefull teare,
    No, when my Father Yorke, and Edward wept,
    To heare the pittious moane that Rutland made
    When black-fac'd Clifford shooke his sword at him.
    350Nor when thy warlike Father like a Childe,
    Told the sad storie of my Fathers death,
    And twenty times, made pause to sob and weepe:
    That all the standers by had wet their cheekes
    Like Trees bedash'd with raine. In that sad time,
    355My manly eyes did scorne an humble teare:
    And what these sorrowes could not thence exhale,
    Thy Beauty hath, and made them blinde with weeping.
    I neuer sued to Friend, nor Enemy:
    My Tongue could neuer learne sweet smoothing word.
    360But now thy Beauty is propos'd my Fee,
    My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speake.
    She lookes scornfully at him.
    Teach not thy lip such Scorne; for it was made
    For kissing Lady, not for such contempt.
    365If thy reuengefull heart cannot forgiue,
    Loe heere I lend thee this sharpe-pointed Sword,
    Which if thou please to hide in this true brest,
    And let the Soule forth that adoreth thee,
    I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
    370And humbly begge the death vpon my knee,
    He layes his brest open, she offers at with his sword.
    Nay do not pause: For I did kill King Henrie,
    But 'twas thy Beauty that prouoked me.
    Nay now dispatch: 'Twas I that stabb'd yong Edward,
    375But 'twas thy Heauenly face that set me on.
    She fals the Sword.
    Take vp the Sword againe, or take vp me.
    An. Arise Dissembler, though I wish thy death,
    I will not be thy Executioner.
    380Rich. Then bid me kill my selfe, and I will do it.
    An. I haue already.
    Rich. That was in thy rage:
    Speake it againe, and euen with the word,
    This hand, which for thy loue, did kill thy Loue,
    385Shall for thy loue, kill a farre truer Loue,
    To both their deaths shalt thou be accessary.
    An. I would I knew thy heart.
    Rich. 'Tis figur'd in my tongue.
    An. I feare me, both are false.
    390Rich. Then neuer Man was true.
    An. Well, well, put vp your Sword.
    Rich. Say then my Peace is made.
    An. That shalt thou know heereafter.
    Rich. But shall I liue in hope.
    395An. All men I hope liue so.
    Vouchsafe to weare this Ring.
    Rich. Looke how my Ring incompasseth thy Finger,
    Euen so thy Brest incloseth my poore heart:
    Weare both of them, for both of them are thine.
    400And if thy poore deuoted Seruant may
    But beg one fauour at thy gracious hand,
    Thou dost confirme his happinesse for euer.
    An. What is it?
    Rich. That it may please you leaue these sad designes,
    405To him that hath most cause to be a Mourner,
    And presently repayre to Crosbie House:
    Where (after I haue solemnly interr'd
    At Chertsey Monast'ry this Noble King,
    And wet his Graue with my Repentant Teares)
    410I will with all expedient duty see you,
    For diuers vnknowne Reasons, I beseech you,
    Grant me this Boon.
    An. With all my heart, and much it ioyes me too,
    To see you are become so penitent.
    415Tressel and Barkley, go along with me.
    Rich. Bid me farwell.
    An. 'Tis more then you deserue:
    But since you teach me how to flatter you,
    Imagine I haue saide farewell already.
    420Exit two with Anne.
    Gent. Towards Chertsey, Noble Lord?
    Rich. No: to White Friars, there attend my comming
    Exit Coarse
    Was euer woman in this humour woo'd?
    425Was euer woman in this humour wonne?
    Ile haue her, but I will not keepe her long.
    What? I that kill'd her Husband, and his Father,
    To take her in her hearts extreamest hate,
    With curses in her mouth, Teares in her eyes,
    430The bleeding witnesse of my hatred by,
    Hauing God, her Conscience, and these bars against me,
    And I, no Friends to backe my suite withall,
    But the plaine Diuell, and dissembling lookes?
    And yet to winne her? All the world to nothing.
    Hath she forgot alreadie that braue Prince,
    Edward, her Lord, whom I (some three monthes since)
    Stab'd in my angry mood, at Tewkesbury?
    A sweeter, and a louelier Gentleman,
    440Fram'd in the prodigallity of Nature:
    Yong, Valiant, Wise, and (no doubt) right Royal,
    The spacious World cannot againe affoord:
    And will she yet abase her eyes on me,
    That cropt the Golden prime of this sweet Prince,
    445And made her Widdow to a wofull Bed?
    On me, whose All not equals Edwards Moytie?
    On me, that halts, and am mishapen thus?
    My Dukedome, to a Beggerly denier!
    I do mistake my person all this while:
    450Vpon my life she findes (although I cannot)
    My selfe to be a maru'llous proper man.
    Ile be at Charges for a Looking-glasse,
    And entertaine a score or two of Taylors,
    To study fashions to adorne my body:
    455Since I am crept in fauour with my selfe,
    I will maintaine it with some little cost.
    But first Ile turne yon Fellow in his Graue,
    And then returne lamenting to my Loue.
    Shine out faire Sunne, till I haue bought a glasse,
    460That I may see my Shadow as I passe. exit.