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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)

    1270Scena Secunda.
    Enter the old Dutchesse of Yorke, with the two
    children of Clarence.
    Edw. Good Grandam tell vs, is our Father dead?
    Dutch. No Boy.
    1275Daugh. Why do weepe so oft? And beate your Brest?
    And cry, O Clarence, my vnhappy Sonne.
    Boy. Why do you looke on vs, and shake your head,
    And call vs Orphans, Wretches, Castawayes,
    If that our Noble Father were aliue?
    1280Dut. My pretty Cosins, you mistake me both,
    I do lament the sicknesse of the King,
    As loath to lose him, not your Fathers death:
    It were lost sorrow to waile one that's lost.
    Boy. Then you conclude, (my Grandam) he is dead:
    1285The King mine Vnckle is too blame for it.
    God will reuenge it, whom I will importune
    With earnest prayers, all to that effect.
    Daugh. And so will I.
    Dut. Peace children peace, the King doth loue you wel.
    1290Incapeable, and shallow Innocents,
    You cannot guesse who caus'd your Fathers death.
    Boy. Grandam we can: for my good Vnkle Gloster
    Told me, the King prouok'd to it by the Queene,
    Deuis'd impeachments to imprison him;
    1295And when my Vnckle told me so, he wept,
    And pittied me, and kindly kist my cheeke:
    Bad me rely on him, as on my Father,
    And he would loue me deerely as a childe.
    Dut. Ah! that Deceit should steale such gentle shape,
    1300And with a vertuous Vizor hide deepe vice.
    He is my sonne, I, and therein my shame,
    Yet from my dugges, he drew not this deceit.
    Boy. Thinke you my Vnkle did dissemble Grandam?
    Dut. I Boy.
    1305Boy. I cannot thinke it. Hearke, what noise is this?
    Enter the Queene with her haire about her ears,
    Riuers & Dorset after her.
    Qu. Ah! who shall hinder me to waile and weepe?
    To chide my Fortune, and torment my Selfe.
    1310Ile ioyne with blacke dispaire against my Soule,
    And to my selfe, become an enemie.
    Dut. What meanes this Scene of rude impatience?
    Qu. To make an act of Tragicke violence.
    Edward my Lord, thy Sonne, our King is dead.
    1315Why grow the Branches, when the Roote is gone?
    Why wither not the leaues that want their sap?
    If you will liue, Lament: if dye, be breefe,
    That our swift-winged Soules may catch the Kings,
    Or like obedient Subiects follow him,
    1320To his new Kingdome of nere-changing night.
    Dut. Ah so much interest haue in thy sorrow,
    As I had Title in thy Noble Husband:
    I haue bewept a worthy Husbands death,
    And liu'd with looking on his Images:
    1325But now two Mirrors of his Princely semblance,
    Are crack'd in pieces, by malignant death,
    And I for comfort, haue but one false Glasse,
    That greeues me, when I see my shame in him.
    Thou art a Widdow: yet thou art a Mother,
    1330And hast the comfort of thy Children left,
    But death hath snatch'd my Husband from mine Armes,
    And pluckt two Crutches from my feeble hands,
    Clarence, and Edward. O, what cause haue I,
    (Thine being but a moity of my moane)
    1335To ouer-go thy woes, and drowne thy cries.
    Boy. Ah Aunt! you wept not for our Fathers death:
    How can we ayde you with our Kindred teares?
    Daugh. Our fatherlesse distresse was left vnmoan'd,
    Your widdow-dolour, likewise be vnwept.
    1340Qu. Giue me no helpe in Lamentation,
    I am not barren to bring forth complaints:
    All Springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
    That I being gouern'd by the waterie Moone,
    May send forth plenteous teares to drowne the World.
    1345Ah, for my Husband, for my deere Lord Edward.
    Chil. Ah for our Father, for our deere Lord Clarence.
    Dut. Alas for both, both mine Edward and Clarence.
    Qu. What stay had I but Edward, and hee's gone?
    Chil. What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone.
    1350Dut. What stayes had I, but they? and they are gone.
    Qu. Was neuer widdow had so deere a losse.
    Chil. Were neuer Orphans had so deere a losse.
    Dut. Was neuer Mother had so deere a losse.
    Alas! I am the Mother of these Greefes,
    1355Their woes are parcell'd, mine is generall.
    She for an Edward weepes, and so do I:
    I for a Clarence weepes, so doth not shee:
    These Babes for Clarence weepe, so do not they.
    Alas! you three, on me threefold distrest:
    1360Power all your teares, I am your sorrowes Nurse,
    And I will pamper it with Lamentation.
    Dor. Comfort deere Mother, God is much displeas'd,
    That you take with vnthankfulnesse his doing.
    In common worldly things, 'tis call'd vngratefull,
    1365With dull vnwillingnesse to repay a debt,
    Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent:
    Much more to be thus opposite with heauen,
    For it requires the Royall debt it lent you.
    Riuers. Madam, bethinke you like a carefull Mother
    1370Of the young Prince your sonne: send straight for him,
    Let him be Crown'd, in him your comfort liues.
    Drowne desperate sorrow in dead Edwards graue,
    And plant your ioyes in liuing Edwards Throne.
    Enter Richard, Buckingham, Derbie, Ha-
    1375stings, and Ratcliffe.
    Rich. Sister haue comfort, all of vs haue cause
    To waile the dimming of our shining Starre:
    But none can helpe our harmes by wayling them.
    Madam, my Mother, I do cry you mercie,
    1380I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee,
    I craue your Blessing.
    Dut. God blesse thee, and put meeknes in thy breast,
    Loue Charity, Obedience, and true Dutie.
    Rich. Amen, and make me die a good old man,
    1385That is the butt-end of a Mothers blessing;
    I maruell that her Grace did leaue it out.
    Buc. You clowdy-Princes, & hart-sorowing-Peeres,
    That beare this heauie mutuall loade of Moane,
    Now cheere each other, in each others Loue:
    1390Though we haue spent our Haruest of this King,
    We are to reape the Haruest of his Sonne.
    The broken rancour of your high-swolne hates,
    But lately splinter'd, knit, and ioyn'd together,
    Must gently be preseru'd, cherisht, and kept:
    1395Me seemeth good, that with some little Traine,
    Forthwith from Ludlow, the young Prince be fet
    Hither to London, to be crown'd our King.
    Riuers. Why with some little Traine,
    My Lord of Buckingham?
    1400Buc. Marrie my Lord, least by a multitude,
    The new-heal'd wound of Malice should breake out,
    Which would be so much the more dangerous,
    By how much the estate is greene, and yet vngouern'd.
    Where euery Horse beares his commanding Reine,
    1405And may direct his course as please himselfe,
    As well the feare of harme, as harme apparant,
    In my opinion, ought to be preuented.
    Rich. I hope the King made peace with all of vs,
    And the compact is firme, and true in me.
    1410Riu. And so in me, and so (I thinke) in all.
    Yet since it is but greene, it should be put
    To no apparant likely-hood of breach,
    Which haply by much company might be vrg'd:
    Therefore I say with Noble Buckingham,
    1415That it is meete so few should fetch the Prince.
    Hast. And so say I.
    Rieh. Then be it so, and go we to determine
    Who they shall be that strait shall poste to London .
    Madam, and you my Sister, will you go
    1420To giue your censures in this businesse. Exeunt.
    Manet Buckingham, and Richard.
    Buc. My Lord, who euer iournies to the Prince,
    For God sake let not vs two stay at home:
    For by the way, Ile sort occasion,
    1425As Index to the story we late talk'd of,
    To part the Queenes proud Kindred from the Prince.
    Rich. My other selfe, my Counsailes Consistory,
    My Oracle, My Prophet, my deere Cosin,
    I, as a childe, will go by thy direction,
    1430Toward London then, for wee'l not stay behinde. Exeunt