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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.
    Sound a Sennet. Enter Richard in pompe, Buc-
    kingham, Catesby, Ratcliffe, Louel.
    2590Rich. Stand all apart. Cousin of Buckingham.
    Buck. My gracious Soueraigne.
    Rich. Giue me thy hand. Sound.
    Thus high, by thy aduice, and thy assistance,
    Is King Richard seated:
    2595But shall we weare these Glories for a day?
    Or shall they last, and we reioyce in them?
    Buck. Still liue they, and for euer let them last.
    Rich. Ah Buckingham, now doe I play the Touch,
    To trie if thou be currant Gold indeed:
    2600Young Edward liues, thinke now what I would speake.
    Buck. Say on my louing Lord.
    Rich. Why Buckingham, I say I would be King.
    Buck. Why so you are, my thrice-renowned Lord.
    Rich. Ha? am I King? 'tis so: but Edward liues.
    2605Buck True, Noble Prince.
    Rich. O bitter consequence!
    That Edward still should liue true Noble Prince.
    Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull.
    Shall I be plaine? I wish the Bastards dead,
    2610And I would haue it suddenly perform'd.
    What say'st thou now? speake suddenly, be briefe.
    Buck. Your Grace may doe your pleasure.
    Rich. Tut, tut, thou art all Ice, thy kindnesse freezes:
    Say, haue I thy consent, that they shall dye?
    2615Buc. Giue me some litle breath, some pawse, deare Lord,
    Before I positiuely speake in this:
    I will resolue you herein presently. Exit Buck.
    Catesby. The King is angry, see he gnawes his Lippe.
    Rich. I will conuerse with Iron-witted Fooles,
    2620And vnrespectiue Boyes: none are for me,
    That looke into me with considerate eyes,
    High-reaching Buckingham growes circumspect.
    Page. My Lord.
    2625Rich. Know'st thou not any, whom corrupting Gold
    Will tempt vnto a close exploit of Death?
    Page. I know a discontented Gentleman,
    Whose humble meanes match not his haughtie spirit:
    Gold were as good as twentie Orators,
    2630And will (no doubt) tempt him to any thing.
    Rich. What is his Name?
    Page. His Name, my Lord, is Tirrell.
    Rich. I partly know the man: goe call him hither,
    Boy. Exit.
    2635The deepe reuoluing wittie Buckingham,
    No more shall be the neighbor to my counsailes.
    Hath he so long held out with me, vntyr'd,
    And stops he now for breath? Well, be it so.
    Enter Stanley.
    2640How now, Lord Stanley, what's the newes?
    Stanley. Know my louing Lord, the Marquesse Dorset
    As I heare, is fled to Richmond,
    In the parts where he abides.
    Rich. Come hither Catesby, rumor it abroad,
    2645That Anne my Wife is very grieuous sicke,
    I will take order for her keeping close.
    Inquire me out some meane poore Gentleman,
    Whom I will marry straight to Clarence Daughter:
    The Boy is foolish, and I feare not him.
    2650Looke how thou dream'st: I say againe, giue out,
    That Anne, my Queene, is sicke, and like to dye.
    About it, for it stands me much vpon
    To stop all hopes, whose growth may dammage me.
    I must be marryed to my Brothers Daughter,
    2655Or else my Kingdome stands on brittle Glasse:
    Murther her Brothers, and then marry her,
    Vncertaine way of gaine. But I am in
    So farre in blood, that sinne will pluck on sinne,
    Teare-falling Pittie dwells not in this Eye.
    2660Enter Tyrrel.
    Is thy Name Tyrrel?
    Tyr. Iames Tyrrel, and your most obedient subiect.
    Rich. Art thou indeed?
    Tyr. Proue me, my gracious Lord.
    2665Rich. Dar'st thou resolue to kill a friend of mine?
    Tyr. Please you:
    But I had rather kill two enemies.
    Rich. Why then thou hast it: two deepe enemies,
    Foes to my Rest, and my sweet sleepes disturbers,
    2670Are they that I would haue thee deale vpon:
    Tyrrel, I meane those Bastards in the Tower.
    Tyr. Let me haue open meanes to come to them,
    And soone Ile rid you from the feare of them.
    Rich. Thou sing'st sweet Musique:
    2675Hearke, come hither Tyrrel,
    Goe by this token: rise, and lend thine Eare, Whispers.
    There is no more but so: say it is done,
    And I will loue thee, and preferre thee for it.
    Tyr. I will dispatch it straight. Exit.
    2680Enter Buckingham.
    Buck. My Lord, I haue consider'd in my minde,
    The late request that you did sound me in.
    Rich. Well, let that rest: Dorset is fled to Richmond.
    Buck. I heare the newes, my Lord.
    2685Rich. Stanley, hee is your Wiues Sonne: well, looke
    vnto it.
    Buck. My Lord, I clayme the gift, my due by promise,
    For which your Honor and your Faith is pawn'd,
    Th'Earledome of Hertford, and the moueables,
    2690Which you haue promised I shall possesse.
    Rich Stanley looke to your Wife: if she conuey
    Letters to Richmond, you shall answer it.
    Buck. What sayes your Highnesse to my iust request?
    Rich. I doe remember me, Henry the Sixt
    2695Did prophecie, that Richmond should be King,
    When Richmond was a little peeuish Boy.
    A King perhaps.
    Buck. May it please you to resolue me in my suit.
    Rich. Thou troublest me, I am not in the vaine. Exit.
    2700Buck. And is it thus? repayes he my deepe seruice
    With such contempt? made I him King for this?
    O let me thinke on Hastings, and be gone
    To Brecnock, while my fearefull Head is on. Exit.
    Enter Tyrrel.
    2705Tyr. The tyrannous and bloodie Act is done,
    The most arch deed of pittious massacre
    That euer yet this Land was guilty of:
    Dighton and Forrest, who I did suborne
    To do this peece of ruthfull Butchery,
    2710Albeit they were flesht Villaines, bloody Dogges,
    Melted with tendernesse, and milde compassion,
    Wept like to Children, in their deaths sad Story.
    O thus (quoth Dighton) lay the gentle Babes:
    Thus, thus (quoth Forrest) girdling one another
    2715Within their Alablaster innocent Armes:
    Their lips were foure red Roses on a stalke,
    And in their Summer Beauty kist each other.
    A Booke of Prayers on their pillow lay,
    Which one (quoth Forrest) almost chang'd my minde:
    2720But oh the Diuell, there the Villaine stopt:
    When Dighton thus told on, we smothered
    The most replenished sweet worke of Nature,
    That from the prime Creation ere she framed.
    Hence both are gone with Conscience and Remorse,
    2725They could not speake, and so I left them both,
    To beare this tydings to the bloody King.
    Enter Richard.
    And heere he comes. All health my Soueraigne Lord.
    Ric. Kinde Tirrell, am I happy in thy Newes.
    2730Tir. If to haue done the thing you gaue in charge,
    Beget your happinesse, be happy then,
    For it is done.
    Rich. But did'st thou see them dead.
    Tir. I did my Lord.
    2735Rich. And buried gentle Tirrell.
    Tir. The Chaplaine of the Tower hath buried them,
    But where (to say the truth) I do not know.
    Rich. Come to me Tirrel soone, and after Supper,
    When thou shalt tell the processe of their death.
    2740Meane time, but thinke how I may do the good,
    And be inheritor of thy desire.
    Farewell till then.
    Tir. I humbly take my leaue.
    Rich. The Sonne of Clarence haue I pent vp close,
    2745His daughter meanly haue I matcht in marriage,
    The Sonnes of Edward sleepe in Abrahams bosome,
    And Anne my wife hath bid this world good night.
    Now for I know the Britaine Richmond aymes
    At yong Elizabeth my brothers daughter,
    2750And by that knot lookes proudly on the Crowne,
    To her go I, a iolly thriuing wooer.
    Enter Ratcliffe.
    Rat. My Lord.
    Rich. Good or bad newes, that thou com'st in so
    Rat. Bad news my Lord, Mourton is fled to Richmond,
    And Buckingham backt with the hardy Welshmen
    Is in the field, and still his power encreaseth.
    Rich. Ely with Richmond troubles me more neere,
    2760Then Buckingham and his rash leuied Strength.
    Come, I haue learn'd, that fearfull commenting
    Is leaden seruitor to dull delay.
    Delay leds impotent and Snaile-pac'd Beggery:
    Then fierie expedition be my wing,
    2765Ioues Mercury, and Herald for a King:
    Go muster men: My counsaile is my Sheeld,
    We must be breefe, when Traitors braue the Field.