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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)

    Enter King Richard in Armes with Norfolke, Ratcliffe,
    and the Earle of Surrey.
    Rich. Here pitch our Tent, euen here in Bosworth field,
    My Lord of Surrey, why looke you so sad?
    3435Sur. My heart is ten times lighter then my lookes.
    Rich. My Lord of Norfolke.
    Nor. Heere most gracious Liege.
    Rich. Norfolke, we must haue knockes:
    Ha, must we not?
    3440Nor. We must both giue and take my louing Lord.
    Rich. Vp with my Tent, heere wil I lye to night,
    But where to morrow? Well, all's one for that.
    Who hath descried the number of the Traitors?
    Nor. Six or seuen thousand is their vtmost power.
    3445Rich. Why our Battalia trebbles that account:
    Besides, the Kings name is a Tower of strength,
    Which they vpon the aduerse Faction want.
    Vp with the Tent: Come Noble Gentlemen,
    Let vs suruey the vantage of the ground.
    3450Call for some men of sound direction:
    Let's lacke no Discipline, make no delay,
    For Lords, to morrow is a busie day. Exeunt
    Enter Richmond, Sir William Brandon, Ox-
    ford, and Dorset.
    3455Richm. The weary Sunne, hath made a Golden set,
    And by the bright Tract of his fiery Carre,
    Giues token of a goodly day to morrow.
    Sir William Brandon, you shall beare my Standard:
    Giue me some Inke and Paper in my Tent:
    3460Ile draw the Forme and Modell of our Battaile,
    Limit each Leader to his seuerall Charge,
    And part in iust proportion our small Power.
    My Lord of Oxford, you Sir William Brandon,
    And your Sir Walter Herbert stay with me:
    3465The Earle of Pembroke keepes his Regiment;
    Good Captaine Blunt, beare my goodnight to him,
    And by the second houre in the Morning,
    Desire the Earle to see me in my Tent:
    Yet one thing more (good Captaine) do for me:
    3470Where is Lord Stanley quarter'd, do you know?
    Blunt. Vnlesse I haue mistane his Colours much,
    (Which well I am assur'd I haue not done)
    His Regiment lies halfe a Mile at least
    South, from the mighty Power of the King.
    3475Richm. If without perill it be possible,
    Sweet Blunt, make some good meanes to speak with him
    And giue him from me, this most needfull Note.
    Blunt. Vpon my life, my Lord, Ile vndertake it,
    And so God giue you quiet rest to night.
    3480Richm. Good night good Captaine Blunt:
    Come Gentlemen,
    Let vs consult vpon to morrowes Businesse;
    Into my Tent, the Dew is rawe and cold.
    They withdraw into the Tent.
    3485Enter Richard, Ratcliffe, Norfolke, & Catesby.
    Rich. What is't a Clocke?
    Cat. It's Supper time my Lord, it's nine a clocke.
    King. I will not sup to night,
    Giue me some Inke and Paper:
    3490What, is my Beauer easier then it was?
    And all my Armour laid into my Tent?
    Cat. It is my Liege: and all things are in readinesse.
    Rich. Good Norfolke, hye thee to thy charge,
    Vse carefull Watch, choose trusty Centinels,
    3495Nor. I go my Lord.
    Rich. Stir with the Larke to morrow, gentle Norfolk.
    Nor. I warrant you my Lord. Exit
    Rich. Ratcliffe.
    Rat. My Lord.
    3500Rich. Send out a Pursuiuant at Armes
    To Stanleys Regiment: bid him bring his power
    Before Sun-rising, least his Sonne George
    Into the blinde Caue of eternall night.
    Fill me a Bowle of Wine: Giue me a Watch,
    3505Saddle white Surrey for the Field to morrow:
    Look that my Staues be sound, & not too heauy. Ratcliff.
    Rat. My Lord.
    Rich. Saw'st the melancholly Lord Northumberland?
    Rat. Thomas the Earle of Surrey, and himselfe,
    3510Much about Cockshut time, from Troope to Troope
    Went through the Army, chearing vp the Souldiers.
    King. So, I am satisfied: Giue me a Bowle of Wine,
    I haue not that Alacrity of Spirit,
    Nor cheere of Minde that I was wont to haue.
    3515Set it downe. Is Inke and Paper ready?
    Rat. It is my Lord.
    Rich. Bid my Guard watch. Leaue me.
    Ratcliffe, about the mid of night come to my Tent
    And helpe to arme me. Leaue me I say. Exit Ratclif.
    3520Enter Derby to Richmond in his Tent.
    Der. Fortune, and Victory sit on thy Helme.
    Rich. All comfort that the darke night can affoord,
    Be to thy Person, Noble Father in Law.
    Tell me, how fares our Noble Mother?
    3525Der. I by Attourney, blesse thee from thy Mother,
    Who prayes continually for Richmonds good:
    So much for that. The silent houres steale on,
    And flakie darkenesse breakes within the East.
    In breefe, for so the season bids vs be,
    3530Prepare thy Battell early in the Morning,
    And put thy Fortune to th' Arbitrement
    Of bloody stroakes, and mortall staring Warre:
    I, as I may, that which I would, I cannot,
    With best aduantage will deceiue thet ime,
    3535And ayde thee in this doubtfull shocke of Armes.
    But on thy side I may not be too forward,
    Least being seene, thy Brother, tender George
    Be executed in his Fathers sight.
    Farewell: the leysure, and the fearfull time
    3540Cuts off the ceremonious Vowes of Loue,
    And ample enterchange of sweet Discourse,
    Which so long sundred Friends should dwell vpon:
    God giue vs leysure for these rites of Loue.
    Once more Adieu, be valiant, and speed well.
    3545Riehm. Good Lords conduct him to his Regiment:
    Ile striue with troubled noise, to take a Nap,
    Lest leaden slumber peize me downe to morrow,
    When I should mount with wings of Victory:
    Once more, good night kinde Lords and Gentlemen.
    3550Exeunt. Manet Richmond.
    O thou, whose Captaine I account my selfe,
    Looke on my Forces with a gracious eye:
    Put in their hands thy bruising Irons of wrath,
    That they may crush downe with a heauy fall,
    3555Th'vsurping Helmets of our Aduersaries:
    Make vs thy ministers of Chasticement,
    That we may praise thee in thy victory:
    To thee I do commend my watchfull soule,
    Ere I let fall the windowes of mine eyes:
    3560Sleeping, and waking, oh defend me still. Sleeps.
    Enter the Ghost of Prince Edward, Sonne to
    Henry the sixt.
    Gh. to Ri. Let me sit heauy on thy soule to morrow:
    Thinke how thou stab'st me in my prime of youth
    3565At Teukesbury: Dispaire therefore, and dye.
    Ghost to Richm. Be chearefull Richmond,
    For the wronged Soules
    Of butcher'd Princes, fight in thy behalfe:
    King Henries issue Richmond comforts thee.
    3570Enter the Ghost of Henry the sixt.
    Ghost. When I was mortall, my Annointed body
    By thee was punched full of holes;
    Thinke on the Tower, and me: Dispaire, and dye,
    Harry the sixt, bids thee dispaire, and dye.
    3575 To Richm. Vertuous and holy be thou Conqueror:
    Harry that prophesied thou should'st be King,
    Doth comfort thee in sleepe: Liue, and flourish.
    Enter the Ghost of Clarence.
    Ghost. Let me sit heauy in thy soule to morrow.
    3580I that was wash'd to death with Fulsome Wine:
    Poore Clarence by thy guile betray'd to death:
    To morrow in the battell thinke on me,
    And fall thy edgelesse Sword, dispaire and dye.
    To Richm. Thou off-spring of the house of Lancaster
    3585The wronged heyres of Yorke do pray for thee,
    Good Angels guard thy battell, Liue and Flourish.
    Enter the Ghosts of Riuers, Gray, and Vaughan.
    Riu Let me sit heauy in thy soule to morrow,
    Riuers, that dy'de at Pomfret: dispaire, and dye.
    3590Grey. Thinke vpon Grey, and let thy soule dispaire.
    Vaugh. Thinke vpon Vaughan, and with guilty feare
    Let fall thy Lance, dispaire and dye.
    All to Richm. Awake,
    And thinke our wrongs in Richards Bosome,
    3595Will conquer him. Awake, and win the day.
    Enter the Ghost of Lord Hastings.
    Gho. Bloody and guilty: guiltily awake,
    And in a bloody Battell end thy dayes.
    Thinke on Lord Hastings: dispaire, and dye.
    3600 Hast. to Rich. Quiet vntroubled soule,
    Awake, awake:
    Arme, fight, and conquer, for faire Englands sake.
    Enter the Ghosts of the two yong Princes.
    Ghosts. Dreame on thy Cousins
    3605Smothered in the Tower:
    Let vs be laid within thy bosome Richard,
    And weigh thee downe to ruine, shame, and death,
    Thy Nephewes soule bids thee dispaire and dye.
    Ghosts to Richm. Sleepe Richmond,
    3610Sleepe in Peace, and wake in Ioy,
    Good Angels guard thee from the Boares annoy,
    Liue, and beget a happy race of Kings,
    Edwards vnhappy Sonnes, do bid thee flourish.
    Enter the Ghost of Anne, his Wife.
    3615 Ghost to Rich. Richard, thy Wife,
    That wretched Anne thy Wife,
    That neuer slept a quiet houre with thee,
    Now filles thy sleepe with perturbations,
    To morrow in the Battaile, thinke on me,
    3620And fall thy edgelesse Sword, dispaire and dye:
    Ghost to Richm. Thou quiet soule,
    Sleepe thou a quiet sleepe:
    Dreame of Successe, and Happy Victory,
    Thy Aduersaries Wife doth pray for thee.
    3625Enter the Ghost of Buckingham.
    Ghost to Rich. The first was I
    That help'd thee to the Crowne:
    That last was I that felt thy Tyranny.
    O, in the Battaile think on Buckingham,
    3630And dye in terror of thy guiltinesse.
    Dreame on, dreame on, of bloody deeds and death,
    Fainting dispaire; dispairing yeeld thy breath.
    Ghost to Richm. I dyed for hope
    Ere I could lend thee Ayde;
    3635But cheere thy heart, and be thou not dismayde:
    God, and good Angels fight on Richmonds side,
    And Richard fall in height of all his pride.
    Richard starts out of his dreame.
    Rich. Giue me another Horse, bind vp my Wounds:
    3640Haue mercy Iesu. Soft, I did but dreame.
    O coward Conscience! how dost thou afflict me?
    The Lights burne blew. It is not dead midnight.
    Cold fearefull drops stand on my trembling flesh.
    What? do I feare my Selfe? There's none else by,
    3645Richard loues Richard, that is, I am I.
    Is there a Murtherer heere? No; Yes, I am:
    Then flye; What from my Selfe? Great reason: why?
    Lest I Reuenge. What? my Selfe vpon my Selfe?
    Alacke, I loue my Selfe. Wherefore? For any good
    3650That I my Selfe, haue done vnto my Selfe?
    O no. Alas, I rather hate my Selfe,
    For hatefull Deeds committed by my Selfe.
    I am a Vlllaine: yet I Lye, I am not.
    Foole, of thy Selfe speake well: Foole, do not flatter.
    3655My Conscience hath a thousand seuerall Tongues,
    And euery Tongue brings in a seuerall Tale,
    And euerie Tale condemnes me for a Villaine;
    Periurie, in the high'st Degree,
    Murther, sterne murther, in the dyr'st degree,
    3660All seuerall sinnes, all vs'd in each degree,
    Throng all to'th'Barre, crying all, Guilty, Guilty.
    I shall dispaire, there is no Creature loues me;
    And if I die, no soule shall pittie me.
    Nay, wherefore should they? Since that I my Selfe,
    3665Finde in my Selfe, no pittie to my Selfe.
    Me thought, the Soules of all that I had murther'd
    Came to my Tent, and euery one did threat
    To morrowes vengeance on the head of Richard.
    Enter Ratcliffe.
    3670Rat. My Lord.
    King Who's there?
    Rat. Ratcliffe my Lord, 'tis I: the early Village Cock
    Hath twice done salutation to the Morne,
    Your Friends are vp, and buckle on their Armour.
    3675King. O Ratcliffe, I feare, I feare.
    Rat. Nay good my Lord, be not affraid of Shadows.
    King. By the Apostle Paul, shadowes to night
    Haue stroke more terror to the soule of Richard,
    Then can the substance of ten thousand Souldiers
    3680Armed in proofe, and led by shallow Richmond.
    'Tis not yet neere day. Come go with me,
    Vnder our Tents Ile play the Ease-dropper,
    To heare if any meane to shrinke from me.
    Exeunt Richard & Ratliffe,
    3685Enter the Lords to Richmond sitting
    in his Tent.
    Richm. Good morrow Richmond.
    Rich. Cry mercy Lords, and watchfull Gentlemen,
    That you haue tane a tardie sluggard heere?
    3690Lords. How haue you slept my Lord?
    Rich. The sweetest sleepe,
    And fairest boading Dreames,
    That euer entred in a drowsie head,
    Haue I since your departure had my Lords.
    3695Me thought their Soules, whose bodies Rich. murther'd,
    Came to my Tent, and cried on Victory:
    I promise you my Heart is very iocond,
    In the remembrance of so faire a dreame,
    How farre into the Morning is it Lords?
    3700Lor. Vpon the stroke of foure.
    Rich. Why then 'tis time to Arme, and giue direction.
    His Oration to his Souldiers.
    More then I haue said, louing Countrymen,
    The leysure and inforcement of the time
    3705Forbids to dwell vpon: yet remember this,
    God, and our good cause, fight vpon our side,
    The Prayers of holy Saints and wronged soules,
    Like high rear'd Bulwarkes, stand before our Faces,
    ( Richard except) those whom we fight against,
    3710Had rather haue vs win, then him they follow.
    For, what is he they follow? Truly Gentlemen,
    A bloudy Tyrant, and a Homicide:
    One rais'd in blood, and one in blood establish'd;
    One that made meanes to come by what he hath,
    3715And slaughter'd those that were the meanes to help him:
    A base foule Stone, made precious by the soyle
    Of Englands Chaire, where he is falsely set:
    One that hath euer beene Gods Enemy.
    Then if you fight against Gods Enemy,
    3720God will in iustice ward you as his Soldiers.
    If you do sweare to put a Tyrant downe,
    You sleepe in peace, the Tyrant being slaine:
    If you do fight against your Countries Foes,
    Your Countries Fat shall pay your paines the hyre.
    3725If you do fight in safegard of your wiues,
    Your wiues shall welcome home the Conquerors.
    If you do free your Children from the Sword,
    Your Childrens Children quits it in your Age.
    Then in the name of God and all these rights,
    3730Aduance your Standards, draw your willing Swords.
    For me, the ransome of my bold attempt,
    Shall be this cold Corpes on the earth's cold face.
    But if I thriue, the gaine of my attempt,
    The least of you shall share his part thereof.
    3735Sound Drummes and Trumpets boldly, and cheerefully,
    God, and Saint George, Richmond, and Victory.
    Enter King Richard, Ratcliffe, and Catesby.
    K. What said Northumberland as touching Richmond?
    Rat. That he was neuer trained vp in Armes.
    3740King. He said the truth: and what said Surrey then?
    Rat. He smil'd and said, the better for our purpose.
    King. He was in the right, and so indeed it is.
    Tell the clocke there. Clocke strikes.
    Giue me a Kalender: Who saw the Sunne to day?
    3745Rat. N t I my Lord.
    King. Then he disdaines to shine: for by the Booke
    He should haue brau'd the East an houre ago,
    A blacke day will it be to somebody. Ratcliffe.
    Rat. My Lord.
    3750King. The Sun will not be seene to day,
    The sky doth frowne, and lowre vpon our Army.
    I would these dewy teares were from the ground.
    Not shine to day? Why, what is that to me
    More then to Richmond? For the selfe-same Heauen
    3755That frownes on me, lookes sadly vpon him.
    Enter Norfolke.
    Nor. Arme, arme, my Lord: the foe vaunts in the field.
    King. Come, bustle, bustle. Caparison my horse.
    Call vp Lord Stanley, bid him bring his power,
    3760I will leade forth my Soldiers to the plaine,
    And thus my Battell shal be ordred.
    My Foreward shall be drawne in length,
    Consisting equally of Horse and Foot:
    Our Archers shall be placed in the mid'st;
    3765Iohn Duke of Norfolke, Thomas Earle of Surrey,
    Shall haue the leading of the Foot and Horse.
    They thus directed, we will fllow
    In the maine Battell, whose puissance on either side
    Shall be well-winged with our cheefest Horse:
    3770This, and Saint George to boote.
    What think'st thou Norfolke.
    Nor. A good direction warlike Soueraigne,
    This found I on my Tent this Morning.
    Iockey of Norfolke, be not so bold,
    3775 For Dickon thy maister is bought and sold.
    King. A thing deuised by the Enemy.
    Go Gentlemen, euery man to his Charge,
    Let not our babling Dreames affright our soules:
    For Conscience is a word that Cowards vse,
    3780Deuis'd at first to keepe the strong in awe,
    Our strong armes be our Conscience, Swords our Law.
    March on, ioyne brauely, let vs too't pell mell,
    If not to heauen, then hand in hand to Hell.
    What shall I say more then I haue inferr'd?
    3785Remember whom you are to cope withall,
    A sort of Vagabonds, Rascals, and Run-awayes,
    A scum of Brittaines, and base Lackey Pezants,
    Whom their o're-cloyed Country vomits forth
    To desperate Aduentures, and assur'd Destruction.
    3790You sleeping safe, they bring you to vnrest:
    You hauing Lands, and blest with beauteous wiues,
    They would restraine the one, distaine the other,
    And who doth leade them, but a paltry Fellow?
    Long kept in Britaine at our Mothers cost,
    3795A Milke-sop, one that neuer in his life
    Felt so much cold, as ouer shooes in Snow:
    Let's whip these straglers o're the Seas againe,
    Lash hence these ouer-weening Ragges of France,
    These famish'd Beggers, weary of their liues,
    3800Who (but for dreaming on this fond exploit)
    For want of meanes (poore Rats) had hang'd themselues.
    If we be conquered, let men conquer vs,
    And not these bastard Britaines, whom our Fathers
    Haue in their owne Land beaten, bobb'd, and thump'd,
    3805And on Record, left them the heires of shame.
    Shall these enioy our Lands? lye with our Wiues?
    Rauish our daughters? Drum afarre off
    Hearke, I heare their Drumme,
    Right Gentlemen of England, fight boldly yeomen,
    3810Draw Archers draw your Arrowes to the head,
    Spurre your proud Horses hard, and ride in blood,
    Amaze the welkin with your broken staues.
    Enter a Messenger.
    What sayes Lord Stanley, will he bring his power?
    3815Mes. My Lord, he doth deny to come.
    King. Off with his sonne Georges head.
    Nor. My Lord, the Enemy is past the Marsh:
    After the battaile, let George Stanley dye.
    King. A thousand hearts are great within my bosom.
    3820Aduance our Standards, set vpon our Foes,
    Our Ancient word of Courage, faire S. George
    Inspire vs with the spleene of fiery Dragons:
    Vpon them, Victorie sits on our helpes.