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  • Title: Richard the Third (Modern)
  • Editor: Adrian Kiernander

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Adrian Kiernander
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Modern)

    Enter two citizens [at separate doors.]
    1 Citizen
    Neighbor well met, whither away so 1435fast?
    2 Citizen
    I promise you, I scarcely know myself.
    1 Citizen
    Hear you the news abroad?
    2 Citizen
    Aye, that the King is dead.
    1 Citizen
    Bad news by'rlady, seldom comes the better;
    1440I fear, I fear, 'twill prove a troublous world.
    Ent[er] another cit[izen].
    3 Citizen
    Good morrow neighbors.
    Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?
    14451 Citizen
    It doth.
    3Then masters, look to see a troublous world.
    1 Citizen
    No no, by God's good grace his son shall reign.
    3 Citizen Woe to that land that's governed by a child.
    2 Citizen
    In him there is a hope of government
    1450That, in his nonage, council under him,
    And in his full and ripened years himself,
    No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.
    1 Citizen
    So stood the state when Harry the Sixth
    Was crowned at Paris but at nine months old.
    14553 Citizen
    Stood the state so? No, good my friend, not so,
    For then this land was famously enriched
    With politic grave counsel; then the King
    Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.
    2 Citizen
    So hath this, both by the father and mother.
    14603 Citizen
    Better it were they all came by the father,
    Or by the father there were none at all.
    For emulation now, who shall be nearest
    Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
    Oh, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester,
    1465And the Queen's kindred haughty and proud,
    And were they to be ruled and not to rule,
    This sickly land might solace as before.
    2 Citizen
    Come, come, we fear the worst, all shall be well.
    3 Citizen
    When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;
    1470When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;
    When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
    Untimely storms make men expect a dearth;
    All may be well, but if God sort it so
    'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.
    14751 Citizen
    Truly the souls of men are full of dread.
    Ye cannot almost reason with a man
    That looks not heavily and full of fear.
    3 Citizen
    Before the times of change still is it so.
    By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
    1480Ensuing dangers, as by proof we see
    The waters swell before a boisterous storm.
    But leave it all to God. Whither away?
    2 Citizen
    We are sent for to the justice.
    3 Citizen
    And so was I, I'll bear you company.