Internet Shakespeare Editions


Jump to line
Help on texts

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 Tyrrel.
    The tyrannous and bloody deed is done,
    The most arch-act of piteous massacre
    That ever yet this land was guilty of.
    Dighton and Forrest whom I did suborn
    To do this ruthless piece of butchery --
    2710Although they were fleshed villains, bloody dogs --
    Melting with tenderness and kind compassion
    Wept like two children in their deaths' sad stories:
    "Lo, thus," quoth Dighton, "lay those tender babes."
    "Thus, thus," quoth Forrest, "girdling one another
    2715Within their innocent alabaster arms;
    Their lips were four red roses on a stalk
    Which in their summer beauty kissed each other;
    A book of prayers on their pillow lay
    Which once," quoth Forrest, "almost changed my mind,
    2720But oh, the devil -- " There the villain stopped
    Whilst Dighton thus told on: "We smotherèd
    The most replenishèd sweet work of Nature,
    That from the prime creation ever she framed."
    Thus both are gone with conscience and remorse;
    2725They could not speak and so I left them both
    To bring this tidings to the bloody king.
    Enter Ki[ng] Richard.
    And here he comes: All hail, my sovereign liege.
    King Richard
    Kind Tyrrel, am I happy in thy news?
    If to have done the thing you gave in charge
    Beget your happiness, be happy then
    For it is done, my lord.
    King Richard
    But didst thou see them dead?
    I did, my lord.
    2735King Richard
    And buried, gentle Tyrrel?
    The chaplain of the Tower hath buried them,
    But how or in what place I do not know.
    King Richard
    Come to me Tyrrel soon, at after-supper
    And thou shalt tell the process of their death.
    2740Meantime, but think how I may do thee good
    And be inheritor of thy desire.
    Farewell till soon.
    Exit Tyrrel.
    The son of Clarence have I pent up close,
    2745His daughter meanly have I matched in marriage,
    The sons of Edward sleep in Abraham's bosom,
    And Anne my wife hath bid the world goodnight.
    Now for I know the Breton Richmond aims
    At young Elizabeth, my brother's daughter,
    2750And by that knot looks proudly o'er the crown,
    To her I go, a jolly, thriving wooer.
    Enter Catesby.
    My lord.
    King Richard
    Good news or bad that thou com'st in so 2755bluntly?
    Bad news my lord, Ely is fled to Richmond,
    And Buckingham backed with the hardy Welshmen
    Is in the field, and still his power increaseth.
    King Richard
    Ely with Richmond troubles me more near
    2760Than Buckingham and his rash-levied army.
    Come, I have heard that fearful commenting
    Is leaden servitor to dull delay;
    Delay leads impotent and snail-paced beggary.
    Then fiery expedition be my wing,
    2765Jove's Mercury and herald for a king:
    Come, muster men, my counsel is my shield,
    We must be brief when traitors brave the field.
    [The throne is taken away.]