Internet Shakespeare Editions

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Not Peer Reviewed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.]