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  • Title: Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)
  • 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
    Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)

    The Tragedy
    935Ile to his Maiesty, and certifie his Grace,
    That thus I haue resignd my charge to you.
    Exe. Doe so, it is a point of wisedome.
    2 What shall I stab him as he sleepes?
    9401 No then he will say it was done cowardly
    When he wakes.
    2 When he wakes,
    Why foole he shall neuer wake till the iudgement day.
    1 Why then he will say, we stabd him sleeping.
    2 The vrging of that word Iudgement, hath bred
    945A kind of remorse in me.
    1 What art thou afraid.
    2 Not to kill him hauing a warrant for it, but to be dānd
    For killing him, from which no warrant can defend vs.
    1 Backe to the Duke of Glocester, tell him so.
    2 I pray thee stay a while, I hope my holy humor will
    Change, twas wont to hold me but while one would tel xx.
    1 How doest thou feele thy selfe now?
    2 Faith some certaine dregs of conscience are yet with (in me.
    1 Remember our reward when the deede is done.
    9602 Zounds he dies, I had forgot the reward.
    1 Where is thy conscience now?
    2 In the Duke of Glocesters purse.
    1 So when he opens his purse to giue vs our reward,
    Thy conscience flies out.
    9652 Let it go, theres few or none will entertaine it,
    1 How if it come to thee againe?
    2 Ile not meddle with it, it is a dangerous thing,
    It makes a man a coward: A man cannot steale,
    But it accuseth him: he cannot sweare, but it checks him:
    970He cannot lie with his neighbors wife, but it detects
    Him. It is a blushing shamefast spirit, that mutinies
    In a mans bosome: it fils one full of obstacles,
    It made me once restore a purse of gold that I found,
    It beggers any man that keepes it: it is turned out of all
    975Townes and Citties for a dangerous thing, and euery
    Man that meanes to liue wel, endeuors to trust to
    To himselfe, and to liue without it.
    1 Zounds