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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
    1020To threaten me with death, is most vnlawfull:
    I charge you as you hope to haue redemption,
    1021.1By Christs deare bloud shed for our grieuous sinnes,
    That you depart and lay no hands on me,
    The deede you vndertake is damnable.
    1 What we will doe, we doe vpon command.
    10252 And he that hath commanded, is the King.
    Clar. Erronious Vassaile, the great King of Kings,
    Hath in the tables of his law commanded,
    That thou shalt doe no murder, and wilt thou then
    Spurne at his edict, and fulfill a mans?
    1030Take heede, for he holds vengeance in his hands,
    To hurle vpon their heads that breake his law.
    2 And that same vengeance doth he throw on thee,
    For false forswearing, and for murder too:
    Thou didst receiue the holy sacrament,
    1035To fight in quarell of the house of Lancaster.
    1 And like a traitor to the name of God,
    Didst breake that vowe, and with thy trecherous blade,
    Vnript the bowels of thy soueraignes sonne.
    2 Whom thou wert sworne to cherish and defend.
    10401 How canst thou vrge Gods dreadfull Law to vs,
    When thou hast broke it in so deare degree?
    Cla. Alas, for whose sake did I that ill deede,
    For Edward, for my brother, for his sake:
    Why sirs, he sends ye not to murder me for this,
    1045For in this sinne he is as deepe as I:
    If God will be reuenged for this deede,
    Take not the quarrell from his powerfull arme,
    He needes no indirect, nor lawlesse course,
    1050To cut off those that haue offended him.
    1 Who made thee then a bloudy minister,
    When gallant springing braue Plantagenet,
    That Princely Nouice was stroke dead by thee?
    Cla. My brothers loue, the diuell, and my rage.
    10551 Thy brothers loue, the diuell and thy fault
    Haue brought vs hither now to murder thee.
    Cla. Oh if you loue my brother, hate not me,
    I am