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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
    3695Me thought their soules, whose bodies Richard murtherd,
    Came to my tent, and cried on victorie,
    I promise you, my soule is verie Iocund,
    In the remembrance of so faire a dreame.
    How farre into the morning is it Lordes?
    3700Lo. Vpon the stroke of foure.
    Rich. Whie, then tis time to arme, and giue direction.
    His oration to his souldiers.
    More then I haue said, louing countriemen,
    The leasure and inforcement of the time,
    3705Forbids to dwell vpon, yet remember this,
    God, and our good cause, fight vpon our side,
    The praiers of holy Saints and wronged soules,
    Like high reard bulwarkes, stand before our faces,
    Richard, except those whome we fight against,
    3710Had rather haue vs winne, then him they follow:
    For, what is he they follow? truelie gentlemen,
    A bloudie tirant, and a homicide.
    One raisd in bloud, and one in bloud established,
    One that made meanes to come by what he hath,
    3715And slaughtered those, that were the meanes to helpe him.
    A base foule stone, made precious by the foile,
    Of Englands chaire, where he is falsely set,
    One that hath euer bene Gods enemie.
    Then if you fight against Gods enemie,
    3720God will In iustice, ward you as his souldiers,
    If you doe sweate to put a tyrant downe,
    You sleepe in peace, the tyrant being slaine,
    If you doe fight against your countries foes,
    Your countries fat, shall paie your paines the hire.
    3725If you doe fight in safegard of your wiues,
    Your wiues shall welcome home the conquerors.
    If you doe free your children from the sword,
    Your childrens children quits it in your age:
    Then in the name of God and all these rightes,
    3730Aduaunce your standards, drawe your willing swordes,
    For me, the raunsome of my bold attempt,
    shall be this could corps on the earths cold face: