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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)

    Enter Dutches of Yorke, with Clarence Children.
    Boy. Tell me good Granam, is our father dead?
    Dut. No boy.
    1275Boy. Why doe you wring your hands, and beate your (breast,
    And crie, Oh Clarence my vnhappy sonne?
    Gerl. Why doe you looke on vs and shake your head,
    And call vs wretches, Orphanes, castawaies,
    If that our noble father be aliue?
    1280Dut. My prety Cosens, you mistake me much,
    I doe lament the sicknesse of the King:
    As loth to loose him, not your fathers death:
    It were lost labour, to weepe for one thats lost.
    Boy. Then Granam you conclude that he is dead,
    1285The King my Vnckle is too blame for this:
    God will reuenge it, whom I will importune
    With daily praiers, all to that effect.
    Dut. Peace children, peace, the King doth loue you wel,
    1290Incapable and shallow innocents,
    You cannot guesse who causde your fathers death.
    Boy. Granam we can: For my good Vnckle Glocester
    Tould me, the King prouoked by the Queene,
    Deuisd impeachments to imprison him:
    1295And when he tould me so, he wept,
    And hugd me in his arme, and kindly kist my checke,
    And bad me rely on him as in my father,
    And he would loue me dearely as his child.
    Dut. Oh that deceit should steale such gentle shapes,
    1300And with a vertuous visard hide foule guile:
    He is my sonne, yea, and therein my shame:
    Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.
    Boy. Thinke you my Vnckle did dissemble Granam?
    Dut. I boy.
    1305Boy. I cannot thinke it, hark what noise is this. Enter the Quee.
    Qu. Oh who shall hinder me to waile and weepe?
    To chide my fortune, and torment my selfe?
    1310Ile ioine with blacke despaire against my soule,
    And to my selfe become an enemy.
    Dut. What meanes this sceane of rude impatience.
    Qu. To make an act of tragicke violence:
    of Richard the third.
    Edward, my Lord, your sonne our King is dead.
    1315Why grow the branches, now the roote is witherd?
    Why wither not the leaues, the sap being gone?
    If you will liue, lament: if die, be briefe:
    That our swiftwinged soules may catch the Kings,
    Or like obedient subiects, follow him
    1320To his new kingdome of perpetuall rest.
    Dut. Ah so much interest haue I in thy sorrow,
    As I had title in thy noble husband:
    I haue bewept a worthy husbands death,
    And liu'd by looking on his images.
    1325Bnt now two mirrours of his Princely semblance,
    Are crackt in pieces by malignant death:
    And I for comfort haue but one false glasse,
    Which grieues me when I see my shame in him.
    Thou art a widdow, yet thou art a mother,
    1330And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
    But death hath snatcht my children from mine armes,
    And pluckt two crutches from my feeble limmes,
    Edward and Clarence, Oh what cause haue I
    Then, being but moity of my griefe,
    1335To ouergo thy plaints and drowne thy cries?
    Boy. Good Aunt, you wept not for our fathers death,
    How can we aide you with our kindreds teares.
    Gerl. Our fatherlesse distresse was left vnmoand,
    Your widdowes dolours likewise be vnwept.
    1340Qu. Giue me no help in lamentation,
    I am not barren to bring foorth laments:
    All springs reduce their currents to mine eies,
    That I being gouernd by the watry moane,
    May send foorth plenteous teares to drowne the world:
    1345Oh for my husband, for my eire Lo: Edward.
    Ambo Oh for our father, for our deare Lo: Clarence.
    Dut. Alas for both, both mine Edward and Clarence.
    Qu. What stay had I but Edward, and he is gone?
    Am. What stay had we but Clarence, and he is gone?
    1350Dut. What staies had I but they, and they are gone?
    Qu. Was neuer Widdow, had so deare a losse.
    E2 Ambo
    The Tragedy
    Ambo. Was neuer Orphanes had a dearer losse.
    Du. Was neuer mother had a dearer losse:
    Alas, I am the mother of these mones,
    1355Their woes are parceld, mine are generall:
    She for Edward weepes, and so doe I:
    I for a Clarence weepe, so doth not she:
    These babes for Clarence weepe, and so doe I:
    1358.1I for an Edward weepe, so doe not they.
    Alas, you three on me threefold distrest,
    1360Poure all your teares, I am your sorrowes nurse,
    And I will pamper it with lamentations. Enter Glocest. with others.
    Gl. Madame haue comfort, al of vs haue cause,
    To waile the dimming of our shining starre:
    But none can cure their harmes by wailing them,
    Madame my mother, I doe crie you mercy,
    1380I did not see your Grace, humbly on my knee
    I craue your blessing.
    Du. God blesse thee, and put meekenes in thy minde,
    Loue, charity, obedience, and true duety.
    Glo. Amen, and make me die a good old man,
    1385Thats the butt end of a mothers blessing:
    I maruell why her Grace did leaue it out.
    Buck. You cloudy Princes, and hart-sorrowing peeres
    That beare this mutuall heauy lode of moane:
    Now cheare each other, in each others loue:
    1390Though we haue spent our haruest of this King,
    We are to reape the haruest of his sonne:
    The broken rancour of your high swolne hearts,
    But lately splinterd, knit, and ioynde etogether,
    Must gently be preseru'd, cherisht and kept,
    1395Me seemeth good that with some little traine,
    Forthwith from Ludlow the yong Prince be fetcht
    Hither to London, to be crownd our King.
    Glo. Then it be so; and go we to determine,
    Who they shalbe that straight shall post to Ludlow:
    Madame, and you my mother will you go,
    1420To giue your censures in this waighty busines,
    1420.1 Ans. With all our hearts. Exeunt man. Glo. Buck.
    of Richard the third.
    Buck. My Lord who euer iourneies to the Prince,
    For Gods sake let not vs two stay behinde:
    For by the way Ile sort occasion,
    1425As index to the story we late talkt of,
    To part the Queenes proud kindred from the King.
    Glo. My other selfe, my counsels consistory:
    My Oracle, my Prophet, my deare Cosen:
    I like a childe will go by thy direction:
    1430Towards Ludlow then, for we will not stay behinde.