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Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
Than can my ears that tragic history.
But wherefore dost thou come? Is 't for my
life?

Glou. Think'st thou I am an executioner? >
K. Hen. A persecutor, I am sure, thou art.
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou art an executioner.

Glou. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption. K. Hen. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume,

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Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh and many a
widow's,

And many an orphan's water-standing eye- 40
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands,
And orphans for their parents' timeless death-
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down
trees;

The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chattering pies in dismal discords sung. Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,

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To wit, an indigested and deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast
born,

To signify thou cam'st to bite the world;
And, if the rest be true which I have heard, s
Thou cam'st-

Glou. I'll hear no more; die, prophet, in thy speech. Stabs him. For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd. K. Hen. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.

O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!

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thither,

If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee
[Stabs him again.
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 't is true that Henry told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say

I came into the world with my legs forward.
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste,
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd and the women cried,
"O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!"' 13
And so I was; which plainly signified

That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.

Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body

80,

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Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother;
And this word "love," which greybeards call
divine,

Be resident in men like one another
And not in me. I am myself alone.

Clarence, beware! Thou keep'st me from the light,

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But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
That Edward shall be fearful of his life,
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry and the Prince his son are gone.
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest, 90
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
[Exit [with the body].

[SCENE VII. London. The palace.] Flourish. KING EDWARD, [upon the throne;] QUEEN ELIZABETH, CLARENCE, GLOUCES TER, HASTINGS, a Nurse [with the young Prince,] and Attendants.

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Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy. 15
Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's
night,

Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain. 20
Glou. [Aside.] I'll blast his harvest, if your
head were laid,

For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
And heave it shall some weight, or break my
back.

Work thou the way, and thou shalt execute. K. Edw. Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen;

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And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both. Clar. The duty that I owe unto your Majesty I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.

[Q. Eliz.] Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.

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Glou. And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,

Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit. [Aside.] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master, And cried, harm.

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All hail!" when as he meant all

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With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
Sound drums and trumpets! Farewell sour

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THE TRAGEDY OF RICHARD THE THIRD

THE only external evidence for the date of Richard III is the publication of the First Quarto in 1597. The marks of Shakespeare's early style, and especially of the influence of Marlowe, are, however, so pronounced as to have led to a general agreement that the play was composed some years before that date, probably about 1593.

The Quarto of 1597 was reprinted in 1598, with the name of Shakespeare on the title-page, but without further change. Other quartos appeared in 1602, 1605, 1612, 1622, 1629, and 1634, but all derive ultimately from the text of 1597. The version in the First Folio is independent, and differs widely in detail from the text of the Quartos. The question of the comparative authority of these texts is exceedingly complicated. Each contains passages essential to the context but lacking in the other. The Folio has besides many additions quite apposite and in the manner of Shakespeare, though the corresponding place in the Quarto shows no lacuna. The difficulty is thus to determine which goes back to the earlier original, and whether Shakespeare himself is responsible for the variations. Opinions still differ widely on these points, but are for the most part agreed that the Folio is to be regarded as the more authentic version; and it is, accordingly, made the basis of the present text. A striking peculiarity of the case is that the variations are too numerous to be plausibly accounted for as mistakes of copyist or printer, and are often so slight in their effect on meaning or rhythm that it is hard to believe them the result of conscious revision. They are very frequently such differences as might be explained by lapse of memory; and it is probable that in the First Quarto we have an exceptionally correct short-hand writer's report of the play, the variations being largely due to the slips of the actors. The chief basis of the action is, as usual, Holinshed, who, in dealing with the events of Acts I, II, III, and part of IV, follows the history of the reigns of Edward V and Richard III ascribed to Sir Thomas More, as it had been transmitted in the Chronicles of Hardyng and Halle; and who, in the story corresponding to the rest of Act IV and to Act v, follows Halle. But before Shakespeare's there had been two, if not more, dramatic treatments of the theme. The Richardus Tertius of Dr. Legge is a Latin chronicle play written, perhaps as early as 1573, for performance at the University of Cambridge. The True Tragedie of Richard III is anonymous and of uncertain date, but was apparently a sequel to 3 Henry VI. Both of these contributed to the dramatic tradition of Richard, but whether they affected Shakespeare directly or through a lost intermediary remains to be proved. Details seem also to have been gathered from such narratives as those in The Mirror for Magistrates.

But it was the Chronicles of Holinshed or Halle which supplied almost all the episodes and the outlines of most of the characters, especially the men. These outlines, however, are in every case filled in by Shakespeare, whose imagination caught up and vitalized the merest hints of character. Most of the famous speeches are purely the invention of the dramatist. The opening soliloquy, the wooing of Anne, the two great cursing scenes in which Margaret of Anjou plays the chief part, the dream and the murder scene of Clarence, and the exchange of repartee between Gloucester and the little Duke of York, are all without foundation in Holinshed. Gloucester's hypocritical pre-occupation with holy exercises on the occasion of the visit of the Mayor and Buckingham with the offer of the crown, is based on the parenthetical phrase, "with a bishop on every hand of him." The substance and tone of the addresses of the rival leaders to their armies in v. iii. are suggested by the Chronicle.

The historical accuracy, in its main lines, of the portrait of Richard is still a matter of dispute among historians. But the falsification, if such there be, is only in a small degree due to Shakespeare; it had already occurred in the authorities from whom he drew the facts for which he supplied a plausible psychological explanation.

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Ghosts of those murdered by Richard III; Lords and other Attendants; a Pursuivant, Scrivener, Citizens,
Murderers, Messengers, Soldiers, etc.
SCENE: England.]

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Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
I am determined to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels, and dreams,
To set iny brother Clarence and the King
In deadly hate the one against the other;
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up
About a prophecy, which says that G
Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul; here Clarence

comes.

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