Richard III By William Shakespeare Act I

FIRST MURDERER.
Why, then he'll say we stabb'd him sleeping.

SECOND MURDERER.
The urging of that word "judgment" hath bred a kind of remorse in
me.

FIRST MURDERER.
What, art thou afraid?

SECOND MURDERER.
Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be damned
for killing him, from the which no warrant can defend me.

FIRST MURDERER.
I thought thou hadst been resolute.

SECOND MURDERER.
So I am, to let him live.

FIRST MURDERER.
I'll back to the Duke of Gloster and tell him so.

SECOND MURDERER.
Nay, I pr'ythee, stay a little: I hope my holy humour will
change; it was wont to hold me but while one tells twenty.

FIRST MURDERER.
How dost thou feel thyself now?

SECOND MURDERER.
Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet within me.

FIRST MURDERER.
Remember our reward, when the deed's done.

SECOND MURDERER.
Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.

FIRST MURDERER.
Where's thy conscience now?

SECOND MURDERER.
O, in the Duke of Gloster's purse.

FIRST MURDERER.
So, when he opens his purse to give us our reward,
thy conscience flies out.

SECOND MURDERER.
'Tis no matter; let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.

FIRST MURDERER.
What if it come to thee again?

SECOND MURDERER.
I'll not meddle with it, — it makes a man coward;
a man cannot steal, but it accuseth him; a man
cannot swear, but it checks him; a man cannot lie with his
neighbour's wife, but it detects him: 'tis a blushing shame-
faced spirit that mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills a man
full of obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold
that by chance I found; it beggars any man that keeps it:
it is turned out of towns and cities for a dangerous thing;
and every man that means to live well endeavours to trust
to himself and live without it.

FIRST MURDERER.
Zounds,'tis even now at my elbow, persuading me
not to kill the duke.

SECOND MURDERER.
Take the devil in thy mind, and believe him not; he would
insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.

FIRST MURDERER.
I am strong-framed; he cannot prevail with me.

SECOND MURDERER.
Spoke like a tall man that respects thy reputation.
Come, shall we fall to work?

FIRST MURDERER.
Take him on the costard with the hilts of thy sword,
and then throw him in the malmsey-butt in the next room.

SECOND MURDERER.
O excellent device! and make a sop of him.

FIRST MURDERER.
Soft! he wakes.

SECOND MURDERER.
Strike!

FIRST MURDERER.
No, we'll reason with him.

CLARENCE.
Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.

SECOND MURDERER.
You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.

CLARENCE.
In God's name, what art thou?

FIRST MURDERER.
A man, as you are.

CLARENCE.
But not as I am, royal.

SECOND MURDERER.
Nor you as we are, loyal.

CLARENCE.
Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.

FIRST MURDERER.
My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.

CLARENCE.
How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!
Your eyes do menace me; why look you pale?
Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?

SECOND MURDERER.
To, to, to —

CLARENCE.
To murder me?

BOTH MURDERERS.
Ay, ay.

CLARENCE.
You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

FIRST MURDERER.
Offended us you have not, but the king.

CLARENCE.
I shall be reconcil'd to him again.

SECOND MURDERER.
Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.

CLARENCE.
Are you drawn forth among a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where is the evidence that doth accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounc'd
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart, and lay no hands on me:
The deed you undertake is damnable.

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