Richard III By William Shakespeare Act I

QUEEN MARGARET.
Peace, master marquis, you are malapert:
Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current:
O, that your young nobility could judge
What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!
They that stand high have many blasts to shake them;
And if they fall they dash themselves to pieces.

GLOSTER.
Good counsel, marry: — learn it, learn it, marquis.

DORSET.
It touches you, my lord, as much as me.

GLOSTER.
Ay, and much more: but I was born so high,
Our aery buildeth in the cedar's top,
And dallies with the wind, and scorns the sun.

QUEEN MARGARET.
And turns the sun to shade; — alas! alas! —
Witness my son, now in the shade of death;
Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath,
Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
Your aery buildeth in our aery's nest: —
O God that seest it, do not suffer it;
As it is won with blood, lost be it so!

BUCKINGHAM.
Peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Urge neither charity nor shame to me:
Uncharitably with me have you dealt,
And shamefully my hopes by you are butcher'd.
My charity is outrage, life my shame, —
And in that shame still live my sorrow's rage!

BUCKINGHAM.
Have done, have done.

QUEEN MARGARET.
O princely Buckingham, I'll kiss thy hand,
In sign of league and amity with thee:
Now fair befall thee and thy noble house!
Thy garments are not spotted with our blood,
Nor thou within the compass of my curse.

BUCKINGHAM.
Nor no one here; for curses never pass
The lips of those that breathe them in the air.

QUEEN MARGARET.
I will not think but they ascend the sky,
And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog!
Look, when he fawns he bites; and when he bites,
His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
Have not to do with him, beware of him;
Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
And all their ministers attend on him.

GLOSTER.
What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?

BUCKINGHAM.
Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.

QUEEN MARGARET.
What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?
And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
O, but remember this another day,
When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow,
And say, poor Margaret was a prophetess! —
Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
And he to yours, and all of you to God's!

[Exit.]

BUCKINGHAM.
My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses.

RIVERS.
And so doth mine: I muse why she's at liberty.

GLOSTER.
I cannot blame her: by God's holy mother,
She hath had too much wrong; and I repent
My part thereof that I have done to her.

QUEEN ELIZABETH.
I never did her any, to my knowledge.

GLOSTER.
Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong.
I was too hot to do somebody good,
That is too cold in thinking of it now.
Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid;
He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains;
God pardon them that are the cause thereof!

RIVERS.
A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,
To pray for them that have done scathe to us!

GLOSTER.
So do I ever being well advis'd;
[Aside.] For had I curs'd now, I had curs'd myself.

[Enter CATESBY.]

CATESBY.
Madam, his majesty doth can for you, —
And for your grace, — and you, my noble lords.

QUEEN ELIZABETH.
Catesby, I come. — Lords, will you go with me?

RIVERS.
We wait upon your grace.

[Exeunt all but GLOSTER.]

GLOSTER.
I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.
The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
Clarence, — whom I indeed have cast in darkness, —
I do beweep to many simple gulls;
Namely, to Stanley, Hastings, Buckingham;
And tell them 'tis the queen and her allies
That stir the king against the duke my brother.
Now they believe it; and withal whet me
To be reveng'd on Rivers, Vaughn, Grey:
But then I sigh; and, with a piece of Scripture,
Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
And thus I clothe my naked villany
With odd old ends stol'n forth of holy writ;
And seem a saint when most I play the devil. —
But, soft, here come my executioners.

[Enter two MURDERERS.]

How now, my hardy stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this thing?

FIRST MURDERER.
We are, my lord, and come to have the warrant,
That we may be admitted where he is.

GLOSTER.
Well thought upon; — I have it here about me:

[Gives the warrant.]

When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity, if you mark him.

FIRST MURDERER.
Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers: be assur'd
We go to use our hands, and not our tongues.

GLOSTER.
Your eyes drop millstones when fools' eyes fall tears:
I like you, lads; — about your business straight;
Go, go, despatch.

FIRST MURDERER.
We will, my noble lord.

[Exeunt.]

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