Richard III By William Shakespeare Act II

SCENE III. London. A street.

[Enter two CITIZENS, meeting.]

FIRST CITIZEN.
Good morrow, neighbour: whither away so fast?

SECOND CITIZEN.
I promise you, I scarcely know myself: 
Hear you the news abroad?

FIRST CITIZEN.
Yes, — that the king is dead.

SECOND CITIZEN.
Ill news, by'r lady; seldom comes the better:
I fear, I fear 'twill prove a giddy world.

[Enter third CITIZEN.]

THIRD CITIZEN.
Neighbours, God speed!

FIRST CITIZEN.
Give you good morrow, sir.

THIRD CITIZEN.
Doth the news hold of good King Edward's death?

SECOND CITIZEN.
Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!

THIRD CITIZEN.
Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.

FIRST CITIZEN.
No, no; by God's good grace, his son shall reign.

THIRD CITIZEN.
Woe to that land that's govern'd by a child!

SECOND CITIZEN.
In him there is a hope of government,
Which, in his nonage, council under him,
And, in his full and ripen'd years, himself,
No doubt, shall then, and till then, govern well.

FIRST CITIZEN.
So stood the state when Henry the Sixth
Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.

THIRD CITIZEN.
Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot;
For then this land was famously enrich'd
With politic grave counsel; then the king
Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.

FIRST CITIZEN.
Why, so hath this, both by his father and mother.

THIRD CITIZEN.
Better it were they all came by his father,
Or by his father there were none at all;
For emulation who shall now be nearest
Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.
O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloster!
And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud:
And were they to be rul'd, and not to rule,
This sickly land might solace as before.

FIRST CITIZEN.
Come, come, we fear the worst; all will be well.

THIRD CITIZEN.
When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks;
When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand;
When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?
Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.
All may be well; but, if God sort it so,
'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.

SECOND CITIZEN.
Truly, the hearts of men are fun of fear:
You cannot reason almost with a man
That looks not heavily and fun of dread.

THIRD CITIZEN.
Before the days of change, still is it so:
By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust
Ensuing danger; as, by proof, we see
The water swell before a boisterous storm.
But leave it all to God. — Whither away?

SECOND CITIZEN.
Marry, we were sent for to the justices.

THIRD CITIZEN.
And so was I; I'll bear you company.

[Exeunt.]

Back to Top

Take the Quiz

At the beginning of the play, who appears to be dominating King Edward IV?




Quiz