Richard III


Text
Act I
Act II
Act III
Act IV
Act V
Enter Archbishop of York, the young Duke of York,

Queen Elizabeth, and the Duchess of York


ARCHBISHOP

Last night, I hear, they lay at Stony Stratford,

And at Northampton they do rest tonight;

Tomorrow, or next day, they will be here.


DUCHESS OF YORK

I long with all my heart to see the Prince.

I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

But I hear no. They say my son of York

Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.


YORK

Ay, mother; but I would not have it so.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Why, my young cousin? It is good to grow.


YORK

Grandam, one night as we did sit at supper,

My uncle Rivers talked how I did grow

More than my brother. ‘ Ay,’ quoth my uncle Gloucester,
quoth (v.) said See Topics: Frequency count

‘ Small herbs have grace; great weeds do grow apace.’
apace (adv.) quickly, speedily, at a great rate See Topics: Frequency count
grace (n.) 2 virtue, good quality
herb (n.) plant See Topics: Plants

And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
methinks(t), methought(s) (v.) it seems /seemed to me See Topics: Frequency count

Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold

In him that did object the same to thee.
object (v.) urge, adduce, bring up

He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,

So long a-growing and so leisurely

That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious.


ARCHBISHOP

And so no doubt he is, my gracious madam.


DUCHESS OF YORK

I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.


YORK

Now, by my troth, if I had been remembered,
remember (v.) 1 remind, bring to someone's mind

I could have given my uncle's grace a flout
flout (n.) insult, jibe, taunt
grace (n.) 2 virtue, good quality

To touch his growth nearer than he touched mine.
touch (v.) 7 threaten, endanger, imperil


DUCHESS OF YORK

How, my young York? I pray thee let me hear it.


YORK

Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast

That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old;

'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.

Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.


DUCHESS OF YORK

I pray thee, pretty York, who told thee this?


YORK

Grandam, his nurse.


DUCHESS OF YORK

His nurse? Why, she was dead ere thou wast born.


YORK

If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

A parlous boy! Go to, you are too shrewd.
parlous (adj.) 2 shrewd, sharp, wily
shrewd (adj.) 6 knowing, artful, smart


DUCHESS OF YORK

Good madam, be not angry with the child.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Pitchers have ears.

Enter a Messenger


ARCHBISHOP

Here comes a messenger. What news?


MESSENGER

Such news, my lord, as grieves me to report.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

How doth the Prince?


MESSENGER

                         Well, madam, and in health.


DUCHESS OF YORK

What is thy news?


MESSENGER

Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,

And with them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.


DUCHESS OF YORK

Who hath committed them?


MESSENGER

                         The mighty dukes,

Gloucester and Buckingham.


ARCHBISHOP

                         For what offence?


MESSENGER

The sum of all I can I have disclosed.

Why or for what the nobles were committed

Is all unknown to me, my gracious lord.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Ay me! I see the ruin of my house.

The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind;
gentle (adj.) 6 soft, tender, kind

Insulting tyranny begins to jut
insulting (adj.) scornfully boasting, contemptuously exulting
jet upon (v.) encroach on, usurp, trespass upon
jut (v.) push, shove, knock; or: strut, swagger, parade

Upon the innocent and aweless throne.
aweless (adj.) 1 inspiring no awe, lacking in respect

Welcome destruction, blood, and massacre!

I see, as in a map, the end of all.
map (n.) 1 outline, picture, image


DUCHESS OF YORK

Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,

How many of you have mine eyes beheld!

My husband lost his life to get the crown,

And often up and down my sons were tossed

For me to joy and weep their gain and loss;
joy (v.) 3 derive enjoyment from, delight in

And being seated, and domestic broils
broil (n.) 2 quarrel, row, disturbance

Clean overblown, themselves the conquerors
overblow (v.) 1 blow over, pass away, abate

Make war upon themselves, brother to brother,

Blood to blood, self against self. O preposterous
blood (n.) 6 blood relationship, kinship
preposterous (adj.) 1 contrary to the natural order, monstrous, perverted

And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen,
frantic (adj.) mad, insane, frenzied, out of one's senses
outrage (n.) 1 violence, hostility, fury
spleen (n.) 2 irritability, malice, bad temper

Or let me die, to look on death no more!


QUEEN ELIZABETH

Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.

Madam, farewell.


DUCHESS OF YORK

                         Stay, I will go along with you.


QUEEN ELIZABETH

You have no cause.


ARCHBISHOP

(to the Queen)

                         My gracious lady, go,

And thither bear your treasure and your goods.

For my part, I'll resign unto your grace

The seal I keep; and so betide to me
betide (v.) 1 happen (to), befall, come (to)

As well I tender you and all of yours!

Go, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary.

Exeunt

 
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