Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

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Modern Text

RICHARD

A blessèd labor, my most sovereign lord.
Amongst this princely heap, if any here
By false intelligence, or wrong surmise
Hold me a foe,
60If I unwittingly, or in my rage,
Have aught committed that is hardly borne
By any in this presence, I desire
To reconcile me to his friendly peace.
'Tis death to me to be at enmity;
65I hate it, and desire all good men’s love.
First, madam, I entreat true peace of you,
Which I will purchase with my duteous service;—
Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham,
If ever any grudge were lodged between us;—
70Of you and you, Lord Rivers and of Dorset,
That all without desert have frowned on me;—
Of you, Lord Woodeville and Lord Scales;— of you,
Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed, of all.
I do not know that Englishman alive
75With whom my soul is any jot at odds
More than the infant that is born tonight.
I thank my God for my humility.

RICHARD

What blessed work, my king. If there’s anyone among this princely group who mistakes me for an enemy—if by accident or in anger I have done anything to offend you—I want to join with you in peaceful friendship. It kills me to be enemies with you. I hate it and want all good men’s love. (to QUEEN ELIZABETH) First, madam, I want there to be peace between you and me, which I will buy with my obedient service to you. And peace with you, my noble cousin Buckingham, if you ever felt any grudge against me; and with you, Lord Rivers, and, Lord Grey, with you. In fact, I want to get along with everyone who has frowned on me without good cause—dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen, everyone. There is not an Englishman alive with whom I’m at odds, anymore than a newborn baby would be. I thank God for my humbleness.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

A holy day shall this be kept hereafter.
I would to God all strifes were well compounded.
80My sovereign lord, I do beseech your Highness
To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Today shall always be remembered as a holy day. If only all struggles ended this well. One more thing, my dear majesty. Please pardon our brother Clarence.

RICHARD

Why, madam, have I offered love for this,
To be so flouted in this royal presence?
Who knows not that the gentle duke is dead?

RICHARD

Why, madam, have I offered you my love only to be flouted in front of the king? Who doesn’t know that the good duke is dead?
They all start
They all start.
85You do him injury to scorn his corse.
You do him wrong to laugh at his corpse.