Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 3

page Act 1 Scene 3 Page 15

Original Text

Modern Text

CATESBY

Madam, his majesty doth call for you,—
And for your Grace, —and yours, my gracious lords.

CATESBY

Madam, his majesty asks for you, and for you, Duke of Gloucester, and for you, my noble lords.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

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

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Catesby, we’ll be there soon.—Lords, will you come with me?

RIVERS

We wait upon your Grace.

RIVERS

We will wait on you, your majesty.
Exeunt all but RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester
Everyone but RICHARD exits.

RICHARD

330I 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,
335Namely, to Derby, 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 revenged on Rivers, Dorset, Grey;
340But 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 villainy
With odd old ends stolen out of Holy Writ,
And seem a saint when most I play the devil.

RICHARD

Incredible. I do the wrong and am the first to start quarrels. What I did in secret I blame on others. I cry about Clarence, whom I had imprisoned, in front of these simple fools—namely, Hastings, Derby and Buckingham—and tell them that the queen and her allies roused the king against my brother Clarence. They believe me and urge me to take revenge on Rivers, Vaughan, and Grey. But then I sigh and quote a chunk of the Bible—how God says do good in return for evil. Ha! Dressing my out-and-out wickedness in scraps of Scripture, I look like a saint exactly when I’m most like the devil.
Enter two MURDERERS
Two MURDERERS enter.
345But, soft! here come my executioners.—
How now, my hardy, stout, resolvèd mates?
Are you now going to dispatch this thing?
But quiet. Here come the murderers I’ve hired. How’s it going, hardy, reliable friends! Are you going to take care of this thing now?

FIRST MURDERER

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

FIRST MURDERER

We are, my lord. We’ve come to get the warrant so we can be let into his cell.