Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 11

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FIRST MURDERER

Right, as snow in harvest. Come, you deceive yourself.
'Tis he that sends us to destroy you here.

FIRST MURDERER

Yes, as kind as snow to a harvest. Come on, you’re fooling yourself. It’s Richard who sent us here to slaughter you.

CLARENCE

It cannot be, for he bewept my fortune,
And hugged me in his arms, and swore with sobs
230That he would labor my delivery.

CLARENCE

It cannot be. When I left him, he hugged me in his arms and swore between sobs that he would work to set me free.

SECOND MURDERER

Why, so he doth, when he delivers you
From this earth’s thralldom to the joys of heaven.

SECOND MURDERER

Well, that’s what he’s doing—making you free to enjoy heaven.

FIRST MURDERER

Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.

FIRST MURDERER

Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.

CLARENCE

Have you that holy feeling in your souls
235To counsel me to make my peace with God,
And art you yet to your own souls so blind
That thou will war with God by murd'ring me?
O sirs, consider: they that set you on
To do this deed will hate you for the deed.

CLARENCE

You have enough holy feeling to advise me to “make peace with God,” but you’re willing to go to war with God by murdering me? Oh sirs, consider this: those who sent you to do this deed will hate you for doing it.

SECOND MURDERER

240 (to FIRST MURDERER) What shall we do?

SECOND MURDERER

(to FIRST MURDERER) What should we do?

CLARENCE

     Relent, and save your souls.
Which of you—if you were a prince’s son
Being pent from liberty, as I am now—
If two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
Would not entreat for life? Ay, you would beg,
245Were you in my distress.

CLARENCE

Relent, and save your souls. If either of you were a prince’s son, and you were imprisoned as I am now, and two murderers like yourselves came to you—wouldn’t you beg for your life? Yes, you would beg, if you were in my position.

FIRST MURDERER

Relent? No. 'Tis cowardly and womanish.

FIRST MURDERER

Relent? No. That’s cowardly and womanish.