Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 4

page Act 1 Scene 4 Page 12

Original Text

Modern Text

CLARENCE

Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
(to SECOND MURDERER)
My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks.
250O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
Come thou on my side and entreat for me.
A begging prince what beggar pities not?

CLARENCE

No, sticking to your plan is beastly, savage, devilish. (to SECOND MURDERER) My friend, I detect some pity in your eyes. Please, please take my side and argue for my life. What beggar wouldn’t have sympathy for a prince reduced to begging?

SECOND MURDERER

Look behind you, my lord.

SECOND MURDERER

Look behind you, my lord.

FIRST MURDERER

Take that, and that. (stabs CLARENCE)
255If all this will not do,
I’ll drown you in the malmsey butt within.

FIRST MURDERER

Take that, and that. (he stabs CLARENCE) If this won’t do the job, I’ll drown you in the wine barrel in the next room.
Exit with the body
He exits with the body.

SECOND MURDERER

A bloody deed, and desperately dispatched.
How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
Of this most grievous murder.

SECOND MURDERER

Enter FIRST MURDERER
FIRST MURDERER returns.

FIRST MURDERER

260How now? What mean’st thou, that thou help’st me not?
By heavens, the duke shall know how slack you have been.

FIRST MURDERER

What’s going on? What did you mean by not helping me? By God, I’m going to tell the duke how slack you’ve been.

SECOND MURDERER

I would he knew that I had saved his brother.
Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say,
For I repent me that the duke is slain.

SECOND MURDERER

I wish you could tell him I saved his brother. Take the money yourself and tell him what I said. I’m sorry this duke was killed.
Exit
He exits.