Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Act II, scenes i–ii

1

A blessèd labor, my most sovereign lord. Amongst this princely heap, if any here By false intelligence, or wrong surmise Hold me a foe, If 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. (Act II, Scene i, lines 56–63)

2

My brother killed no man; his fault was thought, And yet his punishment was bitter death. Who sued to me for him? Who, in my wrath, Kneeled at my feet, and bade me be advised? Who spoke of brotherhood? Who spoke of love? Who told me how the poor soul did forsake The mighty Warwick and did fight for me? (Act II, Scene ii, lines 79–89)

3

Was never mother had so dear a loss. Alas, I am the mother of these griefs. Their woes are parceled; mine are general. She for an Edward weeps, and so do I; I for a Clarence weep; so doth not she. These babes for Clarence weep and so do I; I for an Edward weep; so do not they. Alas, you three, on me, threefold distressed, Pour all your tears. I am your sorrow’s nurse, And I will pamper it with lamentations. (Act II, Scene i, lines 110–115)

4

Madam, bethink you, like a careful mother, Of the young prince your son. Send straight for him. Let him be crowned. In him your comfort lives. Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward’s grave And plant your joys in living Edward’s throne. (Act II, Scene ii, lines 96–100)