Open Source Shakespeare

Speeches (Lines) for First Murderer
in "Richard III"

Total: 33

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I 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 laid in darkness,
I do beweep to many simple gulls
Namely, to Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
And say it is 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, Vaughan, Grey:
But 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 villany
With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.
[Enter two Murderers]
But, soft! here come my executioners.
How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates!
Are you now going to dispatch this deed?

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



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well thought upon; I have it here about me.
[Gives the warrant]
When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.

First Murderer. Tush!
Fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
Talkers are no good doers: be assured
We come to use our hands and not our tongues.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes drop tears:
I like you, lads; about your business straight;
Go, go, dispatch.

First Murderer. We will, my noble lord.



(stage directions). [Enter the two Murderers]

First Murderer. Ho! who's here?



Sir Robert Brakenbury. In God's name what are you, and how came you hither?

First Murderer. I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.



Sir Robert Brakenbury. I am, in this, commanded to deliver
The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands:
I will not reason what is meant hereby,
Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
Here are the keys, there sits the duke asleep:
I'll to the king; and signify to him
That thus I have resign'd my charge to you.

First Murderer. Do so, it is a point of wisdom: fare you well.



Second Murderer. What, shall we stab him as he sleeps?

First Murderer. No; then he will say 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.



Second Murderer. When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake till
the judgment-day.

First Murderer. Why, then he will say we stabbed him sleeping.



Second Murderer. The urging of that word 'judgment' hath bred a kind
of remorse in me.

First Murderer. What, art thou afraid?



Second Murderer. Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be
damned for killing him, from which no warrant can defend us.

First Murderer. I thought thou hadst been resolute.



Second Murderer. So I am, to let him live.

First Murderer. Back to the Duke of Gloucester, tell him so.



Second Murderer. I pray thee, stay a while: I hope my holy humour
will change; 'twas wont to hold me but while one
would tell twenty.

First Murderer. How dost thou feel thyself now?



Second Murderer. 'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet
within me.

First Murderer. Remember our reward, when the deed is done.



Second Murderer. 'Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.

First Murderer. Where is thy conscience now?



Second Murderer. In the Duke of Gloucester's purse.

First Murderer. So when he opens his purse to give us our reward,
thy conscience flies out.



Second Murderer. Let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.

First Murderer. How if it come to thee again?



Second Murderer. I'll not meddle with it: it is a dangerous thing: it
makes a man a coward: a man cannot steal, but it
accuseth him; he cannot swear, but it cheques him;
he cannot lie with his neighbour's wife, but it
detects him: 'tis a blushing shamefast spirit that
mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of
obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold
that I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it
is turned out of all towns and cities for a
dangerous thing; and every man that means to live
well endeavours to trust to himself and to live
without it.

First Murderer. 'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me
not to kill the duke.



Second Murderer. Take the devil in thy mind, and relieve him not: he
would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.

First Murderer. Tut, I am strong-framed, he cannot prevail with me,
I warrant thee.



Second Murderer. Spoke like a tail fellow that respects his
reputation. Come, shall we to this gear?

First Murderer. Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy
sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt
in the next room.



Second Murderer. O excellent devise! make a sop of him.

First Murderer. Hark! he stirs: shall I strike?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

First Murderer. Offended us you have not, but the king.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Are you call'd forth from out a world of men
To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
Where are the evidence that do accuse me?
What lawful quest have given their verdict up
Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounced
The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
Before I be convict by course of law,
To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
That you depart and lay no hands on me
The deed you undertake is damnable.

First Murderer. What we will do, we do upon command.



Second Murderer. And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
For false forswearing and for murder too:
Thou didst receive the holy sacrament,
To fight in quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

First Murderer. And, like a traitor to the name of God,
Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous blade
Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.



Second Murderer. Whom thou wert sworn to cherish and defend.

First Murderer. How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us,
When thou hast broke it in so dear degree?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
For Edward, for my brother, for his sake: Why, sirs,
He sends ye not to murder me for this
For in this sin he is as deep as I.
If God will be revenged for this deed.
O, know you yet, he doth it publicly,
Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
He needs no indirect nor lawless course
To cut off those that have offended him.

First Murderer. Who made thee, then, a bloody minister,
When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.

First Murderer. Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy fault,
Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Tell him, when that our princely father York
Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
And charged us from his soul to love each other,
He little thought of this divided friendship:
Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.

First Murderer. Ay, millstones; as be lesson'd us to weep.



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). O, do not slander him, for he is kind.

First Murderer. Right,
As snow in harvest. Thou deceivest thyself:
'Tis he that sent us hither now to slaughter thee.



Second Murderer. Why, so he doth, now he delivers thee
From this world's thraldom to the joys of heaven.

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



George Plantagenet (Duke of Clarence). Relent, and save your souls.

First Murderer. Relent! 'tis cowardly and womanish.



Second Murderer. Look behind you, my lord.

First Murderer. Take that, and that: if all this will not do,
[Stabs him]
I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.



(stage directions). [Re-enter First Murderer]

First Murderer. How now! what mean'st thou, that thou help'st me not?
By heavens, the duke shall know how slack thou art!



(stage directions). [Exit]

First Murderer. So do not I: go, coward as thou art.
Now must I hide his body in some hole,
Until the duke take order for his burial:
And when I have my meed, I must away;
For this will out, and here I must not stay.