Please see the bottom of this page for full explanatory notes.
|ACT II SCENE III ||London. A street.|| |
| ||Enter two Citizens meeting.|| |
|First Citizen ||Neighbour, well met: whither away so fast?|| |
|Second Citizen ||I promise you, I scarcely know myself:|| |
| ||Hear you the news abroad?|| |
|First Citizen ||Ay, that the king is dead.|
|Second Citizen ||Bad news, by'r lady; seldom comes the better:|| || 5|
| ||I fear, I fear 'twill prove a troublous world.|| |
| ||Enter another Citizen.|| |
|Third Citizen ||Neighbours, God speed!|| |
|First Citizen ||Give you good morrow, sir.|| |
|Third Citizen ||Doth this news hold of good King Edward's death?|
|Second Citizen ||Ay, sir, it is too true; God help the while!|| || 10|
|Third Citizen ||Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.|| |
|First Citizen ||No, no; by God's good grace his son shall reign.|| |
|Third Citizen ||Woe to the land that's govern'd by a child!|| |
|Second Citizen ||In him there is a hope of government,|
| ||That in his nonage council under him,|| || 15|
| ||And in his full and ripen'd years himself,|| |
| ||No doubt, shall then and till then govern well.|| |
|First Citizen ||So stood the state when Henry the Sixth|| |
| ||Was crown'd in Paris but at nine months old.|
|Third Citizen ||Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot;|| |
| ||For then this land was famously enrich'd|| |
| ||With politic grave counsel; then the king|| |
| ||Had virtuous uncles to protect his grace.|| || 23|
|First Citizen ||Why, so hath this, both by the father and mother.|
|Third Citizen ||Better it were they all came by the father,|| |
| ||Or by the father there were none at all;|| |
| ||For emulation now, who shall be nearest,|| |
| ||Will touch us all too near, if God prevent not.|| |
| ||O, full of danger is the Duke of Gloucester!|
| ||And the queen's sons and brothers haught and proud:|| |
| ||And were they to be ruled, and not to rule,|| |
| ||This sickly land might solace as before.|| || 32|
|First Citizen ||Come, come, we fear the worst; all shall be well.|| |
|Third Citizen ||When clouds appear, wise men put on their cloaks;|
| ||When great leaves fall, the winter is at hand;|| |
| ||When the sun sets, who doth not look for night?|| |
| ||Untimely storms make men expect a dearth.|| |
| ||All may be well; but, if God sort it so,|| |
| ||'Tis more than we deserve, or I expect.|
|Second Citizen ||Truly, the souls of men are full of dread:|| |
| ||Ye cannot reason almost with a man|| || 41|
| ||That looks not heavily and full of fear.|| |
|Third Citizen ||Before the times of change, still is it so:|| |
| ||By a divine instinct men's minds mistrust|
| ||Ensuing dangers; as by proof, we see|| |
| ||The waters swell before a boisterous storm.|| |
| ||But leave it all to God. whither away?|| |
|Second Citizen ||Marry, we were sent for to the justices.|| |
|Third Citizen ||And so was I: I'll bear you company.|
| ||Exeunt|| |
Richard III, Act 2, Scene 4
Explanatory Notes for Act 2, Scene 3
From King Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.
Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle
English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ;
Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ;
Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr.
Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt's invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.
2. Promise, assure.
5. By 'r lady, that is, by the Holy Virgin. Seldom comes the better, a proverb meaning good news is scarce. The here is the ablative of the demonstrative, and signifies with
comparatives the measure of excess or defect. The sooner the better = by how much the sooner by so much the better,
Lat. quo citius, eo melius.
11. See Ecclesiastes 10 : 16.
15. Nonage, minority.
18. God wot, God knows. Wot is the third person singular
present indicative of the verb. M. E. infinitive witen;
present tense (1) I wot, (2) thou wost (later wottest, (3) he wot
(later wotteth), plural witen; past tense, I wiste; past participle, wist. The A.-S. infinitive is witan; present (1) Ic wat, (2)
thu wast, (3) he wat, plural witen; past, wiste (also wisse), plural wiston; past participle, wist. Gerund, to witanne (modern
English, to wit).
23. Virtuous uncles, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester.
32. Solace, enjoy comfort.
41. Cannot . . . almost = can hardly. Almost frequently
follows the word which it qualifies.
How to cite the explanatory notes:
Shakespeare, William. Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1886. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < http://www.shakespeare-online.com/plays/richardiii_2_3.html >.
Richard III: Plot Summary
Richard III: Q & A
Famous Quotes from Richard III
Shakespeare's Sources for Richard III
Why Shakespeare is so Important
Shakespeare's Boss: The Master of Revels