More than I have said, loving countrymen...

Richard III

Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond

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Text

More than I have said, loving countrymen,

The leisure and enforcement of the time

Forbids to dwell upon: yet remember this,

God and our good cause fight upon our side;

The prayers of holy saints and wronged souls,

Like high-rear'd bulwarks, stand before our faces;

Richard except, those whom we fight against

Had rather have us win than him they follow:

For what is he they follow? truly, gentlemen,

A bloody tyrant and a homicide;

One raised in blood, and one in blood establish'd;

One that made means to come by what he hath,

And slaughter'd those that were the means to help him;

Abase foul stone, made precious by the foil

Of England's chair, where he is falsely set;

One that hath ever been God's enemy:

Then, if you fight against God's enemy,

God will in justice ward you as his soldiers;

If you do sweat to put a tyrant down,

You sleep in peace, the tyrant being slain;

If you do fight against your country's foes,

Your country's fat shall pay your pains the hire;

If you do fight in safeguard of your wives,

Your wives shall welcome home the conquerors;

If you do free your children from the sword,

Your children's children quit it in your age.

Then, in the name of God and all these rights,

Advance your standards, draw your willing swords.

For me, the ransom of my bold attempt

Shall be this cold corpse on the earth's cold face;

But if I thrive, the gain of my attempt

The least of you shall share his part thereof.

Sound drums and trumpets boldly and cheerfully;

God and Saint George! Richmond and victory!

Shakespeare, William. Richard III. http://shakespeare.mit.edu/richardiii/richardiii.5.3.html.

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