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King Richard III: Act 3 Scene 2
Scene II Before Lord Hastings' house.
- [Enter a Messenger]
- What, ho! my lord!
- [Within] Who knocks at the door?
- A messenger from the Lord Stanley.
- [Enter HASTINGS]
- What is't o'clock?
- Upon the stroke of four.
- Cannot thy master sleep these tedious nights?
- So it should seem by that I have to say.
- First, he commends him to your noble lordship.
- And then?
- And then he sends you word
- He dreamt to-night the boar had razed his helm:
- Besides, he says there are two councils held;
- And that may be determined at the one
- which may make you and him to rue at the other.
- Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasure,
- If presently you will take horse with him,
- And with all speed post with him toward the north,
- To shun the danger that his soul divines.
- Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord;
- Bid him not fear the separated councils
- His honour and myself are at the one,
- And at the other is my servant Catesby
- Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
- Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
- Tell him his fears are shallow, wanting instance:
- And for his dreams, I wonder he is so fond
- To trust the mockery of unquiet slumbers
- To fly the boar before the boar pursues,
- Were to incense the boar to follow us
- And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
- Go, bid thy master rise and come to me
- And we will both together to the Tower,
- Where, he shall see, the boar will use us kindly.
- My gracious lord, I'll tell him what you say.
- [Enter CATESBY]
- Many good morrows to my noble lord!
- Good morrow, Catesby; you are early stirring
- What news, what news, in this our tottering state?
- It is a reeling world, indeed, my lord;
- And I believe twill never stand upright
- Tim Richard wear the garland of the realm.
- How! wear the garland! dost thou mean the crown?
- Ay, my good lord.
- I'll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
- Ere I will see the crown so foul misplaced.
- But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
- Ay, on my life; and hopes to find forward
- Upon his party for the gain thereof:
- And thereupon he sends you this good news,
- That this same very day your enemies,
- The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.
- Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
- Because they have been still mine enemies:
- But, that I'll give my voice on Richard's side,
- To bar my master's heirs in true descent,
- God knows I will not do it, to the death.
- God keep your lordship in that gracious mind!
- But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,
- That they who brought me in my master's hate
- I live to look upon their tragedy.
- I tell thee, Catesby--
- What, my lord?
- Ere a fortnight make me elder,
- I'll send some packing that yet think not on it.
- 'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
- When men are unprepared and look not for it.
- O monstrous, monstrous! and so falls it out
- With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey: and so 'twill do
- With some men else, who think themselves as safe
- As thou and I; who, as thou know'st, are dear
- To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
- The princes both make high account of you;
- For they account his head upon the bridge.
- I know they do; and I have well deserved it.
- [Enter STANLEY]
- Come on, come on; where is your boar-spear, man?
- Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?
- My lord, good morrow; good morrow, Catesby:
- You may jest on, but, by the holy rood,
- I do not like these several councils, I.
- My lord,
- I hold my life as dear as you do yours;
- And never in my life, I do protest,
- Was it more precious to me than 'tis now:
- Think you, but that I know our state secure,
- I would be so triumphant as I am?
- The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,
- Were jocund, and supposed their state was sure,
- And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
- But yet, you see how soon the day o'ercast.
- This sudden stag of rancour I misdoubt:
- Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
- What, shall we toward the Tower? the day is spent.
- Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
- To-day the lords you talk of are beheaded.
- LORD STANLEY
- They, for their truth, might better wear their heads
- Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
- But come, my lord, let us away.
- [Enter a Pursuivant]
- Go on before; I'll talk with this good fellow.
- [Exeunt STANLEY and CATESBY]
- How now, sirrah! how goes the world with thee?
- The better that your lordship please to ask.
- I tell thee, man, 'tis better with me now
- Than when I met thee last where now we meet:
- Then was I going prisoner to the Tower,
- By the suggestion of the queen's allies;
- But now, I tell thee--keep it to thyself--
- This day those enemies are put to death,
- And I in better state than e'er I was.
- God hold it, to your honour's good content!
- Gramercy, fellow: there, drink that for me.
- [Throws him his purse]
- God save your lordship!
- [Enter a Priest]
- Well met, my lord; I am glad to see your honour.
- I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.
- I am in your debt for your last exercise;
- Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.
- [He whispers in his ear]
- [Enter BUCKINGHAM]
- What, talking with a priest, lord chamberlain?
- Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
- Your honour hath no shriving work in hand.
- Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
- Those men you talk of came into my mind.
- What, go you toward the Tower?
- I do, my lord; but long I shall not stay
- I shall return before your lordship thence.
- 'Tis like enough, for I stay dinner there.
- [Aside] And supper too, although thou know'st it not.
- Come, will you go?
- I'll wait upon your lordship.