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Richard III - Act 3, scene 2
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Navigate this workRichard III - Act 3, scene 2
Act 3, scene 2
Responding to Catesby, Hastings flatly refuses to support Richard’s bid for the throne, and takes great satisfaction in the news that the Queen’s son and brother are to be beheaded that very day.Enter a Messenger to the door of Hastings.
MESSENGER, ⌜knocking⌝ 1762 My lord, my lord.
HASTINGS, ⌜within⌝ 1763 Who knocks?
MESSENGER 1764 One from the Lord Stanley.
HASTINGS, ⌜within⌝ 1765 What is ’t o’clock?
MESSENGER 1766 5Upon the stroke of four.
Enter Lord Hastings.
1767 Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?
1768 So it appears by that I have to say.
1769 First, he commends him to your noble self.
p. 147HASTINGS 1770 What then?
1771 10 Then certifies your Lordship that this night
1772 He dreamt the boar had razèd off his helm.
1773 Besides, he says there are two councils kept,
1774 And that may be determined at the one
1775 Which may make you and him to rue at th’ other.
1776 15 Therefore he sends to know your Lordship’s
1778 If you will presently take horse with him
1779 And with all speed post with him toward the north
1780 To shun the danger that his soul divines.
1781 20 Go, fellow, go. Return unto thy lord.
1782 Bid him not fear the separated council.
1783 His Honor and myself are at the one,
1784 And at the other is my good friend Catesby,
1785 Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us
1786 25 Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
1787 Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance.
1788 And for his dreams, I wonder he’s so simple
1789 To trust the mock’ry of unquiet slumbers.
1790 To fly the boar before the boar pursues
1791 30 Were to incense the boar to follow us
1792 And make pursuit where he did mean no chase.
1793 Go, bid thy master rise and come to me,
1794 And we will both together to the Tower,
1795 Where he shall see the boar will use us kindly.
1796 35 I’ll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.He exits.
1797 Many good morrows to my noble lord.
1798 Good morrow, Catesby. You are early stirring.
1799 What news, what news in this our tott’ring state?
1800 It is a reeling world indeed, my lord,
1801 40 And I believe will never stand upright
1802 Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
1803 How “wear the garland”? Dost thou mean the
CATESBY 1805 Ay, my good lord.
1806 45 I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders
1807 Before I’ll see the crown so foul misplaced.
1808 But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?
1809 Ay, on my life, and hopes to find you forward
1810 Upon his party for the gain thereof;
1811 50 And thereupon he sends you this good news,
1812 That this same very day your enemies,
1813 The kindred of the Queen, must die at Pomfret.
1814 Indeed, I am no mourner for that news,
1815 Because they have been still my adversaries.
1816 55 But that I’ll give my voice on Richard’s side
1817 To bar my master’s heirs in true descent,
1818 God knows I will not do it, to the death.
1819 God keep your Lordship in that gracious mind.
1820 But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence,
1821 60 That they which brought me in my master’s hate,
1822 I live to look upon their tragedy.
1823 Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older
1824 I’ll send some packing that yet think not on ’t.
1825 ’Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord,
1826 65 When men are unprepared and look not for it.
1827 O monstrous, monstrous! And so falls it out
1828 With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey; and so ’twill do
1829 With some men else that think themselves as safe
1830 As thou and I, who, as thou know’st, are dear
1831 70 To princely Richard and to Buckingham.
1832 The Princes both make high account of you—
1833 ⌜Aside.⌝ For they account his head upon the Bridge.
1834 I know they do, and I have well deserved it.
Enter Lord Stanley.
1835 Come on, come on. Where is your boar-spear, man?
1836 75 Fear you the boar and go so unprovided?
1837 My lord, good morrow.—Good morrow, Catesby.—
1838 You may jest on, but, by the Holy Rood,
1839 I do not like these several councils, I.
1840 My lord, I hold my life as dear as ⟨you do⟩ yours,
1841 80 And never in my days, I do protest,
1842 Was it so precious to me as ’tis now.
1843 Think you but that I know our state secure,
1844 I would be so triumphant as I am?
1845 The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London,
1846 85 Were jocund and supposed their states were sure,
1847 And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;
1848 But yet you see how soon the day o’ercast.
1849 This sudden stab of rancor I misdoubt.
1850 Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!
1851 90 What, shall we toward the Tower? The day is spent.
1852 Come, come. Have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
1853 Today the lords you ⟨talked⟩ of are beheaded.
1854 They, for their truth, might better wear their heads
1855 Than some that have accused them wear their hats.
1856 95 But come, my lord, let’s away.
Enter a Pursuivant.
1857 Go on before. I’ll talk with this good fellow.
Lord Stanley and Catesby exit.
1858 How now, sirrah? How goes the world with thee?
1859 The better that your Lordship please to ask.
1860 I tell thee, man, ’tis better with me now
1861 100 Than when thou met’st me last where now we meet.
1862 Then was I going prisoner to the Tower
1863 By the suggestion of the Queen’s allies.
1864 But now, I tell thee—keep it to thyself—
1865 This day those enemies are put to death,
1866 105 And I in better state than e’er I was.
1867 God hold it, to your Honor’s good content!
1868 Gramercy, fellow. There, drink that for me.
Throws him his purse.
PURSUIVANT 1869 I thank your Honor.Pursuivant exits.
Enter a Priest.
1870 Well met, my lord. I am glad to see your Honor.
1871 110 I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.
p. 1551872 I am in your debt for your last exercise.
1873 Come the next sabbath, and I will content you.
PRIEST 1874 I’ll wait upon your Lordship.⌜Priest exits.⌝
1875 What, talking with a priest, Lord Chamberlain?
1876 115 Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest;
1877 Your Honor hath no shriving work in hand.
1878 Good faith, and when I met this holy man,
1879 The men you talk of came into my mind.
1880 What, go you toward the Tower?
1881 120 I do, my lord, but long I cannot stay there.
1882 I shall return before your Lordship thence.
1883 Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.
1884 And supper too, although thou know’st it not.—
1885 Come, will you go?
HASTINGS 1886 125 I’ll wait upon your Lordship.