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  • Title: Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)
  • Editor: Adrian Kiernander

  • Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Adrian Kiernander
    Peer Reviewed

    Richard the Third (Quarto 1, 1597)

    Enter a Messenger to Lo: Hastings.
    1795Mes. What ho my Lord.
    Hast. Who knockes at the dore.
    Mess. A messenger from the Lo: Stanley. Enter L. Hast.
    F3 Hast.
    The Tragedy
    Hast. Whats a clocke?
    Mess. Vpon the stroke of foure.
    Hast. Cannot thy Master sleepe these tedious nights?
    Mess. So it should seeme by that I haue to say:
    First he commends him to your noble Lordship.
    1805Hast. And then. Mes. And then he sends you word.
    He dreamt to night the beare had raste his helme:
    Besides, he saies there are two councels held,
    And that may be determined at the one,
    1810Which may make you and him to rewe at the other,
    Therefore he sends to know your Lordships pleasure:
    If presently you will take horse with him,
    And with all speede post into the North,
    To shun the danger that his soule diuines.
    1815Hast. Go fellow go, returne vnto thy Lord,
    Bid him not feare the seperated counsels:
    His honour and my selfe are at the one,
    And at the other, is my seruant Catesby:
    Where nothing can proceede that toucheth vs,
    1820Whereof I shall not haue intelligence.
    Tell him his feares are shallow, wanting instance.
    And for his dreames, I wonder he is so fond,
    To trust the mockery of vnquiet slumbers,
    To flie the boare, before the boare pursues vs,
    1825Were to incense the boare to follow vs,
    And make pursuite where he did meane no chase:
    Go bid thy Master rise and come to me,
    And we will both together to the tower,
    Where he shall see the boare will vse vs kindely.
    1830Mess. My gratious Lo: Ile tell him what you say. Enter( Cates.
    Cat. Many good morrowes to my noble Lo:
    Hast. Good morrow Catesby, you are early stirring,
    1835What newes what newes, in this our tottering state?
    Cat. It is a reeling world indeede my Lo:
    And I beleeue it will neuer stand vpright,
    Till Richard weare the garland of the Realme.
    Hast. Howe? weare the garland? doest thou meane the (crowne?
    Cat. I my good Lord.
    of Richard the third.
    Hast. Ile haue this crowne of mine, cut from my shoul-(ders
    Ere I will see the crowne so foule misplaste:
    But canst thou guesse that he doth aime at it.
    1845Cat. Vpon my life my Lo: and hopes to find you forward
    Vpon his party for the gaine thereof,
    And thereupon he sends you this good newes,
    That this same very day, your enemies,
    The kindred of the Queene must die at Pomfret.
    1850Hast. Indeede I am no mourner for that newes,
    Because they haue beene still mine enemies:
    But that Ile giue my voice on Richards side,
    To barre my Masters heires in true discent,
    God knowes I will not doe it to the death.
    1855Cat. God keepe your Lordship in that gratious minde.
    Hast. But I shall laugh at this a tweluemonth hence,
    That they who brought me in my Masters hate,
    I liue to looke vpon their tragedy:
    1860.1I tell thee Catesby. Cat. What my Lord?
    Hast. Ere a fortnight make me elder,
    1861.1Ile send some packing, that yet thinke not on it.
    Cat. Tis a vile thing to die my gratious Lord,
    When men are vnprepard and looke not for it.
    Hast. O Monstrous monstrous, and so fals it out
    1865With Riuers, Vaughan, Gray, and so twill doe
    With some men els, who thinke themselues as safe
    As thou, and I, who as thou knowest are deare
    To Princely Richard, and to Buckingham.
    Cat. The Princes both make high account of you,
    1870For they account his head vpon the bridge.
    Hast. I know they doe, and I haue well deserued it.
    Enter Lord Stanley.
    What my Lo: where is your boare-speare man?
    Feare you the boare and go so vnprouided?
    1875Stan. My Lo: good morrow: good morrow Catesby:
    You may iest on: but by the holy roode.
    I doe not like these seuerall councels I.
    Hast. My Lo: I hould my life as deare as you doe yours,
    And neuer in my life I doe protest,
    The Tragedy
    1880Was it more pretious to me then it is now:
    Thinke you, but that I know our state secure,
    I would be so triumphant as I am?
    Stan. The Lords at Pomfret when they rode from Lon-(don,
    Were iocund, and supposde their states was sure,
    1885And they indeed had no cause to mistrust:
    But yet you see how soone the day ouercast,
    This sodaine scab of rancour I misdoubt,
    Pray God, I say, I proue a needelesse coward:
    But come my Lo: shall we to the tower?
    1890Hast. I go: but stay, heare you not the newes,
    This day those men you talkt of, are beheaded.
    Sta. They for their truth might better weare their heads,
    Then some that haue accusde them weare their hats:
    1895But come my Lo: let vs away. Enter Hastin. a Purssuant.
    Hast. Go you before, Ile follow presently.
    Hast. Well met Hastings, how goes the world with thee?
    1900Pur. The better that it please your Lo: to aske.
    Hast. I tell thee fellow tis better with me now.
    Then when I met thee last where now we meete:
    Then was I going prisoner to the tower,
    By the suggestion of the Queenes allies:
    1905But now I tell thee (keepe it to thy selfe.)
    This day those enemies are put to death,
    And I in better state then euer I was.
    Pur. God hold it to your honors good content.
    Hast. Gramercy Hastings hold spend thou that. He giues ( him his purse.
    Pur. God saue your Lordship.
    1915Hast. What Sir Iohn, you are wel met, ( Enter a priest.
    I am beholding to you for your last daies exercise:
    Come the next sabaoth and I will content you. He whis-( pers in his eare.
    Enter Buckingham.
    1920Buc. How now Lo: Chamberlaine, what talking with a (priest,
    Your friends at Pomfret they doe need the priest
    Your honour hath no shriuing worke in hand.
    Hast. Good faith and when I met this holy man,
    Those men you talke of came into my minde:
    1925What, go you to the tower my Lord?
    of Richard the third.
    Buck. I doe, but long I shall not stay,
    I shall returne before your Lordship thence.
    Hast. Tis like enough, for I stay dinner there.
    Buck. And supper too, although thou knowest it not:
    1930Come shall we go along? Exeunt.