Richard III

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter a Messenger to the door of Hastings


My lord! My lord!


(within) Who knocks?


One from the Lord Stanley.

Enter Lord Hastings


What is't a clock?


Upon the stroke of four.


Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?


So it appears by that I have to say:

First, he commends him to your noble self.
commend (v.) 1 convey greetings, present kind regards See Topics: Frequency count


And then?


Then certifies your lordship that this night
certify (v.) inform, assure, demonstrate to

He dreamt the boar had razed off his helm.
helm (n.) 1 helmet
raze, raze off (v.) take off, pluck off

Besides, he says there are two councils kept;

And that may be determined at the one
determine (v.) 2 resolve, decide, settle [on]

Which may make you and him to rue at th' other.

Therefore he sends to know your lordship's pleasure,

If you will presently take horse with him
presently (adv.) 1 immediately, instantly, at once See Topics: Frequency count

And with all speed post with him toward the north
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

To shun the danger that his soul divines.


Go, fellow, go, return unto thy lord;

Bid him not fear the separated council.

His honour and myself are at the one,

And at the other is my good friend Catesby;

Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us

Whereof I shall not have intelligence.
intelligence (n.) 1 information, news, communication

Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance;
instance (n.) 3 reason, motive, cause

And for his dreams, I wonder he's so simple

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.


I'll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.


Enter Catesby


Many good morrows to my noble lord!


Good morrow, Catesby; you are early stirring.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

What news, what news, in this our tottering state?


It is a reeling world indeed, my lord,

And I believe will never stand upright

Till Richard wear the garland of the realm.
garland (n.) 1 wreath of victory


How! Wear the garland! Dost thou mean the crown?


Ay, my good lord.


I'll have this crown of mine cut from my shoulders

Before I'll see the crown so foul misplaced.

But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?


Ay, on my life, and hopes to find you forward
forward (adj.) 1 ready, eager, inclined

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 my adversaries;
still (adv.) 1 constantly, always, continually See Topics: Frequency count

But that I'll give my voice on Richard's side
voice (n.) 1 vote, official support See Topics: Frequency count

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 twelvemonth hence,

That they which brought me in my master's hate,

I live to look upon their tragedy.

Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older,

I'll send some packing that yet think not on't.


'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, that 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 –

(Aside) For they account his head upon the Bridge.


I know they do, and I have well deserved it.

Enter Earl of Derby

Come on, come on! Where is your boar-spear, man?

Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?
unprovided (adj.) 1 unprepared, unprotected, undefended


My lord, good morrow. Good morrow, Catesby.
morrow (n.) morning See Topics: Frequency count

You may jest on, but, by the Holy Rood,

I do not like these several councils, I.
several (adj.) 1 separate, different, distinct See Topics: Frequency count


My lord, I hold my life as dear as you do yours,

And never in my days, I do protest,

Was it so precious to me as '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 states were sure,
jocund (adj.) merry, joyful, cheerful

And they indeed had no cause to mistrust;

But yet you see how soon the day o'ercast.

This sudden stab of rancour I misdoubt.
misdoubt (v.) 1 distrust, suspect, have misgivings about
rancour (n.) bitterness, hatred, malice

Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward!

What, shall we toward the Tower? The day is spent.
spend (v.) 5 be wasted, go by, pass by


Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
wot (v.) 1 learn, know, be told See Topics: Frequency count

Today the lords you talk of are beheaded.


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 also named Hastings
pursuivant (n.) royal messenger, state messenger [with power to execute warrants]


Go on before. I'll talk with this good fellow.

Exeunt Earl of Derby and Catesby

How now, Hastings! 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!
content (n.) 2 contentment, peace of mind
hold (v.) 1 keep, maintain, observe


Gramercy, Hastings. There, drink that for me.

Throws him his purse


I thank your honour.

Exit Pursuivant

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;
exercise (n.) 5 sermon, homily, religious discourse

Come the next Sabbath, and I will content you.
content (v.) 4 reward, compensate, recompense

He whispers in his ear


I'll wait upon your lordship.

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.
shriving (adj.) for confession and absolution


Good faith, and when I met this holy man,

The men you talk of came into my mind.

What, go you toward the Tower?


I do, my lord, but long I shall not stay there.

I shall return before your lordship thence.


Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.
like (adv.) 1 likely, probable / probably See Topics: Frequency count



And supper too, although thou know'st it not.

– Come, will you go?


                         I'll wait upon your lordship.


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