William Shakespeare: Richard III, Act III, Scene II
Enter a Messenger
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.
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.
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.
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—
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.
I know they do; and I have well deserved it.
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.
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?
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.
Throws him his purse
Enter a Priest
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
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?