Please see the bottom of this page for full explanatory notes.
|ACT III SCENE IV||The Tower of London.|
|Enter BUCKINGHAM, DERBY, HASTINGS, the BISHOP OFELY, RATCLIFF, LOVEL, with others, and take their seats at a table.|
|HASTINGS||My lords, at once: the cause why we are met|
|Is, to determine of the coronation.|
|In God’s name, speak: when is the royal day?|
|BUCKINGHAM||Are all things fitting for that royal time?|
|DERBY||It is, and wants but nomination.||5|
|BISHOP OF ELY||To-morrow, then, I judge a happy day.|
|BUCKINGHAM||Who knows the lord protector’s mind herein?|
|Who is most inward with the royal duke?|
|BISHOP OF ELY||Your grace, we think, should soonest know his mind.|
|BUCKINGHAM||Who, I, my lord I we know each other’s faces,||10|
|But for our hearts, he knows no more of mine,|
|Than I of yours;|
|Nor I no more of his, than you of mine.|
|Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.|
|HASTINGS||I thank his grace, I know he loves me well;||15|
|But, for his purpose in the coronation.|
|I have not sounded him, nor he deliver’d|
|His gracious pleasure any way therein:|
|But you, my noble lords, may name the time;|
|And in the duke’s behalf I’ll give my voice,||20|
|Which, I presume, he’ll take in gentle part.|
|BISHOP OF ELY||Now in good time, here comes the duke himself.|
|GLOUCESTER||My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.|
|I have been long a sleeper; but, I hope,|
|My absence doth neglect no great designs,||25|
|Which by my presence might have been concluded.|
|BUCKINGHAM||Had not you come upon your cue, my lord|
|William Lord Hastings had pronounced your part,–|
|I mean, your voice,–for crowning of the king.|
|GLOUCESTER||Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder;||30|
|His lordship knows me well, and loves me well.|
|HASTINGS||I thank your grace.|
|GLOUCESTER||My lord of Ely!|
|BISHOP OF ELY||My lord?|
|GLOUCESTER||When I was last in Holborn,||35|
|I saw good strawberries in your garden there|
|I do beseech you send for some of them.|
|BISHOP OF ELY||Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.|
|GLOUCESTER||Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.|
|Drawing him aside.||40|
Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business,
|And finds the testy gentleman so hot,|
|As he will lose his head ere give consent|
|His master’s son, as worshipful as he terms it,|
|Shall lose the royalty of England’s throne.|
|BUCKINGHAM||Withdraw you hence, my lord, I’ll follow you.||45|
|Exit GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM following.|
|DERBY||We have not yet set down this day of triumph.|
|To-morrow, in mine opinion, is too sudden;|
|For I myself am not so well provided|
|As else I would be, were the day prolong’d.|
|Re-enter BISHOP OF ELY|
|BISHOP OF ELY||Where is my lord protector? I have sent for these||50|
|HASTINGS||His grace looks cheerfully and smooth to-day;|
|There’s some conceit or other likes him well,|
|When he doth bid good morrow with such a spirit.|
|I think there’s never a man in Christendom||55|
|That can less hide his love or hate than he;|
|For by his face straight shall you know his heart.|
|DERBY||What of his heart perceive you in his face|
|By any likelihood he show’d to-day?|
|HASTINGS||Marry, that with no man here he is offended;||60|
|For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.|
|DERBY||I pray God he be not, I say.|
|Re-enter GLOUCESTER and BUCKINGHAM.|
|GLOUCESTER||I pray you all, tell me what they deserve|
|That do conspire my death with devilish plots|
|Of damned witchcraft, and that have prevail’d||65|
|Upon my body with their hellish charms?|
|HASTINGS||The tender love I bear your grace, my lord,|
|Makes me most forward in this noble presence|
|To doom the offenders, whatsoever they be|
|I say, my lord, they have deserved death.||70|
|GLOUCESTER||Then be your eyes the witness of this ill:|
|See how I am bewitch’d; behold mine arm|
|Is, like a blasted sapling, wither’d up:|
|And this is Edward’s wife, that monstrous witch,|
|Consorted with that harlot strumpet Shore,||75|
|That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.|
|HASTINGS||If they have done this thing, my gracious lord–|
|GLOUCESTER||If I thou protector of this damned strumpet–|
|Tellest thou me of ‘ifs’? Thou art a traitor:|
|Off with his head! Now, by Saint Paul I swear,||80|
|I will not dine until I see the same.|
|Lovel and Ratcliff, look that it be done:|
|The rest, that love me, rise and follow me.|
|Exeunt all but HASTINGS, RATCLIFF, and LOVEL.|
|HASTINGS||Woe, woe for England! not a whit for me;|
|For I, too fond, might have prevented this.||85|
|Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm;|
|But I disdain’d it, and did scorn to fly:|
|Three times to-day my foot-cloth horse did stumble,|
|And startled, when he look’d upon the Tower,|
|As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.||90|
|O, now I want the priest that spake to me:|
|I now repent I told the pursuivant|
|As ’twere triumphing at mine enemies,|
|How they at Pomfret bloodily were butcher’d,|
|And I myself secure in grace and favour.||95|
|O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse|
|Is lighted on poor Hastings’ wretched head!|
|RATCLIFF||Dispatch, my lord; the duke would be at dinner:|
|Make a short shrift; he longs to see your head.|
|HASTINGS||O momentary grace of mortal men,||100|
|Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!|
|Who builds his hopes in air of your good looks,|
|Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast,|
|Ready, with every nod, to tumble down|
|Into the fatal bowels of the deep.||105|
|LOVEL||Come, come, dispatch; ’tis bootless to exclaim.|
|HASTINGS||O bloody Richard! miserable England!|
|I prophesy the fearful’st time to thee|
|That ever wretched age hath look’d upon.|
|Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.||110|
|They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.|
Richard III, Act 3, Scene 5
Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 4
From King Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.
Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ; Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr. Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt’s invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.
2. Determine of = decide about.
5. Wants. This is more probably intransitive than impersonal; = is wanting.
8. Inward, intimate.
25. Neglect, cause to be neglected.
27. Upon your cue. The last few words of a speech, by which an actor knows when his part is coming, are called his cue. Fr.queue, a tail.
33. The Bishop of Ely was John Morton, afterwards Archbishop of Canterbury. Sir Thomas More, in early life, was a member of his household, and no doubt learned from his lips many of the incidents told in his Life of Richard III.
37. Marry and will = and so I will.
45. Prolong’d, put off.
59. Likelihood, sign from which any inference could be drawn.
60. Marry = indeed, to be sure. This exclamation is derived from the name of the Virgin Mary.
75. Consorted, allied, associated.
85. Fond, foolish.
87. My foot-cloth horse = my horse with its housings or trappings. The foot-cloth was the name given to such trappings, or caparison, of a horse as hung down near the ground and were used only by the nobility.
93. Triumphing = triumphant.
99. Shrift, last confession.
100. Momentary grace, favor lasting but for a moment.
102. Cf. our phrase to build castles in the air.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1886.