Act III, Scene 4
The Tower of London.
- Enter Buckingham, Stanley, Earl of Derby,
- Hastings, Bishop of Ely, Norfolk, Ratcliffe,
- Lovel, with others, at a table.
Hastings1 - 3
- Now, noble peers, the cause why we are met
- Is to determine of the coronation.
- In God’s name speak, when is the royal day?
Duke of Buckingham4
- Is all things ready for the royal time?
- It is, and wants but nomination.
- Tomorrow then I judge a happy day.
Duke of Buckingham7 - 8
- Who knows the Lord Protector’s mind herein?
- Who is most inward with the noble Duke?
- Your Grace, we think, should soonest know his mind.
Duke of Buckingham10 - 13
- We know each other’s faces; for our hearts,
- He knows no more of mine than I of yours,
- Or I of his, my lord, than you of mine.
- Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.
Hastings14 - 20
- I thank his Grace, I know he loves me well;
- 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 honorable lords, may name the time,
- And in the Duke’s behalf I’ll give my voice,
- Which I presume he’ll take in gentle part.
- Enter Gloucester.
- In happy time, here comes the Duke himself.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester22 - 25
- My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow.
- I have been long a sleeper; but I trust
- My absence doth neglect no great design,
- Which by my presence might have been concluded.
Duke of Buckingham26 - 28
- Had you not come upon your cue, my lord,
- William Lord Hastings had pronounc’d your part,
- I mean your voice for crowning of the King.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester29 - 33
- Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder,
- His lordship knows me well and loves me well.
- My Lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn,
- I saw good strawberries in your garden there.
- I do beseech you send for some of them.
- Marry, and will, my lord, with all my heart.
- Exit Bishop.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester35 - 40
- Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you.
- Drawing him aside.
- Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business,
- And finds the testy gentleman so hot
- That he will lose his head ere give consent
- His master’s child, as worshipfully he terms it,
- Shall lose the royalty of England’s throne.
Duke of Buckingham41
- Withdraw yourself a while, I’ll go with you.
- Exeunt Gloucester and Buckingham.
Stanley42 - 45
- We have not yet set down this day of triumph.
- Tomorrow, in my judgment, is too sudden,
- For I myself am not so well provided
- As else I would be, were the day prolong’d.
- Enter the Bishop of Ely.
Ely46 - 47
- Where is my lord the Duke of Gloucester?
- I have sent for these strawberries.
Hastings48 - 53
- His Grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morning;
- There’s some conceit or other likes him well,
- When that he bids good morrow with such spirit.
- I think there’s never a man in Christendom
- Can lesser hide his love or hate than he,
- For by his face straight shall you know his heart.
Stanley54 - 55
- What of his heart perceive you in his face
- By any livelihood he show’d today?
Hastings56 - 57
- Marry, that with no man here he is offended;
- For were he, he had shown it in his looks.
- I pray God he be not, I say.
- Enter Richard of Gloucester and Buckingham
Richard, Duke of Gloucester59 - 62
- 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
- Upon my body with their hellish charms?
Hastings63 - 66
- The tender love I bear your Grace, my lord,
- Makes me most forward in this princely presence
- To doom th’ offenders, whosoe’er they be:
- I say, my lord, they have deserved death.
Richard, Duke of Gloucester67 - 72
- Then be your eyes the witness of their evil.
- Look 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,
- That by their witchcraft thus have marked me.
- If they have done this deed, my noble lord—
Richard, Duke of Gloucester74 - 79
- If? Thou protector of this damned strumpet,
- Talk’st thou to me of “ifs”? Thou art a traitor.
- Off with his head! Now by Saint Paul I swear
- I will not dine until I see the same.
- Lovel and Ratcliffe, look that it be done:
- The rest that love me, rise, and follow me.
- Exeunt. Manent Lovel and Ratcliffe with the
- Lord Hastings.
Hastings80 - 93
- Woe, woe for England, not a whit for me!
- For I, too fond, might have prevented this.
- Stanley did dream the boar did rase our helms,
- And I did scorn it and disdain to fly.
- Three times today my foot-cloth horse did scumble,
- And started when he look’d upon the Tower,
- As loath to bear me to the slaughter-house.
- O now I need the priest that spake to me!
- I now repent I told the pursuivant,
- As too triumphing, how mine enemies
- Today at Pomfret bloodily were butcher’d,
- And I myself secure, in grace and favor.
- O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse
- Is lighted on poor Hastings’ wretched head!
Ratcliffe94 - 95
- Come, come, dispatch, the Duke would be at dinner,
- Make a short shrift, he longs to see your head.
Hastings96 - 101
- O momentary grace of mortal men,
- Which we more hunt for than the grace of God!
- Who builds his hope 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.
- Come, come, dispatch, ’tis bootless to exclaim.
Hastings103 - 107
- O bloody Richard! Miserable England!
- I prophesy the fearfull’st time to thee
- That ever wretched age hath look’d upon.
- Come, lead me to the block; bear him my head.
- They smile at me who shortly shall be dead.