Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 1

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter a MESSENGER at door of HASTINGS
A MESSENGER enters and goes to Hastings’s door.

MESSENGER

(knocking) My lord, my lord.

MESSENGER

(knocking) My lord, my lord.

HASTINGS

(within) Who knocks?

HASTINGS

(offstage) Who’s knocking?

MESSENGER

One from the Lord Stanley.

MESSENGER

A messenger from Lord Stanley.

HASTINGS

(within) What is ‘t o’clock?

HASTINGS

(offstage)What time is it?

MESSENGER

5Upon the stroke of four.

MESSENGER

Four o'clock in the morning.
Enter HASTINGS
HASTINGS Enter

HASTINGS

Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?

HASTINGS

Can’t Lord Stanley sleep?

MESSENGER

So it appears by that I have to say.
First, he commends him to your noble self.

MESSENGER

I guess not—for good reason, as you’ll soon hear. First, he sends his regards.

HASTINGS

What then?

HASTINGS

And then?

MESSENGER

10Then certifies your Lordship that this night
He dreamt the boar had razèd his helm
Besides, he says there are two councils kept,
And that may be determined at the one
Which may make you and him to rue at th' other.
15Therefore he sends to know your Lordship’s pleasure,
If you will presently take horse with him
And with all speed post with him toward the north
To shun the danger that his soul divines.

MESSENGER

And then he said to tell you that tonight he dreamed the duke of Gloucester cut off his helmet—that is, his head. Besides that, he says that two meetings are going to be held tomorrow, and something may be decided at one of them that may make you and him, who are at the other, sorry. He wants to know if instead of going to the meeting, you’ll get on your horse and ride north with him to get out of harm’s way.