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STANLEY

     Most mighty sovereign,
You have no cause to hold my friendship doubtful.
I never was nor never will be false.

STANLEY

Most mighty sovereign, you have no reason to doubt my friendship. I was never disloyal, and I never will be.

RICHARD

Go then and muster men, but leave behind
500Your son George Stanley. Look your heart be firm.
Or else his head’s assurance is but frail.

RICHARD

Then go gather your men, but leave behind your son, George Stanley. Make sure your faith is firm, or he has little chance of keeping his head.

STANLEY

So deal with him as I prove true to you.

STANLEY

Treat him as my loyalty toward you calls for.
Exit
He exits.
Enter a MESSENGER
A MESSENGER enters.

MESSENGER

My gracious sovereign, now in Devonshire,
As I by friends am well advertisèd,
505Sir Edward Courtney and the haughty prelate,
Bishop of Exeter, his elder brother,
With many more confederates are in arms.

MESSENGER

My noble king, my friends have informed me that Sir Edward Courtney and his brother, the haughty Bishop of Exeter, are now in

Devonshire

Devonshire: a county in southwest England

Devonshire
, where they have assembled an army.
Enter SECOND MESSENGER
A SECOND MESSENGER enters.

SECOND MESSENGER

In Kent, my liege, the Guilfords are in arms,
And every hour more competitors
510Flock to the rebels, and their power grows strong.

SECOND MESSENGER

My king, the Guildfords in

Kent

Kent: a count ysoutheast of London

Kent
have armed themselves, and every hour new associates flock to their aid, and their army increases.
Enter THIRD MESSENGER
A THIRD MESSENGER enters.

THIRD MESSENGER

My lord, the army of great Buckingham—

THIRD MESSENGER

My lord, the duke of Buckingham’s army—

RICHARD

Out on you, owls! Nothing but songs of death.
He striketh him
There, take thou that till thou bring better news.

RICHARD

Enough, you

owls

The cry of the owl was thought to be a death omen.

owls
! Do you have nothing but songs of death? (he strikes the THIRD MESSENGER) Take that until you bring me better news.