Plays  +  Sonnets  +  Poems  +  Concordance  +  Advanced Search  +  About OSS

Speeches (Lines) for Sir William Stanley
in "Richard III"

Total: 32

# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text



Duke of Buckingham. Good time of day unto your royal grace!

Sir William Stanley. God make your majesty joyful as you have been!



Queen Elizabeth. The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Derby.
To your good prayers will scarcely say amen.
Yet, Derby, notwithstanding she's your wife,
And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
I hate not you for her proud arrogance.

Sir William Stanley. I do beseech you, either not believe
The envious slanders of her false accusers;
Or, if she be accused in true report,
Bear with her weakness, which, I think proceeds
From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.



Lord (Earl) Rivers. Saw you the king to-day, my Lord of Derby?

Sir William Stanley. But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
Are come from visiting his majesty.



Lord Hastings. 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?

Sir William Stanley. My lord, good morrow; good morrow, Catesby:
You may jest on, but, by the holy rood,
I do not like these several councils, I.



Lord Hastings. 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?

Sir William Stanley. 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.



Lord Hastings. Come, come, have with you. Wot you what, my lord?
To-day the lords you talk of are beheaded.

Sir William Stanley. 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.



Duke of Buckingham. Are all things fitting for that royal time?

Sir William Stanley. It is, and wants but nomination.



(stage directions). [Exit GLOUCESTER, BUCKINGHAM following]

Sir William Stanley. 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.



Lord 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
That can less hide his love or hate than he;
For by his face straight shall you know his heart.

Sir William Stanley. What of his heart perceive you in his face
By any likelihood he show'd to-day?



Lord Hastings. Marry, that with no man here he is offended;
For, were he, he had shown it in his looks.

Sir William Stanley. I pray God he be not, I say.



(stage directions). [Enter LORD STANLEY]

Sir William Stanley. Let me but meet you, ladies, one hour hence,
And I'll salute your grace of York as mother,
And reverend looker on, of two fair queens.
Come, madam, you must straight to Westminster,
There to be crowned Richard's royal queen.



Queen Elizabeth. O Dorset, speak not to me, get thee hence!
Death and destruction dog thee at the heels;
Thy mother's name is ominous to children.
If thou wilt outstrip death, go cross the seas,
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell
Go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughter-house,
Lest thou increase the number of the dead;
And make me die the thrall of Margaret's curse,
Nor mother, wife, nor England's counted queen.

Sir William Stanley. Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son
To meet you on the way, and welcome you.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.



Duchess of York. O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
O my accursed womb, the bed of death!
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous.

Sir William Stanley. Come, madam, come; I in all haste was sent.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). I partly know the man: go, call him hither.
[Exit Page]
The deep-revolving witty Buckingham
No more shall be the neighbour to my counsel:
Hath he so long held out with me untired,
And stops he now for breath?
How now! what news with you?

Sir William Stanley. My lord, I hear the Marquis Dorset's fled
To Richmond, in those parts beyond the sea
Where he abides.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). My mind is changed, sir, my mind is changed.
How now, what news with you?

Sir William Stanley. None good, my lord, to please you with the hearing;
Nor none so bad, but it may well be told.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Hoyday, a riddle! neither good nor bad!
Why dost thou run so many mile about,
When thou mayst tell thy tale a nearer way?
Once more, what news?

Sir William Stanley. Richmond is on the seas.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
White-liver'd runagate, what doth he there?

Sir William Stanley. I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well, sir, as you guess, as you guess?

Sir William Stanley. Stirr'd up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Ely,
He makes for England, there to claim the crown.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Is the chair empty? is the sword unsway'd?
Is the king dead? the empire unpossess'd?
What heir of York is there alive but we?
And who is England's king but great York's heir?
Then, tell me, what doth he upon the sea?

Sir William Stanley. Unless for that, my liege, I cannot guess.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Unless for that he comes to be your liege,
You cannot guess wherefore the Welshman comes.
Thou wilt revolt, and fly to him, I fear.

Sir William Stanley. No, mighty liege; therefore mistrust me not.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Where is thy power, then, to beat him back?
Where are thy tenants and thy followers?
Are they not now upon the western shore.
Safe-conducting the rebels from their ships!

Sir William Stanley. No, my good lord, my friends are in the north.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Cold friends to Richard: what do they in the north,
When they should serve their sovereign in the west?

Sir William Stanley. They have not been commanded, mighty sovereign:
Please it your majesty to give me leave,
I'll muster up my friends, and meet your grace
Where and what time your majesty shall please.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, ay. thou wouldst be gone to join with Richmond:
I will not trust you, sir.

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



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Well,
Go muster men; but, hear you, leave behind
Your son, George Stanley: look your faith be firm.
Or else his head's assurance is but frail.

Sir William Stanley. So deal with him as I prove true to you.



(stage directions). [Enter DERBY and SIR CHRISTOPHER URSWICK]

Sir William Stanley. Sir Christopher, tell Richmond this from me:
That in the sty of this most bloody boar
My son George Stanley is frank'd up in hold:
If I revolt, off goes young George's head;
The fear of that withholds my present aid.
But, tell me, where is princely Richmond now?



Christopher Urswick. At Pembroke, or at Harford-west, in Wales.

Sir William Stanley. What men of name resort to him?



Christopher Urswick. Sir Walter Herbert, a renowned soldier;
Sir Gilbert Talbot, Sir William Stanley;
Oxford, redoubted Pembroke, Sir James Blunt,
And Rice ap Thomas with a valiant crew;
And many more of noble fame and worth:
And towards London they do bend their course,
If by the way they be not fought withal.

Sir William Stanley. Return unto thy lord; commend me to him:
Tell him the queen hath heartily consented
He shall espouse Elizabeth her daughter.
These letters will resolve him of my mind. Farewell.



Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Bid my guard watch; leave me.
Ratcliff, about the mid of night come to my tent
And help to arm me. Leave me, I say.
[Exeunt RATCLIFF and the other Attendants]
[Enter DERBY to RICHMOND in his tent, Lords and]
others attending]

Sir William Stanley. Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!



Richmond (Henry VII). All comfort that the dark night can afford
Be to thy person, noble father-in-law!
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?

Sir William Stanley. I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother
Who prays continually for Richmond's good:
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief,—for so the season bids us be,—
Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
And put thy fortune to the arbitrement
Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.
I, as I may—that which I would I cannot,—
With best advantage will deceive the time,
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms:
But on thy side I may not be too forward
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
Be executed in his father's sight.
Farewell: the leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so long sunder'd friends should dwell upon:
God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu: be valiant, and speed well!



Richmond (Henry VII). God and your arms be praised, victorious friends,
The day is ours, the bloody dog is dead.

Sir William Stanley. Courageous Richmond, well hast thou acquit thee.
Lo, here, this long-usurped royalty
From the dead temples of this bloody wretch
Have I pluck'd off, to grace thy brows withal:
Wear it, enjoy it, and make much of it.



Richmond (Henry VII). Great God of heaven, say Amen to all!
But, tell me, is young George Stanley living?

Sir William Stanley. He is, my lord, and safe in Leicester town;
Whither, if it please you, we may now withdraw us.



Richmond (Henry VII). What men of name are slain on either side?

Sir William Stanley. John Duke of Norfolk, Walter Lord Ferrers,
Sir Robert Brakenbury, and Sir William Brandon.

Return to the "Richard III" menu