The messenger, now prospective assassin, warms to his new found ability to buy friends. Ragan comes in, they walk around the issue a bit until he says it frankly—I shall kill thy father—but Ragan raises the stakes to include Perillus. She gives him instructions, insists that Leir read the letter first (a fatal error), and then gives him two bags of gold, which he hugs. After he leaves, Ragan says to herself that he will meet the same fate as her father.
Enter Messenger solus.
MESS: It is a world to see now I am flush,
How many friends I purchase everywhere!
How many seeks to creep into my favor,
And kiss their hands, and bend their knees to me!
No more, here comes the Queen, now shall I know her mind,
And hope for to derive more crowns from her. Enter Ragan.
RAGAN: My friend, I see thou mind’st thy promise well,
And art before me here, me thinks, today.
MESS: I am a poor man, and it like your Grace;
But yet I always love to keep my word. … [17.10]
RAGAN: Well, keep thy word with me, & thou shalt see,
That of a poor man I will make thee rich.
MESS: I long to hear it, it might have been dispatched,
If you had told me of it yesternight.
RAGAN: It is a thing of right strange consequence,
And well I cannot utter it in words.
MESS: It is more strange, that I am not by this
Beside myself, with longing for to hear it.
Were it to meet the Devil in his den,
And try a bout with him for a scratched face, … [17.20]
I’d undertake it, if you would but bid me.
RAGAN: Ah, good my friend, that I should have thee do,
Is such a thing, as I do shame to speak;
Yet it must needs be done.
MESS: I’ll speak it for thee, Queen: shall I kill thy father?
I know tis that, and if it be so, say.
MESS: Why, that’s enough.
RAGAN: And yet that is not all.
MESS: What else? … [17.30]
RAGAN: Thou must kill that old man that came with him.
MESS: Here are two hands, for each of them is one.
RAGAN: And for each hand here is a recompense.
Gives him two purses.
MESS: Oh, that I had ten hands by miracle,
I could tear ten in pieces with my teeth,
So in my mouth you’d put a purse of gold,
But in what manner must it be effected?
RAGAN: Tomorrow morning ere the break of day,
I by a while will send them to the thicket,
That is about some two miles from the Court, … [17.40]
And promise them to meet them there myself,
Because I must have private conference,
About some news I have received from Cornwall.
This is enough, I know, they will not fail,
And then be ready for to play thy part:
Which done, thou mayst right easily escape,
And no man once mistrust thee for the fact:
But yet, before thou prosecute the act,
Show him the letter, which my sister sent,
There let him read his own indictment first, … [17.50]
And then proceed to execution:
But see thou faint not; for they will speak fair.
MESS: Could he speak words as pleasing as the pipe
Of Mercury, which charmed the hundred eyes
Of watchful Argos, and enforced him sleep:
Yet here are words so pleasing to my thoughts, To the purse.
As quite shall take away the sound of his. Exit.
RAGAN: About it then, and when thou hast dispatched,
I’ll find a means to send thee after him. Exit.