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Richard II

Richard II Translation Act 5, Scene 1

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Enter QUEEN and Ladies

QUEEN

This way the king will come; this is the way To Julius Caesar's ill-erected tower, To whose flint bosom my condemned lord Is doom'd a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke: Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth Have any resting for her true king's queen.

QUEEN

The king will come this way; this is the way to Julius Caesar’s tower, where my lord is condemned by proud Bolingbroke to be a prisoner. Let us rest here, if this rebellious earth can offer any rest for her true king’s queen.

Enter KING RICHARD II and Guard

QUEEN

But soft, but see, or rather do not see, My fair rose wither: yet look up, behold, That you in pity may dissolve to dew, And wash him fresh again with true-love tears. Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand, Thou map of honour, thou King Richard's tomb, And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn, Why should hard-favour'd grief be lodged in thee, When triumph is become an alehouse guest?

QUEEN

But wait, see—or rather, don’t see—my fair rose wither. Yet still look at him, so that you can cry in pity and wash him fresh again with true love’s tears. Ah, you, you’re the grave where Troy once stood, the map of honor: the tomb of King Richard, not King Richard himself. You, most beautiful inn—why should sadness stay with you, while triumph rejoices in the alehouse?

KING RICHARD II

Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so, To make my end too sudden: learn, good soul, To think our former state a happy dream; From which awaked, the truth of what we are Shows us but this: I am sworn brother, sweet, To grim Necessity, and he and I Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France And cloister thee in some religious house: Our holy lives must win a new world's crown, Which our profane hours here have stricken down.

KING RICHARD II

Don’t be sad too, fair woman; it will bring me to my end sooner. Good soul, pretend that our old life was a happy dream that we’ve not woken up from. My only companion now is Necessity, sweetheart, and I’ll be with him until my death. Go to France to some religious house; we’ll find another crown in heaven, although we’ve lost the ones we had on earth.

QUEEN

What, is my Richard both in shape and mind Transform'd and weaken'd? hath Bolingbroke deposed Thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart? The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw, And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage To be o'erpower'd; and wilt thou, pupil-like, Take thy correction mildly, kiss the rod, And fawn on rage with base humility, Which art a lion and a king of beasts?

QUEEN

What, is my Richard transformed and weakened in shape and mind? Has Bolingbroke deposed your intellect? Has he been in your heart? The dying lion hits the ground with his paw in rage; will you accept these humiliations and take your punishment like this, when you’re a lion and a king of beasts?

KING RICHARD II

A king of beasts, indeed; if aught but beasts, I had been still a happy king of men. Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for France: Think I am dead and that even here thou takest, As from my death-bed, thy last living leave. In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire With good old folks and let them tell thee tales Of woeful ages long ago betid; And ere thou bid good night, to quit their griefs, Tell thou the lamentable tale of me And send the hearers weeping to their beds : For why, the senseless brands will sympathize The heavy accent of thy moving tongue And in compassion weep the fire out; And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black, For the deposing of a rightful king.

KING RICHARD II

A king of beasts, indeed; if they had been nothing but beasts, I would still be a happy king of men. Good old queen, prepare to go to France: imagine that I’m dead, and that here you’re saying goodbye to me on my deathbed. During long winter nights, sit by the fire with good old people and let them tell you sad stories from long ago. And before you say goodnight, tell them my sad story, and send them crying to their beds: the logs themselves will weep and extinguish the fire, and some will cry in ashes, when they hear about the deposing of a rightful king.

Enter NORTHUMBERLAND and others

NORTHUMBERLAND

My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed:You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.And, madam, there is order ta'en for you;With all swift speed you must away to France.

NORTHUMBERLAND

My lord, Bolingbroke has changed his mind: you must go to Pomfret, not to the Tower. And madam, he’s ordered that you must go to France.

KING RICHARD II

Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne, The time shall not be many hours of age More than it is ere foul sin gathering head Shalt break into corruption: thou shalt think, Though he divide the realm and give thee half, It is too little, helping him to all; And he shall think that thou, which know'st the way To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again, Being ne'er so little urged, another way To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne. The love of wicked men converts to fear; That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both To worthy danger and deserved death.

KING RICHARD II

Northumberland—the ladder with which Bolingbroke climbs to the throne—it won’t be long until things go bad between you two: if he gives you half the kingdom, you won’t think it’s enough, since you helped give him everything. And he’ll be suspicious of you; since you know how to depose kings and put someone else in their place, what’s to stop you from doing it again? The love of wicked men turns to fear, that fear to hate, and hate to danger and deserved death.

NORTHUMBERLAND

My guilt be on my head, and there an end.Take leave and part; for you must part forthwith.

NORTHUMBERLAND

Well, on my own head be it, and that’s it. Say goodbye; you have to go now. 

KING RICHARD II

Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate A twofold marriage, 'twixt my crown and me, And then betwixt me and my married wife. Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me; And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made. Part us, Northumberland; I toward the north, Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime; My wife to France: from whence, set forth in pomp, She came adorned hither like sweet May, Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day.

KING RICHARD II

Doubly divorced! Bad men, you’ve broken two marriages, one between my crown and me, and then between me and and my married wife. Let me unkiss the oath between you and me—and yet no, since we made it with a kiss. Separate us, Northumberland; I to the north, where there’s nothing but cold and sickness; my wife to France, from whence she came like the spring, sent back like the depth of winter.

QUEEN

And must we be divided? must we part?

QUEEN

And must we be divided? Do we have to leave each other?

KING RICHARD II

Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.

KING RICHARD II

Yes, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.

QUEEN

Banish us both and send the king with me.

QUEEN

Banish us both and send the king with me.

NORTHUMBERLAND

That were some love but little policy.

NORTHUMBERLAND

That would be nice of us, but hardly politically sensible.

QUEEN

Then whither he goes, thither let me go.

QUEEN

Then wherever he goes, let me go with him.

KING RICHARD II

So two, together weeping, make one woe. Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here; Better far off than near, be ne'er the near. Go, count thy way with sighs; I mine with groans.

KING RICHARD II

So the two of us will cry together. Cry for me in France, and I’ll cry for you here; better to be as far away from me as possible. Go, count your journey with sighs, I’ll count mine with groans.

QUEEN

So longest way shall have the longest moans.

QUEEN

The longest journey will have the longest moans of grief.

KING RICHARD II

Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short, And piece the way out with a heavy heart. Come, come, in wooing sorrow let's be brief, Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief; One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part; Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.

KING RICHARD II

I’ll groan twice for every step, since my journey is short, and go with a heavy heart. Let’s be brief in wooing sorrow, since it will be a long marriage. One kiss shall stop our mouths, and we’ll leave in silence; I'll give you mine [kisses her] and leave with your heart.

QUEEN

Give me mine own again; 'twere no good part To take on me to keep and kill thy heart. So, now I have mine own again, be gone, That I might strive to kill it with a groan.

QUEEN

Give me my heart back again; I can’t be responsible for killing your heart. So, now I have my heart again, be gone, so that I can kill it with a groan.

KING RICHARD II

We make woe wanton with this fond delay:Once more, adieu; the rest let sorrow say.

KING RICHARD II

We’re making a fool of sorrow with all this delaying; goodbye, once more, and let sorrow say the rest.

Exeunt

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Eve houghton
About the Translator: Eve Houghton

Eve Houghton graduated from Yale College in 2017 and is currently pursuing the MPhil in Renaissance Literature at the University of Cambridge. In 2018, she will return to Yale to begin her PhD in English. Her research interests include early modern commonplace books and note-taking practices, paratexts, reception studies, and the history of reading.