A line-by-line translation

Richard II

Richard II Translation Act 5, Scene 2

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Enter DUKE OF YORK and DUCHESS OF YORK

DUCHESS OF YORK

My lord, you told me you would tell the rest, When weeping made you break the story off, of our two cousins coming into London.

DUCHESS OF YORK

My lord, you told me you would tell the rest of the story of how our two cousins came into London, since crying made you stop.

DUKE OF YORK

Where did I leave?

DUKE OF YORK

Where was I?

DUCHESS OF YORK

At that sad stop, my lord, Where rude misgovern'd hands from windows' tops Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.

DUCHESS OF YORK

At the sad place, my lord, where people threw dust and garbage on King Richard’s head from the windows.

DUKE OF YORK

Then, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke, Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know, With slow but stately pace kept on his course, Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee, Bolingbroke!' You would have thought the very windows spake, So many greedy looks of young and old Through casements darted their desiring eyes Upon his visage, and that all the walls With painted imagery had said at once 'Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!' Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning, Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck, Bespake them thus: 'I thank you, countrymen:' And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

DUKE OF YORK

Then, as I was saying: the duke rode through the streets on a royal horse while everyone cried “God save you, Bolingbroke!” You would have thought the windows themselves were speaking, since so many people, young and old, leaned out their windows to get a look at him, and that the walls were crying out “Jesus preserve you! Welcome, Bolingbroke!” Meanwhile, he turned his head from one to the other, taking his hat off and speaking to them like this: “I thank you, countrymen.” And doing that, he went on his way.

DUCHESS OF YORK

Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

DUCHESS OF YORK

Oh, poor Richard! Where did he ride?

DUKE OF YORK

As in a theatre, the eyes of men, After a well-graced actor leaves the stage, Are idly bent on him that enters next, Thinking his prattle to be tedious; Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes Did scowl on gentle Richard; no man cried 'God save him!' No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home: But dust was thrown upon his sacred head: Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off, His face still combating with tears and smiles, The badges of his grief and patience, That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted And barbarism itself have pitied him. But heaven hath a hand in these events, To whose high will we bound our calm contents. To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now, Whose state and honour I for aye allow.

DUKE OF YORK

Just like the audience at a theater tends not to like an actor that follows the star player, thinking him to be tedious, men’s eyes looked at Richard with contempt; no one cried “God save him!” No one welcomed him back, but they threw dust on his sacred head: which he shook off with such gentle sorrow, smiling and crying at the same time, that had not God (for some purpose) steeled the hearts of men against sympathy, even a barbarian might have pitied him. But heaven has a hand in these things, and we must go along with God’s will. We’re all Bolingbroke’s subjects now, and I’ve sworn to be loyal to him.

DUCHESS OF YORK

Here comes my son Aumerle.

DUCHESS OF YORK

Here comes my son Aumerle.

DUKE OF YORK

Aumerle that was; But that is lost for being Richard's friend, And, madam, you must call him Rutland now: I am in parliament pledge for his truth And lasting fealty to the new-made king.

DUKE OF YORK

He was Aumerle; but his earldom is lost for being Richard’s friend, and madam, you must call him Rutland now. I will vouch for his loyalty in Parliament.

Enter DUKE OF AUMERLE

DUCHESS OF YORK

Welcome, my son: who are the violets nowThat strew the green lap of the new come spring?

DUCHESS OF YORK

Welcome, my son; who are the violets now that celebrate the new spring?

DUKE OF AUMERLE

Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not:God knows I had as lief be none as one.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

Madam, I don’t know, and I don’t care: I would rather be nothing than one of them.

DUKE OF YORK

Well, bear you well in this new spring of time, Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime. What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs?

DUKE OF YORK

Well, behave yourself in this new spring, lest you be cropped before your time. What’s the news from Oxford? Did they hold the jousts?

DUKE OF AUMERLE

For aught I know, my lord, they do.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

For all I know, my lord, they do. 

DUKE OF YORK

You will be there, I know.

DUKE OF YORK

You will be there, I know.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

If God prevent not, I purpose so.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

If God doesn’t prevent me from going, I plan to be there.

DUKE OF YORK

What seal is that, that hangs without thy bosom?Yea, look'st thou pale? let me see the writing.

DUKE OF YORK

What’s that letter you have? Why do you look so pale? Let me see it.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

My lord, 'tis nothing.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

My lord, it's nothing.

DUKE OF YORK

No matter, then, who see it;I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.

DUKE OF YORK

Then it shouldn’t matter who sees it; I will be satisfied in this. Let me see the letter.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

I do beseech your grace to pardon me: It is a matter of small consequence, Which for some reasons I would not have seen.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

I ask your grace to forgive me; it’s a letter of no importance, which for some reasons I don't want you to see.

DUKE OF YORK

Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.I fear, I fear,—

DUKE OF YORK

Which for some reasons, sir, I will see. I fear, I fear—

DUCHESS OF YORK

What should you fear? 'Tis nothing but some bond, that he is enter'd into For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.

DUCHESS OF YORK

What should you be afraid? It’s nothing but some receipt for his clothes on the tournament day.

DUKE OF YORK

Bound to himself! what doth he with a bond That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool. Boy, let me see the writing.

DUKE OF YORK

Bound to himself? Why would he have a receipt, if he hasn't paid yet? Wife, you’re a fool. Boy, let me see the letter.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

I beg you, forgive me; I can’t show you.

DUKE OF YORK

I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.

DUKE OF YORK

I will be satisfied; let me see it, I order you.

He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it

DUKE OF YORK

Treason! foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!

DUKE OF YORK

Treason! Foul treason! Villain! Traitor! Slave!

DUCHESS OF YORK

What is the matter, my lord?

DUCHESS OF YORK

What is the matter, my lord?

DUKE OF YORK

Ho! who is within there?

DUKE OF YORK

Hey! Who's inside?

Enter a Servant

DUKE OF YORK

Saddle my horse.God for his mercy, what treachery is here!

DUKE OF YORK

Saddle my horse. God have mercy, what treachery is here!

DUCHESS OF YORK

Why, what is it, my lord?

DUCHESS OF YORK

Why, what is it, my lord?

DUKE OF YORK

Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse. Now, by mine honour, by my life, by my troth, I will appeach the villain.

DUKE OF YORK

Give me my boots, I tell you; saddle my horse. Now, by my honor, by my life, and by my word, I'll turn in the villain. 

DUCHESS OF YORK

What is the matter?

DUCHESS OF YORK

What's the matter?

DUKE OF YORK

Peace, foolish woman.

DUKE OF YORK

Be quiet, foolish woman. 

DUCHESS OF YORK

I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle.

DUCHESS OF YORK

I will not be quiet. What is the matter, Aumerle?

DUKE OF AUMERLE

Good mother, be content; it is no moreThan my poor life must answer.

DUKE OF AUMERLE

Good mother, don't ask any more questions; my life will have to answer for it.

DUCHESS OF YORK

Thy life answer!

DUCHESS OF YORK

Your life answer for it!

DUKE OF YORK

Bring me my boots: I will unto the king.

DUKE OF YORK

Bring me my boots; I'm going to the king.

Re-enter Servant with boots

DUCHESS OF YORK

Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed.Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.

DUCHESS OF YORK

Hit him, Aumerle. Poor boy, you’re shocked. Go away, villain! Never come into my sight again.

DUKE OF YORK

Give me my boots, I say.

DUKE OF YORK

Give me my boots, I tell you.

DUCHESS OF YORK

Why, York, what wilt thou do? Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own? Have we more sons? or are we like to have? Is not my teeming date drunk up with time? And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age, And rob me of a happy mother's name? Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?

DUCHESS OF YORK

Why, York, what will you do? Will you not hide the crime of your own child? Do we have any other sons? Are we likely to have any more? Aren’t I too old? And will you take my fair son away from me in my old age, robbing me of the name of a happy mother? Isn’t he like you? Isn’t he your own?

DUKE OF YORK

Thou fond mad woman, Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy? A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament, And interchangeably set down their hands, To kill the king at Oxford.

DUKE OF YORK

You too-fond crazy woman, will you hide this dark plot? A dozen of them have sworn on God to kill the king at Oxford.

DUCHESS OF YORK

He shall be none;We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?

DUCHESS OF YORK

He won’t be a part of it; we’ll keep him here. Then what is that to him?

DUKE OF YORK

Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son,I would appeach him.

DUKE OF YORK

Get away from me, fond woman! If he were twenty times my son, I would still turn him in. 

DUCHESS OF YORK

Hadst thou groan'd for him As I have done, thou wouldst be more pitiful. But now I know thy mind; thou dost suspect That I have been disloyal to thy bed, And that he is a bastard, not thy son: Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind: He is as like thee as a man may be, Not like to me, or any of my kin, And yet I love him.

DUCHESS OF YORK

If you had suffered for him in childbirth as I have, you would be more sympathetic. But now I see: you suspect that I’ve been disloyal to your bed, and that he’s a bastard, not your son. Sweet York, sweet husband, don’t think that: he looks as much like you as any man could, not like me or my family, and yet I love him.

DUKE OF YORK

Make way, unruly woman!

DUKE OF YORK

Get out of my way, unruly woman!

Exit

DUCHESS OF YORK

After, Aumerle! mount thee upon his horse; Spur post, and get before him to the king, And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee. I'll not be long behind; though I be old, I doubt not but to ride as fast as York: And never will I rise up from the ground Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away, be gone!

DUCHESS OF YORK

After him, Aumerle! Get on his horse, ride fast, and get to the king before him to beg his pardon before he’s accused you. I won’t be far behind you: although I’m old, I can ride as fast as York: I won’t rise from kneeling until Bolingbroke has pardoned you. Go now, be gone!

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.