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Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 1, Scene 3

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Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, Lord Marquess of DORSET, Lord RIVERS, and Lord GREY

RIVERS

Have patience, madam. There’s no doubt his majestyWill soon recover his accustomed health.

RIVERS

Have patience, madam. There's no doubt that his Majesty, King Edward, will soon recover his health.

GREY

In that you brook it ill, it makes him worse.Therefore, for God’s sake, entertain good comfort And cheer his grace with quick and merry eyes.

GREY

And if you're visibly worried, you'll make him worse. So for God's sake, let us comfort you, and then you can cheer up his Majesty with your lively, happy mood.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

If he were dead, what would betide on me?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

If he were dead, what would happen to me?

RIVERS

No other harm but loss of such a lord.

RIVERS

No harm would come to you but the loss of such a husband.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

The loss of such a lord includes all harms.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

The loss of such a husband includes all kinds of harm.

GREY

The heavens have blessed you with a goodly son To be your comforter when he is gone.

GREY

The heavens have blessed you with a good son, who will comfort you when the king is gone.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Ah, he is young, and his minorityIs put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,A man that loves not me nor none of you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Ah, but he is young, and while he's young he is still in the care of Richard, the Duke of Gloucester—a man who loves neither me nor any of you.

RIVERS

Is it concluded that he shall be Protector?

RIVERS

Has it been declared that Richard will be Protector?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

It is determined, not concluded yet;But so it must be if the king miscarry.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

It's been decided, but not officially declared yet. But that's the way it must be if the king dies.

Enter BUCKINGHAM and Lord STANLEY, Earl of Derby

GREY

Here comes the lord of Buckingham, and Derby.

GREY

Here comes the lords of Buckingham, and Derby.

BUCKINGHAM

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] Good time of day unto your royal Grace.

BUCKINGHAM

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] Good day to you, your royal Grace.

STANLEY

God make your Majesty joyful, as you have been.

STANLEY

May God make your Majesty as happy as you once were.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

The countess Richmond, good my lord of Derby, To your good prayer 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.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

My good Lord Stanley, the countess Richmond would hardly agree and say "amen" to you prayer. But even though she's your wife and doesn't like me, you can be assured, good lord, that I don't hate you for her proud arrogance.

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.

STANLEY

Please don't believe the jealous lies of her slanderers. And even if there's some truth to the rumors, then forgive her, for I think she only acts that way because she's sick—not because she hates you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Saw you the king today, my lord of Derby?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Did you see the king today, Lord Stanley?

STANLEY

But now the duke of Buckingham and IAre come from visiting his majesty.

STANLEY

The Duke of Buckingham and I are just coming now from a visit to his Majesty.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

What likelihood of his amendment, lords?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

What are the chances of his recovery, lords?

BUCKINGHAM

Madam, good hope. His grace speaks cheerfully.

BUCKINGHAM

There is good hope, madam. The king seems cheerful.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

God grant him health. Did you confer with him?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

May God grant him health. Did you speak with him?

BUCKINGHAM

Ay, madam. He desires to make atonement Betwixt the duke of Gloucester and your brothers, And betwixt them and my Lord Chamberlain, And sent to warn them to his royal presence.

BUCKINGHAM

Yes, madam. He wants to reconcile Richard with your brothers, and your brothers with Lord Hastings. He has just summoned them all to his royal presence.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Would all were well—but that will never be.I fear our happiness is at the height.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I wish that all were well—but that will never be. I fear that our good fortune has reached its peak.

Enter RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester, and HASTINGS

RICHARD

They do me wrong, and I will not endure it! Who is it that complains unto the king That I, forsooth, am stern and love them not? By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly That fill his ears with such dissentious rumors. Because I cannot flatter and look fair, Smile in men’s faces, smooth, deceive and cog, Duck with French nods and apish courtesy, I must be held a rancorous enemy. Cannot a plain man live and think no harm, But thus his simple truth must be abused With silken, sly, insinuating jacks?

RICHARD

They're abusing me, and I won't endure it! Who has been complaining to the king that I am harsh and don't like them? By Saint Paul, whoever is worrying the king with these treacherous rumors doesn't love him very much. Just because I cannot flatter and look handsome, smile in men's faces, ingratiate myself, lie and cheat, and bow like a pretentious Frenchman, people assume that I'm a foul enemy. Can't a plain man live, wishing no harm on anyone, without his words being twisted like this by slick, sly, slithering lowlifes?

RIVERS

To whom in all this presence speaks your Grace?

RIVERS

Which of us are you referring to, your Grace?

RICHARD

To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace. When have I injured thee? When done thee wrong?— Or thee?—Or thee? Or any of your faction? A plague upon you all! His royal grace, Whom God preserve better than you would wish, Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing while But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.

RICHARD

To you, who have neither honesty nor grace. When have I injured you? When have I done you any wrong? Or you? Or you? Or any of you and your supporters? Curse you all! The king—whom I hope God will preserve better than you'd like—can hardly catch his breath before you start troubling him with your wicked complaints.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter. The king, on his own royal disposition, And not provoked by any suitor else, Aiming belike at your interior hatred That in your outward actions shows itself Against my children, brothers, and myself, Makes him to send, that he may learn the ground Of your ill will, and thereby to remove it.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

My brother-in-law of Gloucester, you're mistaken. It was the king himself, unprovoked by anyone, who noticed your hatred for my children, my brothers, and myself—an inner hatred that expresses itself in your outward actions. He summoned people to ask them about your dislike of us, so that he might discover the reasons behind it and do something about it.

RICHARD

I cannot tell. The world is grown so bad That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch. Since every jack became a gentleman, There’s many a gentle person made a jack.

RICHARD

I can't tell what's going on. The world has grown so bad that little wrens now live where eagles dare not perch. Since every peasant has become a nobleman, there are now many noblemen who've been turned into peasants.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Come, come, we know your meaning, brother Gloucester. You envy my advancement, and my friends'.God grant we never may have need of you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Come, come, I know what you're referring to, brother-in-law Richard. You're jealous of my friends' rise in rank, and of my own. May God grant that I never need your help.

RICHARD

Meantime God grants that we have need of you. Our brother is imprisoned by your means, Myself disgraced, and the nobility Held in contempt, while great promotions Are daily given to ennoble those That scarce some two days since were worth a noble.

RICHARD

But in the meantime God grants that I need your help. My brother, the Duke of Clarence, is imprisoned because of your influence. I am disgraced, and the nobility are scorned, while great promotions are handed out daily to those who weren't worth a noble two days ago.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

By Him that raised me to this careful height From that contented hap which I enjoyed, I never did incense his majesty Against the duke of Clarence, but have been An earnest advocate to plead for him. My lord, you do me shameful injury Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I swear by the God who raised me up to this anxious height from the contented life I used to enjoy—I never provoked the king's anger against the Duke of Clarence. I have only ever advocated for him and pled on his behalf. My lord, you do me wrong to implicate me in these wicked suspicions.

RICHARD

You may deny that you were not the meanOf my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.

RICHARD

Then I'm sure you'll also deny that you were the cause of Lord Hastings' recent imprisonment

RIVERS

She may, my lord, for—

RIVERS

She may deny it, my lord, for—

RICHARD

She may, Lord Rivers. Why, who knows not so? She may do more, sir, than denying that. She may help you to many fair preferments And then deny her aiding hand therein, And lay those honors on your high desert. What may she not? She may, ay, marry, may she—

RICHARD

Yes, she may, Lord Rivers. Why, everyone knows that she may. And she may do more than just denying that, sir. She may help you to many nice promotions and then deny that she aided you, claiming that you won those honors through your own merit. What may she not do? She may, yes, by God, she may—

RIVERS

What, marry, may she?

RIVERS

What, by God, may she do?

RICHARD

What, marry, may she? Marry with a king,A bachelor, a handsome stripling too.I wis, your grandam had a worser match.

RICHARD

What, by God, may she do? She may marry a king, a bachelor, a handsome young man. Certainly, your grandmother had a worse match.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs. By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty With those gross taunts that oft I have endured. I had rather be a country servant-maid Than a great queen with this condition, To be so baited, scorned, and stormèd at.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

My Lord of Gloucester, for too long I've suffered your blunt insults and your bitter scorn. By heaven, I will tell the king about the vile taunts I've endured. I would rather be a country servant-maid than a great queen in such a situation—to be so taunted, scorned, and attacked.

Enter old QUEEN MARGARET, apart from others

Small joy have I in being England’s queen.

I've had very little joy in being England's queen.

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] And lessened be that small, God I beseech Him!Thy honor, state, and seat is due to me.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] And may her joy be even less than that, God! Elizabeth's honor, rank, and throne all rightly belong to me.

RICHARD

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] What, threat you me with telling of the king? Tell him, and spare not. Look, what I have said, I will avouch ’t in presence of the king; I dare adventure to be sent to th' Tower. 'Tis time to speak. My pains are quite forgot.

RICHARD

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] What, are you threatening me that you'll tell the king? Go ahead and tell him, and don't spare any details. Look, I will repeat what I have said here in the presence of the king. I'll even risk being sent to the Tower for it. It seems that all my efforts on Edward's behalf have been forgotten.

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] Out, devil! I do remember them too well:Thou killed’st my husband Henry in the Tower, And Edward, my poor son, at Tewkesbury.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] You devil! I remember those efforts all too well: you killed my husband Henry in the Tower, and my poor son Edward at Tewkesbury.

RICHARD

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] Ere you were queen, ay, or your husband king, I was a packhorse in his great affairs, A weeder-out of his proud adversaries, A liberal rewarder of his friends. To royalize his blood, I spent mine own.

RICHARD

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] Yes, before you were queen, or your husband was king, I was a beast of burden for his great affairs. I weeded out his proud enemies and generously rewarded his friends. I spent my own blood to make his blood royal.

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] Ay, and much better blood than his or thine.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] Yes, and in killing my husband and son, you spent much better blood than yours or your brother's.

RICHARD

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] In all which time, you and your husband Grey Were factious for the house of Lancaster.— And, Rivers, so were you.— Was not your husband In Margaret’s battle at Saint Albans slain? Let me put in your minds, if you forget, What you have been ere this, and what you are; Withal, what I have been, and what I am.

RICHARD

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] And during all that time, you and your first husband, Sir John Grey, were fighting for the house of Lancaster.

[To RIVERS] And, Rivers, so were you.

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] Wasn't your first husband killed in Queen Margaret's battle at Saint Albans? In case you've forgotten, let me remind you who you were before, and who you are now. And remember also who I was before, and who I am now.

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] A murd'rous villain, and so still thou art.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] You were a murderous villain, and you still are.

RICHARD

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] Poor Clarence did forsake his father Warwick,Ay, and forswore himself—which Jesu pardon!—

RICHARD

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] Poor Clarence abandoned his father-in-law Warwick, yes, and broke his own oath—may Jesus pardon him!—

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] Which God revenge!

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] And may God take revenge on him!

RICHARD

To fight on Edward’s party for the crown; And for his meed, poor lord, he is mewed up. I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward’s, Or Edward’s soft and pitiful, like mine. I am too childish-foolish for this world.

RICHARD

—to fight for Edward's side and help him win the crown. And his reward for that, the poor lord, is to be imprisoned. I wish to God that my heart was made of stone, like Edward's—or that Edward's heart was soft and emotional, like mine. I am too childlike and innocent for this world.

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave the world,Thou cacodemon! There thy kingdom is.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] Hurry on to hell then, and leave this world, you evil spirit! Hell is where your true kingdom is.

RIVERS

My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days Which here you urge to prove us enemies, We followed then our lord, our sovereign king. So should we you, if you should be our king.

RIVERS

My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days, we were just following our lord, our rightful king—which you now bring up to prove that we're your enemies. And we would follow you in just the same way, if you were our king.

RICHARD

If I should be? I had rather be a peddler. Far be it from my heart, the thought thereof.

RICHARD

If I were king? I would rather be a peddler. Far be it for me to ever think of being king.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

As little joy, my lord, as you suppose You should enjoy were you this country’s king, As little joy may you suppose in me That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

You would have just as little joy as you imagine if you were indeed this country's king. As the queen, I have had no joy.

QUEEN MARGARET

[aside] Ah, little joy enjoys the queen thereof,For I am she, and altogether joyless.I can no longer hold me patient.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To herself] Ah, no joy for that "queen" indeed. For I am the queen, and completely unhappy. I can no longer hold myself back.

She steps forward

Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out In sharing that which you have pilled from me! Which of you trembles not that looks on me? If not, that I am queen, you bow like subjects, Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels.— Ah, gentle villain, do not turn away.

Hear me, you scheming pirates, who quarrel over what you've plundered from me! Which of you doesn't tremble to look at me? If you're not trembling because I am the queen and you are my bowing subjects, then you're quivering because you're traitors who stole my throne! 

[To RICHARD] Ah, you highborn villain, don't turn away.

RICHARD

Foul, wrinkled witch, what mak’st thou in my sight?

RICHARD

You foul, wrinkled witch, what are you doing here?

QUEEN MARGARET

But repetition of what thou hast marred.That will I make before I let thee go.

QUEEN MARGARET

Just trying to redo what you have undone. I will do that much before I let you go.

RICHARD

Wert thou not banishèd on pain of death?

RICHARD

Weren't you banished on pain of death?

QUEEN MARGARET

I was, but I do find more pain in banishment Than death can yield me here by my abode. A husband and a son thou ow’st to me; [to QUEEN ELIZABETH] And thou a kingdom; — all of you, allegiance. The sorrow that I have by right is yours, And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To RICHARD] I was, but banishment is more painful to me than dying here at home. You owe me a husband and a son.

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] And you owe me a kingdom. 

[To the others] And the rest of you—in fact, all of you—owe me your allegiance. The sorrow that I feel now rightfully belongs to you, and all the pleasure you enjoy now rightfully belongs to me.

RICHARD

The curse my noble father laid on thee When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper, And with thy scorns drew’st rivers from his eyes, And then, to dry them, gav’st the duke a clout Steeped in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland— His curses then, from bitterness of soul Denounced against thee, are all fall'n upon thee, And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.

RICHARD

The curse my noble father laid on you when you set a paper crown on his head, and drew rivers of tears from his eyes with your scorn, and then, to dry them, you gave him a handkerchief soaked in innocent Rutland's blood—the curses he laid on you then, when his bitter soul condemned you, have now come to pass. God, not us, is punishing you for your bloody deeds.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

So just is God to right the innocent.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

God is just, and he rewards the innocent.

HASTINGS

O, ’twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,And the most merciless that e'er was heard of!

HASTINGS

Oh, killing that child, Rutland, was the foulest, most merciless deed that was ever heard of!

RIVERS

Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.

RIVERS

Even tyrants wept when they heard about it.

DORSET

No man but prophesied revenge for it.

DORSET

Everyone knew that there would be revenge for it.

BUCKINGHAM

Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.

BUCKINGHAM

Even Northumberland, who was there, wept to see it.

QUEEN MARGARET

What, were you snarling all before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat, And turn you all your hatred now on me? Did York’s dread curse prevail so much with heaven That Henry’s death, my Lovelly Edward’s death, Their kingdom’s loss, my woeful banishment, Could all but answer for that peevish brat? Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven? Why then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses! Though not by war, by surfeit die your king, As ours by murder to make him a king. [to QUEEN ELIZABETH] Edward thy son, that now is Prince of Wales, For Edward our son, that was Prince of Wales, Die in his youth by like untimely violence. Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen, Outlive they glory, like my wretched self. Long mayst thou live to wail they children's death And see another, as I see thee now, Decked in they rights, as thou art stalled in mine. Long die thy happy days before they death, And, after many lengthened hours of grief, Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen. Rivers and Dorset, you were standers-by, And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son Was stabbed with bloody daggers. God I pray Him That none of you may live his natural age, But by some unlooked accident cut off.

QUEEN MARGARET

What, weren't you all snarling at each other before I came—about to jump at each others' throats like dogs? And now you're turning all your hatred on me? Did the Duke of York's curse have so much power that Henry's death; my lovely Edward's death; the loss of their kingdom; and my sad banishment were all required to avenge the death of that peevish brat Rutland? Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven? Well then, open up, you dark clouds—and hear my strong curses! Though your Yorkist king didn't die in battle, may he die from his gluttony, just as our Lancastrian king—my husband—was murdered to give your king his throne. 

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] May your son Edward, who is now Prince of Wales, die violently while young, just like my son Edward, who was once Prince of Wales. And you, Queen, may you outlive your glory and be miserable just like I am. Long may you live to mourn your children's death, and see another woman take your throne and position, as I do now. May your happiness die long before you do, and—after many long hours of grief—may you die not as a mother, or a wife, or even as England's queen. 

[To the others] Rivers and Dorset—and you too, Lord Hastings—you stood by when my son was stabbed with bloody daggers. I pray to God that none of you will die a natural death, but will be killed by some unexpected accident.

RICHARD

Have done thy charm, thou hateful, withered hag.

RICHARD

Enough of your witchcraft, you hateful, withered hag.

QUEEN MARGARET

And leave out thee? Stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me. If heaven have any grievous plague in store Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee, O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe And then hurl down their indignation On thee, the troubler of the poor world’s peace. The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul. Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou liv’st, And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends. No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine, Unless it be while some tormenting dream Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils. Thou elvish-marked, abortive, rooting hog, Thou was sealed in they nativity The slave of nature and the son of hell, Thou slander of they heavy mother's womb, Thou loathed issue of they father's loins, Thou rag of honor, thou detested—

QUEEN MARGARET

And leave you out, Richard? Stay, dog, for you must hear me out. If heaven has any horrible plagues worse than anything I could imagine, oh, let it keep them until you've committed the maximum amount of sin. And then let heaven hurl down its anger on you all at once, you disturber of the poor world's peace! May the worm of guilt gnaw away at your soul constantly. May you suspect your friends of being traitors, and consider the worst traitors as your dearest friends. May you never close your wicked eyes and be able to sleep—unless it's to dream some terrifying nightmare of a hell filled with ugly devils. You cursed, prematurely born hog, wallowing in the mud; you who were born a deformed child of hell; you insult to your sad mother's womb; you hated product of your father's loins; you filthy scrap of dishonor; you disgusting— 

RICHARD

Margaret.

RICHARD

Margaret.

QUEEN MARGARET

Richard!

QUEEN MARGARET

Richard!

RICHARD

Ha?

RICHARD

Yes?

QUEEN MARGARET

I call thee not.

QUEEN MARGARET

I didn't call you.

RICHARD

I cry thee mercy, then, for I did thinkThat thou hadst called me all these bitter names.

RICHARD

I beg your pardon, then—for I thought you had called me all those bitter names.

QUEEN MARGARET

Why, so I did, but looked for no reply.O, let me make the period to my curse!

QUEEN MARGARET

Why, so I did. But I didn't want any reply from you. Oh, let me finish my curse!

RICHARD

'Tis done by me, and ends in “Margaret.”

RICHARD

I've already finished it. It ends in "Margaret."

QUEEN ELIZABETH

[to QUEEN MARGARET] Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

[To QUEEN MARGARET] See, you've only cursed yourself.

QUEEN MARGARET

Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune, Why strew’st thou sugar on that bottled spider, Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about? Fool, fool, thou whet’st a knife to kill thyself. The day will come that thou shalt wish for me To help thee curse that poisonous bunch-backed toad.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To QUEEN ELIZABETH] You poor imitation of a queen, you meaningless decoration on my throne: why do you give sugar to this swollen spider when he's already ensnared you in his deadly web? Fool, fool, you're sharpening the knife that will kill you. The day will come when you'll wish that I could help you curse this poisonous, hunchbacked toad.

HASTINGS

False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.

HASTINGS

You false prophet, stop your frantic curses before we lose our patience and cause you harm.

QUEEN MARGARET

Foul shame upon you, you have all moved mine.

QUEEN MARGARET

Foul shame on you—I've already lost my patience with you all.

RIVERS

Were you well served, you would be taught your duty.

RIVERS

If you got what you deserved, you would be taught to show some respect.

QUEEN MARGARET

To serve me well, you all should do me duty: Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects.O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!

QUEEN MARGARET

If I got what I deserved, you would all be showing me respect—I would be your queen, and you would be my subjects. Oh, give me what I deserve, then—and teach yourselves some respect!

DORSET

[to RIVERS] Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.

DORSET

[To RIVERS] Don't try to argue with her. She's a lunatic.

QUEEN MARGARET

Peace, Master Marquess, you are malapert. Your fire-new stamp of honor is scarce current. O, that your young nobility could judge What ’twere to lose it and be miserable! They that stand high have many blasts to shake them, And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

QUEEN MARGARET

[To DORSET] Quiet, Master Marquess, you're being impudent. Your noble title is so newly-minted that its not even legal yet. Oh, that your recent nobility could understand what it means to be lost and miserable! Those who are very high up must be shaken by many blasts of wind. And when they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

RICHARD

Good counsel, marry. —Learn it, learn it, marquess.

RICHARD

[To QUEEN MARGARET] Good advice, by God.

[To DORSET] Listen and learn, Marquess.

DORSET

It touches you, my lord, as much as me.

DORSET

It applies to you as much as to me, my lord.

RICHARD

Ay, and much more; but I was born so high.Our aerie buildeth in the cedar’s top,And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.

RICHARD

Yes, and even more so. But I was born at that high social rank. My family lives like eagles at the top of the tallest cedar tree, playing in the wind and looking fearlessly at the sun.

QUEEN MARGARET

And turns the sun to shade. Alas, alas, Witness my son, now in the shade of death, Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath Hath in eternal darkness folded up. Your aerie buildeth in our aerie’s nest. O God, that seest it, do not suffer it! As it was won with blood, lost be it so.

QUEEN MARGARET

And turning the sun into shadow. Alas, alas, like my son, who is now in the shadow of death. Your cloudy anger has swallowed up his bright-shining beams, and now he dwells in eternal darkness. You're building your nest in our nest. Oh God, witness this injustice and don't let it go unpunished! As the Yorks won the crown through bloodshed, let them also lose it in the same way.

BUCKINGHAM

Peace, peace, for shame, if not for charity.

BUCKINGHAM

Quiet, quiet—have some shame at least, if you can't be kind.

QUEEN MARGARET

Urge neither charity nor shame to me. [addressing the others] Uncharitably with me have you dealt, And shamefully my hopes by you are butchered. My charity is outrage, life my shame, And in that shame still live my sorrows' rage.

QUEEN MARGARET

Don't preach about kindness or shame to me. 

[To the others] You have been unkind to me, and have shamefully butchered my hopes. My kindness to you is to be outraged, and my life is my shame—a shame that contains all my sadness and rage.

BUCKINGHAM

Have done, have done.

BUCKINGHAM

Enough, enough.

QUEEN MARGARET

O princely Buckingham, I’ll kiss thy hand In sign of league and amity with thee. Now fair befall thee and thy noble house! Thy garments are not spotted with our blood, Nor thou within the compass of my curse.

QUEEN MARGARET

Oh, princely Buckingham, I'll kiss your hand as a sign of my support and friendship. May only good things come to you and your noble family! Your clothes are not stained with my family's blood, and so you don't fall under my curse.

BUCKINGHAM

Nor no one here, for curses never passThe lips of those that breathe them in the air.

BUCKINGHAM

No one here is under your curse either. For curses are just empty words, lost to the air as soon as they're spoken.

QUEEN MARGARET

I will not think but they ascend the sky, And there awake God’s gentle-sleeping peace. [aside to BUCKINGHAM] O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog! Look when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites, His venom tooth will rankle to the death. Have naught to do with him. Beware of him. Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him, And all their ministers attend on him.

QUEEN MARGARET

No, I believe that they rise up to heaven and awaken God from his gentle, peaceful sleep. 

[To BUCKINGHAM so that only he can hear] Oh, Buckingham, watch out for that dog Richard there! When he flatters, he bites, and when he bites, his poisonous teeth are deadly. Have nothing to do with him. Beware of him. Sin, death, and hell have claimed him as their own, and their devils are his servants.

RICHARD

What doth she say, my lord of Buckingham?

RICHARD

What does she say, my lord of Buckingham?

BUCKINGHAM

Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.

BUCKINGHAM

Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.

QUEEN MARGARET

What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel, And soothe the devil that I warn thee from? O, but remember this another day, When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow, And say poor Margaret was a prophetess.— Live each of you the subjects to his hate, And he to yours, and all of you to God’s.

QUEEN MARGARET

What, will you scorn me for my friendly advice, and comfort the devil that I'm warning you about? Oh, you will remember this, when one day he splits your heart in two with sorrow. Then you'll say that poor Margaret was a prophet. May Richard come to hate everyone here, and may you come to hate him, and may God hate you all!

Exit

HASTINGS

My hair doth stand an end to hear her curses.

HASTINGS

My hair stands on end when I hear her curses.

RIVERS

And so doth mine. I muse why she’s at liberty.

RIVERS

So does mine. I wonder why she's not in prison.

RICHARD

I cannot blame her. By God’s holy mother, She hath had too much wrong, and I repentMy part thereof that I have done to her.

RICHARD

I cannot blame her. By God's holy mother, she has suffered too much. And I'm sorry for the part I've played in her troubles.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I never did her any, to my knowledge.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I never did her any wrong, to my knowledge.

RICHARD

Yet you have all the vantage of her wrong. I was too hot to do somebody good That is too cold in thinking of it now. Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid; He is franked up to fatting for his pains. God pardon them that are the cause thereof.

RICHARD

But you've reaped all the benefits from her suffering. I was too eager in helping Edward to the throne, and now he seems to have forgotten my deeds. Well, as for Clarence, he is being well repaid for his pains—shut in a pigsty to be fattened up and slaughtered. May God pardon those responsible.

RIVERS

A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion To pray for them that have done scathe to us.

RIVERS

That's very virtuous and Christian of you to pray for those who have harmed us.

RICHARD

So do I ever [aside] being well-advised,For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.

RICHARD

I always do. 

[To himself] For I am the one responsible for this harm, and if I had cursed them, I would only be cursing myself.

Enter CATESBY

CATESBY

Madam, his majesty doth call for you,—And for your Grace, —and yours, my gracious lords.

CATESBY

Madam, his Majesty asks for you—and for you, Duke of Gloucester—and for you, my gracious lords.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Catesby, I come. —Lords, will you go with me?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I will go now, Catesby.

[To the others] Lords, will you go with me?

RIVERS

We wait upon your Grace.

RIVERS

We will attend you, your Grace.

Exeunt all but RICHARD, Duke of Gloucester

RICHARD

I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl. The secret mischiefs that I set abroach I lay unto the grievous charge of others. Clarence, whom I indeed have cast in darkness, I do beweep to many simple gulls, Namely, to Derby, Hastings, Buckingham, And tell them ’tis the queen and her allies That stir the king against the duke my brother. Now they believe it and withal whet me To be revenged on Rivers, Dorset, Grey; But then I sigh and, with a piece of scripture, Tell them that God bids us do good for evil; And thus I clothe my naked villainy With odd old ends stolen out of Holy Writ, And seem a saint when most I play the devil.

RICHARD

I commit the crimes, and I start the quarrels. I do wicked things in secret, and then lay the blame on others. I weep about Clarence, whom I've had thrown into prison, in front of these gullible fools—namely, Derby, Hastings, and Buckingham. And I tell them that it's the queen and her allies who have incited the King against Clarence. Now they believe it, and they urge me to take revenge on Rivers, Dorset, and Grey...but then I sigh, and quote a piece of scripture to them, saying that God tells us to repay evil with good. And so I clothe my naked villainy with odds and ends stolen from the Holy Bible, and I seem like a saint exactly when I act most like the devil.

Enter two MURDERERS

But, soft! here come my executioners.—How now, my hardy, stout, resolvèd mates?Are you now going to dispatch this thing?

But quiet! Here come the executioners I've hired.

[To the MURDERERS] How's it going, my hardy, strong, reliable friends? Are you going now to take care of this business?

FIRST MURDERER

We are, my lord, and come to have the warrantThat we may be admitted where he is.

FIRST MURDERER

We are, my lord. We've come to get the warrant so we can be admitted into Clarence's cell.

RICHARD

Well thought upon. I have it here about me. [He gives a paper] When you have done, repair to Crosby Place. But, sirs, be sudden in the execution, Withal obdurate; do not hear him plead, For Clarence is well-spoken and perhaps May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.

RICHARD

Good thinking. I have it on me here.

[He gives them a paper]
When you're done, go to Crosby Place. But, sirs, be quick in your execution. And don't let him plead for his life, for Clarence is well-spoken, and he may convince you to spare him if you listen too closely to his words.

FIRST MURDERER

Tut, tut, my lord, we will not stand to prate.Talkers are no good doers. Be assured We go to use our hands and not our tongues.

FIRST MURDERER

Tut, tut, my lord, we won't stand around and chat. Talkers are not good doers. Rest assured that we go to use our hands, not our tongues.

RICHARD

Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes drop tears.I like you lads. About your business straight.Go, go, dispatch.

RICHARD

You remain stone-faced when fools' eyes drop tears. I like you lads. Go about your business right away. Go, go, get to it.

MURDERERS

We will, my noble lord.

MURDERERS

We will, my noble lord.

Exeunt

Richard iii
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Matt cosby
About the Translator: Matt Cosby
Matt Cosby graduated from Amherst College in 2011, and currently works as a writer and editor for LitCharts. He is from Florida but now lives in Portland, Oregon, where he also makes art, plays the piano, and goes to dog parks.