A line-by-line translation

Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 2, Scene 1

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Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV, sick, QUEEN ELIZABETH, Lord Marquess DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and others

KING EDWARD

Why, so. Now have I done a good day’s work. You peers, continue this united league. I every day expect an embassage From my Redeemer to redeem me hence, And more in peace my soul shall part to heaven Since I have made my friends at peace on earth Rivers and Hastings, take each other’s hand. Dissemble not your hatred. Swear your love.

KING EDWARD

Well, now I've done a good day's work. You must all maintain this unity and friendship. Every day I expect a messenger of God to bear me away from here, and I can leave for heaven in peace now that my friends have made their peace on earth. Rivers and Hastings, take each other's hand. Don't just hide your hatred under a facade of friendship. Swear your love for each other.

RIVERS

[taking HASTINGS’s hand] By heaven, my soul is purged from grudging hate, And with my hand I seal my true heart’s love.

RIVERS

[Taking HASTINGS' hand] By heaven, my soul is now cleansed of all grudges and hatred. With this handshake I swear that this love is true.

HASTINGS

So thrive I as I truly swear the like.

HASTINGS

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KING EDWARD

Take heed you dally not before your king, Lest He that is the supreme King of kings Confound your hidden falsehood, and award Either of you to be the other’s end.

KING EDWARD

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HASTINGS

So prosper I as I swear perfect love.

HASTINGS

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RIVERS

And I as I love Hastings with my heart.

RIVERS

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KING EDWARD

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] Madam, yourself is not exempt in this,— Nor you, son Dorset, —Buckingham, nor you. You have been factious one against the other.— Wife, love Lord Hastings. Let him kiss your hand, And what you do, do it unfeignedly.

KING EDWARD

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QUEEN ELIZABETH

There, Hastings, I will never more rememberOur former hatred, so thrive I and mine.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

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HASTINGS kisses her hand

KING EDWARD

Dorset, embrace him.—Hastings, love Lord Marquess.

KING EDWARD

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DORSET

This interchange of love, I here protest,Upon my part shall be inviolable.

DORSET

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HASTINGS

And so swear I.

HASTINGS

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They embrace

KING EDWARD

Now, princely Buckingham, seal thou this league With thy embracements to my wife’s alliesAnd make me happy in your unity.

KING EDWARD

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BUCKINGHAM

[to QUEEN ELIZABETH] Whenever Buckingham doth turn his hate Upon your Grace, but with all duteous love Doth cherish you and yours, God punish me With hate in those where I expect most love. When I have most need to employ a friend, And most assurèd that he is a friend, Deep, hollow, treacherous, and full of guile Be he unto me: this do I beg of God When I am cold in love to you or yours.

BUCKINGHAM

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They embrace

KING EDWARD

A pleasing cordial, princely Buckingham, Is this thy vow unto my sickly heart. There wanteth now our brother Gloucester here To make the blessèd period of this peace.

KING EDWARD

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BUCKINGHAM

And in good time,Here comes Sir Richard Ratcliffe and the duke.

BUCKINGHAM

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Enter RICHARD and RATCLIFFE

RICHARD

Good morrow to my sovereign king and queen,And, princely peers, a happy time of day.

RICHARD

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KING EDWARD

Happy indeed, as we have spent the day. Brother, we have done deeds of charity, Made peace of enmity, fair love of hate, Between these swelling, wrong-incensèd peers.

KING EDWARD

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RICHARD

A blessèd labor, my most sovereign lord. Amongst this princely heap, if any here By false intelligence, or wrong surmise Hold me a foe, If I unwittingly, or in my rage, Have aught committed that is hardly borne By any in this presence, I desire To reconcile me to his friendly peace. 'Tis death to me to be at enmity; I hate it, and desire all good men’s love. First, madam, I entreat true peace of you, Which I will purchase with my duteous service;— Of you, my noble cousin Buckingham, If ever any grudge were lodged between us;— Of you, Lord Rivers, and Lord Gray of you, Dukes, earls, lords, gentlemen; indeed of all! I do not know that Englishman alive With whom my soul is any jot at odds More than the infant that is born tonight. I thank my God for my humility.

RICHARD

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QUEEN ELIZABETH

A holy day shall this be kept hereafter. I would to God all strifes were well compounded. My sovereign lord, I do beseech your Highness To take our brother Clarence to your grace.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

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RICHARD

Why, madam, have I offered love for this,To be so flouted in this royal presence? Who knows not that the gentle duke is dead?

RICHARD

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They all start

You do him injury to scorn his corse.

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KING EDWARD

Who knows not he is dead! Who knows he is?

KING EDWARD

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QUEEN ELIZABETH

All-seeing heaven, what a world is this!

QUEEN ELIZABETH

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BUCKINGHAM

Look I so pale, Lord Dorset, as the rest?

BUCKINGHAM

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DORSET

Ay, my good lord, and no one in the presenceBut his red color hath forsook his cheeks.

DORSET

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KING EDWARD

Is Clarence dead? The order was reversed.

KING EDWARD

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RICHARD

But he, poor man, by your first order died, And that a wingèd Mercury did bear. Some tardy cripple bear the countermand, That came too lag to see him burièd. God grant that some, less noble and less loyal, Nearer in bloody thoughts, and not in blood, Deserve not worse than wretched Clarence did, And yet go current from suspicion.

RICHARD

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Enter Lord STANLEY, Earl of Derby

STANLEY

[kneeling] A boon, my sovereign, for my service done.

STANLEY

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KING EDWARD

I prithee, peace. My soul is full of sorrow.

KING EDWARD

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STANLEY

I will not rise unless your Highness hear me.

STANLEY

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KING EDWARD

Then say at once what is it thou requests.

KING EDWARD

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STANLEY

The forfeit, sovereign, of my servant’s life,Who slew today a riotous gentlemanLately attendant on the duke of Norfolk.

STANLEY

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KING EDWARD

Have I a tongue to doom my brother’s death, And shall the tongue give pardon to a slave? My brother killed no man; his fault was thought, And yet his punishment was bitter death. Who sued to me for him? Who, in my wrath, Kneeled at my feet, and bade me be advised? Who spoke of brotherhood? Who spoke of love? Who told me how the poor soul did forsake The mighty Warwick and did fight for me? Who told me, in the field by Tewkesbury, When Oxford had me down, he rescued me, And said “Dear brother, live, and be a king?” Who told me, when we both lay in the field Frozen almost to death, how he did lap me Even in his garments and did give himself, All thin and naked, to the numb-cold night? All this from my remembrance brutish wrath Sinfully plucked, and not a man of you Had so much grace to put it in my mind. But when your carters or your waiting vassals Have done a drunken slaughter and defaced The precious image of our dear Redeemer, You straight are on your knees for pardon, pardon, And I, unjustly too, must grant it you. [STANLEY rises] But for my brother, not a man would speak, Nor I, ungracious, speak unto myself For him, poor soul. The proudest of you all Have been beholding to him in his life, Yet none of you would once beg for his life. O God, I fear Thy justice will take hold On me and you, and mine and yours for this!— Come, Hastings, help me to my closet.— Ah, poor Clarence.

KING EDWARD

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Exeunt some with KING EDWARD IV and QUEEN ELIZABETH

RICHARD

This is the fruits of rashness. Marked you not How that the guilty kindred of the queen Looked pale when they did hear of Clarence' death? O, they did urge it still unto the king. God will revenge it. Come, lords, will you go To comfort Edward with our company?

RICHARD

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BUCKINGHAM

We wait upon your Grace.

BUCKINGHAM

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Exeunt

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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.