A line-by-line translation

Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 2, Scene 3

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Enter one CITIZEN at one door, and another at the other

FIRST CITIZEN

Good morrow, neighbor, whither away so fast?

FIRST CITIZEN

Good morning, neighbor. Where are you hurrying off to?

SECOND CITIZEN

I promise you I scarcely know myself.Hear you the news abroad?

SECOND CITIZEN

I swear, I hardly know where I'm going myself. Have you heard the news going around?

FIRST CITIZEN

Yes, that the king is dead.

FIRST CITIZEN

Yes, that the king is dead.

SECOND CITIZEN

Ill news, by 'r Lady. Seldom comes the better. I fear, I fear, ’twill prove a giddy world.

SECOND CITIZEN

Bad news, by the Virgin Mary. The news is always bad, and likely to get worse. I fear that the world will go crazy.

Enter THIRD CITIZEN

THIRD CITIZEN

Neighbors, God speed.

THIRD CITIZEN

Hello, neighbors.

FIRST CITIZEN

Give you good morrow, sir.

FIRST CITIZEN

Good morning to you, sir.

THIRD CITIZEN

Doth this news hold of good King Edward’s death?

THIRD CITIZEN

Is the news true that good King Edward has died?

SECOND CITIZEN

Ay, sir, it is too true, God help the while.

SECOND CITIZEN

Yes, sir, it's too true, God help us.

THIRD CITIZEN

Then, masters, look to see a troublous world.

THIRD CITIZEN

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FIRST CITIZEN

No, no, by God’s good grace, his son shall reign.

FIRST CITIZEN

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THIRD CITIZEN

Woe to the land that’s governed by a child.

THIRD CITIZEN

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SECOND CITIZEN

In him there is a hope of government, Which, in his nonage, council under him, And, in his full and ripened years, himself, No doubt shall then, and till then, govern well.

SECOND CITIZEN

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FIRST CITIZEN

So stood the state when Henry the SixthWas crowned in Paris but at nine months old.

FIRST CITIZEN

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THIRD CITIZEN

Stood the state so? No, no, good friends, God wot, For then this land was famously enriched With politic grave counsel; then the king Had virtuous uncles to protect his Grace.

THIRD CITIZEN

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FIRST CITIZEN

Why, so hath this, both by the father and mother.

FIRST CITIZEN

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THIRD CITIZEN

Better it were they all came by his father, Or by the father there were none at all, For emulation who shall now be nearest Will touch us all too near if God prevent not. O, full of danger is the duke of Gloucester, And the queen’s sons and brothers haught and proud, And were they to be ruled, and not to rule, This sickly land might solace as before.

THIRD CITIZEN

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FIRST CITIZEN

Come, come, we fear the worst. All will be well.

FIRST CITIZEN

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THIRD CITIZEN

When clouds are seen, wise men put on their cloaks; When great leaves fall, then winter is at hand; When the sun sets, who doth not look for night? Untimely storms make men expect a dearth. All may be well; but if God sort it so, 'Tis more than we deserve or I expect.

THIRD CITIZEN

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SECOND CITIZEN

Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear.Ye cannot reason almost with a man That looks not heavily and full of dread.

SECOND CITIZEN

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THIRD CITIZEN

Before the days of change, still is it so. By a divine instinct, men’s minds mistrust Ensuing dangers, as by proof we see The water swell before a boist'rous storm. But leave it all to God. Whither away?

THIRD CITIZEN

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SECOND CITIZEN

Marry, we were sent for to the justices.

SECOND CITIZEN

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THIRD CITIZEN

And so was I. I’ll bear you company.

THIRD CITIZEN

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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.