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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

Then be ready for troubled times, sirs.

FIRST CITIZEN

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

FIRST CITIZEN

No, no, by God's good grace, his son will become king.

THIRD CITIZEN

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

THIRD CITIZEN

It's bad for a country to be ruled by a child.

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

There is hope for the country under his rule, though. A young king who governs wisely under his advisors will govern wisely on his own when he reaches adulthood.

FIRST CITIZEN

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

FIRST CITIZEN

That's how it went when Henry the Sixth was crowned in Paris at just nine months old.

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

Is that how it was? No, no, good friends, back then the country was rich with intelligent advisors, and the king had virtuous uncles to protect him.

FIRST CITIZEN

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

FIRST CITIZEN

Why, this king—Edward's son—has uncles too, on both his father's and his mother's side.

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

It would be better if they were all on his father's side, or if none at all were on his father's side. For as it is, the contest over which uncles will be closest to the king is likely to affect all of us, if God doesn't prevent it. The Duke of Gloucester—Richard—is a dangerous man. And Queen Elizabeth's sons and brothers are haughty and proud. This sickly country will only have a chance of being healed if they end up as subjects, not rulers.

FIRST CITIZEN

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

FIRST CITIZEN

Come, come, we're worrying about the worst possible outcome. I'm sure that everything will be all right.

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

You know what they say: when clouds appear, wise men put on their coats. When leaves fall from the trees, winter is coming. When the sun sets, who doesn't expect night? When storms arrive early, men expect a bad harvest. Everything may be all right, as you say. But if God wills it to turn out all right, that will be more than we deserve, and not what I expect.

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

Truly, the hearts of men are full of fear. There's hardly anyone who isn't unreasonably worried right now.

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

It's always like this before times of great change. By some divine instinct, we get nervous when danger is coming—just like when we see the waves swelling before a storm arrives. But leave it all to God. Where are you off to?

SECOND CITIZEN

Marry, we were sent for to the justices.

SECOND CITIZEN

Indeed, the judges have sent for us.

THIRD CITIZEN

And so was I. I’ll bear you company.

THIRD CITIZEN

And for me to. I'll keep you company.

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.