A line-by-line translation

Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 3, Scene 1

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The trumpets sound. Enter the young PRINCE, the CARDINAL, CATESBY, and others

BUCKINGHAM

Welcome, sweet prince, to London, to your chamber.

BUCKINGHAM

Welcome to your room here in London, sweet prince.

RICHARD

[to PRINCE] Welcome, dear cousin, my thoughts' sovereign.The weary way hath made you melancholy.

RICHARD

Welcome, dear nephew, ruler of my thoughts. It seems that the tiring journey has made you sad.

PRINCE

No, uncle, but our crosses on the way Have made it tedious, wearisome, and heavy.I want more uncles here to welcome me.

PRINCE

No, uncle, but the annoyances on the way made the journey tedious, tiring, and dull. I wish more uncles were here to welcome me.

RICHARD

Sweet prince, the untainted virtue of your years Hath not yet dived into the world’s deceit; Nor more can you distinguish of a man Than of his outward show, which, God He knows, Seldom or never jumpeth with the heart. Those uncles which you want were dangerous. Your Grace attended to their sugared words But looked not on the poison of their hearts. God keep you from them, and from such false friends.

RICHARD

Sweet prince, you are young and innocent, and haven't experienced the deceitfulness of the world yet. You can't perceive the truth about a man except for what he shows on the outside—which, God knows, hardly ever corresponds with his heart. Those uncles you wish for were dangerous. You heard their sugary words, but you couldn't see the poison in their hearts, your Grace. May God protect you from them, and from all such false friends!

PRINCE

God keep me from false friends, but they were none.

PRINCE

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RICHARD

My lord, the mayor of London comes to greet you.

RICHARD

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Enter the LORD MAYOR and his train

LORD MAYOR

God bless your Grace with health and happy days.

LORD MAYOR

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PRINCE

I thank you, good my lord, and thank you all.— I thought my mother and my brother York Would long ere this have met us on the way. Fie, what a slug is Hastings that he comes not To tell us whether they will come or no!

PRINCE

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Enter HASTINGS

BUCKINGHAM

And in good time here comes the sweating lord.

BUCKINGHAM

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PRINCE

Welcome, my lord. What, will our mother come?

PRINCE

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HASTINGS

On what occasion God He knows, not I, The Queen your mother and your brother York Have taken sanctuary. The tender prince Would fain have come with me to meet your Grace, But by his mother was perforce withheld.

HASTINGS

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BUCKINGHAM

Fie, what an indirect and peevish course Is this of hers! —Lord Cardinal, will your Grace Persuade the queen to send the duke of York Unto his princely brother presently?— If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him, And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.

BUCKINGHAM

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CARDINAL

My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak oratory Can from his mother win the duke of York, Anon expect him here; but if she be obdurate To mild entreaties, God in heaven forbid We should infringe the holy privilege Of blessèd sanctuary! Not for all this land Would I be guilty of so deep a sin.

CARDINAL

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BUCKINGHAM

You are too senseless obstinate, my lord, Too ceremonious and traditional. Weigh it but with the grossness of this age, You break not sanctuary in seizing him. The benefit thereof is always granted To those whose dealings have deserved the place And those who have the wit to claim the place. This prince hath neither claimed it nor deserved it And therefore, in mine opinion, cannot have it. Then taking him from thence that is not there, You break no privilege nor charter there. Oft have I heard of sanctuary men, But sanctuary children, ne'er till now.

BUCKINGHAM

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CARDINAL

My lord, you shall o'errule my mind for once.—Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?

CARDINAL

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HASTINGS

I go, my lord.

HASTINGS

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PRINCE

Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.

PRINCE

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Exeunt CARDINAL and HASTINGS

Say, uncle Gloucester, if our brother come,Where shall we sojourn till our coronation?

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RICHARD

Where it seems best unto your royal self. If I may counsel you, some day or two Your Highness shall repose you at the Tower; Then where you please and shall be thought most fit For your best health and recreation.

RICHARD

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PRINCE

I do not like the Tower, of any place.—Did Julius Caesar build that place, my lord?

PRINCE

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BUCKINGHAM

He did, my gracious lord, begin that place,Which, since, succeeding ages have re-edified.

BUCKINGHAM

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PRINCE

Is it upon record, or else reportedSuccessively from age to age, he built it?

PRINCE

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BUCKINGHAM

Upon record, my gracious lord.

BUCKINGHAM

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PRINCE

But say, my lord, it were not registered, Methinks the truth should live from age to age, As ’twere retailed to all posterity, Even to the general all-ending day.

PRINCE

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RICHARD

[aside] So wise so young, they say, do never live long.

RICHARD

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PRINCE

What say you, uncle?

PRINCE

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RICHARD

I say, without characters fame lives long. [aside] Thus, like the formal Vice, Iniquity,I moralize two meanings in one word.

RICHARD

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PRINCE

That Julius Caesar was a famous man. With what his valor did enrich his wit, His wit set down to make his valor live. Death makes no conquest of this conqueror, For now he lives in fame, though not in life. I’ll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham—

PRINCE

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BUCKINGHAM

What, my gracious lord?

BUCKINGHAM

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PRINCE

An if I live until I be a man,I’ll win our ancient right in France againOr die a soldier, as I lived a king.

PRINCE

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RICHARD

[aside] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.

RICHARD

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Enter young YORK, HASTINGS, and the CARDINAL

BUCKINGHAM

Now in good time here comes the duke of York.

BUCKINGHAM

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PRINCE

Richard of York, how fares our loving brother?

PRINCE

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YORK

Well, my dread lord—so must I call you now.

YORK

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PRINCE

Ay, brother, to our grief, as it is yours.Too late he died that might have kept that title, Which by his death hath lost much majesty.

PRINCE

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RICHARD

How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?

RICHARD

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YORK

I thank you, gentle uncle. O, my lord,You said that idle weeds are fast in growth.The prince my brother hath outgrown me far.

YORK

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RICHARD

He hath, my lord.

RICHARD

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YORK

And therefore is he idle?

YORK

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RICHARD

O, my fair cousin, I must not say so.

RICHARD

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YORK

Then is he more beholding to you than I.

YORK

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RICHARD

He may command me as my sovereign,But you have power in me as in a kinsman.

RICHARD

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YORK

I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.

YORK

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RICHARD

My dagger, little cousin? With all my heart.

RICHARD

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PRINCE

A beggar, brother?

PRINCE

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YORK

Of my kind uncle, that I know will give,And being but a toy, which is no grief to give.

YORK

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RICHARD

A greater gift than that I’ll give my cousin.

RICHARD

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YORK

A greater gift? O, that’s the sword to it.

YORK

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RICHARD

Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough.

RICHARD

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YORK

O, then I see you will part but with light gifts.In weightier things you’ll say a beggar nay.

YORK

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RICHARD

It is too heavy for your Grace to wear.

RICHARD

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YORK

I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.

YORK

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RICHARD

What, would you have my weapon, little lord?

RICHARD

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YORK

I would, that I might thank you as you call me.

YORK

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RICHARD

How?

RICHARD

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YORK

Little.

YORK

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PRINCE

My lord of York will still be cross in talk.Uncle, your Grace knows how to bear with him.

PRINCE

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YORK

You mean, to bear me, not to bear with me.— Uncle, my brother mocks both you and me. Because that I am little, like an ape, He thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders.

YORK

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BUCKINGHAM

[aside] With what a sharp-provided wit he reasons! To mitigate the scorn he gives his uncle, He prettily and aptly taunts himself. So cunning and so young is wonderful.

BUCKINGHAM

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RICHARD

[to PRINCE] My lord, will ’t please you pass along? Myself and my good cousin Buckingham Will to your mother, to entreat of her To meet you at the Tower and welcome you.

RICHARD

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YORK

[to PRINCE] What, will you go unto the Tower, my lord?

YORK

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PRINCE

My lord protector needs will have it so.

PRINCE

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YORK

I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.

YORK

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RICHARD

Why, what should you fear?

RICHARD

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YORK

Marry, my uncle Clarence' angry ghost. My grandam told me he was murdered there.

YORK

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PRINCE

I fear no uncles dead.

PRINCE

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RICHARD

Nor none that live, I hope.

RICHARD

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PRINCE

An if they live, I hope I need not fear. [to YORK] But come, my lord. With a heavy heart,Thinking on them, go I unto the Tower.

PRINCE

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A sennet. Exeunt all but RICHARD, BUCKINGHAM, and CATESBY

BUCKINGHAM

Think you, my lord, this little prating YorkWas not incensèd by his subtle motherTo taunt and scorn you thus opprobriously?

BUCKINGHAM

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RICHARD

No doubt, no doubt. O, ’tis a parlous boy,Bold, quick, ingenious, forward, capable. He is all the mother’s, from the top to toe.

RICHARD

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BUCKINGHAM

Well, let them rest.— Come hither, Catesby. Thou art sworn as deeply to effect what we intend As closely to conceal what we impart. Thou knowest our reasons, urged upon the way. What thinkest thou? Is it not an easy matter To make William Lord Hastings of our mind For the installment of this noble duke In the seat royal of this famous isle?

BUCKINGHAM

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CATESBY

He, for his father’s sake, so loves the prince That he will not be won to aught against him.

CATESBY

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BUCKINGHAM

What think’st thou then of Stanley? Will not he?

BUCKINGHAM

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CATESBY

He will do all in all as Hastings doth.

CATESBY

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BUCKINGHAM

Well then, no more but this: go, gentle Catesby, And, as it were far off, sound thou Lord Hastings How he doth stand affected to our purpose And summon him tomorrow to the Tower To sit about the coronation. If thou dost find him tractable to us, Encourage him and show him all our reasons. If he be leaden, icy, cold, unwilling, Be thou so too, and so break off the talk, And give us notice of his inclination; For we tomorrow hold divided councils, Wherein thyself shalt highly be employed.

BUCKINGHAM

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RICHARD

Commend me to Lord William. Tell him, Catesby, His ancient knot of dangerous adversaries Tomorrow are let blood at Pomfret castle, And bid my lord, for joy of this good news, Give mistress Shore one gentle kiss the more.

RICHARD

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BUCKINGHAM

Good Catesby, go effect this business soundly.

BUCKINGHAM

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CATESBY

My good lords both, with all the heed I can.

CATESBY

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RICHARD

Shall we hear from you, Catesby, ere we sleep?

RICHARD

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CATESBY

You shall, my lord.

CATESBY

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RICHARD

At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.

RICHARD

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Exit CATESBY

BUCKINGHAM

Now, my lord, what shall we do, if we perceiveLord Hastings will not yield to our complots?

BUCKINGHAM

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RICHARD

Chop off his head. Something we will determine. And look when I am king, claim thou of me The earldom of Hereford, and all the moveables Whereof the king my brother was possessed.

RICHARD

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BUCKINGHAM

I’ll claim that promise at your Grace’s hands.

BUCKINGHAM

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RICHARD

And look to have it yielded with all kindness.Come, let us sup betimes, that afterwardsWe may digest our complots in some form.

RICHARD

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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.