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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

May God protect me from false friends—but my uncles weren't false.

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

My lord, the mayor of London is here to greet you.

Enter the LORD MAYOR and his train

LORD MAYOR

God bless your Grace with health and happy days.

LORD MAYOR

May God bless your Grace with health and happy days.

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

I thank you, my good lord, and thank you all. But I thought my mother and my brother York would have met us on our way long before now. And it's shameful what a slug Hastings is, that he hasn't even come to tell us whether or not they're coming!

Enter HASTINGS

BUCKINGHAM

And in good time here comes the sweating lord.

BUCKINGHAM

And just in time, here comes the sweating lord.

PRINCE

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

PRINCE

Welcome, my lord. Well, is my mother coming?

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

Only God knows why, but the queen your mother and your brother York have taken sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. The tender prince wanted to come with me to meet your Grace, but his mother forced him to stay.

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

For shame, what a devious and perverse course the queen is taking!

[To the CARDINAL] Lord Cardinal, will you persuade the queen to send the Duke of York to his princely brother at once?

[To HASTINGS] You go too, Lord Hastings. And if she refuses, pluck the boy from her suspicious arms by force.

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

My Lord of Buckingham, if my weak words can persuade his mother to give up the Duke of York, then you can expect him here soon. But if she resists my mild requests, then God forbid that we should break the holy laws of sanctuary! I would not commit such a terrible sin even in exchange for a kingdom.

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

My lord, you are foolishly stubborn, and too tied to formalities and traditions. Consider the moral roughness of these times, and you'll see that you're not really breaking sanctuary in seizing him. The benefit of sanctuary is always given to those who really deserve protection, or those who are smart enough to claim it. This prince has neither claimed it nor does he deserve it. Therefore, in my opinion, he cannot have it. If you seize him from sanctuary when he was never really taking sanctuary in the first place, then you aren't breaking any laws or traditions. I've often heard of "sanctuary men," but until now I've never heard of "sanctuary children."

CARDINAL

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

CARDINAL

My lord, I'll let you convince me this once.

[To HASTINGS] Come on, Lord Hastings, will you go with me?

HASTINGS

I go, my lord.

HASTINGS

I will, my lord.

PRINCE

Good lords, make all the speedy haste you may.

PRINCE

Good lords, go as quickly as you can.

Exeunt CARDINAL and HASTINGS

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

Tell me, Uncle Richard: if my brother comes, where will we stay until my coronation ceremony?

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

Wherever seems best for your royal self. If I can advise you, though, you should stay a day or two in the Tower. After that you can stay wherever you like, and wherever seems best for your health and pleasure.

PRINCE

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

PRINCE

Of all places, I don't like the Tower at all. Didn't Julius Caesar build it, my lord?

BUCKINGHAM

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

BUCKINGHAM

He began it, my gracious lord. And since then succeeding generations have added on to it.

PRINCE

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

PRINCE

Is it on record that he built the Tower, or is it just reported by word of mouth from generation to generation?

BUCKINGHAM

Upon record, my gracious lord.

BUCKINGHAM

On record, my gracious lord.

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

But even if it weren't recorded, I think that the truth would live on from generation to generation—being told as part of legend and history—all the way until Judgment Day.

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

[To himself] They say that those who are so wise when so young never live long.

PRINCE

What say you, uncle?

PRINCE

What did you say, uncle?

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

I said that without written records, fame lives long. 

[To himself] Like the figure of Sin, I use the double meanings of words to my advantage.

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

That Julius Caesar was a famous man. His courage aided his intelligence, and his intelligence helped him make sure that his reputation for courage outlived him. Death didn't conquer that conqueror. Now he lives on in fame, though not in life. I'll tell you what, my cousin Buckingham—

BUCKINGHAM

What, my gracious lord?

BUCKINGHAM

What, my gracious lord?

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

If I live to be a man, I'll conquer France and win back our claim to the throne there. Otherwise I'll die as a soldier, though I lived as a king.

RICHARD

[aside] Short summers lightly have a forward spring.

RICHARD

[To himself] Short summers often have an early spring, as they say. Those who die young are usually precocious.

Enter young YORK, HASTINGS, and the CARDINAL

BUCKINGHAM

Now in good time here comes the duke of York.

BUCKINGHAM

Now here comes the Duke of York, right on time.

PRINCE

Richard of York, how fares our loving brother?

PRINCE

Richard of York, how are you, my loving brother?

YORK

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

YORK

I'm well, my sovereign lord—for that's what I must call you now.

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

Yes, Brother, and it's a sad occasion for both of us. Our father—the man who should have kept that title—died too recently. And the sadness of his death makes the title seem much less majestic.

RICHARD

How fares our cousin, noble Lord of York?

RICHARD

How are you, my nephew, noble Lord of York?

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

I thank you for asking, noble uncle. Oh, my lord, you once said that lazy weeds grow quickly. The prince my brother has far outgrown me.

RICHARD

He hath, my lord.

RICHARD

He has, my lord.

YORK

And therefore is he idle?

YORK

So is he lazy then?

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

Oh, my fair nephew, I can't say that.

YORK

Then is he more beholding to you than I.

YORK

Then he has more power over you than I do.

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

He may command me as my king, but you still have power over me as my relative.

YORK

I pray you, uncle, give me this dagger.

YORK

Please give me your dagger, uncle.

RICHARD

My dagger, little cousin? With all my heart.

RICHARD

My dagger, little Nephew? With all my heart.

PRINCE

A beggar, brother?

PRINCE

Are you begging, Brother?

YORK

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

YORK

Only from my kind uncle. I know he'll give it to me, and it's not valuable, so it shouldn't make him sad to lose it.

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

I'll give my nephew a greater gift than that.

YORK

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

YORK

A greater gift? Oh, that must mean a sword.

RICHARD

Ay, gentle cousin, were it light enough.

RICHARD

Yes, noble nephew. That is, if it's light enough for you to hold.

YORK

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

YORK

Oh, then I see that you'll only part with light, trivial gifts. You'll refuse a beggar's request in heavier, more valuable things.

RICHARD

It is too heavy for your Grace to wear.

RICHARD

A sword is too heavy for your Grace to wear.

YORK

I weigh it lightly, were it heavier.

YORK

I'd consider it light and trivial even if it were heavier.

RICHARD

What, would you have my weapon, little lord?

RICHARD

What, do you want my weapon, little lord?

YORK

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

YORK

I do, so I can thank you for what you called me.

RICHARD

How?

RICHARD

What do you mean?

YORK

Little.

YORK

You called me "little."

PRINCE

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

PRINCE

The Lord of York is always argumentative. Uncle, you know how to bear with him.

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

You mean to bear me, not to bear with me.

[To RICHARD] Uncle, my brother is mocking both of us. Because I'm little, like a monkey, he thinks that you should bear me on your shoulders, like a fool.

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

[To himself] What a sharp and thoughtful mind he has! To smooth over his mockery of his uncle, he cleverly and politely mocks himself. It's amazing that he's so cunning while so young.

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

[To the PRINCE] My lord, would you like to continue on? My good cousin Buckingham and I will go to your mother and ask her to meet you at the Tower.

YORK

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

YORK

[To the PRINCE] What, are you going to the Tower, my lord?

PRINCE

My lord protector needs will have it so.

PRINCE

My Lord Protector Richard insists on it.

YORK

I shall not sleep in quiet at the Tower.

YORK

I won't sleep peacefully at the Tower.

RICHARD

Why, what should you fear?

RICHARD

Why, what do you have to be afraid of?

YORK

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

YORK

Well, my uncle Clarence's angry ghost. My grandmother told me he was murdered there.

PRINCE

I fear no uncles dead.

PRINCE

I'm not afraid of any dead uncle.

RICHARD

Nor none that live, I hope.

RICHARD

Nor living ones, I hope.

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

If they're still alive, I should hope that I don't need to fear them

[To YORK] But come, my lord. I'll think of my lost uncles and go to the Tower with a heavy heart.

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

My lord, don't you think that this talkative little York was encouraged by his deceitful mother to taunt and scorn you in that outrageous manner?

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

No doubt, no doubt. Oh, he's a dangerous and cunning boy—bold, lively, ingenious, outspoken, and capable. He takes after his mother, from head to toe.

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

Well, let's leave them for the moment.

[To CATESBY] Come here, Catesby. You're sworn to do as we command and never reveal our secrets. You know about our plans, which we described along the way. What do you think? Would it be an easy matter to convince Lord Hastings to join our side, and support us in making the noble Duke Richard the next king of this glorious country?

CATESBY

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

CATESBY

Hastings loves the Prince because of his great love for his father, the late King Edward. We won't be able to convince him.

BUCKINGHAM

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

BUCKINGHAM

What do you think about Stanley then? Won't he join us?

CATESBY

He will do all in all as Hastings doth.

CATESBY

He'll do whatever Hastings does.

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

Well then, just do this, noble Catesby: go and sound out Lord Hastings regarding our cause. But make it seem like a vague plan for the distant future. Find out how he feels, and summon him to the Tower tomorrow for the coronation. If he seems like he could be convinced to join us, then encourage him and explain all our reasons to him. If he's surly, cold, or unwilling, then you should act like that too, and break off the conversation. Let us know how he responds, for tomorrow we will hold two separate council meetings—one public, and one in secret, only for our supporters—and you'll have lots of work to do at them.

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

Give my regards to Lord Hastings. Tell him, Catesby, that the dangerous enemies who have plagued him for years will be executed tomorrow at Pomfret Castle. And to celebrate this good news, tell him to give Miss Shore an extra kiss.

BUCKINGHAM

Good Catesby, go effect this business soundly.

BUCKINGHAM

Good Catesby, go do your work well.

CATESBY

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

CATESBY

My good lords, I'll do the best I can.

RICHARD

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

RICHARD

Will we hear from you before we go to sleep, Catesby?

CATESBY

You shall, my lord.

CATESBY

You will, my lord.

RICHARD

At Crosby Place, there shall you find us both.

RICHARD

You'll find us both at Crosby Place.

Exit CATESBY

BUCKINGHAM

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

BUCKINGHAM

Now, my lord, what will we do if Lord Hastings won't go along with our conspiracy?

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

Chop off his head. We'll come up with something. And when I am king, you will have the earldom of Hereford—and all the wealth and possessions that go with it—which my brother, King Edward, used to own.

BUCKINGHAM

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

BUCKINGHAM

I'll take you up on that promise, your Grace.

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

And you'll see that I'll give it gladly. Come, let's eat early, so that afterwards we can think about our plot further.

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.