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Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 3, Scene 2

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Enter a MESSENGER at door of HASTINGS

MESSENGER

[knocking] My lord, my lord.

MESSENGER

[Knocking] My lord, my lord.

HASTINGS

[within] Who knocks?

HASTINGS

[Offstage] Who's knocking?

MESSENGER

One from the Lord Stanley.

MESSENGER

A messenger from Lord Stanley.

HASTINGS

[within] What is ‘t o’clock?

HASTINGS

[Offstage] What time is it?

MESSENGER

Upon the stroke of four.

MESSENGER

Four in the morning.

Enter HASTINGS

HASTINGS

Cannot my Lord Stanley sleep these tedious nights?

HASTINGS

Can't Lord Stanley sleep on this long night?

MESSENGER

So it appears by that I have to say. First, he commends him to your noble self.

MESSENGER

It appears not, based on his message. First, he sends his regards to your noble self.

HASTINGS

What then?

HASTINGS

And what else?

MESSENGER

Then certifies your Lordship that this night He dreamt the boar had razèd his helm. Besides, he says there are two councils kept, And that may be determined at the one Which may make you and him to rue at th' other. Therefore he sends to know your Lordship’s pleasure, If you will presently take horse with him And with all speed post with him toward the north To shun the danger that his soul divines.

MESSENGER

He then tells your Lordship that tonight he dreamed that the boar cut off his head. He also says that there will be two council meetings tomorrow, and that the results of one meeting may make you and Stanley—who will be at the other—very sorry indeed. Because of this, he wants to know if you'll ride with him to the north as soon as possible, to escape the danger that his soul senses.

HASTINGS

Go, fellow, go. Return unto thy lord. Bid him not fear the separated council. His Honor and myself are at the one, And at the other is my good friend Catesby, Where nothing can proceed that toucheth us Whereof I shall not have intelligence. Tell him his fears are shallow, without instance. And for his dreams, I wonder he’s so simple To trust the mock'ry of unquiet slumbers. To fly the boar before the boar pursues Were to incense the boar to follow us And make pursuit where he did mean no chase. Go, bid thy master rise and come to me, And we will both together to the Tower, Where he shall see, the boar will use us kindly.

HASTINGS

Go, fellow, go. Return to your lord. Tell him not to worry about the two separate meetings. He and I will be at one meeting, and my good friend Catesby will be at the other. Nothing important can happen at the secret meeting without us hearing about it. Tell your lord that his fears are shadows without evidence. And as for his dreams, I'm surprised that he's so foolish as to trust the imaginings of restless sleep. To flee the boar before he even pursues us would make the boar angry, and incite him to chase us even if he never intended to in the first place. Go tell your master to get up and meet me, and we'll go together to the Tower. There he'll see that the boar will treat us kindly.

MESSENGER

I’ll go, my lord, and tell him what you say.

MESSENGER

I'll go and tell him what you say, my lord.

Exits.

Enter CATESBY

CATESBY

Many good morrows to my noble lord.

CATESBY

Good morning to you, my noble lord.

HASTINGS

Good morrow, Catesby. You are early stirring.What news, what news in this our tott'ring state?

HASTINGS

Good morning, Catesby. You're up early. What's the news in our unsteady kingdom?

CATESBY

It is a reeling world indeed, my lord,And I believe will never stand uprightTill Richard wear the garland of the realm.

CATESBY

It is a crazy world indeed, my lord. And I believe it will never stand upright again until Richard wears the garland of the realm.

HASTINGS

How “wear the garland?” Dost thou mean the crown?

HASTINGS

What do you mean, "wears the garland?" Do you mean the crown?

CATESBY

Ay, my good lord.

CATESBY

Yes, my good lord.

HASTINGS

I’ll have this crown of mine cut from my shouldersBefore I’ll see the crown so foul misplaced.But canst thou guess that he doth aim at it?

HASTINGS

I'll have my head cut from my shoulders before I'll see the crown so terribly misplaced. But do you think that's his intention?

CATESBY

Ay, on my life, and hopes to find you forward Upon his party for the gain thereof; And thereupon he sends you this good news, That this same very day your enemies, The kindred of the queen, must die at Pomfret.

CATESBY

Yes, I swear on my life. And he hopes that you'll join his side and help him. For that reason he sends you this good news: that this very day your enemies—the queen's relatives—will die at Pomfret Castle.

HASTINGS

Indeed, I am no mourner for that news, Because they have been still my adversaries. But that I’ll give my voice on Richard’s side To bar my master’s heirs in true descent, God knows I will not do it, to the death.

HASTINGS

Indeed, I'm not sorry to hear that news, for they have always been my enemies. But as for the idea that I'd support Richard's side in keeping my master's true heirs from the throne—God knows I'll never do it. I'd rather die.

CATESBY

God keep your Lordship in that gracious mind.

CATESBY

May God preserve your Lordship in that noble state of mind.

HASTINGS

But I shall laugh at this a twelve-month hence, That they which brought me in my master’s hate, I live to look upon their tragedy. Well, Catesby, ere a fortnight make me older I’ll send some packing that yet think not on ’t.

HASTINGS

But I'll laugh at all this in a year, and rejoice that I could see tragedy come to those who once convinced King Edward to hate me. Well, Catesby, before two weeks have passed I'll send some people packing who won't be expecting it at all.

CATESBY

'Tis a vile thing to die, my gracious lord, When men are unprepared and look not for it.

CATESBY

It's a terrible thing to die when you're unprepared and not expecting it, my gracious lord.

HASTINGS

O monstrous, monstrous! And so falls it out With Rivers, Vaughan, Grey; and so ’twill do With some men else that think themselves as safe As thou and I, who, as thou know’st, are dear To princely Richard and to Buckingham.

HASTINGS

Yes, it's monstrous, monstrous! That's how it is for Rivers, Vaughan, and Grey. And that's how it will be soon for some other men who think they're as safe as you and I are—we who are dear to princely Richard and Buckingham.

CATESBY

The princes both make high account of you— [aside] For they account his head upon the Bridge.

CATESBY

Those two lords both think highly of you. 

[To himself] That is, they think of your head being high on a pole at London Bridge.

HASTINGS

I know they do, and I have well deserved it.

HASTINGS

I know they do, and I deserve it.

Enter STANLEY

Come on, come on. Where is your boar-spear, man? Fear you the boar, and go so unprovided?

Come on, come on. Where is your boar-hunting spear, man? You're afraid of the boar, but you'll go around unarmed?

STANLEY

My lord, good morrow. —Good morrow, Catesby.—You may jest on, but, by the Holy Rood,I do not like these several councils, I.

STANLEY

My lord, good morning.

[To CATESBY] Good morning, Catesby.

[To STANLEY] You may joke, but, by the Holy Cross, I don't like these two separate meetings.

HASTINGS

My lord, I hold my life as dear as you do yours, And never in my days, I do protest, Was it so precious to me as ’tis now. Think you but that I know our state secure, I would be so triumphant as I am?

HASTINGS

My lord, I care about my life as much as you care about yours, and I swear I care about it as much now as I ever have. Do you think I would be as confident as I am if I wasn't certain of our safety?

STANLEY

The lords at Pomfret, when they rode from London, Were jocund and supposed their states were sure, And they indeed had no cause to mistrust; But yet you see how soon the day o'ercast. This sudden stab of rancor I misdoubt. Pray God, I say, I prove a needless coward! What, shall we toward the Tower? The day is spent.

STANLEY

When the queen's relatives rode from London, they too were joyful and felt sure that they were safe. And indeed they had no reason to worry. But see how quickly the day grew cloudy for them—now they're imprisoned at Pomfret Castle. Richard's sudden attack on them makes me worried. I pray to God that it turns out I'm being cowardly for no reason. Well, should we go to the Tower? The day has already begun.

HASTINGS

Come, come. Have with you. Wot you what, my lord?Today the lords you talked of are beheaded.

HASTINGS

Come, come. Let's go. Do you know what, my lord? Those lords you just mentioned—Rivers and Grey—will be beheaded today.

STANLEY

They, for their truth, might better wear their headsThan some that have accused them wear their hats. But come, my lord, let’s away.

STANLEY

To be honest, they deserve to keep their heads more than the people who've accused them deserve to keep their duke's caps. But come, my lord, let's go.

Enter a PURSUIVANT

HASTINGS

Go on before. I’ll talk with this good fellow.

HASTINGS

Go on ahead. I'll talk with this good fellow.

Exeunt STANLEY and CATESBY

How now, sirrah! How goes the world with thee?

Hello, sir! How's the world treating you?

PURSUIVANT

The better that your Lordship please to ask.

PURSUIVANT

Better, now that your Lordship was kind enough to ask.

HASTINGS

I tell thee, man, ’tis better with me now Than when thou met’st me last where now we meet. Then was I going prisoner to the Tower By the suggestion of the queen’s allies. But now, I tell thee—keep it to thyself— This day those enemies are put to death, And I in better state than e'er I was.

HASTINGS

I tell you, man, it's better with me now than it was the last time you met me here. At that time I was on my way to be imprisoned in the Tower, accused by the queen's allies. But now, I tell you—and keep this to yourself—those enemies are being put to death today, and I'm better than ever.

PURSUIVANT

God hold it, to your Honor’s good content!

PURSUIVANT

May God preserve your good luck, your Honor!

HASTINGS

Gramercy, fellow. There, drink that for me.

HASTINGS

Thank you very much, fellow. Here, have a drink on me.

Throws him his purse

PURSUIVANT

I thank your Honor.

PURSUIVANT

I thank your Honor.

Exit

Enter a PRIEST

PRIEST

Well met, my lord. I am glad to see your Honor.

PRIEST

Hello, my lord. I'm glad to see you.

HASTINGS

I thank thee, good Sir John, with all my heart.I am in your debt for your last exercise.Come the next sabbath, and I will content you.

HASTINGS

I thank you with all my heart, Sir John. I'm in your debt for your last sermon. Next Sunday I'll give the church a nice donation.

PRIEST

I’ll wait upon your Lordship.

PRIEST

I'll come to see you, your Lordship.

HASTINGS whispers in his ear.

Exit PRIEST

Enter BUCKINGHAM

BUCKINGHAM

What, talking with a priest, Lord Chamberlain?Your friends at Pomfret, they do need the priest; Your Honor hath no shriving work in hand.

BUCKINGHAM

What, talking with a priest, Lord Hastings? Your friends at Pomfret Castle, they're the ones who need a priest. You, your Honor, have no deathbed confessions to make.

HASTINGS

Good faith, and when I met this holy man,The men you talk of came into my mind.What, go you toward the Tower?

HASTINGS

Honestly, when I ran into this holy man, I did think of those men you mention. So, are you going to the Tower?

BUCKINGHAM

I do, my lord, but long I shall not stay there. I shall return before your Lordship thence.

BUCKINGHAM

I am, my lord. But I won't stay there long. I'll return from there before your Lordship does.

HASTINGS

Nay, like enough, for I stay dinner there.

HASTINGS

That's likely, since I'm staying for lunch there.

BUCKINGHAM

[aside] And supper too, although thou know’st it not.—Come, will you go?

BUCKINGHAM

[To himself] And for dinner too, though you don't know it yet.

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

HASTINGS

I’ll wait upon your Lordship.

HASTINGS

I'll follow your Lordship.

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.