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Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 3, Scene 4

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Enter BUCKINGHAM, STANLEY, HASTINGS, the bishop of ELY, RATCLIFFE, LOVELL, with others, at a table

HASTINGS

Now, noble peers. the cause why we are metIs to determine of the coronation.In God’s name, speak. When is the royal day?

HASTINGS

Now, noble peers, we are meeting today to come to a decision about the coronation. In God's name, speak. When will the royal day be?

BUCKINGHAM

Is all things ready for the royal time?

BUCKINGHAM

Is everything ready for the royal event?

STANLEY

It is, and wants but nomination.

STANLEY

Yes, and all we need to do is name the day.

ELY

Tomorrow, then, I judge a happy day.

ELY

Then I think tomorrow should be a favorable day.

BUCKINGHAM

Who knows the Lord Protector’s mind herein?Who is most inward with the noble duke?

BUCKINGHAM

Who knows what the Lord Protector Richard thinks about this? Who is closest to the noble duke?

ELY

Your Grace, we think, should soonest know his mind.

ELY

We think you would best know his mind, your Grace.

BUCKINGHAM

We know each other’s faces; for our hearts, He knows no more of mine than I of yours, Or I of his, my lord, than you of mine.— Lord Hastings, you and he are near in love.

BUCKINGHAM

We know each other's faces. But as for our hearts, he doesn't know mine any more than I know yours or his, or you know mine.

[To HASTINGS] Lord Hastings, you and he are close friends.

HASTINGS

I thank his Grace. I know he loves me well. But for his purpose in the coronation, I have not sounded him, nor he delivered His gracious pleasure any way therein. But you, my honorable lords, may name the time, And in the duke’s behalf I’ll give my voice, Which I presume he’ll take in gentle part.

HASTINGS

I thank you for saying that. I know he loves me well. But I haven't asked him out about the coronation, and he hasn't told me his preferences about it. But you can name a time, my honorable lords. And I'll give my vote on the duke's behalf. I'm sure he won't mind.

Enter RICHARD

ELY

In happy time here comes the duke himself.

ELY

Here comes the duke himself, right on time.

RICHARD

My noble lords and cousins all, good morrow. I have been long a sleeper; but I trust My absence doth neglect no great design Which by my presence might have been concluded.

RICHARD

Good morning, my noble lords and kinsmen. I slept late, but I trust that my absence hasn't delayed any important decisions that required me to be here.

BUCKINGHAM

Had you not come upon your cue, my lord,William Lord Hastings had pronounced your part—I mean your voice for crowning of the king.

BUCKINGHAM

My lord, if you hadn't shown up when you did, Lord Hastings would have taken your part. He was going to cast a vote on your behalf in deciding about the coronation of the king.

RICHARD

Than my Lord Hastings no man might be bolder. His Lordship knows me well, and loves me well.— My lord of Ely, when I was last in Holborn I saw good strawberries in your garden there; I do beseech you, send for some of them.

RICHARD

There's no man bolder than Lord Hastings. He knows me well, and loves me well.

[To the Bishop of ELY] My lord of Ely, the last time I was at your palace in Holborn I saw some good strawberries in your garden. Please, send for some of them.

ELY

Marry and will, my lord, with all my heart.

ELY

Indeed, I will do so with pleasure, my lord.

Exit

RICHARD

Cousin of Buckingham, a word with you. [they move aside] Catesby hath sounded Hastings in our business And finds the testy gentleman so hot As he will lose his head ere give consent His master’s child, as worshipfully he terms it, Shall lose the royalty of England’s throne.

RICHARD

Cousin Buckingham, a word with you.

[They move aside and speak so the others can't hear]
 Catesby has sounded Hastings about our business, and he found the quick-tempered gentleman to be so passionately opposed to our plan that—as Hastings devotedly put it—he would lose his head before he'd allow his master's child to lose the throne of England.

BUCKINGHAM

Withdraw yourself awhile. I’ll go with you.

BUCKINGHAM

Go to the next room for a while. I'll go with you.

Exeunt RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM

STANLEY

We have not yet set down this day of triumph. Tomorrow, in my judgement, is too sudden, For I myself am not so well provided As else I would be, were the day prolonged.

STANLEY

We haven't yet set the date for the triumphant coronation day. In my opinion, tomorrow is too sudden, for I myself am not as well prepared as I would be if a later date were set.

Enter Bishop of ELY

ELY

Where is my lord the duke of Gloucester?I have sent for these strawberries.

ELY

Where is my lord the Duke of Gloucester? I've sent for those strawberries.

HASTINGS

His grace looks cheerfully and smooth this morning. There’s some conceit or other likes him well When that he bids good morrow with such spirit. I think there’s never a man in Christendom Can lesser hide his love or hate than he, For by his face straight shall you know his heart.

HASTINGS

His Grace Richard looks so cheerful and calm this morning. He has some idea or plan that he's pleased about whenever he says "good morning" with such spirit. I don't think there's a man in all the Christian kingdoms who's worse at hiding his love or hate than Richard is. You can know his heart from looking at his face.

STANLEY

What of his heart perceive you in his face By any livelihood he showed today?

STANLEY

And what do you see in his heart today, based on the cheer in his face?

HASTINGS

Marry, that with no man here he is offended,For were he, he had shown it in his looks.

HASTINGS

That he's not offended with any man here. If he were, he would have shown it in his face.

STANLEY

I pray God he be not, I say.

STANLEY

I pray to God that you're right.

Enter RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM

RICHARD

I pray you all, tell me what they deserve That do conspire my death with devilish plots Of damnèd witchcraft, and that have prevailed Upon my body with their hellish charms?

RICHARD

Please tell me, what is the proper punishment for someone who conspires to kill me with wicked plots and witchcraft—and who has already plagued my body with hellish magic?

HASTINGS

The tender love I bear your Grace, my lord, Makes me most forward in this princely presence To doom th' offenders, whosoe'er they be. I say, my lord, they have deservèd death.

HASTINGS

My love for your Grace makes me say forcefully among all these lords that the offenders should be executed. My lord, they deserve death.

RICHARD

Then be your eyes the witness of their evil. [shows his arm] Look how I am bewitched! Behold mine arm Is like a blasted sapling withered up; And this is Edward’s wife, that monstrous witch, Consorted with that harlot, strumpet Shore, That by their witchcraft thus have markèd me.

RICHARD

Then let your eyes be the witness of their evil.

[He shows his arm]
See how I am bewitched! Look at how my arm has shriveled up like a withered tree branch. This is the work of King Edward's wife Elizabeth—that monstrous witch—and her associate, that whorish Jane Shore. They've done this to me with their witchcraft.

HASTINGS

If they have done this deed, my noble lord—

HASTINGS

If they have done this, my noble lord—

RICHARD

If? Thou protector of this damnèd strumpet, Talk’st thou to me of “ifs?” Thou art a traitor— Off with his head. Now by Saint Paul I swear I will not dine until I see the same.— Lovell and Ratcliffe, look that it be done.— The rest that love me, rise and follow me.

RICHARD

"If?" You protector of that damned whore, are you talking to me about "ifs?" You are a traitor. Off with his head. By Saint Paul, I swear I won't eat until I see him dead.

[To LOVELL and RATCLIFFE] Lovell and Ratcliffe, see that it gets done.

[To the others] The rest of you who love me, rise and follow me.

Exeunt all but HASTINGS, RATCLIFFE, and LOVELL

HASTINGS

Woe, woe for England! Not a whit for me, For I, too fond, might have prevented this. Stanley did dream the boar did raze his helm, And I did scorn it and disdain to fly. Three times today my foot-cloth horse did stumble, And started when he looked upon the Tower, As loath to bear me to the slaughterhouse. O, now I need the priest that spake to me! I now repent I told the pursuivant, As too triumphing, how mine enemies Today at Pomfret bloodily were butchered, And I myself secure in grace and favor. O Margaret, Margaret, now thy heavy curse Is lighted on poor Hastings' wretched head.

HASTINGS

Woe, woe for England! I pity her fate, but save no pity for myself. I might have prevented this, but I was too foolish. Stanley dreamed that the boar cut off his head, and I laughed at him and refused to flee. Three times today my horse stumbled, and he bucked when he looked upon the Tower—as if reluctant to carry me to the slaughterhouse. Oh, now I need that priest I spoke to earlier! And now I regret boasting to the pursuivant that my enemies were being butchered at Pomfret while I was safe and secure. Oh, Margaret, Margaret, now your heavy curse has fallen on poor Hastings' wretched head!

RATCLIFFE

Come, come, dispatch. The duke would be at dinner. Make a short shrift. He longs to see your head.

RATCLIFFE

Come, come, that's enough. The duke wants to eat his dinner. Make a quick confession. He's eager to see your head.

HASTINGS

O momentary grace of mortal men, Which we more hunt for than the grace of God! Who builds his hopes in air of your good looks Lives like a drunken sailor on a mast, Ready with every nod to tumble down Into the fatal bowels of the deep.

HASTINGS

Oh, why do we spend so much time hunting for the temporary approval of mortal men, instead of seeking God's favor? Anyone who builds his hopes on the airy foundation of mankind's approval must live like a drunken sailor on the ship's mast—ready with every nod of his head to tumble down into the fatal ocean.

LOVELL

Come, come, dispatch. 'Tis bootless to exclaim.

LOVELL

Come on, that's enough. It's useless to make speeches.

HASTINGS

O bloody Richard! Miserable England, I prophesy the fearfull’st time to thee That ever wretched age hath looked upon.— Come, lead me to the block. Bear him my head. They smile at me that shortly shall be dead.

HASTINGS

Oh, bloody Richard! Miserable England, I predict that the most frightening time you've ever seen is coming.

[To LOVELL and RATCLIFFE] Come, lead me to the execution block. Bring him my head. Those who smile at me will soon be dead.

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.