A line-by-line translation

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

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Enter RICHARD

ELY

In happy time here comes the duke himself.

ELY

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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

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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

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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

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ELY

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

ELY

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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

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BUCKINGHAM

Withdraw yourself awhile. I’ll go with you.

BUCKINGHAM

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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

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Enter Bishop of ELY

ELY

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

ELY

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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

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STANLEY

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

STANLEY

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HASTINGS

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

HASTINGS

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STANLEY

I pray God he be not, I say.

STANLEY

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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

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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

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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

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HASTINGS

If they have done this deed, my noble lord—

HASTINGS

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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

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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

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RATCLIFFE

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

RATCLIFFE

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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

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LOVELL

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

LOVELL

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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

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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.