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Richard III

Richard III Translation Act 3, Scene 5

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Enter RICHARD and BUCKINGHAM, in rotten armor, marvelous ill-favored

RICHARD

Come, cousin, canst thou quake and change thy color, Murder thy breath in the middle of a word, And then begin again, and stop again, As if thou wert distraught and mad with terror?

RICHARD

Come, cousin, can you shake and turn pale, and stop speaking suddenly, and then begin again, and then stop again—as if you were driven crazy from terror?

BUCKINGHAM

Tut, I can counterfeit the deep tragedian, Speak, and look back, and pry on every side, Tremble and start at wagging of a straw, Intending deep suspicion. Ghastly looks Are at my service, like enforcèd smiles, And both are ready in their offices, At any time to grace my stratagems. But what, is Catesby gone?

BUCKINGHAM

Of course, I can imitate the best of tragic actors. I can speak, and then look back, and search all around me, trembling, and jump at the least movement as if I were paranoid. Frightened looks and forced smiles are both at my service, ready to perform their functions whenever I need them. But what, has Catesby gone?

RICHARD

He is; and see, he brings the mayor along.

RICHARD

He has. But see, here he comes with the mayor.

Enter the LORD MAYOR and CATESBY

BUCKINGHAM

Lord Mayor—

BUCKINGHAM

Lord Mayor—

RICHARD

Look to the drawbridge there!

RICHARD

Look out, the drawbridge!

BUCKINGHAM

Hark, a drum!

BUCKINGHAM

Listen, a drum!

RICHARD

Catesby, o'erlook the walls.

RICHARD

Catesby, look out over the walls for us.

Exit CATESBY

BUCKINGHAM

Lord Mayor, the reason we have sent—

BUCKINGHAM

Lord Mayor, the reason we sent—

RICHARD

Look back! Defend thee! Here are enemies.

RICHARD

Look behind you! Defend yourself! There are enemies here.

BUCKINGHAM

God and our innocence defend and guard us!

BUCKINGHAM

May God and our own innocence defend us!

Enter LOVELL and RATCLIFFE, with HASTINGS’ head

RICHARD

Be patient. They are friends, Ratcliffe and Lovell.

RICHARD

Calm yourself. These are friends—Ratcliffe and Lovell.

LOVELL

Here is the head of that ignoble traitor,The dangerous and unsuspected Hastings.

LOVELL

Here is the head of that wicked traitor, the dangerous and unsuspected Hastings

RICHARD

So dear I loved the man that I must weep. I took him for the plainest harmless creature That breathed upon this earth a Christian; Made him my book, wherein my soul recorded The history of all her secret thoughts. So smooth he daubed his vice with show of virtue That, his apparent open guilt omitted— I mean his conversation with Shore’s wife— He lived from all attainder of suspects.

RICHARD

I loved the man so dearly that I must weep. I took him to be the most honest, harmless Christian that ever walked the earth. I made him like my diary, and trusted him with all my soul's most secret thoughts. He covered his wickedness with a virtuous facade so well that, if his guilt hadn't become apparent—I mean his affair with Shore's wife—I never would have suspected him.

BUCKINGHAM

Well, well, he was the covert’st sheltered traitor Thatever lived. [to the MAYOR] Would you imagine, or almost believe, Were ’t not that by great preservation We live to tell it, that subtle traitor This day had plotted, in the council house To murder me and my good Lord of Gloucester?

BUCKINGHAM

Well, well, he was the most secretive, hidden traitor that ever lived. Can you imagine, Lord Mayor—if we hadn't been lucky enough to stop him—that sneaky traitor was plotting to murder me and the Lord of Gloucester in the council room today?

LORD MAYOR

Had he done so?

LORD MAYOR

Is that true?

RICHARD

What, think you we are Turks or infidels? Or that we would, against the form of law, Proceed thus rashly in the villain’s death, But that the extreme peril of the case, The peace of England and our persons' safety Enforced us to this execution?

RICHARD

What, do you think we're heathens or savages? You think that we would have broken the law and executed this villain unless it was a case of extreme danger, with England's peace and our own lives at stake?

LORD MAYOR

Now fair befall you! He deserved his death, And your good Graces both have well proceeded To warn false traitors from the like attempts. I never looked for better at his handsAfter he once fell in with Mrs Shore.

LORD MAYOR

May only good things happen to you from now on! He deserved to die, and your Graces did well in making an example of him and discouraging other false traitors from attempting similar plots. I never expected anything better from him once he got involved with Mrs. Shore.

RICHARD

Yet had we not determined he should die Until your Lordship came to see his end (Which now the loving haste of these our friends, Something against our meaning, have prevented), Because, my lord, I would have had you heard The traitor speak, and timorously confess The manner and the purpose of his treasons, That you might well have signified the same Unto the citizens, who haply may Misconstrue us in him, and wail his death.

RICHARD

Yes, but we had decided that he shouldn't die until you, Lord Mayor, were able to come and witness his execution. But this was prevented by the loving haste of our friends, Lovell and Ratcliffe, who went slightly against our intentions by executing him so soon. My lord, if you could have heard the traitor speak—and fearfully confess his plots of treason—then you could have told the citizens what you heard. However, as it is now, they're likely to misunderstand our methods of dealing with Hastings, and mourn his death.

LORD MAYOR

But, my good lord, your Graces' words shall serve As well as I had seen and heard him speak; And do not doubt, right noble princes both, But I’ll acquaint our duteous citizens With all your just proceedings in this case.

LORD MAYOR

But, my good lord, your Graces' words are just as trustworthy as if I had seen him and heard him myself. And don't worry, you noble princes. I'll tell our citizens about how fairly you dealt with this case.

RICHARD

And to that end we wished your Lordship hereT' avoid the censures of the carping world.

RICHARD

That is why we wanted you here, your Lordship—to avoid the condemnation of the critical public.

BUCKINGHAM

Which since you come too late of our intent,Yet witness what you hear we did intend.And so, my good Lord Mayor, we bid farewell.

BUCKINGHAM

But since you came too late to see the execution as we intended, at least bear witness t our good intentions. And so, my good Lord Mayor, we bid you farewell.

Exit LORD MAYOR

RICHARD

Go, after, after, cousin Buckingham. The mayor towards Guildhall hies him in all post. There, at your meetest vantage of the time, Infer the bastardy of Edward’s children. Tell them how Edward put to death a citizen Only for saying he would make his son Heir to the Crown—meaning indeed his house, Which, by the sign thereof, was termèd so. Moreover, urge his hateful luxury And bestial appetite in change of lust, Which stretched to their servants, daughters, wives, Even where his raging eye or savage heart, Without control, lusted to make his prey. Nay, for a need, thus far come near my person: Tell them when that my mother went with child Of that insatiate Edward, noble York My princely father then had wars in France, And, by true computation of the time, Found that the issue was not his begot, Which well appearèd in his lineaments, Being nothing like the noble duke my father. Yet touch this sparingly, as ’twere far off, Because, my lord, you know my mother lives.

RICHARD

Go after him, cousin Buckingham. He's riding quickly to the town hall. There, at the most advantageous moment, bring up the possibility that King Edward's children are illegitimate. Tell the public how Edward executed a citizen just for saying that he would make his son "heir to the crown"—when he was only talking about the tavern he owned, "The Crown." And then bring up Edward's hateful lust and his insatiable appetite for women, which stretched even to the citizens' servants, daughters, and wives—anyone that his lustful eye and savage heart wanted to prey on. If you need to, you can even bring me up: tell them that when my mother became pregnant with that insatiable Edward, my noble father York was away fighting wars in France. If you calculate the time of Edward's birth, and consider the fact that he looks nothing like my father, then it's clear that he's not my father's true son. But only vaguely touch on that subject. For, as you know, my lord, my mother is still alive.

BUCKINGHAM

Doubt not, my lord. I’ll play the oratorAs if the golden fee for which I plead Were for myself. And so, my lord, adieu.

BUCKINGHAM

Don't worry, my lord. I'll speak as persuasively as if I were trying to win the throne for myself. And so farewell, my lord.

RICHARD

If you thrive well, bring them to Baynard’s Castle,Where you shall find me well accompaniedWith reverend fathers and well-learnèd bishops.

RICHARD

If things go well, bring the citizens to my estate at Baynard's Castle. There you'll find me accompanied by priests and bishops.

BUCKINGHAM

I go; and towards three or four o'clock Look for the news that the Guildhall affords.

BUCKINGHAM

I'll go now. At around three or four o'clock you should expect the news from the town hall.

Exit

RICHARD

Go, Lovell, with all speed to Doctor Shaw. [to RATCLIFFE] Go thou to Friar Penker. Bid them bothMeet me within this hour at Baynard’s Castle.

RICHARD

Lovell, go as quickly as you can to the Mayor's brother, Doctor Shaw. 

[To RATCLIFFE] And you go to Friar Penker. Tell them both to meet me within the hour at Baynard's Castle.

Exit LOVELL and RATCLIFFE

Now will I go to take some privy order To draw the brats of Clarence out of sight, And to give order that no manner of person Have any time recourse unto the princes.

Now I'll go and make some secret arrangement to keep Clarence's brats out of sight. And I'll give orders that no one is to see King Edward's sons.

Exit

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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.