Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Original Text

Modern Text

LORD MAYOR

God bless your Grace with health and happy days.

LORD MAYOR

God bless your Grace with health and happy days.

PRINCE

I thank you, good my lord, and thank you all.—
20I 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

Thank you, my good lord, thank you all. I thought my mother and my brother, York, would have met us on our way here long before now. And what a slug Hastings is that he hasn’t even arrived to tell us whether they’re coming!
Enter HASTINGS
HASTINGS enters.

BUCKINGHAM

And in good time here comes the sweating lord.

BUCKINGHAM

And, just in time, here comes the sweaty lord.

PRINCE

25Welcome, my lord. What, will our mother come?

PRINCE

Welcome, my lord. What, isn’t 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,
30But by his mother was perforce withheld.

HASTINGS

God knows why, but your mother and your brother have taken sanctuary in Westminster Abbey. Your sweet brother wanted to come meet you, but his mother wouldn’t let him.

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?—
35If she deny, Lord Hastings, go with him,
And from her jealous arms pluck him perforce.

BUCKINGHAM

Damn, what a sneaky and spiteful course your mother is taking!—Lord Cardinal, will you please persuade the queen to hurry and send the duke of York here?—Go with him, Lord Hastings, and if she refuses, take the boy from her 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
40To 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 skills of persuasion convince his mother to part with the duke of York, you can expect him here shortly. But if she resists my mild pleas, let God in heaven forbid us from disobeying the holy laws of the sanctuary and taking the child from her. I wouldn’t commit so serious a crime for anything.