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Enter RICHARD , Duke of Gloucester, solus
RICHARD , Duke of Gloucester, enters alone.

RICHARD

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York,
And all the clouds that loured upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
5 Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
10 And now, instead of mounting barbèd steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
15 Nor made to court an amorous looking glass;
I, that am rudely stamped and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
20 Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them—
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
25 Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.

RICHARD

Now all of my family’s troubles have come to a glorious end, thanks to my brother, King Edward IV. All the clouds that threatened the York family have vanished and turned to sunshine. Now we wear the wreaths of victory on our heads. We’ve taken off our armor and weapons and hung them up as decorations. Instead of hearing trumpets call us to battle, we dance at parties. We get to wear easy smiles on our faces rather than the grim expressions of war. Instead of charging toward our enemies on armored horses, we dance for our ladies in their chambers, accompanied by sexy songs on the lute. But I’m not made to be a seducer, or to make faces at myself in the mirror. I was badly made and don’t have the looks to strut my stuff in front of pretty sluts. I’ve been cheated of a nice body and face, or even normal proportions. I am deformed, spit out from my mother’s womb prematurely and so badly formed that dogs bark at me as I limp by them. I’m left with nothing to do in this weak, idle peacetime, unless I want to look at my lumpy shadow in the sun and sing about that.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
30 I am determinèd to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
35 In deadly hate, the one against the other;
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mewed up
About a prophecy which says that “G”
40 Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence comes.
Since I can’t amuse myself by being a lover, I’ve decided to become a villain. I’ve set dangerous plans in motion, using lies, drunken prophecies, and stories about dreams to set my brother Clarence and the king against each other. If King Edward is as honest and fair-minded as I am deceitful and cruel, then Clarence is going to be locked away in prison today because of a prophecy that

“G”

Edward interprets “G” to mean George, Duke of Clarence, though ironically it could just as well mean Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

“G”
will murder Edward’s children. Oh, time to hide what I’m thinking—here comes Clarence.
Enter CLARENCE , guarded, and BRAKENBURY
CLARENCE enters, surrounded by guards, with BRAKENBURY .
Brother, good day. What means this armèd guard
That waits upon your Grace?
Good afternoon, brother. Why are you surrounded by these armed guards?

CLARENCE

     His majesty,
Tend'ring my person’s safety, hath appointed
45 This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

CLARENCE

His majesty is so concerned about my personal safety that he has ordered them to conduct me to the

Tower

The Tower of London, where political prisoners were kept.

Tower
.

RICHARD

Upon what cause?

RICHARD

You’re being arrested? Why?

CLARENCE

   Because my name is George.

CLARENCE

Because my name is George.

RICHARD

Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours.
He should, for that, commit your godfathers.
O, belike his majesty hath some intent
50 That you shall be new christened in the Tower.
But what’s the matter, Clarence? May I know?

RICHARD

That’s not your fault! He should imprison the person who named you, instead. Maybe the king is sending you to the Tower to have you renamed. But, really, what’s going on, Clarence? Can you tell me?

CLARENCE

Yea, Richard, when I know, for I protest
As yet I do not. But, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams,
55 And from the crossrow plucks the letter G,
And says a wizard told him that by “G”
His issue disinherited should be.
And for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.
60 These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
Have moved his Highness to commit me now.

CLARENCE

I’ll tell you as soon as I know, Richard, because at this point I have no idea. All I’ve been able to find out is that our brother the king has been listening to prophecies and dreams. He picked out the letter “G” from the alphabet and said a wizard told him that “G” will take the throne away from his children. He thinks “G” is me. I’ve learned that this, along with other frivolous reasons like it, is what prompted the king to send me to prison.

RICHARD

Why, this it is when men are ruled by women.
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower.
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, ’tis she
65 That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is delivered?
70 We are not safe, Clarence. We are not safe.

RICHARD

Well, this is what happens when men let themselves be ruled by women. The king isn’t the one sending you to the Tower, Clarence. It’s his wife, Lady Grey, who got him to do this. Remember how she and her brother, Anthony Woodeville, made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower? Hastings was just released. We’re not safe, Clarence, we’re not safe.

CLARENCE

By heaven, I think there is no man is secure
But the queen’s kindred and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
Heard ye not what an humble suppliant
75 Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?

CLARENCE

By God, I think the only people who are safe are the queen’s own relatives and the late-night messengers the king uses to fetch his mistress, Mistress Shore. Did you hear how Lord Hastings had to beg the queen to be freed?

RICHARD

Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I’ll tell you what: I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favor with the king,
80 To be her men and wear her livery.
The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

RICHARD

Hastings got his freedom by bowing down to that goddess. And I’ll tell you what. If we want to stay in the king’s good graces, we’re going have to act like the

mistress’s

Richard implies that Mistress Shore and the queen did not belong to the rank of gentry.

mistress’s
servants, too. Ever since our brother made them gentlewomen, Mistress Shore and the queen have become mighty busybodies in our kingdom.

BRAKENBURY

I beseech your Graces both to pardon me.
85 His majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.

BRAKENBURY

I beg your pardon, my lords, but the king gave me orders that no one, however high in rank, should speak privately to Clarence.

RICHARD

Even so. An please your Worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of anything we say.
90 We speak no treason, man. We say the king
Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous.
We say that Shore’s wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue,
95 And that the queen’s kindred are made gentlefolks.
How say you, sir? Can you deny all this?

RICHARD

All right. If you like, Brakenbury, you can listen to anything we say. We’re not saying anything treasonous, man. We say the king is wise and good, and his noble queen is getting old, pretty, and not jealous. And that Mr. Shore’s wife has nice feet, cherry lips, pretty eyes, and a very pleasant way of expressing herself. And, finally, that the queen’s relatives have all been elevated in rank. What do you think? Is there anything inaccurate in that?

BRAKENBURY

With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.

BRAKENBURY

I have nothing to do with what you’re talking about, my lord.

RICHARD

Naught to do with Mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
100 Were best he do it secretly, alone.

RICHARD

“Nothing to do” with Mrs. Shore! I tell you, mister, there’s only one man who gets to do

“nothing,”

To do “nothing,” or “naught,” meant to have sex. Richard is playing off Brakenbury’s innocent, frightened remark.

“nothing,”
with her and not be punished for it. Everyone else had better keep their “nothings” to themselves.

BRAKENBURY

What one, my lord?

BRAKENBURY

Who is that, my lord?

RICHARD

Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray me?

RICHARD

Her husband, you rascal. Are you going to get me in trouble?

BRAKENBURY

I do beseech your Grace to pardon me, and withal
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.

BRAKENBURY

CLARENCE

105 We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

CLARENCE

We know you have a job to do, Brakenbury, and we’ll do what you say.

RICHARD

We are the queen’s abjects and must obey.—
Brother, farewell. I will unto the king,
And whatsoe'er you will employ me in,
Were it to call King Edward’s widow “sister,”
110 I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

RICHARD

We are required to serve the queen, and we must obey her. Farewell, brother. I will go to the king and do whatever you want me to, even if it’s to call my brother’s wife “sister,” in order to set you free. But just so you know, I am very angry about how our own brother has treated you, angrier than you can imagine.

CLARENCE

I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

CLARENCE

It doesn’t make either of us happy, I know.

RICHARD

Well, your imprisonment shall not be long.
115 I will deliver you or else lie for you.
Meantime, have patience.

RICHARD

Well, your imprisonment won’t last long. I will either get you out, lying if I have to, or stay in prison in your place. In the meantime, be patient.

CLARENCE

I must perforce. Farewell.

CLARENCE

I have no choice. Goodbye.
Exeunt CLARENCE , BRAKENBURY , and guard
CLARENCE , BRAKENBURY , and the guards exit.

RICHARD

Go tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so
120 That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? The new-delivered Hastings?

RICHARD

Go walk the path that you will never return from. Dumb, honest Clarence. I love you so much that I’ll send your soul to heaven very soon—if heaven will accept anything from me, that is. But who’s coming? The newly released Hastings?
Enter HASTINGS
HASTINGS enters.

HASTINGS

Good time of day unto my gracious lord.

HASTINGS

Good afternoon, my dear lord!

RICHARD

As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain.
125 Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brooked imprisonment?

RICHARD

The same to you, my lord! Welcome to the open air again. How did you tolerate prison?

HASTINGS

With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must.
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

HASTINGS

With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must. But I will live to thank those who sent me there.

RICHARD

130 No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too,
For they that were your enemies are his
And have prevailed as much on him as you.

RICHARD

No doubt, no doubt. And so will Clarence, for your enemies are his enemies, and they have gotten the upper hand of him as well as of you.

HASTINGS

More pity that the eagle should be mewed
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

HASTINGS

It’s a shame that we eagles are caged up while the vultures are free to do whatever they please.

RICHARD

135 What news abroad?

RICHARD

What’s the news abroad?

HASTINGS

No news so bad abroad as this at home:
The king is sickly, weak and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.

HASTINGS

No news as bad as the news at home: The king is sickly, weak, and depressed, and his doctors are very afraid he’s going to die

RICHARD

Now, by Saint Paul, that news is bad indeed.
140 O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person.
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
Where is he, in his bed?

RICHARD

Now, by George, that really is terrible news. Oh, the king has abused his body with bad habits for a long time, and it’s finally taking its toll on him. Very sad. Where is he, in his bed?

HASTINGS

He is.

HASTINGS

He is.

RICHARD

145 Go you before, and I will follow you.

RICHARD

You go ahead, and I will follow you.
Exit HASTINGS
HASTINGS exits.
He cannot live, I hope, and must not die
Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.
I’ll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence
With lies well steeled with weighty arguments,
150 And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live;
Which done, God take King Edward to His mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in.
For then I’ll marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
155 What though I killed her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father;
The which will I, not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent
160 By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market.
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns.
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
The king won’t live, I hope. But he’d better not die till Clarence is sent packing to heaven. I’ll go see the king and, with carefully argued lies, get him to hate Clarence even more than he already does. If my plan succeeds, Clarence doesn’t have another day to live. Then God’s free to send King Edward to heaven, too, and leave me the world to run around in! I’ll marry the earl of Warwick’s youngest daughter, Lady Anne. So what if I killed her husband and her father? The best way to make up for the girl’s losses is to become what she’s lost: a husband and a father. So that’s what I’ll do, not because I love her but because I’ll get something out of it. But I’m running ahead of myself. Clarence is still alive; Edward is not only alive, he’s king. Only when they’re dead can I start to count my gains.
Exit
He exits.

Original Text

Modern Text

Enter RICHARD , Duke of Gloucester, solus
RICHARD , Duke of Gloucester, enters alone.

RICHARD

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York,
And all the clouds that loured upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
5 Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths,
Our bruisèd arms hung up for monuments,
Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
Grim-visaged war hath smoothed his wrinkled front;
10 And now, instead of mounting barbèd steeds
To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
He capers nimbly in a lady’s chamber
To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
15 Nor made to court an amorous looking glass;
I, that am rudely stamped and want love’s majesty
To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
I, that am curtailed of this fair proportion,
Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
20 Deformed, unfinished, sent before my time
Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
And that so lamely and unfashionable
That dogs bark at me as I halt by them—
Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
25 Have no delight to pass away the time,
Unless to see my shadow in the sun
And descant on mine own deformity.

RICHARD

Now all of my family’s troubles have come to a glorious end, thanks to my brother, King Edward IV. All the clouds that threatened the York family have vanished and turned to sunshine. Now we wear the wreaths of victory on our heads. We’ve taken off our armor and weapons and hung them up as decorations. Instead of hearing trumpets call us to battle, we dance at parties. We get to wear easy smiles on our faces rather than the grim expressions of war. Instead of charging toward our enemies on armored horses, we dance for our ladies in their chambers, accompanied by sexy songs on the lute. But I’m not made to be a seducer, or to make faces at myself in the mirror. I was badly made and don’t have the looks to strut my stuff in front of pretty sluts. I’ve been cheated of a nice body and face, or even normal proportions. I am deformed, spit out from my mother’s womb prematurely and so badly formed that dogs bark at me as I limp by them. I’m left with nothing to do in this weak, idle peacetime, unless I want to look at my lumpy shadow in the sun and sing about that.
And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover
To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
30 I am determinèd to prove a villain
And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
To set my brother Clarence and the king
35 In deadly hate, the one against the other;
And if King Edward be as true and just
As I am subtle, false, and treacherous,
This day should Clarence closely be mewed up
About a prophecy which says that “G”
40 Of Edward’s heirs the murderer shall be.
Dive, thoughts, down to my soul. Here Clarence comes.
Since I can’t amuse myself by being a lover, I’ve decided to become a villain. I’ve set dangerous plans in motion, using lies, drunken prophecies, and stories about dreams to set my brother Clarence and the king against each other. If King Edward is as honest and fair-minded as I am deceitful and cruel, then Clarence is going to be locked away in prison today because of a prophecy that

“G”

Edward interprets “G” to mean George, Duke of Clarence, though ironically it could just as well mean Richard, Duke of Gloucester.

“G”
will murder Edward’s children. Oh, time to hide what I’m thinking—here comes Clarence.
Enter CLARENCE , guarded, and BRAKENBURY
CLARENCE enters, surrounded by guards, with BRAKENBURY .
Brother, good day. What means this armèd guard
That waits upon your Grace?
Good afternoon, brother. Why are you surrounded by these armed guards?

CLARENCE

     His majesty,
Tend'ring my person’s safety, hath appointed
45 This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

CLARENCE

His majesty is so concerned about my personal safety that he has ordered them to conduct me to the

Tower

The Tower of London, where political prisoners were kept.

Tower
.

RICHARD

Upon what cause?

RICHARD

You’re being arrested? Why?

CLARENCE

   Because my name is George.

CLARENCE

Because my name is George.

RICHARD

Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours.
He should, for that, commit your godfathers.
O, belike his majesty hath some intent
50 That you shall be new christened in the Tower.
But what’s the matter, Clarence? May I know?

RICHARD

That’s not your fault! He should imprison the person who named you, instead. Maybe the king is sending you to the Tower to have you renamed. But, really, what’s going on, Clarence? Can you tell me?

CLARENCE

Yea, Richard, when I know, for I protest
As yet I do not. But, as I can learn,
He hearkens after prophecies and dreams,
55 And from the crossrow plucks the letter G,
And says a wizard told him that by “G”
His issue disinherited should be.
And for my name of George begins with G,
It follows in his thought that I am he.
60 These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
Have moved his Highness to commit me now.

CLARENCE

I’ll tell you as soon as I know, Richard, because at this point I have no idea. All I’ve been able to find out is that our brother the king has been listening to prophecies and dreams. He picked out the letter “G” from the alphabet and said a wizard told him that “G” will take the throne away from his children. He thinks “G” is me. I’ve learned that this, along with other frivolous reasons like it, is what prompted the king to send me to prison.

RICHARD

Why, this it is when men are ruled by women.
'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower.
My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, ’tis she
65 That tempers him to this extremity.
Was it not she and that good man of worship,
Anthony Woodeville, her brother there,
That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
From whence this present day he is delivered?
70 We are not safe, Clarence. We are not safe.

RICHARD

Well, this is what happens when men let themselves be ruled by women. The king isn’t the one sending you to the Tower, Clarence. It’s his wife, Lady Grey, who got him to do this. Remember how she and her brother, Anthony Woodeville, made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower? Hastings was just released. We’re not safe, Clarence, we’re not safe.

CLARENCE

By heaven, I think there is no man is secure
But the queen’s kindred and night-walking heralds
That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
Heard ye not what an humble suppliant
75 Lord Hastings was to her for his delivery?

CLARENCE

By God, I think the only people who are safe are the queen’s own relatives and the late-night messengers the king uses to fetch his mistress, Mistress Shore. Did you hear how Lord Hastings had to beg the queen to be freed?

RICHARD

Humbly complaining to her deity
Got my Lord Chamberlain his liberty.
I’ll tell you what: I think it is our way,
If we will keep in favor with the king,
80 To be her men and wear her livery.
The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
Since that our brother dubbed them gentlewomen,
Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

RICHARD

Hastings got his freedom by bowing down to that goddess. And I’ll tell you what. If we want to stay in the king’s good graces, we’re going have to act like the

mistress’s

Richard implies that Mistress Shore and the queen did not belong to the rank of gentry.

mistress’s
servants, too. Ever since our brother made them gentlewomen, Mistress Shore and the queen have become mighty busybodies in our kingdom.

BRAKENBURY

I beseech your Graces both to pardon me.
85 His majesty hath straitly given in charge
That no man shall have private conference,
Of what degree soever, with his brother.

BRAKENBURY

I beg your pardon, my lords, but the king gave me orders that no one, however high in rank, should speak privately to Clarence.

RICHARD

Even so. An please your Worship, Brakenbury,
You may partake of anything we say.
90 We speak no treason, man. We say the king
Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous.
We say that Shore’s wife hath a pretty foot,
A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue,
95 And that the queen’s kindred are made gentlefolks.
How say you, sir? Can you deny all this?

RICHARD

All right. If you like, Brakenbury, you can listen to anything we say. We’re not saying anything treasonous, man. We say the king is wise and good, and his noble queen is getting old, pretty, and not jealous. And that Mr. Shore’s wife has nice feet, cherry lips, pretty eyes, and a very pleasant way of expressing herself. And, finally, that the queen’s relatives have all been elevated in rank. What do you think? Is there anything inaccurate in that?

BRAKENBURY

With this, my lord, myself have naught to do.

BRAKENBURY

I have nothing to do with what you’re talking about, my lord.

RICHARD

Naught to do with Mistress Shore? I tell thee, fellow,
He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
100 Were best he do it secretly, alone.

RICHARD

“Nothing to do” with Mrs. Shore! I tell you, mister, there’s only one man who gets to do

“nothing,”

To do “nothing,” or “naught,” meant to have sex. Richard is playing off Brakenbury’s innocent, frightened remark.

“nothing,”
with her and not be punished for it. Everyone else had better keep their “nothings” to themselves.

BRAKENBURY

What one, my lord?

BRAKENBURY

Who is that, my lord?

RICHARD

Her husband, knave. Wouldst thou betray me?

RICHARD

Her husband, you rascal. Are you going to get me in trouble?

BRAKENBURY

I do beseech your Grace to pardon me, and withal
Forbear your conference with the noble duke.

BRAKENBURY

CLARENCE

105 We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

CLARENCE

We know you have a job to do, Brakenbury, and we’ll do what you say.

RICHARD

We are the queen’s abjects and must obey.—
Brother, farewell. I will unto the king,
And whatsoe'er you will employ me in,
Were it to call King Edward’s widow “sister,”
110 I will perform it to enfranchise you.
Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

RICHARD

We are required to serve the queen, and we must obey her. Farewell, brother. I will go to the king and do whatever you want me to, even if it’s to call my brother’s wife “sister,” in order to set you free. But just so you know, I am very angry about how our own brother has treated you, angrier than you can imagine.

CLARENCE

I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

CLARENCE

It doesn’t make either of us happy, I know.

RICHARD

Well, your imprisonment shall not be long.
115 I will deliver you or else lie for you.
Meantime, have patience.

RICHARD

Well, your imprisonment won’t last long. I will either get you out, lying if I have to, or stay in prison in your place. In the meantime, be patient.

CLARENCE

I must perforce. Farewell.

CLARENCE

I have no choice. Goodbye.
Exeunt CLARENCE , BRAKENBURY , and guard
CLARENCE , BRAKENBURY , and the guards exit.

RICHARD

Go tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
Simple, plain Clarence, I do love thee so
120 That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
If heaven will take the present at our hands.
But who comes here? The new-delivered Hastings?

RICHARD

Go walk the path that you will never return from. Dumb, honest Clarence. I love you so much that I’ll send your soul to heaven very soon—if heaven will accept anything from me, that is. But who’s coming? The newly released Hastings?
Enter HASTINGS
HASTINGS enters.

HASTINGS

Good time of day unto my gracious lord.

HASTINGS

Good afternoon, my dear lord!

RICHARD

As much unto my good Lord Chamberlain.
125 Well are you welcome to the open air.
How hath your lordship brooked imprisonment?

RICHARD

The same to you, my lord! Welcome to the open air again. How did you tolerate prison?

HASTINGS

With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must.
But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
That were the cause of my imprisonment.

HASTINGS

With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must. But I will live to thank those who sent me there.

RICHARD

130 No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too,
For they that were your enemies are his
And have prevailed as much on him as you.

RICHARD

No doubt, no doubt. And so will Clarence, for your enemies are his enemies, and they have gotten the upper hand of him as well as of you.

HASTINGS

More pity that the eagle should be mewed
While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

HASTINGS

It’s a shame that we eagles are caged up while the vultures are free to do whatever they please.

RICHARD

135 What news abroad?

RICHARD

What’s the news abroad?

HASTINGS

No news so bad abroad as this at home:
The king is sickly, weak and melancholy,
And his physicians fear him mightily.

HASTINGS

No news as bad as the news at home: The king is sickly, weak, and depressed, and his doctors are very afraid he’s going to die

RICHARD

Now, by Saint Paul, that news is bad indeed.
140 O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
And overmuch consumed his royal person.
'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
Where is he, in his bed?

RICHARD

Now, by George, that really is terrible news. Oh, the king has abused his body with bad habits for a long time, and it’s finally taking its toll on him. Very sad. Where is he, in his bed?

HASTINGS

He is.

HASTINGS

He is.

RICHARD

145 Go you before, and I will follow you.

RICHARD

You go ahead, and I will follow you.
Exit HASTINGS
HASTINGS exits.
He cannot live, I hope, and must not die
Till George be packed with post-horse up to heaven.
I’ll in to urge his hatred more to Clarence
With lies well steeled with weighty arguments,
150 And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
Clarence hath not another day to live;
Which done, God take King Edward to His mercy,
And leave the world for me to bustle in.
For then I’ll marry Warwick’s youngest daughter.
155 What though I killed her husband and her father?
The readiest way to make the wench amends
Is to become her husband and her father;
The which will I, not all so much for love
As for another secret close intent
160 By marrying her which I must reach unto.
But yet I run before my horse to market.
Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns.
When they are gone, then must I count my gains.
The king won’t live, I hope. But he’d better not die till Clarence is sent packing to heaven. I’ll go see the king and, with carefully argued lies, get him to hate Clarence even more than he already does. If my plan succeeds, Clarence doesn’t have another day to live. Then God’s free to send King Edward to heaven, too, and leave me the world to run around in! I’ll marry the earl of Warwick’s youngest daughter, Lady Anne. So what if I killed her husband and her father? The best way to make up for the girl’s losses is to become what she’s lost: a husband and a father. So that’s what I’ll do, not because I love her but because I’ll get something out of it. But I’m running ahead of myself. Clarence is still alive; Edward is not only alive, he’s king. Only when they’re dead can I start to count my gains.
Exit
He exits.