Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

Act 2 Scene 2

page Act 2 Scene 2 Page 1

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Enter the old DUCHESS of York, with the two children of Clarence
The old DUCHESS OF YORK enters with CLARENCE’s two children.

BOY

Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead?

BOY

Tell me, good grandmother, is our father dead?

DUCHESS

No, boy.

DUCHESS

No, boy.

GIRL

Why do you weep so oft, and beat your breast,
And cry, “O Clarence, my unhappy son?”

GIRL

Then why do you weep so often, and beat your breast, and cry, “Oh Clarence, my unlucky son”?

BOY

5Why do you look on us and shake your head,
And call us orphans, wretches, castaways,
If that our noble father were alive?

BOY

Why do you look at us and shake your head, and call us orphans, wretches, castaways, if our noble father is still alive?

DUCHESS

My pretty cousins, you mistake me both.
I do lament the sickness of the king,
10As loath to lose him, not your father’s death.
It were lost sorrow to wail one that’s lost.

DUCHESS

My pretty children, both of you misunderstand me. I’m lamenting the sickness of the king, because I’d hate to lose him—I’m not mourning your father’s death. What would be the point of crying over someone who was already dead?

BOY

Then, you conclude, my grandam, he is dead.
The king mine uncle is to blame for it.
God will revenge it, whom I will importune
15With earnest prayers, all to that effect.

BOY

So you’re admitting Clarence, my father, is dead. My uncle the king is to blame for this. God will take revenge. I will pray every day that he does.

GIRL

And so will I.

GIRL

And so will I.

DUCHESS

Peace, children, peace. The king doth love you well.
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caused your father’s death.

DUCHESS

Quiet, children, quiet. The king loves you very much. Innocent sweethearts, you have no idea who’s responsible for your father’s death.