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QUEEN ELIZABETH

O Dorset, speak not to me. Get thee gone.
40Death and destruction dogs thee at thy heels.
Thy mother’s name is ominous to children.
If thou wilt outstrip death, go, cross the seas,
And live with Richmond, from the reach of hell.
Go, hie thee, hie thee from this slaughterhouse,
45Lest thou increase the number of the dead
And make me die the thrall of Margaret’s curse,
Nor mother, wife, nor England’s counted queen.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Oh, Dorset, don’t waste your time talking to me. Leave. Death and destruction are following at your heels. Your mother’s name has become a threat to her own children. If you want to outrun death, go cross the sea to France and stay with

Richmond

Henry Tudor, the earl of Richmond, later to succeed Richard as King Henry VII.

Richmond
, out of the reach of hell. Go, get out of here, get out of this slaughterhouse. Otherwise you’ll just increase the number of the dead, and make me die the slave of Margaret’s curse, no longer a mother, a wife, or England’s queen.

STANLEY

Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.
(to DORSET) Take all the swift advantage of the hours.
50You shall have letters from me to my son
In your behalf, to meet you on the way.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.

STANLEY

Madam, your advice is wise and caring.—Dorset, take advantage of the time you have. I’ll write to my stepson Richmond on your behalf, so that he’ll meet you on the way. But don’t delay.

DUCHESS

O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
O my accursèd womb, the bed of death!
55A cockatrice hast thou hatched to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous.

DUCHESS

O, this evil wind that spreads nothing but misery. O, my cursed womb—it’s a deathbed, really, since Richard came out of it. It has hatched a

cockatrice

The cockatrice was a mythical being that could kill with its gaze.

cockatrice
, whose gaze kills whatever it lands on.

STANLEY

(to ANNE) Come, madam, come. I in all haste was sent.

STANLEY

(to ANNE) Come, madam, come. I was sent in a hurry.

ANNE

And I in all unwillingness will go.
O, would to God that the inclusive verge
60Of golden metal that must round my brow
Were red-hot steel to sear me to the brains!
Anointed let me be with deadly venom,
And die ere men can say, “God save the Queen.”

ANNE

I go unwillingly. I wish to God that the golden crown that I’ll have to wear were red-hot steel and burned me straight through to the brain! I wish I could be anointed queen with deadly venom, not oil, and that I would die before anyone even had a chance to say, “God save the Queen!”

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Go, go, poor soul, I envy not thy glory.
65To feed my humor, wish thyself no harm.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Go, go, poor soul. I don’t envy your position. If you want to make me happy, don’t wish yourself harm.