Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 4 Scene 2

page Act 4 Scene 2 Page 2

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RICHARD

   O bitter consequence
That Edward still should live “true noble prince”!
Cousin, thou wast not wont to be so dull.
Shall I be plain? I wish the bastards dead,
20And I would have it suddenly performed.
What sayest thou now? Speak suddenly. Be brief.

RICHARD

Oh, how bitter it is that Edward—the real “true, noble prince”—should still be alive! Cousin, you didn’t used to be so thickheaded. Shall I put it plainly? I want the bastards dead. And I want it done right away. What do you say? Speak now and to the point.

BUCKINGHAM

Your Grace may do your pleasure.

BUCKINGHAM

Your Grace can do whatever he wants.

RICHARD

Tut, tut, thou art all ice; thy kindness freezes.
Say, have I thy consent that they shall die?

RICHARD

Tut, tut, you’ve become rather icy. Your friendliness toward me seems to be freezing over. Tell me, do I have your consent to kill them?

BUCKINGHAM

25Give me some little breath, some pause, dear lord,
Before I positively speak in this.
I will resolve you herein presently.

BUCKINGHAM

Give me a little breathing space, my lord, a little pause to think. I’ll let you know my answer shortly.
Exit
He exits.

CATESBY

(aside to the other attendants)
The king is angry. See, he gnaws his lip.

CATESBY

(so only the attendant nearest him can hear) The king is angry. See, he bites his lip.

RICHARD

30 (aside) I will converse with iron-witted fools
And unrespective boys. None are for me
That look into me with considerate eyes.
High-reaching Buckingham grows circumspect.—
Boy!

RICHARD

(to himself) I only want to deal with stupid fools and careless boys. I have no use for people who look at me insightfully. Ambitious Buckingham grows much too circumspect. Boy!

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35 (coming forward) My lord?

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My lord?

RICHARD

Know’st thou not any whom corrupting gold
Will tempt unto a close exploit of death?

RICHARD

Do you know anyone who would kill someone for money?