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Exit
She exits.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Though far more cause, yet much less spirit to curse
Abides in me. I say amen to her.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Though I have far more reason, I don’t have as much energy to curse you. But I say amen to everything she said.

RICHARD

200Stay, madam. I must talk a word with you.

RICHARD

Wait, madam. I need to speak a word with you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I have no more sons of the royal blood
For thee to slaughter. For my daughters, Richard,
They shall be praying nuns, not weeping queens,
And therefore level not to hit their lives.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I have no more royal sons for you to murder. As for my daughters, Richard, they will become praying nuns, not weeping queens. So don’t aim at them.

RICHARD

205You have a daughter called Elizabeth,
Virtuous and fair, royal and gracious.

RICHARD

You have a daughter named Elizabeth, who is virtuous and beautiful, aristocratic and full of grace.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

And must she die for this? O, let her live,
And I’ll corrupt her manners, stain her beauty,
Slander myself as false to Edward’s bed,
210Throw over her the veil of infamy.
So she may live unscarred of bleeding slaughter,
I will confess she was not Edward’s daughter.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

And does she have to die for this? Oh, let her live, and I’ll ruin her manners and her beauty. So that she may live, I’ll say I cheated on Edward and that she is not really his child.

RICHARD

Wrong not her birth. She is a royal princess.

RICHARD

Don’t wrong her birth. She has royal blood.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

To save her life, I’ll say she is not so.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

To save her life, I’ll say she doesn’t.

RICHARD

215Her life is safest only in her birth.

RICHARD

Her life is only safe if she’s really of royal blood.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

And only in that safety died her brothers.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Yes, as safe as her brothers' lives were.

RICHARD

Lo, at their births good stars were opposite.

RICHARD

They were born under unlucky stars.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

No, to their lives ill friends were contrary.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

The stars weren’t the problem. Bad friends were.

RICHARD

All unavoided is the doom of destiny.

RICHARD

You can’t escape a bad destiny.