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RICHARD

Look what is done cannot be now amended.
295Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after-hours give leisure to repent.
If I did take the kingdom from your sons,
To make amends I’ll give it to your daughter.
If I have killed the issue of your womb,
300To quicken your increase I will beget
Mine issue of your blood upon your daughter.
A grandam’s name is little less in love
Than is the doting title of a mother.
They are as children but one step below,
305Even of your metal, of your very blood,
Of all one pain, save for a night of groans
Endured of her for whom you bid like sorrow.
Your children were vexation to your youth,
But mine shall be a comfort to your age.
310The loss you have is but a son being king,
And by that loss your daughter is made queen.
I cannot make you what amends I would;
Therefore accept such kindness as I can.
Dorset your son, that with a fearful soul
315Leads discontented steps in foreign soil,
This fair alliance quickly shall call home
To high promotions and great dignity.
The king that calls your beauteous daughter wife
Familiarly shall call thy Dorset brother.
320Again shall you be mother to a king,
And all the ruins of distressful times
Repaired with double riches of content.
What, we have many goodly days to see!
The liquid drops of tears that you have shed
325Shall come again, transformed to orient pearl,
Advantaging their love with interest
Of ten times double gain of happiness.
Go then, my mother; to thy daughter go.

RICHARD

Whatever has already been done can’t be undone now. Men act imprudently sometimes, then realize their mistakes when they have time to think about them. If I took the kingdom from your sons, I’ll give it to your daughter to make up for it. If I have killed your children, I will have children with your daughter. A grandmother is loved hardly less than a mother is. Your grandchildren will be just one step removed from your own children—they share your character, your blood, and require the same effort minus that one night of labor, like that which you suffered through for your own daughter. Your children caused you trouble in your youth, but mine will bring you comfort in your old age. The only loss you’ve had is that your son was not king. Because of that loss, your daughter will be queen. I can’t make up for everything that I’d like to, so accept such kindness as I can offer. Your son Dorset, who fled in fear to join an army in France against me, could come home to high promotions and great dignity. The king who calls your beautiful daughter “wife” will call Dorset “brother.” And you will be the mother to a king again, with all the miseries of unhappy times not just repaired, but also improved. Indeed, we have many good days to look forward to! The tears you have shed will be transformed into pearls. Your happiness will be like a loan that has grown through interest to ten times its original size. Go, then, mother, to your daughter.