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QUEEN ELIZABETH

But how long shall that title “ever” last?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

But how long will “ever” last?

RICHARD

Sweetly in force unto her fair life’s end.

RICHARD

Until her beautiful life’s end.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

355But how long fairly shall her sweet life last?

QUEEN ELIZABETH

But how long will her beautiful life last?

RICHARD

As long as heaven and nature lengthens it.

RICHARD

As long as heaven and nature extend it.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

As long as hell and Richard likes of it.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

As long as hell and Richard want it.

RICHARD

Say I, her sovereign, am her subject low.

RICHARD

Tell her that I, her king, am her lowly subject.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

But she, your subject, loathes such sovereignty.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

But she, your subject, hates such a king.

RICHARD

360Be eloquent in my behalf to her.

RICHARD

Be eloquent on my behalf.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

An honest tale speeds best being plainly told.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

An honest tale succeeds best when it is told simply.

RICHARD

Then plainly to her tell my loving tale.

RICHARD

Then tell her my loving story in simple terms.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Plain and not honest is too harsh a style.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

You can’t tell a story simply when it’s a lie.

RICHARD

Your reasons are too shallow and too quick.

RICHARD

Your answers are too shallow and too hasty.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

365O no, my reasons are too deep and dead—
Too deep and dead, poor infants, in their graves.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Oh no, my reasons are deep and as permanent as death. They’re buried as deep as my poor infants in their grave.

RICHARD

Harp not on that string, madam; that is past.

RICHARD

Don’t harp on that point, madam—it’s past.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Harp on it still shall I till heart-strings break.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

I will harp on it till my heartstrings break.

RICHARD

Now by my George, my Garter, and my crown—

RICHARD

Now, by St. George, my knighthood, and my crown—

QUEEN ELIZABETH

370Profaned, dishonored, and the third usurped.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

The first you profaned, the second you dishonored, and the third you stole.