Original Text

Modern Text

RATCLIFFE

What, may it please you, shall I do at Salisbury?

RATCLIFFE

What would you like me to do at Salisbury?

RICHARD

Why, what wouldst thou do there before I go?

RICHARD

Why, what is there to do before I get there?

RATCLIFFE

460Your Highness told me I should post before.

RATCLIFFE

Your Highness just told me that I should ride there before you.

RICHARD

My mind is changed.

RICHARD

I changed my mind.
Enter STANLEY
STANLEY enters.
     Stanley, what news with you?
Stanley, what news do you have?

STANLEY

None good, my liege, to please you with the hearing,
Nor none so bad but well may be reported.

STANLEY

Nothing that you want to hear, my lord, but nothing so bad that I can’t mention it.

RICHARD

Hoyday, a riddle! Neither good nor bad.
465What need’st thou run so many mile about
When thou mayst tell thy tale the nearest way?
Once more, what news?

RICHARD

Well, how nice, a riddle! Neither good nor bad. Why do you go around in circles when you could get to the point? Once again, what’s the news?

STANLEY

     Richmond is on the seas.

STANLEY

Richmond is sailing on the sea.

RICHARD

There let him sink, and be the seas on him!
White-livered runagate, what doth he there?

RICHARD

Let him sink there so the sea will cover him! Lily-livered coward, what’s he doing there?

STANLEY

470I know not, mighty sovereign, but by guess.

STANLEY

I don’t know, mighty king. I can only guess.

RICHARD

Well, as you guess?

RICHARD

Well, what do you guess?

STANLEY

Stirred up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton,
He makes for England, here to claim the crown.

STANLEY

That, stirred up by Dorset, Buckingham, and Morton, he’s coming to England to claim the crown.