Richard III

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 5 Scene 3

page Act 5 Scene 3 Page 5

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Enter STANLEY to RICHMOND in his tent, lords and others attending
STANLEY enters and goes to RICHMOND’s tent, where lords and others are waiting on him.

STANLEY

Fortune and victory sit on thy helm!

STANLEY

Let fortune and victory be yours!

RICHMOND

All comfort that the dark night can afford
85Be to thy person, noble father-in-law.
Tell me, how fares our loving mother?

RICHMOND

I wish you all the comfort that such a dark night as this can offer, noble father-in-law. Tell me, how is my mother?

STANLEY

I, by attorney, bless thee from thy mother,
Who prays continually for Richmond’s good.
So much for that. The silent hours steal on,
90And flaky darkness breaks within the east.
In brief, for so the season bids us be,
Prepare thy battle early in the morning,
And put thy fortune to the arbitrament
Of bloody strokes and mortal-staring war.
95I, as I may—that which I would I cannot,—
With best advantage will deceive the time,
And aid thee in this doubtful shock of arms.
But on thy side I may not be too forward,
Lest, being seen, thy brother, tender George,
100Be executed in his father’s sight.
Farewell. The leisure and the fearful time
Cuts off the ceremonious vows of love
And ample interchange of sweet discourse,
Which so-long-sundered friends should dwell upon.
105God give us leisure for these rites of love!
Once more, adieu. Be valiant, and speed well.

STANLEY

Your mother sends her blessings. She prays continually on your behalf. Enough about that—morning will be here soon. To be brief—as the occasion requires—prepare to fight early in the morning, when your future will be decided. I can’t do everything I want to, but I’ll help you as well as I can. But I can’t be too obvious about being on your side without risking the life of your stepbrother, young George. If I’m seen helping you, George will be killed right in front of my eyes. Farewell. The lack of time and the risk I’m under will have to keep us from bonding and catching up on each other’s news the way we usually would after not seeing each other for so long. I hope we have the time some day! Again, goodbye. Be brave and do well!

RICHMOND

Good lords, conduct him to his regiment:
I’ll strive with troubled thoughts to take a nap,
Lest leaden slumber peise me down tomorrow,
110When I should mount with wings of victory.
Once more, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.

RICHMOND

Good lords, escort him to his regiment. I’m going to try to take a nap despite my racing thoughts so that exhaustion won’t get the better of me tomorrow, when I’ll need to ride as if my horse had wings.
Again, good night, kind lords and gentlemen.