Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Folio 1, 1623)


The life and death of Richard the second.
35
That they haue let the dangerous Enemie
Measure our Confines with such peacefull steps?
If we preuaile, their heads shall pay for it.
1485I warrant they haue made peace with Bullingbrooke.
Scroope. Peace haue they made with him indeede (my
Lord.)
Rich. Oh Villains, Vipers, damn'd without redemption,
Dogges, easily woon to fawne on any man,
1490Snakes in my heart blood warm'd, that sting my heart,
Three Iudasses, each one thrice worse then Iudas,
Would they make peace? terrible Hell make warre
Vpon their spotted Soules for this Offence.
Scroope. Sweet Loue (I see) changing his propertie,
1495Turnes to the sowrest, and most deadly hate:
Againe vncurse their Soules; their peace is made
With Heads, and not with Hands: those whom you curse
Haue felt the worst of Deaths destroying hand,
And lye full low, grau'd in the hollow ground.
1500Aum. Is Bushie, Greene, and the Earle of Wiltshire
dead?
Scroope. Yea, all of them at Bristow lost their heads.
Aum. Where is the Duke my Father with his Power?
Rich. No matter where; of comfort no man speake:
1505Let's talke of Graues, of Wormes, and Epitaphs,
Make Dust our Paper, and with Raynie eyes
Write Sorrow on the Bosome of the Earth.
Let's chuse Executors, and talke of Wills:
And yet not so; for what can we bequeath,
1510Saue our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our Lands, our Liues, and all are Bullingbrookes,
And nothing can we call our owne, but Death,
And that small Modell of the barren Earth,
Which serues as Paste, and Couer to our Bones:
1515For Heauens sake let vs sit vpon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of Kings:
How some haue been depos'd, some slaine in warre,
Some haunted by the Ghosts they haue depos'd,
Some poyson'd by their Wiues, some sleeping kill'd,
1520All murther'd. For within the hollow Crowne
That rounds the mortall Temples of a King,
Keepes Death his Court, and there the Antique sits
Scoffing his State, and grinning at his Pompe,
Allowing him a breath, a little Scene,
1525To Monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with lookes,
Infusing him with selfe and vaine conceit,
As if this Flesh, which walls about our Life,
Were Brasse impregnable: and humor'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little Pinne
1530Bores through his Castle Walls, and farwell King.
Couer your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemne Reuerence: throw away Respect,
Tradition, Forme, and Ceremonious dutie,
For you haue but mistooke me all this while:
1535I liue with Bread like you, feele Want,
Taste Griefe, need Friends: subiected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a King?
Carl. My Lord, wise men ne're waile their present woes,
But presently preuent the wayes to waile:
1540To feare the Foe, since feare oppresseth strength,
Giues in your weakenesse, strength vnto your Foe;
Feare, and be slaine, no worse can come to fight,
And fight and die, is death destroying death,
Where fearing, dying, payes death seruile breath.
1545Aum. My Father hath a Power, enquire of him,
And learne to make a Body of a Limbe.
Rich. Thou chid'st me well: proud Bullingbrooke I come

To change Blowes with thee, for our day of Doome:
This ague fit of feare is ouer-blowne,
1550An easie taske it is to winne our owne.
Say Scroope, where lyes our Vnckle with his Power?
Speake sweetly man, although thy lookes be sowre.
Scroope. Men iudge by the complexion of the Skie
The state and inclination of the day;
1555So may you by my dull and heauie Eye:
My Tongue hath but a heauier Tale to say:
I play the Torturer, by small and small
To lengthen out the worst, that must be spoken.
Your Vnckle Yorke is ioyn'd with Bullingbrooke,
1560And all your Northerne Castles yeelded vp,
And all your Southerne Gentlemen in Armes
Vpon his Faction.
Rich. Thou hast said enough.
Beshrew thee Cousin, which didst lead me forth
1565Of that sweet way I was in, to despaire:
What say you now? What comfort haue we now?
By Heauen Ile hate him euerlastingly,
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Goe to Flint Castle, there Ile pine away,
1570A King, Woes slaue, shall Kingly Woe obey:
That Power I haue, discharge, and let 'em goe
To eare the Land, that hath some hope to grow,
For I haue none. Let no man speake againe
To alter this, for counsaile is but vaine.
1575Aum. My Liege, one word.
Rich. He does me double wrong,
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers: let them hence away,
From Richards Night, to Bullingbrookes faire Day.
1580
Exeunt.



Scæna Tertia.



Enter with Drum and Colours, Bullingbrooke,
Yorke, Northumberland, Attendants.

Bull. So that by this intelligence we learne
1585The Welchmen are dispers'd, and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the King, who lately landed
With some few priuate friends, vpon this Coast.
North. The newes is very faire and good, my Lord,
Richard, not farre from hence, hath hid his head.
1590York. It would beseeme the Lord Northumberland,
To say King Richard: alack the heauie day,
When such a sacred King should hide his head.
North. Your Grace mistakes: onely to be briefe,
Left I his Title out.
1595York. The time hath beene,
Would you haue beene so briefe with him, he would
Haue beene so briefe with you, to shorten you,
For taking so the Head, your whole heads length.
Bull. Mistake not (Vnckle) farther then you should.
1600York. Take not (good Cousin) farther then you should.
Least you mistake the Heauens are ore your head.
Bull. I know it (Vnckle) and oppose not my selfe
Against their will. But who comes here?
Enter Percie.
1605Welcome Harry: what, will not this Castle yield?
Per. The Castle royally is mann'd, my Lord,
Against thy entrance.
Bull. Roy-