Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Folio 1, 1623)


40
The Life and Death of Richard the Second.
Rich. I, no; no, I: for I must nothing bee:
Therefore no, no, for I resigne to thee.
Now, marke me how I will vndoe my selfe.
2125I giue this heauie Weight from off my Head,
And this vnwieldie Scepter from my Hand,
The pride of Kingly sway from out my Heart.
With mine owne Teares I wash away my Balme,
With mine owne Hands I giue away my Crowne,
2130With mine owne Tongue denie my Sacred State,
With mine owne Breath release all dutious Oathes;
All Pompe and Maiestie I doe forsweare:
My Manors, Rents, Reuenues, I forgoe;
My Acts, Decrees, and Statutes I denie:
2135God pardon all Oathes that are broke to mee,
God keepe all Vowes vnbroke are made to thee.
Make me, that nothing haue, with nothing grieu'd,
And thou with all pleas'd, that hast all atchieu'd.
Long may'st thou liue in Richards Seat to sit,
2140And soone lye Richard in an Earthie Pit.
God saue King Henry, vn-King'd Richard sayes,
And send him many yeeres of Sunne-shine dayes.
What more remaines?
North. No more: but that you reade
2145These Accusations, and these grieuous Crymes,
Committed by your Person, and your followers,
Against the State, and Profit of this Land:
That by confessing them, the Soules of men
May deeme, that you are worthily depos'd.
2150Rich. Must I doe so? and must I rauell out
My weau'd-vp follyes? Gentle Northumberland,
If thy Offences were vpon Record,
Would it not shame thee, in so faire a troupe,
To reade a Lecture of them? If thou would'st,
2155There should'st thou finde one heynous Article,
Contayning the deposing of a King,
And cracking the strong Warrant of an Oath,
Mark'd with a Blot, damn'd in the Booke of Heauen.
Nay, all of you, that stand and looke vpon me,
2160Whil'st that my wretchednesse doth bait my selfe,
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
Shewing an outward pittie: yet you Pilates
Haue here deliuer'd me to my sowre Crosse,
And Water cannot wash away your sinne.
2165North. My Lord dispatch, reade o're these Articles.
Rich. Mine Eyes are full of Teares, I cannot see:
And yet salt-Water blindes them not so much,
But they can see a sort of Traytors here.
Nay, if I turne mine Eyes vpon my selfe,
2170I finde my selfe a Traytor with the rest:
For I haue giuen here my Soules consent,
T'vndeck the pompous Body of a King;
Made Glory base; a Soueraigntie, a Slaue;
Prowd Maiestie, a Subiect; State, a Pesant.
2175North. My Lord.
Rich. No Lord of thine, thou haught-insulting man;
No, nor no mans Lord: I haue no Name, no Title;
No, not that Name was giuen me at the Font,
But 'tis vsurpt: alack the heauie day,
2180That I haue worne so many Winters out,
And know not now, what Name to call my selfe.
Oh, that I were a Mockerie, King of Snow,
Standing before the Sunne of Bullingbrooke,
To melt my selfe away in Water-drops.
2185Good King, great King, and yet not greatly good,
And if my word be Sterling yet in England,
Let it command a Mirror hither straight,

That it may shew me what a Face I haue,
Since it is Bankrupt of his Maiestie.
2190Bull. Goe some of you, and fetch a Looking-Glasse.
North. Read o're this Paper, while ye Glasse doth come.
Rich. Fiend, thou torments me, ere I come to Hell.
Bull. Vrge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
North. The Commons will not then be satisfy'd.
2195Rich. They shall be satisfy'd: Ile reade enough,
When I doe see the very Booke indeede,
Where all my sinnes are writ, and that's my selfe.
Enter one with a Glasse.
Giue me that Glasse, and therein will I reade.
2200No deeper wrinckles yet? hath Sorrow strucke
So many Blowes vpon this Face of mine,
And made no deeper Wounds? Oh flatt'ring Glasse,
Like to my followers in prosperitie,
Thou do'st beguile me. Was this Face, the Face
2205That euery day, vnder his House-hold Roofe,
Did keepe ten thousand men? Was this the Face,
That like the Sunne, did make beholders winke?
Is this the Face, which fac'd so many follyes,
That was at last out-fac'd by Bullingbrooke?
2210A brittle Glory shineth in this Face,
As brittle as the Glory, is the Face,
For there it is, crackt in an hundred shiuers.
Marke silent King, the Morall of this sport,
How soone my Sorrow hath destroy'd my Face.
2215Bull. The shadow of your Sorrow hath destroy'd
The shadow of your Face.
Rich. Say that againe.
The shadow of my Sorrow: ha, let's see,
'Tis very true, my Griefe lyes all within,
2220And these externall manner of Laments,
Are meerely shadowes, to the vnseene Griefe,
That swells with silence in the tortur'd Soule.
There lyes the substance: and I thanke thee King
For thy great bountie, that not onely giu'st
2225Me cause to wayle, but teachest me the way
How to lament the cause. Ile begge one Boone,
And then be gone, and trouble you no more.
Shall I obtaine it?
Bull. Name it, faire Cousin.
2230Rich. Faire Cousin? I am greater then a King:
For when I was a King, my flatterers
Were then but subiects; being now a subiect,
I haue a King here to my flatterer:
Being so great, I haue no neede to begge.
2235Bull. Yet aske.
Rich. And shall I haue?
Bull. You shall.
Rich. Then giue me leaue to goe.
Bull. Whither?
2240Rich. Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
Bull. Goe some of you, conuey him to the Tower.
Rich. Oh good: conuey: Conueyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true Kings fall.
Bull. On Wednesday next, we solemnly set downe
2245Our Coronation: Lords, prepare your selues.
Exeunt.
Abbot. A wofull Pageant haue we here beheld.
Carl. The Woes to come, the Children yet vnborne,
Shall feele this day as sharpe to them as Thorne.
Aum. You holy Clergie-men, is there no Plot
2250To rid the Realme of this pernicious Blot.
Abbot. Before I freely speake my minde herein,
You shall not onely take the Sacrament,
To bury mine intents, but also to effect
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