Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Folio 1, 1623)


The Life and Death of Richard the Second.
43
For there (they say) he dayly doth frequent,
With vnrestrained loose Companions,
Euen such (they say) as stand in narrow Lanes,
2505And rob our Watch, and beate our passengers,
Which he, yong wanton, and effeminate Boy
Takes on the point of Honor, to support
So dissolute a crew.
Per. My Lord, some two dayes since I saw the Prince,
2510And told him of these Triumphes held at Oxford.
Bul. And what said the Gallant?
Per. His answer was: he would vnto the Stewes,
And from the common'st creature plucke a Gloue
And weare it as a fauour, and with that
2515He would vnhorse the lustiest Challenger.
Bul. As dissolute as desp'rate, yet through both,
I see some sparkes of better hope: which elder dayes
May happily bring forth. But who comes heere?
Enter Aumerle.
2520Aum. Where is the King?
Bul. What meanes our Cosin, that hee stares
And lookes so wildely?
Aum. God saue your Grace. I do beseech your Maiesty
To haue some conference with your Grace alone.
2525Bul. Withdraw your selues, and leaue vs here alone:
What is the matter with our Cosin now?
Aum. For euer may my knees grow to the earth,
My tongue cleaue to my roofe within my mouth,
Vnlesse a Pardon, ere I rise, or speake.
2530Bul. Intended, or committed was this fault?
If on the first, how heynous ere it bee,
To win thy after loue, I pardon thee.
Aum. Then giue me leaue, that I may turne the key,
That no man enter, till my tale be done.
2535Bul. Haue thy desire.
Yorke withiu.
Yor. My Liege beware, looke to thy selfe,
Thou hast a Traitor in thy presence there.
Bul. Villaine, Ile make thee safe.
Aum. Stay thy reuengefull hand, thou hast no cause
2540to feare.
Yorke. Open the doore, secure foole-hardy King:
Shall I for loue speake treason to thy face?
Open the doore, or I will breake it open.
Enter Yorke.
2545Bul. What is the matter (Vnkle) speak, recouer breath,
Tell vs how neere is danger,
That we may arme vs to encounter it.
Yor. Peruse this writing heere, and thou shalt know
The reason that my haste forbids me show.
2550Aum. Remember as thou read'st, thy promise past:
I do repent me, reade not my name there,
My heart is not confederate with my hand.
Yor. It was (villaine) ere thy hand did set it downe.
I tore it from the Traitors bosome, King.
2555Feare, and not Loue, begets his penitence;
Forget to pitty him, least thy pitty proue
A Serpent, that will sting thee to the heart.
Bul. Oh heinous, strong, and bold Conspiracie,
O loyall Father of a treacherous Sonne:
2560Thou sheere, immaculate, and siluer fountaine,
From whence this streame, through muddy passages
Hath had his current, and defil'd himselfe.
Thy ouerflow of good, conuerts to bad,
And thy abundant goodnesse shall excuse
2565This deadly blot, in thy digressing sonne.
Yorke. So shall my Vertue be his Vices bawd,
And he shall spend mine Honour, with his Shame;

As thriftlesse Sonnes, their scraping Fathers Gold.
Mine honor liues, when his dishonor dies,
2570Or my sham'd life, in his dishonor lies:
Thou kill'st me in his life, giuing him breath,
The Traitor liues, the true man's put to death.
Dutchesse within.
Dut. What hoa (my Liege) for heauens sake let me in.
2575Bul. What shrill-voic'd Suppliant, makes this eager cry?
Dut. A woman, and thine Aunt (great King) 'tis I.
Speake with me, pitty me, open the dore,
A Begger begs, that neuer begg'd before.
Bul. Our Scene is alter'd from a serious thing,
2580And now chang'd to the Begger, and the King.
My dangerous Cosin, let your Mother in,
I know she's come, to pray for your foule sin.
Yorke. If thou do pardon, whosoeuer pray,
More sinnes for this forgiuenesse, prosper may.
2585This fester'd ioynt cut off, the rest rests sound,
This let alone, will all the rest confound.
Enter Dutchesse.
Dut. O King, beleeue not this hard-hearted man,
Loue, louing not it selfe, none other can.
2590Yor. Thou franticke woman, what dost yu make here,
Shall thy old dugges, once more a Traitor reare?
Dut. Sweet Yorke be patient, heare me gentle Liege.
Bul. Rise vp good Aunt.
Dut. Not yet, I thee beseech.
2595For euer will I kneele vpon my knees,
And neuer see day, that the happy sees,
Till thou giue ioy: vntill thou bid me ioy,
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing Boy.
Aum. Vnto my mothers prayres, I bend my knee.
2600Yorke. Against them both, my true ioynts bended be.
Dut. Pleades he in earnest? Looke vpon his Face,
His eyes do drop no teares: his prayres are in iest:
His words come from his mouth, ours from our brest.
He prayes but faintly, and would be denide,
2605We pray with heart, and soule, and all beside:
His weary ioynts would gladly rise, I know,
Our knees shall kneele, till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisie,
Ours of true zeale, and deepe integritie:
2610Our prayers do out-pray his, then let them haue
That mercy, which true prayers ought to haue.
Bul. Good Aunt stand vp.
Dut. Nay, do not say stand vp.
But Pardon first, and afterwards stand vp.
2615And if I were thy Nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon should be the first word of thy speach.
I neuer long'd to heare a word till now:
Say Pardon (King,) let pitty teach thee how.
The word is short: but not so short as sweet,
2620No word like Pardon, for Kings mouth's so meet.
Yorke. Speake it in French (King) say Pardon'ne moy.
Dut. Dost thou teach pardon, Pardon to destroy?
Ah my sowre husband, my hard-hearted Lord,
That set's the word it selfe, against the word.
2625Speake Pardon, as 'tis currant in our Land,
The chopping French we do not vnderstand.
Thine eye begins to speake, set thy tongue there,
Or in thy pitteous heart, plant thou thine eare,
That hearing how our plaints and prayres do pearce,
2630Pitty may moue thee, Pardon to rehearse.
Bul. Good Aunt, stand vp.
Dut. I do not sue to stand,
Pardon is all the suite I haue in hand.
Bul.