Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Folio 1, 1623)


Scæna Quarta.
Enter Richard.
Rich. I haue bin studying, how to compare
This Prison where I liue, vnto the World:
2670And for because the world is populous,
And heere is not a Creature, but my selfe,
I cannot do it: yet Ile hammer't out.
My Braine, Ile proue the Female to my Soule,
My Soule, the Father: and these two beget
2675A generation of still breeding Thoughts;
And these same Thoughts, people this Little World
In humors, like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things Diuine, are intermixt
2680With scruples, and do set the Faith it selfe
Against the Faith: as thus: Come litle ones: & then again,
It is as hard to come, as for a Camell
To thred the posterne of a Needles eye.
Thoughts tending to Ambition, they do plot
2685Vnlikely wonders; how these vaine weake nailes
May teare a passage through the Flinty ribbes
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walles:
And for they cannot, dye in their owne pride.
Thoughts tending to Content, flatter themselues,
2690That they are not the first of Fortunes slaues,
Nor shall not be the last. Like silly Beggars,
Who sitting in the Stockes, refuge their shame
That many haue, and others must sit there;
And in this Thought, they finde a kind of ease,
2695Bearing their owne misfortune on the backe
Of such as haue before indur'd the like.
Thus play I in one Prison, many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I King;
Then Treason makes me wish my selfe a Beggar,
2700And so I am. Then crushing penurie,
Perswades me, I was better when a King:
Then am I king'd againe: and by and by,
Thinke that I am vn-king'd by Bullingbrooke,
And straight am nothing. But what ere I am,
Musick
2705Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd, till he be eas'd
With being nothing. Musicke do I heare?
Ha, ha? keepe time: How sowre sweet Musicke is,
When Time is broke, and no Proportion kept?
2710So is it in the Musicke of mens liues:
And heere haue I the daintinesse of eare,
To heare time broke in a disorder'd string:
But for the Concord of my State and Time,
Had not an eare to heare my true Time broke.
2715I wasted Time, and now doth Time waste me:
For now hath Time made me his numbring clocke;
My Thoughts, are minutes; and with Sighes they iarre,
Their watches on vnto mine eyes, the outward Watch,
Whereto my finger, like a Dialls point,
2720Is pointing still, in cleansing them from teares.
Now sir, the sound that tels what houre it is,
Are clamorous groanes, that strike vpon my heart,
Which is the bell: so Sighes, and Teares, and Grones,
Shew Minutes, Houres, and Times: but my Time
2725Runs poasting on, in Bullingbrookes proud ioy,
While I stand fooling heere, his iacke o'th' Clocke.
This Musicke mads me, let it sound no more,
For though it haue holpe madmen to their wits,
In me it seemes, it will make wise-men mad:
2730Yet blessing on his heart that giues it me;
For 'tis a signe of loue, and loue to Richard,
Is a strange Brooch, in this all-hating world.
Enter Groome.
Groo. Haile Royall Prince.
2735Rich. Thankes Noble Peere,
The cheapest of vs, is ten groates too deere.
What art thou? And how com'st thou hither?
Where no man euer comes, but that sad dogge
That brings me food, to make misfortune liue?
2740Groo. I was a poore Groome of thy Stable (King)
When thou wer't King: who trauelling towards Yorke,
With much adoo, at length haue gotten leaue
To looke vpon my (sometimes Royall) masters face.
O how it yern'd my heart, when I beheld
2745In London streets, that Coronation day,
When Bullingbrooke rode on Roane Barbary,
That horse, that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse, that I so carefully haue drest.
Rich. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me gentle Friend,
2750How went he vnder him?
Groo. So proudly, as if he had disdain'd the ground.
Rich. So proud, that Bullingbrooke was on his backe;
That Iade hath eate bread from my Royall hand.
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
2755Would he not stumble? Would he not fall downe
(Since Pride must haue a fall) and breake the necke
Of that proud man, that did vsurpe his backe?
Forgiuenesse horse: Why do I raile on thee,
Since thou created to be aw'd by man
2760Was't borne to beare? I was not made a horse,
And yet I beare a burthen like an Asse,
Spur-gall'd, and tyrd by iauncing Bullingbrooke.
Enter Keeper with a Dish.
Keep. Fellow, giue place, heere is no longer stay.
2765Rich. If thou loue me, 'tis time thou wer't away.
Groo. What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall
say.
Exit.
Keep. My Lord, wilt please you to fall too?
Rich. Taste of it first, as thou wer't wont to doo.
2770Keep. My Lord I dare not: Sir Pierce of Exton,
Who lately came from th' King, commands the contrary.
Rich. The diuell take Henrie of Lancaster, and thee;
Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
Keep. Helpe, helpe, helpe.
2775
Enter Exton and Seruants.
Ri. How now? what meanes Death in this rude assalt?
Villaine, thine owne hand yeelds thy deaths instrument,
Go thou and fill another roome in hell.
Exton strikes him downe.
2780That hand shall burne in neuer-quenching fire,
That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand,
Hath with the Kings blood, stain'd the Kings own land.
Mount, mount my soule, thy seate is vp on high,
Whil'st my grosse flesh sinkes downward, heere to dye.
2785Exton. As full of Valor, as of Royall blood,
Both haue I spilt: Oh would the deed were good.
For now the diuell, that told me I did well,
Sayes, that this deede is chronicled in hell.
This dead King to the liuing King Ile beare,
2790Take hence the rest, and giue them buriall heere.
Exit.