Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

King Richard the second.
Our substitutes at home shall haue blanke charters,
Whereto, when they shal know what men are rich,
They shal subscribe them for large summes of gold,
625And send them after to supply our wants,
For we will make for Ireland presently.
Enter Bushie with newes.
Bush. Olde Iohn of Gaunt is grieuous sicke my Lord,
630Sodainely taken, and hath sent post haste,
To intreate your Maiestie to visite him.
King Where lies he?
Bush. At Ely house.
King Now put it (God) in the Physitions mind,
635To help him to his graue immediatly:
The lining of his coffers shall make coates
To decke our souldiers forthese Irish warres.
Come gentlemen, lets all go visite him,
Pray God we may make haste and come too late,

Enter Iohn of Gaunt sicke, with the duke of Yorke, &c.
Gaunt. Wil the King come that I may breathe my last?
In holsome counsell to his vnstaied youth.
Yorke Vex not your selfe, nor striue not with your breath,
645For all in vaine comes counsell to his eare.
Gaunt. Oh but they say, the tongues of dying men,
Inforce attention like deepe harmony:
Where words are scarce they are seldome spent in vaine,
For they breathe truth that breathe their wordes in paine:
650He that no more must say, is listened more
Than they whom youth and ease haue taught to glose,
More are mens ends markt than their liues before:
The setting Sunne, and Musike at the close,
As the last taste of sweetes is sweetest last,
655Writ in remembrance more than things long past,
Though Richard my liues counsell would not heare,
My deaths sad tale may yet vndeafe his eare.
Yorke No, it is stopt with other flattering soundes,
C 3