Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

King Richard the second.
As is the sepulchre in stubburne Iewry,
Of the worldsransome blessed Maries sonne:
This land of such deare soules, this deere deere land,
Deare for her reputation through the world,
700Is now leasde out; I dye pronouncing it,
Like to a tenement or pelting Farme.
England bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rockie shoare beates backe the enuious siege
Of watry Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
705With inckie blots, and rotten parchment bonds:
That England that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shamefull conquest
of it selfe:
Ah would the scandall vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death?
Yorke The King is come, deale mildely with his youth,
For young hot colts being ragde, do rage the more.

Enter king and Queene, &c.
Queene How fares our noble vncle Lancaster?
715King What comfort man? how ist with aged Gaunt?
Gaunt O how that name befits my composition!
Old Gaunt indeede, and gaunt in being olde:
Within me Griefe hath kept a tedious fast.
And who abstaines from meate that is not gaunt?
720For sleeping England long time haue I watcht,
Watching breedes leanenesse, leanenesse is all gaunt:
The pleasure that some fathers feede vpon
Is my strict fast; I meane my childrens lookes,
And therein fasting hast thou made me gaunt:
725Gaunt am I for the graue, gaunt as a graue,
Whose hollow wombe inherites naught but bones.
King Can sicke men play so nicely with their names?
Gaunt No misery makes sport to mocke it selfe,
Since thou dost seeke to kill my name in me,
730I mocke my name (great King) to flatter thee.
King Should dying men flatter with those that liue?
Gaunt No no, men liuing flatter those that die.