Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

The Tragedie of
Rosse No good at all that I can doe for him,
885Vnlesse you call it good to pitty him,
Bereft, and gelded of his patrimony.
North. Now afore God tis shame such wrongs are borne,
In him a royall Prince and many mo,
890Of noble bloud in this declining land,
The King is not himselfe, but basely led
By flatterers, and what they will informe,
Meerely in hate gainst any of vs all,
That will the King seuerely prosecute,
895Gainst vs, our liues, our children, and our heires.
Rosse The commons hath he pild with grieuous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts. The nobles hath he finde,
For ancient quarrels and quite lost their hearts.
Willo. And daily new exactions are deuisde,
900As blanckes, beneuolences, and I wot not what:
But what a Gods name doth become of this?
North. Wars hath not wasted it, for warrde he hath not,
But basely yeelded vpon compromise,
That which his noble auncestors atchiued with blowes,
905More hath he spent in peace then they in wars.
Rosse The Earle of Wiltshire hath the realme in farme.
Will. The King growen banckrout like a broken man.
North. Reproch and dissolution hangeth ouer him.
Rosse He hath not money for these Irish wars,
910His burthenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing ofthe banisht Duke.
North. His noble kinsman most degenerate King,
But Lords we heare this fearefull tempest sing,
Yet seeke no shelter to auoid the storme:
915We see the wind sit sore vpon our sailes,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
Rosse We see the very wracke that we must suffer,
And vnauoided is the danger now
For suffering so the causes of our wracke.
920North. Not so, euen through the hollow eies of death,
I spie life peering but I dare not say.