Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

King Richard the second.
1230Will you permit that I shall stand condemnd
A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties
Pluckt from my armes perforce; and giuen away
To vpstart vnthrifts? wherefore was I borne?
If that my cousin King be King in England,
1235It must be granted I am duke of Lancaster:
You haue a sonne, Aumerle, my noble cousin,
Had you first died, and he bin thus trod downe,
He should haue found his vncle Gaunt a father,
To rowze his wrongs and chase them to the baie.
1240I am denyed to sue my Liuery here,
And yet my letters pattents giue me leaue.
My fathers goods are all distrainde and sold,
And these, and all, are all amisse employed.
What would you haue me do? I am a subiect;
1245And I challenge law, Atturnies are denied me,
And therefore personally I lay my claime
To my inheritance offree descent.
North. The noble Duke hath bin too much abused.
Rosse It stands your Grace vpon to do him right.
1250Willo. Base men by his endowments are made great.
Yorke My Lords of England, let me tell you this:
I haue had feeling of my cousins wrongs,
And labourd all I could to do him right:
But in this kind to come, in brauing armes
1255Be his owne caruer, and cut out his way,
To finde out right wyth wrong it may not be:
And you that do abette him in this kinde,
Cherish rebellion, and are rebells all.
North. The noble Duke hath sworne his comming is,
1260But for his owne; and for the right of that,
We al haue strongly sworne to giue him ayde:
And let him neuer see ioy that breakes that oath.
Yorke Wel wel, I see the issue of these armes,
I cannot mend it I must needes confesse,
1265Because my power is weake and all ill left:
But ifI could, by him that gaue me life,
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