Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

The Tragedie of
To darke dishonours vse thou shalt not haue:
I am disgraste, impeacht, and baffuld heere,
Pierst to the soule with Slaunders venomd speare,
The which no balme can cure but his heart bloud
180Which breathde this poyson.
King. Rage must be withstoode,
Giue me his gage; Lions make Leopards tame.
Mowb. Yea but not change his spots : take but my shame,
And I resigne my gage, my deare deare Lord,
185The purest treasure mortall times afford,
Is spotlesse Reputation that away
Men are but guilded loame, or painted clay,
A iewell in a ten times bard vp chest,
Is a bold spirit in a loyall breast:
190Mine honour is my life, both grow in one,
Take honour from me, and my life is done :
Then (deare my Liege) mine honour let me trie,
In that I liue, and for that will I die.
King. Coosin, throw vp your gage, do you beginne.
Bull. O God defend my soule from such deepe sinne,
Shall I seeme Crest-fallen in my fathers fight?
Or with pale beggar-feare impeach my height,
Before this out-darde Dastard? ere my tong
200Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parlee, my teeth shall teare
The slauish motiue of recanting feare,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where Shame doth harbour euen in Mowbraies face.
King. We were not borne to sue, but to commaund,
Which since we cannot do, to make you friends,
Be ready as your liues shall answere it,
At Couentry vpon saint Lamberts day,
210There shall your swords and launcesarbitrate
The swelling difference of your setled hate,
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Iustice designe the Victors chiualrie,
Lord Marshal, commaund our Officers at Armes,