Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

King Richard the second.
215Be ready to direct these home allarmes.

Enter Iohn of Gaunt with the Duchesse of Glocester.
Gaunt Alas, the part I had in Woodstockes bloud,
Doth more sollicite me than your exclaimes,
220To stirre against the butchers of his life,
But since correction lieth in those hands,
Which made the fault that we cannot correct:
Put we our quarrell to the will of heauen,
Who when they see the houres ripe on earth,
225Will raine hot vengeance on offenders heads.
Duchesse Findes brotherhood in thee no sharper spurre?
Hath loue in thy old bloud no liuing fire?
Edwards seuen sonnes whereof thy selfe art one,
Were as seuen viols of his sacred bloud,
230Or seuen faire branches springing from one roote:
Some of those seuen are dried by natures course,
Some of those branches by the Destinies cut:
But Thomas my deare Lord, my life, my Glocester,
One violl full of Edwards sacred bloud,
235One flourishing branch of his most royall roote
Is crackt, and all the precious liquor spilt,
Is hackt downe, and his summer leaues all faded
By Enuies hand, and Murders bloudy axe.
Ah Gaunt, his bloud was thine, that bed, that womb,
240That mettall, that selfe mould, that fashioned thee
Made him a man: and though thou liuest and breathest,
Yet art thou slaine in him, thou doost consent
In some large measure to thy fathers death,
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
245Who was the modell of thy fathers life:
Call it not patience Gaunt, it is dispaire,
In suffring thus thy brother to be slaughtred,
Thou shewest the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching sterne Murder how to butcher thee:
250That which in meane men we intitle Patience,
Is pale cold Cowardice in noble breasts.