Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)


Enter Bull. Yorke, North.
Bull. So that by this intelligence we learne
1585The Welch men are disperst, and Salisburie
Is gone to meete the King, who lately landed
With some few priuate friends vpon this coast.
North. The newes is very faire and good my lord,
Richard not farre from hence hath hid his head.
1590Yorke It would beseeme the Lord Northumberland
To say King Richard; alacke the heauy day,
When such a sacred King should hide his head.
North. Your Grace mistakes; onely to be briefe
Left I his title out.
1595Yorke The time hath bin, would you haue beene so briefe
He would haue bin so briefe to shorten you,
For taking so the head, your whole heads length:
Bull. Mistake not (vncle) further then you should.
1600Yorke Take not (good cousin) further then you should,
Lest you mistake the heauens are ouer our heads.
Bull. I knowit vncle, and oppose not my selfe,
Against their will. But, who comes here?
Enter Percie.
1605Welcome Harry; what, will not this castle yeelde?
H.Per. The Castle royally is mand my Lord.
Against thy entrance.
Bull. Royally, why it containes no King.
H.Per. Yes (my good Lord,)
1610It doth containe a King, King Richard lies
Within the limites of yon lime and stone,
And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
Sir Stephen Scroope, besides a cleargie man
Ofholy reuerence, who I cannot learne.
1615North. Oh belike it is the bishop of Carleil.
Bull. Noble Lords,
Go to the rude ribbes of that ancient Castle,
Through brazen trumpet send the breath ofparlee
Into his ruinde eares, and thus deliuer.
1620H.Bull. on both his knees doth kisse king Richards hand,
And sends allegeance and true faith of heart
To his most royall person: hither come
Euen at his feete to lay my armes and power:
Prouided, that my banishment repeald,
1625And lands restored againe be freely granted;
If not, Ile vse the aduantage of my power,
And lay the summers dust with showres of bloud,
Rainde from the wounds of slaughtered English men,
The which, how farre off from the minde of Bulling.
1630It is, such crimson tempest should bedrench
The fresh greene lap of faire King Richards land:
My stooping duety tenderly shall shew:
Go signifie as much while here we march
Vpon the grassie carpet of this plaine;
1635Lets march without the noyse of threatning drumme,
That from this Castels tottered battlements
Our faire appointments may be well perusde.
Me thinkes King Richard and my selfe should meete
With no lesse terrour than the elements
1640Of fire and water, when their thundring shocke
At meeting teares the cloudie cheekes of heauen.
Be he the fire, Ile be the yeelding water;
The rage be his, whilst on the earth I raigne.
My water's on the earth, and not on him,
1645March on, and marke King Richard how he lookes.
The trumpets sound, Richard appeareth on the walls.
Bull. See see King Richard doth himselfe appeare,
1650As doth the blushing discontented Sunne,
From out the fierie portall of the East,
When he perceiues the enuious cloudes are bent
To dimme his glorie, and to staine the tracke
Of his bright passage to the Occident.
1655Yorke Yet lookes he like a King, beholde his eye,
As bright as is the Eagles, lightens forth
Controlling maiestie; alacke alacke for woe,
That any harme should staine so faire a shew.
King We are amazde, and thus long haue we stoode,
1660To watch the feareful bending of thy knee,
Because : me'thought our selfe thy lawful King:
And if wee be, howe dare thy ioynts forget
To pay their awefull duety to our presence?
If we be not, shew vs the hand of God
1665That hath dismist vs from our Stewardship;
For well we know no hand of bloud and bone
Can gripe the sacred handle of our Scepter,
Vnlesse he do prophane, steale, or vsurpe,
And though you thinke that all as you haue done
1670Haue torne their soules, by turning them from vs,
And we are barren and bereft offriends:
Yet know, my maister God omnipotent,
Is mustering in his cloudes on our behalfe,
Armies of pestilence, and they shall strike
1675Your children yet vnborne, and vnbegot,
That lift your vassaile hands against my head,
And threat the glorie of my precious crowne.
Tell Bullingbrooke, for yon me thinkes he standes,
That euery stride he makes vpon my land,
1680Is dangerous treason: he is come to open
The purple testament ofbloeding warre:
But ere the crowne he lookes for, liue in peace,
Ten thousand bloudy crownes of mothers sonnes,
Shall ill become the flower of Englands face,
1685Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace,
To scarlet indignation and bedew
Her pastors grasse with faithfull English bloud.
North. The King of heauen forbid: our Lo: the king
Should so with ciuill and vnciuill armes,
1690Be rusht vpon. Thy thrise noble Cosen,
Harry Bullingbrooke doth humbly kisse thy hand,
And by the honorable tombe he sweares,
That stands vpon your roiall grandsires bones,
And by the roialties of both your blouds,
1695Currents that spring from one most gratious head,
And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
And by the worth and honor of himselfe,
Comprising all that may be sworne or said,
Hiscomming hither hath no further scope,
1700Then for his lineall roialties, and to beg
Infranchisement immediate on his knees,
Which on thy roiall partie granted once,
His glittering armes he will commend to rust,
His barbed steeds to stables, and his hart
1705To faithfull seruice ofyour Maiesty.
This sweares he, as he is princesse iust,
And as I am a gentleman I credit him.
King Northumberland, say thus, the King returnes,
His noble Cosen is right welcome hither,
1710And all the number of his faire demaunds,
Shall be accomplisht without contradiction,
With all the gratious vtterance thou hast,
Speake to his gentle hearing kind commends.
King We do debase our selues, Cosen do we not,
1715To looke so poorely, and to speake so faire?
Shall we call backe Northumberland and send
Defiance to the traitor and so die?
Aum. No good my Lo:lets fight with gentle words,
Till time lend friends, and friends their helpfull swords.
1720King Oh God oh God that ere this tong of mine
That laid the sentence of dread banishment
On yon prowde man should take it off againe
With words of sooth! Oh that I were as great
As is my griefe, or lesser than my name!
1725Or that I could forget what I haue beene!
Or not remember what I must be now!
Swellst thou (prowd heart) Ile giue thee scope to beate,
Since foes haue scope to beate both thee and me.
Aum. Northumberland comes backe from Bullingbrooke
King What must the King do now? must he submit?
The King shall do it: must he be deposde?
The king shall be contented: must he loose
The name of King? a Gods name let it go:
1735Ile giue my iewels for a set of Beades:
My gorgeous pallace for a hermitage:
My gay apparel for an almesmans gowne:
My figurde goblets for a dish of wood:
My scepter for a Palmers walking staffe:
1740My subiects for a paire of carued Saintes,
And my large kingdome for a little graue,
A little little graue, an obscure graue,
Or Ile be buried in the Kings hie way,
Some way of common trade, where subiects feete
1745May hourely trample on their soueraignes head;
For on my heart they treade now whilst I liue:
And buried once, why not vpon my head?
Aumerle thou weepst (my tender-hearted coosin)
Weele make fowle weather with despised teares;
1750Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corne,
And make a dearth in this reuolting land:
Or shall we play the wantons with our woes,
And make some prety match with sheading teares,
As thus to drop them still vpon one place,
1755Till they haue fretted vs a paire of graues
Within the earth, and therein laide; there lies
Two kinsmen digd their graues with weeping eies:
Would not this ill do well? well well I see,
I talke but idlely, and you laugh at me.
1760Most mightie Prince my Lord Northumberland,
What saies king Bullingbroke, will his maiestie
Giue Richard leaue to liue till Richard dye,
You make a leg and Bullingbroke saies I.
North. My Lord, in the base court he doth attend,
1765To speake with you, may it please you to come downe.
King. Downe, downe I come, like glistring Phaeton:
Wanting the manage of vnrulie Iades.
In the base court, base court where Kinges growe base,
To come at traitors calls, and do them grace,
1770In the base court come downe: downe court, downe King,
For nightowles shreeke where mounting larkes should sing.
Bull. What saies his maiestie?
North. Sorrowe and greife of hart,
Makes him speake fondly like a frantike man,
1775Yet he is come.
Bull. Stand all apart,
And shew faire dutie to his Maiestie:
( he kneeles downe.
My gratious Lord.
King. faire coosen, you debase your princely knee,
To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
Me rather had my hart might feele your loue,
Then my vnpleased eie see your curtesie:
Vp coosen vp, your hart is vp I knowe,
1785Thus high at least, although your knee be lowe.
Bull. My gratious Lord, I come but for mine owne.
King. Your owne is yours, and I am yours and all.
1790Bull. So farre be mine my most redoubted Lord,
As my true seruice shall deserue your loue.
King. Well you deserue: they well deserue to haue,
That know the strong'st and surest way to get,
1795Vncle giue me your handes, nay drie your eies,
Teares shew their loue, but want their remedies.
Coosen I am to yong to be your Father,
Though you are old enough to be my heire,
What you will haue, Ile giue, and willing to,
1800For doe we must, what force will haue vs doe:
Set on towards London, Cosen is it so?
Bul. Yea my good Lord:
King. Then I must not say no.