Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)


Enter the King with his nobles.
King H. Can no man tell me of my vnthriftie sonne?
Tis full three moneths since I did see him last,
If any plague hang ouer vs tis he:
2500I would to God my Lordes he might be found:
Inquire at London, mongst the Tauernes there,
For there (they say) he daylie doth frequent,
With vnrestrained loose companions,
Euen such (they say) as stand in narrow lanes,
2505And beate our watch, and rob our passengers,
Which he yong wanton and effeminate boy,
Takes on the point of honour to support so dissolute a crew.
H. Percie My Lord, some two dayes since I saw the prince,
2510And tould him of those triumphes helde at Oxford.
King. And what said the gallant?
Per. His answer was, he would vnto the stews,
And from the commonst creature plucke a gloue,
And weare it as a fauour, and with that,
2515He would vnhorse the lustiest Challenger.
King H. As dissolute as desperat, yet through both,
I see some sparkes of better hope, which elder yeares,
May happily bring foorth. But who comes heere?
Enter Aumerle amazed.
2520Aum. Where is the King?
King H. What meanes our cosen, that he stares and lookes
Aum. God saue your grace, I doe beseech your Maiestie,
To haue some conference with your grace alone.
2525King. Withdrawe your selues, and leaue vs here alone.
What is the matter with our cosen nowe?
Aum. For ouer may my knees growe to the earth,
My tongue, cleaue to my rooffe within my mouth,
Vnlesse a pardon ere I rise or speake.
2530King Intended, or committed, was this fault?
If on the first, how heynous ere it be
To win thy after loue, I pardon thee.
Aum. Then giue me leaue that May turne the key,
That no man enter till my tale be done.
2535King. Haue thy desire.
The Duke of Yorke knokes at the doore and crieth.
Yor. My leige beware, looke to thy selfe,
Thou hast a Traitor in thy presence there.
King. Vilain Ile make thee safe.
Aum. Stay thy reuengefull hand, thou hast no cause to
York. Open the dore, secure foole, hardie King,
Shall I for loue speake treason to thy face,
Open the dore, or I will breake it open.
2545King What is the matter vncle, speake, recouer breath,
TeIl vs, how neare is daunger,
That wee may arme vs to encounter it?
Yor. Peruse this writtng heere, and thou shalt know,
The treason that my haste forbids me shew.
2550Aum. remember as thou readst, thy promise past,
I do repent me, reade not my name there,
My hart is not confederate with my hand.
Yor. It was (vilaine) ere thy hand did set it downe.
I tore it from the traitors bosome (King,)
2555Feare, and not loue, begets his penitence:
Forget to pittie him, lest thy pittie proue,
A Serpent that will sting thee to the hart.
King. O heynous, strong, and bould conspiracy;
O loyall Father, of a treacherous Sonne,
2560Thou sheere immaculate and siluer Fountaine,
From whence this streame, through muddy passages,
Hath held his current, and defild himselfe,
Thy ouerflow of good, conuerts to bad:
And thy aboundant goodnes, shall excuse,
2565This deadly blot in thy digressing sonne.
Yor. So shall my vertue, be his vices baude,
An he shall spend mine honour, with his shame,
As thriftles sonnes, their scraping Fathers gold:
Mine honour liues when his dishonour dies,
2570Or my shamde life in his dishonour lies,
Thou kilst me in his life giuing him breath,
The traitor liues, the true man's put to death.
Du. What ho, my Liege, for Gods sake let me in.
2575King H. What shril voice suppliant makes this eger crie?
Du. A woman, and thy aunt (great king) tis I,
Speake with me, pitie me, open the doore,
A beggar begs that neuer begd before.
King Our scene is altred from a serious thing,
2580And now changde to the Beggar and the King:
My dangerous cousin, let your mother in,
I know she is come to pray for your foule sinne.
Yorke If thou do pardon whosoeuer pray,
More sinnes for this forgiuenes prosper may:
2585This festred ioynt cut off, the rest rest sound,
This let alone wil all the rest confound.
Du. Oh king, beleeue not this hard-hearted man,
Loue louing not it selfe, none other can.
2590Yorke Thou frantike woman, what dost thou make here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor reare?
Du. Sweete Yorke be patient, heare me gentle Liege.
King H. Rise vp good aunt.
Du. Not yet I thee beseech,
2595For euer wil I walke vpon my knees,
And neuer see day that the happy sees,
Till thou giue ioy, vntil thou bid me ioy,
By pardoning Rutland my transgressing boy.
Aum. Vnto my mothers prayers I bend my knee.
2600yorke Against them both my true ioynts bended be,
2600.1Ill maist thou thriue if thou graunt any grace.
Du. Pleades he in earnest? looke vpon his face.
His eies do drop no teares, his prayers are in iest,
His words come from his month, ours from our breast,
He prayes but faintly, and would be denied,
2605We pray with heart and soule, and all beside,
His weary ioynts would gladly rise I know,
Our knees still kneele till to the ground they grow,
His prayers are full of false hypocrisie,
Ours of true zeale and deepe integritie,
2610Our prayers do outpray his, then let them haue
That mercy which true prayer ought to haue.
yorke Good aunt stand vp.
Du. Nay, do not say, stand vp;
Say Pardon first, and afterwards, stand vp,
2615And if I were thy nurse thy tong to teach,
Pardon should be the first word of thy speach:
I neuer longd to heare a word till now,
Say pardon King, let pitie teach thee how,
The word is short, but not so short as sweete,
2620No word like pardon for Kings mouthes so meete.
yorke Speake it in French, King say, Pardonne moy.
Du. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah my sower husband, my hard-hearted Lord!
That sets the word it selfe against the word:
2625Speake pardon as tis currant in our land,
The chopping French we do not vnderstand,
Thine eie begins to speake, set thy tongue there:
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine eare,
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
2630Pitie may mooue thee pardon to rehearse.
King H. Good aunt stand vp.
Du. I do not sue to stand.
Pardon is all the sute I haue in hand.
King I pardon him as God shall pardon me.
2635Du. Oh happy vantage of a kneeling knee,
Yet am I sicke for feare, speake it againe,
Twice saying pardon doth not pardon twaine,
But makes one pardon strong.
King H. I pardon him with al my heart.
2640Du. A god on earth thou art.
King H. But for our trusty brother in law and the Abbot,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction strait shal dog them at the heeles,
Good vncle, help to order seuerall powers,
2645To Oxford, or where ere these traitors are,
They shall not liue within this world I sweare,
But I will haue them if I once know where.
Vncle farewell, and cousin adue,
Your mother well hath prayed, and prooue you true.
2650Du. Come my olde sonne, I pray God make thee new.
Exeunt.