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  • Title: Richard II (Modern)
  • Editor: Catherine Lisak
  • ISBN: 978-1-55058-436-3

    Copyright Internet Shakespeare Editions. This text may be freely used for educational, non-proift purposes; for all other uses contact the Coordinating Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Catherine Lisak
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Richard II (Modern)

    Enter the Queen, Bushy, [and] Bagot.
    Madam, your majesty is too much sad.
    You promised, when you parted with the King,
    955To lay aside life-harming heaviness
    And entertain a cheerful disposition.
    To please the King I did; to please myself
    I cannot do it. Yet I know no cause
    Why I should welcome such a guest as Grief,
    960Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
    As my sweet Richard. Yet again, methinks
    Some unborn sorrow ripe in Fortune's womb
    Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
    With nothing trembles. At something it grieves
    965More than with parting from my lord the King.
    Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
    Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
    For Sorrow's eyes, glazèd with blinding tears,
    Divides one thing entire to many objects,
    970Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
    Show nothing but confusion; eyed awry,
    Distinguish form. So your sweet Majesty,
    Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
    Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail,
    975Which, looked on as it is, is naught but shadows
    Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious Queen,
    More than your lord's departure weep not. More is not seen,
    Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
    Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
    It may be so; but yet my inward soul
    Persuades me it is otherwise. Howe'er it be,
    I cannot but be sad -- so heavy sad
    As thought, on thinking on no thought I think,
    Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
    'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
    'Tis nothing less. Conceit is still derived
    From some forefather grief. Mine is not so,
    For nothing hath begot my something grief --
    Or something hath the nothing that I grieve.
    990'Tis in reversion that I do possess;
    But what it is, that is not yet known. "What"
    I cannot name. 'Tis nameless woe, I wot.
    [Enter Green.]
    God save your majesty! -- And well met, gentlemen.
    995I hope the King is not yet shipped for Ireland.
    Why hop'st thou so? 'Tis better hope he is;
    For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope.
    Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipped?
    That he, our hope, might have retired his power
    1000And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
    Who strongly hath set footing in this land.
    The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself,
    And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
    1005At Ravenspurgh.
    Now God in heaven forbid!
    Ah, madam, 'tis too true; and, that is worse,
    The lord Northumberland, his son young Harry Percy,
    The lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby,
    With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
    Why have you not proclaimed Northumberland
    And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
    We have; whereupon the Earl of Worcester
    Hath broken his staff, resigned his stewardship,
    And all the Household servants fled with him
    1015To Bolingbroke.
    So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
    And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir.
    Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
    And I, a gasping new-delivered mother,
    Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow joined.
    Despair not, madam.
    Who shall hinder me?
    I will despair, and be at enmity
    With cozening Hope. He is a flatterer,
    A parasite, a keeper-back of Death,
    1025Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
    Which false Hope lingers in extremity.
    [Enter York, wearing a gorget.]
    Here comes the Duke of York.
    With signs of war about his agèd neck.
    1030Oh, full of careful business are his looks! --
    Uncle, for God's sake, speak comfortable words.
    Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts.
    Comfort's in heaven, and we are on the earth,
    Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
    Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
    1035Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
    Here am I left to underprop his land,
    Who, weak with age, cannot support myself.
    Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
    Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.
    [Enter a Servingman.]
    My lord, your son was gone before I came.
    He was? Why, so! Go all which way it will!
    The nobles they are fled, the commons they are cold,
    And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.
    1045Sirrah, get thee to Pleshy, to my sister Gloucester;
    Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
    Hold, take my ring.
    My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship:
    Today, as I came by, I callèd there --
    1050But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
    What is't, knave?
    An hour before I came, the Duchess died.
    God for his mercy, what a tide of woes
    Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
    1055I know not what to do. I would to God,
    So my untruth had not provoked him to it,
    The King had cut off my head with my brother's.
    What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
    How shall we do for money for these wars? --
    1060[To Queen] Come, sister -- cousin, I would say; pray pardon me. --
    [To Servingman] Go, fellow, get thee home. Provide some carts
    And bring away the armor that is there.[Exit Servingman.]
    [To Bushy, Bagot and Green] Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
    If I know how or which way to order these affairs
    1065Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
    Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
    Th'one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
    And duty bids defend; th'other again
    Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wronged,
    1070Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
    Well, somewhat we must do. [To Queen.] Come, cousin,
    I'll dispose of you. -- Gentlemen, go muster up your men,
    And meet me presently at Berkeley Castle.
    I should to Pleshy too,
    But time will not permit. All is uneven,
    1075 And everything is left at six and seven.
    Exeunt [the] Duke [of York and the] Queen.
    Bushy, Green[, and Bagot remain behind].
    The wind sits fair for news to go for Ireland,
    But none returns. For us to levy power
    Proportionable to the enemy
    Is all unpossible.
    Besides, our nearness to the King in love
    1080Is near the hate of those love not the King.
    And that is the wavering commons; for their love
    Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
    By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
    Wherein the King stands generally condemned.
    If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
    Because we ever have been near the King.
    Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristol Castle.
    The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
    Thither will I with you; for little office
    1090Will the hateful commons perform for us,
    Except like curs to tear us all to pieces. --
    [To Bagot] Will you go along with us?
    No; I will to Ireland, to his majesty.
    Farewell. If heart's presages be not vain,
    1095We three here part that ne'er shall meet again.
    That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
    Alas, poor Duke! The task he undertakes
    Is numb'ring sands and drinking oceans dry.
    Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
    1100Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.
    Well, we may meet again.
    I fear me, never.