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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
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    Richard II (Modern)

    Enter Bolingbroke with the lords [Aumerle, Northumberland, Percy, Fitzwater, Surrey, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Abbot of Westminster, Another Lord, a herald, and attendants] to Parliament.
    Call forth Bagot. Enter [officers with] Bagot.
    1925Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind,
    What thou dost know of noble Gloucester's death,
    Who wrought it with the King, and who performed
    The bloody office of his timeless end.
    Then set before my face the lord Aumerle.
    [To Aumerle] Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
    [Aumerle steps forward.]
    My lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
    Scorns to unsay what once it hath delivered.
    In that dead time when Gloucester's death was plotted,
    I heard you say, "Is not my arm of length,
    1935That reacheth from the restful English court
    As far as Calais, to mine uncle's head?"
    Amongst much other talk that very time
    I heard you say that you had rather refuse
    The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
    1940Than Bolingbroke's return to England,
    Adding withal how blest this land would be
    In this your cousin's death.
    Princes and noble lords,
    What answer shall I make to this base man?
    Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars
    1945On equal terms to give him chastisement?
    Either I must, or have mine honor soiled
    With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
    [He throws down a gage.]
    There is my gage, the manual seal of death
    That marks thee out for hell. I say thou liest,
    1950And will maintain what thou hast said is false
    In thy heart-blood, though being all too base
    To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
    Bagot, forbear. Thou shalt not take it up.
    Excepting one, I would he were the best
    1955In all this presence that hath moved me so.
    [Throwing down a gage]
    If that thy valor stand on sympathy,
    There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine.
    By that fair sun which shows me where thou stand'st,
    I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak'st it,
    1960That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester's death.
    If thou deniest it twenty times, thou liest,
    And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
    Where it was forgèd, with my rapier's point.
    [Taking up the gage]
    Thou dar'st not, coward, live to see that day.
    Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.
    Fitzwater, thou art damned to hell for this.
    Aumerle, thou liest! His honor is as true
    In this appeal as thou art all unjust;
    And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
    [He throws down a gage.]
    1970To prove it on thee to the extremest point
    Of mortal breathing. Seize it if thou dar'st.
    [Taking up the gage]
    And if I do not, may my hands rot off
    And never brandish more revengeful steel
    Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
    1974.1Another Lord
    I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle,
    And spur thee on with full as many lies
    As may be hollowed in thy treacherous ear
    From sun to sun.[He throws down a gage.]
    There is my honor's pawn.
    1974.5Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.
    [Taking up the gage]
    Who sets me else? By heaven, I'll throw at all!
    I have a thousand spirits in one breast
    To answer twenty thousand such as you.
    My lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
    The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
    'Tis very true. You were in presence then,
    1980And you can witness with me this is true.
    As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.
    Surrey, thou liest.
    Dishonorable boy,
    That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword
    That it shall render vengeance and revenge
    Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
    In earth as quiet as thy father's skull.
    In proof whereof, there is my honor's pawn.
    [He throws down a gage.]
    1990Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.
    [Taking up the gage] How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
    If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live,
    I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness
    And spit upon him whilst I say he lies,
    1995And lies, and lies! [He throws down a gage.]
    There is my bond of faith,
    To tie thee to my strong correction.
    As I intend to thrive in this new world,
    Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal.
    Besides, I heard the banished Norfolk say
    2000That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
    To execute the noble Duke at Calais.
    Some honest Christian trust me with a gage.
    [Aumerle receives a gage which he throws down.]
    That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
    If he may be repealed to try his honor.
    These differences shall all rest under gage,
    Till Norfolk be repealed. Repealed he shall be,
    And though mine enemy, restored again
    To all his lands and signories. When he is returned,
    Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
    That honorable day shall never be seen.
    Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought
    For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
    Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
    Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
    2015And, toiled with works of war, retired himself
    To Italy, and there at Venice gave
    His body to that pleasant country's earth,
    And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
    Under whose colors he had fought so long.
    Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead?
    As surely as I live, my lord.
    Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
    Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
    Your differences shall all rest under gage
    2025Till we assign you to your days of trial.
    Enter York.
    Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
    From plume-plucked Richard, who with willing soul
    Adopts thee heir, and his high scepter yields
    2030To the possession of thy royal hand.
    Ascend his throne, descending now from him,
    And long live Henry, fourth of that name!
    In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.
    Marry, God forbid!
    2035Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
    Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
    Would God that any in this noble presence
    Were enough noble to be upright judge
    Of noble Richard! Then true noblesse would
    2040Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
    What subject can give sentence on his king?
    And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?
    Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
    Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
    2045And shall the figure of God's majesty,
    His captain, steward, deputy elect,
    Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
    Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
    And he himself not present? O forfend it, God,
    2050That in a Christian climate souls refined,
    Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
    I speak to subjects and a subject speaks,
    Stirred up by God thus boldly for his king.
    My lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
    2055Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king,
    And if you crown him, let me prophesy
    The blood of English shall manure the ground,
    And future ages groan for this foul act,
    Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
    2060And in this seat of peace, tumultuous wars
    Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound.
    Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny
    Shall here inhabit, and this land be called
    The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
    2065Oh, if you raise this house against this house,
    It will the woefullest division prove
    That ever fell upon this cursèd earth.
    Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
    Lest child, child's children, cry against you, "Woe!"
    Well have you argued, sir; and, for your pains
    Of capital treason, we arrest you here. --
    My lord of Westminster, be it your charge
    To keep him safely till his day of trial.
    [ Carlisle is taken into custody.]
    May it please you, lords, to grant the commons' suit?
    Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
    He may surrender. So we shall proceed
    Without suspicion.
    I will be his conduct.
    Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
    2080Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
    Little are we beholding to your love,
    And little looked for at your helping hands.
    Enter [King] Richard and York [with attendants bearing the crown and scepter.]
    King Richard
    Alack, why am I sent for to a king
    2085Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
    Wherewith I reigned? I hardly yet have learned
    To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
    Give Sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
    To this submission. Yet I well remember
    2090The favors of these men. Were they not mine?
    Did they not sometime cry, "All hail!" to me?
    So Judas did to Christ. But He in twelve,
    Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.
    God save the King! Will no man say "Amen"?
    2095Am I both priest, and clerk? Well then, Amen.
    God save the King, although I be not he.
    And yet Amen, if heaven do think him me.
    To do what service am I sent for hither?
    To do that office of thine own good will,
    2100Which tired majesty did make thee offer:
    The resignation of thy state and crown
    To Henry Bolingbroke.
    King Richard
    [To York] Give me the crown. [He takes the crown then hands it to Bolingbroke.] -- Here, cousin,
    Seize the crown. Here, Cousin.
    On this side my hand, on that side thine.
    2105Now is this golden crown like a deep well,
    That owes two buckets, filling one another,
    The emptier ever dancing in the air,
    The other down, unseen, and full of water.
    That bucket down and full of tears am I,
    2110Drinking my griefs whilst you mount up on high.
    I thought you had been willing to resign.
    King Richard
    My crown I am, but still my griefs are mine.
    You may my glories and my state depose,
    But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
    Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
    King Richard
    Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
    My care is loss of care, by old care done;
    Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
    The cares I give, I have, though given away;
    2120They 'tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
    Are you contented to resign the crown?
    King Richard
    Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be.
    Therefore no "no," for I resign to thee.
    Now, mark me how I will undo myself:
    2125I give this heavy weight from off my head;
    [He gives the crown to Bolingbroke.]
    And this unwieldy scepter from my hand;
    [He gives the scepter to Bolingbroke.]
    The pride of kingly sway from out my heart.
    With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
    With mine own hands I give away my crown,
    2130With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
    With mine own breath release all duteous oaths.
    All pomp and majesty I do forswear.
    My manors, rents, revenues I forgo;
    My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny.
    2135God pardon all oaths that are broke to me.
    God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee.
    Make me, that nothing have, with nothing grieved,
    And thou with all pleased that hast all achieved.
    Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit,
    2140And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit.
    God save King Henry, unkinged Richard says,
    And send him many years of sunshine days.
    What more remains?
    [Presenting a paper to King Richard] No more, but that you read
    2145These accusations and these grievous crimes
    Committed by your person and your followers
    Against the state and profit of this land;
    That, by confessing them, the souls of men
    May deem that you are worthily deposed.
    2150King Richard
    Must I do so? And must I ravel out
    My weaved-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
    If thy offences were upon record,
    Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop,
    To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
    2155There shouldst thou find one heinous article,
    Containing the deposing of a king
    And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
    Marked with a blot, damned in the book of heaven.
    Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me
    2160Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
    Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
    Showing an outward pity, yet you Pilates
    Have here delivered me to my sour cross,
    And water cannot wash away your sin.
    My lord, dispatch. Reade o'er these articles.
    [He presents the paper again.]
    King Richard
    Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see.
    And yet salt water blinds them not so much
    But they can see a sort of traitors here.
    Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
    2170I find myself a traitor with the rest,
    For I have given here my soul's consent
    T'undeck the pompous body of a king;
    Made Glory base and Sovereignty a slave,
    Proud majesty a subject, State a peasant.
    My lord --
    King Richard
    No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
    Nor no man's lord! I have no name, no title,
    No, not that name was given me at the font,
    But 'tis usurped. Alack the heavy day,
    2180That I have worn so many winters out
    And know not now what name to call myself.
    Oh, that I were a mockery king of snow
    Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
    To melt myself away in waterdrops. --
    2185Good King, great King, and yet not greatly good,
    An if my word be sterling yet in England,
    Let it command a mirror hither straight,
    That it may show me what a face I have
    Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
    Go, some of you, and fetch a looking-glass.
    [Exit one or more attendants.]
    [To King Richard] Read o'er this paper while the glass doth come.
    [He presents the paper again.]
    King Richard
    Fiend, thou torments me ere I come to hell!
    Urge it no more, my lord Northumberland.
    The commons will not then be satisfied.
    2195King Richard
    They shall be satisfied. I'll read enough
    When I do see the very book indeed
    Where all my sins are writ, and that's myself.
    Enter one [attendant] with a glass.
    Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
    [King Richard takes the looking-glass.]
    2200No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath Sorrow struck
    So many blows upon this face of mine
    And made no deeper wounds? Oh, flatt'ring glass,
    Like to my followers in prosperity,
    Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
    2205That every day under his Household roof
    Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
    That like the sun did make beholders wink?
    Is this the face which faced so many follies,
    That was at last outfaced by Bolingbroke?
    2210A brittle glory shineth in this face.
    As brittle as the glory is the face!
    [King Richard smashes the glass.]
    For there it is, cracked in an hundred shivers.
    Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport:
    How soon my sorrow hath destroyed my face.
    The shadow of your sorrow hath destroyed
    The shadow of your face.
    King Richard
    Say that again.
    The shadow of my sorrow? Ha, let's see.
    'Tis very true. My grief lies all within;
    2220And these external manners of laments
    Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
    That swells with silence in the tortured soul.
    There lies the substance. And I thank thee, King,
    For thy great bounty that not only giv'st
    2225Me cause to wail, but teachest me the way
    How to lament the cause. I'll beg one boon,
    And then be gone and trouble you no more.
    Shall I obtain it?
    Name it, fair cousin.
    2230King Richard
    "Fair Cousin"? I am greater than a king;
    For when I was a king, my flatterers
    Were then but subjects. Being now a subject,
    I have a king here to my flatterer.
    Being so great, I have no need to beg.
    Yet ask.
    King Richard
    And shall I have?
    You shall.
    King Richard
    Then give me leave to go.
    2240King Richard
    Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
    Go, some of you, convey him to the Tower.
    King Richard
    Oh, good! "Convey"? Conveyers are you all,
    That rise thus nimbly by a true king's fall.
    [Exit King Richard as a guarded prisoner.]
    On Wednesday next, we solemnly set down
    2245Our coronation. Lords, prepare yourselves.
    2245.1[The Abbot of] Westminster, Carlisle, [and] Aumerle [remain behind].
    A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
    The woe's to come. The children yet unborn
    Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.
    You holy clergymen, is there no plot
    2250To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?
    My lord,
    Before I freely speak my mind herein,
    You shall not only take the sacrament
    To bury mine intents, but also to effect
    Whatever I shall happen to devise.
    2255I see your brows are full of discontent,
    Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears.
    Come home with me to supper. I'll lay
    A plot shall show us all a merry day.