Internet Shakespeare Editions

About this text

  • 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    Not Peer Reviewed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 with her [ladies-in-waiting].
    This way the King will come. This is the way
    To Julius Caesar's ill-erected tower,
    To whose flint bosom my condemnèd lord
    Is doomed a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
    2265Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
    Have any resting for her true king's queen.
    Enter [King] Richard [and a guard.]
    But soft, but see, or rather do not see
    My fair rose wither. Yet look up, behold,
    2270That you in pity may dissolve to dew
    And wash him fresh again with true-love tears. --
    Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand,
    Thou map of honor, thou King Richard's tomb,
    And not King Richard! Thou most beauteous inn,
    2275Why should hard-favored grief be lodged in thee
    When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
    King Richard
    Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
    To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,
    To think our former state a happy dream,
    2280From which awaked, the truth of what we are
    Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,
    To grim Necessity, and he and I
    Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France
    And cloister thee in some religious house.
    2285Our holy lives must win a new world's crown,
    Which our profane hours here have thrown down.
    What, is my Richard both in shape and mind
    Transformed and weakened? Hath Bolingbroke
    Deposed thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
    2290The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
    And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
    To be o'er-powered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
    Take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
    And fawn on rage with base humility,
    2295Which art a lion and the king of beasts?
    King Richard
    A king of beasts, indeed! If aught but beasts,
    I had been still a happy king of men.
    Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for France.
    Think I am dead, and that even here thou tak'st,
    2300As from my deathbed, thy last living leave.
    In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire
    With good old folks, and let them tell the tales
    Of woeful ages long ago betid;
    And ere thou bid good night, to quite their griefs,
    2305Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
    And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
    For why the senseless brands will sympathize
    The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
    And in compassion weep the fire out,
    2310And some will mourn in ashes, some coal black,
    For the deposing of a rightful king.
    Enter Northumberland.
    My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed.
    You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower. --
    2315And, madam, there is order ta'en for you:
    With all swift speed you must away to France.
    King Richard
    Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
    The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
    The time shall not be many hours of age
    2320More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,
    Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
    Though he divide the realm and give thee half,
    It is too little, helping him to all.
    He shall think that thou, which knowest the way
    2325To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
    Being ne'er so little urged another way,
    To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
    The love of wicked men converts to fear,
    That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
    2330To worthy danger and deservèd death.
    My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
    Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.
    King Richard
    Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate
    A twofold marriage, 'twixt my crown and me,
    2335And then betwixt me and my married wife. --
    [To Queen] Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;
    And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made. --
    Part us, Northumberland, I towards the north,
    Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
    2340My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp
    She came adornèd hither like sweet May,
    Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day.
    And must we be divided? Must we part?
    King Richard
    Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
    [To Northumberland] Banish us both, and send the King with me.
    King Richard
    That were some love, but little policy.
    Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
    King Richard
    So, two, together weeping, make one woe.
    Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here.
    2350Better far off than, near, be ne'er the near.
    Go, count thy way with sighs; I mine with groans.
    So longest way shall have the longest moans.
    King Richard
    Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,
    And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
    2355Come, come, in wooing Sorrow let's be brief,
    Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
    One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part.
    Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
    [They kiss.]
    Give me mine own again. 'Twere no good part
    2360To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
    [They kiss.]
    So, now I have mine own again, be gone,
    That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
    King Richard
    We make woe wanton with this fond delay.
    Once more, adieu! The rest let sorrow say.