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    Not Peer Reviewed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] Duke of York and the Duchess [of York].
    Duchess of York
    My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
    When weeping made you break the story off
    Of our two cousins coming into London.
    Where did I leave?
    Duchess of York
    At that sad stop, my lord,
    Where rude misgoverned hands from windows' tops
    Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.
    Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
    2375Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
    Which his aspiring rider seemed to know,
    With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
    Whilst all tongues cried "God save thee, Bolingbroke!"
    You would have thought the very windows spake,
    2380So many greedy looks of young and old
    Through casements darted their desiring eyes
    Upon his visage, and that all the walls
    With painted imagery had said at once
    "Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke! "
    2385Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
    Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
    Bespake them thus: "I thank you, countrymen."
    And thus still doing, thus he passed along.
    Duchess of York
    Alack, poor Richard! Where rode he the whilst?
    As in a theater the eyes of men,
    After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
    Are idly bent on him that enters next,
    Thinking his prattle to be tedious,
    Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
    2395Did scowl on gentle Richard. No man cried "God save him!"
    No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home,
    But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
    Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
    His face still combating with tears and smiles,
    2400The badges of his grief and patience,
    That had not God for some strong purpose steeled
    The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
    And barbarism itself have pitied him.
    But heaven hath a hand in these events,
    2405To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
    To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
    Whose state and honor I for aye allow.
    [Enter Aumerle.]
    Duchess of York
    Here comes my son Aumerle.
    Aumerle that was;
    But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
    And, madam, you must call him Rutland now.
    I am in parliament pledge for his truth
    And lasting fealty to the new-made king.
    2415Duchess of York
    Welcome, my son. Who are the violets now
    That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?
    Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
    God knows I had as lief be none as one.
    Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
    2420Lest you be cropped before you come to prime.
    What news from Oxford? Do these jousts and triumphs hold?
    For aught I know, my lord, they do.
    You will be there, I know.
    If God prevent not, I purpose so.
    What seal is that that hangs without thy bosom?
    Yea, lookst thou pale? Let me see the writing.
    My lord, 'tis nothing.
    No matter, then, who see it.
    I will be satisfied. Let me see the writing.
    I do beseech your grace to pardon me.
    It is a matter of small consequence,
    Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
    Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
    I fear, I fear --
    2435Duchess of York
    What should you fear?
    'Tis nothing but some bond that he is entered into
    For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.
    Bound to himself? What doth he with a bond
    That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool. --
    2440Boy, let me see the writing.
    I do beseech you, pardon me. I may not show it.
    I will be satisfied. Let me see it, I say.
    He plucks it out of [Aumerle's] bosom and reads it.
    Treason! Foul treason! Villain! Traitor! Slave!
    Duchess of York
    What is the matter, my lord?
    [Calling offstage] Ho! Who is within there? Saddle my horse! --
    God for his mercy, what treachery is here!
    Duchess of York
    Why, what is it, my lord?
    [Calling offstage] Give me my boots, I say! Saddle my horse! --
    Now by mine honor, by my life, by my troth,
    2450I will appeach the villain.
    Duchess of York
    What is the matter?
    Peace, foolish woman.
    Duchess of York
    I will not peace! -- What is the matter, Aumerle?
    Good mother, be content. It is no more
    2455Than my poor life must answer.
    Duchess of York
    Thy life answer?
    [Calling offstage] Bring me my boots! -- I will unto the King.
    2458.1His man enters with his boots.
    Duchess of York
    Strike him, Aumerle! Poor boy, thou art amazed. --
    2460[To York's man] Hence, villain, never more come in my sight!
    Give me my boots, I say.
    [York's man helps him on with his boots and exits.]
    Duchess of York
    Why, York, what wilt thou do?
    Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
    Have we more sons? Or are we like to have?
    2465Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
    And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age
    And rob me of a happy mother's name?
    Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?
    Thou fond mad woman,
    2470Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
    A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament
    And interchangeably set down their hands
    To kill the King at Oxford.
    Duchess of York
    He shall be none;
    2475We'll keep him here. Then what is that to him?
    Away, fond woman! Were he twenty times my son,
    I would appeach him.
    Duchess of York
    Hadst thou groaned for him as I have done,
    Thou wouldst be more pitiful.
    2480But now I know thy mind. Thou dost suspect
    That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
    And that he is a bastard, not thy son.
    Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind!
    He is as like thee as a man may be,
    2485Not like to me or any of my kin,
    And yet I love him.
    Make way, unruly woman!
    Duchess of York
    After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse,
    Spur post, and get before him to the King,
    2490And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
    I'll not be long behind. Though I be old,
    I doubt not but to ride as fast as York,
    And never will I rise up from the ground
    Till Bolingbroke have pardoned thee. Away, be gone!