Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

The Tragedie of
King. Thou now a dying sayest thou flatterest me.
Gaunt. Oh no, thou diest, though I the sicker be.
735King. I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
Gaunt. Now he that made me knowes I see theeill.
Ill in my selfe to see, and in thee, seeing ill,
Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sicke,
740And thou too carelesse pacient as thou art
Commitst thy annoynted body to the cure
Of those Physitions that first wounded thee,
A thousand flatterers sit within thy Crowne,
Whose compasse is no bigger than thy head,
745And yet inraged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land:
Oh had thy grandsire with a Prophets eie,
Seene how his sonnes sonne should destroy his sonnes,
From forth thy reach he would haue Iaid thy shame,
750Deposing thee before thou wert possest,
Which art possest now to depose thy selfe:
Why cousin wert thou regent of the world,
It were a shame to let this land by lease:
But for thy world enioying but this land,
755Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now not, not King,
Thy state of lawe is bondslaue to the lawe,
And thou
King. A lunatike leane-witted foole,
760Presuming on an agues priuiledge,
Darest with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheeke, chasing the royall bloud
With furie from his natiue residence.
Now by my seates right royall maiestie,
765Wert thou not brother to great Edwards sonne,
This tong that runnes so roundly in thy head,
Should runne thy head from thy vnreuerent shoulders.
Gaunt Oh spare me not my brothers Edwards sonne,
For that I was his father Edwards sonne,