Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

The Tragedie of
1490Snakes in my hart bloud warmd, that sting my hart,
Three Iudasses, each one thrise worse then Iudas,
Would they make peace? terrible hel,
Make war vpon their spotted soules for this.
Scro. Sweet loue I see changing his property,
1495Turnes to the sowrest and most deadly hate,
Againe, vncurse their soules, their peace is made
With heads and not with hands, those whom you curse
Haue felt the worst of deathes destroying wound,
And lie full low grau'd in the hollow ground.
1500Aum. Is Bushie, Greene, and the Earle of Wiltshire dead.
Scro. I all of them at Bristow lost their heads.
Aum. Where is the Duke my father with his power?
King No matter where, of comfort no man speake:
1505Lets talke of graues, of wormes, and Epitaphs,
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eies,
Write sorrow on the bosome of the earth.
Lets choose executors and talke of wils:
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath,
1510Saue our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our landes, our liues, and all are Bullingbrookes.
And nothing can we call our owne, but death:
And that small modle of the barren earth,
Which serues as paste, and couer to our bones,
1515For Gods sake let vs sit vpon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of Kings,
How some haue beene deposd, some slaine in warre,
Some haunted by the ghosts they haue deposed,
Some poisoned by their wiues, some sleeping kild;
1520All murthered, for within the hollow crowne
That roundes the mortall temples of a king,
Keepes death his court, and there the antique sits,
Scofing his state and grinning at his pompe,
Allowing him a breath, a litle sceane,
1525To monarchise be feard, and kil with lookes,
Infusing him with selfe and vaine conceit,
As if this flesh which wals about our life,
Were brasse impregnable: and humord thus,