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  • Title: Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)
  • 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
    Peer Reviewed

    Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)

    Enter Iohn of Gaunt with the Duchesse of Glocester.
    Gaunt Alas, the part I had in Woodstockes bloud,
    Doth more sollicite me than your exclaimes,
    220To stirre against the butchers of his life,
    But since correction lieth in those hands,
    Which made the fault that we cannot correct:
    Put we our quarrell to the will of heauen,
    Who when they see the houres ripe on earth,
    225Will raine hot vengeance on offenders heads.
    Duchesse Findes brotherhood in thee no sharper spurre?
    Hath loue in thy old bloud no liuing fire?
    Edwards seuen sonnes whereof thy selfe art one,
    Were as seuen viols of his sacred bloud,
    230Or seuen faire branches springing from one roote:
    Some of those seuen are dried by natures course,
    Some of those branches by the Destinies cut:
    But Thomas my deare Lord, my life, my Glocester,
    One violl full of Edwards sacred bloud,
    235One flourishing branch of his most royall roote
    Is crackt, and all the precious liquor spilt,
    Is hackt downe, and his summer leaues all faded
    By Enuies hand, and Murders bloudy axe.
    Ah Gaunt, his bloud was thine, that bed, that womb,
    240That mettall, that selfe mould, that fashioned thee
    Made him a man: and though thou liuest and breathest,
    Yet art thou slaine in him, thou doost consent
    In some large measure to thy fathers death,
    In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
    245Who was the modell of thy fathers life:
    Call it not patience Gaunt, it is dispaire,
    In suffring thus thy brother to be slaughtred,
    Thou shewest the naked pathway to thy life,
    Teaching sterne Murder how to butcher thee:
    250That which in meane men we intitle Patience,
    Is pale cold Cowardice in noble breasts.
    What shall I saie? to safegard thine owne life,
    The best way is to venge my Glocesters death.
    Gaunt Gods is the quarrell for Gods substitute,
    255His deputy annointed in his sight,
    Hath causd his death, the which if wrongfully,
    Let heauen reuenge, for I may neuer lift
    An angry arme against his minister.
    Duch. Where then may I complainemy selfe?
    260Gaunt To God the widdowes Champion and defence,
    Duch. Why then I will; farewell olde Gaunt,
    Thou goest to Couentry, there to behold
    Our Coosen Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
    O set my husbands wronges on Herefords speare,
    265That it may enter butchers Mowbraies brest:
    Or if misfortune misse the first carier,
    Be Mowbraies sinnes so heauy in his bosome
    That they may breake his foming coursers backe,
    And throw the rider headlong in the listes,
    270A caitiue recreant to my Coosen Hereford,
    Farewell old Gaunt, thy sometimes brothers wife,
    With her companion Griefe must end her life.
    Gaunt Sister farewell, I must to Couentry,
    As much good stay with thee, as go with me.
    275Duch. Yet one word more, griefe boundeth where is fals,
    Not with the emptines, hollownes, but weight:
    I take my leaue before I haue begone,
    For sorrow endes not when it seemeth done:
    Commend me to thy brother Edmund Yorke,
    280Lo this is all: nay yet depart not so,
    Though this be al, doe not so quickly go:
    I shall remember more: Bid him, ah what?
    With all good speede at Plashie visite me,
    Alacke and what shall good olde Yorke there see,
    285But empty lodgings and vnfurnisht wals,
    Vnpeopled offices, vntrodden stones,
    And what cheere there for welcome but my grones?
    Therfore commend me, let him not come there,
    To seeke out sorrow that dwels euery where,
    290Desolate desolate will I hence and die:
    The last leaue of thee takes my weeping eie. Exeunt.