King Richard II
Act I, Scene 2
The Duke of Lancaster’s palace.
- Enter John of Gaunt with the Duchess of Gloucester.
Gaunt1 - 8
- Alas, the part I had in Woodstock’s blood
- Doth more solicit me than your exclaims
- To stir against the butchers of his life!
- But since correction lieth in those hands
- Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
- Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven,
- Who, when they see the hour’s ripe on earth,
- Will rain hot vengeance on offenders’ heads.
Duchess of Gloucester9 - 36
- Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
- Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
- Edward’s seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
- Were as seven vials of his sacred blood,
- Or seven fair branches springing from one root.
- Some of those seven are dried by nature’s course,
- Some of those branches by the Destinies cut;
- But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
- One vial full of Edward’s sacred blood,
- One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
- Is crack’d, and all the precious liquor spilt,
- Is hack’d down, and his summer leaves all faded,
- By envy’s hand and murder’s bloody axe.
- Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! That bed, that womb,
- That mettle, that self mould, that fashioned thee
- Made him a man; and though thou livest and breathest,
- Yet art thou slain in him. Thou dost consent
- In some large measure to thy father’s death,
- In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
- Who was the model of thy father’s life.
- Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair.
- In suff’ring thus thy brother to be slaught’red,
- Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
- Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
- That which in mean men we entitle patience
- Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
- What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life
- The best way is to venge my Gloucester’s death.
Gaunt37 - 41
- God’s is the quarrel, for God’s substitute,
- His deputy anointed in His sight,
- Hath caus’d his death, the which if wrongfully,
- Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
- An angry arm against His minister.
Duchess of Gloucester42
- Where then, alas, may I complain myself?
- To God, the widow’s champion and defense.
Duchess of Gloucester44 - 55
- Why then I will. Farewell, old Gaunt!
- Thou goest to Coventry, there to behold
- Our cousin Herford and fell Mowbray fight.
- O, sit my husband’s wrongs on Herford’s spear,
- That it may enter butcher Mowbray’s breast!
- Or if misfortune miss the first career,
- Be Mowbray’s sins so heavy in his bosom
- That they may break his foaming courser’s back,
- And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
- A caitiff recreant to my cousin Herford!
- Farewell, old Gaunt! Thy sometimes brother’s wife
- With her companion, grief, must end her life.
Gaunt56 - 57
- Sister, farewell, I must to Coventry.
- As much good stay with thee as go with me!
Duchess of Gloucester58 - 74
- Yet one word more! Grief boundeth where it falls,
- Not with the empty hollowness, but weight.
- I take my leave before I have begun,
- For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
- Commend me to thy brother, Edmund York.
- Lo this is all—nay, yet depart not so;
- Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
- I shall remember more. Bid him—ah, what?—
- With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
- Alack, and what shall good old York there see
- But empty lodgings and unfurnish’d walls,
- Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
- And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
- Therefore commend me; let him not come there
- To seek out sorrow that dwells every where.
- Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die:
- The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.