King Richard II
Act III, Scene 2
The coast of Wales. A castle in view.
- Drums: flourish and colors. Enter the King, Aumerle, the
- Bishop of Carlisle, and Soldiers.
King Richard II1
- Barkloughly castle call they this at hand?
Aumerle2 - 3
- Yea, my lord. How brooks your Grace the air
- After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
King Richard II4 - 26
- Needs must I like it well; I weep for joy
- To stand upon my kingdom once again.
- Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
- Though rebels wound thee with their horses’ hoofs.
- As a long-parted mother with her child
- Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
- So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
- And do thee favors with my royal hands.
- Feed not thy sovereign’s foe, my gentle earth,
- Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense,
- But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
- And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
- Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet,
- Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
- Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies;
- And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
- Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder,
- Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
- Throw death upon thy sovereign’s enemies.
- Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords,
- This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
- Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
- Shall falter under foul rebellion’s arms.
Bishop of Carlisle27 - 32
- Fear not, my lord, that Power that made you king
- Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
- The means that heavens yield must be embrac’d,
- And not neglected; else heaven would,
- And we will not. Heaven’s offer we refuse,
- The proffered means of succors and redress.
Aumerle33 - 35
- He means, my lord, that we are too remiss,
- Whilst Bullingbrook, through our security,
- Grows strong and great in substance and in power.
King Richard II36 - 63
- Discomfortable cousin, know’st thou not
- That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
- Behind the globe, that lights the lower world,
- Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
- In murders and in outrage boldly here,
- But when from under this terrestrial ball
- He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
- And darts his light through every guilty hole,
- Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
- The cloak of night being pluck’d from off their backs,
- Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
- So when this thief, this traitor Bullingbrook,
- Who all this while hath revell’d in the night,
- Whilst we were wand’ring with the antipodes,
- Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
- His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
- Not able to endure the sight of day,
- But self-affrighted tremble at his sin.
- Not all the water in the rough rude sea
- Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
- The breath of worldly men cannot depose
- The deputy elected by the Lord;
- For every man that Bullingbrook hath press’d
- To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
- God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
- A glorious angel; then if angels fight,
- Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.
- Enter Salisbury.
- Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?
Salisbury64 - 74
- Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
- Than this weak arm. Discomfort guides my tongue
- And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
- One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
- Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
- O, call back yesterday, bid time return,
- And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men!
- Today, today, unhappy day, too late,
- Overthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state,
- For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
- Are gone to Bullingbrook, dispers’d and fled.
- Comfort, my liege, why looks your Grace so pale?
King Richard II76 - 81
- But now the blood of twenty thousand men
- Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
- And till so much blood thither come again,
- Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
- All souls that will be safe, fly from my side,
- For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
- Comfort, my liege, remember who you are.
King Richard II83 - 90
- I had forgot myself, am I not king?
- Awake, thou coward majesty! Thou sleepest.
- Is not the king’s name twenty thousand names?
- Arm, arm, my name! A puny subject strikes
- At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
- Ye favorites of a king, are we not high?
- High be our thoughts. I know my uncle York
- Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who comes here?
- Enter Scroop.
Scroop91 - 92
- More health and happiness betide my liege
- Than can my care-tun’d tongue deliver him!
King Richard II93 - 103
- Mine ear is open, and my heart prepar’d,
- The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
- Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, ’twas my care,
- And what loss is it to be rid of care?
- Strives Bullingbrook to be as great as we?
- Greater he shall not be; if he serve God,
- We’ll serve Him too, and be his fellow so.
- Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend,
- They break their faith to God as well as us.
- Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay:
- The worst is death, and death will have his day.
Scroop104 - 120
- Glad am I that your Highness is so arm’d
- To bear the tidings of calamity.
- Like an unseasonable stormy day,
- Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
- As if the world were all dissolv’d to tears,
- So high above his limits swells the rage
- Of Bullingbrook, covering your fearful land
- With hard bright steel, and hearts harder than steel.
- White-beards have arm’d their thin and hairless scalps
- Against thy majesty; boys, with women’s voices,
- Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
- In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown;
- Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
- Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
- Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
- Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
- And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
King Richard II121 - 127
- Too well, too well thou tell’st a tale so ill.
- Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? Where is Bagot?
- What is become of Bushy? Where is Green?
- That they have let the dangerous enemy
- Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
- If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it.
- I warrant they have made peace with Bullingbrook.
- Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.
King Richard II129 - 134
- O villains, vipers, damn’d without redemption!
- Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man!
- Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my heart!
- Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
- Would they make peace? Terrible hell
- Make war upon their spotted souls for this!
Scroop135 - 140
- Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
- Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
- Again uncurse their souls, their peace is made
- With heads, and not with hands. Those whom you curse
- Have felt the worst of death’s destroying wound,
- And lie full low, grav’d in the hollow ground.
- Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?
- Ay, all of them at Bristow lost their heads.
- Where is the Duke my father with his power?
King Richard II144 - 177
- No matter where—of comfort no man speak:
- Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
- Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
- Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
- Let’s choose executors and talk of wills;
- And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
- Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
- Our lands, our lives, and all are Bullingbrook’s,
- And nothing can we call our own but death,
- And that small model of the barren earth
- Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
- For God’s sake let us sit upon the ground
- And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
- How some have been depos’d, some slain in war,
- Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
- Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping kill’d,
- All murdered—for within the hollow crown
- That rounds the mortal temples of a king
- Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits,
- Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
- Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
- To monarchize, be fear’d, and kill with looks,
- Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
- As if this flesh which walls about our life
- Were brass impregnable; and humor’d thus,
- Comes at the last and with a little pin
- Bores thorough his castle wall, and farewell king!
- Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
- With solemn reverence, throw away respect,
- Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
- For you have but mistook me all this while.
- I live with bread like you, feel want,
- Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
- How can you say to me I am a king?
Bishop of Carlisle178 - 185
- My lord, wise men ne’er sit and wail their woes,
- But presently prevent the ways to wail;
- To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
- Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe,
- And so your follies fight against yourself.
- Fear, and be slain—no worse can come to fight,
- And fight and die is death destroying death,
- Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
Aumerle186 - 187
- My father hath a power, inquire of him,
- And learn to make a body of a limb.
King Richard II188 - 193
- Thou chid’st me well. Proud Bullingbrook, I come
- To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
- This ague fit of fear is overblown,
- An easy task it is to win our own.
- Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
- Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
Scroop194 - 203
- Men judge by the complexion of the sky
- The state and inclination of the day;
- So may you by my dull and heavy eye:
- My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
- I play the torturer by small and small
- To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken:
- Your uncle York is join’d with Bullingbrook,
- And all your northern castles yielded up,
- And all your southern gentlemen in arms
- Upon his party.
King Richard II204 - 215
- Thou hast said enough.
- To Aumerle.
- Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
- Of that sweet way I was in to despair!
- What say you now? What comfort have we now?
- By heaven, I’ll hate him everlastingly
- That bids me be of comfort any more.
- Go to Flint castle, there I’ll pine away—
- A king, woe’s slave, shall kingly woe obey.
- That power I have, discharge, and let them go
- To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
- For I have none. Let no man speak again
- To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
- My liege, one word.
King Richard II217 - 220
- He does me double wrong
- That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
- Discharge my followers, let them hence away,
- From Richard’s night to Bullingbrook’s fair day.