King Richard II
Act III, Scene 4
Langley. The Duke of York’s garden.
- Enter the Queen with two Ladies, her attendants.
Queen1 - 2
- What sport shall we devise here in this garden
- To drive away the heavy thought of care?
First Attending Lady3
- Madam, we’ll play at bowls.
Queen4 - 5
- ’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs,
- And that my fortune runs against the bias.
Second Attending Lady6
- Madam, we’ll dance.
Queen7 - 9
- My legs can keep no measure in delight,
- When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief;
- Therefore no dancing, girl, some other sport.
First Attending Lady10
- Madam, we’ll tell tales.
- Of sorrow or of joy?
First Attending Lady12
- Of either, madam.
Queen13 - 19
- Of neither, girl;
- For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
- It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
- Or if of grief, being altogether had,
- It adds more sorrow to my want of joy;
- For what I have I need not to repeat,
- And what I want it boots not to complain.
Second Attending Lady20
- Madam, I’ll sing.
Queen21 - 22
- ’Tis well that thou hast cause,
- But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep.
First Attending Lady23
- I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
Queen24 - 30
- And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
- And never borrow any tear of thee.
- Enter a Gardener and two of his Men.
- But stay, here come the gardeners.
- Let’s step into the shadow of these trees.
- My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
- They will talk of state, for every one doth so
- Against a change; woe is forerun with woe.
- Queen and Ladies retire.
Gardener31 - 41
- Go bind thou up young dangling apricots,
- Which like unruly children make their sire
- Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight;
- Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
- Go thou, and like an executioner
- Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
- That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
- All must be even in our government.
- You thus employed, I will go root away
- The noisome weeds which without profit suck
- The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.
First Gardener’s Man42 - 49
- Why should we in the compass of a pale
- Keep law and form and due proportion,
- Showing as in a model our firm estate,
- When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
- Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers chok’d up,
- Her fruit-trees all unprun’d, her hedges ruin’d,
- Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
- Swarming with caterpillars?
Gardener50 - 56
- Hold thy peace.
- He that hath suffered this disordered spring
- Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
- The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
- That seem’d in eating him to hold him up,
- Are pluck’d up root and all by Bullingbrook,
- I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
Second Gardener’s Man57
- What, are they dead?
Gardener58 - 70
- They are; and Bullingbrook
- Hath seiz’d the wasteful King. O, what pity is it
- That he had not so trimm’d and dress’d his land
- As we this garden! We at time of year
- Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees,
- Lest being over-proud in sap and blood,
- With too much riches it confound itself;
- Had he done so to great and growing men,
- They might have liv’d to bear and he to taste
- Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches
- We lop away, that bearing boughs may live;
- Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
- Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
Second Gardener’s Man71
- What, think you the King shall be deposed?
Gardener72 - 75
- Depress’d he is already, and depos’d
- ’Tis doubt he will be. Letters came last night
- To a dear friend of the good Duke of York’s
- That tell black tidings.
Queen76 - 84
- O, I am press’d to death through want of speaking!
- Coming forward.
- Thou old Adam’s likeness, set to dress this garden,
- How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
- What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
- To make a second fall of cursed man?
- Why dost thou say King Richard is depos’d?
- Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
- Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,
- Cam’st thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch.
Gardener85 - 95
- Pardon me, madam, little joy have I
- To breathe this news, yet what I say is true:
- King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
- Of Bullingbrook; their fortunes both are weigh’d.
- In your lord’s scale is nothing but himself,
- And some few vanities that make him light;
- But in the balance of great Bullingbrook,
- Besides himself, are all the English peers,
- And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
- Post you to London and you will find it so,
- I speak no more than every one doth know.
Queen96 - 105
- Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
- Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
- And am I last that knows it? O, thou thinkest
- To serve me last that I may longest keep
- Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go
- To meet at London London’s king in woe.
- What, was I born to this, that my sad look
- Should grace the triumph of great Bullingbrook?
- Gard’ner, for telling me these news of woe,
- Pray God the plants thou graft’st may never grow.
- Exit with Ladies.
Gardener106 - 111
- Poor queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
- I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
- Here did she fall a tear, here in this place
- I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
- Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
- In the remembrance of a weeping queen.