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Richard III: Act 2, Scene 2

Richard III
Act 2, Scene 2

London. The palace.

  1. Enter the old Duchess of York with the two children of
  2. Clarence (Edward and Margaret Plantagenet).

Edward

3
  1. Good grandam, tell us, is our father dead?

Duchess of York

4
  1. No, boy.

Margaret

5 - 6
  1. Why do you weep so oft, and beat your breast,
  2. And cry, O Clarence, my unhappy son!”?

Edward

7 - 9
  1. Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
  2. And call us orphans, wretches, castaways,
  3. If that our noble father were alive?

Duchess of York

10 - 13
  1. My pretty cousins, you mistake me both:
  2. I do lament the sickness of the King,
  3. As loath to lose him, not your father’s death;
  4. It were lost sorrow to wail one that’s lost.

Edward

14 - 17
  1. Then you conclude, my grandam, he is dead.
  2. The King mine uncle is to blame for it.
  3. God will revenge it, whom I will importune
  4. With earnest prayers all to that effect.

Margaret

18
  1. And so will I.

Duchess of York

19 - 21
  1. Peace, children, peace, the King doth love you well.
  2. Incapable and shallow innocents,
  3. You cannot guess who caus’d your father’s death.

Edward

22 - 28
  1. Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloucester
  2. Told me the King, provok’d to it by the Queen,
  3. Devis’d impeachments to imprison him;
  4. And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
  5. And pitied me, and kindly kiss’d my cheek;
  6. Bade me rely on him as on my father,
  7. And he would love me dearly as a child.

Duchess of York

29 - 32
  1. Ah! That deceit should steal such gentle shape,
  2. And with a virtuous visor hide deep vice!
  3. He is my sonay, and therein my shame,
  4. Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.

Edward

33
  1. Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?

Duchess of York

34
  1. Ay, boy.

Edward

35
  1. I cannot think it. Hark, what noise is this?
  1. Enter the Queen Elizabeth with her hair about her ears;
  2. Rivers and Dorset after her.

Queen Elizabeth

38 - 41
  1. Ah! Who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
  2. To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
  3. I’ll join with black despair against my soul,
  4. And to myself become an enemy.

Duchess of York

42
  1. What means this scene of rude impatience?

Queen Elizabeth

43 - 50
  1. To make an act of tragic violence.
  2. Edward, my lord, thy son, our king, is dead!
  3. Why grow the branches when the root is gone?
  4. Why wither not the leaves that want their sap?
  5. If you will live, lament; if die, be brief,
  6. That our swift-winged souls may catch the King’s,
  7. Or like obedient subjects follow him
  8. To his new kingdom of ne’er-changing night.

Duchess of York

51 - 65
  1. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow
  2. As I had title in thy noble husband!
  3. I have bewept a worthy husband’s death,
  4. And liv’d with looking on his images;
  5. But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
  6. Are crack’d in pieces by malignant death,
  7. And I for comfort have but one false glass,
  8. That grieves me when I see my shame in him.
  9. Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,
  10. And hast the comfort of thy children left;
  11. But death hath snatch’d my husband from mine arms,
  12. And pluck’d two crutches from my feeble hands,
  13. Clarence and Edward. O, what cause have I
  14. (Thine being but a moi’ty of my moan)
  15. To overgo thy woes and drown thy cries!

Edward

66 - 67
  1. Ah, aunt! You wept not for our father’s death;
  2. How can we aid you with our kindred tears?

Margaret

68 - 69
  1. Our fatherless distress was left unmoan’d,
  2. Your widow-dolor likewise be unwept!

Queen Elizabeth

70 - 75
  1. Give me no help in lamentation,
  2. I am not barren to bring forth complaints.
  3. All springs reduce their currents to mine eyes,
  4. That I being govern’d by the watery moon,
  5. May send forth plenteous tears to drown the world!
  6. Ah for my husband, for my dear Lord Edward!

Children

76
  1. Ah for our father, for our dear Lord Clarence!

Duchess of York

77
  1. Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!

Queen Elizabeth

78
  1. What stay had I but Edward? And he’s gone.

Children

79
  1. What stay had we but Clarence? And he’s gone.

Duchess of York

80
  1. What stays had I but they? And they are gone.

Queen Elizabeth

81
  1. Was never widow had so dear a loss.

Children

82
  1. Were never orphans had so dear a loss.

Duchess of York

83 - 92
  1. Was never mother had so dear a loss.
  2. Alas! I am the mother of these griefs:
  3. Their woes are parcell’d, mine is general.
  4. She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
  5. I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she;
  6. These babes for Clarence weep, and so do I;
  7. I for an Edward weep, so do not they.
  8. Alas! You three on me, threefold distress’d,
  9. Pour all your tears. I am your sorrow’s nurse,
  10. And I will pamper it with lamentation.

Marquess of Dorset

93 - 99
  1. Comfort, dear mother, God is much displeas’d
  2. That you take with unthankfulness his doing.
  3. In common worldly things ’tis call’d ungrateful
  4. With dull unwillingness to repay a debt,
  5. Which with a bounteous hand was kindly lent;
  6. Much more to be thus opposite with heaven,
  7. For it requires the royal debt it lent you.

Rivers

100 - 104
  1. Madam, bethink you like a careful mother
  2. Of the young Prince your son. Send straight for him,
  3. Let him be crown’d, in him your comfort lives.
  4. Drown desperate sorrow in dead Edward’s grave,
  5. And plant your joys in living Edward’s throne.
  1. Enter Richard of Gloucester, Buckingham, Stanley Earl of
  2. Derby, Hastings, and Ratcliffe.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

107 - 112
  1. Sister, have comfort. All of us have cause
  2. To wail the dimming of our shining star;
  3. But none can help our harms by wailing them.
  4. Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy,
  5. I did not see your Grace. Humbly on my knee
  6. I crave your blessing.

Duchess of York

113 - 114
  1. God bless thee, and put meekness in thy breast,
  2. Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

115 - 119
  1. Amen!—
  2. Aside.
  3.        And make me die a good old man!
  4. That is the butt-end of a mother’s blessing.
  5. I marvel that her Grace did leave it out.

Duke of Buckingham

120 - 130
  1. You cloudy princes and heart-sorrowing peers
  2. That bear this heavy mutual load of moan,
  3. Now cheer each other in each other’s love.
  4. Though we have spent our harvest of this king,
  5. We are to reap the harvest of his son.
  6. The broken rancor of your high-swoll’n hates,
  7. But lately splinter’d, knit, and join’d together,
  8. Must gently be preserv’d, cherish’d, and kept.
  9. Me seemeth good that, with some little train,
  10. Forthwith from Ludlow the young Prince be fet
  11. Hither to London, to be crown’d our king.

Rivers

131
  1. Why with some little train, my Lord of Buckingham?

Duke of Buckingham

132 - 139
  1. Marry, my lord, lest by a multitude
  2. The new-heal’d wound of malice should break out,
  3. Which would be so much the more dangerous,
  4. By how much the estate is green and yet ungovern’d.
  5. Where every horse bears his commanding rein
  6. And may direct his course as please himself,
  7. As well the fear of harm, as harm apparent,
  8. In my opinion, ought to be prevented.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

140 - 141
  1. I hope the King made peace with all of us,
  2. And the compact is firm and true in me.

Rivers

142 - 147
  1. And so in me, and so (I think) in all.
  2. Yet since it is but green, it should be put
  3. To no apparent likelihood of breach,
  4. Which haply by much company might be urg’d;
  5. Therefore I say with noble Buckingham,
  6. That it is meet so few should fetch the Prince.

Hastings

148
  1. And so say I.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

149 - 152
  1. Then be it so, and go we to determine
  2. Who they shall be that straight shall post to Ludlow.
  3. Madam, and you, my sister, will you go
  4. To give your censures in this business?

Both Queen Elizabeth and Duchess of York

153
  1. With all our hearts.
  1. Exeunt. Manent Buckingham and Richard.

Duke of Buckingham

155 - 159
  1. My lord, whoever journeys to the Prince,
  2. For God sake let not us two stay at home;
  3. For by the way, I’ll sort occasion,
  4. As index to the story we late talk’d of,
  5. To part the Queen’s proud kindred from the Prince.

Richard, Duke of Gloucester

160 - 163
  1. My other self, my counsel’s consistory,
  2. My oracle, my prophet, my dear cousin,
  3. I, as a child, will go by thy direction.
  4. Toward Ludlow then, for we’ll not stay behind.
  1. Exeunt.
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