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The Tragedy of King Richard II by William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

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With all my heart
I pardon him.

A god on earth thou art.

But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell: and, cousin, adieu:
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.

Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.


SCENE IV. Another room in the Castle.

[Enter EXTON and a Servant.]

Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake?
'Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?'
Was it not so?

These were his very words.

'Have I no friend?' quoth he: he spake it twice
And urg'd it twice together, did he not?

He did.

And, speaking it, he wistly looked on me,
As who should say 'I would thou wert the man
That would divorce this terror from my heart';
Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go.
I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.


SCENE V. Pomfret. The dungeon of the Castle.


I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world
And for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it; yet I'll hammer it out.
My brain I'll prove the female to my soul;
My soul the father: and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
And these same thoughts people this little world,
In humours like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things divine, are intermix'd
With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word:
As thus: 'Come, little ones'; and then again,
'It is as hard to come as for a camel
To thread the postern of a needle's eye.'
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders; how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars
Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,
That many have and others must sit there:
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
Of such as have before endur'd the like.
Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented: sometimes am I king;
Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again; and by and by
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing: but whate'er I be,
Nor I, nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd
With being nothing.
Music do I hear? [Music.]
Ha, ha! keep time. How sour sweet music is
When time is broke and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
But, for the concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours; but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock.
This music mads me; let it sound no more;
For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.

[Enter a Groom of the stable.]

Hail, royal Prince!

Thanks, noble peer;
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
What art thou? and how comest thou hither, man,
Where no man never comes but that sad dog
That brings me food to make misfortune live?

I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
With much ado at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimes royal master's face.
O! how it yearn'd my heart when I beheld,
In London streets, that coronation day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse that I so carefully have dress'd.

Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
How went he under him?

So proudly as if he disdain'd the ground.

So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? would he not fall down,--
Since pride must have a fall,--and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! Why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be aw'd by man,
Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;
And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
Spur-gall'd and tir'd by jauncing Bolingbroke.

[Enter Keeper, with a dish.]

KEEPER. [To the Groom.]
Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.

If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away.

My tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.


My lord, will't please you to fall to?

Taste of it first as thou art wont to do.

My lord, I dare not: Sir Pierce of Exton,
Who lately came from the king, commands the contrary.

The devil take Henry of Lancaster and thee!
Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.

[Strikes the Keeper.]

Help, help, help!

[Enter EXTON and Servants, armed.]

How now! What means death in this rude assault?
Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.

[Snatching a weapon and killing one.]

Go thou and fill another room in hell.

[He kills another, then EXTON strikes him down.]

That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land.
Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.


As full of valour as of royal blood:
Both have I spilt; O! would the deed were good;
For now the devil, that told me I did well,
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
This dead king to the living king I'll bear.
Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.


SCENE VI. Windsor. An Apartment in the Castle.

[Flourish. Enter BOLINGBROKE and YORK, with Lords
and Attendants.]

Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
Is that the rebels have consum'd with fire
Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire;
But whether they be ta'en or slain we hear not.


Welcome, my lord. What is the news?

First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.
The next news is: I have to London sent
The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent.
The manner of their taking may appear
At large discoursed in this paper here.

We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains;
And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.


My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely,
Two of the dangerous consorted traitors
That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.

Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;
Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.


The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
With clog of conscience and sour melancholy,
Hath yielded up his body to the grave;
But here is Carlisle living, to abide
Thy kingly doom, and sentence of his pride.

Carlisle, this is your doom:
Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life;
So as thou livest in peace, die free from strife;
For though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.

[Enter EXTON, with attendants, hearing a coffin.]

Great king, within this coffin I present
Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies
The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.

Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought
A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
Upon my head and all this famous land.

From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.

They love not poison that do poison need,
Nor do I thee: though I did wish him dead,
I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,
But neither my good word nor princely favour:
With Cain go wander thorough shade of night,
And never show thy head by day nor light.
Lords, I protest my soul is full of woe,
That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow:
Come, mourn with me for what I do lament,
And put on sullen black incontinent.
I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land,
To wash this blood off from my guilty hand.
March sadly after; grace my mournings here,
In weeping after this untimely bier.


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