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King Richard II Scenes

Scene 1

London. A street leading to the Tower.

(Queen; Attendants; King Richard; Guard; Northumberland)

The Queen intercepts Richard on his way to the Tower. He advises her to go to France, and to think of him as being dead. Northumberland arrives and informs Richard that he is being sent to Pomfret rather than the Tower, and that the Queen is being sent to France. He roughly orders the two to part, and bluntly rejects the Queen’s request that Richard be sent away with her. Richard and the Queen kiss, and part. (102 lines)

Enter the Queen with her Attendants.


This way the King will come, this is the way

To Julius Caesar’s ill-erected tower,

To whose flint bosom my condemned lord

Is doom’d a prisoner by proud Bullingbrook.

Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth

Have any resting for her true king’s queen.

Enter Richard and Guard.

But soft, but see, or rather do not see,

My fair rose wither; yet look up, behold,

That you in pity may dissolve to dew

And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.

Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand,

Thou map of honor, thou King Richard’s tomb,

And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn,

Why should hard-favor’d grief be lodg’d in thee,

When triumph is become an alehouse guest?


Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,

To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,

To think our former state a happy dream,

From which awak’d, the truth of what we are

Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,

To grim Necessity, and he and I

Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France,

And cloister thee in some religious house.

Our holy lives must win a new world’s crown,

Which our profane hours here have thrown down.


What, is my Richard both in shape and mind

Transform’d and weak’ned? Hath Bullingbrook depos’d

Thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?

The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw,

And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage

To be o’erpow’r’d, and wilt thou, pupil-like,

Take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,

And fawn on rage with base humility,

Which art a lion and the king of beasts?


A king of beasts indeed—if aught but beasts,

I had been still a happy king of men.

Good sometimes queen, prepare thee hence for France.

Think I am dead, and that even here thou takest,

As from my death-bed, thy last living leave.

In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire

With good old folks and let them tell thee tales

Of woeful ages long ago betid;

And ere thou bid good night, to quite their griefs,

Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,

And send the hearers weeping to their beds.

For why, the senseless brands will sympathize

The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,

And in compassion weep the fire out,

And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,

For the deposing of a rightful king.

Enter Northumberland and others.


My lord, the mind of Bullingbrook is chang’d,

You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.

And, madam, there is order ta’en for you,

With all swift speed you must away to France.


Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal

The mounting Bullingbrook ascends my throne,

The time shall not be many hours of age

More than it is, ere foul sin gathering head

Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,

Though he divide the realm and give thee half,

It is too little, helping him to all;

He shall think that thou, which knowest the way

To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,

Being ne’er so little urg’d, another way

To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.

The love of wicked men converts to fear,

That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both

To worthy danger and deserved death.


My guilt be on my head, and there an end.

Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.


Doubly divorc’d! Bad men, you violate

A twofold marriage—’twixt my crown and me,

And then betwixt me and my married wife.—

Let me unkiss the oath ’twixt thee and me;

And yet not so, for with a kiss ’twas made.

Part us, Northumberland: I towards the north,

Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;

My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp

She came adorned hither like sweet May,

Sent back like Hallowmas or short’st of day.


And must we be divided? Must we part?


Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.


Banish us both, and send the King with me.


That were some love, but little policy.


Then whither he goes, thither let me go.


So two together weeping make one woe.

Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;

Better far off than, near, be ne’er the near.

Go count thy way with sighs, I mine with groans.


So longest way shall have the longest moans.


Twice for one step I’ll groan, the way being short,

And piece the way out with a heavy heart.

Come, come, in wooing sorrow let’s be brief,

Since wedding it, there is such length in grief.

One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part;

Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.


Give me mine own again, ’twere no good part

To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.

So now I have mine own again, be gone,

That I may strive to kill it with a groan.


We make woe wanton with this fond delay,

Once more, adieu, the rest let sorrow say.



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