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Monologues for Men


Alack, why am I sent for to a king

Before I have shook off the regal thoughts

Wherewith I reign’d? I hardly yet have learn’d

To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.

Give sorrow leave a while to tutor me

To this submission. Yet I well remember

The favors of these men. Were they not mine?

Did they not sometimes cry “All hail!” to me?

So Judas did to Christ; but He, in twelve,

Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.

God save the King! Will no man say amen?

Am I both priest and clerk? Well then, amen.

God save the King! although I be not he,

And yet amen, if heaven do think him me.

To do what service am I sent for hither?

Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown;

Here, cousin,

On this side my hand, and on that side thine.

Now is this golden crown like a deep well

That owes two buckets, filling one another,

The emptier ever dancing in the air,

The other down, unseen, and full of water:

That bucket down and full of tears am I,

Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.

My crown I yield, but still my griefs are mine.

You may my glories and my state depose,

But not my griefs; still am I king of those.

Part of my cares I give you with the crown.

Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down:

My care is loss of care, by old care done,

Your care is gain of care, by new care won;

The cares I give I have, though given away,

They tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.

Ay, no, no ay; for I must nothing be;

Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.

Now mark me how I will undo myself:

I give this heavy weight from off my head,

And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,

The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;

With mine own tears I wash away my balm,

With mine own hands I give away my crown,

With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,

With mine own breath release all duteous oaths;

All pomp and majesty I do forswear;

My manors, rents, revenues I forgo;

My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny;

God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!

God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!

Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev’d,

And thou with all pleas’d, that hast all achiev’d!

Long mayst thou live in Richard’s seat to sit,

And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit!

God save King Henry, unking’d Richard says,

And send him many years of sunshine days!

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