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Richard II - Act 2, scene 2
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Navigate this workRichard II - Act 2, scene 2
Act 2, scene 2
As the Queen grieves for Richard’s departure, news comes that Bolingbroke has landed in England with an army. As York attempts to find means to oppose him, Bushy, Bagot, and Green, in fear for their lives, prepare to flee.Enter the Queen, Bushy, ⌜and⌝ Bagot.
0981 Madam, your Majesty is too much sad.
0982 You promised, when you parted with the King,
0983 To lay aside life-harming heaviness
0984 And entertain a cheerful disposition.
0985 5 To please the King I did; to please myself
0986 I cannot do it. Yet I know no cause
0987 Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
0988 Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
0989 As my sweet Richard. Yet again methinks
0990 10 Some unborn sorrow ripe in Fortune’s womb
0991 Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
0992 With nothing trembles. At some thing it grieves
0993 More than with parting from my lord the King.
0994 Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
0995 15 Which shows like grief itself but is not so;
0996 For sorrow’s eyes, glazed with blinding tears,
0997 Divides one thing entire to many objects,
0998 Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
0999 Show nothing but confusion, eyed awry
1000 20 Distinguish form. So your sweet Majesty,
1001 Looking awry upon your lord’s departure,
1002 Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail,
1003 Which, looked on as it is, is naught but shadows
1004 Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
1005 25 More than your lord’s departure weep not. More is
1006 not seen,
1007 Or if it be, ’tis with false sorrow’s eye,
1008 Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
1009 It may be so, but yet my inward soul
1010 30 Persuades me it is otherwise. Howe’er it be,
p. 811011 I cannot but be sad—so heavy sad
1012 As thought, on thinking on no thought I think,
1013 Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
1014 ’Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
1015 35 ’Tis nothing less. Conceit is still derived
1016 From some forefather grief. Mine is not so,
1017 For nothing hath begot my something grief—
1018 Or something hath the nothing that I grieve.
1019 ’Tis in reversion that I do possess,
1020 40 But what it is that is not yet known what,
1021 I cannot name. ’Tis nameless woe, I wot.
1022 God save your Majesty!—And well met, gentlemen.
1023 I hope the King is not yet shipped for Ireland.
1024 Why hopest thou so? ’Tis better hope he is,
1025 45 For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope.
1026 Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipped?
1027 That he, our hope, might have retired his power
1028 And driven into despair an enemy’s hope,
1029 Who strongly hath set footing in this land.
1030 50 The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself
1031 And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
1032 At Ravenspurgh.
QUEEN 1033 Now God in heaven forbid!
1034 Ah, madam, ’tis too true. And that is worse,
1035 55 The Lord Northumberland, his son young Harry
1037 The Lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby,
1038 With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
1039 Why have you not proclaimed Northumberland
1040 60 And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
1041 We have; whereupon the Earl of Worcester
1042 Hath broken his staff, resigned his stewardship,
1043 And all the Household servants fled with him
1044 To Bolingbroke.
1045 65 So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
1046 And Bolingbroke my sorrow’s dismal heir.
1047 Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
1048 And I, a gasping new-delivered mother,
1049 Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow joined.
1050 70 Despair not, madam.
QUEEN 1051 Who shall hinder me?
1052 I will despair and be at enmity
1053 With cozening hope. He is a flatterer,
1054 A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
1055 75 Who gently would dissolve the bands of life
1056 Which false hope lingers in extremity.
GREEN 1057 Here comes the Duke of York.
1058 With signs of war about his agèd neck.
1059 O, full of careful business are his looks!—
1060 80 Uncle, for God’s sake speak comfortable words.
1061 Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts.
1062 Comfort’s in heaven, and we are on the Earth,
1063 Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
1064 Your husband, he is gone to save far off
1065 85 Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
1066 Here am I left to underprop his land,
p. 851067 Who, weak with age, cannot support myself.
1068 Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
1069 Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.
⌜Enter a Servingman.⌝
1070 90 My lord, your son was gone before I came.
1071 He was? Why, so go all which way it will.
1072 The nobles they are fled; the commons they are
1074 And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford’s side.
1075 95 Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
1076 Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
1077 Hold, take my ring.
1078 My lord, I had forgot to tell your Lordship:
1079 Today as I came by I callèd there—
1080 100 But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
YORK 1081 What is ’t, knave?
1082 An hour before I came, the Duchess died.
1083 God for His mercy, what a tide of woes
1084 Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
1085 105 I know not what to do. I would to God,
1086 So my untruth had not provoked him to it,
1087 The King had cut off my head with my brother’s!
1088 What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
1089 How shall we do for money for these wars?—
1090 110 Come, sister—cousin I would say, pray pardon
1092 Go, fellow, get thee home. Provide some carts
1093 And bring away the armor that is there.
1094 Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
p. 871095 115 If I know how or which way to order these affairs
1096 Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
1097 Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
1098 T’ one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
1099 And duty bids defend; t’ other again
1100 120 Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wronged,
1101 Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
1102 Well, somewhat we must do. ⌜To Queen.⌝ Come,
1104 I’ll dispose of you.—Gentlemen, go muster up your
1105 125 men
1106 And meet me presently at Berkeley.
1107 I should to Plashy too,
1108 But time will not permit. All is uneven,
1109 And everything is left at six and seven.
Duke ⌜of York and⌝ Queen exit.
Bushy, Green, ⌜and Bagot⌝ remain.
1110 130 The wind sits fair for news to go for Ireland,
1111 But none returns. For us to levy power
1112 Proportionable to the enemy
1113 Is all unpossible.
1114 Besides, our nearness to the King in love
1115 135 Is near the hate of those love not the King.
1116 And that is the wavering commons, for their love
1117 Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
1118 By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
1119 Wherein the King stands generally condemned.
1120 140 If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
1121 Because we ever have been near the King.
1122 Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristow Castle.
1123 The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
1124 Thither will I with you, for little office
1125 145 Will the hateful commons perform for us,
1126 Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.—
1127 Will you go along with us?
1128 No, I will to Ireland to his Majesty.
1129 Farewell. If heart’s presages be not vain,
1130 150 We three here part that ne’er shall meet again.
1131 That’s as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
1132 Alas, poor duke, the task he undertakes
1133 Is numb’ring sands and drinking oceans dry.
1134 Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
1135 155 Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.
1136 Well, we may meet again.
BAGOT 1137 I fear me, never.