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Last updated: Fri, Jul 31, 2015
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Navigate this workRichard II
Act 3, scene 4
Richard’s queen overhears a gardener describing Richard’s downfall and probable deposition.Enter the Queen with her ⌜Ladies-in-waiting.⌝
1830 What sport shall we devise here in this garden
1831 To drive away the heavy thought of care?
LADY 1832 Madam, we’ll play at bowls.
1833 ’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
1834 5 And that my fortune runs against the bias.
p. 141LADY 1835 Madam, we’ll dance.
1836 My legs can keep no measure in delight
1837 When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.
1838 Therefore no dancing, girl. Some other sport.
LADY 1839 10Madam, we’ll tell tales.
1840 Of sorrow or of ⌜joy?⌝
LADY 1841 Of either, madam.
QUEEN 1842 Of neither, girl,
1843 For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
1844 15 It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
1845 Or if of grief, being altogether had,
1846 It adds more sorrow to my want of joy.
1847 For what I have I need not to repeat,
1848 And what I want it boots not to complain.
1849 20 Madam, I’ll sing.
QUEEN 1850 ’Tis well that thou hast cause,
1851 But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou
1853 I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
1854 25 And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
1855 And never borrow any tear of thee.
Enter ⌜a Gardener and two Servingmen.⌝
1856 But stay, here come the gardeners.
1857 Let’s step into the shadow of these trees.
1858 My wretchedness unto a row of ⌜pins,⌝
1859 30 They will talk of state, for everyone doth so
1860 Against a change. Woe is forerun with woe.
⌜Queen and Ladies step aside.⌝
GARDENER, ⌜to one Servingman⌝
1861 Go, bind thou up young dangling apricokes
p. 1431862 Which, like unruly children, make their sire
1863 Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.
1864 35 Give some supportance to the bending twigs.—
1865 Go thou, and like an executioner
1866 Cut off the heads of ⌜too⌝-fast-growing sprays
1867 That look too lofty in our commonwealth.
1868 All must be even in our government.
1869 40 You thus employed, I will go root away
1870 The noisome weeds which without profit suck
1871 The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.
1872 Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
1873 Keep law and form and due proportion,
1874 45 Showing as in a model our firm estate,
1875 When our sea-wallèd garden, the whole land,
1876 Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
1877 Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,
1878 Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
1879 50 Swarming with caterpillars?
GARDENER 1880 Hold thy peace.
1881 He that hath suffered this disordered spring
1882 Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
1883 The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did
1884 55 shelter,
1885 That seemed in eating him to hold him up,
1886 Are plucked up, root and all, by Bolingbroke—
1887 I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
1888 What, are they dead?
GARDENER 1889 60 They are. And Bolingbroke
1890 Hath seized the wasteful king. O, what pity is it
1891 That he had not so trimmed and dressed his land
1892 As we this garden! ⌜We⌝ at time of year
1893 Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
1894 65 Lest, being overproud in sap and blood,
1895 With too much riches it confound itself.
1896 Had he done so to great and growing men,
p. 1451897 They might have lived to bear and he to taste
1898 Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches
1899 70 We lop away, that bearing boughs may live.
1900 Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
1901 Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
1902 What, think you the King shall be deposed?
1903 Depressed he is already, and deposed
1904 75 ’Tis doubt he will be. Letters came last night
1905 To a dear friend of the good Duke of York’s
1906 That tell black tidings.
1907 O, I am pressed to death through want of speaking!
1908 Thou old Adam’s likeness, set to dress this garden,
1909 80 How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this
1910 unpleasing news?
1911 What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
1912 To make a second fall of cursèd man?
1913 Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
1914 85 Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
1915 Divine his downfall? Say where, when, and how
1916 ⌜Cam’st⌝ thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch!
1917 Pardon me, madam. Little joy have I
1918 To breathe this news, yet what I say is true.
1919 90 King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
1920 Of Bolingbroke. Their fortunes both are weighed.
1921 In your lord’s scale is nothing but himself
1922 And some few vanities that make him light,
1923 But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
1924 95 Besides himself, are all the English peers,
1925 And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
1926 Post you to London and you will find it so.
1927 I speak no more than everyone doth know.
1928 Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
1929 100 Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
1930 And am I last that knows it? O, thou thinkest
1931 To serve me last that I may longest keep
1932 Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go
1933 To meet at London London’s king in woe.
1934 105 What, was I born to this, that my sad look
1935 Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?—
1936 Gard’ner, for telling me these news of woe,
1937 Pray God the plants thou graft’st may never grow.
She exits ⌜with Ladies.⌝
1938 Poor queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
1939 110 I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
1940 Here did she fall a tear. Here in this place
1941 I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
1942 Rue even for ruth here shortly shall be seen
1943 In the remembrance of a weeping queen.