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Home > Richard II > ACT III - SCENE IV. LANGLEY. The DUKE OF YORK's garden.

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ACT III - SCENE IV. LANGLEY. The DUKE OF YORK's garden.
Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies

QUEEN
1    What sport shall we devise here in this garden,
2    To drive away the heavy thought of care?
Lady
3    Madam, we'll play at bowls.
QUEEN
4    'Twill make me think the world is full of rubs,
5    And that my fortune rubs against the bias.
Lady
6    Madam, we'll dance.
QUEEN
7    My legs can keep no measure in delight,
8    When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
9    Therefore, no dancing, girl; some other sport.
Lady
10   Madam, we'll tell tales.
QUEEN
11   Of sorrow or of joy?
Lady
12   Of either, madam.
QUEEN
13   Of neither, girl:
14   For of joy, being altogether wanting,
15   It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
16   Or if of grief, being altogether had,
17   It adds more sorrow to my want of joy:
18   For what I have I need not to repeat;
19   And what I want it boots not to complain.
Lady
20   Madam, I'll sing.
QUEEN
21   'Tis well that thou hast cause
22   But thou shouldst please me better, wouldst thou weep.
Lady
23   I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
QUEEN
24   And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
25   And never borrow any tear of thee.
Enter a Gardener, and two Servants
26   But stay, here come the gardeners:
27   Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
28   My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
29   They'll talk of state; for every one doth so
30   Against a change; woe is forerun with woe.
QUEEN and Ladies retire

Gardener
31   Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
32   Which, like unruly children, make their sire
33   Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
34   Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
35   Go thou, and like an executioner,
36   Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
37   That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
38   All must be even in our government.
39   You thus employ'd, I will go root away
40   The noisome weeds, which without profit suck
41   The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
Servant
42   Why should we in the compass of a pale
43   Keep law and form and due proportion,
44   Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
45   When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
46   Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
47   Her fruit-trees all upturned, her hedges ruin'd,
48   Her knots disorder'd and her wholesome herbs
49   Swarming with caterpillars?
Gardener
50   Hold thy peace:
51   He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring
52   Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf:
53   The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
54   That seem'd in eating him to hold him up,
55   Are pluck'd up root and all by Bolingbroke,
56   I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
Servant
57   What, are they dead?
Gardener
58   They are; and Bolingbroke
59   Hath seized the wasteful king. O, what pity is it
60   That he had not so trimm'd and dress'd his land
61   As we this garden! We at time of year
62   Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees,
63   Lest, being over-proud in sap and blood,
64   With too much riches it confound itself:
65   Had he done so to great and growing men,
66   They might have lived to bear and he to taste
67   Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches
68   We lop away, that bearing boughs may live:
69   Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
70   Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
Servant
71   What, think you then the king shall be deposed?
Gardener
72   Depress'd he is already, and deposed
73   'Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night
74   To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's,
75   That tell black tidings.
QUEEN
76   O, I am press'd to death through want of speaking!
Coming forward
77   Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,
78   How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
79   What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
80   To make a second fall of cursed man?
81   Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
82   Darest thou, thou little better thing than earth,
83   Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,
84   Camest thou by this ill tidings? speak, thou wretch.
Gardener
85   Pardon me, madam: little joy have I
86   To breathe this news; yet what I say is true.
87   King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
88   Of Bolingbroke: their fortunes both are weigh'd:
89   In your lord's scale is nothing but himself,
90   And some few vanities that make him light;
91   But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
92   Besides himself, are all the English peers,
93   And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
94   Post you to London, and you will find it so;
95   I speak no more than every one doth know.
QUEEN
96   Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
97   Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
98   And am I last that knows it? O, thou think'st
99   To serve me last, that I may longest keep
100  Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go,
101  To meet at London London's king in woe.
102  What, was I born to this, that my sad look
103  Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?
104  Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,
105  Pray God the plants thou graft'st may never grow.
Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies

GARDENER
106  Poor queen! so that thy state might be no worse,
107  I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
108  Here did she fall a tear; here in this place
109  I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace:
110  Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
111  In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT III, SCENE IIIACT IV, SCENE I (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI

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