William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard the Second in the complete original text.
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The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

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Act III. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—Langley. The DUKE OF YORK'S
Garden.

Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies.

Queen. What sport shall we devise here in
this garden,
To drive away the heavy thought of care?
First Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls.
Queen. 'Twill make me think the world is full
of rubs,
And that my fortune runs against the bias.
First Lady. Madam, we'll dance.
Queen. My legs can keep no measure in de-
light
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
Therefore, no dancing, girl; some other sport.
First Lady. Madam, we'll tell tales.
Queen. Of sorrow or of joy?
First Lady. Of either, madam.
Queen. Of neither, girl:
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy:
For what I have I need not to repeat,
And what I want it boots not to complain.
First Lady. Madam, I'll sing.
Queen. 'Tis well that thou hast cause;
But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou
weep.
First Lady. I could weep, madam, would it
do you good.
Queen. And I could sing would weeping do
me good,
And never borrow any tear of thee.
But stay, here come the gardeners:
Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
They'll talk of state; for every one doth so
Against a change: woe is forerun with woe.
[QUEEN and Ladies retire.

Enter a Gardener and two Servants.
Gard. Go, bind thou up yon dangling apri-
cocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and like an executioner,
Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays,
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employed, I will go root away
The noisome weeds, that without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
First Serv. Why should we in the compass of
a pale
Keep law and form and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers chok'd up,
Her fruit-trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd,
Her knots disorder'd, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars?
Gard. Hold thy peace:
He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf;
The weeds that his broad-spreading leaves did
shelter,
That seem'd in eating him to hold him up,
Are pluck'd up root and all by Bolingbroke;
I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
First Serv. What! are they dead?
Gard. They are; and Bolingbroke
Hath seiz'd the wasteful king. O! what pity
is it
That he hath not so trimm'd and dress'd his land
As we this garden. We at time of year
Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees,
Lest, being over-proud with sap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself:
Had he done so to great and growing men,
They might have liv'd to bear and he to taste
Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches
We lop away that bearing boughs may live:
Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown
down.
First Serv. What! think you then the king
shall be depos'd?
Gard. Depress'd he is already, and depos'd
'Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night
To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's,
That tell black tidings.
Queen. O! I am press'd to death through
want of speaking. [Coming forward.
Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this gar-
den,
How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this
unpleasing news?
What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
To make a second fall of cursed man?
Why dost thou say King Richard is depos'd?
Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how
Cam'st then by these ill tidings? speak, thou
wretch.
Gard. Pardon me, madam: little joy have I
To breathe these news, yet what I say is true.
King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke; their fortunes both are weigh'd:
In your lord's scale is nothing but himself,
And some few vanities that make him light;
But In the balance of great Bolingbroke,
Besides himself, are all the English peers,
And with that odds he weighs King Richard
down.
Post you to London and you'll find it so;
I speak no more than every one doth know.
Queen. Nimble mischance, that art so light
of foot,
Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
And am I last that knows it? O! thou think'st
To serve me last, that I may longest keep
Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go,
To meet at London London's king in woe.
What! was I born to this, that my sad look
Should grace the triumph of great Boling-
broke?
Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,
Fray God the plants thou graft'st may never
grow. [Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies.
Gard. Poor queen! so that thy state might
be no worse,
I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
Here did she fall a tear; here, in this place,
I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace;
Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
[Exeunt.
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