William Shakespeare's The Tragedy of King Richard the <i><b>Third </b></i>in the complete original text.
William Shakespeare's plays, sonnets and poems at AbsoluteShakespeare.com
Home Plays Sonnets Poems Quotes Summaries Essays Glossary Links Help

HOME > Plays > The Tragedy of King Richard the Third > Act II. Scene IV.

The Tragedy of King Richard the Third

Study Guides
Hamlet
Julius Caesar
King Henry IV
King Lear
Macbeth
Merchant of Venice
Othello
Romeo and Juliet
The Tempest
Twelfth Night

Trivia
Authorship
Bard Facts
Bibliography
Biography
FAQ
Films
Globe Theatre
Pictures
Quiz
Timeline

Act II. Scene IV.

Scene IV.—The Same. A Room in the
Palace.

Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, the
young DUKE OF YORK, QUEEN
ELIZABETH, and the DUCHESS or YORK.

Arch. Last night, I hear, they lay at North-
ampton;
At Stony-Stratford they do rest to-night:
To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.
Duch. I long with all my heart to see the
prince.
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.
Q. Eliz. But I hear, no; they say my son of
York
Hath almost overta'en him in his growth.
York. Ay, mother, but I would not have it so.
Duch. Why, my young cousin, it is good to
grow.
York. Grandam, one night, as we did sit at
supper,
My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow
More than my brother: 'Ay,' quoth my uncle
Gloucester,
'Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow
apace:'
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make
haste.
Duch. Good faith, good faith, the saying did
not hold
In him that did object the same to thee:
He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,
So long a-growing, and so leisurely,
That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious.
Arch. And so, no doubt, he is, my gracious
madam.
Duch. I hope he is; but yet let mothers
doubt.
York. Now, by my troth, if I had been re-
member'd,
I could have given my uncle's grace a flout,
To touch his growth nearer than he touch'd
mine.
Duch. How, my young York? I prithee, let
me hear it.
York. Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast,
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old:
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.
Duch. I prithee, pretty York, who told thee
this?
York. Grandam, his nurse.
Duch. His nurse! why, she was dead ere
thou wast born.
York. If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told
me.
Q. Eliz. A parlous boy: go to, you are too
shrewd.
Arch. Good madam, be not angry with the
child.
Q. Eliz. Pitchers have ears.

Enter a Messenger.
Arch. Here comes a messenger. What news?
Mess. Such news, my lord, as grieves me to
report
Q. Eliz. How doth the prince?
Mess. Well, madam, and in health.
Duch. What is thy news?
Mess. Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to
Pomfret,
With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.
Duch. Who hath committed them?
Mess. The mighty dukes,
Gloucester and Buckingham.
Arch. For what offence?
Mess. The sum of all I can I have disclos'd:
Why or for what the nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lord.
Q. Eliz. All me! I see the ruin of my house!
The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne:
Welcome, destruction, death, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.
Duch. Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld!
My husband lost his life to get the crown,
And often up and down my sons were toss'd,
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss:
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves, the conquerors,
Make war upon themselves; brother to brother,
Blood to blood, self against self: O! preposter-
ous
And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;
Or let me die, to look on death no more.
Q. Eliz. Come, come, my boy; we will to
sanctuary.
Madam, farewell.
Duch. Stay, I will go with you.
Q. Eliz. You have no cause.
Arch. [To the QUEEN.] My gracious lady, go;
And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I'll resign unto your Grace
The seal I keep: and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours!
Come; I'll conduct you to the sanctuary.
[Exeunt.
< PREVIOUS
Copyright 2000-2005 AbsoluteShakespeare.com. All rights reserved.  Contact Us  Privacy  Awards