|ACT II SCENE IV||London. The palace.|
|Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, young YORK, QUEEN ELIZABETH, and the DUCHESS OF YORK.|
|ARCHBISHOP OF YORK||Last night, I hear, they lay at Northampton;|
|At Stony-Stratford will they be to-night:|
|To-morrow, or next day, they will be here.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||I long with all my heart to see the prince:|
|I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.||5|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||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.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.|
|YORK||Grandam, one night, as we did sit at supper,||10|
|My uncle Rivers talk’d how I did grow|
|More than my brother: ‘Ay,’ quoth my uncle|
|‘Small herbs have grace, great weeds do grow apace:’|
|And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,||15|
|Because sweet flowers are slow and weeds make haste.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||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,||20|
|That, if this rule were true, he should be gracious.|
|ARCHBISHOP OF YORK||Why, madam, so, no doubt, he is.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.|
|YORK||Now, by my troth, if I had been remember’d,|
|I could have given my uncle’s grace a flout,||25|
|To touch his growth nearer than he touch’d mine.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||How, my pretty York? I pray thee, 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.||30|
|Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||I pray thee, pretty York, who told thee this?|
|YORK||Grandam, his nurse.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wert born.|
|YORK||If ’twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.||35|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||A parlous boy: go to, you are too shrewd.|
|ARCHBISHOP OF YORK||Good madam, be not angry with the child.|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||Pitchers have ears.|
|Enter a Messenger.|
|ARCHBISHOP OF YORK||Here comes a messenger. What news?|
|Messenger||Such news, my lord, as grieves me to unfold.||40|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||How fares the prince?|
|Messenger||Well, madam, and in health.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||What is thy news then?|
|Messenger||Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,|
|With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.||45|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||Who hath committed them?|
|Messenger||The mighty dukes|
|Gloucester and Buckingham.|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||For what offence?|
|Messenger||The sum of all I can, I have disclosed;||50|
|Why or for what these nobles were committed|
|Is all unknown to me, my gracious lady.|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||Ay me, I see the downfall of our house!|
|The tiger now hath seized the gentle hind;|
|Insulting tyranny begins to jet||55|
|Upon the innocent and aweless throne:|
|Welcome, destruction, death, and massacre!|
|I see, as in a map, the end of all.|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,|
|How many of you have mine eyes beheld!||60|
|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.||65|
|Make war upon themselves; blood against blood,|
|Self against self: O, preposterous|
|And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen;|
|Or let me die, to look on death no more!|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.||70|
|DUCHESS OF YORK||I’ll go along with you.|
|QUEEN ELIZABETH||You have no cause.|
|ARCHBISHOP OF YORK||My gracious lady, go;|
|And thither bear your treasure and your goods.||75|
|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.|
Richard III, Act 3, Scene 1
Explanatory Notes for Act 2, Scene 4
From King Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard.
Abbreviations. — A.-S. = Anglo-Saxon: M.E. = Middle English (from the 13th to the 15th century) ; Fr. = French ; Ger. = German ; Gr. = Greek ; Cf. = compare (Lat. confer) ; Abbott refers to the excellent Shakespearean Grammar of Dr. Abbott; Schmidt, to Dr. Schmidt’s invaluable Shakespeare Lexicon.
1. This archbishop was Thomas Rotherham, Lord Chancellor of England, afterwards created a cardinal.
24. Had been remembered = had remembered.
25. Flout, a jibe or mocking jest.
36. Parlous, dangerous, a corruption of perilous. Shrewd, sharp-tongued.
49. Can seems here to have its original meaning of know.
50. Why perhaps refers to the past cause: for what to the future object.
55. Jet and jut are the same in origin, and signify to project, to encroach upon.
56. Aweless, inspiring no awe.
65. Over blown, quite blown aside.
70. The Sanctuary was in the precincts of Westminster Abbey.
78. Tender, to regard with kindness.
How to cite the explanatory notes:Shakespeare, William. Richard III. Ed. Brainerd Kellogg. New York: Clark & Maynard, 1886.