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For our affairs in hand: If that come short, Our substitutes at home shall have blank char


Whereto, when they shall know what men are


They shall subscribe them for large sums of


And send them after to supply our wants;
For we will make for Ireland presently.

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K. Rich. Bushy, what news?

Bushy. Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord;

Suddenly taken; and hath sent post- haste,
To entreat your majesty to visit him.
K. Rich. Where lies he?

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Bushy. At Ely house.


K. Kich. Now put it, heaven, in his physician's



To help him to his grave immediately!

The lining of his coffers shall make coats vIZ. To deck our soldiers for these Irish Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him:

Pray God, we may make haste, and come too late! [Exeunt.]



London. A Room in Ely-house.

GAUNT on a couch; the duke of YORK and others standing by him.

Gaunt. Will the king come? that I may breathe

my last

In wholesome counsel to his unstay'd youth. York. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;

For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.

Gaunt. O, but, they say, the tongues of dying men Enforce attention, like deep harmony:

Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent

in vain';'


For they breathe truth, that breathe their words

in pain.

He, that no more must say, is listen'd more Than they whom youth and ease have taught

to glose;

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More are men's ends mark'd, than heir lives before:

The setting sun, and musick, at the close, As the laste of sweets, is sweetest last;

Writ in rememberance, more than things long


Though Richard my life's counsel would not


My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear. York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds,

As, praises of his state; then, there are found
Lascivious metres; to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen:
Report of fashions in proud Italy;
Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
Limps after, in base imitation.

Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity,
(So it be new, there's no respect how vile,)
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
Direct not him, whose way himself will chose;
Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt
thou lose..

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Gaunt. Methinks, I am a prophet new in


And thus, expiring, do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last;
For violent fires soon burn out themselves:
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are


He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,

Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demy paradise;

This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war;
This happy breed of men, this little world;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of lefs happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this

This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
(For Christian service, and true chivalry,)-
As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's son:
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leas'd out (I die pronouncing it,)
Like to a tenement, or pelting farm
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds;
That England, that was wont to conquer others,


Hath made a shameful conquest of itself:
O, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!

Enter King RICHARD, and Queen: AUMERLE, Bushy,

York. The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;

For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the


Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster? K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is't with aged Gaunt?

Gaunt. O, how that name besits my compo sition!

Old Gaunt, indeed; and gaunt in being old:
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat, that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time have I watch'd;
Watching breeds leannefs, leanness is all gaunt:
The pleasure, that some fathers feed upon,
Is my strict fast, I mean my children's looks;
And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt:.
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with
their names?

Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself:

Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those
that live?

Gaunt. No! no; men living flatter those that


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K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st thou flatter'st me.

Gaunt. Oh! no; thou dy'st, though I the sicker be.

K. Rich. I am in health, I breathe, I see thee


Gaunt. Now, He that made me, knows I see thee ill;

Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
Thy death-bed is no lesser than the land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit'st thy annointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compafs is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,

The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye,
Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,>
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy

Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd,
Which art possess'd now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
It were a shame, to let this land by lease:
But, for thy world, enjoying but this land,
Is it not more than shame, to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
Thy state of law is bond-slave to the law;

K. Rich.

Thou, a lunatick lean-witted fool, Presuming on an ague's privilege,

Dar'st with thy frozen admonition

Make pale our cheek; chasing the royal blood,
With fury, from his native residence.
Now by my seat's right royal majesty,

Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,

This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head,

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