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Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good

King Richard
Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good,
An if my word be sterling yet in England,
Let it command a mirror hither straight,
That it may show me what a face I have
Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
Go, some of you, and fetch a looking-glass.
 An Attendant exits.

Hath sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine
And made no deeper wounds? O flatt’ring glass

Read o’er this paper while the glass doth come.
King Richard
Fiend, thou torments me ere I come to hell!
Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
The commons will not then be satisfied.
King Richard
They shall be satisfied. I’ll read enough
When I do see the very book indeed
Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself.
 Enter one with a glass.
Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
 He takes the mirror.
No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine
And made no deeper wounds? O flatt’ring glass,
Like to my followers in prosperity,
Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
That every day under his household roof
Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
That like the sun did make beholders wink?
Is this the face which faced so many follies,
That was at last outfaced by Bolingbroke?
A brittle glory shineth in this face.
As brittle as the glory is the face,
 He breaks the mirror.
For there it is, cracked in an hundred shivers.—
Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport:
How soon my sorrow hath destroyed my face.
The shadow of your sorrow hath destroyed
The shadow of your face.
King Richard
Say that again.
The shadow of my sorrow? Ha, let’s see.
’Tis very true. My grief lies all within;
And these external manners of laments
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortured soul.
There lies the substance. And I thank thee, king,
For thy great bounty, that not only giv’st
Me cause to wail but teachest me the way
How to lament the cause. I’ll beg one boon
And then be gone and trouble you no more.
Shall I obtain it?
Name it, fair cousin.
King Richard
“Fair cousin”? I am greater than a king,
For when I was a king, my flatterers
Were then but subjects. Being now a subject,
I have a king here to my flatterer.
Being so great, I have no need to beg.
Yet ask.
King Richard
And shall I have?
You shall.
King Richard
Then give me leave to go.
King Richard
Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
Go, some of you, convey him to the Tower.
King Richard
O, good! “Convey”? Conveyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true king’s fall.
 Richard exits with Guards.

Act 4
Scene 1
Line 274

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