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Home » Quotes » Richard II » The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth

The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth

The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth,
For young hot colts being reined do rage the more.
Queen, to Gaunt
How fares our noble uncle Lancaster?
King Richard, to Gaunt
What comfort, man? How is ’t with agèd Gaunt?

A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head

O, how that name befits my composition!
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 watched;
Watching breeds leanness, 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 naught but bones.
King Richard
Can sick men play so nicely with their names?
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.
King Richard
Should dying men flatter with those that live?
No, no, men living flatter those that die.
King Richard
Thou, now a-dying, sayest thou flatterest me.
O, no, thou diest, though I the sicker be.
King Richard
I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
Now He that made me knows I see thee ill,
Ill in myself to see, and in thee, seeing ill.
Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
And thou, too careless-patient as thou art,
Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee.
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head,
And yet encagèd 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 shame,
Deposing thee before thou wert possessed,
Which art possessed 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 bondslave to the law,
And thou—
King Richard
A lunatic lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague’s privilege,
Darest 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
Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
O, spare me not, my brother Edward’s son,
For that I was his father Edward’s son!
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapped out and drunkenly caroused.
My brother Gloucester—plain, well-meaning soul,
Whom fair befall in heaven ’mongst happy souls—
May be a precedent and witness good
That thou respect’st not spilling Edward’s blood.
Join with the present sickness that I have,
And thy unkindness be like crooked age
To crop at once a too-long withered flower.
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!—
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave.
Love they to live that love and honor have.
 He exits, carried off by Attendants.

Act 2
Scene 1
Line 75

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