Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Richard III > Act II, scene IV


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.

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,
	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,
	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,
	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,
	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.
	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.

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.

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.

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;
	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
	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!
	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; 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.
	Madam, farewell.

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.
	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.



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