Richard II

Act I
Act II
Act IV
Act V
Enter the Queen with two Ladies, her attendants
sport (n.) 1 recreation, amusement, entertainment See Topics: Frequency count


What sport shall we devise here in this garden

To drive away the heavy thought of care?
heavy (adj.) 1 sorrowful, sad, gloomy See Topics: Frequency count


Madam, we'll play at bowls.


'Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
rub (n.) 1 [bowls] obstacle, impediment, hindrance

And that my fortune rubs against the bias.


Madam, we'll dance.


My legs can keep no measure in delight
measure (n.) 8 slow stately dance, graceful movement

When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.
measure (n.) 2 limit, moderation, extent not to be exceeded

Therefore no dancing, girl. Some other sport.


Madam, we'll tell tales.


Of sorrow or of joy?


                         Of either, madam.


Of neither, girl.

For of joy, being altogether wanting,
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
remember (v.) 1 remind, bring to someone's mind

Or if of grief, being altogether had,

It adds more sorrow to my want of joy;
want (n.) 1 lack, shortage, dearth

For what I have I need not to repeat,
want (v.) 1 lack, need, be without See Topics: Frequency count

And what I want it boots not to complain.
boot (v.) 1 help, serve, benefit, be useful [to]
complain (v.) lament, bewail, bemoan


Madam, I'll sing.


                         'Tis well that thou hast cause;

But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep.


I could weep, madam, would it do you good.


And I could sing would weeping do me good,

And never borrow any tear of thee.

Enter Gardeners, one the master and the other two his


But stay, here come the gardeners.

Let's step into the shadow of these trees.

My wretchedness unto a row of pins
unto (prep.) 1 [gambling] against

They will talk of state; for everyone doth so

Against a change. Woe is forerun with woe.
forerun (v.) forecast, foreshadow, be the precursor of

The Queen and her Ladies stand apart


(to one man)

Go, bind thou up young dangling apricocks

Which, like unruly children, make their sire

Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.
oppression (n.) 2 weight, burden, pressure
prodigal (adj.) 3 excessive, extra, superfluous

Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
supportance (n.) support, propping up, reinforcement

(To the other)

Go thou, and like an executioner

Cut off the heads of too fast-growing sprays

That look too lofty in our commonwealth.

All must be even in our government.
even (adj.) 6 equal, alike, same

You thus employed, I will go root away

The noisome weeds which without profit suck
noisome (adj.) noxious, harmful, evil

The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.


Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
compass (n.) 2 circle, circumference, bound
pale (n.) 1 fence, paling, enclosure

Keep law and form and due proportion,

Showing as in a model our firm estate,
firm (adj.) 2 stable, secure, settled

When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,

Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
choke up (v.) smother, suffocate, stifle

Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,

Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
knot (n.) 4 intricately designed flower-bed
wholesome (adj.) 5 good, nutritious, fit to eat

Swarming with caterpillars?
caterpillar (n.) parasite, exploiter, sponger


                         Hold thy peace.

He that hath suffered this disordered spring
suffer (v.) 1 allow, permit, let

Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.

The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,

That seemed in eating him to hold him up,

Are plucked up, root and all, by Bolingbroke –

I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.


What, are they dead?


                         They are; and Bolingbroke

Hath seized the wasteful King. O, what pity is it

That he had not so trimmed and dressed his land
dress (v.) 5 [of land] cultivate, tend, look after

As we this garden! We at time of year

Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,

Lest being overproud in sap and blood
blood (n.) 10 vital fluid, life-giving juice
overproud (adj.) excessively swollen, too luxuriant

With too much riches it confound itself.
confound (v.) 1 destroy, overthrow, ruin

Had he done so to great and growing men

They might have lived to bear, and he to taste

Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches

We lop away that bearing boughs may live.

Had he done so, himself had borne the crown

Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
idle (adj.) 7 empty, unoccupied, inactive


What, think you then the King shall be deposed?


Depressed he is already, and deposed
depress (v.) bring low, humble, put down

'Tis doubt he will be. Letters came last night
doubt (n.) 2 danger, risk, fear

To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's

That tell black tidings.


O, I am pressed to death through want of speaking!

She comes forward
dress (v.) 5 [of land] cultivate, tend, look after

Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,

How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
rude (adj.) 6 ignorant, unlearned, uneducated
sound (v.) 3 cry out, declare, proclaim

What Eve, what serpent hath suggested thee
suggest (v.) 1 tempt, prompt, incite

To make a second Fall of cursed man?

Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?

Darest thou, thou little better thing than earth,

Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how
divine (v.) 3 predict, foretell, prophesy

Camest thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch!
ill (adj.) 1 bad, adverse, unfavourable See Topics: Frequency count


Pardon me, madam. Little joy have I

To breathe this news. Yet what I say is true.
breathe (v.) 1 speak, utter, talk

King Richard he is in the mighty hold
hold (n.) 3 guard, custody, confinement

Of Bolingbroke. Their fortunes both are weighed.
weigh (v.) 1 balance [as in scales], poise, match

In your lord's scale is nothing but himself

And some few vanities that make him light.
light (adj.) 4 minor, slight, of little value
vanity (n.) 4 trifle, folly, vain thing

But in the balance of great Bolingbroke
balance (n.) 2 weighing pan of a pair of scales

Besides himself are all the English peers,

And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
odds (n. plural) 1 superiority, advantage, edge

Post you to London and you will find it so.
post (v.) 1 hasten, speed, ride fast

I speak no more than everyone doth know.


Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,

Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
embassage, ambassage (n.) message, errand, business, mission

And am I last that knows it? O, thou thinkest

To serve me last that I may longest keep

Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go

To meet at London London's king in woe.

What was I born to this – that my sad look
sad (adj.) 3 downcast, distressed, mournful, gloomy

Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?

Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,

Pray God the plants thou graftest may never grow.
graft (v.) insert, implant, make grow

Exit Queen with her Ladies


Poor Queen, so that thy state might be no worse

I would my skill were subject to thy curse.

Here did she fall a tear. Here in this place

I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.

Rue even for ruth here shortly shall be seen
ruth (n.) pity, compassion, sympathy

In the remembrance of a weeping Queen.
remembrance (n.) 1 memory, bringing to mind, recollection See Topics: Frequency count


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