Richard II: Act V, Scene v; First Folio


Richard II   Act 5, Scene 5  Richard II

(This text is featured in our interview with Curt L. Tofteland)

  1. I haue bin studying, how to compare
  2. This Prison where I liue, vnto the World:
  3. And for because the world is populous,
  4. And heere is not a Creature, but my selfe,
  5. I cannot do it: yet Ile hammer’t out.
  6. My Braine, Ile proue the Female to my Soule,
  7. My Soule, the Father: and these two beget
  8. A generation of still breeding Thoughts;
  9. And these same Thoughts, people this Little World
  10. In humors, like the people of this world,
  11. For no thought is contented. The better sort,
  12. As thoughts of things Diuine, are intermixt
  13. With scruples, and do set the Faith it selfe
  14. Against the Faith: as thus: Come litle ones: & then again,
  15. It is as hard to come, as for a Camell
  16. To thred the posterne of a Needles eye.
  17. Thoughts tending to Ambition, they do plot
  18. Vnlikely wonders; how these vaine weake nailes
  19. May teare a passage through the Flinty ribbes
  20. Of this hard world, my ragged prison walles:
  21. And for they cannot, dye in their owne pride.
  22. Thoughts tending to Content, flatter themselues,
  23. That they are not the first of Fortunes slaues,
  24. Nor shall not be the last. Like silly Beggars,
  25. Who sitting in the Stockes, refuge their shame
  26. That many haue, and others must sit there;
  27. And in this Thought, they finde a kind of ease,
  28. Bearing their owne misfortune on the backe
  29. Of such as haue before indur’d the like.
  30. Thus play I in one Prison, many people,
  31. And none contented. Sometimes am I King;
  32. Then Treason makes me wish my selfe a Beggar,
  33. And so I am. Then crushing penurie,
  34. Perswades me, I was better when a King:
  35. Then am I king’d againe: and by and by,
  36. Thinke that I am vn-king’d by Bullingbrooke,
  37. And straight am nothing. But what ere I am, Musick
  38. Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
  39. With nothing shall be pleas’d, till he be eas’d
  40. With being nothing. Musicke do I heare?
  41. Ha, ha? keepe time: How sowre sweet Musicke is,
  42. When Time is broke, and no Proportion kept?
  43. So is it in the Musicke of mens liues:
  44. And heere haue I the daintinesse of eare,
  45. To heare time broke in a disorder’d string:
  46. But for the Concord of my State and Time,
  47. Had not an eare to heare my true Time broke.
  48. I wasted Time, and now doth Time waste me:
  49. For now hath Time made me his numbring clocke;
  50. My Thoughts, are minutes; and with Sighes they iarre,
  51. Their watches on vnto mine eyes, the outward Watch,
  52. Whereto my finger, like a Dialls point,
  53. Is pointing still, in cleansing them from teares.
  54. Now sir, the sound that tels what houre it is,
  55. Are clamorous groanes, that strike vpon my heart,
  56. Which is the bell: so Sighes, and Teares, and Grones,
  57. Shew Minutes, Houres, and Times: but my Time
  58. Runs poasting on, in Bullingbrookes proud ioy,
  59. While I stand fooling heere, his iacke o’th’ Clocke.
  60. This Musicke mads me, let it sound no more,
  61. For though it haue holpe madmen to their wits,
  62. In me it seemes, it will make wise-men mad:
  63. Yet blessing on his heart that giues it me;
  64. For ’tis a signe of loue, and loue to Richard,
  65. Is a strange Brooch, in this all-hating world.

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