Speeches (Lines) for Duchess of York
in "Richard III"

Total: 43

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# Act, Scene, Line
(Click to see in context)
Speech text

1

II,2,1272

Boy. Tell me, good grandam, is our father dead?

Duchess of York. No, boy.


2

II,2,1278

Girl. Why do you look on us, and shake your head,
And call us wretches, orphans, castaways
If that our noble father be alive?

Duchess of York. My pretty cousins, you mistake me much;
I do lament the sickness of the king.
As loath to lose him, not your father's death;
It were lost sorrow to wail one that's lost.


3

II,2,1287

Girl. And so will I.

Duchess of York. Peace, children, peace! the king doth love you well:
Incapable and shallow innocents,
You cannot guess who caused your father's death.


4

II,2,1297

Boy. Grandam, we can; for my good uncle Gloucester
Told me, the king, provoked by the queen,
Devised impeachments to imprison him :
And when my uncle told me so, he wept,
And hugg'd me in his arm, and kindly kiss'd my cheek;
Bade me rely on him as on my father,
And he would love me dearly as his child.

Duchess of York. Oh, that deceit should steal such gentle shapes,
And with a virtuous vizard hide foul guile!
He is my son; yea, and therein my shame;
Yet from my dugs he drew not this deceit.


5

II,2,1302

Boy. Think you my uncle did dissemble, grandam?

Duchess of York. Ay, boy.


6

II,2,1310

Queen Elizabeth. Oh, who shall hinder me to wail and weep,
To chide my fortune, and torment myself?
I'll join with black despair against my soul,
And to myself become an enemy.

Duchess of York. What means this scene of rude impatience?


7

II,2,1319

Queen Elizabeth. To make an act of tragic violence:
Edward, my lord, your son, our king, is dead.
Why grow the branches now the root is wither'd?
Why wither not the leaves the sap being gone?
If you will live, lament; if die, be brief,
That our swift-winged souls may catch the king's;
Or, like obedient subjects, follow him
To his new kingdom of perpetual rest.

Duchess of York. Ah, so much interest have I in thy sorrow
As I had title in thy noble husband!
I have bewept a worthy husband's death,
And lived by looking on his images:
But now two mirrors of his princely semblance
Are crack'd in pieces by malignant death,
And I for comfort have but one false glass,
Which grieves me when I see my shame in him.
Thou art a widow; yet thou art a mother,
And hast the comfort of thy children left thee:
But death hath snatch'd my husband from mine arms,
And pluck'd two crutches from my feeble limbs,
Edward and Clarence. O, what cause have I,
Thine being but a moiety of my grief,
To overgo thy plaints and drown thy cries!


8

II,2,1345

Children. Oh for our father, for our dear lord Clarence!

Duchess of York. Alas for both, both mine, Edward and Clarence!


9

II,2,1348

Children. What stay had we but Clarence? and he's gone.

Duchess of York. What stays had I but they? and they are gone.


10

II,2,1351

Children. Were never orphans had so dear a loss!

Duchess of York. Was never mother had so dear a loss!
Alas, I am the mother of these moans!
Their woes are parcell'd, mine are general.
She for an Edward weeps, and so do I;
I for a Clarence weep, so doth not she:
These babes for Clarence weep and so do I;
I for an Edward weep, so do not they:
Alas, you three, on me, threefold distress'd,
Pour all your tears! I am your sorrow's nurse,
And I will pamper it with lamentations.


11

II,2,1380

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Madam, have comfort: all of us have cause
To wail the dimming of our shining star;
But none can cure their harms by wailing them.
Madam, my mother, I do cry you mercy;
I did not see your grace: humbly on my knee
I crave your blessing.

Duchess of York. God bless thee; and put meekness in thy mind,
Love, charity, obedience, and true duty!


12

II,4,1487

Thomas Rotherham. 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.


13

II,4,1492

Duke of York. Ay, mother; but I would not have it so.

Duchess of York. Why, my young cousin, it is good to grow.


14

II,4,1500

Duke of 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
Gloucester,
'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.


15

II,4,1506

Thomas Rotherham. Why, madam, so, no doubt, he is.

Duchess of York. I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.


16

II,4,1510

Duke of 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.


17

II,4,1515

Duke of 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?


18

II,4,1517

Duke of York. Grandam, his nurse.

Duchess of York. His nurse! why, she was dead ere thou wert born.


19

II,4,1527

Messenger. Well, madam, and in health.

Duchess of York. What is thy news then?


20

II,4,1530

Messenger. Lord Rivers and Lord Grey are sent to Pomfret,
With them Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.

Duchess of York. Who hath committed them?


21

II,4,1543

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!


22

II,4,1556

Queen Elizabeth. Come, come, my boy; we will to sanctuary.
Madam, farewell.

Duchess of York. I'll go along with you.


23

IV,1,2466

(stage directions). [Enter, on one side, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DUCHESS OF YORK, and DORSET; on the other, ANNE, Duchess of Gloucester, leading Lady Margaret Plantagenet, CLARENCE's young Daughter]

Duchess of York. Who meets us here? my niece Plantagenet
Led in the hand of her kind aunt of Gloucester?
Now, for my life, she's wandering to the Tower,
On pure heart's love to greet the tender princes.
Daughter, well met.


24

IV,1,2490

Queen Elizabeth. The Lord protect him from that kingly title!
Hath he set bounds betwixt their love and me?
I am their mother; who should keep me from them?

Duchess of York. I am their fathers mother; I will see them.


25

IV,1,2523

Sir William Stanley. Full of wise care is this your counsel, madam.
Take all the swift advantage of the hours;
You shall have letters from me to my son
To meet you on the way, and welcome you.
Be not ta'en tardy by unwise delay.

Duchess of York. O ill-dispersing wind of misery!
O my accursed womb, the bed of death!
A cockatrice hast thou hatch'd to the world,
Whose unavoided eye is murderous.


26

IV,1,2562

Lady Anne. Adieu, poor soul, that takest thy leave of it!

Duchess of York. [To DORSET]
Go thou to Richmond, and good fortune guide thee!
[To LADY ANNE]
Go thou to Richard, and good angels guard thee!
[To QUEEN ELIZABETH]
Go thou to sanctuary, and good thoughts possess thee!
I to my grave, where peace and rest lie with me!
Eighty odd years of sorrow have I seen,
And each hour's joy wrecked with a week of teen.


27

IV,4,2809

Queen Margaret. Hover about her; say, that right for right
Hath dimm'd your infant morn to aged night.

Duchess of York. So many miseries have crazed my voice,
That my woe-wearied tongue is mute and dumb,
Edward Plantagenet, why art thou dead?


28

IV,4,2818

Queen Margaret. When holy Harry died, and my sweet son.

Duchess of York. Blind sight, dead life, poor mortal living ghost,
Woe's scene, world's shame, grave's due by life usurp'd,
Brief abstract and record of tedious days,
Rest thy unrest on England's lawful earth,
[Sitting down]
Unlawfully made drunk with innocents' blood!


29

IV,4,2839

Queen Margaret. If ancient sorrow be most reverend,
Give mine the benefit of seniory,
And let my woes frown on the upper hand.
If sorrow can admit society,
[Sitting down with them]
Tell o'er your woes again by viewing mine:
I had an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
I had a Harry, till a Richard kill'd him:
Thou hadst an Edward, till a Richard kill'd him;
Thou hadst a Richard, till a Richard killed him;

Duchess of York. I had a Richard too, and thou didst kill him;
I had a Rutland too, thou holp'st to kill him.


30

IV,4,2854

Queen Margaret. Thou hadst a Clarence too, and Richard kill'd him.
From forth the kennel of thy womb hath crept
A hell-hound that doth hunt us all to death:
That dog, that had his teeth before his eyes,
To worry lambs and lap their gentle blood,
That foul defacer of God's handiwork,
That excellent grand tyrant of the earth,
That reigns in galled eyes of weeping souls,
Thy womb let loose, to chase us to our graves.
O upright, just, and true-disposing God,
How do I thank thee, that this carnal cur
Preys on the issue of his mother's body,
And makes her pew-fellow with others' moan!

Duchess of York. O Harry's wife, triumph not in my woes!
God witness with me, I have wept for thine.


31

IV,4,2922

(stage directions). [Exit]

Duchess of York. Why should calamity be full of words?


32

IV,4,2928

Queen Elizabeth. Windy attorneys to their client woes,
Airy succeeders of intestate joys,
Poor breathing orators of miseries!
Let them have scope: though what they do impart
Help not all, yet do they ease the heart.

Duchess of York. If so, then be not tongue-tied: go with me.
And in the breath of bitter words let's smother
My damned son, which thy two sweet sons smother'd.
I hear his drum: be copious in exclaims.


33

IV,4,2934

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Who intercepts my expedition?

Duchess of York. O, she that might have intercepted thee,
By strangling thee in her accursed womb
From all the slaughters, wretch, that thou hast done!


34

IV,4,2942

Queen Elizabeth. Hidest thou that forehead with a golden crown,
Where should be graven, if that right were right,
The slaughter of the prince that owed that crown,
And the dire death of my two sons and brothers?
Tell me, thou villain slave, where are my children?

Duchess of York. Thou toad, thou toad, where is thy brother Clarence?
And little Ned Plantagenet, his son?


35

IV,4,2952

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). A flourish, trumpets! strike alarum, drums!
Let not the heavens hear these tell-tale women
Rail on the Lord's enointed: strike, I say!
[Flourish. Alarums]
Either be patient, and entreat me fair,
Or with the clamorous report of war
Thus will I drown your exclamations.

Duchess of York. Art thou my son?


36

IV,4,2954

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Ay, I thank God, my father, and yourself.

Duchess of York. Then patiently hear my impatience.


37

IV,4,2957

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Madam, I have a touch of your condition,
Which cannot brook the accent of reproof.

Duchess of York. O, let me speak!


38

IV,4,2959

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Do then: but I'll not hear.

Duchess of York. I will be mild and gentle in my speech.


39

IV,4,2961

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And brief, good mother; for I am in haste.

Duchess of York. Art thou so hasty? I have stay'd for thee,
God knows, in anguish, pain and agony.


40

IV,4,2964

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). And came I not at last to comfort you?

Duchess of York. No, by the holy rood, thou know'st it well,
Thou camest on earth to make the earth my hell.
A grievous burthen was thy birth to me;
Tetchy and wayward was thy infancy;
Thy school-days frightful, desperate, wild, and furious,
Thy prime of manhood daring, bold, and venturous,
Thy age confirm'd, proud, subdued, bloody,
treacherous,
More mild, but yet more harmful, kind in hatred:
What comfortable hour canst thou name,
That ever graced me in thy company?


41

IV,4,2981

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). Faith, none, but Humphrey Hour, that call'd
your grace
To breakfast once forth of my company.
If I be so disgracious in your sight,
Let me march on, and not offend your grace.
Strike the drum.

Duchess of York. I prithee, hear me speak.


42

IV,4,2983

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). You speak too bitterly.

Duchess of York. Hear me a word;
For I shall never speak to thee again.


43

IV,4,2986

Richard III (Duke of Gloucester). So.

Duchess of York. Either thou wilt die, by God's just ordinance,
Ere from this war thou turn a conqueror,
Or I with grief and extreme age shall perish
And never look upon thy face again.
Therefore take with thee my most heavy curse;
Which, in the day of battle, tire thee more
Than all the complete armour that thou wear'st!
My prayers on the adverse party fight;
And there the little souls of Edward's children
Whisper the spirits of thine enemies
And promise them success and victory.
Bloody thou art, bloody will be thy end;
Shame serves thy life and doth thy death attend.


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