Open Source Shakespeare

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

Total: 28

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



(stage directions). [Enter DUKE OF YORK and DUCHESS OF YORK]

Duchess of York. My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
When weeping made you break the story off,
of our two cousins coming into London.



Edmund of Langley. Where did I leave?

Duchess of York. At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgovern'd hands from windows' tops
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.



Edmund of Langley. Then, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke,
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee,
You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage, and that all the walls
With painted imagery had said at once
'Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!'
Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus: 'I thank you, countrymen:'
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

Duchess of York. Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?



Edmund of Langley. As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on gentle Richard; no man cried 'God save him!'
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home:
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head:
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
But heaven hath a hand in these events,
To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
Whose state and honour I for aye allow.

Duchess of York. Here comes my son Aumerle.



(stage directions). [Enter DUKE OF AUMERLE]

Duchess of York. Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?



Edmund of Langley. Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear,—

Duchess of York. What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond, that he is enter'd into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.



Edmund of Langley. I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.
[He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it]
Treason! foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!

Duchess of York. What is the matter, my lord?



Edmund of Langley. Ho! who is within there?
[Enter a Servant]
Saddle my horse.
God for his mercy, what treachery is here!

Duchess of York. Why, what is it, my lord?



Edmund of Langley. Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.
Now, by mine honour, by my life, by my troth,
I will appeach the villain.

Duchess of York. What is the matter?



Edmund of Langley. Peace, foolish woman.

Duchess of York. I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle.



Duke of Aumerle. Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.

Duchess of York. Thy life answer!



(stage directions). [Re-enter Servant with boots]

Duchess of York. Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed.
Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.



Edmund of Langley. Give me my boots, I say.

Duchess of York. Why, York, what wilt thou do?
Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
Have we more sons? or are we like to have?
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age,
And rob me of a happy mother's name?
Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?



Edmund of Langley. Thou fond mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,
And interchangeably set down their hands,
To kill the king at Oxford.

Duchess of York. He shall be none;
We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?



Edmund of Langley. Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son,
I would appeach him.

Duchess of York. Hadst thou groan'd for him
As I have done, thou wouldst be more pitiful.
But now I know thy mind; thou dost suspect
That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind:
He is as like thee as a man may be,
Not like to me, or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.



(stage directions). [Exit]

Duchess of York. After, Aumerle! mount thee upon his horse;
Spur post, and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I'll not be long behind; though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
And never will I rise up from the ground
Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away, be gone!



Edmund of Langley. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd;
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or my shamed life in his dishonour lies:
Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.

Duchess of York. [Within] What ho, my liege! for God's sake,
let me in.



Henry IV. What shrill-voiced suppliant makes this eager cry?

Duchess of York. A woman, and thy aunt, great king; 'tis I.
Speak with me, pity me, open the door.
A beggar begs that never begg'd before.



(stage directions). [Enter DUCHESS OF YORK]

Duchess of York. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man!
Love loving not itself none other can.



Edmund of Langley. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?

Duchess of York. Sweet York, be patient. Hear me, gentle liege.



Henry IV. Rise up, good aunt.

Duchess of York. Not yet, I thee beseech:
For ever will I walk upon my knees,
And never see day that the happy sees,
Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy,
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.



Edmund of Langley. Against them both my true joints bended be.
Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!

Duchess of York. Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast:
He prays but faintly and would be denied;
We pray with heart and soul and all beside:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy which true prayer ought to have.



Henry IV. Good aunt, stand up.

Duchess of York. Nay, do not say, 'stand up;'
Say, 'pardon' first, and afterwards 'stand up.'
And if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
'Pardon' should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long'd to hear a word till now;
Say 'pardon,' king; let pity teach thee how:
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like 'pardon' for kings' mouths so meet.



Edmund of Langley. Speak it in French, king; say, 'pardonne moi.'

Duchess of York. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That set'st the word itself against the word!
Speak 'pardon' as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there;
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee 'pardon' to rehearse.



Henry IV. Good aunt, stand up.

Duchess of York. I do not sue to stand;
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.



Henry IV. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.

Duchess of York. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying 'pardon' doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.



Henry IV. With all my heart
I pardon him.

Duchess of York. A god on earth thou art.



Henry IV. But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell: and, cousin too, adieu:
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.

Duchess of York. Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.