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  Act 3 Scene 2

page Act 3 Scene 2 Page 4

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Enter SIR STEPHEN SCROOP
SIR STEPHEN SCROOP enters.

SIR STEPHEN SCROOP

More health and happiness betide my liege
Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him!

SIR STEPHEN SCROOP

I hope more health and happiness come to you, my lord, than my grief-stricken tongue can offer.

KING RICHARD II

Mine ear is open and my heart prepared;
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
95Say, is my kingdom lost? why, ’twas my care
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be; if he serve God,
We’ll serve Him too and be his fellow so:
100Revolt our subjects? that we cannot mend;
They break their faith to God as well as us:
Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay:
The worst is death, and death will have his day.

KING RICHARD II

My ears are open, and my heart is ready. The worst you can tell me about are losses for me here on earth. So, did I lose my kingdom? It was my problem, and what loss is it to be rid of a problem? Is Bolingbroke still trying to overthrow me? If he serves God, we will serve God, too, and then the two of us will be merely equals. Are our subjects revolting? We can’t fix that. They break their faith with God as well as with us. Though you may cry out about woe, destruction, ruin, and decay, death is the worst fate of all, and the time for death will come.

SIR STEPHEN SCROOP

Glad am I that your highness is so arm’d
105To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day,
Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
As if the world were all dissolved to tears,
So high above his limits swells the rage
110Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
White-beards have arm’d their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy majesty; boys, with women’s voices,
Strive to speak big and clap their female joints
115In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown:
The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
120And all goes worse than I have power to tell.

SIR STEPHEN SCROOP

I’m glad that your highness is prepared for the worst. Bolingbroke is bursting with rage and his army is attacking all across England. It’s like an unexpected flood that makes it seem like the world is crying. Even old men with white beards have joined forces against your majesty, and young boys who still speak in high-pitched voices. The men whom we paid to pray for us are also now on their side, and women are fighting against you as well. Everything is going far worse for you than I can possibly describe.

Richard II: Popular pages