Richard II

by: William Shakespeare

Act 3 Scene 4

page Act 3 Scene 4 Page 1

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Langley. The Duke of York’s garden.
The village of Langley, in the Duke of York’s garden.
Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies
The QUEEN enters, with two Ladies.

QUEEN

What sport shall we devise here in this garden,
To drive away the heavy thought of care?

QUEEN

What game should we play here in the garden to distract us from our worries?

LADY

Madam, we’ll play at bowls.

LADY

QUEEN

’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs,
5And that my fortune rubs against the bias.

QUEEN

It will make me think the world is full of obstacles, and that my fortune sends me the wrong way.

LADY

Madam, we’ll dance.

LADY

Madam, we’ll dance.

QUEEN

My legs can keep no measure in delight,
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
Therefore, no dancing, girl; some other sport.

QUEEN

My legs can’t move with delight when my heart is so full of grief. Therefore, no dancing, girl. Let’s find some other sport.

LADY

10Madam, we’ll tell tales.

LADY

Madam, we’ll tell stories.

QUEEN

Of sorrow or of joy?

QUEEN

Sad ones or happy ones?

LADY

Of either, madam.

LADY

Either, madam.

QUEEN

Of neither, girl:
For of joy, being altogether wanting,
15It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy:
For what I have I need not to repeat;
And what I want it boots not to complain.

QUEEN

Neither, girl. Since I have no happiness, happy stories only remind me of sorrow. Since I am full of grief, sad stories only add more sorrow to my lack of happiness. I don’t need to add on to what I already have, and it does no good to complain about what I want.

LADY

20Madam, I’ll sing.

LADY

Madam, I’ll sing.

QUEEN

’Tis well that thou hast cause
But thou shouldst please me better, wouldst thou weep.

QUEEN

It’s wonderful that you are happy enough to sing, but it would make me happier if you wept.

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