Richard II

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 8

Original Text

Modern Text

Exit JOHN OF GAUNT
JOHN OF GAUNT exits.

KING RICHARD II

We were not born to sue, but to command;
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
200Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert’s day:
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate:
Since we can not atone you, we shall see
205Justice design the victor’s chivalry.
Lord marshal, command our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home alarms.

KING RICHARD II

I was born to command, not to beg. But since I can’t order you to be friends, be ready to settle this feud with your lives at Coventry on

Saint Lambert’s day

September 17.

Saint Lambert’s day
. Then you can let your weapons resolve this hatred, since I can’t bring you to terms. Justice will be on the side of the winner. Lord marshal, tell my officers to be ready to control these domestic disturbances.
Exeunt
Everyone exits.

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