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  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 4

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JOHN OF GAUNT

O, no! thou diest, though I the sicker be.

JOHN OF GAUNT

Oh no! You’re the one dying, even though I’m sicker.

KING RICHARD II

I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.

KING RICHARD II

I’m in good health. I’m breathing fine, and I can see that you are the one who is sick.

JOHN OF GAUNT

Now He that made me knows I see thee ill;
Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
95Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
100A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O, had thy grandsire with a prophet’s eye
105Seen how his son’s son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
Deposing thee before thou wert possess’d,
Which art possess’d now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
110It were a shame to let this land by lease;
But for thy world enjoying but this land,
Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law; And thou—

JOHN OF GAUNT

God knows that I can see the sickness in you. You don’t realize it, but your deathbed is actually the country that you’ve been destroying. And you’re too stupid to realize that the people you think will cure you are actually the ones making you sick—those flatterers and yes-men you surround yourself with. You don’t even see that your subjects are turning on you. You have laid waste to all of England. If your grandfather had been able to see how you were going to destroy this country, he would’ve reached into the future and stopped you. My brother, it is an utter shame to lease parts of England out to others. You aren’t the king of England anymore. You are simply the landlord of England, and you—

Richard II: Popular pages