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  Act 2 Scene 4

page Act 2 Scene 4 Page 2

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DUCHESS

I hope he is, but yet let mothers doubt.

DUCHESS

I hope he is, but mothers get to have their doubts.

YORK

Now, by my troth, if I had been remembered,
I could have given my uncle’s grace a flout
25To touch his growth nearer than he touched mine.

YORK

Hey, if I’d remembered something about him, I could have had a good comeback for my uncle, touching on his growth worse than he touched on mine.

DUCHESS

How, my pretty York? I prithee let me hear it.

DUCHESS

What would you have said, my young York? Do tell.

YORK

Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old.
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
30Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.

YORK

Indeed, they say my uncle grew so fast that he could gnaw on a crust of bread when he was two hours old. It took me two years before I had a single tooth. Grandmother, this would have been a biting joke.

DUCHESS

I prithee, pretty York, who told thee this?

DUCHESS

Pretty York, who told you about his teeth?

YORK

Grandam, his nurse.

YORK

His nurse, grandmother.

DUCHESS

His nurse? Why, she was dead ere thou wast born.

DUCHESS

His nurse? Why, she was dead before you were even born.

YORK

If ’twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.

YORK

Well, if it wasn’t her, I don’t know.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

35A parlous boy! Go to, you are too shrewd.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

A mischievous child. Come, come, you are too clever for your own good.

DUCHESS

Good madam, be not angry with the child.

DUCHESS

Good lady, don’t be angry with the child.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Pitchers have ears.

QUEEN ELIZABETH

Little pitchers have big ears.
Enter a MESSENGER
A MESSENGER enters.

ARCHBISHOP

Here comes a messenger. —What news?

ARCHBISHOP

Here comes a messenger. What’s the news?

MESSENGER

Such news, my lord, as grieves me to report.

MESSENGER

My lord, it’s news I wish I didn’t have to report.