• The coast of Wales. A castle in view.
    Drums; flourish and colours.
    Enter KING RICHARD II, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, DUKE OF AUMERLE, and Soldiers

    KING RICHARD II

    Barkloughly castle call they this at hand?

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Yea, my lord. How brooks your grace the air,
    After your late tossing on the breaking seas?

    KING RICHARD II

    Needs must I like it well: I weep for joy
    5To stand upon my kingdom once again.
    Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
    Though rebels wound thee with their horses’ hoofs:
    As a long-parted mother with her child
    Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
    10So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
    And do thee favours with my royal hands.
    Feed not thy sovereign’s foe, my gentle earth,
    Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense;
    But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
    15And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
    Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
    Which with usurping steps do trample thee:
    Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies;
    And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
    20Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder
    Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
    Throw death upon thy sovereign’s enemies.
    Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords:
    This earth shall have a feeling and these stones
    25Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
    Shall falter under foul rebellion’s arms.
  • The coast of Wales. A castle is in view.
    Drums are played. Trumpets blow. Military flags are carried onstage.
    KING RICHARD II, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, the DUKE OF AUMERLE, and some soldiers enter.

    KING RICHARD II

    Do they call this castle Barkloughly castle?

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Yes, my lord. How do you like it here, after you’ve been tossing about on the open seas?

    KING RICHARD II

    Of course I like it here. Standing here on my kingdom again makes me cry with joy. Dear earth, I salute you, even though insurgents are wounding you by riding their horses over you. Like a mother who has been away from her child for a long time, I cry and smile and greet you. Please, gentle earth, provide no nourishment or shelter for my enemies. Instead, let your venomous spiders and your toads get in their way. Put stinging nettles in their path. And when they pick a flower from the ground, let a poisonous snake bite and kill them. Lords, don’t make fun of me for asking this. The earth will have feelings, and these stones will turn into armed soldiers, before I, England’s legitimate king, let these terrible rebels defeat us.

    nettles

    A plant with jagged leaves covered with hairs that sting.