• Langley. The Duke of York’s garden.
    Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies

    QUEEN

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

    LADY

    Madam, we’ll play at bowls.

    QUEEN

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

    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.

    LADY

    10Madam, we’ll tell tales.

    QUEEN

    Of sorrow or of joy?

    LADY

    Of 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.

    LADY

    20Madam, I’ll sing.

    QUEEN

    ’Tis well that thou hast cause
    But thou shouldst please me better, wouldst thou weep.
  • The village of Langley, in the Duke of York’s garden.
    The QUEEN enters, with two Ladies.

    QUEEN

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

    LADY

    Madam, let’s play bowls.

    bowls

    A game played by rolling slightly asymmetrical balls as close as possible to a white ball, known as a jack.

    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.

    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

    Madam, we’ll tell stories.

    QUEEN

    Sad ones or happy ones?

    LADY

    Either, madam.

    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

    Madam, I’ll sing.

    QUEEN

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