With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds: 64
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah! would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death. 68
Enter King, Queen, Aumerle, Bushy, Green, Bagot, Ross, and Willoughby.
York. The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;
For young hot colts, being , do rage the more.
Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?
K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is 't with aged Gaunt? 72
Gaunt. O! how that name befits my
Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old:
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt? 76
For sleeping England long time have I watch'd;
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt.
The pleasure that some fathers feed upon
Is my strict fast, I mean my children's looks; 80
And therein fasting hast thou made me gaunt.
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits naught but bones.
K. Rich. Can sick men play so 84with their names?
Gaunt. No; misery makes sport to mock itself:
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those that live? 88
Gaunt. No, no; men living flatter those that die.
70 rag'd: enraged
73 composition: constitution
84 nicely: triflingly