Page:Richard II (1921) Yale.djvu/19

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King Richard the Second, I. i

Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.

K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.

Gaunt. When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.

K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot. 164

Mow. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,—
Despite of death, that lives upon my grave,— 168
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here,
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood 172
Which breath'd this poison.

K. Rich. Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.

Mow. Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame,
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, 176
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation; that away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest 180
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done:
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try; 184
In that I live and for that will I die.

K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage: do you begin.

Boling. O God, defend my soul from such deep sin!

162 When: exclamation of impatience
164 boot: help for it
170 impeach'd: disparaged
baffled; cf. n.
174 lions; cf. n.