Page:Richard II (1921) Yale.djvu/46

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The Life and Death of

Ross. My heart is great; but it must break with silence,
Ere 't be disburdened with a liberal tongue.

North. Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more
That speaks thy words again to do thee harm! 232

Willo. Tends that thou'dst speak to the Duke of Hereford?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man;
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.

Ross. No good at all that I can do for him, 236
Unless you call it good to pity him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.

North. Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
In him, a royal prince, and many moe 240
Of noble blood in this declining land.
The king is not himself, but basely led
By flatterers; and what they will inform,
Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all, 244
That will the king severely prosecute
'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.

Ross. The commons hath he pill'd with grievous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd 248
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

Willo. And daily new exactions are devis'd;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
But what, o' God's name, doth become of this? 252

North. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he hath not,

230 liberal: free-speaking
238 gelded: deprived
240 In: against
moe: old form of 'more'
243 inform: report slanderously
247 pill'd: robbed
248 Cf. n.
251 blanks; cf. n. on I. iv. 48
benevolences; cf. n.