The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- KING RICHARD THE SECOND
- JOHN OF GAUNT, Duke of Lancaster - uncle to the King
- EDMUND LANGLEY, Duke of York - uncle to the King
- HENRY, surnamed BOLINGBROKE, Duke of Hereford, son of
- John of Gaunt, afterwards King Henry IV
- DUKE OF AUMERLE, son of the Duke of York
- THOMAS MOWBRAY, Duke of Norfolk
- DUKE OF SURREY
- EARL OF SALISBURY
- LORD BERKELEY
- BUSHY - Servant to King Richard
- BAGOT - Servant to King Richard
- GREEN - Servant to King Richard
- EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND
- HENRY PERCY, surnamed Hotspur, his son
- LORD ROSS
- LORD WILLOUGHBY
- LORD FITZWATER
- BISHOP OF CARLISLE
- ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER
- LORD MARSHAL
- SIR PIERCE OF EXTON
- SIR STEPHEN SCROOP
- Captain of a band of Welshmen
- QUEEN TO KING RICHARD
- DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
- DUCHESS OF YORK
- Lady attending on the Queen
- Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants
SCENE: Dispersedly in England and Wales.
- 1 ACT 1
- 2 ACT 2
- 3 ACT 3
- 4 ACT 4
- 5 ACT 5
- 5.1 SCENE I. London. A street leading to the Tower.
- 5.2 SCENE II. The same. A room in the DUKE OF YORK's palace.
- 5.3 SCENE III. Windsor. A room in the Castle.
- 5.4 SCENE IV. Another room in the Castle.
- 5.5 SCENE V. Pomfret. The dungeon of the Castle.
- 5.6 SCENE VI. Windsor. An Apartment in the Castle.
SCENE I. London. A Room in the palace.
[Enter KING RICHARD, attended; JOHN OF GAUNT, with other NOBLES.]
- Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured Lancaster,
- Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
- Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son,
- Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
- Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
- Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
- I have, my liege.
- Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him
- If he appeal the Duke on ancient malice,
- Or worthily, as a good subject should,
- On some known ground of treachery in him?
- As near as I could sift him on that argument,
- On some apparent danger seen in him
- Aim'd at your Highness, no inveterate malice.
- Then call them to our presence: face to face
- And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
- The accuser and the accused freely speak.
- High-stomach'd are they both and full of ire,
- In rage, deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
[Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and MOWBRAY.]
- Many years of happy days befall
- My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
- Each day still better other's happiness
- Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap,
- Add an immortal title to your crown!
- We thank you both; yet one but flatters us,
- As well appeareth by the cause you come;
- Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.
- Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
- Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
- First,—heaven be the record to my speech!—
- In the devotion of a subject's love,
- Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
- And free from other misbegotten hate,
- Come I appellant to this princely presence.
- Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
- And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
- My body shall make good upon this earth,
- Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
- Thou art a traitor and a miscreant;
- Too good to be so and too bad to live,
- Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
- The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
- Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
- With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat;
- And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
- What my tongue speaks, my right drawn sword may prove.
- Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:
- 'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
- The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
- Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
- The blood is hot that must be cool'd for this.
- Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
- As to be hush'd and nought at all to say.
- First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
- From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
- Which else would post until it had return'd
- These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
- Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
- And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
- I do defy him, and I spit at him,
- Call him a slanderous coward and a villain:
- Which to maintain, I would allow him odds
- And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
- Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
- Or any other ground inhabitable,
- Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
- Meantime let this defend my loyalty:
- By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
- Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
- Disclaiming here the kindred of the king;
- And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
- Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except:
- If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
- As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop:
- By that, and all the rites of knighthood else,
- Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
- What I have spoke or thou canst worst devise.
- I take it up; and by that sword I swear
- Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
- I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
- Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
- And when I mount, alive may I not light
- If I be traitor or unjustly fight!
- What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
- It must be great that can inherit us
- So much as of a thought of ill in him.
- Look, what I speak, my life shall prove it true;
- That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles
- In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
- The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
- Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
- Besides, I say and will in battle prove,
- Or here, or elsewhere to the furthest verge
- That ever was survey'd by English eye,
- That all the treasons for these eighteen years
- Complotted and contrived in this land,
- Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
- Further I say, and further will maintain
- Upon his bad life to make all this good,
- That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death,
- Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
- And consequently, like a traitor coward,
- Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of blood:
- Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
- Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
- To me for justice and rough chastisement;
- And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
- This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
- How high a pitch his resolution soars!
- Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
- O! let my sovereign turn away his face
- And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
- Till I have told this slander of his blood
- How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
- Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:
- Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,—
- As he is but my father's brother's son,—
- Now, by my sceptre's awe I make a vow,
- Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
- Should nothing privilege him nor partialize
- The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
- He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou:
- Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
- Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
- Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
- Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
- Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers;
- The other part reserv'd I by consent,
- For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
- Upon remainder of a dear account,
- Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
- Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester's death,
- I slew him not; but to my own disgrace
- Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
- For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
- The honourable father to my foe,
- Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
- A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul;
- But ere I last receiv'd the sacrament
- I did confess it, and exactly begg'd
- Your Grace's pardon; and I hope I had it.
- This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd,
- It issues from the rancour of a villain,
- A recreant and most degenerate traitor;
- Which in myself I boldly will defend,
- And interchangeably hurl down my gage
- Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
- To prove myself a loyal gentleman
- Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom.
- In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
- Your highness to assign our trial day.
- Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by me;
- Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
- This we prescribe, though no physician;
- Deep malice makes too deep incision:
- Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed,
- Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.
- Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
- We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
- To be a make-peace shall become my age:
- Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
- And, Norfolk, throw down his.
- When, Harry, when?
- Obedience bids I should not bid again.
- Norfolk, throw down; we bid;
- There is no boot.
- 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,—
- 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
- Which breath'd this poison.
- Rage must be withstood:
- Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
- Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame,
- And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
- 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
- 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;
- In that I live, and for that will I die.
- Cousin, throw down your gage: do you begin.
- O! God defend my soul from such deep sin.
- Shall I seem crest-fall'n in my father's sight,
- Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
- Before this outdar'd dastard? Ere my tongue
- Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong
- Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
- The slavish motive of recanting fear,
- And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
- Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.
- We were not born to sue, but to command:
- Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
- Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
- At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day:
- There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
- The swelling difference of your settled hate:
- Since we can not atone you, we shall see
- Justice design the victor's chivalry.
- Lord Marshal, command our officers-at-arms
- Be ready to direct these home alarms.
SCENE II. The same. A room in the DUKE OF LANCASTER'S palace.
[Enter GAUNT and DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER.]
- Alas, the part I had in Woodstock's blood
- Doth more solicit me than your exclaims,
- To stir against the butchers of his life.
- But since correction lieth in those hands
- Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
- Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven;
- Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth,
- Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
- Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
- Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
- Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
- Were as seven vials of his sacred blood,
- Or seven fair branches springing from one root:
- Some of those seven are dried by nature's course,
- Some of those branches by the Destinies cut;
- But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
- One vial full of Edward's sacred blood,
- One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
- Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt;
- Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all vaded,
- By envy's hand and murder's bloody axe.
- Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine: that bed, that womb,
- That metal, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee,
- Made him a man; and though thou liv'st and breath'st,
- Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent
- In some large measure to thy father's death
- In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
- Who was the model of thy father's life.
- Call it not patience, Gaunt; it is despair:
- In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
- Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
- Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
- That which in mean men we entitle patience
- Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
- What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life,
- The best way is to venge my Gloucester's death.
- God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
- His deputy anointed in his sight,
- Hath caus'd his death; the which if wrongfully,
- Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
- An angry arm against his minister.
- Where then, alas! may I complain myself?
- To God, the widow's champion and defence.
- Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
- Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
- Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
- O! sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear,
- That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast.
- Or, if misfortune miss the first career,
- Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom
- That they may break his foaming courser's back,
- And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
- A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
- Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother's wife
- With her companion, Grief, must end her life.
- Sister, farewell; I must to Coventry.
- As much good stay with thee as go with me!
- Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where it falls,
- Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
- I take my leave before I have begun,
- For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
- Commend me to thy brother, Edmund York.
- Lo! this is all: nay, yet depart not so;
- Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
- I shall remember more. Bid him—ah, what?—
- With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
- Alack! and what shall good old York there see
- But empty lodgings and unfurnish'd walls,
- Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
- And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
- Therefore commend me; let him not come there,
- To seek out sorrow that dwells every where.
- Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die:
- The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
SCENE III. Open Space, near Coventry.
[Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, &c., attending.
[Enter the Lord Marshal and AUMERLE.]
- My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd?
- Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in.
- The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
- Stays but the summons of the appelant's trumpet.
- Why then, the champions are prepar'd, and stay
- For nothing but his Majesty's approach.
[Enter KING RICHARD, who takes his seat on his Throne; GAUNT, BUSHY, BAGOT, GREEN, and Others, who take their places. A trumpet is sounded, and answered by another trumpet within. Then enter MOWBRAY, in armour, defendant, preceeded by a Herald.]
- Marshal, demand of yonder champion
- The cause of his arrival here in arms:
- Ask him his name, and orderly proceed
- To swear him in the justice of his cause.
- In God's name and the king's, say who thou art,
- And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms,
- Against what man thou comest, and what thy quarrel.
- Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thy oath;
- As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!
- My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
- Who hither come engaged by my oath,—
- Which God defend a knight should violate!—
- Both to defend my loyalty and truth
- To God, my King, and my succeeding issue,
- Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me;
- And, by the grace of God and this mine arm,
- To prove him, in defending of myself,
- A traitor to my God, my King, and me:
- And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
[He takes his seat.]
[Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE, appellant, in armour, preceeded by a Herald.]
- Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,
- Both who he is and why he cometh hither
- Thus plated in habiliments of war;
- And formally, according to our law,
- Depose him in the justice of his cause.
- What is thy name? and wherefore com'st thou hither
- Before King Richard in his royal lists?
- Against whom comest thou? and what's thy quarrel?
- Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
- Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
- Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
- To prove by God's grace and my body's valour,
- In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
- That he's a traitor foul and dangerous,
- To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me:
- And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
- On pain of death, no person be so bold
- Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
- Except the Marshal and such officers
- Appointed to direct these fair designs.
- Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand,
- And bow my knee before his Majesty:
- For Mowbray and myself are like two men
- That vow a long and weary pilgrimage;
- Then let us take a ceremonious leave
- And loving farewell of our several friends.
- The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
- And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
KING RICHARD. [Descends from his throne.]
- We will descend and fold him in our arms.
- Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
- So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
- Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
- Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
- O! let no noble eye profane a tear
- For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbray's spear.
- As confident as is the falcon's flight
- Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.
- My loving lord, I take my leave of you;
- Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
- Not sick, although I have to do with death,
- But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.
- Lo! as at English feasts, so I regreet
- The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
- O thou, the earthly author of my blood,
- Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
- Doth with a twofold vigour lift me up
- To reach at victory above my head,
- Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers,
- And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
- That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat,
- And furbish new the name of John a Gaunt,
- Even in the lusty haviour of his son.
- God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
- Be swift like lightning in the execution;
- And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
- Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
- Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
- Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
- Mine innocency and Saint George to thrive!
[He takes his seat.]
- However God or fortune cast my lot,
- There lives or dies, true to King Richard's throne,
- A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
- Never did captive with a freer heart
- Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
- His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement,
- More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
- This feast of battle with mine adversary.
- Most mighty liege, and my companion peers,
- Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
- As gentle and as jocund as to jest
- Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.
- Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
- Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.
- Order the trial, Marshal, and begin.
[The KING and the Lords return to their seats.]
- Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
- Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!
- Strong as a tower in hope, I cry 'amen'.
- [To an officer.] Go bear this lance to Thomas,
- Duke of Norfolk.
- Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
- Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
- On pain to be found false and recreant,
- To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
- A traitor to his God, his King, and him;
- And dares him to set forward to the fight.
- Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
- On pain to be found false and recreant,
- Both to defend himself, and to approve
- Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
- To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal;
- Courageously and with a free desire,
- Attending but the signal to begin.
- Sound trumpets; and set forward, combatants.
[A charge sounded.]
- Stay, the King hath thrown his warder down.
- Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
- And both return back to their chairs again:
- Withdraw with us; and let the trumpets sound
- While we return these dukes what we decree.
[A long flourish.]
[To the Combatants.] Draw near,
- And list what with our council we have done.
- For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd
- With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
- And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
- Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' swords;
- And for we think the eagle-winged pride
- Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
- With rival-hating envy, set on you
- To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
- Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;
- Which so rous'd up with boist'rous untun'd drums,
- With harsh-resounding trumpets' dreadful bray,
- And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
- Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
- And make us wade even in our kindred's blood:
- Therefore we banish you our territories:
- You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
- Till twice five summers have enrich'd our fields
- Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
- But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
- Your will be done. This must my comfort be,
- That sun that warms you here shall shine on me;
- And those his golden beams to you here lent
- Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
- Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
- Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
- The sly slow hours shall not determinate
- The dateless limit of thy dear exile;
- The hopeless word of 'never to return'
- Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
- A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
- And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth:
- A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
- As to be cast forth in the common air,
- Have I deserved at your highness' hands.
- The language I have learn'd these forty years,
- My native English, now I must forgo;
- And now my tongue's use is to me no more
- Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
- Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up
- Or, being open, put into his hands
- That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
- Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
- Doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips;
- And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
- Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
- I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
- Too far in years to be a pupil now:
- What is thy sentence, then, but speechless death,
- Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
- It boots thee not to be compassionate:
- After our sentence plaining comes too late.
- Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
- To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
- Return again, and take an oath with thee.
- Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands;
- Swear by the duty that you owe to God,—
- Our part therein we banish with yourselves—
- To keep the oath that we administer:
- You never shall, so help you truth and God!—
- Embrace each other's love in banishment;
- Nor never look upon each other's face;
- Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
- This louring tempest of your home-bred hate;
- Nor never by advised purpose meet
- To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
- 'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
- I swear.
- And I, to keep all this.
- Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:—
- By this time, had the king permitted us,
- One of our souls had wand'red in the air,
- Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
- As now our flesh is banish'd from this land:
- Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm;
- Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
- The clogging burden of a guilty soul.
- No, Bolingbroke: if ever I were traitor,
- My name be blotted from the book of life,
- And I from heaven banish'd as from hence!
- But what thou art, God, thou, and I, do know;
- And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.
- Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray;
- Save back to England, all the world's my way.
- Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
- I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
- Hath from the number of his banish'd years
- Pluck'd four away.—[To BOLINGBROKE.] Six frozen winters spent,
- Return with welcome home from banishment.
- How long a time lies in one little word!
- Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
- End in a word: such is the breath of kings.
- I thank my liege that in regard of me
- He shortens four years of my son's exile;
- But little vantage shall I reap thereby:
- For, ere the six years that he hath to spend
- Can change their moons and bring their times about,
- My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
- Shall be extinct with age and endless night;
- My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
- And blindfold death not let me see my son.
- Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
- But not a minute, king, that thou canst give:
- Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
- And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow;
- Thou can'st help time to furrow me with age,
- But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage;
- Thy word is current with him for my death,
- But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
- Thy son is banish'd upon good advice,
- Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave.
- Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lower?
- Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
- You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather
- You would have bid me argue like a father.
- O! had it been a stranger, not my child,
- To smooth his fault I should have been more mild.:
- A partial slander sought I to avoid,
- And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
- Alas! I look'd when some of you should say
- I was too strict to make mine own away;
- But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
- Against my will to do myself this wrong.
- Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so:
- Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
[Flourish. Exit KING RICHARD and Train.]
- Cousin, farewell: what presence must not know,
- From where you do remain let paper show.
- My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride,
- As far as land will let me, by your side.
- O! to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
- That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends?
- I have too few to take my leave of you,
- When the tongue's office should be prodigal
- To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart.
- Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
- Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
- What is six winters? They are quickly gone.
- To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
- Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure.
- My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
- Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.
- The sullen passage of thy weary steps
- Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
- The precious jewel of thy home return.
- Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make
- Will but remember me what a deal of world
- I wander from the jewels that I love.
- Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
- To foreign passages, and in the end,
- Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
- But that I was a journeyman to grief?
- All places that the eye of heaven visits
- Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
- Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
- There is no virtue like necessity.
- Think not the king did banish thee,
- But thou the king. Woe doth the heavier sit,
- Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
- Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
- And not the King exil'd thee; or suppose
- Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
- And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
- Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
- To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou com'st.
- Suppose the singing birds musicians,
- The grass whereon thou tread'st the presence strew'd,
- The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
- Than a delightful measure or a dance;
- For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
- The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
- O! who can hold a fire in his hand
- By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
- Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
- By bare imagination of a feast?
- Or wallow naked in December snow
- By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
- O, no! the apprehension of the good
- Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
- Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more
- Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
- Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on thy way.
- Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
- Then, England's ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu;
- My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet!
- Where'er I wander, boast of this I can,
- Though banish'd, yet a true-born Englishman.
SCENE IV. London. A Room in the King's Castle
[Enter KING RICHARD, BAGOT, and GREEN, at one door; AUMERLE at another.]
- We did observe. Cousin Aumerle,
- How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
- I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
- But to the next highway, and there I left him.
- And say, what store of parting tears were shed?
- Faith, none for me; except the north-east wind,
- Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
- Awak'd the sleeping rheum, and so by chance
- Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
- What said our cousin when you parted with him?
- And, for my heart disdained that my tongue
- Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
- To counterfeit oppression of such grief
- That words seem'd buried in my sorrow's grave.
- Marry, would the word 'farewell' have lengthen'd hours
- And added years to his short banishment,
- He should have had a volume of farewells;
- But since it would not, he had none of me.
- He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
- When time shall call him home from banishment,
- Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
- Ourself, and Bushy, Bagot here and Green,
- Observ'd his courtship to the common people,
- How he did seem to dive into their hearts
- With humble and familiar courtesy,
- What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
- Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
- And patient underbearing of his fortune,
- As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
- Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench;
- A brace of draymen bid God speed him well,
- And had the tribute of his supple knee,
- With 'Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends';
- As were our England in reversion his,
- And he our subjects' next degree in hope.
- Well, he is gone; and with him go these thoughts.
- Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland;
- Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
- Ere further leisure yield them further means
- For their advantage and your highness' loss.
- We will ourself in person to this war.
- And, for our coffers, with too great a court
- And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
- We are enforc'd to farm our royal realm;
- The revenue whereof shall furnish us
- For our affairs in hand. If that come short,
- Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters;
- Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
- They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold,
- And send them after to supply our wants;
- For we will make for Ireland presently.
Bushy, what news?
- Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
- Suddenly taken, and hath sent poste-haste
- To entreat your Majesty to visit him.
- Where lies he?
- At Ely House.
- Now put it, God, in his physician's mind
- To help him to his grave immediately!
- The lining of his coffers shall make coats
- To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
- Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him:
- Pray God we may make haste, and come too late!
SCENE I. London. An Apartment in Ely House.
[GAUNT on a couch; the DUKE OF YORK and Others standing by him.]
- Will the King come, that I may breathe my last
- In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
- Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
- For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
- O! but they say the tongues of dying men
- Enforce attention like deep harmony:
- Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
- For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
- He that no more must say is listen'd more
- Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
- More are men's ends mark'd than their lives before:
- The setting sun, and music at the close,
- As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
- Writ in remembrance more than things long past:
- Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
- My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
- No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds,
- As praises of his state: then there are fond,
- Lascivious metres, to whose venom sound
- The open ear of youth doth always listen:
- Report of fashions in proud Italy,
- Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
- Limps after in base imitation.
- Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity,—
- So it be new there's no respect how vile,—
- That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
- Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
- Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
- Direct not him whose way himself will choose:
- 'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.
- Methinks I am a prophet new inspir'd,
- And thus expiring do foretell of him:
- His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
- For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
- Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
- He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
- With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
- Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
- Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
- This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
- This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
- This other Eden, demi-paradise,
- This fortress built by Nature for herself
- Against infection and the hand of war,
- This happy breed of men, this little world,
- This precious stone set in the silver sea,
- Which serves it in the office of a wall,
- Or as a moat defensive to a house,
- Against the envy of less happier lands;
- This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
- This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
- Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth,
- Renowned for their deeds as far from home,—
- For Christian service and true chivalry,—
- As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry
- Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son:
- This land of such dear souls, this dear, dear land,
- Dear for her reputation through the world,
- Is now leas'd out,—I die pronouncing it,—
- Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
- England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
- Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
- Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
- With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds:
- 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.
[Enter KING RICHARD and QUEEN; AUMERLE, BUSHY, GREEN, BAGOT, ROSS, and WILLOUGHBY.]
- The King is come: deal mildly with his youth;
- For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the more.
- How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?
- What comfort, man? How is't with aged Gaunt?
- O! how that name befits my composition;
- 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?
- 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;
- And therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt.
- Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
- Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
- Can sick men play so nicely with their names?
- 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.
- Should dying men flatter with those that live?
- No, no; men living flatter those that die.
- Thou, now a-dying, sayest thou flatterest me.
- O, no! thou diest, though I the sicker be.
- I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
- Now, he that made me knows I see thee ill;
- Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
- Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land
- Wherein thou liest in reputation sick:
- And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
- Committ'st thy anointed body to the cure
- Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
- A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
- Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
- And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
- The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
- O! had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye,
- Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,
- From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
- Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd,
- Which art possess'd now to depose thyself.
- Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
- It were a shame to let this land by lease;
- But for thy world enjoying but this land,
- Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
- Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
- Thy state of law is bondslave to the law,
- And thou a lunatic lean-witted fool,
- Presuming on an ague's privilege,
- Dar'st with thy frozen admonition
- Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
- With fury from his native residence.
- Now by my seat's right royal majesty,
- Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,—
- This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
- Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
- O! spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
- For that I was his father Edward's son.
- That blood already, like the pelican,
- Hast thou tapp'd out, and drunkenly carous'd:
- My brother Gloucester, plain well-meaning soul,—
- Whom fair befall in heaven 'mongst happy souls!—
- May be a precedent and witness good
- That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood:
- Join with the present sickness that I have;
- And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
- To crop at once a too-long withered flower.
- Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
- These words hereafter thy tormentors be!
- Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
- Love they to live that love and honour have.
[Exit, bourne out by his Attendants.]
- And let them die that age and sullens have;
- For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
- I do beseech your Majesty, impute his words
- To wayward sickliness and age in him:
- He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
- As Harry Duke of Hereford, were he here.
- Right, you say true: as Hereford's love, so his;
- As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.
- My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your Majesty.
- What says he?
- Nay, nothing; all is said:
- His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
- Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
- Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
- Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
- The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he:
- His time is spent; our pilgrimage must be.
- So much for that. Now for our Irish wars.
- We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
- Which live like venom where no venom else
- But only they have privilege to live.
- And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
- Towards our assistance we do seize to us
- The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables,
- Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd.
YORK. How long shall I be patient? Ah! how long
- Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
- Not Gloucester's death, nor Hereford's banishment,
- Nor Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
- Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
- About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
- Have ever made me sour my patient cheek,
- Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign's face.
- I am the last of noble Edward's sons,
- Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first;
- In war was never lion rag'd more fierce,
- In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
- Than was that young and princely gentleman.
- His face thou hast, for even so look'd he,
- Accomplish'd with the number of thy hours;
- But when he frown'd, it was against the French,
- And not against his friends; his noble hand
- Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
- Which his triumphant father's hand had won:
- His hands were guilty of no kindred's blood,
- But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
- O Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
- Or else he never would compare between.
- Why, uncle, what's the matter?
- O! my liege.
- Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleas'd
- Not to be pardon'd, am content withal.
- Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
- The royalties and rights of banish'd Hereford?
- Is not Gaunt dead, and doth not Hereford live?
- Was not Gaunt just, and is not Harry true?
- Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
- Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
- Take Hereford's rights away, and take from Time
- His charters and his customary rights;
- Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day;
- Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
- But by fair sequence and succession?
- Now, afore God,—God forbid I say true!—
- If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
- Call in the letters-patents that he hath
- By his attorneys-general to sue
- His livery, and deny his offer'd homage,
- You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
- You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
- And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
- Which honour and allegiance cannot think.
- Think what you will: we seize into our hands
- His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.
- I'll not be by the while: my liege, farewell:
- What will ensue hereof there's none can tell;
- But by bad courses may be understood
- That their events can never fall out good.
- Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight:
- Bid him repair to us to Ely House
- To see this business. To-morrow next
- We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow:
- And we create, in absence of ourself,
- Our Uncle York lord governor of England;
- For he is just, and always lov'd us well.
- Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
- Be merry, for our time of stay is short.
[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, BUSHY, AUMERLE, GREEN, and BAGOT.]
- Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.
- And living too; for now his son is Duke.
- Barely in title, not in revenues.
- Richly in both, if justice had her right.
- My heart is great; but it must break with silence,
- Ere't be disburdened with a liberal tongue.
- Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more
- That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!
- Tends that thou wouldst 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.
- No good at all that I can do for him,
- Unless you call it good to pity him,
- Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
- Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
- In him, a royal prince, and many moe
- 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,
- That will the king severely prosecute
- 'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
- The commons hath he pill'd with grievous taxes,
- And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd
- For ancient quarrels and quite lost their hearts.
- 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?
- Wars hath not wasted it, for warr'd he hath not,
- But basely yielded upon compromise
- That which his ancestors achiev'd with blows.
- More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
- The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
- The King's grown bankrupt like a broken man.
- Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.
- He hath not money for these Irish wars,
- His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
- But by the robbing of the banish'd Duke.
- His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
- But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
- Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm;
- We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
- And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
- We see the very wrack that we must suffer;
- And unavoided is the danger now,
- For suffering so the causes of our wrack.
- Not so: even through the hollow eyes of death
- I spy life peering; but I dare not say
- How near the tidings of our comfort is.
- Nay, let us share thy thoughts as thou dost ours.
- Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
- We three are but thyself: and, speaking so,
- Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore be bold.
- Then thus: I have from Le Port Blanc, a bay
- In Brittany, receiv'd intelligence
- That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham,
- That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
- His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
- Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
- Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Quoint,
- All these well furnish'd by the Duke of Britaine,
- With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
- Are making hither with all due expedience,
- And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
- Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
- The first departing of the king for Ireland.
- If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
- Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
- Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown,
- Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt,
- And make high majesty look like itself,
- Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh;
- But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
- Stay and be secret, and myself will go.
- To horse, to horse! Urge doubts to them that fear.
- Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
SCENE II. The Same. A Room in the Castle.
[Enter QUEEN, BUSHY, and BAGOT.]
- Madam, your Majesty is too much sad.
- You promis'd, when you parted with the king,
- To lay aside life-harming heaviness,
- And entertain a cheerful disposition.
- To please the King, I did; to please myself
- I cannot do it; yet I know no cause
- Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
- Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
- As my sweet Richard: yet again methinks,
- Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb,
- Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
- With nothing trembles; at some thing it grieves
- More than with parting from my lord the king.
- Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
- Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
- For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
- Divides one thing entire to many objects;
- Like perspectives which, rightly gaz'd upon,
- Show nothing but confusion; ey'd awry,
- Distinguish form: so your sweet Majesty,
- Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
- Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail;
- Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows
- Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious Queen,
- More than your lord's departure weep not: more's not seen;
- Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
- Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
- It may be so; but yet my inward soul
- Persuades me it is otherwise: howe'er it be,
- I cannot but be sad, so heavy sad
- As, though in thinking, on no thought I think,
- Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
- 'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
- 'Tis nothing less: conceit is still deriv'd
- From some forefather grief; mine is not so,
- For nothing hath begot my something grief,
- Or something hath the nothing that I grieve:
- 'Tis in reversion that I do possess;
- But what it is, that is not yet known; what
- I cannot name; 'tis nameless woe, I wot.
- God save your majesty! and well met, gentlemen:
- I hope the King is not yet shipp'd for Ireland.
- Why hop'st thou so? 'Tis better hope he is,
- For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope:
- Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipp'd?
- That he, our hope, might have retir'd his power,
- And driven into despair an enemy's hope
- Who strongly hath set footing in this land:
- The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself,
- And with uplifted arms is safe arriv'd
- At Ravenspurgh.
- Now God in heaven forbid!
- Ah! madam, 'tis too true; and that is worse,
- The Lord Northumberland, his son young Henry Percy,
- The Lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
- With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
- Why have you not proclaim'd Northumberland
- And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
- We have: whereupon the Earl of Worcester
- Hath broken his staff, resign'd his stewardship,
- And all the household servants fled with him
- To Bolingbroke.
- So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
- And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir:
- Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
- And I, a gasping new-deliver'd mother,
- Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join'd.
- Despair not, madam.
- Who shall hinder me?
- I will despair, and be at enmity
- With cozening hope: he is a flatterer,
- A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
- Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
- Which false hope lingers in extremity.
- Here comes the Duke of York.
- With signs of war about his aged neck:
- O! full of careful business are his looks.
- Uncle, for God's sake, speak comfortable words.
- Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts:
- Comfort's in heaven; and we are on the earth,
- Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
- Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
- Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
- Here am I left to underprop his land,
- Who, weak with age, cannot support myself.
- Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
- Now shall he try his friends that flatter'd him.
[Enter a Servant.]
- My lord, your son was gone before I came.
- He was? Why, so! go all which way it will!
- The nobles they are fled, the commons they are cold,
- And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.
- Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
- Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
- Hold, take my ring.
- My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship:
- To-day, as I came by, I called there;
- But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
- What is't, knave?
- An hour before I came the duchess died.
- God for his mercy! what a tide of woes
- Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
- I know not what to do: I would to God,—
- So my untruth had not provok'd him to it,—
- The king had cut off my head with my brother's.
- What! are there no posts dispatch'd for Ireland?
- How shall we do for money for these wars?
- Come, sister,—cousin, I would say,—pray, pardon me.—
- Go, fellow, get thee home; provide some carts,
- And bring away the armour that is there.
- Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
- If I know how or which way to order these affairs
- Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
- Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen:
- T'one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
- And duty bids defend; the other again
- Is my kinsman, whom the king hath wrong'd,
- Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
- Well, somewhat we must do. Come, cousin,
- I'll dispose of you. Gentlemen, go muster up your men,
- And meet me presently at Berkeley Castle.
- I should to Plashy too:
- But time will not permit. All is uneven,
- And everything is left at six and seven.
[Exeunt YORK and QUEEN.]
- The wind sits fair for news to go to Ireland,
- But none returns. For us to levy power
- Proportionable to the enemy
- Is all unpossible.
- Besides, our nearness to the king in love
- Is near the hate of those love not the king.
- And that is the wavering commons; for their love
- Lies in their purses; and whoso empties them,
- By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
- Wherein the king stands generally condemn'd.
- If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
- Because we ever have been near the king.
- Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristol Castle.
- The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
- Thither will I with you; for little office
- Will the hateful commons perform for us,
- Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.
- Will you go along with us?
- No; I will to Ireland to his Majesty.
- Farewell: If heart's presages be not vain,
- We three here part that ne'er shall meet again.
- That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
- Alas, poor Duke! the task he undertakes
- Is numb'ring sands and drinking oceans dry:
- Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
- Farewell at once; for once, for all, and ever.
- Well, we may meet again.
- I fear me, never.
SCENE III. The Wolds in Gloucestershire.
[Enter BOLINGBROKE and NORTHUMBERLAND, with Forces.]
- How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?
- Believe me, noble lord,
- I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire.
- These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
- Draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome;
- And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
- Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
- But I bethink me what a weary way
- From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
- In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
- Which, I protest, hath very much beguil'd
- The tediousness and process of my travel.
- But theirs is sweeten'd with the hope to have
- The present benefit which I possess;
- And hope to joy is little less in joy
- Than hope enjoy'd: by this the weary lords
- Shall make their way seem short, as mine hath done
- By sight of what I have, your noble company.
- Of much less value is my company
- Than your good words. But who comes here?
[Enter HARRY PERCY.]
- It is my son, young Harry Percy,
- Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever.
- Harry, how fares your uncle?
- I had thought, my lord, to have learn'd his health of you.
- Why, is he not with the Queen?
- No, my good lord; he hath forsook the court,
- Broken his staff of office, and dispers'd
- The household of the King.
- What was his reason?
- He was not so resolv'd when last we spake together.
- Because your lordship was proclaimed traitor.
- But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh,
- To offer service to the Duke of Hereford;
- And sent me over by Berkeley, to discover
- What power the Duke of York had levied there;
- Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.
- Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?
- No, my good lord; for that is not forgot
- Which ne'er I did remember; to my knowledge,
- I never in my life did look on him.
- Then learn to know him now; this is the duke.
- My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
- Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young;,
- Which elder days shall ripen, and confirm
- To more approved service and desert.
- I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure
- I count myself in nothing else so happy
- As in a soul remembering my good friends;
- And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
- It shall be still thy true love's recompense.
- My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.
- How far is it to Berkeley? And what stir
- Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
- There stands the castle, by yon tuft of trees,
- Mann'd with three hundred men, as I have heard;
- And in it are the Lords of York, Berkeley, and Seymour;
- None else of name and noble estimate.
[Enter Ross and WILLOUGHBY.]
- Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
- Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.
- Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
- A banish'd traitor; all my treasury
- Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enrich'd,
- Shall be your love and labour's recompense.
- Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
- And far surmounts our labour to attain it.
- Evermore thanks, the exchequer of the poor;
- Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
- Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?
- It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.
- My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
- My lord, my answer is—to Lancaster;
- And I am come to seek that name in England;
- And I must find that title in your tongue
- Before I make reply to aught you say.
- Mistake me not, my lord; 'tis not my meaning
- To raze one title of your honour out:
- To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
- From the most gracious regent of this land,
- The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
- To take advantage of the absent time,
- And fright our native peace with self-borne arms.
[Enter YORK, attended.]
- I shall not need transport my words by you;
- Here comes his Grace in person.
- My noble uncle!
- Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
- Whose duty is deceivable and false.
- My gracious uncle—
- Tut, tut!
- Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle:
- I am no traitor's uncle; and that word 'grace'
- In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
- Why have those banish'd and forbidden legs
- Dar'd once to touch a dust of England's ground?
- But then more 'why?' why have they dar'd to march
- So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
- Frighting her pale-fac'd villages with war
- And ostentation of despised arms?
- Com'st thou because the anointed king is hence?
- Why, foolish boy, the king is left behind,
- And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
- Were I but now lord of such hot youth
- As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself
- Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
- From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
- O! then how quickly should this arm of mine,
- Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise the
- And minister correction to thy fault!
- My gracious uncle, let me know my fault:
- On what condition stands it and wherein?
- Even in condition of the worst degree,
- In gross rebellion and detested treason:
- Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come
- Before the expiration of thy time,
- In braving arms against thy sovereign.
- As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Hereford;
- But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
- And, noble uncle, I beseech your Grace
- Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:
- You are my father, for methinks in you
- I see old Gaunt alive: O! then, my father,
- Will you permit that I shall stand condemn'd
- A wandering vagabond; my rights and royalties
- Pluck'd from my arms perforce, and given away
- To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
- If that my cousin king be King in England,
- It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
- You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin;
- Had you first died, and he been thus trod down,
- He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father
- To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
- I am denied to sue my livery here,
- And yet my letters-patents give me leave.
- My father's goods are all distrain'd and sold;
- And these and all are all amiss employ'd.
- What would you have me do? I am a subject,
- And challenge law: attorneys are denied me;
- And therefore personally I lay my claim
- To my inheritance of free descent.
- The noble Duke hath been too much abus'd.
- It stands your Grace upon to do him right.
- Base men by his endowments are made great.
- My lords of England, let me tell you this:
- I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs,
- And labour'd all I could to do him right;
- But in this kind to come, in braving arms,
- Be his own carver and cut out his way,
- To find out right with wrong, it may not be;
- And you that do abet him in this kind
- Cherish rebellion, and are rebels all.
- The noble Duke hath sworn his coming is
- But for his own; and for the right of that
- We all have strongly sworn to give him aid;
- And let him never see joy that breaks that oath!
- Well, well, I see the issue of these arms:
- I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
- Because my power is weak and all ill left;
- But if I could, by him that gave me life,
- I would attach you all and make you stoop
- Unto the sovereign mercy of the king;
- But since I cannot, be it known unto you
- I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well;
- Unless you please to enter in the castle,
- And there repose you for this night.
- An offer, uncle, that we will accept:
- But we must win your Grace to go with us
- To Bristol Castle, which they say is held
- By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
- The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
- Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
- It may be I will go with you; but yet I'll pause,
- For I am loath to break our country's laws.
- Nor friends nor foes, to me welcome you are.
- Things past redress are now with me past care.
SCENE IV. A camp in Wales.
[Enter EARL OF SALISBURY and a CAPTAIN.]
- My Lord of Salisbury, we have stay'd ten days
- And hardly kept our countrymen together,
- And yet we hear no tidings from the King;
- Therefore we will disperse ourselves: farewell.
- Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman;
- The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.
- 'Tis thought the king is dead; we will not stay.
- The bay trees in our country are all wither'd,
- And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
- The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth
- And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change;
- Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
- The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
- The other to enjoy by rage and war.
- These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
- Farewell: our countrymen are gone and fled,
- As well assur'd Richard their king is dead.
- Ah, Richard! with the eyes of heavy mind,
- I see thy glory like a shooting star
- Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
- The sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
- Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
- Thy friends are fled, to wait upon thy foes,
- And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
SCENE I. Bristol. BOLINGBROKE'S camp.
[Enter BOLINGBROKE, YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, HENRY PERCY, WILLOUGHBY, ROSS; Officers behind, with BUSHY and GREEN, prisoners.]
- Bring forth these men.
- Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls—
- Since presently your souls must part your bodies—
- With too much urging your pernicious lives,
- For 'twere no charity; yet, to wash your blood
- From off my hands, here in the view of men
- I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
- You have misled a prince, a royal king,
- A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
- By you unhappied and disfigur'd clean;
- You have in manner with your sinful hours
- Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
- Broke the possession of a royal bed,
- And stain'd the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
- With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
- Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
- Near to the King in blood, and near in love
- Till you did make him misinterpret me,
- Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries,
- And sigh'd my English breath in foreign clouds,
- Eating the bitter bread of banishment;
- Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
- Dispark'd my parks and felled my forest woods,
- From my own windows torn my household coat,
- Raz'd out my impress, leaving me no sign
- Save men's opinions and my living blood
- To show the world I am a gentleman.
- This and much more, much more than twice all this,
- Condemns you to the death. See them deliver'd over
- To execution and the hand of death.
- More welcome is the stroke of death to me
- Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.
- My comfort is that heaven will take our souls,
- And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
- My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatch'd.
[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, and Others, with BUSHY and GREEN.]
- Uncle, you say the Queen is at your house;
- For God's sake, fairly let her be entreated:
- Tell her I send to her my kind commends;
- Take special care my greetings be deliver'd.
- A gentleman of mine I have dispatch'd
- With letters of your love to her at large.
- Thanks, gentle uncle. Come, lords, away,
- To fight with Glendower and his complices.
- Awhile to work, and after holiday.
SCENE II. The coast of Wales. A castle in view.
[Flourish: drums and trumpets. Enter KING RICHARD, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, AUMERLE, and soldiers.]
- Barkloughly Castle call they this at hand?
- Yea, my lord. How brooks your Grace the air
- After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
- Needs must I like it well: I weep for joy
- To 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,
- So 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,
- And 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,
- Guard 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
- Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
- Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.
- Fear not, my lord; that Power that made you king
- Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
- The means that heaven yields must be embrac'd
- And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
- And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse,
- The proffer'd means of succour and redress.
- He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;
- Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
- Grows strong and great in substance and in friends.
- Discomfortable cousin! know'st thou not
- That when the searching eye of heaven is hid,
- Behind the globe, that lights the lower world,
- Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
- In murders and in outrage boldly here;
- But when from under this terrestrial ball
- He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
- And darts his light through every guilty hole,
- Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
- The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs,
- Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
- So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
- Who all this while hath revell'd in the night,
- Whilst we were wandering with the Antipodes,
- Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
- His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
- Not able to endure the sight of day,
- But self-affrighted tremble at his sin.
- Not all the water in the rough rude sea
- Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
- The breath of worldly men cannot depose
- The deputy elected by the Lord.
- For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd
- To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
- God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
- A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
- Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.
- Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?
- Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
- Than this weak arm: discomfort guides my tongue
- And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
- One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
- Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
- O! call back yesterday, bid time return,
- And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men!
- To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late,
- O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
- For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
- Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispers'd, and fled.
- Comfort, my liege! why looks your Grace so pale?
- But now, the blood of twenty thousand men
- Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
- And till so much blood thither come again
- Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
- All souls that will be safe, fly from my side;
- For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
- Comfort, my liege! remember who you are.
- I had forgot myself. Am I not king?
- Awake, thou coward majesty! thou sleepest.
- Is not the king's name twenty thousand names?
- Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes
- At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
- Ye favourites of a king; are we not high?
- High be our thoughts. I know my uncle York
- Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who comes here?
[Enter SIR STEPHEN SCROOP.]
- More health and happiness betide my liege
- Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him!
- Mine ear is open and my heart prepar'd:
- The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
- Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, 'twas my care,
- And what loss is it to be rid of care?
- Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
- Greater he shall not be: if he serve God
- We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so:
- Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend;
- They break their faith to God as well as us:
- Cry woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay;
- The worst is death, and death will have his day.
- Glad am I that your highness is so arm'd
- To bear the tidings of calamity.
- Like an unseasonable stormy day
- Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
- As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears,
- So high above his limits swells the rage
- Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
- With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
- White-beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps
- Against thy majesty; and boys, with women's voices,
- Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
- In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown;
- Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
- Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
- Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
- Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
- And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
- Too well, too well thou tell'st a tale so ill.
- Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? Where is Bagot?
- What is become of Bushy? Where is Green?
- That they have let the dangerous enemy
- Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
- If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it.
- I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
- Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.
- O villains, vipers, damn'd without redemption!
- Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man!
- Snakes, in my heart-blood warm'd, that sting my heart!
- Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
- Would they make peace? Terrible hell make war
- Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
- Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
- Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
- Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made
- With heads, and not with hands: those whom you curse
- Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound
- And lie full low, grav'd in the hollow ground.
- Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?
- Ay, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.
- Where is the Duke my father with his power?
- No matter where. Of comfort no man speak:
- Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
- Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
- Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
- Let's choose executors and talk of wills;
- And yet not so—for what can we bequeath
- Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
- Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's.
- And nothing can we can our own but death,
- And that small model of the barren earth
- Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
- For God's sake let us sit upon the ground
- And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
- How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
- Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,
- Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
- All murder'd: for within the hollow crown
- That rounds the mortal temples of a king
- Keeps Death his court; and there the antick sits,
- Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp;
- Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
- To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks,
- Infusing him with self and vain conceit
- As if this flesh which walls about our life
- Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus,
- Comes at the last, and with a little pin
- Bores through his castle wall, and farewell, king!
- Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
- With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
- Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty;
- For you have but mistook me all this while:
- I live with bread like you, feel want,
- Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
- How can you say to me I am a king?
- My lord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their woes,
- But presently prevent the ways to wail.
- To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
- Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
- And so your follies fight against yourself.
- Fear and be slain; no worse can come to fight;
- And fight and die is death destroying death;
- Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
- My father hath a power; inquire of him,
- And learn to make a body of a limb.
- Thou chid'st me well. Proud Bolingbroke, I come
- To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
- This ague fit of fear is over-blown;
- An easy task it is to win our own.—
- Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
- Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
- Men judge by the complexion of the sky
- The state in inclination of the day;
- So may you by my dull and heavy eye,
- My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
- I play the torturer, by small and small
- To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken:
- Your uncle York is join'd with Bolingbroke;
- And all your northern castles yielded up,
- And all your southern gentlemen in arms
- Upon his party.
- Thou hast said enough.
- [To AUMERLE.] Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
- Of that sweet way I was in to despair!
- What say you now? What comfort have we now?
- By heaven, I'll hate him everlastingly
- That bids me be of comfort any more.
- Go to Flint Castle; there I'll pine away;
- A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
- That power I have, discharge; and let them go
- To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
- For I have none. Let no man speak again
- To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
- My liege, one word.
- He does me double wrong
- That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
- Discharge my followers; let them hence away,
- From Richard's night to Bolingbroke's fair day.
SCENE III. Wales. Before Flint Castle.
[Enter, with drum and colours, BOLINGBROKE and Forces; YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, and Others.]
- So that by this intelligence we learn
- The Welshmen are dispers'd; and Salisbury
- Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed
- With some few private friends upon this coast.
- The news is very fair and good, my lord.
- Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.
- It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
- To say 'King Richard': alack the heavy day
- When such a sacred king should hide his head!
- Your Grace mistakes; only to be brief,
- Left I his title out.
- The time hath been,
- Would you have been so brief with him, he would
- Have been so brief with you to shorten you,
- For taking so the head, your whole head's length.
- Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.
- Take not, good cousin, further than you should,
- Lest you mistake. The heavens are o'er our heads.
- I know it, uncle; and oppose not myself
- Against their will. But who comes here?
[Enter HENRY PERCY.]
- Welcome, Harry: what, will not this castle yield?
- The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
- Against thy entrance.
- Why, it contains no king?
- Yes, my good lord,
- It doth contain a king; King Richard lies
- Within the limits of yon lime and stone;
- And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
- Sir Stephen Scroop, besides a clergyman
- Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.
- O! belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.
- [To NORTHUMBERLAND.] Noble lord,
- Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
- Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
- Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver:
- Henry Bolingbroke
- On both his knees doth kiss King Richard's hand,
- And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
- To his most royal person; hither come
- Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
- Provided that my banishment repeal'd
- And lands restor'd again be freely granted;
- If not, I'll use the advantage of my power
- And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood
- Rain'd from the wounds of slaughtered Englishmen;
- The which, how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
- It is, such crimson tempest should bedrench
- The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land,
- My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
- Go, signify as much, while here we march
- Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
- Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,
- That from this castle's totter'd battlements
- Our fair appointments may be well perus'd.
- Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
- With no less terror than the elements
- Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
- At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
- Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water;
- The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
- My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
- March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.
[A Parley sounded, and answered by a Trumpet within.
- Flourish. Enter on the Walls, the KING, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE,
- AUMERLE, SCROOP, and SALISBURY.]
- See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
- As doth the blushing discontented sun
- From out the fiery portal of the east,
- When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
- To dim his glory and to stain the track
- Of his bright passage to the occident.
- Yet he looks like a king: behold, his eye,
- As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
- Controlling majesty: alack, alack, for woe,
- That any harm should stain so fair a show!
- [To NORTHUMBERLAND.] We are amaz'd; and thus long
- have we stood
- To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
- Because we thought ourself thy lawful king;
- And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
- To pay their awful duty to our presence?
- If we be not, show us the hand of God
- That hath dismiss'd us from our stewardship;
- For well we know no hand of blood and bone
- Can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre,
- Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
- And though you think that all, as you have done,
- Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
- And we are barren and bereft of friends,
- Yet know-my master, God omnipotent,
- Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
- Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
- Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
- That lift your vassal hands against my head
- And threat the glory of my precious crown.
- Tell Bolingbroke,—for yond methinks he stands,—
- That every stride he makes upon my land
- Is dangerous treason; he is come to open
- The purple testament of bleeding war;
- But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
- Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
- Shall ill become the flower of England's face,
- Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
- To scarlet indignation, and bedew
- Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.
- The King of Heaven forbid our lord the King
- Should so with civil and uncivil arms
- Be rush'd upon! Thy thrice noble cousin,
- Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
- And by the honourable tomb he swears
- That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,
- And by the royalties of both your bloods,
- Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
- And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
- And by the worth and honour of himself,
- Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
- His coming hither hath no further scope
- Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg
- Enfranchisement immediate on his knees;
- Which on thy royal party granted once,
- His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
- His barbed steeds to stables, and his heart
- To faithful service of your Majesty.
- This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
- And as I am a gentleman I credit him.
- Northumberland, say, thus the king returns:
- His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
- And all the number of his fair demands
- Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction.
- With all the gracious utterance thou hast
- Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.
[NORTHUMBERLAND retires to BOLINGBROKE.]
- [To AUMERLE.] We do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not,
- To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
- Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
- Defiance to the traitor, and so die?
- No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle words
- Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.
- O God, O God! that e'er this tongue of mine
- That laid the sentence of dread banishment
- On yond proud man should take it off again
- With words of sooth! O! that I were as great
- As is my grief, or lesser than my name,
- Or that I could forget what I have been,
- Or not remember what I must be now.
- Swell'st thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat,
- Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
- Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
- What must the King do now? Must he submit?
- The king shall do it: must he be depos'd?
- The king shall be contented: must he lose
- The name of king? A God's name, let it go:
- I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
- My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
- My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,
- My figur'd goblets for a dish of wood,
- My sceptre for a palmer's walking-staff,
- My subjects for a pair of carved saints,
- And my large kingdom for a little grave,
- A little little grave, an obscure grave;
- Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
- Some way of common trade, where subjects' feet
- May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;
- For on my heart they tread now whilst I live;
- And buried once, why not upon my head?
- Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousin!
- We'll make foul weather with despised tears;
- Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn
- And make a dearth in this revolting land.
- Or shall we play the wantons with our woes
- And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
- As thus: to drop them still upon one place
- Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
- Within the earth; and, there inlaid: 'There lies
- Two kinsmen digg'd their graves with weeping eyes.'
- Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
- I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.
- Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
- What says King Bolingbroke? will his Majesty
- Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
- You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.
- My lord, in the base court he doth attend
- To speak with you; may it please you to come down?
- Down, down I come; like glist'ring Phaethon,
- Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
- In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
- To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace.
- In the base court? Come down? Down, court! down, king!
- For night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.
[Exeunt from above.]
- What says his Majesty?
- Sorrow and grief of heart
- Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man;
- Yet he is come.
[Enter KING RICHARD, and his attendants.]
- Stand all apart,
- And show fair duty to his Majesty.[Kneeling.]
- My gracious lord,—
- Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
- To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
- Me rather had my heart might feel your love
- Than my unpleas'd eye see your courtesy.
- Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
- Thus high at least, although your knee be low.
- My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.
- Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.
- So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
- As my true service shall deserve your love.
- Well you deserve: they well deserve to have
- That know the strong'st and surest way to get.
- Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes:
- Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
- Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
- Though you are old enough to be my heir.
- What you will have, I'll give, and willing too;
- For do we must what force will have us do.
- Set on towards London. Cousin, is it so?
- Yea, my good lord.
- Then I must not say no.
SCENE IV. Langley. The DUKE OF YORK's garden.
[Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies.]
- What sport shall we devise here in this garden
- To drive away the heavy thought of care?
- Madam, we'll play at bowls.
- 'Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
- And that my fortune runs against the bias.
- Madam, we'll dance.
- My legs can keep no measure in delight,
- When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
- Therefore no dancing, girl; some other sport.
- Madam, we'll tell tales.
- Of sorrow or of joy?
- Of either, madam.
- Of neither, girl:
- For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
- It 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.
- Madam, I'll sing.
- 'Tis well' that thou hast cause;
- But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep.
- I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
- And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
- And never borrow any tear of thee.
- But stay, here come the gardeners.
- Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
- My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
- They will talk of state, for every one doth so
- Against a change: woe is forerun with woe.
[QUEEN and Ladies retire.]
[Enter a Gardener and two Servants.]
- Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
- Which, like unruly children, make their sire
- Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
- Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
- Go thou, and like an executioner
- Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays
- That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
- All must be even in our government.
- You thus employ'd, I will go root away
- The noisome weeds which without profit suck
- The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
- Why should we in the compass of a pale
- Keep law and form and due proportion,
- Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
- When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
- Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers chok'd up,
- Her fruit trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd,
- Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
- Swarming with caterpillars?
- Hold thy peace.
- He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring
- Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf;
- The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
- That seem'd in eating him to hold him up,
- Are pluck'd up root and all by Bolingbroke;
- I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
- What! are they dead?
- They are; and Bolingbroke
- Hath seiz'd the wasteful King. O! what pity is it
- That he had not so trimm'd and dress'd his land
- As we this garden! We at time of year
- Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
- Lest, being over-proud in sap and blood,
- With too much riches it confound itself:
- Had he done so to great and growing men,
- They might have liv'd to bear, and he to taste
- Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches
- We lop away, that bearing boughs may live:
- Had he done so, himself had home the crown,
- Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
- What! think you the king shall be depos'd?
- Depress'd he is already, and depos'd
- 'Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night
- To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's
- That tell black tidings.
- O! I am press'd to death through want of speaking!
- Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,
- How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
- What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
- To make a second fall of cursed man?
- Why dost thou say King Richard is depos'd?
- Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
- Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,
- Cam'st thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch.
- Pardon me, madam: little joy have I
- To breathe this news; yet what I say is true.
- King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
- Of Bolingbroke: their fortunes both are weigh'd.
- In your lord's scale is nothing but himself,
- And some few vanities that make him light;
- But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
- Besides himself, are all the English peers,
- And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
- Post you to London, and you will find it so;
- I speak no more than every one doth know.
- Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
- Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
- And am I last that knows it? O! thou thinkest
- To serve me last, that I may longest keep
- Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go,
- To meet at London London's king in woe.
- What was I born to this, that my sad look
- Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?
- Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,
- Pray God the plants thou graft'st may never grow!
[Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies.]
- Poor Queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
- I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
- Here did she fall a tear; here in this place
- I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
- Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
- In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
SCENE I. Westminster Hall.
[The Lords spiritual on the right side of the throne; the Lords temporal on the left; the Commons below. Enter BOLINGBROKE, AUMERLE, SURREY, NORTHUMBERLAND, HENRY PERCY, FITZWATER, another Lord, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, the ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER, and attendants. OFFICERS behind, with BAGOT.]
- Call forth Bagot.
- Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind;
- What thou dost know of noble Gloucester's death;
- Who wrought it with the King, and who perform'd
- The bloody office of his timeless end.
- Then set before my face the Lord Aumerle.
- Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
- My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
- Scorns to unsay what once it hath deliver'd.
- In that dead time when Gloucester's death was plotted
- I heard you say 'Is not my arm of length,
- That reacheth from the restful English Court
- As far as Calais, to mine uncle's head?'
- Amongst much other talk that very time
- I heard you say that you had rather refuse
- The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
- Than Bolingbroke's return to England;
- Adding withal, how blest this land would be
- In this your cousin's death.
- Princes, and noble lords,
- What answer shall I make to this base man?
- Shall I so much dishonour my fair stars
- On equal terms to give him chastisement?
- Either I must, or have mine honour soil'd
- With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
- There is my gage, the manual seal of death
- That marks thee out for hell: I say thou liest,
- And will maintain what thou hast said is false
- In thy heart-blood, through being all too base
- To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
- Bagot, forbear; thou shalt not take it up.
- Excepting one, I would he were the best
- In all this presence that hath mov'd me so.
- If that thy valour stand on sympathies,
- There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine:
- By that fair sun which shows me where thou stand'st,
- I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak'st it,
- That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester's death.
- If thou deny'st it twenty times, thou liest;
- And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
- Where it was forged, with my rapier's point.
- Thou darest not, coward, live to see that day.
- Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.
- Fitzwater, thou art damn'd to hell for this.
- Aumerle, thou liest; his honour is as true
- In this appeal as thou art an unjust;
- And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
- To prove it on thee to the extremest point
- Of mortal breathing: seize it if thou dar'st.
- And if I do not, may my hands rot off
- And never brandish more revengeful steel
- Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
- I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle;
- And spur thee on with full as many lies
- As may be halloa'd in thy treacherous ear
- From sun to sun: there is my honour's pawn;
- Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.
- Who sets me else? By heaven, I'll throw at all:
- I have a thousand spirits in one breast
- To answer twenty thousand such as you.
- My Lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
- The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
- 'Tis very true: you were in presence then,
- And you can witness with me this is true.
- As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.
- Surrey, thou liest.
- Dishonourable boy!
- That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword
- That it shall render vengeance and revenge
- Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
- In earth as quiet as thy father's skull.
- In proof whereof, there is my honour's pawn;
- Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.
- How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
- If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live,
- I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness,
- And spit upon him, whilst I say he lies,
- And lies, and lies: there is my bond of faith
- To tie thee to my strong correction.
- As I intend to thrive in this new world,
- Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal:
- Besides, I heard the banish'd Norfolk say
- That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
- To execute the noble duke at Calais.
- Some honest Christian trust me with a gage.
- That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
- If he may be repeal'd to try his honour.
- These differences shall all rest under gage
- Till Norfolk be repeal'd: repeal'd he shall be
- And, though mine enemy, restor'd again
- To all his lands and signories; when he is return'd,
- Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
- That honourable day shall ne'er be seen.
- Many a time hath banish'd Norfolk fought
- For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
- Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
- Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
- And, toil'd with works of war, retir'd himself
- To Italy; and there, at Venice, gave
- His body to that pleasant country's earth,
- And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
- Under whose colours he had fought so long.
- Why, Bishop, is Norfolk dead?
- As surely as I live, my lord.
- Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
- Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
- Your differences shall all rest under gage
- Till we assign you to your days of trial
[Enter YORK, attended.]
- Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to the
- From plume-pluck'd Richard; who with willing soul
- Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields
- To the possession of thy royal hand.
- Ascend his throne, descending now from him;
- And long live Henry, of that name the fourth!
- In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.
- Marry, God forbid!
- Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
- Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
- Would God that any in this noble presence
- Were enough noble to be upright judge
- Of noble Richard! Then true noblesse would
- Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
- What subject can give sentence on his king?
- And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?
- Thieves are not judg'd but they are by to hear,
- Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
- And shall the figure of God's majesty,
- His captain, steward, deputy elect,
- Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
- Be judg'd by subject and inferior breath,
- And he himself not present? O! forfend it, God,
- That in a Christian climate souls refin'd
- Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
- I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
- Stirr'd up by God, thus boldly for his king.
- My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
- Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king;
- And if you crown him, let me prophesy,
- The blood of English shall manure the ground
- And future ages groan for this foul act;
- Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
- And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
- Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
- Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny,
- Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd
- The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
- O! if you raise this house against this house,
- It will the woefullest division prove
- That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
- Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
- Lest child, child's children, cry against you 'woe!'
- Well have you argued, sir; and, for your pains,
- Of capital treason we arrest you here.
- My Lord of Westminster, be it your charge
- To keep him safely till his day of trial.
- May it please you, lords, to grant the commons' suit?
- Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
- He may surrender; so we shall proceed
- Without suspicion.
- I will be his conduct.
- Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
- Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
- Little are we beholding to your love,
- And little look'd for at your helping hands.
[Re-enter YORK, with KING RICHARD, and OFFICERS bearing the Crown, &c.]
- Alack! why am I sent for to a king
- Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
- Wherewith I reign'd? I hardly yet have learn'd
- To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
- Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
- To this submission. Yet I well remember
- The favours of these men: were they not mine?
- Did they not sometime cry 'All hail!' to me?
- So Judas did to Christ: but he, in twelve,
- Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.
- God save the King! Will no man say, amen?
- Am I both priest and clerk? Well then, amen.
- God save the King! although I be not he;
- And yet, amen, if heaven do think him me.
- To do what service am I sent for hither?
- To do that office of thine own good will
- Which tired majesty did make thee offer,
- The resignation of thy state and crown
- To Henry Bolingbroke.
- Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown.
- Here, cousin,
- On this side my hand, and on that side thine.
- Now is this golden crown like a deep well
- That owes two buckets, filling one another;
- The emptier ever dancing in the air,
- The other down, unseen, and full of water.
- That bucket down and full of tears am I,
- Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.
- I thought you had been willing to resign.
- My crown I am; but still my griefs are mine.
- You may my glories and my state depose,
- But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
- Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
- Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
- My care is loss of care, by old care done;
- Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
- The cares I give I have, though given away;
- They tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
- Are you contented to resign the crown?
- Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be;
- Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.
- Now mark me how I will undo myself:
- I give this heavy weight from off my head,
- And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
- The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
- With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
- With mine own hands I give away my crown,
- With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
- With mine own breath release all duteous rites:
- All pomp and majesty I do forswear;
- My manors, rents, revenues, I forgo;
- My acts, decrees, and statutes, I deny:
- God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
- God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!
- Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev'd,
- And thou with all pleas'd, that hast an achiev'd!
- Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit,
- And soon lie Richard in an earthly pit!
- God save King Henry, unking'd Richard says,
- And send him many years of sunshine days!
- What more remains?
- [Offering a paper.] No more, but that you read
- These accusations, and these grievous crimes
- Committed by your person and your followers
- Against the state and profit of this land;
- That, by confessing them, the souls of men
- May deem that you are worthily depos'd.
- Must I do so? And must I ravel out
- My weav'd-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
- If thy offences were upon record,
- Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop
- To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
- There shouldst thou find one heinous article,
- Containing the deposing of a king
- And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
- Mark'd with a blot, damn'd in the book of heaven.
- Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me
- Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
- Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
- Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
- Have here deliver'd me to my sour cross,
- And water cannot wash away your sin.
- My lord, dispatch; read o'er these articles.
- Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see:
- And yet salt water blinds them not so much
- But they can see a sort of traitors here.
- Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
- I find myself a traitor with the rest;
- For I have given here my soul's consent
- T'undeck the pompous body of a king;
- Made glory base, and sovereignty a slave,
- Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant.
- My lord,—
- No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
- Nor no man's lord; I have no name, no title,
- No, not that name was given me at the font,
- But 'tis usurp'd: alack the heavy day!
- That I have worn so many winters out,
- And know not now what name to call myself!
- O! that I were a mockery king of snow,
- Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke
- To melt myself away in water-drops!
- Good king, great king,—and yet not greatly good,
- An if my word be sterling yet in England,
- Let it command a mirror hither straight,
- That it may show me what a face I have,
- Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
- Go some of you and fetch a looking-glass.
[Exit an Attendant.]
- Read o'er this paper while the glass doth come.
- Fiend! thou torments me ere I come to hell.
- Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
- The Commons will not then be satisfied.
- They shall be satisfied; I'll read enough,
- When I do see the very book indeed
- Where all my sins are writ, and that's myself.
[Re-enter Attendant, with glass.]
- Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
- No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
- So many blows upon this face of mine
- And made no deeper wounds? O flatt'ring glass!
- Like to my followers in prosperity,
- Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
- That every day under his household roof
- Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
- That like the sun did make beholders wink?
- Is this the face which fac'd so many follies
- That was at last out-fac'd by Bolingbroke?
- A brittle glory shineth in this face:
- As brittle as the glory is the face;
[Dashes the glass against the ground.]
- For there it is, crack'd in a hundred shivers.
- Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport,
- How soon my sorrow hath destroy'd my face.
- The shadow of your sorrow hath destroy'd
- The shadow of your face.
- Say that again.
- The shadow of my sorrow! Ha! let's see:
- 'Tis very true: my grief lies all within;
- And these external manner of laments
- Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
- That swells with silence in the tortur'd soul.
- There lies the substance: and I thank thee, king,
- For thy great bounty, that not only givest
- Me cause to wail, but teachest me the way
- How to lament the cause. I'll beg one boon,
- And then be gone and trouble you no more.
- Shall I obtain it?
- Name it, fair cousin.
- 'Fair cousin'! I am greater than a king;
- For when I was a king, my flatterers
- Were then but subjects; being now a subject,
- I have a king here to my flatterer.
- Being so great, I have no need to beg.
- Yet ask.
- And shall I have?
- You shall.
- Then give me leave to go.
- Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
- Go, some of you convey him to the Tower.
- O, good! convey? conveyers are you all,
- That rise thus nimbly by a true king's fall.
[Exeunt KING RICHARD and Guard.]
- On Wednesday next we solemnly set down
- Our coronation: lords, prepare yourselves.
[Exeunt all but the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, the ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER,
- and AUMERLE.]
- A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
- The woe's to come; the children yet unborn
- Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.
- You holy clergymen, is there no plot
- To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?
- My lord,
- Before I freely speak my mind herein,
- You shall not only take the sacrament
- To bury mine intents, but also to effect
- Whatever I shall happen to devise.
- I see your brows are full of discontent,
- Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears:
- Come home with me to supper; I will lay
- A plot shall show us all a merry day.
SCENE I. London. A street leading to the Tower.
[Enter the QUEEN and ladies.]
- This way the King will come; this is the way
- To Julius Caesar's ill-erected tower,
- To whose flint bosom my condemned lord
- Is doom'd a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
- Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
- Have any resting for her true King's queen.
[Enter KING RICHARD and Guard.]
- But soft, but see, or rather do not see,
- My fair rose wither; yet look up, behold,
- That you in pity may dissolve to dew,
- And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.
- Ah! thou, the model where old Troy did stand;
- Thou map of honour, thou King Richard's tomb,
- And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn,
- Why should hard-favour'd grief be lodg'd in thee,
- When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
- Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
- To make my end too sudden: learn, good soul,
- To think our former state a happy dream;
- From which awak'd, the truth of what we are
- Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,
- To grim Necessity; and he and
- Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France,
- And cloister thee in some religious house:
- Our holy lives must win a new world's crown,
- Which our profane hours here have thrown down.
- What! is my Richard both in shape and mind
- Transform'd and weaken'd! Hath Bolingbroke depos'd
- Thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
- The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
- And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
- To be o'erpower'd; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
- Take the correction mildly, kiss the rod,
- And fawn on rage with base humility,
- Which art a lion and the king of beasts?
- A king of beasts, indeed; if aught but beasts,
- I had been still a happy king of men.
- Good sometimes queen, prepare thee hence for France.
- Think I am dead, and that even here thou tak'st,
- As from my death-bed, thy last living leave.
- In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire
- With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
- Of woeful ages long ago betid;
- And ere thou bid good night, to quit their griefs
- Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
- And send the hearers weeping to their beds;
- For why, the senseless brands will sympathize
- The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
- And in compassion weep the fire out;
- And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
- For the deposing of a rightful king.
[Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, attended.]
- My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is chang'd;
- You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.
- And, madam, there is order ta'en for you:
- With all swift speed you must away to France.
- Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
- The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
- The time shall not be many hours of age
- More than it is, ere foul sin gathering head
- Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
- Though he divide the realm and give thee half
- It is too little, helping him to all;
- And he shall think that thou, which know'st the way
- To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
- Being ne'er so little urg'd, another way
- To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
- The love of wicked men converts to fear;
- That fear to hate; and hate turns one or both
- To worthy danger and deserved death.
- My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
- Take leave, and part; for you must part forthwith.
- Doubly divorc'd! Bad men, ye violate
- A twofold marriage; 'twixt my crown and me,
- And then betwixt me and my married wife.
- Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;
- And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made.
- Part us, Northumberland: I towards the north,
- Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
- My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp,
- She came adorned hither like sweet May,
- Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day.
- And must we be divided? Must we part?
- Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
- Banish us both, and send the king with me.
- That were some love, but little policy.
- Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
- So two, together weeping, make one woe.
- Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
- Better far off than near, be ne'er the near.
- Go, count thy way with sighs; I mine with groans.
- So longest way shall have the longest moans.
- Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,
- And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
- Come, come, in wooing sorrow let's be brief,
- Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
- One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part;
- Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
- Give me mine own again; 'twere no good part
- To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
[They kiss again.]
- So, now I have mine own again, be gone.
- That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
- We make woe wanton with this fond delay:
- Once more, adieu; the rest let sorrow say.
SCENE II. The same. A room in the DUKE OF YORK's palace.
[Enter YORK and his DUCHESS.]
- My Lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
- When weeping made you break the story off,
- Of our two cousins' coming into London.
- Where did I leave?
- At that sad stop, my lord,
- Where rude misgoverned hands from windows' tops
- Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.
- Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
- Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed
- Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
- With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
- Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee, Bolingbroke!'
- You would have thought the very windows spake,
- So many greedy looks of young and old
- Through casements darted their desiring eyes
- Upon his visage; and that all the walls
- With painted imagery had said at once
- 'Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke!'
- Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
- Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
- Bespake them thus, 'I thank you, countrymen:'
- And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.
- Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?
- As in a theatre, the eyes of men
- After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage
- Are idly bent on him that enters next,
- Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
- Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
- Did scowl on Richard: no man cried 'God save him;'
- No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home;
- But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
- Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
- His face still combating with tears and smiles,
- The badges of his grief and patience,
- That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
- The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
- And barbarism itself have pitied him.
- But heaven hath a hand in these events,
- To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
- To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
- Whose state and honour I for aye allow.
- Here comes my son Aumerle.
- Aumerle that was;
- But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
- And madam, you must call him Rutland now.
- I am in Parliament pledge for his truth
- And lasting fealty to the new-made king.
- Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
- That strew the green lap of the new come spring?
- Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
- God knows I had as lief be none as one.
- Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
- Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime.
- What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs?
- For aught I know, my lord, they do.
- You will be there, I know.
- If God prevent not, I purpose so.
- What seal is that that without thy bosom?
- Yea, look'st thou pale? Let me see the writing.
- My lord, 'tis nothing.
- No matter, then, who see it.
- I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.
- I do beseech your Grace to pardon me;
- It is a matter of small consequence
- Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
- Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
- I fear, I fear—
- What should you fear?
- 'Tis nothing but some bond that he is ent'red into
- For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.
- Bound to himself! What doth he with a bond
- That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.
- Boy, let me see the writing.
- I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.
- I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.
[Snatches it and reads.]
- Treason, foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!
- What is the matter, my lord?
- Ho! who is within there?
[Enter a Servant.]
- Saddle my horse.
- God for his mercy! what treachery is here!
- Why, what is it, my lord?
- Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.
- Now, by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
- I will appeach the villain.
- What is the matter?
- Peace, foolish woman.
- I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle?
- Good mother, be content; it is no more
- Than my poor life must answer.
- Thy life answer!
- Bring me my boots. I will unto the King.
[Re-enter Servant with boots.]
- Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amaz'd.
- [To Servant.]
- Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.
- Give me my boots, I say.
- Why, York, what wilt thou do?
- Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
- Have we more sons? or are we like to have?
- Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
- And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age
- And rob me of a happy mother's name?
- Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?
- Thou fond mad woman,
- Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
- A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,
- And interchangeably set down their hands
- To kill the King at Oxford.
- He shall be none;
- We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?
- Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son
- I would appeach him.
- Hadst thou groan'd for him
- As I have done, thou'dst be more pitiful.
- But now I know thy mind: thou dost suspect
- That I have been disloyal to thy bed
- And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
- Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind.
- He is as like thee as a man may be
- Not like to me, or any of my kin,
- And yet I love him.
- Make way, unruly woman!
- After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse;
- Spur post, and get before him to the king,
- And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
- I'll not be long behind; though I be old,
- I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
- And never will I rise up from the ground
- Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away! be gone.
SCENE III. Windsor. A room in the Castle.
[Enter BOLINGBROKE as King, HENRY PERCY, and other LORDS.]
- Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son?
- 'Tis full three months since I did see him last.
- If any plague hang over us, 'tis he.
- I would to God, my lords, he might be found.
- Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there,
- For there, they say, he daily doth frequent
- With unrestrained loose companions,
- Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes
- And beat our watch and rob our passengers;
- Which he, young wanton and effeminate boy,
- Takes on the point of honour to support
- So dissolute a crew.
- My lord, some two days since I saw the prince,
- And told him of those triumphs held at Oxford.
- And what said the gallant?
- His answer was: he would unto the stews,
- And from the common'st creature pluck a glove
- And wear it as a favour; and with that
- He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
- As dissolute as desperate; yet through both
- I see some sparks of better hope, which elder years
- May happily bring forth. But who comes here?
- Where is the King?
- What means our cousin that he stares and looks
- So wildly?
- God save your Grace! I do beseech your majesty,
- To have some conference with your Grace alone.
- Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.
[Exeunt HENRY PERCY and LORDS.]
- What is the matter with our cousin now?
- [Kneels.] For ever may my knees grow to the earth,
- My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
- Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.
- Intended or committed was this fault?
- If on the first, how heinous e'er it be,
- To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
- Then give me leave that I may turn the key,
- That no man enter till my tale be done.
- Have thy desire.
[AUMERLE locks the door.]
- [Within.] My liege, beware! look to thyself;
- Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
- [Drawing.] Villain, I'll make thee safe.
- Stay thy revengeful hand; thou hast no cause to fear.
- [Within.] Open the door, secure, foolhardy king:
- Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face?
- Open the door, or I will break it open.
[BOLINGBROKE unlocks the door; and afterwards, relocks it.]
- What is the matter, uncle? speak;
- Recover breath; tell us how near is danger,
- That we may arm us to encounter it.
- Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
- The treason that my haste forbids me show.
- Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise pass'd:
- I do repent me; read not my name there;
- My heart is not confederate with my hand.
- It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.
- I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king;
- Fear, and not love, begets his penitence.
- Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
- A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
- O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!
- O loyal father of a treacherous son!
- Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain,
- From whence this stream through muddy passages
- Hath held his current and defil'd himself!
- Thy overflow of good converts to bad;
- And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
- This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
- So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd,
- And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
- As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
- Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
- Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies:
- Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
- The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.
- [Within.] What ho! my liege, for God's sake, let me in.
- What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this eager cry?
- [Within.] A woman, and thine aunt, great king; 'tis I.
- Speak with me, pity me, open the door:
- A beggar begs that never begg'd before.
- Our scene is alter'd from a serious thing,
- And now chang'd to 'The Beggar and the King.'
- My dangerous cousin, let your mother in:
- I know she's come to pray for your foul sin.
- If thou do pardon, whosoever pray,
- More sins for this forgiveness prosper may.
- This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rest sound;
- This let alone will all the rest confound.
- O King, believe not this hard-hearted man:
- Love, loving not itself, none other can.
- Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
- Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?
- Sweet York, be patient. [Kneels.] Hear me, gentle liege.
- Rise up, good aunt.
- Not yet, I thee beseech.
- For ever will I walk upon my knees,
- And never see day that the happy sees,
- Till thou give joy: until thou bid me joy
- By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
- Unto my mother's prayers I bend my knee.
- Against them both, my true joints bended be.
- Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!
- Pleads he in earnest? Look upon his face;
- His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
- His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast;
- He prays but faintly and would be denied;
- We pray with heart and soul, and all beside:
- His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
- Our knees still kneel till to the ground they grow:
- His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
- Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
- Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
- That mercy which true prayer ought to have.
- Good aunt, stand up.
- Nay, do not say 'stand up';
- Say 'pardon' first, and afterwards 'stand up'.
- An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
- 'Pardon' should be the first word of thy speech.
- I never long'd to hear a word till now;
- Say 'pardon,' king; let pity teach thee how:
- The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
- No word like 'pardon' for kings' mouths so meet.
- Speak it in French, King, say 'pardonne moy.'
- Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
- Ah! my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,,
- That sett'st the word itself against the word.
- Speak 'pardon' as 'tis current in our land;
- The chopping French we do not understand.
- Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there,
- Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
- That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
- Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse.
- Good aunt, stand up.
- I do not sue to stand;
- Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
- I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
- O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
- Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
- Twice saying 'pardon' doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.
- With all my heart
- I pardon him.
- A god on earth thou art.
- But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot,
- With all the rest of that consorted crew,
- Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
- Good uncle, help to order several powers
- To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
- They shall not live within this world, I swear,
- But I will have them, if I once know where.
- Uncle, farewell: and, cousin, adieu:
- Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.
- Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.
SCENE IV. Another room in the Castle.
[Enter EXTON and a Servant.]
- Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake?
- 'Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?'
- Was it not so?
- These were his very words.
- 'Have I no friend?' quoth he: he spake it twice
- And urg'd it twice together, did he not?
- He did.
- And, speaking it, he wistly looked on me,
- As who should say 'I would thou wert the man
- That would divorce this terror from my heart';
- Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go.
- I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.
SCENE V. Pomfret. The dungeon of the Castle.
[Enter KING RICHARD.]
- I have been studying how I may compare
- This prison where I live unto the world
- And for because the world is populous,
- And here is not a creature but myself,
- I cannot do it; yet I'll hammer it out.
- My brain I'll prove the female to my soul;
- My soul the father: and these two beget
- A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
- And these same thoughts people this little world,
- In humours like the people of this world,
- For no thought is contented. The better sort,
- As thoughts of things divine, are intermix'd
- With scruples, and do set the word itself
- Against the word:
- As thus: 'Come, little ones'; and then again,
- 'It is as hard to come as for a camel
- To thread the postern of a needle's eye.'
- Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
- Unlikely wonders; how these vain weak nails
- May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
- Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
- And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
- Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
- That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
- Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars
- Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,
- That many have and others must sit there:
- And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
- Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
- Of such as have before endur'd the like.
- Thus play I in one person many people,
- And none contented: sometimes am I king;
- Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
- And so I am: then crushing penury
- Persuades me I was better when a king;
- Then am I king'd again; and by and by
- Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
- And straight am nothing: but whate'er I be,
- Nor I, nor any man that but man is
- With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd
- With being nothing.
- Music do I hear? [Music.]
- Ha, ha! keep time. How sour sweet music is
- When time is broke and no proportion kept!
- So is it in the music of men's lives.
- And here have I the daintiness of ear
- To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
- But, for the concord of my state and time,
- Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
- I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
- For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
- My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
- Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
- Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
- Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
- Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
- Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
- Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
- Show minutes, times, and hours; but my time
- Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
- While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock.
- This music mads me; let it sound no more;
- For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
- In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
- Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
- For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard
- Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
[Enter a Groom of the stable.]
- Hail, royal Prince!
- Thanks, noble peer;
- The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
- What art thou? and how comest thou hither, man,
- Where no man never comes but that sad dog
- That brings me food to make misfortune live?
- I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
- When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
- With much ado at length have gotten leave
- To look upon my sometimes royal master's face.
- O! how it yearn'd my heart when I beheld,
- In London streets, that coronation day,
- When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
- That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
- That horse that I so carefully have dress'd.
- Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
- How went he under him?
- So proudly as if he disdain'd the ground.
- So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
- That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
- This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
- Would he not stumble? would he not fall down,—
- Since pride must have a fall,—and break the neck
- Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
- Forgiveness, horse! Why do I rail on thee,
- Since thou, created to be aw'd by man,
- Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;
- And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
- Spur-gall'd and tir'd by jauncing Bolingbroke.
[Enter Keeper, with a dish.]
KEEPER. [To the Groom.]
- Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.
- If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away.
- My tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.
- My lord, will't please you to fall to?
- Taste of it first as thou art wont to do.
- My lord, I dare not: Sir Pierce of Exton,
- Who lately came from the king, commands the contrary.
- The devil take Henry of Lancaster and thee!
- Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
[Strikes the Keeper.]
- Help, help, help!
[Enter EXTON and Servants, armed.]
- How now! What means death in this rude assault?
- Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.
[Snatching a weapon and killing one.]
- Go thou and fill another room in hell.
[He kills another, then EXTON strikes him down.]
- That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
- That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
- Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land.
- Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
- Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
- As full of valour as of royal blood:
- Both have I spilt; O! would the deed were good;
- For now the devil, that told me I did well,
- Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
- This dead king to the living king I'll bear.
- Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.
SCENE VI. Windsor. An Apartment in the Castle.
[Flourish. Enter BOLINGBROKE and YORK, with Lords and Attendants.]
- Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
- Is that the rebels have consum'd with fire
- Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire;
- But whether they be ta'en or slain we hear not.
- Welcome, my lord. What is the news?
- First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.
- The next news is: I have to London sent
- The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent.
- The manner of their taking may appear
- At large discoursed in this paper here.
- We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains;
- And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
- My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
- The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely,
- Two of the dangerous consorted traitors
- That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
- Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;
- Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
[Enter HENRY PERCY, With the BISHOP OF CARLISLE.]
- The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
- With clog of conscience and sour melancholy,
- Hath yielded up his body to the grave;
- But here is Carlisle living, to abide
- Thy kingly doom, and sentence of his pride.
- Carlisle, this is your doom:
- Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
- More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life;
- So as thou livest in peace, die free from strife;
- For though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
- High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.
[Enter EXTON, with attendants, hearing a coffin.]
- Great king, within this coffin I present
- Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies
- The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
- Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.
- Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought
- A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
- Upon my head and all this famous land.
- From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
- They love not poison that do poison need,
- Nor do I thee: though I did wish him dead,
- I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
- The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,
- But neither my good word nor princely favour:
- With Cain go wander thorough shade of night,
- And never show thy head by day nor light.
- Lords, I protest my soul is full of woe,
- That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow:
- Come, mourn with me for what I do lament,
- And put on sullen black incontinent.
- I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land,
- To wash this blood off from my guilty hand.
- March sadly after; grace my mournings here,
- In weeping after this untimely bier.