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Richard II - Act 1, scene 3
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Navigate this workRichard II - Act 1, scene 3
Act 1, scene 3
Bolingbroke and Mowbray prepare to fight to the death. King Richard suddenly calls off the fight and banishes Mowbray for life and Bolingbroke for many years.Enter Lord Marshal and the Duke ⌜of⌝ Aumerle.
0288 My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford armed?
0289 Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
0290 The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
0291 Stays but the summons of the appellant’s trumpet.
0292 5 Why then, the champions are prepared and stay
0293 For nothing but his Majesty’s approach.
The trumpets sound and the King enters with his Nobles
⌜and Officers;⌝ when they are set, enter ⌜Mowbray,⌝ the
Duke of Norfolk in arms, defendant, ⌜with a Herald.⌝
0294 Marshal, demand of yonder champion
0295 The cause of his arrival here in arms,
0296 Ask him his name, and orderly proceed
0297 10 To swear him in the justice of his cause.
MARSHAL, ⌜to Mowbray⌝
0298 In God’s name and the King’s, say who thou art
0299 And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms,
0300 Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quarrel.
0301 Speak truly on thy knighthood and thy oath,
0302 15 As so defend thee heaven and thy valor.
0303 My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
0304 Who hither come engagèd by my oath—
0305 Which God defend a knight should violate!—
0306 Both to defend my loyalty and truth
0307 20 To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,
0308 Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me,
0309 And by the grace of God and this mine arm
0310 To prove him, in defending of myself,
0311 A traitor to my God, my king, and me;
0312 25 And as I truly fight, defend me heaven.
The trumpets sound. Enter ⌜Bolingbroke,⌝ Duke of
Hereford, appellant, in armor, ⌜with a Herald.⌝
KING RICHARD 0313 Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms
p. 290314 Both who he is and why he cometh hither
0315 Thus plated in habiliments of war,
0316 And formally, according to our law,
0317 30 Depose him in the justice of his cause.
MARSHAL, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
0318 What is thy name? And wherefore com’st thou hither,
0319 Before King Richard in his royal lists?
0320 Against whom comest thou? And what’s thy quarrel?
0321 Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven.
0322 35 Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
0323 Am I, who ready here do stand in arms
0324 To prove, by God’s grace and my body’s valor,
0325 In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
0326 That he is a traitor foul and dangerous
0327 40 To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me.
0328 And as I truly fight, defend me heaven.
0329 On pain of death, no person be so bold
0330 Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
0331 Except the Marshal and such officers
0332 45 Appointed to direct these fair designs.
0333 Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign’s hand
0334 And bow my knee before his Majesty;
0335 For Mowbray and myself are like two men
0336 That vow a long and weary pilgrimage.
0337 50 Then let us take a ceremonious leave
0338 And loving farewell of our several friends.
MARSHAL, ⌜to King Richard⌝
0339 The appellant in all duty greets your Highness
0340 And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
KING RICHARD, ⌜coming down⌝
0341 We will descend and fold him in our arms.
⌜He embraces Bolingbroke.⌝
0342 55 Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
p. 310343 So be thy fortune in this royal fight.
0344 Farewell, my blood—which, if today thou shed,
0345 Lament we may but not revenge thee dead.
0346 O, let no noble eye profane a tear
0347 60 For me if I be gored with Mowbray’s spear.
0348 As confident as is the falcon’s flight
0349 Against a bird do I with Mowbray fight.
0350 My loving lord, I take my leave of you.—
0351 Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
0352 65 Not sick, although I have to do with death,
0353 But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.—
0354 Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
0355 The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet.
0356 O, thou the earthly author of my blood,
0357 70 Whose youthful spirit in me regenerate
0358 Doth with a twofold vigor lift me up
0359 To reach at victory above my head,
0360 Add proof unto mine armor with thy prayers,
0361 And with thy blessings steel my lance’s point
0362 75 That it may enter Mowbray’s waxen coat
0363 And furbish new the name of John o’ Gaunt,
0364 Even in the lusty havior of his son.
0365 God in thy good cause make thee prosperous.
0366 Be swift like lightning in the execution,
0367 80 And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
0368 Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
0369 Of thy adverse pernicious enemy.
0370 Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
0371 Mine innocence and Saint George to thrive!
0372 85 However God or fortune cast my lot,
0373 There lives or dies, true to King Richard’s throne,
0374 A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
p. 330375 Never did captive with a freer heart
0376 Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
0377 90 His golden uncontrolled enfranchisement
0378 More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
0379 This feast of battle with mine adversary.
0380 Most mighty liege and my companion peers,
0381 Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
0382 95 As gentle and as jocund as to jest
0383 Go I to fight. Truth hath a quiet breast.
0384 Farewell, my lord. Securely I espy
0385 Virtue with valor couchèd in thine eye.—
0386 Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
0387 100 Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
0388 Receive thy lance; and God defend the right.
⌜He presents a lance to Bolingbroke.⌝
0389 Strong as a tower in hope, I cry “Amen!”
MARSHAL, ⌜to an Officer⌝
0390 Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
⌜An Officer presents a lance to Mowbray.⌝
0391 Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
0392 105 Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
0393 On pain to be found false and recreant,
0394 To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
0395 A traitor to his God, his king, and him,
0396 And dares him to set forward to the fight.
0397 110 Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
0398 On pain to be found false and recreant,
0399 Both to defend himself and to approve
0400 Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
0401 To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal,
p. 350402 115 Courageously and with a free desire
0403 Attending but the signal to begin.
0404 Sound, trumpets, and set forward, combatants.
⌜Trumpets sound. Richard throws down his warder.⌝
0405 Stay! The King hath thrown his warder down.
0406 Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
0407 120 And both return back to their chairs again.
0408 ⌜To his council.⌝ Withdraw with us, and let the
0409 trumpets sound
0410 While we return these dukes what we decree.
⌜Trumpets sound while Richard consults with Gaunt
and other Nobles.⌝
0411 ⌜To Bolingbroke and Mowbray.⌝ Draw near,
0412 125 And list what with our council we have done.
0413 For that our kingdom’s earth should not be soiled
0414 With that dear blood which it hath fosterèd;
0415 And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
0416 Of civil wounds plowed up with neighbor’s sword;
0417 130 And for we think the eagle-wingèd pride
0418 Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
0419 With rival-hating envy, set on you
0420 To wake our peace, which in our country’s cradle
0421 Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,
0422 135 Which, so roused up with boist’rous untuned
0424 With harsh resounding trumpets’ dreadful bray,
0425 And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
0426 Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
0427 140 And make us wade even in our kindred’s blood:
0428 Therefore we banish you our territories.
0429 You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
0430 Till twice five summers have enriched our fields
0431 Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
0432 145 But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
0433 Your will be done. This must my comfort be:
0434 That sun that warms you here shall shine on me,
0435 And those his golden beams to you here lent
0436 Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
0437 150 Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
0438 Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
0439 The sly, slow hours shall not determinate
0440 The dateless limit of thy dear exile.
0441 The hopeless word of “never to return”
0442 155 Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
0443 A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
0444 And all unlooked-for from your Highness’ mouth.
0445 A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
0446 As to be cast forth in the common air,
0447 160 Have I deservèd at your Highness’ hands.
0448 The language I have learnt these forty years,
0449 My native English, now I must forgo;
0450 And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
0451 Than an unstringèd viol or a harp,
0452 165 Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
0453 Or, being open, put into his hands
0454 That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
0455 Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
0456 Doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips,
0457 170 And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
0458 Is made my jailor to attend on me.
0459 I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
0460 Too far in years to be a pupil now.
0461 What is thy sentence ⌜then⌝ but speechless death,
0462 175 Which robs my tongue from breathing native
0464 It boots thee not to be compassionate.
0465 After our sentence plaining comes too late.
0466 Then thus I turn me from my country’s light,
0467 180 To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
⌜He begins to exit.⌝
0468 Return again, and take an oath with thee.
0469 ⌜To Mowbray and Bolingbroke.⌝ Lay on our royal
0470 sword your banished hands.
⌜They place their right hands on the hilts of
0471 Swear by the duty that you owe to God—
0472 185 Our part therein we banish with yourselves—
0473 To keep the oath that we administer:
0474 You never shall, so help you truth and God,
0475 Embrace each other’s love in banishment,
0476 Nor never look upon each other’s face,
0477 190 Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
0478 This louring tempest of your homebred hate,
0479 Nor never by advisèd purpose meet
0480 To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
0481 ’Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
BOLINGBROKE 0482 195I swear.
MOWBRAY 0483 And I, to keep all this.
⌜They step back.⌝
0484 Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:
0485 By this time, had the King permitted us,
0486 One of our souls had wandered in the air,
0487 200 Banished this frail sepulcher of our flesh,
0488 As now our flesh is banished from this land.
0489 Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm.
0490 Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
0491 The clogging burden of a guilty soul.
0492 205 No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
0493 My name be blotted from the book of life,
p. 410494 And I from heaven banished as from hence.
0495 But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know,
0496 And all too soon, I fear, the King shall rue.—
0497 210 Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray;
0498 Save back to England, all the world’s my way.
KING RICHARD, ⌜to Gaunt⌝
0499 Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
0500 I see thy grievèd heart. Thy sad aspect
0501 Hath from the number of his banished years
0502 215 Plucked four away. ⌜To Bolingbroke.⌝ Six frozen
0503 winters spent,
0504 Return with welcome home from banishment.
0505 How long a time lies in one little word!
0506 Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
0507 220 End in a word; such is the breath of kings.
0508 I thank my liege that in regard of me
0509 He shortens four years of my son’s exile.
0510 But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
0511 For, ere the six years that he hath to spend
0512 225 Can change their moons and bring their times
0514 My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
0515 Shall be extinct with age and endless ⌜night;⌝
0516 My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
0517 230 And blindfold death not let me see my son.
0518 Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
0519 But not a minute, king, that thou canst give.
0520 Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
0521 And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow.
0522 235 Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
0523 But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage.
p. 430524 Thy word is current with him for my death,
0525 But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
0526 Thy son is banished upon good advice,
0527 240 Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave.
0528 Why at our justice seem’st thou then to lour?
0529 Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
0530 You urged me as a judge, but I had rather
0531 You would have bid me argue like a father.
0532 245 O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
0533 To smooth his fault I should have been more mild.
0534 A partial slander sought I to avoid,
0535 And in the sentence my own life destroyed.
0536 Alas, I looked when some of you should say
0537 250 I was too strict, to make mine own away.
0538 But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
0539 Against my will to do myself this wrong.
KING RICHARD, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
0540 Cousin, farewell.—And, uncle, bid him so.
0541 Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
⌜Flourish. King Richard⌝ exits ⌜with his Attendants.⌝
AUMERLE, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
0542 255 Cousin, farewell. What presence must not know,
0543 From where you do remain let paper show.
MARSHAL, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
0544 My lord, no leave take I, for I will ride,
0545 As far as land will let me, by your side.
GAUNT, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
0546 O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
0547 260 That thou returnest no greeting to thy friends?
0548 I have too few to take my leave of you,
0549 When the tongue’s office should be prodigal
0550 To breathe the abundant dolor of the heart.
0551 Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
0552 265 Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
0553 What is six winters? They are quickly gone.
0554 To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
0555 Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure.
0556 My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
0557 270 Which finds it an enforcèd pilgrimage.
0558 The sullen passage of thy weary steps
0559 Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
0560 The precious jewel of thy home return.
0561 Nay, rather every tedious stride I make
0562 275 Will but remember me what a deal of world
0563 I wander from the jewels that I love.
0564 Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
0565 To foreign passages, and in the end,
0566 Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
0567 280 But that I was a journeyman to grief?
0568 All places that the eye of heaven visits
0569 Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
0570 Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
0571 There is no virtue like necessity.
0572 285 Think not the King did banish thee,
0573 But thou the King. Woe doth the heavier sit
0574 Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
0575 Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honor,
0576 And not the King exiled thee; or suppose
0577 290 Devouring pestilence hangs in our air
0578 And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
p. 470579 Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
0580 To lie that way thou goest, not whence thou com’st.
0581 Suppose the singing birds musicians,
0582 295 The grass whereon thou tread’st the presence
0584 The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
0585 Than a delightful measure or a dance;
0586 For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
0587 300 The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
0588 O, who can hold a fire in his hand
0589 By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
0590 Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
0591 By bare imagination of a feast?
0592 305 Or wallow naked in December snow
0593 By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
0594 O no, the apprehension of the good
0595 Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
0596 Fell sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more
0597 310 Than when he bites but lanceth not the sore.
0598 Come, come, my son, I’ll bring thee on thy way.
0599 Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
0600 Then, England’s ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu,
0601 My mother and my nurse that bears me yet.
0602 315 Where’er I wander, boast of this I can,
0603 Though banished, yet a trueborn Englishman.