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Richard II - Act 1, scene 4
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Navigate this workRichard II - Act 1, scene 4
Act 1, scene 4
Richard makes plans to fight in person in Ireland. To obtain money for the war against the Irish, he leases out crown lands and revenues in exchange for cash, and he gives his deputies in England power to demand large sums of money from the wealthy. News comes that John of Gaunt is gravely ill. Richard looks forward to using Gaunt’s property to help fund the war.Enter the King with ⌜Green and Bagot,⌝ at one door,
and the Lord Aumerle at another.
KING RICHARD 0604 We did observe.—Cousin Aumerle,
0605 How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
0606 I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
0607 But to the next highway, and there I left him.
0608 5 And say, what store of parting tears were shed?
0609 Faith, none for me, except the northeast wind,
0610 Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
0611 Awaked the sleeping rheum and so by chance
0612 Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
0613 10 What said our cousin when you parted with him?
AUMERLE 0614 “Farewell.”
0615 And, for my heart disdainèd that my tongue
0616 Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
0617 To counterfeit oppression of such grief
0618 15 That words seemed buried in my sorrow’s grave.
0619 Marry, would the word “farewell” have lengthened
0621 And added years to his short banishment,
0622 He should have had a volume of farewells.
0623 20 But since it would not, he had none of me.
0624 He is our ⌜cousin,⌝ cousin, but ’tis doubt,
0625 When time shall call him home from banishment,
0626 Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
0627 Ourself and Bushy, ⌜Bagot here and Green,⌝
0628 25 Observed his courtship to the common people,
0629 How he did seem to dive into their hearts
0630 With humble and familiar courtesy,
0631 What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
0632 Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
0633 30 And patient underbearing of his fortune,
0634 As ’twere to banish their affects with him.
0635 Off goes his bonnet to an oysterwench;
0636 A brace of draymen bid God speed him well
p. 510637 And had the tribute of his supple knee,
0638 35 With “Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends,”
0639 As were our England in reversion his
0640 And he our subjects’ next degree in hope.
0641 Well, he is gone, and with him go these thoughts.
0642 Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
0643 40 Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
0644 Ere further leisure yield them further means
0645 For their advantage and your Highness’ loss.
0646 We will ourself in person to this war.
0647 And, for our coffers, with too great a court
0648 45 And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
0649 We are enforced to farm our royal realm,
0650 The revenue whereof shall furnish us
0651 For our affairs in hand. If that come short,
0652 Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters,
0653 50 Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
0654 They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold
0655 And send them after to supply our wants,
0656 For we will make for Ireland presently.
0657 Bushy, what news?⌝
0658 55 Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
0659 Suddenly taken, and hath sent posthaste
0660 To entreat your Majesty to visit him.
KING RICHARD 0661 Where lies he?
BUSHY 0662 At Ely House.
0663 60 Now put it, God, in the physician’s mind
0664 To help him to his grave immediately!
0665 The lining of his coffers shall make coats
p. 530666 To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
0667 Come, gentlemen, let’s all go visit him.
0668 65 Pray God we may make haste and come too late.
⌜ALL⌝ 0669 Amen!