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Navigate this workRichard II
Act 5, scene 2
The duke of York expresses his sympathy for Richard but declares his allegiance to King Henry. When York discovers that his son Aumerle is part of a conspiracy to kill Henry, York rides off to inform on his son. Aumerle and his mother also set off for the court to beg Henry’s mercy.Enter Duke of York and the Duchess.
2395 My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
2396 When weeping made you break the story off
2397 Of our two cousins coming into London.
2398 Where did I leave?
DUCHESS 2399 5 At that sad stop, my lord,
2400 Where rude misgoverned hands from windows’ tops
2401 Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard’s head.
2402 Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
2403 Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
2404 10 Which his aspiring rider seemed to know,
2405 With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
2406 Whilst all tongues cried “God save thee,
2408 You would have thought the very windows spake,
2409 15 So many greedy looks of young and old
2410 Through casements darted their desiring eyes
2411 Upon his visage, and that all the walls
2412 With painted imagery had said at once
2413 “Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke!”
2414 20 Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
2415 Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed’s neck,
2416 Bespake them thus: “I thank you, countrymen.”
2417 And thus still doing, thus he passed along.
2418 Alack, poor Richard! Where rode he the whilst?
2419 25 As in a theater the eyes of men,
2420 After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
2421 Are idly bent on him that enters next,
2422 Thinking his prattle to be tedious,
p. 1892423 Even so, or with much more contempt, men’s eyes
2424 30 Did scowl on gentle Richard. No man cried “God
2425 save him!”
2426 No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home,
2427 But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
2428 Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
2429 35 His face still combating with tears and smiles,
2430 The badges of his grief and patience,
2431 That had not God for some strong purpose steeled
2432 The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
2433 And barbarism itself have pitied him.
2434 40 But heaven hath a hand in these events,
2435 To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
2436 To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
2437 Whose state and honor I for aye allow.
2438 Here comes my son Aumerle.
YORK 2439 45 Aumerle that was;
2440 But that is lost for being Richard’s friend,
2441 And, madam, you must call him Rutland now.
2442 I am in parliament pledge for his truth
2443 And lasting fealty to the new-made king.
2444 50 Welcome, my son. Who are the violets now
2445 That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?
2446 Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
2447 God knows I had as lief be none as one.
2448 Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
2449 55 Lest you be cropped before you come to prime.
2450 What news from Oxford? Do these jousts and
2451 triumphs hold?
AUMERLE 2452 For aught I know, my lord, they do.
p. 191YORK 2453 You will be there, I know.
AUMERLE 2454 60If God prevent not, I purpose so.
2455 What seal is that that hangs without thy bosom?
2456 Yea, lookst thou pale? Let me see the writing.
2457 My lord, ’tis nothing.
YORK 2458 No matter, then, who see it.
2459 65 I will be satisfied. Let me see the writing.
2460 I do beseech your Grace to pardon me.
2461 It is a matter of small consequence,
2462 Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
2463 Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
2464 70 I fear, I fear—
DUCHESS 2465 What should you fear?
2466 ’Tis nothing but some bond that he is entered into
2467 For gay apparel ’gainst the triumph day.
2468 Bound to himself? What doth he with a bond
2469 75 That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.—
2470 Boy, let me see the writing.
2471 I do beseech you, pardon me. I may not show it.
2472 I will be satisfied. Let me see it, I say.
He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it.
2473 Treason! Foul treason! Villain, traitor, slave!
DUCHESS 2474 80What is the matter, my lord?
YORK, ⌜calling offstage⌝
2475 Ho, who is within there? Saddle my horse!—
2476 God for his mercy, what treachery is here!
DUCHESS 2477 Why, what is it, my lord?
p. 193YORK, ⌜calling offstage⌝
2478 Give me my boots, I say! Saddle my horse!—
2479 85 Now by mine honor, by my life, by my troth,
2480 I will appeach the villain.
DUCHESS 2481 What is the matter?
YORK 2482 Peace, foolish woman.
2483 I will not peace!—What is the matter, Aumerle?
2484 90 Good mother, be content. It is no more
2485 Than my poor life must answer.
DUCHESS 2486 Thy life answer?
YORK, ⌜calling offstage⌝
2487 Bring me my boots!—I will unto the King.
His man enters with his boots.
2488 Strike him, Aumerle! Poor boy, thou art amazed.—
2489 95 Hence, villain, never more come in my sight.
YORK 2490 Give me my boots, I say.
⌜His man helps him on with his boots, then exits.⌝
DUCHESS 2491 Why, York, what wilt thou do?
2492 Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
2493 Have we more sons? Or are we like to have?
2494 100 Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
2495 And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age
2496 And rob me of a happy mother’s name?
2497 Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?
YORK 2498 Thou fond mad woman,
2499 105 Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
2500 A dozen of them here have ta’en the sacrament
2501 And interchangeably set down their hands
2502 To kill the King at Oxford.
2503 He shall be none. We’ll keep him here.
2504 110 Then what is that to him?
2505 Away, fond woman! Were he twenty times my son,
2506 I would appeach him.
2507 Hadst thou groaned for him as I have done,
2508 Thou wouldst be more pitiful.
2509 115 But now I know thy mind: thou dost suspect
2510 That I have been disloyal to thy bed
2511 And that he is a bastard, not thy son.
2512 Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind!
2513 He is as like thee as a man may be,
2514 120 Not like to me or any of my kin,
2515 And yet I love him.
YORK 2516 Make way, unruly woman!
2517 After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse,
2518 Spur post, and get before him to the King,
2519 125 And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
2520 I’ll not be long behind. Though I be old,
2521 I doubt not but to ride as fast as York.
2522 And never will I rise up from the ground
2523 Till Bolingbroke have pardoned thee. Away, begone!