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Navigate this workRichard II
In Richard II, anger at a king’s arbitrary rule leads to his downfall—and sets in motion a decades-long struggle for the crown that continues in several more history plays.
Richard II begins as Richard’s cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, charges Thomas Mowbray with serious crimes, including the murder of the Duke of Gloucester. Bolingbroke’s father, John of Gaunt, privately blames the king for Gloucester’s death. At Richard’s command, Bolingbroke and Mowbray prepare for a trial by combat. The king halts the fight at the last minute, banishing both men from England.
When John of Gaunt dies, Richard seizes his possessions to help finance a war in Ireland, thus dispossessing Bolingbroke. Bolingbroke returns to England, quickly gathering support. By the time Richard returns from Ireland, many of his former allies have joined Bolingbroke. Richard abdicates, yielding the crown to Bolingbroke.
Richard is held at Pomfret Castle and Bolingbroke becomes King Henry IV. A murder plot against him is uncovered and stopped. Richard is murdered by a follower of Henry.
0001 Old John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster,
0002 Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
0003 Brought hither Henry Hereford, thy bold son,
0004 Here to make good the boist’rous late appeal,
0005 5 Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
0006 Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
GAUNT 0007 I have, my liege.
0008 Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him
0009 If he appeal the Duke on ancient malice
0010 10 Or worthily, as a good subject should,
0011 On some known ground of treachery in him?
0012 As near as I could sift him on that argument,
0013 On some apparent danger seen in him
0014 Aimed at your Highness, no inveterate malice.
0015 15 Then call them to our presence.
⌜An Attendant exits.⌝
0016 Face to face
0017 And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
0019 High stomached are they both and full of ire,
0020 20 In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray.
0021 Many years of happy days befall
0022 My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege.
0023 Each day still better other’s happiness
0024 Until the heavens, envying earth’s good hap,
0025 25 Add an immortal title to your crown.
0026 We thank you both. Yet one but flatters us,
0027 As well appeareth by the cause you come:
0028 Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.
0029 Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
0030 30 Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
0031 First—heaven be the record to my speech!—
0032 In the devotion of a subject’s love,
0033 Tend’ring the precious safety of my prince
0034 And free from other misbegotten hate,
0035 35 Come I appellant to this princely presence.—
0036 Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee;
0037 And mark my greeting well, for what I speak
0038 My body shall make good upon this earth
0039 Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
0040 40 Thou art a traitor and a miscreant,
0041 Too good to be so and too bad to live,
0042 Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
0043 The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
0044 Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
0045 45 With a foul traitor’s name stuff I thy throat,
0046 And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
0049 Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal.
0050 50 ’Tis not the trial of a woman’s war,
0051 The bitter clamor of two eager tongues,
0052 Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain.
0053 The blood is hot that must be cooled for this.
0054 Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
0055 55 As to be hushed and naught at all to say.
0056 First, the fair reverence of your Highness curbs me
0057 From giving reins and spurs to my free speech,
0058 Which else would post until it had returned
0059 These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
0060 60 Setting aside his high blood’s royalty,
0061 And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
0062 I do defy him, and I spit at him,
0063 Call him a slanderous coward and a villain,
0064 Which to maintain I would allow him odds
0065 65 And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
0066 Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps
0067 Or any other ground inhabitable
0068 Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
0069 Meantime let this defend my loyalty:
0070 70 By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
BOLINGBROKE, ⌜throwing down a gage⌝
0071 Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
0072 Disclaiming here the kindred of the King,
0073 And lay aside my high blood’s royalty,
0074 Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
0075 75 If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
0076 As to take up mine honor’s pawn, then stoop.
0077 By that and all the rites of knighthood else
0078 Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
0079 What I have spoke or thou canst worse devise.
0080 80 I take it up, and by that sword I swear
0081 Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
0082 I’ll answer thee in any fair degree
0083 Or chivalrous design of knightly trial;
0084 And when I mount, alive may I not light
0085 85 If I be traitor or unjustly fight.
0086 What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray’s charge?
0087 It must be great that can inherit us
0088 So much as of a thought of ill in him.
0089 Look what I speak, my life shall prove it true:
0090 90 That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles
0091 In name of lendings for your Highness’ soldiers,
0092 The which he hath detained for lewd employments,
0093 Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
0094 Besides I say, and will in battle prove,
0095 95 Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge
0096 That ever was surveyed by English eye,
0097 That all the treasons for these eighteen years
0098 Complotted and contrivèd in this land
0099 Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and
0100 100 spring.
0101 Further I say, and further will maintain
0102 Upon his bad life to make all this good,
0103 That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester’s death,
0104 Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
0105 105 And consequently, like a traitor coward,
0106 Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of
0108 Which blood, like sacrificing Abel’s, cries
0109 Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth
0110 110 To me for justice and rough chastisement.
0111 And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
0112 This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
0113 How high a pitch his resolution soars!—
0114 Thomas of Norfolk, what sayst thou to this?
0115 115 O, let my sovereign turn away his face
0116 And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
0117 Till I have told this slander of his blood
0118 How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
0119 Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
0120 120 Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom’s heir,
0121 As he is but my father’s brother’s son,
0122 Now by ⌜my⌝ scepter’s awe I make a vow:
0123 Such neighbor nearness to our sacred blood
0124 Should nothing privilege him nor partialize
0125 125 The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
0126 He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou.
0127 Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
0128 Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
0129 Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
0130 130 Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
0131 Disbursed I duly to his Highness’ soldiers;
0132 The other part reserved I by consent,
0133 For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
0134 Upon remainder of a dear account
0135 135 Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
0136 Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester’s death,
0137 I slew him not, but to my own disgrace
0138 Neglected my sworn duty in that case.—
0139 For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
0140 140 The honorable father to my foe,
0141 Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
0142 A trespass that doth vex my grievèd soul.
0143 But ere I last received the sacrament,
0144 I did confess it and exactly begged
0146 This is my fault. As for the rest appealed,
0147 It issues from the rancor of a villain,
0148 A recreant and most degenerate traitor,
0149 Which in myself I boldly will defend,
0150 150 And interchangeably hurl down my gage
0151 Upon this overweening traitor’s foot,
⌜He throws down a gage.⌝
0152 To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
0153 Even in the best blood chambered in his bosom;
0154 In haste whereof most heartily I pray
0155 155 Your Highness to assign our trial day.
⌜Bolingbroke picks up the gage.⌝
0156 Wrath-kindled ⌜gentlemen,⌝ be ruled by me.
0157 Let’s purge this choler without letting blood.
0158 This we prescribe, though no physician.
0159 Deep malice makes too deep incision.
0160 160 Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed.
0161 Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.—
0162 Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
0163 We’ll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
0164 To be a make-peace shall become my age.—
0165 165 Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk’s gage.
0166 And, Norfolk, throw down his.
GAUNT 0167 When, Harry, when?
0168 Obedience bids I should not bid again.
0169 Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.
0170 170 Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
0171 My life thou shalt command, but not my shame.
0172 The one my duty owes, but my fair name,
0174 To dark dishonor’s use thou shalt not have.
0175 175 I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled here,
0176 Pierced to the soul with slander’s venomed spear,
0177 The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
0178 Which breathed this poison.
KING RICHARD 0179 Rage must be withstood.
0180 180 Give me his gage. Lions make leopards tame.
0181 Yea, but not change his spots. Take but my shame
0182 And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
0183 The purest treasure mortal times afford
0184 Is spotless reputation; that away,
0185 185 Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
0186 A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest
0187 Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
0188 Mine honor is my life; both grow in one.
0189 Take honor from me and my life is done.
0190 190 Then, dear my liege, mine honor let me try.
0191 In that I live, and for that will I die.
KING RICHARD, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
0192 Cousin, throw up your gage. Do you begin.
0193 O, God defend my soul from such deep sin!
0194 Shall I seem crestfallen in my father’s sight?
0195 195 Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
0196 Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue
0197 Shall wound my honor with such feeble wrong
0198 Or sound so base a ⌜parle,⌝ my teeth shall tear
0199 The slavish motive of recanting fear
0200 200 And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
0201 Where shame doth harbor, even in Mowbray’s face.
0202 We were not born to sue, but to command,
0203 Which, since we cannot do, to make you friends,
0204 Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
0206 There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
0207 The swelling difference of your settled hate.
0208 Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
0209 Justice design the victor’s chivalry.—
0210 210 Lord Marshal, command our officers-at-arms
0211 Be ready to direct these home alarms.
0212 Alas, the part I had in Woodstock’s blood
0213 Doth more solicit me than your exclaims
0214 To stir against the butchers of his life.
0215 But since correction lieth in those hands
0216 5 Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
0217 Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven,
0218 Who, when they see the hours ripe on Earth,
0219 Will rain hot vengeance on offenders’ heads.
0220 Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
0221 10 Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
0222 Edward’s seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
0223 Were as seven vials of his sacred blood
0224 Or seven fair branches springing from one root.
0225 Some of those seven are dried by nature’s course,
0226 15 Some of those branches by the Destinies cut.
0227 But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
0228 One vial full of Edward’s sacred blood,
0229 One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
0230 Is cracked and all the precious liquor spilt,
0231 20 Is hacked down, and his summer leaves all faded,
0232 By envy’s hand and murder’s bloody ax.
0235 That metal, that self mold that fashioned thee
0236 25 Made him a man; and though thou livest and
0238 Yet art thou slain in him. Thou dost consent
0239 In some large measure to thy father’s death
0240 In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
0241 30 Who was the model of thy father’s life.
0242 Call it not patience, Gaunt. It is despair.
0243 In suff’ring thus thy brother to be slaughtered,
0244 Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
0245 Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
0246 35 That which in mean men we entitle patience
0247 Is pale, cold cowardice in noble breasts.
0248 What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life,
0249 The best way is to venge my Gloucester’s death.
0250 God’s is the quarrel; for God’s substitute,
0251 40 His deputy anointed in His sight,
0252 Hath caused his death, the which if wrongfully
0253 Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
0254 An angry arm against His minister.
0255 Where, then, alas, may I complain myself?
0256 45 To God, the widow’s champion and defense.
0257 Why then I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
0258 Thou goest to Coventry, there to behold
0259 Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
0260 O, ⌜sit⌝ my husband’s wrongs on Hereford’s spear,
0261 50 That it may enter butcher Mowbray’s breast!
0262 Or if misfortune miss the first career,
0263 Be Mowbray’s sins so heavy in his bosom
0265 And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
0266 55 A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
0267 Farewell, old Gaunt. Thy sometime brother’s wife
0268 With her companion, grief, must end her life.
0269 Sister, farewell. I must to Coventry.
0270 As much good stay with thee as go with me.
0271 60 Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where ⌜it⌝ falls,
0272 Not with the empty hollowness, but weight.
0273 I take my leave before I have begun,
0274 For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
0275 Commend me to thy brother, Edmund York.
0276 65 Lo, this is all. Nay, yet depart not so!
0277 Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
0278 I shall remember more. Bid him—ah, what?—
0279 With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
0280 Alack, and what shall good old York there see
0281 70 But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls,
0282 Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
0283 And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
0284 Therefore commend me; let him not come there
0285 To seek out sorrow that dwells everywhere.
0286 75 Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die.
0287 The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
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
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,
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.
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,
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,
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.
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.
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.
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
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
0667 Come, gentlemen, let’s all go visit him.
0668 65 Pray God we may make haste and come too late.
⌜ALL⌝ 0669 Amen!
0670 Will the King come, that I may breathe my last
0671 In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
0672 Vex not yourself nor strive not with your breath,
0673 For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
0674 5 O, but they say the tongues of dying men
0675 Enforce attention like deep harmony.
0676 Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in
0678 For they breathe truth that breathe their words in
0679 10 pain.
0680 He that no more must say is listened more
0681 Than they whom youth and ease have taught to
0683 More are men’s ends marked than their lives before.
0684 15 The setting sun and music at the close,
0685 As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
0686 Writ in remembrance more than things long past.
0687 Though Richard my life’s counsel would not hear,
0688 My death’s sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
0689 20 No, it is stopped with other flattering sounds,
0690 As praises, of whose taste the wise are ⌜fond;⌝
0691 Lascivious meters, to whose venom sound
0692 The open ear of youth doth always listen;
0693 Report of fashions in proud Italy,
0694 25 Whose manners still our tardy-apish nation
0695 Limps after in base imitation.
0696 Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity—
0697 So it be new, there’s no respect how vile—
0698 That is not quickly buzzed into his ears?
0699 30 Then all too late comes counsel to be heard
0700 Where will doth mutiny with wit’s regard.
0701 Direct not him whose way himself will choose.
0702 ’Tis breath thou lack’st, and that breath wilt thou
0704 35 Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
0705 And thus expiring do foretell of him:
0706 His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
0707 For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
0708 Small showers last long, but sudden storms are
0709 40 short;
0710 He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
0711 With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder;
0712 Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
0713 Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
0714 45 This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
0715 This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
0716 This other Eden, demi-paradise,
0717 This fortress built by Nature for herself
0718 Against infection and the hand of war,
0719 50 This happy breed of men, this little world,
0720 This precious stone set in the silver sea,
0721 Which serves it in the office of a wall
0722 Or as ⌜a⌝ moat defensive to a house,
0724 55 This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this
0726 This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
0727 Feared by their breed and famous by their birth,
0728 Renownèd for their deeds as far from home
0729 60 For Christian service and true chivalry
0730 As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
0731 Of the world’s ransom, blessèd Mary’s son,
0732 This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
0733 Dear for her reputation through the world,
0734 65 Is now leased out—I die pronouncing it—
0735 Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
0736 England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
0737 Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
0738 Of wat’ry Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
0739 70 With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
0740 That England that was wont to conquer others
0741 Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
0742 Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
0743 How happy then were my ensuing death!
Enter King and Queen, ⌜Aumerle, Bushy, Green, Bagot,
Ross, Willoughby,⌝ etc.
0744 75 The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth,
0745 For young hot colts being ⌜reined⌝ do rage the more.
QUEEN, ⌜to Gaunt⌝
0746 How fares our noble uncle Lancaster?
KING RICHARD, ⌜to Gaunt⌝
0747 What comfort, man? How is ’t with agèd Gaunt?
0748 O, how that name befits my composition!
0749 80 Old Gaunt indeed and gaunt in being old.
0750 Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast,
0751 And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?
0753 Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt.
0754 85 The pleasure that some fathers feed upon
0755 Is my strict fast—I mean my children’s looks—
0756 And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt.
0757 Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
0758 Whose hollow womb inherits naught but bones.
0759 90 Can sick men play so nicely with their names?
0760 No, misery makes sport to mock itself.
0761 Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
0762 I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
0763 Should dying men flatter with those that live?
0764 95 No, no, men living flatter those that die.
0765 Thou, now a-dying, sayest thou flatterest me.
0766 O, no, thou diest, though I the sicker be.
0767 I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
0768 Now He that made me knows I see thee ill,
0769 100 Ill in myself to see, and in thee, seeing ill.
0770 Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land,
0771 Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
0772 And thou, too careless-patient as thou art,
0773 Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
0774 105 Of those physicians that first wounded thee.
0775 A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
0776 Whose compass is no bigger than thy head,
0777 And yet ⌜encagèd⌝ in so small a verge,
0778 The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
0780 Seen how his son’s son should destroy his sons,
0781 From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
0782 Deposing thee before thou wert possessed,
0783 Which art possessed now to depose thyself.
0784 115 Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
0785 It were a shame to let this land by lease;
0786 But, for thy world enjoying but this land,
0787 Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
0788 Landlord of England art thou now, not king.
0789 120 Thy state of law is bondslave to the law,
0790 And thou—
KING RICHARD 0791 A lunatic lean-witted fool,
0792 Presuming on an ague’s privilege,
0793 Darest with thy frozen admonition
0794 125 Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
0795 With fury from his native residence.
0796 Now, by my seat’s right royal majesty,
0797 Wert thou not brother to great Edward’s son,
0798 This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
0799 130 Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
0800 O, spare me not, my ⌜brother⌝ Edward’s son,
0801 For that I was his father Edward’s son!
0802 That blood already, like the pelican,
0803 Hast thou tapped out and drunkenly caroused.
0804 135 My brother Gloucester—plain, well-meaning soul,
0805 Whom fair befall in heaven ’mongst happy souls—
0806 May be a precedent and witness good
0807 That thou respect’st not spilling Edward’s blood.
0808 Join with the present sickness that I have,
0809 140 And thy unkindness be like crooked age
0810 To crop at once a too-long withered flower.
0811 Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
0812 These words hereafter thy tormentors be!—
0814 145 Love they to live that love and honor have.
He exits, ⌜carried off by Attendants.⌝
0815 And let them die that age and sullens have,
0816 For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
0817 I do beseech your Majesty, impute his words
0818 To wayward sickliness and age in him.
0819 150 He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
0820 As Harry, Duke of Hereford, were he here.
0821 Right, you say true: as Hereford’s love, so his;
0822 As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.
0823 My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your Majesty.
0824 155 What says he?
NORTHUMBERLAND 0825 Nay, nothing; all is said.
0826 His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
0827 Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
0828 Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
0829 160 Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
0830 The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
0831 His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
0832 So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
0833 We must supplant those rough rugheaded kern,
0834 165 Which live like venom where no venom else
0835 But only they have privilege to live.
0836 And, for these great affairs do ask some charge,
0837 Towards our assistance we do seize to us
0839 170 Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possessed.
0840 How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long
0841 Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
0842 Not Gloucester’s death, nor Hereford’s banishment,
0843 Nor Gaunt’s rebukes, nor England’s private wrongs,
0844 175 Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
0845 About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
0846 Have ever made me sour my patient cheek
0847 Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign’s face.
0848 I am the last of noble Edward’s sons,
0849 180 Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first.
0850 In war was never lion raged more fierce,
0851 In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
0852 Than was that young and princely gentleman.
0853 His face thou hast, for even so looked he,
0854 185 Accomplished with ⌜the⌝ number of thy hours;
0855 But when he frowned, it was against the French
0856 And not against his friends. His noble hand
0857 Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
0858 Which his triumphant father’s hand had won.
0859 190 His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
0860 But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
0861 O, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
0862 Or else he never would compare between.
0863 Why, uncle, what’s the matter?
YORK 0864 195 O, my liege,
0865 Pardon me if you please. If not, I, pleased
0866 Not to be pardoned, am content withal.
0867 Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
0868 The royalties and rights of banished Hereford?
0869 200 Is not Gaunt dead? And doth not Hereford live?
0870 Was not Gaunt just? And is not Harry true?
0871 Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
0873 Take Hereford’s rights away, and take from time
0874 205 His charters and his customary rights;
0875 Let not tomorrow then ensue today;
0876 Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
0877 But by fair sequence and succession?
0878 Now afore God—God forbid I say true!—
0879 210 If you do wrongfully seize Hereford’s rights,
0880 Call in the letters patents that he hath
0881 By his attorneys general to sue
0882 His livery, and deny his offered homage,
0883 You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
0884 215 You lose a thousand well-disposèd hearts,
0885 And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
0886 Which honor and allegiance cannot think.
0887 Think what you will, we seize into our hands
0888 His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.
0889 220 I’ll not be by the while. My liege, farewell.
0890 What will ensue hereof there’s none can tell;
0891 But by bad courses may be understood
0892 That their events can never fall out good.He exits.
0893 Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight.
0894 225 Bid him repair to us to Ely House
0895 To see this business. Tomorrow next
0896 We will for Ireland, and ’tis time, I trow.
0897 And we create, in absence of ourself,
0898 Our uncle York Lord Governor of England,
0899 230 For he is just and always loved us well.—
0900 Come on, our queen. Tomorrow must we part.
0901 Be merry, for our time of stay is short.
King and Queen exit ⌜with others;⌝
Northumberland, ⌜Willoughby, and Ross⌝ remain.
0902 Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.
0903 And living too, for now his son is duke.
0904 235 Barely in title, not in revenues.
0905 Richly in both, if justice had her right.
0906 My heart is great, but it must break with silence
0907 Ere ’t be disburdened with a liberal tongue.
0908 Nay, speak thy mind, and let him ne’er speak more
0909 240 That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!
WILLOUGHBY, ⌜to Ross⌝
0910 Tends that thou wouldst speak to the Duke of
0912 If it be so, out with it boldly, man.
0913 Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.
0914 245 No good at all that I can do for him,
0915 Unless you call it good to pity him,
0916 Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
0917 Now, afore God, ’tis shame such wrongs are borne
0918 In him, a royal prince, and many more
0919 250 Of noble blood in this declining land.
0920 The King is not himself, but basely led
0921 By flatterers; and what they will inform
0922 Merely in hate ’gainst any of us all,
0923 That will the King severely prosecute
0924 255 ’Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
0925 The commons hath he pilled with grievous taxes,
0926 And quite lost their hearts. The nobles hath he fined
0927 For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
0928 And daily new exactions are devised,
0929 260 As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what.
0930 But what i’ God’s name doth become of this?
0931 Wars hath not wasted it, for warred he hath not,
0932 But basely yielded upon compromise
0933 That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows.
0934 265 More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
0935 The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
0936 The King grown bankrupt like a broken man.
0937 Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.
0938 He hath not money for these Irish wars,
0939 270 His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
0940 But by the robbing of the banished duke.
0941 His noble kinsman. Most degenerate king!
0942 But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
0943 Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm;
0944 275 We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
0945 And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
0946 We see the very wrack that we must suffer,
0947 And unavoided is the danger now
0948 For suffering so the causes of our wrack.
0949 280 Not so. Even through the hollow eyes of death
0950 I spy life peering; but I dare not say
0951 How near the tidings of our comfort is.
0952 Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.
0953 Be confident to speak, Northumberland.
0954 285 We three are but thyself, and speaking so
0955 Thy words are but as thoughts. Therefore be bold.
0956 Then thus: I have from Le Port ⌜Blanc,⌝
0957 A bay in Brittany, received intelligence
0958 That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord
0959 290 Cobham,
0960 That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
0961 His brother, archbishop late of Canterbury,
0962 Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
0963 Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis
0964 295 Coint—
0965 All these well furnished by the Duke of Brittany
0966 With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
0967 Are making hither with all due expedience
0968 And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
0969 300 Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
0970 The first departing of the King for Ireland.
0971 If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
0972 Imp out our drooping country’s broken wing,
0973 Redeem from broking pawn the blemished crown,
0974 305 Wipe off the dust that hides our scepter’s gilt,
0975 And make high majesty look like itself,
0976 Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh.
0977 But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
0978 Stay and be secret, and myself will go.
0979 310 To horse, to horse! Urge doubts to them that fear.
0980 Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
0981 Madam, your Majesty is too much sad.
0982 You promised, when you parted with the King,
0983 To lay aside life-harming heaviness
0984 And entertain a cheerful disposition.
0985 5 To please the King I did; to please myself
0986 I cannot do it. Yet I know no cause
0987 Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
0988 Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
0989 As my sweet Richard. Yet again methinks
0990 10 Some unborn sorrow ripe in Fortune’s womb
0991 Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
0992 With nothing trembles. At some thing it grieves
0993 More than with parting from my lord the King.
0994 Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
0995 15 Which shows like grief itself but is not so;
0996 For sorrow’s eyes, glazed with blinding tears,
0997 Divides one thing entire to many objects,
0998 Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
0999 Show nothing but confusion, eyed awry
1000 20 Distinguish form. So your sweet Majesty,
1001 Looking awry upon your lord’s departure,
1002 Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail,
1003 Which, looked on as it is, is naught but shadows
1004 Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
1005 25 More than your lord’s departure weep not. More is
1006 not seen,
1007 Or if it be, ’tis with false sorrow’s eye,
1008 Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
1009 It may be so, but yet my inward soul
1010 30 Persuades me it is otherwise. Howe’er it be,
1012 As thought, on thinking on no thought I think,
1013 Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
1014 ’Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
1015 35 ’Tis nothing less. Conceit is still derived
1016 From some forefather grief. Mine is not so,
1017 For nothing hath begot my something grief—
1018 Or something hath the nothing that I grieve.
1019 ’Tis in reversion that I do possess,
1020 40 But what it is that is not yet known what,
1021 I cannot name. ’Tis nameless woe, I wot.
1022 God save your Majesty!—And well met, gentlemen.
1023 I hope the King is not yet shipped for Ireland.
1024 Why hopest thou so? ’Tis better hope he is,
1025 45 For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope.
1026 Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipped?
1027 That he, our hope, might have retired his power
1028 And driven into despair an enemy’s hope,
1029 Who strongly hath set footing in this land.
1030 50 The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself
1031 And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
1032 At Ravenspurgh.
QUEEN 1033 Now God in heaven forbid!
1034 Ah, madam, ’tis too true. And that is worse,
1035 55 The Lord Northumberland, his son young Harry
1037 The Lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby,
1038 With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
1039 Why have you not proclaimed Northumberland
1040 60 And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
1041 We have; whereupon the Earl of Worcester
1042 Hath broken his staff, resigned his stewardship,
1043 And all the Household servants fled with him
1044 To Bolingbroke.
1045 65 So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
1046 And Bolingbroke my sorrow’s dismal heir.
1047 Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
1048 And I, a gasping new-delivered mother,
1049 Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow joined.
1050 70 Despair not, madam.
QUEEN 1051 Who shall hinder me?
1052 I will despair and be at enmity
1053 With cozening hope. He is a flatterer,
1054 A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
1055 75 Who gently would dissolve the bands of life
1056 Which false hope lingers in extremity.
GREEN 1057 Here comes the Duke of York.
1058 With signs of war about his agèd neck.
1059 O, full of careful business are his looks!—
1060 80 Uncle, for God’s sake speak comfortable words.
1061 Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts.
1062 Comfort’s in heaven, and we are on the Earth,
1063 Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
1064 Your husband, he is gone to save far off
1065 85 Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
1066 Here am I left to underprop his land,
1068 Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
1069 Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.
⌜Enter a Servingman.⌝
1070 90 My lord, your son was gone before I came.
1071 He was? Why, so go all which way it will.
1072 The nobles they are fled; the commons they are
1074 And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford’s side.
1075 95 Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
1076 Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
1077 Hold, take my ring.
1078 My lord, I had forgot to tell your Lordship:
1079 Today as I came by I callèd there—
1080 100 But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
YORK 1081 What is ’t, knave?
1082 An hour before I came, the Duchess died.
1083 God for His mercy, what a tide of woes
1084 Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
1085 105 I know not what to do. I would to God,
1086 So my untruth had not provoked him to it,
1087 The King had cut off my head with my brother’s!
1088 What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
1089 How shall we do for money for these wars?—
1090 110 Come, sister—cousin I would say, pray pardon
1092 Go, fellow, get thee home. Provide some carts
1093 And bring away the armor that is there.
1094 Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
1096 Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
1097 Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
1098 T’ one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
1099 And duty bids defend; t’ other again
1100 120 Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wronged,
1101 Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
1102 Well, somewhat we must do. ⌜To Queen.⌝ Come,
1104 I’ll dispose of you.—Gentlemen, go muster up your
1105 125 men
1106 And meet me presently at Berkeley.
1107 I should to Plashy too,
1108 But time will not permit. All is uneven,
1109 And everything is left at six and seven.
Duke ⌜of York and⌝ Queen exit.
Bushy, Green, ⌜and Bagot⌝ remain.
1110 130 The wind sits fair for news to go for Ireland,
1111 But none returns. For us to levy power
1112 Proportionable to the enemy
1113 Is all unpossible.
1114 Besides, our nearness to the King in love
1115 135 Is near the hate of those love not the King.
1116 And that is the wavering commons, for their love
1117 Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
1118 By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
1119 Wherein the King stands generally condemned.
1120 140 If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
1121 Because we ever have been near the King.
1122 Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristow Castle.
1123 The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
1124 Thither will I with you, for little office
1125 145 Will the hateful commons perform for us,
1126 Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.—
1127 Will you go along with us?
1128 No, I will to Ireland to his Majesty.
1129 Farewell. If heart’s presages be not vain,
1130 150 We three here part that ne’er shall meet again.
1131 That’s as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
1132 Alas, poor duke, the task he undertakes
1133 Is numb’ring sands and drinking oceans dry.
1134 Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
1135 155 Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.
1136 Well, we may meet again.
BAGOT 1137 I fear me, never.
1138 How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?
NORTHUMBERLAND 1139 Believe me, noble lord,
1140 I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire.
1141 These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
1142 5 Draws out our miles and makes them wearisome.
1143 And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
1144 Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
1145 But I bethink me what a weary way
1146 From Ravenspurgh to Cotshall will be found
1148 Which, I protest, hath very much beguiled
1149 The tediousness and process of my travel.
1150 But theirs is sweetened with the hope to have
1151 The present benefit which I possess,
1152 15 And hope to joy is little less in joy
1153 Than hope enjoyed. By this the weary lords
1154 Shall make their way seem short as mine hath done
1155 By sight of what I have, your noble company.
1156 Of much less value is my company
1157 20 Than your good words. But who comes here?
Enter Harry Percy.
NORTHUMBERLAND 1158 It is my son, young Harry Percy,
1159 Sent from my brother Worcester whencesoever.—
1160 Harry, how fares your uncle?
1161 I had thought, my lord, to have learned his health of
1162 25 you.
NORTHUMBERLAND 1163 Why, is he not with the Queen?
1164 No, my good lord, he hath forsook the court,
1165 Broken his staff of office, and dispersed
1166 The Household of the King.
1167 30 What was his reason? He was not so resolved
1168 When last we spake together.
1169 Because your Lordship was proclaimèd traitor.
1170 But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh
1171 To offer service to the Duke of Hereford,
1172 35 And sent me over by Berkeley to discover
1173 What power the Duke of York had levied there,
1174 Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.
1175 Have you forgot the Duke of ⌜Hereford,⌝ boy?
1176 No, my good lord, for that is not forgot
1177 40 Which ne’er I did remember. To my knowledge
1178 I never in my life did look on him.
1179 Then learn to know him now. This is the Duke.
PERCY, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
1180 My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
1181 Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
1182 45 Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
1183 To more approvèd service and desert.
1184 I thank thee, gentle Percy, and be sure
1185 I count myself in nothing else so happy
1186 As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends;
1187 50 And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
1188 It shall be still thy true love’s recompense.
1189 My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.
⌜Gives Percy his hand.⌝
NORTHUMBERLAND, ⌜to Percy⌝
1190 How far is it to Berkeley, and what stir
1191 Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
1192 55 There stands the castle by yon tuft of trees,
1193 Manned with three hundred men, as I have heard,
1194 And in it are the Lords of York, Berkeley, and
1196 None else of name and noble estimate.
⌜Enter Ross and Willoughby.⌝
1197 60 Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
1198 Bloody with spurring, fiery red with haste.
1199 Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
1200 A banished traitor. All my treasury
1201 Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enriched,
1202 65 Shall be your love and labor’s recompense.
1203 Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
1204 And far surmounts our labor to attain it.
1205 Evermore thank’s the exchequer of the poor,
1206 Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
1207 70 Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?
1208 It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.
BERKELEY, ⌜to Bolingbroke⌝
1209 My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
1210 My lord, my answer is—to “Lancaster”;
1211 And I am come to seek that name in England.
1212 75 And I must find that title in your tongue
1213 Before I make reply to aught you say.
1214 Mistake me not, my lord, ’tis not my meaning
1215 To rase one title of your honor out.
1216 To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
1217 80 From the most gracious regent of this land,
1218 The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
1219 To take advantage of the absent time,
1220 And fright our native peace with self-borne arms.
1221 I shall not need transport my words by you.
1223 My noble uncle.
1224 Show me thy humble heart and not thy knee,
1225 Whose duty is deceivable and false.
BOLINGBROKE, ⌜standing⌝ 1226 My gracious uncle—
YORK 1227 90Tut, tut!
1228 Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
1229 I am no traitor’s uncle, and that word “grace”
1230 In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
1231 Why have those banished and forbidden legs
1232 95 Dared once to touch a dust of England’s ground?
1233 But then, more why: why have they dared to march
1234 So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
1235 Frighting her pale-faced villages with war
1236 And ostentation of despisèd arms?
1237 100 Com’st thou because the anointed king is hence?
1238 Why, foolish boy, the King is left behind
1239 And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
1240 Were I but now lord of such hot youth
1241 As when brave Gaunt thy father and myself
1242 105 Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
1243 From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
1244 O, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
1245 Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee
1246 And minister correction to thy fault!
1247 110 My gracious uncle, let me know my fault.
1248 On what condition stands it and wherein?
1249 Even in condition of the worst degree,
1250 In gross rebellion and detested treason.
1251 Thou art a banished man and here art come,
1252 115 Before the expiration of thy time,
1253 In braving arms against thy sovereign.
1254 As I was banished, I was banished Hereford,
1255 But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
1256 And, noble uncle, I beseech your Grace
1257 120 Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye.
1258 You are my father, for methinks in you
1259 I see old Gaunt alive. O, then, my father,
1260 Will you permit that I shall stand condemned
1261 A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties
1262 125 Plucked from my arms perforce and given away
1263 To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
1264 If that my cousin king be king in England,
1265 It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
1266 You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin.
1267 130 Had you first died and he been thus trod down,
1268 He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father
1269 To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
1270 I am denied to sue my livery here,
1271 And yet my letters patents give me leave.
1272 135 My father’s goods are all distrained and sold,
1273 And these, and all, are all amiss employed.
1274 What would you have me do? I am a subject,
1275 And I challenge law. Attorneys are denied me,
1276 And therefore personally I lay my claim
1277 140 To my inheritance of free descent.
NORTHUMBERLAND, ⌜to York⌝
1278 The noble duke hath been too much abused.
ROSS, ⌜to York⌝
1279 It stands your Grace upon to do him right.
WILLOUGHBY, ⌜to York⌝
1280 Base men by his endowments are made great.
1281 My lords of England, let me tell you this:
1282 145 I have had feeling of my cousin’s wrongs
1283 And labored all I could to do him right.
1284 But in this kind to come, in braving arms,
1286 To find out right with wrong, it may not be.
1287 150 And you that do abet him in this kind
1288 Cherish rebellion and are rebels all.
1289 The noble duke hath sworn his coming is
1290 But for his own, and for the right of that
1291 We all have strongly sworn to give him aid.
1292 155 And let him never see joy that breaks that oath.
1293 Well, well. I see the issue of these arms.
1294 I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
1295 Because my power is weak and all ill-left.
1296 But if I could, by Him that gave me life,
1297 160 I would attach you all and make you stoop
1298 Unto the sovereign mercy of the King.
1299 But since I cannot, be it known unto you
1300 I do remain as neuter. So fare you well—
1301 Unless you please to enter in the castle
1302 165 And there repose you for this night.
1303 An offer, uncle, that we will accept.
1304 But we must win your Grace to go with us
1305 To Bristow Castle, which they say is held
1306 By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
1307 170 The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
1308 Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
1309 It may be I will go with you; but yet I’ll pause,
1310 For I am loath to break our country’s laws.
1311 Nor friends nor foes, to me welcome you are.
1312 175 Things past redress are now with me past care.
1313 My Lord of Salisbury, we have stayed ten days
1314 And hardly kept our countrymen together,
1315 And yet we hear no tidings from the King.
1316 Therefore we will disperse ourselves. Farewell.
1317 5 Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman.
1318 The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.
1319 ’Tis thought the King is dead. We will not stay.
1320 The bay trees in our country are all withered,
1321 And meteors fright the fixèd stars of heaven;
1322 10 The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the Earth,
1323 And lean-looked prophets whisper fearful change;
1324 Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
1325 The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
1326 The other to enjoy by rage and war.
1327 15 These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
1328 Farewell. Our countrymen are gone and fled,
1329 As well assured Richard their king is dead.
1330 Ah, Richard! With the eyes of heavy mind
1331 I see thy glory like a shooting star
1332 20 Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
1333 Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
1334 Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
1335 Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
1336 And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
Northumberland, ⌜with other Lords, and⌝ Bushy and
BOLINGBROKE 1337 Bring forth these men.—
1338 Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls,
1339 Since presently your souls must part your bodies,
1340 With too much urging your pernicious lives,
1341 5 For ’twere no charity; yet to wash your blood
1342 From off my hands, here in the view of men
1343 I will unfold some causes of your deaths:
1344 You have misled a prince, a royal king,
1345 A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments
1346 10 By you unhappied and disfigured clean.
1347 You have in manner with your sinful hours
1348 Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
1349 Broke the possession of a royal bed,
1350 And stained the beauty of a fair queen’s cheeks
1351 15 With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
1352 Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
1353 Near to the King in blood, and near in love
1354 Till you did make him misinterpret me,
1355 Have stooped my neck under your injuries
1356 20 And sighed my English breath in foreign clouds,
1357 Eating the bitter bread of banishment,
1359 Disparked my parks and felled my forest woods,
1360 From my own windows torn my household coat,
1361 25 Rased out my imprese, leaving me no sign,
1362 Save men’s opinions and my living blood,
1363 To show the world I am a gentleman.
1364 This and much more, much more than twice all
1366 30 Condemns you to the death.—See them delivered
1368 To execution and the hand of death.
1369 More welcome is the stroke of death to me
1370 Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.
1371 35 My comfort is that heaven will take our souls
1372 And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
1373 My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatched.⌜Northumberland exits with Bushy and Green.⌝
1374 ⌜To York.⌝ Uncle, you say the Queen is at your
1376 40 For God’s sake, fairly let her be entreated.
1377 Tell her I send to her my kind commends.
1378 Take special care my greetings be delivered.
1379 A gentleman of mine I have dispatched
1380 With letters of your love to her at large.
1381 45 Thanks, gentle uncle.—Come, lords, away,
1382 To fight with Glendower and his complices.
1383 A while to work, and after holiday.
Carlisle, ⌜and Soldiers.⌝
1384 Barkloughly Castle call they this at hand?
1385 Yea, my lord. How brooks your Grace the air
1386 After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
1387 Needs must I like it well. I weep for joy
1388 5 To stand upon my kingdom once again.⌜He kneels.⌝
1389 Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
1390 Though rebels wound thee with their horses’ hoofs.
1391 As a long-parted mother with her child
1392 Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
1393 10 So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
1394 And do thee favors with my royal hands.
1395 Feed not thy sovereign’s foe, my gentle earth,
1396 Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense,
1397 But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
1398 15 And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
1399 Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
1400 Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
1401 Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies,
1402 And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
1403 20 Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder,
1404 Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
1405 Throw death upon thy sovereign’s enemies.
1406 Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords.
1407 This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
1408 25 Prove armèd soldiers, ere her native king
1409 Shall falter under foul rebellion’s arms.
1410 Fear not, my lord. That power that made you king
1411 Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
1413 30 And not neglected. Else heaven would,
1414 And we will not—heaven’s offer we refuse,
1415 The proffered means of succor and redress.
1416 He means, my lord, that we are too remiss,
1417 Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
1418 35 Grows strong and great in substance and in power.
1419 Discomfortable cousin, know’st thou not
1420 That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
1421 Behind the globe that lights the lower world,
1422 Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
1423 40 In murders and in outrage boldly here?
1424 But when from under this terrestrial ball
1425 He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
1426 And darts his light through every guilty hole,
1427 Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
1428 45 The cloak of night being plucked from off their
1430 Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves.
1431 So when this thief, this traitor Bolingbroke,
1432 Who all this while hath reveled in the night
1433 50 Whilst we were wand’ring with the Antipodes,
1434 Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
1435 His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
1436 Not able to endure the sight of day,
1437 But self-affrighted, tremble at his sin.
1438 55 Not all the water in the rough rude sea
1439 Can wash the balm off from an anointed king.
1440 The breath of worldly men cannot depose
1441 The deputy elected by the Lord.
1442 For every man that Bolingbroke hath pressed
1443 60 To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
1444 God for His Richard hath in heavenly pay
1446 Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.
1447 Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?
1448 65 Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
1449 Than this weak arm. Discomfort guides my tongue
1450 And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
1451 One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
1452 Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
1453 70 O, call back yesterday, bid time return,
1454 And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men.
1455 Today, today, unhappy day too late,
1456 Overthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
1457 For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
1458 75 Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed, and fled.
1459 Comfort, my liege. Why looks your Grace so pale?
1460 But now the blood of twenty thousand men
1461 Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
1462 And till so much blood thither come again
1463 80 Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
1464 All souls that will be safe, fly from my side,
1465 For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
1466 Comfort, my liege. Remember who you are.
1467 I had forgot myself. Am I not king?
1468 85 Awake, thou coward majesty, thou sleepest!
1469 Is not the King’s name twenty thousand names?
1470 Arm, arm, my name! A puny subject strikes
1471 At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
1472 You favorites of a king. Are we not high?
1473 90 High be our thoughts. I know my Uncle York
1475 comes here?
1476 More health and happiness betide my liege
1477 Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him.
1478 95 Mine ear is open and my heart prepared.
1479 The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
1480 Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, ’twas my care,
1481 And what loss is it to be rid of care?
1482 Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
1483 100 Greater he shall not be. If he serve God,
1484 We’ll serve Him too and be his fellow so.
1485 Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend.
1486 They break their faith to God as well as us.
1487 Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay.
1488 105 The worst is death, and death will have his day.
1489 Glad am I that your Highness is so armed
1490 To bear the tidings of calamity.
1491 Like an unseasonable stormy day
1492 Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores
1493 110 As if the world were all dissolved to tears,
1494 So high above his limits swells the rage
1495 Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
1496 With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
1497 Whitebeards have armed their thin and hairless
1498 115 scalps
1499 Against thy Majesty; boys with women’s voices
1500 Strive to speak big and clap their female joints
1501 In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown;
1502 Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
1503 120 Of double-fatal yew against thy state.
1504 Yea, distaff women manage rusty bills
1506 And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
1507 Too well, too well thou tell’st a tale so ill.
1508 125 Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? Where is Bagot?
1509 What is become of Bushy? Where is Green,
1510 That they have let the dangerous enemy
1511 Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
1512 If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it!
1513 130 I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
1514 Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.
1515 O villains, vipers, damned without redemption!
1516 Dogs easily won to fawn on any man!
1517 Snakes in my heart blood warmed, that sting my
1518 135 heart!
1519 Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
1520 Would they make peace? Terrible hell
1521 Make war upon their spotted souls for this!
1522 Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
1523 140 Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
1524 Again uncurse their souls. Their peace is made
1525 With heads and not with hands. Those whom you
1527 Have felt the worst of death’s destroying wound
1528 145 And lie full low, graved in the hollow ground.
1529 Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?
1530 Ay, all of them at Bristow lost their heads.
1531 Where is the Duke my father with his power?
1532 No matter where. Of comfort no man speak.
1534 Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
1535 Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
1536 Let’s choose executors and talk of wills.
1537 And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
1538 155 Save our deposèd bodies to the ground?
1539 Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke’s,
1540 And nothing can we call our own but death
1541 And that small model of the barren earth
1542 Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
1543 160 For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
1544 And tell sad stories of the death of kings—
1545 How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
1546 Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
1547 Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed,
1548 165 All murdered. For within the hollow crown
1549 That rounds the mortal temples of a king
1550 Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits,
1551 Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
1552 Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
1553 170 To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks,
1554 Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
1555 As if this flesh which walls about our life
1556 Were brass impregnable; and humored thus,
1557 Comes at the last and with a little pin
1558 175 Bores through his castle wall, and farewell, king!
1559 Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
1560 With solemn reverence. Throw away respect,
1561 Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
1562 For you have but mistook me all this while.
1563 180 I live with bread like you, feel want,
1564 Taste grief, need friends. Subjected thus,
1565 How can you say to me I am a king?
1566 My lord, wise men ne’er sit and wail their woes,
1567 But presently prevent the ways to wail.
1569 Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe,
1570 And so your follies fight against yourself.
1571 Fear, and be slain—no worse can come to fight;
1572 And fight and die is death destroying death,
1573 190 Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
1574 My father hath a power. Inquire of him,
1575 And learn to make a body of a limb.
1576 Thou chid’st me well.—Proud Bolingbroke, I come
1577 To change blows with thee for our day of doom.—
1578 195 This ague fit of fear is overblown.
1579 An easy task it is to win our own.—
1580 Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
1581 Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
1582 Men judge by the complexion of the sky
1583 200 The state and inclination of the day;
1584 So may you by my dull and heavy eye.
1585 My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
1586 I play the torturer by small and small
1587 To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken.
1588 205 Your uncle York is joined with Bolingbroke,
1589 And all your northern castles yielded up,
1590 And all your southern gentlemen in arms
1591 Upon his party.
KING RICHARD 1592 Thou hast said enough.
1593 210 ⌜To Aumerle.⌝ Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst
1594 lead me forth
1595 Of that sweet way I was in to despair.
1596 What say you now? What comfort have we now?
1597 By heaven, I’ll hate him everlastingly
1598 215 That bids me be of comfort anymore.
1599 Go to Flint Castle. There I’ll pine away;
1600 A king, woe’s slave, shall kingly woe obey.
1602 To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
1603 220 For I have none. Let no man speak again
1604 To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
1605 My liege, one word.
KING RICHARD 1606 He does me double wrong
1607 That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
1608 225 Discharge my followers. Let them hence away,
1609 From Richard’s night to Bolingbroke’s fair day.
Northumberland, ⌜with Soldiers and Attendants.⌝
1610 So that by this intelligence we learn
1611 The Welshmen are dispersed, and Salisbury
1612 Is gone to meet the King, who lately landed
1613 With some few private friends upon this coast.
1614 5 The news is very fair and good, my lord:
1615 Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.
1616 It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
1617 To say “King Richard.” Alack the heavy day
1618 When such a sacred king should hide his head!
1619 10 Your Grace mistakes; only to be brief
1620 Left I his title out.
1621 The time hath been, would you have been so brief
1622 with him,
1623 He would have been so brief to shorten you,
1625 Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.
1626 Take not, good cousin, further than you should,
1627 Lest you mistake. The heavens are over our heads.
1628 I know it, uncle, and oppose not myself
1629 20 Against their will. But who comes here?
1630 Welcome, Harry. What, will not this castle yield?
1631 The castle royally is manned, my lord,
1632 Against thy entrance.
1633 Royally? Why, it contains no king.
PERCY 1634 25Yes, my good lord,
1635 It doth contain a king. King Richard lies
1636 Within the limits of yon lime and stone,
1637 And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
1638 Sir Stephen Scroop, besides a clergyman
1639 30 Of holy reverence—who, I cannot learn.
1640 O, belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.
BOLINGBROKE, ⌜to Northumberland⌝ 1641 Noble ⌜lord,⌝
1642 Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle,
1643 Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
1644 35 Into his ruined ears, and thus deliver:
1645 Henry Bolingbroke
1646 On both his knees doth kiss King Richard’s hand
1647 And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
1648 To his most royal person, hither come
1649 40 Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
1650 Provided that my banishment repealed
1651 And lands restored again be freely granted.
1653 And lay the summer’s dust with showers of blood
1654 45 Rained from the wounds of slaughtered
1656 The which how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
1657 It is such crimson tempest should bedrench
1658 The fresh green lap of fair King Richard’s land,
1659 50 My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
1660 Go signify as much while here we march
1661 Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
⌜Northumberland and Trumpets
approach the battlements.⌝
1662 Let’s march without the noise of threat’ning drum,
1663 That from this castle’s tottered battlements
1664 55 Our fair appointments may be well perused.
1665 Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
1666 With no less terror than the elements
1667 Of fire and water when their thund’ring shock
1668 At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
1669 60 Be he the fire, I’ll be the yielding water;
1670 The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
1671 My waters—on the earth and not on him.
1672 March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.
⌜Bolingbroke’s Soldiers march,⌝ the trumpets sound.
Richard appeareth on the walls ⌜with Aumerle.⌝
1673 See, see, King Richard doth himself appear
1674 65 As doth the blushing discontented sun
1675 From out the fiery portal of the east
1676 When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
1677 To dim his glory and to stain the track
1678 Of his bright passage to the occident.
1679 70 Yet looks he like a king. Behold, his eye,
1680 As bright as is the eagle’s, lightens forth
1681 Controlling majesty. Alack, alack for woe
1682 That any harm should stain so fair a show!
1683 We are amazed, and thus long have we stood
1684 75 To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
1685 Because we thought ourself thy lawful king.
1686 An if we be, how dare thy joints forget
1687 To pay their awful duty to our presence?
1688 If we be not, show us the hand of God
1689 80 That hath dismissed us from our stewardship,
1690 For well we know no hand of blood and bone
1691 Can gripe the sacred handle of our scepter,
1692 Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
1693 And though you think that all, as you have done,
1694 85 Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
1695 And we are barren and bereft of friends,
1696 Yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
1697 Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
1698 Armies of pestilence, and they shall strike
1699 90 Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
1700 That lift your vassal hands against my head
1701 And threat the glory of my precious crown.
1702 Tell Bolingbroke—for yon methinks he stands—
1703 That every stride he makes upon my land
1704 95 Is dangerous treason. He is come to open
1705 The purple testament of bleeding war;
1706 But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
1707 Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers’ sons
1708 Shall ill become the flower of England’s face,
1709 100 Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
1710 To scarlet indignation, and bedew
1711 Her pastures’ grass with faithful English blood.
1712 The King of heaven forbid our lord the King
1713 Should so with civil and uncivil arms
1714 105 Be rushed upon! Thy thrice-noble cousin,
1715 Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand,
1716 And by the honorable tomb he swears
1718 And by the royalties of both your bloods,
1719 110 Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
1720 And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
1721 And by the worth and honor of himself,
1722 Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
1723 His coming hither hath no further scope
1724 115 Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg
1725 Enfranchisement immediate on his knees;
1726 Which on thy royal party granted once,
1727 His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
1728 His barbèd steeds to stables, and his heart
1729 120 To faithful service of your Majesty.
1730 This swears he, as he is ⌜a prince and⌝ just,
1731 And as I am a gentleman I credit him.
1732 Northumberland, say thus the King returns:
1733 His noble cousin is right welcome hither,
1734 125 And all the number of his fair demands
1735 Shall be accomplished without contradiction.
1736 With all the gracious utterance thou hast,
1737 Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.
⌜Northumberland returns to Bolingbroke.⌝
1738 ⌜To Aumerle.⌝ We do debase ourselves, cousin, do
1739 130 we not,
1740 To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
1741 Shall we call back Northumberland and send
1742 Defiance to the traitor and so die?
1743 No, good my lord, let’s fight with gentle words,
1744 135 Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful
1746 O God, O God, that e’er this tongue of mine
1747 That laid the sentence of dread banishment
1748 On yon proud man should take it off again
1750 As is my grief, or lesser than my name!
1751 Or that I could forget what I have been,
1752 Or not remember what I must be now.
1753 Swell’st thou, proud heart? I’ll give thee scope to
1754 145 beat,
1755 Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
1756 Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
1757 What must the King do now? Must he submit?
1758 The King shall do it. Must he be deposed?
1759 150 The King shall be contented. Must he lose
1760 The name of king? I’ God’s name, let it go.
1761 I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,
1762 My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
1763 My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown,
1764 155 My figured goblets for a dish of wood,
1765 My scepter for a palmer’s walking-staff,
1766 My subjects for a pair of carvèd saints,
1767 And my large kingdom for a little grave,
1768 A little, little grave, an obscure grave;
1769 160 Or I’ll be buried in the King’s highway,
1770 Some way of common trade, where subjects’ feet
1771 May hourly trample on their sovereign’s head;
1772 For on my heart they tread now whilst I live
1773 And, buried once, why not upon my head?
1774 165 Aumerle, thou weep’st, my tender-hearted cousin.
1775 We’ll make foul weather with despisèd tears;
1776 Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn
1777 And make a dearth in this revolting land.
1778 Or shall we play the wantons with our woes
1779 170 And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
1780 As thus, to drop them still upon one place
1781 Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
1782 Within the earth; and therein laid—there lies
1784 175 Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
1785 I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.
⌜Northumberland approaches the battlements.⌝
1786 Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
1787 What says King Bolingbroke? Will his Majesty
1788 Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
1789 180 You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.
1790 My lord, in the base court he doth attend
1791 To speak with you, may it please you to come down.
1792 Down, down I come, like glist’ring Phaëton,
1793 Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
1794 185 In the base court—base court, where kings grow
1796 To come at traitors’ calls and do them grace.
1797 In the base court come down—down court, down
1799 190 For nightowls shriek where mounting larks should
⌜Richard exits above
and Northumberland returns to Bolingbroke.⌝
BOLINGBROKE 1801 What says his Majesty?
NORTHUMBERLAND 1802 Sorrow and grief of heart
1803 Makes him speak fondly like a frantic man,
1804 195 Yet he is come.
⌜Richard enters below.⌝
BOLINGBROKE 1805 Stand all apart,
1806 And show fair duty to his Majesty.He kneels down.
1807 My gracious lord.
1808 Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
1809 200 To make the base earth proud with kissing it.
1810 Me rather had my heart might feel your love
1812 Up, cousin, up. Your heart is up, I know,
1813 Thus high at least ⌜indicating his crown,⌝ although
1814 205 your knee be low.
1815 My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.
1816 Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.
1817 So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
1818 As my true service shall deserve your love.
1819 210 Well you deserve. They well deserve to have
1820 That know the strong’st and surest way to get.—
1821 Uncle, give me your hands. Nay, dry your eyes.
1822 Tears show their love but want their remedies.—
1823 Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
1824 215 Though you are old enough to be my heir.
1825 What you will have I’ll give, and willing too,
1826 For do we must what force will have us do.
1827 Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?
1828 Yea, my good lord.
KING RICHARD 1829 220 Then I must not say no.
1830 What sport shall we devise here in this garden
1831 To drive away the heavy thought of care?
LADY 1832 Madam, we’ll play at bowls.
1833 ’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
1834 5 And that my fortune runs against the bias.
1836 My legs can keep no measure in delight
1837 When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.
1838 Therefore no dancing, girl. Some other sport.
LADY 1839 10Madam, we’ll tell tales.
1840 Of sorrow or of ⌜joy?⌝
LADY 1841 Of either, madam.
QUEEN 1842 Of neither, girl,
1843 For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
1844 15 It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
1845 Or if of grief, being altogether had,
1846 It adds more sorrow to my want of joy.
1847 For what I have I need not to repeat,
1848 And what I want it boots not to complain.
1849 20 Madam, I’ll sing.
QUEEN 1850 ’Tis well that thou hast cause,
1851 But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou
1853 I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
1854 25 And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
1855 And never borrow any tear of thee.
Enter ⌜a Gardener and two Servingmen.⌝
1856 But stay, here come the gardeners.
1857 Let’s step into the shadow of these trees.
1858 My wretchedness unto a row of ⌜pins,⌝
1859 30 They will talk of state, for everyone doth so
1860 Against a change. Woe is forerun with woe.
⌜Queen and Ladies step aside.⌝
GARDENER, ⌜to one Servingman⌝
1861 Go, bind thou up young dangling apricokes
1863 Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.
1864 35 Give some supportance to the bending twigs.—
1865 Go thou, and like an executioner
1866 Cut off the heads of ⌜too⌝-fast-growing sprays
1867 That look too lofty in our commonwealth.
1868 All must be even in our government.
1869 40 You thus employed, I will go root away
1870 The noisome weeds which without profit suck
1871 The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.
1872 Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
1873 Keep law and form and due proportion,
1874 45 Showing as in a model our firm estate,
1875 When our sea-wallèd garden, the whole land,
1876 Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
1877 Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,
1878 Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
1879 50 Swarming with caterpillars?
GARDENER 1880 Hold thy peace.
1881 He that hath suffered this disordered spring
1882 Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
1883 The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did
1884 55 shelter,
1885 That seemed in eating him to hold him up,
1886 Are plucked up, root and all, by Bolingbroke—
1887 I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
1888 What, are they dead?
GARDENER 1889 60 They are. And Bolingbroke
1890 Hath seized the wasteful king. O, what pity is it
1891 That he had not so trimmed and dressed his land
1892 As we this garden! ⌜We⌝ at time of year
1893 Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
1894 65 Lest, being overproud in sap and blood,
1895 With too much riches it confound itself.
1896 Had he done so to great and growing men,
1898 Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches
1899 70 We lop away, that bearing boughs may live.
1900 Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
1901 Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
1902 What, think you the King shall be deposed?
1903 Depressed he is already, and deposed
1904 75 ’Tis doubt he will be. Letters came last night
1905 To a dear friend of the good Duke of York’s
1906 That tell black tidings.
1907 O, I am pressed to death through want of speaking!
1908 Thou old Adam’s likeness, set to dress this garden,
1909 80 How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this
1910 unpleasing news?
1911 What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
1912 To make a second fall of cursèd man?
1913 Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
1914 85 Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
1915 Divine his downfall? Say where, when, and how
1916 ⌜Cam’st⌝ thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch!
1917 Pardon me, madam. Little joy have I
1918 To breathe this news, yet what I say is true.
1919 90 King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
1920 Of Bolingbroke. Their fortunes both are weighed.
1921 In your lord’s scale is nothing but himself
1922 And some few vanities that make him light,
1923 But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
1924 95 Besides himself, are all the English peers,
1925 And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
1926 Post you to London and you will find it so.
1927 I speak no more than everyone doth know.
1928 Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
1929 100 Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
1930 And am I last that knows it? O, thou thinkest
1931 To serve me last that I may longest keep
1932 Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go
1933 To meet at London London’s king in woe.
1934 105 What, was I born to this, that my sad look
1935 Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?—
1936 Gard’ner, for telling me these news of woe,
1937 Pray God the plants thou graft’st may never grow.
She exits ⌜with Ladies.⌝
1938 Poor queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
1939 110 I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
1940 Here did she fall a tear. Here in this place
1941 I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
1942 Rue even for ruth here shortly shall be seen
1943 In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
Northumberland, Harry Percy, Fitzwater, Surrey, the
Bishop of Carlisle, the Abbot of Westminster, and
another Lord, Herald, Officers⌝ to parliament.
BOLINGBROKE 1944 Call forth Bagot.
Enter ⌜Officers with⌝ Bagot.
1945 Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind
1946 What thou dost know of noble Gloucester’s death,
1947 Who wrought it with the King, and who performed
1948 5 The bloody office of his timeless end.
1949 Then set before my face the Lord Aumerle.
1950 Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
⌜Aumerle steps forward.⌝
1951 My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
1952 Scorns to unsay what once it hath delivered.
1953 10 In that dead time when Gloucester’s death was
1955 I heard you say “Is not my arm of length,
1956 That reacheth from the restful English court
1957 As far as Calais, to mine uncle’s head?”
1958 15 Amongst much other talk that very time
1960 The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
1961 Than Bolingbroke’s return to England,
1962 Adding withal how blest this land would be
1963 20 In this your cousin’s death.
AUMERLE 1964 Princes and noble lords,
1965 What answer shall I make to this base man?
1966 Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars
1967 On equal terms to give ⌜him⌝ chastisement?
1968 25 Either I must or have mine honor soiled
1969 With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
⌜He throws down a gage.⌝
1970 There is my gage, the manual seal of death
1971 That marks thee out for hell. I say thou liest,
1972 And will maintain what thou hast said is false
1973 30 In thy heart-blood, though being all too base
1974 To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
1975 Bagot, forbear. Thou shalt not take it up.
1976 Excepting one, I would he were the best
1977 In all this presence that hath moved me so.
FITZWATER, ⌜throwing down a gage⌝
1978 35 If that thy valor stand on sympathy,
1979 There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine.
1980 By that fair sun which shows me where thou
1982 I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak’st it,
1983 40 That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester’s death.
1984 If thou deniest it twenty times, thou liest,
1985 And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
1986 Where it was forgèd, with my rapier’s point.
AUMERLE, ⌜taking up the gage⌝
1987 Thou dar’st not, coward, live to see that day.
1988 45 Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.
1989 Fitzwater, thou art damned to hell for this.
1990 Aumerle, thou liest! His honor is as true
1991 In this appeal as thou art all unjust;
1992 And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
⌜He throws down a gage.⌝
1993 50 To prove it on thee to the extremest point
1994 Of mortal breathing. Seize it if thou dar’st.
AUMERLE, ⌜taking up the gage⌝
1995 An if I do not, may my hands rot off
1996 And never brandish more revengeful steel
1997 Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
ANOTHER LORD, ⌜throwing down a gage⌝
1998 55 I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle,
1999 And spur thee on with full as many lies
2000 As may be holloed in thy treacherous ear
2001 From ⌜sun⌝ to ⌜sun.⌝ There is my honor’s pawn.
2002 Engage it to the trial if thou darest.
AUMERLE, ⌜taking up the gage⌝
2003 60 Who sets me else? By heaven, I’ll throw at all!
2004 I have a thousand spirits in one breast
2005 To answer twenty thousand such as you.
2006 My Lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
2007 The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
2008 65 ’Tis very true. You were in presence then,
2009 And you can witness with me this is true.
2010 As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.
2011 Surrey, thou liest.
SURREY 2012 Dishonorable boy,
2013 70 That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword
2014 That it shall render vengeance and revenge
2016 In earth as quiet as thy father’s skull.
⌜He throws down a gage.⌝
2017 In proof whereof, there is my honor’s pawn.
2018 75 Engage it to the trial if thou dar’st.
FITZWATER, ⌜taking up the gage⌝
2019 How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
2020 If I dare eat or drink or breathe or live,
2021 I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness
2022 And spit upon him whilst I say he lies,
2023 80 And lies, and lies. There is ⌜my⌝ bond of faith
2024 To tie thee to my strong correction.⌜He throws down a gage.⌝
2025 As I intend to thrive in this new world,
2026 Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal.—
2027 Besides, I heard the banished Norfolk say
2028 85 That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
2029 To execute the noble duke at Calais.
2030 Some honest Christian trust me with a gage.
⌜A Lord hands him a gage.
Aumerle throws it down.⌝
2031 That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
2032 If he may be repealed to try his honor.
2033 90 These differences shall all rest under gage
2034 Till Norfolk be repealed. Repealed he shall be,
2035 And though mine enemy, restored again
2036 To all his lands and seigniories. When he is
2038 95 Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
2039 That honorable day shall never be seen.
2040 Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought
2041 For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
2042 Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
2044 And, toiled with works of war, retired himself
2045 To Italy, and there at Venice gave
2046 His body to that pleasant country’s earth
2047 And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
2048 105 Under whose colors he had fought so long.
BOLINGBROKE 2049 Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead?
CARLISLE 2050 As surely as I live, my lord.
2051 Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
2052 Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
2053 110 Your differences shall all rest under gage
2054 Till we assign you to your days of trial.
2055 Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
2056 From plume-plucked Richard, who with willing
2058 115 Adopts thee heir, and his high scepter yields
2059 To the possession of thy royal hand.
2060 Ascend his throne, descending now from him,
2061 And long live Henry, fourth of that name!
2062 In God’s name, I’ll ascend the regal throne.
CARLISLE 2063 120Marry, God forbid!
2064 Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
2065 Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
2066 Would God that any in this noble presence
2067 Were enough noble to be upright judge
2068 125 Of noble Richard! Then true noblesse would
2069 Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
2070 What subject can give sentence on his king?
2071 And who sits here that is not Richard’s subject?
2072 Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
2073 130 Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
2074 And shall the figure of God’s majesty,
2076 Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
2077 Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
2078 135 And he himself not present? O, forfend it God
2079 That in a Christian climate souls refined
2080 Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
2081 I speak to subjects and a subject speaks,
2082 Stirred up by God thus boldly for his king.
2083 140 My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
2084 Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford’s king,
2085 And if you crown him, let me prophesy
2086 The blood of English shall manure the ground
2087 And future ages groan for this foul act,
2088 145 Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
2089 And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
2090 Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound.
2091 Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny
2092 Shall here inhabit, and this land be called
2093 150 The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.
2094 O, if you raise this house against this house,
2095 It will the woefullest division prove
2096 That ever fell upon this cursèd earth!
2097 Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
2098 155 Lest child, child’s children, cry against you woe!
2099 Well have you argued, sir, and, for your pains,
2100 Of capital treason we arrest you here.—
2101 My Lord of Westminster, be it your charge
2102 To keep him safely till his day of trial.
2103 160 ⌜May it please you, lords, to grant the commons’
2105 Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
2106 He may surrender. So we shall proceed
2107 Without suspicion.
YORK 2108 165 I will be his conduct.He exits.
2109 Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
2110 Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
2111 Little are we beholding to your love
2112 And little looked for at your helping hands.
Enter Richard and York.
2113 170 Alack, why am I sent for to a king
2114 Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
2115 Wherewith I reigned? I hardly yet have learned
2116 To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
2117 Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
2118 175 To this submission. Yet I well remember
2119 The favors of these men. Were they not mine?
2120 Did they not sometime cry “All hail” to me?
2121 So Judas did to Christ, but He in twelve
2122 Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand,
2123 180 none.
2124 God save the King! Will no man say “amen”?
2125 Am I both priest and clerk? Well, then, amen.
2126 God save the King, although I be not he,
2127 And yet amen, if heaven do think him me.
2128 185 To do what service am I sent for hither?
2129 To do that office of thine own goodwill
2130 Which tired majesty did make thee offer:
2131 The resignation of thy state and crown
2132 To Henry Bolingbroke.
2133 190 Give me the crown.—Here, cousin, seize the crown.
2134 Here, cousin.
2135 On this side my hand, on that side thine.
2136 Now is this golden crown like a deep well
2137 That owes two buckets, filling one another,
2138 195 The emptier ever dancing in the air,
2140 That bucket down and full of tears am I,
2141 Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.
2142 I thought you had been willing to resign.
2143 200 My crown I am, but still my griefs are mine.
2144 You may my glories and my state depose
2145 But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
2146 Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
2147 Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
2148 205 My care is loss of care, by old care done;
2149 Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
2150 The cares I give I have, though given away.
2151 They ’tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
2152 Are you contented to resign the crown?
2153 210 Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be.
2154 Therefore no “no,” for I resign to thee.
2155 Now, mark me how I will undo myself.
2156 I give this heavy weight from off my head
2157 And this unwieldy scepter from my hand,
2158 215 The pride of kingly sway from out my heart.
2159 With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
2160 With mine own hands I give away my crown,
2161 With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
2162 With mine own breath release all duteous oaths.
2163 220 All pomp and majesty I do forswear.
2164 My manors, rents, revenues I forgo;
2165 My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny.
2166 God pardon all oaths that are broke to me.
2167 God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee.
2168 225 Make me, that nothing have, with nothing grieved,
2170 Long mayst thou live in Richard’s seat to sit,
2171 And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit.
2172 God save King Henry, unkinged Richard says,
2173 230 And send him many years of sunshine days.
2174 What more remains?
NORTHUMBERLAND, ⟨offering Richard a paper⟩
2175 No more, but that you read
2176 These accusations and these grievous crimes
2177 Committed by your person and your followers
2178 235 Against the state and profit of this land;
2179 That, by confessing them, the souls of men
2180 May deem that you are worthily deposed.
2181 Must I do so? And must I ravel out
2182 My weaved-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
2183 240 If thy offenses were upon record,
2184 Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop
2185 To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
2186 There shouldst thou find one heinous article
2187 Containing the deposing of a king
2188 245 And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
2189 Marked with a blot, damned in the book of
2191 Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me
2192 Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
2193 250 Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
2194 Showing an outward pity, yet you Pilates
2195 Have here delivered me to my sour cross,
2196 And water cannot wash away your sin.
2197 My lord, dispatch. Read o’er these articles.
2198 255 Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see.
2199 And yet salt water blinds them not so much
2200 But they can see a sort of traitors here.
2202 I find myself a traitor with the rest,
2203 260 For I have given here my soul’s consent
2204 T’ undeck the pompous body of a king,
2205 Made glory base ⟨and⟩ sovereignty a slave,
2206 Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant.
NORTHUMBERLAND 2207 My lord—
2208 265 No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
2209 Nor no man’s lord. I have no name, no title,
2210 No, not that name was given me at the font,
2211 But ’tis usurped. Alack the heavy day,
2212 That I have worn so many winters out
2213 270 And know not now what name to call myself.
2214 O, that I were a mockery king of snow
2215 Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
2216 To melt myself away in water drops.—
2217 Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good,
2218 275 An if my word be sterling yet in England,
2219 Let it command a mirror hither straight,
2220 That it may show me what a face I have
2221 Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
2222 Go, some of you, and fetch a looking-glass.
⟨An Attendant exits.⟩
2223 280 Read o’er this paper while the glass doth come.
2224 Fiend, thou torments me ere I come to hell!
2225 Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
2226 The commons will not then be satisfied.
2227 They shall be satisfied. I’ll read enough
2229 Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself.
Enter one with a glass.
2230 Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
⟨He takes the mirror.⟩
2231 No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
2232 So many blows upon this face of mine
2233 290 And made no deeper wounds? O flatt’ring glass,
2234 Like to my followers in prosperity,
2235 Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
2236 That every day under his household roof
2237 Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
2238 295 That like the sun did make beholders wink?
2239 Is this the face which faced so many follies,
2240 That was at last outfaced by Bolingbroke?
2241 A brittle glory shineth in this face.
2242 As brittle as the glory is the face,
⟨He breaks the mirror.⟩
2243 300 For there it is, cracked in an hundred shivers.—
2244 Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport:
2245 How soon my sorrow hath destroyed my face.
2246 The shadow of your sorrow hath destroyed
2247 The shadow of your face.
KING RICHARD 2248 305 Say that again.
2249 The shadow of my sorrow? Ha, let’s see.
2250 ’Tis very true. My grief lies all within;
2251 And these external ⟨manners⟩ of laments
2252 Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
2253 310 That swells with silence in the tortured soul.
2254 There lies the substance. And I thank thee, king,
2255 For thy great bounty, that not only giv’st
2256 Me cause to wail but teachest me the way
2257 How to lament the cause. I’ll beg one boon
2259 Shall I obtain it?
BOLINGBROKE 2260 Name it, fair cousin.
2261 “Fair cousin”? I am greater than a king,
2262 For when I was a king, my flatterers
2263 320 Were then but subjects. Being now a subject,
2264 I have a king here to my flatterer.
2265 Being so great, I have no need to beg.
BOLINGBROKE 2266 Yet ask.
KING RICHARD 2267 And shall I have?
BOLINGBROKE 2268 325You shall.
KING RICHARD 2269 Then give me leave to go.
BOLINGBROKE 2270 Whither?
2271 Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
2272 Go, some of you, convey him to the Tower.
2273 330 O, good! “Convey”? Conveyers are you all,
2274 That rise thus nimbly by a true king’s fall.
⟨Richard exits with Guards.⟩
2275 On Wednesday next, we solemnly set down
2276 Our coronation. Lords, prepare yourselves.⌝
They exit. ⌜The Abbot of⌝ Westminster, ⌜the Bishop of⌝
Carlisle, Aumerle remain.
2277 A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
2278 335 The woe’s to come. The children yet unborn
2279 Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.
2280 You holy clergymen, is there no plot
2281 To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?
2283 340 Before I freely speak my mind herein,
2284 You shall not only take the sacrament
2285 To bury mine intents, but also to effect
2286 Whatever I shall happen to devise.
2287 I see your brows are full of discontent,
2288 345 Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears.
2289 Come home with me to supper. I’ll lay
2290 A plot shall show us all a merry day.
2291 This way the King will come. This is the way
2292 To Julius Caesar’s ill-erected tower,
2293 To whose flint bosom my condemnèd lord
2294 Is doomed a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
2295 5 Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
2296 Have any resting for her true king’s queen.
Enter Richard ⌜and Guard.⌝
2297 But soft, but see—or rather do not see
2298 My fair rose wither; yet look up, behold,
2299 That you in pity may dissolve to dew
2300 10 And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.—
2301 Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand,
2302 Thou map of honor, thou King Richard’s tomb,
2303 And not King Richard! Thou most beauteous inn,
2304 Why should hard-favored grief be lodged in thee
2305 15 When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
2306 Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
2307 To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,
2308 To think our former state a happy dream,
2309 From which awaked, the truth of what we are
2311 To grim necessity, and he and I
2312 Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France
2313 And cloister thee in some religious house.
2314 Our holy lives must win a new world’s crown,
2315 25 Which our profane hours here have thrown down.
2316 What, is my Richard both in shape and mind
2317 Transformed and weakened? Hath Bolingbroke
2318 Deposed thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
2319 The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
2320 30 And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
2321 To be o’er-powered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
2322 Take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
2323 And fawn on rage with base humility,
2324 Which art a lion and the king of beasts?
2325 35 A king of beasts indeed. If aught but beasts,
2326 I had been still a happy king of men.
2327 Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for
2329 Think I am dead and that even here thou takest,
2330 40 As from my deathbed, thy last living leave.
2331 In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire
2332 With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
2333 Of woeful ages long ago betid;
2334 And, ere thou bid good night, to quite their griefs,
2335 45 Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
2336 And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
2337 Forwhy the senseless brands will sympathize
2338 The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
2339 And in compassion weep the fire out,
2340 50 And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
2341 For the deposing of a rightful king.
2342 My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed.
2343 You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.—
2344 And madam, there is order ta’en for you.
2345 55 With all swift speed you must away to France.
2346 Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
2347 The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
2348 The time shall not be many hours of age
2349 More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,
2350 60 Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
2351 Though he divide the realm and give thee half,
2352 It is too little, helping him to all.
2353 He shall think that thou, which knowest the way
2354 To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
2355 65 Being ne’er so little urged another way,
2356 To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
2357 The love of wicked men converts to fear,
2358 That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
2359 To worthy danger and deservèd death.
2360 70 My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
2361 Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.
2362 Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate
2363 A twofold marriage—twixt my crown and me,
2364 And then betwixt me and my married wife.
2365 75 ⌜To Queen.⌝ Let me unkiss the oath twixt thee and
2367 And yet not so, for with a kiss ’twas made.—
2368 Part us, Northumberland, I towards the north,
2369 Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
2370 80 My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp
2371 She came adornèd hither like sweet May,
2372 Sent back like Hallowmas or short’st of day.
2373 And must we be divided? Must we part?
2374 Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
QUEEN, ⌜to Northumberland⌝
2375 85 Banish us both, and send the King with me.
2376 That were some love, but little policy.
2377 Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
2378 So two together weeping make one woe.
2379 Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
2380 90 Better far off than, near, be ne’er the near.
2381 Go, count thy way with sighs, I mine with groans.
2382 So longest way shall have the longest moans.
2383 Twice for one step I’ll groan, the way being short,
2384 And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
2385 95 Come, come, in wooing sorrow let’s be brief,
2386 Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
2387 One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part.
2388 Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
2389 Give me mine own again. ’Twere no good part
2390 100 To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
2391 So, now I have mine own again, begone,
2392 That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
2393 We make woe wanton with this fond delay.
2394 Once more, adieu! The rest let sorrow say.
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,
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.
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?
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!
2524 Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son?
2525 ’Tis full three months since I did see him last.
2526 If any plague hang over us, ’tis he.
2527 I would to God, my lords, he might be found.
2528 5 Inquire at London, ’mongst the taverns there,
2529 For there, they say, he daily doth frequent
2531 Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes
2532 And beat our watch and rob our passengers,
2533 10 ⌜While⌝ he, young wanton and effeminate boy,
2534 Takes on the point of honor to support
2535 So dissolute a crew.
2536 My lord, some two days since I saw the Prince,
2537 And told him of those triumphs held at Oxford.
KING HENRY 2538 15And what said the gallant?
2539 His answer was, he would unto the stews,
2540 And from the common’st creature pluck a glove
2541 And wear it as a favor, and with that
2542 He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
2543 20 As dissolute as desperate. Yet through both
2544 I see some sparks of better hope, which elder years
2545 May happily bring forth. But who comes here?
Enter Aumerle amazed.
AUMERLE 2546 Where is the King?
2547 What means our cousin, that he stares and looks so
2548 25 wildly?
2549 God save your Grace. I do beseech your Majesty
2550 To have some conference with your Grace alone.
KING HENRY, ⌜to his Nobles⌝
2551 Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.
⌜The Nobles exit.⌝
2552 What is the matter with our cousin now?
2553 30 Forever may my knees grow to the earth,
2554 My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
2555 Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.
2556 Intended or committed was this fault?
2557 If on the first, how heinous e’er it be,
2558 35 To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
2559 Then give me leave that ⌜I⌝ may turn the key
2560 That no man enter till my tale be done.
KING HENRY 2561 Have thy desire.⌜Aumerle locks the door.⌝
The Duke of York knocks at the door and crieth.
2562 My liege, beware! Look to thyself!
2563 40 Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Aumerle⌝ 2564 Villain, I’ll make thee safe.
⌜He draws his sword.⌝
2565 Stay thy revengeful hand. Thou hast no cause to fear.
2566 Open the door, secure, foolhardy king!
2567 Shall I for love speak treason to thy face?
2568 45 Open the door, or I will break it open.
⌜King Henry unlocks the door.⌝
KING HENRY 2569 What is the matter, uncle? Speak.
2570 Recover breath. Tell us how near is danger
2571 That we may arm us to encounter it.
YORK, ⌜giving King Henry a paper⌝
2572 Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
2573 50 The treason that my haste forbids me show.
AUMERLE, ⌜to King Henry⌝
2574 Remember, as thou read’st, thy promise passed.
2575 I do repent me. Read not my name there.
2576 My heart is not confederate with my hand.
2577 It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.—
2578 55 I tore it from the traitor’s bosom, king.
2580 Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
2581 A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
2582 O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!
2583 60 O loyal father of a treacherous son,
2584 Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain
2585 From whence this stream, through muddy passages,
2586 Hath held his current and defiled himself,
2587 Thy overflow of good converts to bad,
2588 65 And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
2589 This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
2590 So shall my virtue be his vice’s bawd,
2591 And he shall spend mine honor with his shame,
2592 As thriftless sons their scraping fathers’ gold.
2593 70 Mine honor lives when his dishonor dies,
2594 Or my shamed life in his dishonor lies.
2595 Thou kill’st me in his life: giving him breath,
2596 The traitor lives, the true man’s put to death.
2597 What ho, my liege! For God’s sake, let me in!
2598 75 What ⌜shrill-voiced⌝ suppliant makes this eager cry?
2599 A woman and thy aunt, great king. ’Tis I.
2600 Speak with me, pity me. Open the door!
2601 A beggar begs that never begged before.
2602 Our scene is altered from a serious thing
2603 80 And now changed to “The Beggar and the King.”—
2604 My dangerous cousin, let your mother in.
2605 I know she is come to pray for your foul sin.
⌜Aumerle opens the door.⌝
⌜Duchess of York enters and kneels.⌝
2606 If thou do pardon whosoever pray,
2607 More sins for this forgiveness prosper may.
2608 85 This festered joint cut off, the rest rest sound.
2609 This let alone will all the rest confound.
2610 O king, believe not this hard-hearted man.
2611 Love loving not itself, none other can.
2612 Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
2613 90 Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?
2614 Sweet York, be patient.—Hear me, gentle liege.
2615 Rise up, good aunt.
DUCHESS 2616 Not yet, I thee beseech.
2617 Forever will I walk upon my knees
2618 95 And never see day that the happy sees,
2619 Till thou give joy, until thou bid me joy
2620 By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
2621 Unto my mother’s prayers I bend my knee.
2622 Against them both my true joints bended be.
2623 100 Ill mayst thou thrive if thou grant any grace.
2624 Pleads he in earnest? Look upon his face.
2625 His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
2626 His words come from his mouth, ours from our
2628 105 He prays but faintly and would be denied.
2629 We pray with heart and soul and all beside.
2630 His weary joints would gladly rise, I know.
2631 Our knees still kneel till to the ground they grow.
2632 His prayers are full of false hypocrisy,
2633 110 Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
2635 That mercy which true prayer ought to have.
2636 Good aunt, stand up.
DUCHESS 2637 Nay, do not say “stand up.”
2638 115 Say “pardon” first and afterwards “stand up.”
2639 An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
2640 “Pardon” should be the first word of thy speech.
2641 I never longed to hear a word till now.
2642 Say “pardon,” king; let pity teach thee how.
2643 120 The word is short, but not so short as sweet.
2644 No word like “pardon” for kings’ mouths so meet.
2645 Speak it in French, king. Say “pardonne moy.”
2646 Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
2647 Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
2648 125 That sets the word itself against the word!
2649 ⌜To King Henry.⌝ Speak “pardon” as ’tis current in
2650 our land;
2651 The chopping French we do not understand.
2652 Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there,
2653 130 Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
2654 That, hearing how our plaints and prayers do
2656 Pity may move thee “pardon” to rehearse.
2657 Good aunt, stand up.
DUCHESS 2658 135 I do not sue to stand.
2659 Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
2660 I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
2661 O, happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
2662 Yet am I sick for fear. Speak it again.
2663 140 Twice saying “pardon” doth not pardon twain,
2664 But makes one pardon strong.
DUCHESS 2666 A god on Earth thou art.
⌜They all stand.⌝
2667 But for our trusty brother-in-law and the Abbot,
2668 145 With all the rest of that consorted crew,
2669 Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
2670 Good uncle, help to order several powers
2671 To Oxford or where’er these traitors are.
2672 They shall not live within this world, I swear,
2673 150 But I will have them, if I once know where.
2674 Uncle, farewell,—and cousin, adieu.
2675 Your mother well hath prayed; and prove you true.
DUCHESS, ⌜to Aumerle⌝
2676 Come, my old son. I pray God make thee new.
2677 Didst thou not mark the King, what words he spake,
2678 “Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?”
2679 Was it not so?
SERVINGMAN 2680 These were his very words.
2681 5 “Have I no friend?” quoth he. He spake it twice
2682 And urged it twice together, did he not?
SERVINGMAN 2683 He did.
2684 And speaking it, he wishtly looked on me,
2685 As who should say “I would thou wert the man
2686 10 That would divorce this terror from my heart”—
2687 Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let’s go.
2688 I am the King’s friend and will rid his foe.
2689 I have been studying how I may compare
2690 This prison where I live unto the world,
2691 And for because the world is populous
2692 And here is not a creature but myself,
2693 5 I cannot do it. Yet I’ll hammer it out.
2694 My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul,
2695 My soul the father, and these two beget
2696 A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
2697 And these same thoughts people this little world,
2698 10 In humors like the people of this world,
2699 For no thought is contented. The better sort,
2700 As thoughts of things divine, are intermixed
2701 With scruples, and do set the word itself
2702 Against the word, as thus: “Come, little ones,”
2703 15 And then again,
2704 “It is as hard to come as for a camel
2705 To thread the postern of a small needle’s eye.”
2706 Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
2707 Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
2708 20 May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
2709 Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls,
2710 And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
2711 Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
2712 That they are not the first of fortune’s slaves,
2713 25 Nor shall not be the last—like silly beggars
2714 Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame
2715 That many have and others must ⌜sit⌝ there,
2716 And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
2717 Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
2718 30 Of such as have before endured the like.
2719 Thus play I in one person many people,
2720 And none contented. Sometimes am I king.
2722 And so I am; then crushing penury
2723 35 Persuades me I was better when a king.
2724 Then am I kinged again, and by and by
2725 Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke,
2726 And straight am nothing. But whate’er I be,
2727 Nor I nor any man that but man is
2728 40 With nothing shall be pleased till he be eased
2729 With being nothing. (The music plays.) Music do I
2731 Ha, ha, keep time! How sour sweet music is
2732 When time is broke and no proportion kept.
2733 45 So is it in the music of men’s lives.
2734 And here have I the daintiness of ear
2735 To check time broke in a disordered string;
2736 But for the concord of my state and time
2737 Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
2738 50 I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
2739 For now hath time made me his numb’ring clock.
2740 My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar
2741 Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
2742 Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
2743 55 Is pointing still in cleansing them from tears.
2744 Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
2745 Are clamorous groans which strike upon my heart,
2746 Which is the bell. So sighs and tears and groans
2747 Show minutes, times, and hours. But my time
2748 60 Runs posting on in Bolingbroke’s proud joy,
2749 While I stand fooling here, his jack of the clock.
2750 This music mads me. Let it sound no more,
2751 For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
2752 In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
2753 65 Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me,
2754 For ’tis a sign of love, and love to Richard
2755 Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
Enter a Groom of the stable.
RICHARD 2757 Thanks, noble peer.
2758 70 The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
2759 What art thou, and how comest thou hither,
2760 Where no man never comes but that sad dog
2761 That brings me food to make misfortune live?
2762 I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
2763 75 When thou wert king; who, traveling towards York,
2764 With much ado at length have gotten leave
2765 To look upon my sometime royal master’s face.
2766 O, how it earned my heart when I beheld
2767 In London streets, that coronation day,
2768 80 When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
2769 That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
2770 That horse that I so carefully have dressed.
2771 Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
2772 How went he under him?
2773 85 So proudly as if he disdained the ground.
2774 So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
2775 That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
2776 This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
2777 Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down
2778 90 (Since pride must have a fall) and break the neck
2779 Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
2780 Forgiveness, horse! Why do I rail on thee,
2781 Since thou, created to be awed by man,
2782 Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse,
2783 95 And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
2784 Spurred, galled, and tired by jauncing Bolingbroke.
Enter one, ⌜the Keeper,⌝ to Richard with meat.
2785 Fellow, give place. Here is no longer stay.
RICHARD, ⌜to Groom⌝
2786 If thou love me, ’tis time thou wert away.
2787 What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.
KEEPER 2788 100My lord, will ’t please you to fall to?
2789 Taste of it first as thou art wont to do.
2790 My lord, I dare not. Sir Pierce of Exton,
2791 Who lately came from the King, commands the
RICHARD, ⌜attacking the Keeper⌝
2793 105 The devil take Henry of Lancaster and thee!
2794 Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
KEEPER 2795 Help, help, help!
The Murderers ⌜Exton and his men⌝ rush in.
2796 How now, what means death in this rude assault?
2797 Villain, thy own hand yields thy death’s instrument.
⌜Richard seizes a weapon from a Murderer
and kills him with it.⌝
2798 110 Go thou and fill another room in hell.
⌜He kills another Murderer.⌝
Here Exton strikes him down.
2799 That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
2800 That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
2801 Hath with the King’s blood stained the King’s own
2803 115 Mount, mount, my soul. Thy seat is up on high,
2804 Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
2805 As full of valor as of royal blood.
2806 Both have I spilled. O, would the deed were good!
2807 For now the devil that told me I did well
2808 120 Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
2809 This dead king to the living king I’ll bear.
2810 Take hence the rest and give them burial here.
⌜They exit with the bodies.⌝
2811 Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
2812 Is that the rebels have consumed with fire
2813 Our town of Ciceter in Gloucestershire,
2814 But whether they be ta’en or slain we hear not.
2815 5 Welcome, my lord. What is the news?
2816 First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.
2817 The next news is: I have to London sent
2818 The heads of Oxford, Salisbury, Blunt, and Kent.
2819 The manner of their taking may appear
2820 10 At large discoursèd in this paper here.
⌜He gives King Henry a paper.⌝
2821 We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains,
2822 And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
Enter Lord Fitzwater.
2823 My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
2824 The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely,
2826 That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
2827 Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot.
2828 Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
Enter ⌜Harry⌝ Percy ⌜with the Bishop of Carlisle.⌝
2829 The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
2830 20 With clog of conscience and sour melancholy
2831 Hath yielded up his body to the grave.
2832 But here is Carlisle living, to abide
2833 Thy kingly doom and sentence of his pride.
KING HENRY 2834 Carlisle, this is your doom:
2835 25 Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
2836 More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life.
2837 So, as thou liv’st in peace, die free from strife;
2838 For, though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
2839 High sparks of honor in thee have I seen.
Enter Exton ⌜and Servingmen⌝ with the coffin.
2840 30 Great king, within this coffin I present
2841 Thy buried fear. Herein all breathless lies
2842 The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
2843 Richard of Bourdeaux, by me hither brought.
2844 Exton, I thank thee not, for thou hast wrought
2845 35 A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
2846 Upon my head and all this famous land.
2847 From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
2848 They love not poison that do poison need,
2849 Nor do I thee. Though I did wish him dead,
2850 40 I hate the murderer, love him murderèd.
2852 But neither my good word nor princely favor.
2853 With Cain go wander through shades of night,
2854 And never show thy head by day nor light.
2855 45 Lords, I protest my soul is full of woe
2856 That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow.
2857 Come mourn with me for what I do lament,
2858 And put on sullen black incontinent.
2859 I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land
2860 50 To wash this blood off from my guilty hand.
⌜Servingmen lift the coffin to carry it out.⌝
2861 March sadly after. Grace my mournings here
2862 In weeping after this untimely bier.
⌜They exit, following the coffin.⌝