Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Not Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Modern)

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second
Enter King Richard, John of Gaunt, [and lord Marshal], with other nobles and attendants.
King Richard
5Old John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster,
Hast thou, according to thy oath and bond,
Brought hither Henry Hereford, thy bold son,
Here to make good the boist'rous late appeal,
Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
10Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
Gaunt I have, my liege.
King Richard Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him
If he appeal the Duke on ancient malice,
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
15On some known ground of treachery in him?
Gaunt As near as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him
Aimed at your highness; no inveterate malice.
King Richard
Then call them to our presence.
[Exit one or more attendants.]
Face to face,
20And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and the accusèd freely speak.
High-stomached are they both and full of ire,
In rage, deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray [with attendants].
25Bolingbroke Many years of happy days befall
My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
Mowbray Each day still better other's happiness,
Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap,
Add an immortal title to your crown!
30King Richard We thank you both. Yet one but flatters us,
As well appeareth by the cause you come,
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason. --
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
35Bolingbroke First -- heaven be the record to my speech! --
In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tend'ring the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence. --
40Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant,
45Too good to be so, and too bad to live,
Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat,
50And wish -- so please my sovereign -- ere I move,
What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword may prove.
Mowbray Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal.
'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamor of two eager tongues,
55Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain.
The blood is hot that must be cooled for this.
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
As to be hushed and naught at all to say.
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
60From giving reins and spurs to my free speech,
Which else would post until it had returned
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
65I do defy him, and I spit at him,
Call him a slanderous coward and a villain;
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds
And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
70Or any other ground inhabitable,
Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
Meantime, let this defend my loyalty:
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Bolingbroke [Throwing down his gage] Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
75Disclaiming here the kindred of the King,
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
As to take up mine honor's pawn, then stoop.
80By that and all the rites of knighthood else
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke or thou canst worse devise.
Mowbray [Taking up the gage] I take it up; and by that sword I swear
Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
85I'll answer thee in any fair degree
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial.
And when I mount, alive may I not light
If I be traitor or unjustly fight!
King Richard [To Bolingbroke] What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
90It must be great that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Bolingbroke Look what I speak, my life shall prove it true:
That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
95The which he hath detained for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,
Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge
That ever was surveyed by English eye,
100That all the treasons for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrivèd in this land
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say, and further will maintain
Upon his bad life to make all this good,
105That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death,
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
And consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood;
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries
110Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth
To me for justice and rough chastisement.
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
King Richard How high a pitch his resolution soars! --
115Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Mowbray Oh, let my sovereign turn away his face
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood
How God and good men hate so foul a liar!
120King Richard Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
As he is but my father's brother's son,
Now by my scepter's awe I make a vow,
Such neighbor nearness to our sacred blood
125Should nothing privilege him nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou.
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
Mowbray Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart
130Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers;
The other part reserved I by consent,
For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
135Upon remainder of a dear account
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
Now swallow down that lie! For Gloucester's death,
I slew him not, but to my own disgrace
Neglected my sworn duty in that case. --
140For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honorable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grievèd soul;
But ere I last received the sacrament,
145I did confess it, and exactly begged
Your grace's pardon, and I hope I had it. --
This is my fault. As for the rest appealed,
It issues from the rancor of a villain,
A recreant, and most degenerate traitor,
150Which in myself I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot, [He throws down his gage.]
To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
Even in the best blood chambered in his bosom;
155In haste whereof most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
[Bolingbroke picks up the gage.]
King Richard Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
Let's purge this choler without letting blood.
This we prescribe, though no physician.
160Deep malice makes too deep incision.
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed.
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed. --
Good uncle, let this end where it begun.
We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
165Gaunt To be a make-peace shall become my age. --
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
King Richard
And, Norfolk, throw down his.
When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.
170King Richard Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.
Mowbray Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot. [He kneels.]
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame.
The one my duty owes, but my fair name,
175Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
To dark dishonor's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled here,
Pierced to the soul with slander's venomed spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
180Which breathed this poison.
King Richard
Rage must be withstood.
[He holds out his hand.]
Give me his gage. Lions make leopards tame.
Mowbray Yea, but not change his spots. Take but my shame,
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
185The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation. That away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
190Mine honor is my life; both grow in one.
Take honor from me, and my life is done.
Then, dear my liege, mine honor let me try.
In that I live, and for that will I die.
King Richard [To Bolingbroke] Cousin, throw up your gage. Do you begin.
Bolingbroke O God defend my soul from such deep sin!
Shall I seem crestfallen in my father's sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue
200Shall wound my honor with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
The slavish motive of recanting fear
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbor, even in Mowbray's face.
[Exit Gaunt.]
King Richard We were not born to sue, but to command;
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day.
210There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate.
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry. --
Lord Marshal, command our officers-at-arms 215Be ready to direct these home alarms.
Enter John of Gaunt with the Duchess of Gloucester.
Gaunt Alas, the part I had in Woodstock's blood
Doth more solicit me than your exclaims
220To stir against the butchers of his life.
But since correction lieth in those hands
Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven,
Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth,
225Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
Duchess of Gloucester Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
Were as seven vials of his sacred blood,
230Or seven fair branches springing from one root.
Some of those seven are dried by nature's course,
Some of those branches by the Destinies cut;
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
One vial full of Edward's sacred blood,
235One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
Is cracked, and all the precious liquor spilt,
Is hacked down, and his summer leaves all faded
By envy's hand and murder's bloody ax.
Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! That bed, that womb,
240That mettle, that self mold that fashioned thee
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st and breath'st,
Yet art thou slain in him. Thou dost consent
In some large measure to thy father's death
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
245Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt. It is despair.
In suff'ring thus thy brother to be slaughtered,
Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
250That which in mean men we entitle patience
Is pale, cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to venge my Gloucester's death.
Gaunt God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
255His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caused his death, the which if wrongfully
Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duchess of Gloucester Where then, alas, may I complain myself?
260Gaunt To God, the widow's champion and defense.
Duchess of Gloucester Why then I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou goest to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
Oh, set my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear,
265That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast!
Or if misfortune miss the first career,
Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom
That they may break his foaming courser's back
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
270A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
Farewell, old Gaunt. Thy sometime brother's wife,
With her companion, grief, must end her life.
[She starts to leave.]
Gaunt Sister, farewell. I must to Coventry.
As much good stay with thee as go with me.
[He starts to leave.]
275Duchess of Gloucester Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where it falls,
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight.
I take my leave before I have begun,
For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
Commend me to thy brother, Edmund York.
280Lo, this is all. Nay, yet depart not so!
Though this be all, do not so quickly go.
I shall remember more. Bid him -- ah, what? --
With all good speed at Pleshy visit me,
Alack, and what shall good old York there see
285But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls,
Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
Therefore commend me; let him not come there
To seek out sorrow that dwells everywhere.
290Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die. The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
Enter lord Marshal and the Duke [of] Aumerle.
Marshal My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford armed?
295Aumerle Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
Marshal The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.
Aumerle Why then, the champions are prepared, and stay
For nothing but his majesty's approach.
The trumpets sound and King [Richard] enters with his nobles, [Gaunt, Bushy, Bagot, Green, and others].
When they are set, enter [Mowbray,] Duke of Norfolk, in arms, defendant, [with a Herald].
King Richard Marshal, demand of yonder champion
The cause of his arrival here in arms,
305Ask him his name, and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause.
Marshal [To Mowbray] In God's name and the King's, say who thou art
And why thou com'st thus knightly clad in arms,
Against what man thou com'st, and what thy quarrel.
310Speak truly on thy knighthood and thy oath,
As so defend thee heaven and thy valor!
Mowbray My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
Who hither come engagèd by my oath --
Which God defend a knight should violate! --
315Both to defend my loyalty and truth
To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,
Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me,
And by the grace of God and this mine arm
To prove him, in defending of myself,
320A traitor to my God, my king, and me;
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
[He sits.]
The trumpets sound. Enter [Bolingbroke,] Duke of Hereford, 322.1appellant, in armor, [with a Herald].
King Richard Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms
Both who he is and why he cometh hither
325Thus plated in habiliments of war,
And formally, according to our law,
Depose him in the justice of his cause.
Marshal [To Bolingbroke] What is thy name? And wherefore com'st thou hither,
Before King Richard in his royal lists?
330Against whom com'st thou? And what's thy quarrel?
Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
Bolingbroke Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
Am I, who ready here do stand in arms
To prove, by God's grace and my body's valor,
335In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
That he is a traitor foul and dangerous
To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me.
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
[He sits.]
Marshal On pain of death, no person be so bold
340Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
Except the Marshal and such officers
Appointed to direct these fair designs.
Bolingbroke [Standing] Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand
And bow my knee before his majesty;
345For Mowbray and myself are like two men
That vow a long and weary pilgrimage.
Then let us take a ceremonious leave
And loving farewell of our several friends.
Marshal [To King Richard] The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
350And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
King Richard We will descend and fold him in our arms. [He descends from his seat and embraces Bolingbroke.]
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight.
Farewell, my blood, which if today thou shed,
355Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
Bolingbroke Oh, let no noble eye profane a tear
For me, if I be gored with Mowbray's spear.
As confident as is the falcon's flight
Against a bird do I with Mowbray fight. --
360[To lord Marshal] My loving lord, I take my leave of you. --
[To Aumerle] Of you, my noble cousin, lord Aumerle;
Not sick, although I have to do with death,
But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath. --
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
365The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet.
[To Gaunt, kneeling] O thou, the earthly author of my blood,
Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
Doth with a twofold vigor lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,
370Add proof unto mine armor with thy prayers,
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat
And furbish new the name of John o'Gaunt,
Even in the lusty havior of his son.
375Gaunt God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
Be swift like lightning in the execution,
And let thy blows, doubly redoublèd,
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy.
380Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
Bolingbroke [Standing] Mine innocence and Saint George to thrive!
Mowbray [Standing] However God or Fortune cast my lot,
There lives or dies, true to King Richard's throne,
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
385Never did captive with a freer heart
Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
His golden uncontrolled enfranchisement
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
This feast of battle with mine adversary.
390Most mighty liege, and my companion peers,
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
As gentle and as jocund as to jest
Go I to fight. Truth hath a quiet breast.
King Richard Farewell, my lord. Securely I espy
395Virtue with valor couchèd in thine eye. --
Order the trial, Marshal, and begin.
Marshal Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!
[An attendant bears a lance to Bolingbroke.]
Bolingbroke Strong as a tower in hope, I cry "Amen!"
400Marshal [To the attendant] Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
[The attendant bears a lance to Mowbray.]
[Bolingbroke's] Herald Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
405A traitor to his God, his king, and him,
And dares him to set forward to the fight.
[Mowbray's] Herald Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself, and to approve
410Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal,
Courageously, and with a free desire,
Attending but the signal to begin.
Marshal Sound trumpets, and set forward combatants. [A charge is sounded.] [King Richard throws down his warder.]
415Stay! The King hath thrown his warder down.
King Richard Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
And both return back to their chairs again. [Bolingbroke and Mowbray disarm and sit.]
[To his council] Withdraw with us, and let the trumpets sound
While we return these dukes what we decree. [A long flourish, during which King Richard and his council withdraw to confer then come forward. King Richard addresses Bolingbroke and Mowbray.]
Draw near,
And list what with our council we have done.
For that our kingdom's earth should not be soiled
With that dear blood which it hath fosterèd:
425And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of civil wounds plowed up with neighbor's sword;
426.1And for we think the eagle-wingèd pride
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set on you
To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
426.5Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,
Which so roused up with boist'rous untuned drums,
With harsh-resounding trumpets' dreadful bray
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
430Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
And make us wade even in our kindred's blood:
Therefore we banish you our territories. --
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
Till twice five summers have enriched our fields,
435Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
Bolingbroke Your will be done. This must my comfort be:
That sun that warms you here shall shine on me,
And those his golden beams to you here lent
440Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
King Richard Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
The sly, slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile.
445The hopeless word of "never to return"
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
Mowbray A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlooked-for from your highness' mouth.
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
450As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deservèd at your highness' hands.
The language I have learnt these forty years,
My native English, now I must forgo;
And now my tongue's use is to me no more
455Than an unstringèd viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
460Doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips,
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
Is made my jailer to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now.
465What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
King Richard It boots thee not to be compassionate.
After our sentence, plaining comes too late.
Mowbray Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
470To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
[He begins to exit.]
King Richard [To Mowbray] Return again, and take an oath with thee.
[To Mowbray and Bolingbroke] Lay on our royal sword your banished hands. [They place their right hands on the hilts of King Richard's sword.]
Swear by the duty that you owe to God --
Our part therein we banish with yourselves --
475To keep the oath that we administer:
You never shall, so help you truth and God,
Embrace each other's love in banishment,
Nor never look upon each other's face,
Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
480This louring tempest of your home-bred hate,
Nor never by advisèd purpose meet
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
I swear.
And I, to keep all this.
[They step back.]
Bolingbroke Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:
By this time, had the King permitted us,
One of our souls had wandered in the air,
Banished this frail sepulcher of our flesh,
490As now our flesh is banished from this land.
Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm.
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
The clogging burden of a guilty soul.
Mowbray No, Bolingbroke, if ever I were traitor,
495My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banished as from hence!
But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know;
And all too soon, I fear, the King shall rue. --
Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray; 500Save back to England, all the world's my way.
King Richard [To Gaunt] Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grievèd heart. Thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banished years
Plucked four away.[To Bolingbroke] Six frozen winters spent,
505Return with welcome home from banishment.
Bolingbroke How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word: such is the breath of kings.
Gaunt I thank my liege that in regard of me
510He shortens four years of my son's exile.
But little vantage shall I reap thereby,
For ere the six years that he hath to spend
Can change their moons and bring their times about,
My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light
515Shall be extinct with age and endless night.
My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
And blindfold death not let me see my son.
King Richard Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
Gaunt But not a minute, King, that thou canst give.
520Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow.
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage.
Thy word is current with him for my death,
525But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
King Richard Thy son is banished upon good advice,
Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave.
Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lour?
Gaunt Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
530You urged me as a judge, but I had rather
You would have bid me argue like a father.
531.1Oh, had it been a stranger, not my child,
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild.
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroyed.
Alas, I looked when some of you should say
I was too strict to make mine own away;
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
535Against my will to do myself this wrong.
King Richard [To Bolingbroke] Cousin, farewell. -- And, uncle, bid him so.
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
[Flourish]. Exit [King Richard with his train]. [Aumerle, lord Marshal, Gaunt and Bolingbroke remain.]
Aumerle [To Bolingbroke] Cousin, farewell. What presence must not know,
540From where you do remain let paper show.
Marshal [To Bolingbroke] My lord, no leave take I, for I will ride,
As far as land will let me, by your side.
[Bolingbroke remains silent. Lord Marshal draws away.]
Gaunt Oh, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends?
545Bolingbroke I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue's office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant dolor of the heart.
Gaunt Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
Bolingbroke Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
550Gaunt What is six winters? They are quickly gone.
Bolingbroke To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
Gaunt Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure.
Bolingbroke My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
Which finds it an enforcèd pilgrimage.
555Gaunt The sullen passage of thy weary steps
Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
The precious jewel of thy home return.
557.1Bolingbroke Nay, rather every tedious stride I make
Will but remember me what a deal of world
I wander from the jewels that I love.
Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
557.5To foreign passages, and in the end,
Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
But that I was a journeyman to grief.
Gaunt All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
557.10Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not the King did banish thee,
But thou the King. Woe doth the heavier sit,
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
557.15Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honor,
And not, the King exiled thee; or suppose
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
557.20To lie that way thou goest, not whence thou com'st.
Suppose the singing birds musicians,
The grass whereon thou tread'st the presence strewed,
The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
Than a delightful measure or a dance;
557.25For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
Bolingbroke Oh, who can hold a fire in his hand
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
560Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow
By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
Oh no, the apprehension of the good
565Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more
Than when he bites but lanceth not the sore.
Gaunt Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on thy way.
Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
570Bolingbroke Then, England's ground, farewell! Sweet soil, adieu,
My mother and my nurse that bears me yet!
Where'er I wander, boast of this I can, Though banished, yet a trueborn Englishman.
Exeunt [Gaunt and Bolingbroke, followed by lord Marshal].
Enter King [Richard] with [Bagot, Green,] etc. at one door, and the
575Lord Aumerle at another.
King Richard We did observe. -- Cousin Aumerle,
How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
Aumerle I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
But to the next highway, and there I left him.
580King Richard And say, what store of parting tears were shed?
Aumerle Faith, none for me, except the northeast wind,
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Awaked the sleeping rheum, and so by chance
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
585King Richard What said our cousin when you parted with him?
"Farewell." -- And, for my heart disdainèd that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief
That words seemed buried in my sorrow's grave.
590Marry, would the word "farewell" have lengthened hours
And added years to his short banishment,
He should have had a volume of farewells;
But since it would not, he had none of me.
King Richard He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
595When time shall call him home from banishment,
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green
Observed his courtship to the common people.
How he did seem to dive into their hearts
600With humble and familiar courtesy.
What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
And patient underbearing of his fortune,
As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
605Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench.
A brace of draymen bid God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee
With "Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends,"
As were our England in reversion his,
610And he our subjects' next degree in hope.
Green Well, he is gone, and with him go these thoughts.
Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
Ere further leisure yield them further means
615For their advantage and your highness' loss.
King Richard We will ourself in person to this war.
And, for our coffers, with too great a court
And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
We are enforced to farm our royal realm,
620The revenue whereof shall furnish us
For our affairs in hand. If that come short,
Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters,
Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold
625And send them after to supply our wants;
For we will make for Ireland presently. Enter Bushy. Bushy, what news?
Bushy Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
630Suddenly taken, and hath sent post-haste
To entreat your majesty to visit him.
King Richard Where lies he?
Bushy At Ely house.
King Richard Now put it, God, in the physician's mind
635To help him to his grave immediately!
The lining of his coffers shall make coats
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him.
Pray God we may make haste and come too late!
[All] Amen!
Enter John of Gaunt sick, [carried in a chair,] with the Duke of York, [and attendants.]
Gaunt Will the King come, that I may breathe my last
In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
York Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath,
645For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
Gaunt Oh, but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony.
Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
650He that no more must say is listened more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to gloze,
More are men's ends marked than their lives before.
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
655Writ in remembrance more than things long past.
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
York No, it is stopped with other, flattering sounds,
As praises, of whose taste the wise are fond;
660Lascivious meters, to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen;
Report of fashions in proud Italy,
Whose manners still our tardy-apish nation
Limps after in base imitation.
665Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity --
So it be new, there's no respect how vile --
That is not quickly buzzed into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
670Direct not him whose way himself will choose.
'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.
Gaunt Methinks I am a prophet new inspired,
And thus, expiring, do foretell of him.
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
675For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
Small show'rs last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder;
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
680Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise,
This fortress built by nature for herself
685Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
690Against the envy of less happier lands,
This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed and famous by their birth,
Renownèd for their deeds as far from home
695For Christian service and true chivalry
As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
Of the world's ransom, blessèd Mary's son,
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
700Is now leased out -- I die pronouncing it --
Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of wat'ry Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
705With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
That England that was wont to conquer others
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
York The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth,
For young hot colts, being raged, do rage the more.
Enter King [Richard] and [the] Queen, [Aumerle, Bushy, Green, Bagot, Ross, and Willoughby, with attendants].
Queen How fares our noble uncle Lancaster?
715King Richard What comfort, man? How is't with agèd Gaunt?
Gaunt Oh, how that name befits my composition!
Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old.
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast,
And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?
720For sleeping England long time have I watched;
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt.
The pleasure that some fathers feed upon
Is my strict fast -- I mean, my children's looks --
And therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt.
725Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits naught but bones.
King Richard Can sick men play so nicely with their names?
Gaunt No, misery makes sport to mock itself.
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
730I mock my name, great King, to flatter thee.
King Richard Should dying men flatter with those that live?
Gaunt No, no, men living flatter those that die.
King Richard Thou, now a-dying, sayest thou flatterest me.
Gaunt Oh, no, thou diest, though I the sicker be.
735King Richard I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
Gaunt Now He that made me knows I see thee ill,
Ill in myself to see, and in thee, seeing ill.
Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
740And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee.
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head,
745And yet, encagèd in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
Oh, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye,
Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
750Deposing thee before thou wert possessed,
Which art possessed now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
It were a shame to let this land by lease;
But, for thy world enjoying but this land,
755Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king.
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law,
And thou --
King Richard
A lunatic lean-witted fool,
760Presuming on an ague's privilege,
Dar'st with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
With fury from his native residence.
Now, by my seat's right royal majesty,
765Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
Gaunt Oh, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
For that I was his father Edward's son!
770That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapped out and drunkenly caroused.
My brother Gloucester -- plain well-meaning soul,
Whom fair befall in heaven 'mongst happy souls --
May be a precedent and witness good
775That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood.
Join with the present sickness that I have,
And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too long withered flower.
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
780These words hereafter thy tormentors be! --
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave.
Love they to live that love and honor have.
Exit [borne off by attendants].
King Richard And let them die that age and sullens have,
For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
785York I do beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sickliness and age in him.
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry, Duke of Hereford, were he here.
King Richard Right, you say true: As Hereford's love, so his;
790As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is!
[Enter Northumberland.]
Northumberland My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your majesty.
King Richard
What says he?
Nay, nothing; all is said.
His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
York Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
800King Richard The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
Which live like venom where no venom else
805But only they have privilege to live.
And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
Towards our assistance we do seize to us
The plate, coin, revenues, and movables
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possessed.
810York How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long
Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
Not Gloucester's death, nor Hereford's banishment,
Nor Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
815About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
Have ever made me sour my patient cheek,
Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign's face.
I am the last of noble Edward's sons,
Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first.
820In war was never lion raged more fierce,
In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
Than was that young and princely gentleman.
His face thou hast, for even so looked he,
Accomplished with the number of thy hours;
825But when he frowned, it was against the French
And not against his friends. His noble hand
Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
Which his triumphant father's hand had won.
His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
830But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
Oh, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.
King Richard
Why, uncle, what's the matter?
O my liege,
Pardon me, if you please. If not, I, pleased
Not to be pardoned, am content withal.
Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
The royalties and rights of banished Hereford?
Is not Gaunt dead? And doth not Hereford live?
840Was not Gaunt just? And is not Harry true?
Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from time
His charters and his customary rights;
845Let not tomorrow then ensue today;
Be not thyself! For how art thou a king
But by fair sequence and succession?
Now, afore God -- God forbid I say true! --
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
850Call in the letters patents that he hath
By his attorneys general to sue
His livery, and deny his offered homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposèd hearts,
855And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honor and allegiance cannot think.
King Richard Think what you will, we seize into our hands
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.
York I'll not be by the while. My liege, farewell.
860What will ensue hereof there's none can tell;
But by bad courses may be understood That their events can never fall out good.
King Richard Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight.
Bid him repair to us to Ely House
865To see this business. Tomorrow next
We will for Ireland, and 'tis time, I trow.
And we create, in absence of ourself,
Our uncle York, lord Governor of England;
For he is just and always loved us well. --
870Come on, our queen. Tomorrow must we part.
Be merry, for our time of stay is short.
Exeunt King [Richard] and [the] Queen[, Aumerle, Bushy, Green, and Bagot].
Northumberland[, Willoughby, and Ross remain behind].
Northumberland Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.
Ross And living too, for now his son is duke.
875Willoughby Barely in title, not in revenues.
Northumberland Richly in both, if Justice had her right.
Ross My heart is great, but it must break with silence
Ere't be disburdened with a liberal tongue.
Northumberland Nay, speak thy mind, and let him ne'er speak more
880That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!
Willoughby [To Ross] Tends that thou wouldst speak to the Duke of Hereford?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man!
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.
Ross No good at all that I can do for him,
885Unless you call it good to pity him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
Northumberland Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
In him, a royal prince, and many more,
890Of noble blood in this declining land.
The King is not himself, but basely led
By flatterers; and what they will inform
Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all,
That will the King severely prosecute
895'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
Ross The commons hath he pilled with grievous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts. The nobles hath he fined
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
Willoughby And daily new exactions are devised,
900As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what.
But what, a God's name, doth become of this?
Northumberland Wars hath not wasted it, for warred he hath not,
But basely yielded upon compromise
That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows.
905More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
Ross The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
Willoughby The King grown bankrupt like a broken man.
Northumberland Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.
Ross He hath not money for these Irish wars,
910His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banished Duke.
Northumberland His noble kinsman. Most degenerate King!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm.
915We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
Ross We see the very wrack that we must suffer,
And unavoided is the danger now
For suffering so the causes of our wrack.
920Northumberland Not so. Even through the hollow eyes of death
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.
Willoughby Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.
Ross Be confident to speak, Northumberland.
925We three are but thyself, and speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts. Therefore be bold.
Northumberland Then thus: I have from Le Port Blanc,
A bay in Brittany, received intelligence
That Harry, Duke of Hereford, Rainold, lord Cobham,
Thomas, son and heir to the Earl of Arundel,
930That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Coint.
All these well furnished by the Duke of Brittany
935With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
The first departing of the King for Ireland.
940If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
Redeem from broking pawn the blemished crown,
Wipe off the dust that hides our scepter's gilt,
And make high majesty look like itself,
945Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh.
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay and be secret, and myself will go.
Ross To horse, to horse! Urge doubts to them that fear.
Willoughby Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
Enter the Queen, Bushy, [and] Bagot.
Bushy Madam, your majesty is too much sad.
You promised, when you parted with the King,
955To lay aside life-harming heaviness
And entertain a cheerful disposition.
Queen To please the King I did; to please myself
I cannot do it. Yet I know no cause
Why I should welcome such a guest as Grief,
960Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard. Yet again, methinks
Some unborn sorrow ripe in Fortune's womb
Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
With nothing trembles. At something it grieves
965More than with parting from my lord the King.
Bushy Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
For Sorrow's eyes, glazèd with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects,
970Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
Show nothing but confusion; eyed awry,
Distinguish form. So your sweet Majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail,
975Which, looked on as it is, is naught but shadows
Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious Queen,
More than your lord's departure weep not. More is not seen,
Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
980Queen It may be so; but yet my inward soul
Persuades me it is otherwise. Howe'er it be,
I cannot but be sad -- so heavy sad
As thought, on thinking on no thought I think,
Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
985Bushy 'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
Queen 'Tis nothing less. Conceit is still derived
From some forefather grief. Mine is not so,
For nothing hath begot my something grief --
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve.
990'Tis in reversion that I do possess;
But what it is, that is not yet known. "What"
I cannot name. 'Tis nameless woe, I wot.
[Enter Green.]
Green God save your majesty! -- And well met, gentlemen.
995I hope the King is not yet shipped for Ireland.
Queen Why hop'st thou so? 'Tis better hope he is;
For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope.
Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipped?
Green That he, our hope, might have retired his power
1000And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
Who strongly hath set footing in this land.
The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself,
And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
1005At Ravenspurgh.
Now God in heaven forbid!
Green Ah, madam, 'tis too true; and, that is worse,
The lord Northumberland, his son young Harry Percy,
The lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby,
With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
1010Bushy Why have you not proclaimed Northumberland
And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
Green We have; whereupon the Earl of Worcester
Hath broken his staff, resigned his stewardship,
And all the Household servants fled with him
1015To Bolingbroke.
1015Queen So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir.
Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
And I, a gasping new-delivered mother,
Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow joined.
Despair not, madam.
Who shall hinder me?
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening Hope. He is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper-back of Death,
1025Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
Which false Hope lingers in extremity.
[Enter York, wearing a gorget.]
Green Here comes the Duke of York.
Queen With signs of war about his agèd neck.
1030Oh, full of careful business are his looks! --
Uncle, for God's sake, speak comfortable words.
1031.1York Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts.
Comfort's in heaven, and we are on the earth,
Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
1035Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
Here am I left to underprop his land,
Who, weak with age, cannot support myself.
Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.
[Enter a Servingman.]
Servingman My lord, your son was gone before I came.
York He was? Why, so! Go all which way it will!
The nobles they are fled, the commons they are cold,
And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.
1045Sirrah, get thee to Pleshy, to my sister Gloucester;
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
Hold, take my ring.
Servingman My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship:
Today, as I came by, I callèd there --
1050But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
York What is't, knave?
Servingman An hour before I came, the Duchess died.
York God for his mercy, what a tide of woes
Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
1055I know not what to do. I would to God,
So my untruth had not provoked him to it,
The King had cut off my head with my brother's.
What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
How shall we do for money for these wars? --
1060[To Queen] Come, sister -- cousin, I would say; pray pardon me. --
[To Servingman] Go, fellow, get thee home. Provide some carts
And bring away the armor that is there.[Exit Servingman.]
[To Bushy, Bagot and Green] Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
If I know how or which way to order these affairs
1065Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
Th'one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
And duty bids defend; th'other again
Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wronged,
1070Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
Well, somewhat we must do. [To Queen.] Come, cousin,
I'll dispose of you. -- Gentlemen, go muster up your men,
And meet me presently at Berkeley Castle.
I should to Pleshy too,
But time will not permit. All is uneven,
1075 And everything is left at six and seven.
Exeunt [the] Duke [of York and the] Queen.
Bushy, Green[, and Bagot remain behind].
Bushy The wind sits fair for news to go for Ireland,
But none returns. For us to levy power
Proportionable to the enemy
Is all unpossible.
Green Besides, our nearness to the King in love
1080Is near the hate of those love not the King.
Bagot And that is the wavering commons; for their love
Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
Bushy Wherein the King stands generally condemned.
1085Bagot If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
Because we ever have been near the King.
Green Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristol Castle.
The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
Bushy Thither will I with you; for little office
1090Will the hateful commons perform for us,
Except like curs to tear us all to pieces. --
[To Bagot] Will you go along with us?
Bagot No; I will to Ireland, to his majesty.
Farewell. If heart's presages be not vain,
1095We three here part that ne'er shall meet again.
Bushy That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
Green Alas, poor Duke! The task he undertakes
Is numb'ring sands and drinking oceans dry.
Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
1100Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.
Well, we may meet again.
I fear me, never.
Enter [Bolingbroke], [Duke of Lancaster and] Hereford, [and] Northumberland [with soldiers].
Bolingbroke How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?
Northumberland Believe me, noble lord,
I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire.
These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
1110Draws out our miles and makes them wearisome.
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
But I bethink me what a weary way
From Ravenspurgh to Cotshall will be found
1115In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
Which, I protest, hath very much beguiled
The tediousness and process of my travel.
But theirs is sweetened with the hope to have
The present benefit which I possess;
1120And hope to joy is little less in joy
Than hope enjoyed. By this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short as mine hath done
By sight of what I have, your noble company.
Bolingbroke Of much less value is my company
1125Than your good words. But who comes here?
Enter Harry Percy.
Northumberland It is my son, young Harry Percy,
Sent from my brother Worcester whencesoever. --
Harry, how fares your uncle?
1130Percy I had thought, my lord, to have learned his health of you.
Northumberland Why, is he not with the Queen?
Percy No, my good lord. He hath forsook the court,
Broken his staff of office, and dispersed
1135The Household of the King.
Northumberland What was his reason? He was not so resolved
When last we spake together.
Percy Because your lordship was proclaimèd traitor,
But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh
1140To offer service to the Duke of Hereford,
And sent me over by Berkeley to discover
What power the Duke of York had levied there,
Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.
Northumberland Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?
1145Percy No, my good lord, for that is not forgot
Which ne'er I did remember. To my knowledge,
I never in my life did look on him.
Northumberland Then learn to know him now. This is the Duke.
1150Percy [To Bolingbroke] My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
To more approvèd service and desert.
Bolingbroke I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure
1155I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul rememb'ring my good friends;
And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
It shall be still thy true love's recompense.
My heart this covenant makes; my hand thus seals it.
[He gives Percy his hand.]
1160Northumberland [To Percy] How far is it to Berkeley? And what stir
Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
Percy There stands the castle by yon tuft of trees,
Manned with three hundred men, as I have heard;
And in it are the lords of York, Berkeley, and Seymour,
1165None else of name and noble estimate.
[Enter Ross and Willoughby.]
Northumberland Here come the lords of Ross and Willoughby,
Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.
Bolingbroke Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
1170A banished traitor. All my treasury
Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enriched,
Shall be your love and labor's recompense.
Ross Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
Willoughby And far surmounts our labor to attain it.
1175Bolingbroke Evermore thank's the exchequer of the poor,
Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?
[Enter Berkeley.]
Northumberland It is my lord of Berkeley, as I guess.
1180Berkeley My lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
Bolingbroke My lord, my answer is -- "to Lancaster,"
And I am come to seek that name in England,
And I must find that title in your tongue
Before I make reply to aught you say.
1185Berkeley Mistake me not, my lord, 'tis not my meaning
To rase one title of your honor out.
To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
From the most gracious regent of this land,
The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
1190To take advantage of the absent time
And fright our native peace with self-borne arms.
[Enter York.]
Bolingbroke I shall not need transport my words by you.
Here comes his grace in person. -- My noble uncle!
[He kneels.]
1195York Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
Whose duty is deceivable and false.
Bolingbroke [Standing] My gracious uncle --
York Tut, tut!
Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
I am no traitor's uncle, and that word "grace"
1200In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
Why have those banished and forbidden legs
Dared once to touch a dust of England's ground?
But then more "why": why have they dared to march
So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
1205Frighting her pale-faced villages with war
And ostentation of despisèd arms?
Com'st thou because the anointed King is hence?
Why, foolish boy, the King is left behind,
And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
1210Were I but now the lord of such hot youth
As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself
Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
Oh, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
1215Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee
And minister correction to thy fault!
Bolingbroke My gracious uncle, let me know my fault.
On what condition stands it and wherein?
York Even in condition of the worst degree,
1220In gross rebellion and detested treason.
Thou art a banished man, and here art come,
Before the expiration of thy time,
In braving arms against thy sovereign.
Bolingbroke As I was banished, I was banished Hereford;
1225But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye.
You are my father, for methinks in you
I see old Gaunt alive. Oh, then, my father,
1230Will you permit that I shall stand condemned
A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties
Plucked from my arms perforce and given away
To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
If that my cousin king be King in England,
1235It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin.
Had you first died and he been thus trod down,
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father
To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
1240I am denied to sue my livery here,
And yet my letters patents give me leave.
My father's goods are all distrained and sold,
And these, and all, are all amiss employed.
What would you have me do? I am a subject,
1245And I challenge law. Attorneys are denied me,
And therefore personally I lay my claim
To my inheritance of free descent.
Northumberland [To York] The noble Duke hath been too much abused.
Ross [To York] It stands your grace upon to do him right.
1250Willoughby [To York] Base men by his endowments are made great.
York My lords of England, let me tell you this:
I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs
And labored all I could to do him right.
But in this kind to come, in braving arms,
1255Be his own carver, and cut out his way
To find out right with wrong, it may not be.
And you that do abet him in this kind
Cherish rebellion and are rebels all.
Northumberland The noble Duke hath sworn his coming is
1260But for his own, and for the right of that
We all have strongly sworn to give him aid.
And let him never see joy that breaks that oath!
York Well, well. I see the issue of these arms.
I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
1265Because my power is weak and all ill-left;
But if I could, by Him that gave me life,
I would attach you all and make you stoop
Unto the sovereign mercy of the King.
But since I cannot, be it known unto you,
1270I do remain as neuter. So fare you well --
Unless you please to enter in the castle
And there repose you for this night.
Bolingbroke An offer, uncle, that we will accept.
But we must win your grace to go with us
1275To Bristol castle, which they say is held
By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
York It may be I will go with you; but yet I'll pause,
1280For I am loath to break our country's laws.
Nor friends nor foes, to me welcome you are. Things past redress are now with me past care.
Enter [the] Earl of Salisbury and a Welsh Captain.
1285Welsh Captain My lord of Salisbury, we have stayed ten days
And hardly kept our countrymen together,
And yet we hear no tidings from the King.
Therefore we will disperse ourselves. Farewell.
Salisbury Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman.
1290The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.
Welsh Captain 'Tis thought the King is dead. We will not stay.
The bay trees in our country are all withered,
And meteors fright the fixèd stars of heaven;
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth,
1295And lean-looked prophets whisper fearful change;
Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
The other to enjoy by rage and war.
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
1300Farewell. Our countrymen are gone and fled,
As well assured Richard their king is dead.
Salisbury Ah, Richard! With the eyes of heavy mind
I see thy glory like a shooting star
Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
1305Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
Enter [Bolingbroke,] Duke of [Lancaster and] Hereford, York, Northumberland, [Ross, Harry Percy, and Willoughby, with]
Bushy and Green [as] prisoners[, guarded].
Bolingbroke Bring forth these men. -- [Bushy and Green are brought forth.]
Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls,
1315Since presently your souls must part your bodies,
With too much urging your pernicious lives,
For 'twere no charity; yet to wash your blood
From off my hands, here in the view of men
I will unfold some causes of your deaths:
1320You have misled a prince, a royal king,
A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
By you unhappied and disfigured clean.
You have in manner with your sinful hours
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
1325Broke the possession of a royal bed,
And stained the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
Near to the King in blood, and near in love
1330Till you did make him misinterpret me,
Have stooped my neck under your injuries
And sighed my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment,
Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
1335Disparked my parks and felled my forest woods,
From my own windows torn my household coat,
Rased out my imprese, leaving me no sign,
Save men's opinions and my living blood,
To show the world I am a gentleman.
1340This and much more, much more than twice all this,
Condemns you to the death. -- See them delivered over
To execution and the hand of death.
Bushy More welcome is the stroke of death to me
Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.
1345Green My comfort is that heaven will take our souls
And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
Bolingbroke My lord Northumberland, see them dispatched. [Exeunt Northumberland, with Bushy and Green, guarded.]
[To York] Uncle, you say the Queen is at your house.
For God's sake, fairly let her be entreated.
1350Tell her I send to her my kind commends.
Take special care my greetings be delivered.
York A gentleman of mine I have dispatched
With letters of your love to her at large.
Bolingbroke Thanks, gentle uncle. -- Come, lords, away,
1355To fight with Glendower and his complices. A while to work, and after holiday.
[Drums. Flourish and colors.]
Enter King [Richard,] Aumerle, Carlisle, etc.[, and soldiers.]
King Richard Barkloughly Castle call they this at hand?
Aumerle Yea, my lord. How brooks your grace the air
After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
King Richard Needs must I like it well. I weep for joy
1365To stand upon my kingdom once again.
[He places his hand on the ground.]
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
Though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs.
As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
1370So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
And do thee favors with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth,
Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense,
But let thy spiders that suck up thy venom
1375And heavy-gaited toads, lie in their way,
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies,
And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
1380Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords.
This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
1385Prove armèd soldiers, ere her native king
Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.
Carlisle Fear not, my lord. That power that made you king
Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
1388.1The means that heavens yield must be embraced
And not neglected; else heaven would,
And we will not. Heaven's offer we refuse,
The proffered means of succor and redress.
Aumerle He means, my lord, that we are too remiss,
1390Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
Grows strong and great in substance and in power.
King Richard Discomfortable cousin! Know'st thou not
That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
Behind the globe that lights the lower world,
1395Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
In murders and in outrage boldly here?
But when from under this terrestrial ball
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
And darts his light through every guilty hole,
1400Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
The cloak of night being plucked from off their backs,
Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
Who all this while hath reveled in the night
1404.1Whilst we were wand'ring with the Antipodes,
1405Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
Not able to endure the sight of day,
But, self-affrighted, tremble at his sin.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
1410Can wash the balm off from an anointed king.
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the lord.
For every man that Bolingbroke hath pressed
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
1415God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel. Then, if angels fight,
Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.
Enter Salisbury.
King Richard Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?
1420Salisbury Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
Than this weak arm. Discomfort guides my tongue
And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
1425Oh, call back yesterday, bid time return,
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men!
Today, today, unhappy day too late,
O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
1430Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed, and fled.
Aumerle Comfort, my liege. Why looks your grace so pale?
King Richard But now the blood of twenty thousand men
Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
1435And till so much blood thither come again,
Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
All souls that will be safe, fly from my side,
For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
Aumerle Comfort, my liege. Remember who you are.
1440King Richard I had forgot myself. Am I not King?
Awake, thou coward majesty, thou sleepest!
Is not the King's name twenty thousand names?
Arm, arm, my name! A puny subject strikes
At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
1445Ye favorites of a king. Are we not high?
High be our thoughts! I know my uncle York
Hath power enough to serve our turn. -- But who comes here?
Enter [Sir Stephen] Scroop.
Scroop More health and happiness betide my liege
1450Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him.
King Richard Mine ear is open and my heart prepared.
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, 'twas my care,
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
1455Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be. If he serve God,
We'll serve Him too, and be his fellow so.
Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend.
They break their faith to God as well as us.
1460Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay.
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
Scroop Glad am I that your highness is so armed
To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day,
1465Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores
As if the world were all dissolved to tears,
So high above his limits swells the rage
Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
With hard bright steel, and hearts harder than steel.
1470Whitebeards have armed their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy majesty; boys with women's voices
Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown.
Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
1475Of double-fatal yew against thy state.
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat. Both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
King Richard Too well, too well thou tell'st a tale so ill.
1480Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? Where is Bagot?
What is become of Bushy? Where is Green,
That they have let the dangerous enemy
Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it!
1485I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
Scroop Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.
King Richard Oh villains, vipers, damned without redemption!
Dogs easily won to fawn on any man!
1490Snakes, in my heart-blood warmed, that sting my heart!
Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
Would they make peace? Terrible hell
Make war upon their spotted souls for this!
Scroop Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
1495Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
Again uncurse their souls. Their peace is made
With heads, and not with hands. Those whom you curse
Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound
And lie full low, graved in the hollow ground.
1500Aumerle Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?
Scroop Ay, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.
Aumerle Where is the Duke my father with his power?
King Richard No matter where. Of comfort no man speak!
1505Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let's choose executors and talk of wills.
And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
1510Save our deposèd bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death,
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
1515For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings --
How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed --
1520All murdered. For within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
1525To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable; and humored thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
1530Bores thorough his castle wall, and -- farewell, king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence. Throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while.
1535I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends. Subjected thus,
How can you say to me I am a king?
Carlisle My lord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail.
1540To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe,
1541.1And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear, and be slain. No worse can come to fight;
And fight and die is death destroying death,
Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
1545Aumerle My father hath a power. Inquire of him,
And learn to make a body of a limb.
King Richard Thou chid'st me well. -- Proud Bolingbroke, I come
To change blows with thee for our day of doom. --
This ague fit of fear is overblown.
1550An easy task it is to win our own. --
Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
Scroop Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state and inclination of the day;
1555So may you by my dull and heavy eye.
My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
I play the torturer by small and small
To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken.
Your uncle York is joined with Bolingbroke,
1560And all your northern castles yielded up,
And all your southern gentlemen in arms
Upon his party.
King Richard
Thou hast said enough.
[To Aumerle] Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
1565Of that sweet way I was in to despair.
What say you now? What comfort have we now?
By heaven, I'll hate him everlastingly
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go to Flint Castle. There I'll pine away.
1570A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
That power I have, discharge, and let them go
To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
For I have none. Let no man speak again
To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
My liege, one word.
King Richard
He does me double wrong
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers. Let them hence away,
From Richard's night to Bolingbroke's fair day.
Enter Bolingbroke, York, Northumberland, [attendants, soldiers with drums and colors, and trumpeter.]
Bolingbroke So that by this intelligence we learn
1585The Welshmen are dispersed, and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the King, who lately landed
With some few private friends upon this coast.
Northumberland The news is very fair and good, my lord:
Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.
1590York It would beseem the lord Northumberland
To say "King Richard." Alack the heavy day
When such a sacred king should hide his head!
Northumberland Your grace mistakes. Only to be brief,
Left I his title out.
The time hath been,
1595.1Would you have been so brief with him, he would
Have been so brief with you to shorten you,
For taking so the head, your whole head's length.
Bolingbroke Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.
1600York Take not, good cousin, further than you should,
Lest you mistake. The heavens are over our heads.
Bolingbroke I know it, uncle, and oppose not myself Against their will. But who comes here? Enter [Harry] Percy.
1605Welcome, Harry. What, will not this castle yield?
Percy The castle royally is manned, my lord,
Against thy entrance.
Bolingbroke Royally? Why, it contains no king.
Percy Yes, my good lord,
1610It doth contain a king. King Richard lies
Within the limits of yon lime and stone,
And with him are the lord Aumerle, lord Salisbury,
Sir Stephen Scroop, besides a clergyman
Of holy reverence -- who, I cannot learn.
1615Northumberland Oh, belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.
Bolingbroke [To Northumberland] Noble lord,
Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
Into his ruined ears, and thus deliver:
1620Henry Bolingbroke
On both his knees doth kiss King Richard's hand,
And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
To his most royal person, hither come
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
Provided that my banishment repealed
1625And lands restored again be freely granted.
If not, I'll use the advantage of my power,
And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood
Rained from the wounds of slaughtered Englishmen;
The which, how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
1630It is such crimson tempest should bedrench
The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land,
My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
Go signify as much while here we march
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain. [Northumberland and trumpeter approach the battlements.]
1635Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,
That from this castle's tottered battlements
Our fair appointments may be well perused.
Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
With no less terror than the elements
1640Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water;
The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
My waters: on the earth, and not on him.
1645March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.
The trumpets sound [a parle without, followed by an answer from within; then a flourish. King] Richard appears on the walls, with] Carlisle, Aumerle, Scroop, [and] Salisbury.
Bolingbroke See, see, King Richard doth himself appear
1650As doth the blushing discontented sun
From out the fiery portal of the east
When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
To dim his glory and to stain the track
Of his bright passage to the occident.
1655York Yet looks he like a king. Behold, his eye,
As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
Controlling majesty. Alack, alack for woe
That any harm should stain so fair a show!
King Richard [To Northumberland below] We are amazed, and thus long have we stood
1660To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
Because we thought ourself thy lawful king.
And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
To pay their awful duty to our presence?
If we be not, show us the hand of God
1665That hath dismissed us from our stewardship;
For well we know no hand of blood and bone
Can gripe the sacred handle of our scepter,
Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
And though you think that all, as you have done,
1670Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
And we are barren and bereft of friends,
Yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
Armies of pestilence, and they shall strike
1675Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
That lift your vassal hands against my head
And threat the glory of my precious crown.
Tell Bolingbroke, for yon methinks he stands,
That every stride he makes upon my land
1680Is dangerous treason. He is come to open
The purple testament of bleeding war;
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
Shall ill become the flower of England's face,
1685Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
Her pasture's grass with faithful English blood.
Northumberland The King of heaven forbid our lord the King
Should so with civil and uncivil arms
1690Be rushed upon! Thy thrice-noble cousin,
Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand,
And by the honorable tomb he swears
That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,
And by the royalties of both your bloods,
1695Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
And by the worth and honor of himself,
Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
His coming hither hath no further scope
1700Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg
Enfranchisement immediate on his knees;
Which on thy royal party granted once,
His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
His barbèd steeds to stables, and his heart
1705To faithful service of your majesty.
This swears he, as he is a prince and just,
And as I am a gentleman, I credit him.
King Richard Northumberland, say thus the King returns:
His noble cousin is right welcome hither,
1710And all the number of his fair demands
Shall be accomplished without contradiction.
With all the gracious utterance thou hast,
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends. [Northumberland and the trumpeter return to Bolingbroke.]
[To Aumerle] We do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not,
1715To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
Shall we call back Northumberland and send
Defiance to the traitor and so die?
Aumerle No, good my lord, let's fight with gentle words,
Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.
1720King Richard O God, O God, that e'er this tongue of mine
That laid the sentence of dread banishment
On yon proud man should take it off again
With words of sooth! O that I were as great
As is my grief, or lesser than my name!
1725Or that I could forget what I have been,
Or not remember what I must be now!
Swell'st thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat,
Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
[Northumberland makes his way back to the walls.]
Aumerle Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
King Richard What must the King do now? Must he submit?
The King shall do it. Must he be deposed?
The King shall be contented. Must he lose
The name of king? I' God's name, let it go.
1735I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,
My figured goblets for a dish of wood,
My scepter for a palmer's walking-staff,
1740My subjects for a pair of carvèd saints,
And my large kingdom for a little grave,
A little, little grave, an obscure grave;
Or I'll be buried in the King's highway,
Some way of common trade, where subjects' feet
1745May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;
For on my heart they tread now whilst I live,
And, buried once, why not upon my head?
Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousin.
We'll make foul weather with despisèd tears;
1750Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn
And make a dearth in this revolting land.
Or shall we play the wantons with our woes
And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
As thus, to drop them still upon one place
1755Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
Within the earth; and therein laid -- there lies
Two kinsmen digged their graves with weeping eyes.
Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
I talk but idly, and you laugh at me. [Northumberland draws near.]
1760Most mighty prince, my lord Northumberland,
What says King Bolingbroke? Will his majesty
Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says "ay."
Northumberland My lord, in the base court he doth attend
1765To speak with you, may it please you to come down.
King Richard Down, down I come, like glist'ring Phaëton,
Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
To come at traitors' calls and do them grace.
1770In the base court come down? Down court! Down King!
For night owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.
[Exeunt King Richard and party from above.]
[Northumberland reports back to Bolingbroke.]
Bolingbroke What says his majesty?
Northumberland Sorrow and grief of heart
Makes him speak fondly like a frantic man,
1775Yet he is come.
[Enter King Richard and his party below.]
Bolingbroke Stand all apart, And show fair duty to his majesty.He kneels down.
My gracious lord.
King Richard Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
To make the base earth proud with kissing it.
Me rather had my heart might feel your love,
Then my unpleased eye see your courtesy.
Up cousin, up. Your heart is up, I know,
1785Thus high at least [He points to his crown.] although your knee be low.
Bolingbroke [standing] My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.
King Richard Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.
1790Bolingbroke So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
As my true service shall deserve your love.
King Richard Well you deserve. They well deserve to have
That know the strong'st and surest way to get. --
1795[To York] Uncle, give me your hands. Nay, dry your eyes.
Tears show their love, but want their remedies. --
[To Bolingbroke] Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have, I'll give, and willing, too;
1800For do we must what force will have us do.
Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?
Yea, my good lord.
King Richard
Then I must not say no.
Enter the Queen with [two Ladies,] her attendants.
Queen What sport shall we devise here in this garden
To drive away the heavy thought of care?
18101 Lady Madam, we'll play at bowls.
Queen 'Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
And that my fortune runs against the bias.
2 Lady Madam, we'll dance.
Queen My legs can keep no measure in delight
1815When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.
Therefore no dancing, girl. Some other sport.
1 Lady Madam, we'll tell tales.
Of sorrow or of joy?
1 Lady
Of either, madam.
1820Queen Of neither, girl,
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy.
1825For what I have I need not to repeat,
And what I want it boots not to complain.
2 Lady
Madam, I'll sing.
'Tis well that thou hast cause,
But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep.
18302 Lady I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
Queen And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
And never borrow any tear of thee. Enter [Master] Gardener [and his two Men].
But stay; here come the gardeners.
1835Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
They will talk of state, for every one doth so
Against a change. Woe is forerun with woe.
[The Queen and her Ladies stand apart.]
Gardener[To one Man] Go, bind thou up young dangling apricots,
1840Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.
Give some supportance to the bending twigs. --
[To other Man] Go thou, and like an executioner
Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays
1845That look too lofty in our commonwealth.
All must be even in our government.
You thus employed, I will go root away
The noisome weeds which without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
18501 Man Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
Keep law and form and due proportion,
Showing as in a model our firm estate,
When our sea-wallèd garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
1855Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,
Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars?
Hold thy peace,
He that hath suffered this disordered spring
1860Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
That seemed in eating him to hold him up,
Are plucked up, root and all, by Bolingbroke --
I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
18652 Man
What are they dead?
They are; and Bolingbroke
Hath seized the wasteful king. Oh, what pity is it
That he had not so trimmed and dressed his land
As we this garden! We at time of year
1870Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
Lest, being over-proud in sap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself.
Had he done so to great and growing men,
They might have lived to bear and he to taste
1875Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches
We lop away, that bearing boughs may live.
Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
1 Man What, think you the King shall be deposed?
1880Gardener Depressed he is already, and deposed
'Tis doubt he will be. Letters came last night
To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's,
That tell black tidings.
Queen Oh, I am pressed to death through want of speaking! [She comes forward.]
1885Thou old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,
How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
To make a second fall of cursèd man?
Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
1890Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how
Cam'st thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch?
Gardener Pardon me, madam. Little joy have I
To breathe this news, yet what I say is true.
1895King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke. Their fortunes both are weighed.
In your lord's scale is nothing but himself
And some few vanities that make him light,
But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
1900Besides himself, are all the English peers,
And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
Post you to London and you will find it so.
I speak no more than everyone doth know.
Queen Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
1905Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
And am I last that knows it? Oh, thou thinkest
To serve me last that I may longest keep
Thy sorrow in my breast. -- Come, ladies, go
To meet at London London's king in woe.
1910What, was I born to this, that my sad look
Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke? --
Gard'ner, for telling me these news of woe, Pray God the plants thou graft'st may never grow.
Exit [with Ladies].
Gardener Poor Queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
1915I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
Here did she fall a tear. Here in this place
I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
Rue even for ruth here shortly shall be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
Enter Bolingbroke with the lords [Aumerle, Northumberland, Percy, Fitzwater, Surrey, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Abbot of Westminster, Another Lord, a herald, and attendants] to Parliament.
Bolingbroke Call forth Bagot. Enter [officers with] Bagot.
1925Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind,
What thou dost know of noble Gloucester's death,
Who wrought it with the King, and who performed
The bloody office of his timeless end.
Bagot Then set before my face the lord Aumerle.
1930Bolingbroke [To Aumerle] Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
[Aumerle steps forward.]
Bagot My lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
Scorns to unsay what once it hath delivered.
In that dead time when Gloucester's death was plotted,
I heard you say, "Is not my arm of length,
1935That reacheth from the restful English court
As far as Calais, to mine uncle's head?"
Amongst much other talk that very time
I heard you say that you had rather refuse
The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
1940Than Bolingbroke's return to England,
Adding withal how blest this land would be
In this your cousin's death.
Aumerle Princes and noble lords,
What answer shall I make to this base man?
Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars
1945On equal terms to give him chastisement?
Either I must, or have mine honor soiled
With the attainder of his slanderous lips. [He throws down a gage.]
There is my gage, the manual seal of death
That marks thee out for hell. I say thou liest,
1950And will maintain what thou hast said is false
In thy heart-blood, though being all too base
To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
Bolingbroke Bagot, forbear. Thou shalt not take it up.
Aumerle Excepting one, I would he were the best
1955In all this presence that hath moved me so.
Fitzwater [Throwing down a gage] If that thy valor stand on sympathy,
There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine.
By that fair sun which shows me where thou stand'st,
I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak'st it,
1960That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester's death.
If thou deniest it twenty times, thou liest,
And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
Where it was forgèd, with my rapier's point.
Aumerle [Taking up the gage] Thou dar'st not, coward, live to see that day.
1965Fitzwater Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.
Aumerle Fitzwater, thou art damned to hell for this.
Percy Aumerle, thou liest! His honor is as true
In this appeal as thou art all unjust;
And that thou art so, there I throw my gage, [He throws down a gage.]
1970To prove it on thee to the extremest point
Of mortal breathing. Seize it if thou dar'st.
Aumerle [Taking up the gage] And if I do not, may my hands rot off
And never brandish more revengeful steel
Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
1974.1Another Lord I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle,
And spur thee on with full as many lies
As may be hollowed in thy treacherous ear
From sun to sun.
[He throws down a gage.]
There is my honor's pawn.
1974.5Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.
Aumerle [Taking up the gage] Who sets me else? By heaven, I'll throw at all!
I have a thousand spirits in one breast
To answer twenty thousand such as you.
1975Surrey My lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
Fitzwater 'Tis very true. You were in presence then,
1980And you can witness with me this is true.
Surrey As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.
Surrey, thou liest.
Dishonorable boy,
That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword
That it shall render vengeance and revenge
Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
In earth as quiet as thy father's skull.
In proof whereof, there is my honor's pawn. [He throws down a gage.]
1990Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.
Fitzwater [Taking up the gage] How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live,
I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness
And spit upon him whilst I say he lies,
1995And lies, and lies!
[He throws down a gage.]
1995There is my bond of faith,
To tie thee to my strong correction.
As I intend to thrive in this new world,
Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal.
Besides, I heard the banished Norfolk say
2000That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
To execute the noble Duke at Calais.
Aumerle Some honest Christian trust me with a gage. [Aumerle receives a gage which he throws down.]
That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
If he may be repealed to try his honor.
2005Bolingbroke These differences shall all rest under gage,
Till Norfolk be repealed. Repealed he shall be,
And though mine enemy, restored again
To all his lands and signories. When he is returned,
Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
2010Carlisle That honorable day shall never be seen.
Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought
For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
2015And, toiled with works of war, retired himself
To Italy, and there at Venice gave
His body to that pleasant country's earth,
And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
Under whose colors he had fought so long.
2020Bolingbroke Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead?
Carlisle As surely as I live, my lord.
Bolingbroke Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
Your differences shall all rest under gage 2025Till we assign you to your days of trial.
Enter York.
York Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
From plume-plucked Richard, who with willing soul
Adopts thee heir, and his high scepter yields
2030To the possession of thy royal hand.
Ascend his throne, descending now from him,
And long live Henry, fourth of that name!
Bolingbroke In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.
Carlisle Marry, God forbid!
2035Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
Would God that any in this noble presence
Were enough noble to be upright judge
Of noble Richard! Then true noblesse would
2040Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
What subject can give sentence on his king?
And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?
Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
2045And shall the figure of God's majesty,
His captain, steward, deputy elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
And he himself not present? O forfend it, God,
2050That in a Christian climate souls refined,
Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
I speak to subjects and a subject speaks,
Stirred up by God thus boldly for his king.
My lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
2055Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king,
And if you crown him, let me prophesy
The blood of English shall manure the ground,
And future ages groan for this foul act,
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
2060And in this seat of peace, tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound.
Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny
Shall here inhabit, and this land be called
The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
2065Oh, if you raise this house against this house,
It will the woefullest division prove
That ever fell upon this cursèd earth.
Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child, child's children, cry against you, "Woe!"
2070Northumberland Well have you argued, sir; and, for your pains
Of capital treason, we arrest you here. --
My lord of Westminster, be it your charge
To keep him safely till his day of trial. [ Carlisle is taken into custody.]
May it please you, lords, to grant the commons' suit?
2075Bolingbroke Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
He may surrender. So we shall proceed
Without suspicion.
I will be his conduct.
Bolingbroke Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
2080Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
Little are we beholding to your love,
And little looked for at your helping hands.
Enter [King] Richard and York [with attendants bearing the crown and scepter.]
King Richard Alack, why am I sent for to a king
2085Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
Wherewith I reigned? I hardly yet have learned
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
Give Sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
To this submission. Yet I well remember
2090The favors of these men. Were they not mine?
Did they not sometime cry, "All hail!" to me?
So Judas did to Christ. But He in twelve,
Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.
God save the King! Will no man say "Amen"?
2095Am I both priest, and clerk? Well then, Amen.
God save the King, although I be not he.
And yet Amen, if heaven do think him me.
To do what service am I sent for hither?
York To do that office of thine own good will,
2100Which tired majesty did make thee offer:
The resignation of thy state and crown
To Henry Bolingbroke.
King Richard [To York] Give me the crown. [He takes the crown then hands it to Bolingbroke.] -- Here, cousin,
Seize the crown. Here, Cousin.
On this side my hand, on that side thine.
2105Now is this golden crown like a deep well,
That owes two buckets, filling one another,
The emptier ever dancing in the air,
The other down, unseen, and full of water.
That bucket down and full of tears am I,
2110Drinking my griefs whilst you mount up on high.
Bolingbroke I thought you had been willing to resign.
King Richard My crown I am, but still my griefs are mine.
You may my glories and my state depose,
But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
2115Bolingbroke Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
King Richard Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
My care is loss of care, by old care done;
Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
The cares I give, I have, though given away;
2120They 'tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
Bolingbroke Are you contented to resign the crown?
King Richard Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be.
Therefore no "no," for I resign to thee.
Now, mark me how I will undo myself:
2125I give this heavy weight from off my head; [He gives the crown to Bolingbroke.]
And this unwieldy scepter from my hand; [He gives the scepter to Bolingbroke.]
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart.
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my crown,
2130With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous oaths.
All pomp and majesty I do forswear.
My manors, rents, revenues I forgo;
My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny.
2135God pardon all oaths that are broke to me.
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee.
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing grieved,
And thou with all pleased that hast all achieved.
Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit,
2140And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit.
God save King Henry, unkinged Richard says,
And send him many years of sunshine days.
What more remains?
[Presenting a paper to King Richard] No more, but that you read
2145These accusations and these grievous crimes
Committed by your person and your followers
Against the state and profit of this land;
That, by confessing them, the souls of men
May deem that you are worthily deposed.
2150King Richard Must I do so? And must I ravel out
My weaved-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
If thy offences were upon record,
Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop,
To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
2155There shouldst thou find one heinous article,
Containing the deposing of a king
And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
Marked with a blot, damned in the book of heaven.
Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me
2160Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
Showing an outward pity, yet you Pilates
Have here delivered me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin.
2165Northumberland My lord, dispatch. Reade o'er these articles.
[He presents the paper again.]
King Richard Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see.
And yet salt water blinds them not so much
But they can see a sort of traitors here.
Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
2170I find myself a traitor with the rest,
For I have given here my soul's consent
T'undeck the pompous body of a king;
Made Glory base and Sovereignty a slave,
Proud majesty a subject, State a peasant.
2175Northumberland My lord --
King Richard No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
Nor no man's lord! I have no name, no title,
No, not that name was given me at the font,
But 'tis usurped. Alack the heavy day,
2180That I have worn so many winters out
And know not now what name to call myself.
Oh, that I were a mockery king of snow
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
To melt myself away in waterdrops. --
2185Good King, great King, and yet not greatly good,
An if my word be sterling yet in England,
Let it command a mirror hither straight,
That it may show me what a face I have
Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
2190Bolingbroke Go, some of you, and fetch a looking-glass.
[Exit one or more attendants.]
Northumberland [To King Richard] Read o'er this paper while the glass doth come.
[He presents the paper again.]
King Richard Fiend, thou torments me ere I come to hell!
Bolingbroke Urge it no more, my lord Northumberland.
Northumberland The commons will not then be satisfied.
2195King Richard They shall be satisfied. I'll read enough
When I do see the very book indeed
Where all my sins are writ, and that's myself. Enter one [attendant] with a glass.
Give me that glass, and therein will I read. [King Richard takes the looking-glass.]
2200No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath Sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine
And made no deeper wounds? Oh, flatt'ring glass,
Like to my followers in prosperity,
Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
2205That every day under his Household roof
Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
That like the sun did make beholders wink?
Is this the face which faced so many follies,
That was at last outfaced by Bolingbroke?
2210A brittle glory shineth in this face.
As brittle as the glory is the face! [King Richard smashes the glass.]
For there it is, cracked in an hundred shivers.
Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport:
How soon my sorrow hath destroyed my face.
2215Bolingbroke The shadow of your sorrow hath destroyed
The shadow of your face.
King Richard
Say that again.
The shadow of my sorrow? Ha, let's see.
'Tis very true. My grief lies all within;
2220And these external manners of laments
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortured soul.
There lies the substance. And I thank thee, King,
For thy great bounty that not only giv'st
2225Me cause to wail, but teachest me the way
How to lament the cause. I'll beg one boon,
And then be gone and trouble you no more.
Shall I obtain it?
Name it, fair cousin.
2230King Richard "Fair Cousin"? I am greater than a king;
For when I was a king, my flatterers
Were then but subjects. Being now a subject,
I have a king here to my flatterer.
Being so great, I have no need to beg.
2235Bolingbroke Yet ask.
King Richard And shall I have?
Bolingbroke You shall.
King Richard Then give me leave to go.
Bolingbroke Whither?
2240King Richard Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
Bolingbroke Go, some of you, convey him to the Tower.
King Richard Oh, good! "Convey"? Conveyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true king's fall.
[Exit King Richard as a guarded prisoner.]
Bolingbroke On Wednesday next, we solemnly set down 2245Our coronation. Lords, prepare yourselves.
[The Abbot of] Westminster, Carlisle, [and] Aumerle [remain behind].
Abbot A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
Carlisle The woe's to come. The children yet unborn
Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.
Aumerle You holy clergymen, is there no plot
2250To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?
Abbot My lord,
Before I freely speak my mind herein,
You shall not only take the sacrament
To bury mine intents, but also to effect
Whatever I shall happen to devise.
2255I see your brows are full of discontent,
Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears.
Come home with me to supper. I'll lay A plot shall show us all a merry day.
Enter the Queen with her [ladies-in-waiting].
Queen This way the King will come. This is the way
To Julius Caesar's ill-erected tower,
To whose flint bosom my condemnèd lord
Is doomed a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
2265Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
Have any resting for her true king's queen. Enter [King] Richard [and a guard.]
But soft, but see, or rather do not see
My fair rose wither. Yet look up, behold,
2270That you in pity may dissolve to dew
And wash him fresh again with true-love tears. --
Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand,
Thou map of honor, thou King Richard's tomb,
And not King Richard! Thou most beauteous inn,
2275Why should hard-favored grief be lodged in thee
When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
King Richard Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,
To think our former state a happy dream,
2280From which awaked, the truth of what we are
Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,
To grim Necessity, and he and I
Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France
And cloister thee in some religious house.
2285Our holy lives must win a new world's crown,
Which our profane hours here have thrown down.
Queen What, is my Richard both in shape and mind
Transformed and weakened? Hath Bolingbroke
Deposed thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
2290The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
To be o'er-powered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
Take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
And fawn on rage with base humility,
2295Which art a lion and the king of beasts?
King Richard A king of beasts, indeed! If aught but beasts,
I had been still a happy king of men.
Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for France.
Think I am dead, and that even here thou tak'st,
2300As from my deathbed, thy last living leave.
In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire
With good old folks, and let them tell the tales
Of woeful ages long ago betid;
And ere thou bid good night, to quite their griefs,
2305Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
For why the senseless brands will sympathize
The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
And in compassion weep the fire out,
2310And some will mourn in ashes, some coal black, For the deposing of a rightful king.
Enter Northumberland.
Northumberland My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed.
You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower. --
2315And, madam, there is order ta'en for you:
With all swift speed you must away to France.
King Richard Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
The time shall not be many hours of age
2320More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
Though he divide the realm and give thee half,
It is too little, helping him to all.
He shall think that thou, which knowest the way
2325To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
Being ne'er so little urged another way,
To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
The love of wicked men converts to fear,
That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
2330To worthy danger and deservèd death.
Northumberland My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.
King Richard Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate
A twofold marriage, 'twixt my crown and me,
2335And then betwixt me and my married wife. --
[To Queen] Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;
And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made. --
Part us, Northumberland, I towards the north,
Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
2340My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp
She came adornèd hither like sweet May,
Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day.
Queen And must we be divided? Must we part?
King Richard Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
2345Queen [To Northumberland] Banish us both, and send the King with me.
King Richard That were some love, but little policy.
Queen Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
King Richard So, two, together weeping, make one woe.
Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here.
2350Better far off than, near, be ne'er the near.
Go, count thy way with sighs; I mine with groans.
Queen So longest way shall have the longest moans.
King Richard Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,
And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
2355Come, come, in wooing Sorrow let's be brief,
Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part.
Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
[They kiss.]
Queen Give me mine own again. 'Twere no good part
2360To take on me to keep and kill thy heart. [They kiss.]
So, now I have mine own again, be gone,
That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
King Richard We make woe wanton with this fond delay. Once more, adieu! The rest let sorrow say.
Enter [the] Duke of York and the Duchess [of York].
Duchess of York My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
When weeping made you break the story off
Of our two cousins coming into London.
Where did I leave?
Duchess of York
At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgoverned hands from windows' tops
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.
York Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
2375Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his aspiring rider seemed to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
Whilst all tongues cried "God save thee, Bolingbroke!"
You would have thought the very windows spake,
2380So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage, and that all the walls
With painted imagery had said at once
"Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke! "
2385Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus: "I thank you, countrymen."
And thus still doing, thus he passed along.
Duchess of York Alack, poor Richard! Where rode he the whilst?
2390York As in a theater the eyes of men,
After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious,
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
2395Did scowl on gentle Richard. No man cried "God save him!"
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home,
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
2400The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God for some strong purpose steeled
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
But heaven hath a hand in these events,
2405To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
Whose state and honor I for aye allow.
[Enter Aumerle.]
Duchess of York
Here comes my son Aumerle.
Aumerle that was;
But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
And, madam, you must call him Rutland now.
I am in parliament pledge for his truth
And lasting fealty to the new-made king.
2415Duchess of York Welcome, my son. Who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?
Aumerle Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
God knows I had as lief be none as one.
York Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
2420Lest you be cropped before you come to prime.
What news from Oxford? Do these jousts and triumphs hold?
Aumerle For aught I know, my lord, they do.
York You will be there, I know.
Aumerle If God prevent not, I purpose so.
2425York What seal is that that hangs without thy bosom?
Yea, lookst thou pale? Let me see the writing.
My lord, 'tis nothing.
No matter, then, who see it.
I will be satisfied. Let me see the writing.
2430Aumerle I do beseech your grace to pardon me.
It is a matter of small consequence,
Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
York Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear --
2435Duchess of York
What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond that he is entered into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.
York Bound to himself? What doth he with a bond
That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool. --
2440Boy, let me see the writing.
Aumerle I do beseech you, pardon me. I may not show it.
York I will be satisfied. Let me see it, I say.
He plucks it out of [Aumerle's] bosom and reads it.
York Treason! Foul treason! Villain! Traitor! Slave!
Duchess of York What is the matter, my lord?
2445York [Calling offstage] Ho! Who is within there? Saddle my horse! --
God for his mercy, what treachery is here!
Duchess of York Why, what is it, my lord?
York [Calling offstage] Give me my boots, I say! Saddle my horse! --
Now by mine honor, by my life, by my troth,
2450I will appeach the villain.
Duchess of York
What is the matter?
York Peace, foolish woman.
Duchess of York I will not peace! -- What is the matter, Aumerle?
Aumerle Good mother, be content. It is no more
2455Than my poor life must answer.
Duchess of York
Thy life answer?
York [Calling offstage] Bring me my boots! -- I will unto the King.
His man enters with his boots.
Duchess of York Strike him, Aumerle! Poor boy, thou art amazed. --
2460[To York's man] Hence, villain, never more come in my sight!
York Give me my boots, I say.
[York's man helps him on with his boots and exits.]
Duchess of York Why, York, what wilt thou do?
Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
Have we more sons? Or are we like to have?
2465Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age
And rob me of a happy mother's name?
Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?
York Thou fond mad woman,
2470Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament
And interchangeably set down their hands
To kill the King at Oxford.
Duchess of York
He shall be none;
2475We'll keep him here. Then what is that to him?
York Away, fond woman! Were he twenty times my son,
I would appeach him.
Duchess of York Hadst thou groaned for him as I have done,
Thou wouldst be more pitiful.
2480But now I know thy mind. Thou dost suspect
That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son.
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind!
He is as like thee as a man may be,
2485Not like to me or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.
Make way, unruly woman!
Duchess of York After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse,
Spur post, and get before him to the King,
2490And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I'll not be long behind. Though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York,
And never will I rise up from the ground
Till Bolingbroke have pardoned thee. Away, be gone!
Enter [Bolingbroke, now] King [Henry], with his nobles[, Harry Percy and others].
King Henry Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son?
'Tis full three months since I did see him last.
If any plague hang over us, 'tis he.
2500I would to God, my lords, he might be found.
Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there,
For there, they say, he daily doth frequent
With unrestrainèd loose companions,
Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes
2505And beat our watch and rob our passengers,
While he, young wanton and effeminate boy,
Takes on the point of honor to support
So dissolute a crew.
Percy My lord, some two days since I saw the Prince,
2510And told him of those triumphs held at Oxford.
King Henry And what said the gallant?
Percy His answer was, he would unto the stews,
And from the common'st creature pluck a glove
And wear it as a favor, and with that
2515He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
King Henry As dissolute as desperate. Yet through both
I see some sparks of better hope, which elder years,
May happily bring forth. But who comes here?
Enter Aumerle, amazed.
2520Aumerle Where is the King?
King Henry What means our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly?
Aumerle God save your grace! I do beseech your majesty
To have some conference with your grace alone.
2525King Henry [To his nobles] Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone. [Exeunt all but King Henry and Aumerle.]
What is the matter with our cousin now?
Aumerle [Kneeling] Forever may my knees grow to the earth,
My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.
2530King Henry Intended or committed was this fault?
If on the first, how heinous e'er it be,
To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
Aumerle [Standing] Then give me leave that I may turn the key
That no man enter till my tale be done.
2535King Henry Have thy desire.
[Aumerle locks the door.]
The Duke of York knocks at the door and crieth.
York [Within] My liege, beware! Look to thyself!
Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
King Henry [To Aumerle] Villain, I'll make thee safe.
[He draws his sword.]
Aumerle Stay thy revengeful hand. Thou hast no cause to fear.
York [Within] Open the door, secure, foolhardy King!
Shall I for love speak treason to thy face?
Open the door, or I will break it open.
[King Henry unlocks the door.]
[Enter the Duke of York.]
2545King Henry What is the matter, uncle? Speak.
Recover breath. Tell us how near is danger
That we may arm us to encounter it.
York [Holding out a letter] Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
The treason that my haste forbids me show.
2550Aumerle [To King Henry] Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise passed.
I do repent me. Read not my name there.
My heart is not confederate with my hand.
York It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down. --
I tore it from the traitor's bosom, King.
2555Fear, and not love, begets his penitence.
Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
King Henry Oh, heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!
Oh, loyal father of a treacherous son!
2560Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain
From whence this stream, through muddy passages,
Hath held his current and defiled himself,
Thy overflow of good converts to bad,
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
2565This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
York So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd,
And he shall spend mine honor with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honor lives when his dishonor dies,
2570Or my shamed life in his dishonor lies.
Thou kill'st me in his life: giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.
Duchess of York [Within] What ho, my liege! For God's sake, let me in!
2575King Henry What shrill-voiced suppliant makes this eager cry?
Duchess of York [Within] A woman, and thy aunt, great King; 'tis I.
Speak with me. Pity me. Open the door!
A beggar begs that never begged before.
King Henry Our scene is altered from a serious thing,
2580And now changed to "the Beggar and the King." --
My dangerous cousin, let your mother in.
I know she is come to pray for your foul sin.
[ Aumerle opens the door.]
[The Duchess of York enters and kneels.]
York If thou do pardon whosoever pray,
More sins for this forgiveness prosper may.
2585This festered joint cut off, the rest rest sound.
This let alone will all the rest confound.
Duchess of York Oh, King! Believe not this hard-hearted man.
Love loving not itself, none other can.
2590York Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?
Duchess of York Sweet York, be patient. -- Hear me, gentle liege.
King Henry
Rise up, good aunt.
Duchess of York
Not yet, I thee beseech.
2595Forever will I walk upon my knees
And never see day that the happy sees,
Till thou give joy, until thou bid me joy
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
Aumerle [Kneeling] Unto my mother's prayers I bend my knee.
2600York [Kneeling] Against them both my true joints bended be.
2600.1Ill mayst thou thrive if thou grant any grace.
Duchess of York Pleads he in earnest? Look upon his face.
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast.
He prays but faintly, and would be denied.
2605We pray with heart and soul and all beside.
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know.
Our knees still kneel till to the ground they grow.
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy,
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
2610Our prayers do outpray his. Then let them have
That mercy which true prayer ought to have.
Good aunt, stand up.
Duchess of York
Nay, do not say "stand up."
Say "pardon" first, and afterwards "stand up."
2615An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
"Pardon" should be the first word of thy speech.
I never longed to hear a word till now.
Say "pardon," King. Let pity teach thee how.
The word is short, but not so short as sweet.
2620No word like "pardon" for kings' mouths so meet.
York Speak it in French, King. Say, "pardonnez-moi.".
Duchess of York Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That sets the word itself against the word!
2625Speak "pardon" as 'tis current in our land;
[To King Henry] The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there;
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
That, hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
2630Pity may move thee "pardon" to rehearse.
King Henry
Good aunt, stand up.
Duchess of York
I do not sue to stand.
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
King Richard I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
2635Duchess of York Oh, happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear. Speak it again.
Twice saying "pardon" doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.
King Henry I pardon him with all my heart.
2640Duchess of York A god on earth thou art.
[They all stand.]
King Henry But for our trusty brother-in-law and the Abbot,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
Good uncle, help to order several powers
2645To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are.
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell; -- and cousin, adieu.
Your mother well hath prayed; and prove you true.
2650Duchess of York [To Aumerle] Come, my old son. I pray God make thee new.
Enter Sir Piers [of] Exton and Servants.
Exton Didst thou not mark the King, what words he spake?
2655"Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?"
Was it not so?
These were his very words.
Exton "Have I no friend?" quoth he. He spake it twice,
And urged it twice together, did he not?
2660Servant He did.
Exton And speaking it, he wishtly looked on me,
As who should say, "I would thou wert the man
That would divorce this terror from my heart" --
Meaning the King at Pomfret. Come, let's go.
2665I am the King's friend, and will rid his foe.
Enter [King] Richard, alone.
King Richard I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world;
2670And for because the world is populous
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it. Yet I'll hammer it out.
My brain I'll prove the female to my soul,
My soul the father, and these two beget
2675A generation of still-breeding thoughts;
And these same thoughts people this little world,
In humors like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,
As thoughts of things divine, are intermixed
2680With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word,
As thus, "Come, little ones," and then again,
"It is as hard to come, as for a camel
To thread the postern of a small needle's eye."
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
2685Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls,
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
2690That they are not the first of Fortune's slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars
Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame
That many have and others must sit there.
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
2695Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
Of such as have before endured the like.
Thus play I in one person many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I king.
Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
2700And so I am. Then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king.
Then am I kinged again, and by and by
Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing. But whate'er I be,
2705Nor I nor any man that but man is
With nothing shall be pleased till he be eased
With being nothing.[The music plays.] Music do I hear?
Ha, ha, keep time! How sour sweet music is
When time is broke and no proportion kept.
2710So is it in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To check time broke in a disordered string;
But for the concord of my state and time
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
2715I wasted time, and now doth time waste me!
For now hath time made me his numb'ring clock.
My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
2720Is pointing still in cleansing them from tears.
Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans which strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell. So sighs, and tears, and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours. But my time
2725Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his jack of the clock.
This music mads me. Let it sound no more,
For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
2730Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me,
For 'tis a sign of love, and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
Enter a Groom of the stable.
Hail, royal Prince!
2735King Richard
Thanks, noble peer.
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
What art thou, and how com'st thou hither
Where no man never comes but that sad dog
That brings me food to make misfortune live?
2740Groom I was a poor groom of thy stable, King,
When thou wert king, who, traveling towards York,
With much ado, at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometime royal master's face.
Oh, how it erned my heart when I beheld
2745In London streets, that coronation day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse that I so carefully have dressed.
King Richard Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
2750How went he under him?
Groom So proudly as if he disdained the ground.
King Richard So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
2755Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down,
Since pride must have a fall, and break the neck,
Of that proud man, that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! Why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be awed by man,
2760Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse,
And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
Spurred, galled, and tired by jauncing Bolingbroke.
Enter [Keeper] to [King] Richard, with meat.
Keeper [To Groom] Fellow, give place. Here is no longer stay.
2765King Richard [To Groom] If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away.
Groom What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.
Exit Groom.
Keeper My lord, will't please you to fall to?
King Richard Taste of it first, as thou art wont to do.
2770Keeper My lord, I dare not. Sir Pierce of Exton, who lately
Came from the King, commands the contrary.
King Richard [Striking the Keeper] The devil take Henry of Lancaster, and thee!
Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
Keeper Help, help, help!
The murderers, [Exton and his servants,] rush in.
King Richard How, now! What means Death in this rude assault?
Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.
[King Richard seizes a weapon from a murderer and kills him with it.]
Go thou and fill another room in hell!
[He kills another murderer.]
Here Exton strikes him down.
2780King Richard That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
Hath with the King's blood stained the King's own land.
Mount, mount, my soul. Thy seat is up on high,
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die. [He dies.]
2785Exton As full of valor as of royal blood.
Both have I spilled. O would the deed were good!
For now the devil that told me I did well
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
This dead King to the living King I'll bear. --
2790[To keeper and remaining men] Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.
[Exeunt with the bodies.]
[Flourish.] Enter [King Henry] with the Duke of York[, other lords, and attendants].
King Henry Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
2795Is that the rebels have consumed with fire
Our town of Ciceter in Gloucestershire,
But whether they be ta'en or slain we hear not. Enter [the Earl of] Northumberland.
Welcome, my lord. What is the news?
2800Northumberland First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.
The next news is, I have to London sent
The heads of Oxford, Salisbury, Blunt, and Kent.
The manner of their taking may appear
At large discoursèd in this paper here.
[He gives King Henry a paper.]
2805King Henry We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains,
And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
Enter lord Fitzwater.
Fitzwater My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
The heads of Brocas and sir Bennet Seely,
2810Two of the dangerous consorted traitors
That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
King Henry Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot.
Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
Enter Harry Percy [with the Bishop of Carlisle, guarded].
2815Percy The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
With clog of conscience and sour melancholy
Hath yielded up his body to the grave.
But here is Carlisle living, to abide
Thy kingly doom and sentence of his pride.
2820King Henry Carlisle, this is your doom:
Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life.
So, as thou liv'st in peace, die free from strife;
For, though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
2825High sparks of honor in thee have I seen.
Enter Exton, with [attendants bearing] the coffin.
Exton Great King, within this coffin I present
Thy buried fear. Herein all breathless lies
The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
2830Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.
King Henry Exton, I thank thee not, for thou hast wrought
A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
Upon my head and all this famous land.
Exton From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
2835King Henry They love not poison that do poison need,
Nor do I thee. Though I did wish him dead,
I hate the murderer, love him murderèd.
The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labor,
But neither my good word, nor princely favor.
2840With Cain go wander through shades of night,
And never show thy head by day nor light. [Exit Exton.]
Lords, I protest my soul is full of woe
That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow.
Come mourn with me for what I do lament,
2845And put on sullen black incontinent.
I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land
To wash this blood off from my guilty hand. [Attendants lift the coffin to carry it out.]
March sadly after. Grace my mournings here
In weeping after this untimely bier.
[Exeunt with the coffin.]