Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Folio 1, 1623)


24
The life and death of Richard the Second.
In name of lendings for your Highnesse Soldiers,
95The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
Like a false Traitor, and iniurious Villaine.
Besides I say, and will in battaile proue,
Or heere, or elsewhere to the furthest Verge
That euer was suruey'd by English eye,
100That all the Treasons for these eighteene yeeres
Complotted, and contriued in this Land,
Fetch'd from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say, and further will maintaine
Vpon his bad life, to make all this good.
105That he did plot the Duke of Glousters death,
Suggest his soone beleeuing aduersaries,
And consequently, like a Traitor Coward,
Sluc'd out his innocent soule through streames of blood:
Which blood, like sacrificing Abels cries,
110(Euen from the toonglesse cauernes of the earth)
To me for iustice, and rough chasticement:
And by the glorious worth of my discent,
This arme shall do it, or this life be spent.
King. How high a pitch his resolution soares:
115Thomas of Norfolke, what sayest thou to this?
Mow. Oh let my Soueraigne turne away his face,
And bid his eares a little while be deafe,
Till I haue told this slander of his blood,
How God, and good men, hate so foule a lyar.
120King. Mowbray, impartiall are our eyes and eares,
Were he my brother, nay our kingdomes heyre,
As he is but my fathers brothers sonne;
Now by my Scepters awe, I make a vow,
Such neighbour-neerenesse to our sacred blood,
125Should nothing priuiledge him, nor partialize
The vn-stooping firmenesse of my vpright soule.
He is our subiect ( Mowbray) so art thou,
Free speech, and fearelesse, I to thee allow.
Mow. Then Bullingbrooke, as low as to thy heart.
130Through the false passage of thy throat; thou lyest:
Threc parts of that receipt I had for Callice,
Disburst I to his Highnesse souldiers;
The other part reseru'd I by consent,
For that my Soueraigne Liege was in my debt,
135Vpon remainder of a deere Accompt,
Since last I went to France to fetch his Queene:
Now swallow downe that Lye. For Glousters death,
I slew him not; but (to mine owne disgrace)
Neglected my sworne duty in that case:
140For you my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable Father to my foe,
Once I did lay an ambush for your life,
A trespasse that doth vex my greeued soule:
But ere I last receiu'd the Sacrament,
145I did confesse it, and exactly begg'd
Your Graces pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a Villaine,
A recreant, and most degenerate Traitor,
150Which in my selfe I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurle downe my gage
Vpon this ouer-weening Traitors foote,
To proue my selfe a loyall Gentleman,
Euen in the best blood chamber'd in his bosome.
155In hast whereof, most heartily I pray
Your Highnesse to assigne our Triall day.
King. Wrath-kindled Gentlemen be rul'd by me:
Let's purge this choller without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no Physition,

160Deepe malice makes too deepe incision.
Forget, forgiue, conclude, and be agreed,
Our Doctors say, This is no time to bleed.
Good Vnckle, let this end where it begun,
Wee'l calme the Duke of Norfolke; you, your son.
165Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age,
Throw downe (my sonne) the Duke of Norfolkes gage.
And Norfolke, throw downe his.
Gaunt. When Harrie when? Obedience bids,
Obedience bids I should not bid agen.
170King. Norfolke, throw downe, we bidde; there is
no boote.
Mow. My selfe I throw (dread Soueraigne) at thy foot.
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame,
The one my dutie owes, but my faire name
175Despight of death, that liues vpon my graue
To darke dishonours vse, thou shalt not haue.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffel'd heere,
Pierc'd to the soule with slanders venom'd speare:
The which no balme can cure, but his heart blood
180Which breath'd this poyson.
King. Rage must be withstood:
Giue me his gage: Lyons make Leopards tame.
Mo, Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame,
And I resigne my gage. My deere, deere Lord,
185The purest treasure mortall times afford
Is spotlesse reputation: that away,
Men are but gilded loame, or painted clay.
A Iewell in a ten times barr'd vp Chest,
Is a bold spirit, in a loyall brest.
190Mine Honor is my life; both grow in one:
Take Honor from me, and my life is done.
Then (deere my Liege) mine Honor let me trie,
In that I liue; and for that will I die.
King. Coosin, throw downe your gage,
195Do you begin.
Bul. Oh heauen defend my soule from such foule sin.
Shall I seeme Crest-falne in my fathers sight,
Or with pale beggar-feare impeach my hight
Before this out-dar'd dastard? Ere my toong,
200Shall wound mine honor with such feeble wrong;
Or sound so base a parle: my teeth shall teare
The slauish motiue of recanting feare,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, euen in Mowbrayes face.
205
Exit Gaunt.
King. We were not borne to sue, but to command,
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be readie, (as your liues shall answer it)
At Couentree, vpon S. Lamberts day:
210There shall your swords and Lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your setled hate:
Since we cannot attone you, you shall see
Iustice designe the Victors Chiualrie.
Lord Marshall, command our Officers at Armes,
215Be readie to direct these home Alarmes.
Exeunt.



Scæna Secunda.



Enter Gaunt, and Dutchesse of Gloucester.
Gaunt. Alas, the part I had in Glousters blood,
Doth more solicite me then your exclaimes,
220To stirre against the Butchers of his life.
But