Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)


ENTER King Richard, IOHN
OF GAVNT, WITH OTHER
Nobles and attendants.
King Richard.
5OVld Iohn of Gaunt time honoured Lancaster,
Hast thou according to thy oath and bande
Brought hither Henrie Herford thy bolde sonne,
Here to make good the boistrous late appeale,
Which then our leysure would not let vs heare
10Against the Duke of Norfolke, Thomas Moubray ?
Gaunt. I haue my Leige.
King. Tell me moreouer hast thou sounded him,
If he appeale the Duke on ancient malice,
Or worthily as a good subiect should
15On some knowne ground of treacherie in him.
Gaunt. As neere as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent daunger seene in him,
Aimde at your highnes, no inueterate malice.
King. Then call them to our presence face to face,
20And frowning brow to brow our selues will heare,
The accuser and the accused freely speake:
High stomackt are they both and full of ire,
In rage, deafe as the sea, hastie as fire.
Enter Bullingbrooke and Mowbray.
25Bulling. Manie yeares of happie daies befall,
My gratious soueraigne my most louing liege.
Mowb. Each day still better others happines,
Vntill the heauens enuying earths good hap,
Adde an immortall title to your Crowne.
30King. We thanke you both, yet one but flatters vs,
As well appeareth by the cause you come,
Namely to appeale each other of high treason:
Coosin of Herford, what dost thou obiect
Against the Duke of Norffolke Thomas Mowbray?
35Bull. First, heauen be the record to my speech,
In the deuotion of a subiects loue,
Tendring the pretious safetie of my Prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
40Now Thomas Mowbray do I turne to thee,
And marke my greeting well: for what I speake
My body shall make good vpon this earth,
Or my diuine soule answer it in heauen:
Thou art a traitour and a miscreant,
45Too good to be so, and too bad to liue,
Since the more faire and cristall is the skie,
The vglier seeme the cloudes that in it flie:
Once more, the more to aggrauate the note,
With a foule traitors name stuffe I thy throte,
50And wish (so please my Soueraigne) ere I moue,
What my tong speaks, my right drawen sword may proue.
Mow. Let not my cold wordes here accuse my zeale,
Tis not the triall of a womans warre,
The bitter clamour of two eger tongues
55Can arbitrate this cause betwixt vs twaine,
The bloud is hote that must be coold for this,
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast,
As to be huisht, and naught at all to say.
First the faire reuerence of your Highnesse curbs me,
60From giuing reines and spurres to my free speech,
Which else would post vntill it had returnd,
These termes of treason doubled downe his throat:
Setting aside his high blouds royaltie,
And let him be no kinsman to my Liege,
65I do defie him, and I spit at him,
Call him a slaunderous coward, and a villaine,
Which to maintaine, I would allow him ods,
And meete him were I tied to runne afoote,
Euen to the frozen ridges of the Alpes,
70Or any other ground inhabitable,
Where euer Englishman durst set his foote,
Meane time, let this defend my loyaltie,
By all my hopes most falsly doth he lie.
Bull. Pale trembling coward there I throw my gage,
75Disclaiming here the kinred of the King,
And lay aside my high bloudes royaltie,
Which Feare, not Reuerence makes thee to except.
If guilty dread haue left thee so much strength,
As to take vp mine honours pawne, then stowpe,
80By that, and all the rites of Knighthoode else,
Will I make good against thee arme to arme,
What I haue spoke, or thou canst worse deuise.
Mow. I take it vp, and by that sword I sweare,
Which gently laid my Knighthood on my shoulder,
85Ile answer thee in any faire degree,
Or chiualrous designe of knightly triall:
And when I mount, aliue may I not light,
If I be traitor or vniustly fight.
King. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbraies charge?
90It must be great that can inherit vs,
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Bul. Looke what I speake, my life shall proue it true,
That Mowbray hath receiude eight thousand nobles
In name of Lendings for your Highnes souldiours,
95The which he hath detaind for lewd imployments,
Like a false traitour, and iniurious villaine:
Besides I say, and will in battle proue,
Or here, or elsewhere to the furthest Verge:
That euer was surueyed by English eye,
100That all the treasons for these eighteene yeares,
Complotted and contriued in this land:
Fetch 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 plotte the Duke of Glocesters death,
Suggest his soone beleeuing aduersaries,
And eonsequently like a taitour coward,
Slucte out his innocent soule through streames of bloud,
Which bloud, like sacrificing Abels cries,
110Euen from the tounglesse Cauernes of the earth,
To me for iustice and rough chastisement:
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arme shall do it, or this life be spent.
King. How high a pitch his resolution soares,
115Thomas of Norfolke what saist thou to this ?
Mowb. Oh let my soueraigne turne awaie his face,
And bid his eares a little while be deafe.
Till I haue tolde this slaunder of his bloud,
How God and good men hate so foule a lier.
120King. Mowbray impartiall are our eies and eares,
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdomes heire,
As he is but my fathers brothers sonne,
Now by scepters awe I make a vowe,
Such neighbour neerenes to our sacred bloud
125Should nothing priuiledge him nor partialize
The vnstooping firmenesse of my vpright soule,
He is our subiect Mowbray so art thou,
Free speech and fearelesse I to thee allowe.
Mowb. Then Bullingbrooke as lowe as to thy heart
130Through the false passage of thy throate thou liest.
Three partes of that receipte I had for Callice,
Disburst I duely to his highnesse souldiers,
The other part reserude I by consent,
For that my soueraigne liege was in my debt.
135Vpon remainder of a deare account:
Since last I went to France to fetch his Queene:
Now swallow downe that lie. For Glocesters death,
I slewe him not but to my own disgrace,
Neglected my sworne duety in that case:
140For you my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambushe for your life,
A trespasse that doth vex my grieued soule:
Ah but ere I last receiude the Sacrament,
145I did confesse it, and exactly begd
Your graces pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault, as for the rest appeald
Itissuesfrom the rancour of a villaine,
A recreant and most degenerate traitour,
150Which in my selfe I boldly will defende,
And enterchangeably hurle downe my gage
Vpon this ouerweening traitors foote,
To proue my selfe a loyal Gentleman,
Euen in the best bloud chamberd in his bosome,
155In haste wherof most hartily I pray
Your highnes to assigne our triall day.
King. Wrath kindled gentleman be ruled by me,
Lets purge this choler without letting bloud,
This we prescribe though no Phisition,
160Deepe malice makes too deepe incision,
Forget, forgiue, conclude and be agreed,
Our doctors say, this is no month to bleede:
Good Vnckle let this ende where it begonne,
Weele calme the Duke of Norfolke, you your sonne.
165Gaunt. To be a make-peace shal become my age,
Throw downe (my sonne) the Duke of Norfolkes gage.
King. And Norfolke throw downe his.
Gaunt. When Harry? when obedience bids,
Obedience bids I should not bid againe.
170King. Norfolke throw downe we bid, there is no boote.
Mow. My selfe I throw dread soueraigne at thy foote,
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame,
The one my duety owes, but my faire name
175Despight of death that liues vpon my graue,
To darke dishonours vse thou shalt not haue:
I am disgraste, impeacht, and baffuld heere,
Pierst to the soule with Slaunders venomd speare,
The which no balme can cure but his heart bloud
180Which breathde this poyson.
King. Rage must be withstoode,
Giue me his gage; Lions make Leopards tame.
Mowb. Yea but not change his spots : take but my shame,
And I resigne my gage, my deare deare Lord,
185The purest treasure mortall times afford,
Is spotlesse Reputation that away
Men are but guilded loame, or painted clay,
A iewell in a ten times bard vp chest,
Is a bold spirit in a loyall breast:
190Mine honour is my life, both grow in one,
Take honour from me, and my life is done :
Then (deare my Liege) mine honour let me trie,
In that I liue, and for that will I die.
King. Coosin, throw vp your gage, do you beginne.
Bull. O God defend my soule from such deepe sinne,
Shall I seeme Crest-fallen in my fathers fight?
Or with pale beggar-feare impeach my height,
Before this out-darde Dastard? ere my tong
200Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parlee, my teeth shall teare
The slauish motiue of recanting feare,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where Shame doth harbour euen in Mowbraies face.
King. We were not borne to sue, but to commaund,
Which since we cannot do, to make you friends,
Be ready as your liues shall answere it,
At Couentry vpon saint Lamberts day,
210There shall your swords and launcesarbitrate
The swelling difference of your setled hate,
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Iustice designe the Victors chiualrie,
Lord Marshal, commaund our Officers at Armes,
215Be ready to direct these home allarmes.
Exit.