Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Editor: Catherine Lisak
Peer Reviewed

Richard II (Quarto 1, 1597)


Enter Hereford, Northumberland.
Bull. How far is it my Lord to Barckly now?
North. Beleeue me noble Lord,
I am a stranger here in Glocestershire,
These high wild hils and rough vneuen waies,
1110Drawes out our miles and makes them wearisome,
And yet your faire discourse hath beene as sugar,
Making the hard way sweete and delectable,
But I bethinke me what a weary way
From Rauenspurgh to Cotshall will be found,
1115In Rosse and Willoughby wanting your company,
Which I protest hath very much beguild,
The tediousnesse and processe of my trauell:
But theirs is sweetned with the hope to haue
The present benefit which I possesse,
1120And hope to ioy is little lesse in ioye,
Then hope enioyed: by this the weary Lords
Shall make their way seeme short as mine hath done,
By sight of what I haue, your noble company.
Bull. Of much lesse value is my company,
1125Then your good wordes. But who comes here?
Enter Harry Persie.
North. It is my sonne young Harry Persy,
Sent from my brother Worcester whencesoeuer.
Harry, how fares your Vnckle?
1130H.Per. I had thought my Lord to haue learned his health
North. Why is he not with the Queene?
H.Per. No my good Lord, he hath forsooke the court,
Broken his staffe of office and disperst
1135The houshold of the King.
North. What was his reason, he was not so resolude,
When last we spake togither?
H Per. Because your Lowas proclaimed traitor,
But he my Lo:is gone to Rauenspurgh,
1140To offer seruice to the Duke of Hereford,
And sent me ouer by Barckly to discouer,
What power the Duke of Yorke had leuied there,
Then with directions to repaire to Rauenspurgh.
North. Haue you forgot the Duke of Herefords boy?
1145H.Per. No my good Lo: for that is not forgot,
Which nere I did remember, to my knowledge
I neuer in my life did looke on him.
North. Then learne to know him now, this is the Duke.
1150H.Per. My gratious Lo: I tender you my seruice,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
Which elder daies shal ripen and confirme
To more approued seruice and desert.
Bull. I thanke thee gentle Persy, and be sure,
1155I count my selfe in nothing else so happy,
Asin a soule remembring my good friends,
And as my fortune ripens with thy loue,
It shalbe still thy true loues recompence,
My heart this couenant makes, my hand thus seales it.
1160North. How farre is it to Barckly, and what slur
Keepes good old Yorke there with his men of war?
H.Per. There stands the Castle by yon tuft of trees,
Mand with 300. men as I haue heard,
And in it are the LordsofYorke Barkly and Seymer,
1165None else of name and noble estimate.
North. Here come the Lords of Rosse and Willoughby,
Bloudy with spurring, fiery red with haste.
Bull. VVelcome my Lords, I wot your loue pursues,
1170A banisht traitor: all my treasury
Is yet but vnfelt thanks, which more inricht,
Shalbe your loue and labours recompence.
Rosse Your presence makes vs rich, most noble Lord.
Wil. And far surmounts our labour to attaine it.
1175Bul. Euermore thanke's the exchequer of the poore,
VVhich till my infant fortune comes to yeares,
Stands for my bounty: but who comes here?
North. It is my Lord of Barkly as I guesse.
1180Barkly My Lord of Hereford my message is to you.
Bul. My Lord my answere is to Lancaster,
And I am come to seeke that name in England,
And I must find that title in your tongue,
Before I make reply to ought you say.
1185Bar. Mistake me not my Lord, tis not my meaning,
To race one title of your honor out:
To you my Lo: I come, what Lo: you will,
From the most gratious regent of this land
The Duke of Yorke: to know what prickes you on,
1190To take aduantage of the absent time,
And fright our natiue peace with selfeborne armes?
Bull. I shall not need transport my words by you,
Here comes his grace in person, my noble Vnckle.
1195Yorke Shew me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
Whose duety is deceiueable and false.
Bull. My gratious Vnckle.
Yor. Tut tut, grace me no grace, nor vnckle me no vnckle,
I am no traitors Vnckle, and that word Grace
1200In an vngratious mouth is but prophane:
Why haue those banisht and forbidden legs,
Dard once to touch a dust of Englands ground:
Butthen more why? why haue they dard to march
So many miles vpon her peacefull bosome,
1205Frighting her pale fac't villadges with warre,
And ostentation of despised armes?
Comst thou because the annointed king is hence?
Why foolish boy the King is left behinde,
And in my loiall bosome lies his power,
1210Were I but now Lord of such hot youth,
As when braue Gaunt thy father and my selfe,
Rescued the blacke prince that young Mars of men.
From forth the ranckes of many thousand french,
O then how quickly should this arme of mine,
1215Now prisoner to the Palsie chastise thee,
And minister correction to thy fault!
Bull. My gratious Vnckle let me know my fault,
On what condition stands it and wherein?
Yorke Euen in condition of the worst degree,
1220In grosse rebellion and detested treason,
Thou art a banisht man and here art come,
Before the expiration of thy time,
In brauing armes against thy soueraigne.
Bull. As I was banisht, I was banisht Hereford,
1225But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And noble Vnckle I beseech your grace,
Looke on my wrongs with an indifferent eie:
You are my father, for me thinkes in you
I see old Gaunt aliue. Oh then my father,
1230Will you permit that I shall stand condemnd
A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties
Pluckt from my armes perforce; and giuen away
To vpstart vnthrifts? wherefore was I borne?
If that my cousin King be King in England,
1235It must be granted I am duke of Lancaster:
You haue a sonne, Aumerle, my noble cousin,
Had you first died, and he bin thus trod downe,
He should haue found his vncle Gaunt a father,
To rowze his wrongs and chase them to the baie.
1240I am denyed to sue my Liuery here,
And yet my letters pattents giue me leaue.
My fathers goods are all distrainde and sold,
And these, and all, are all amisse employed.
What would you haue me do? I am a subiect;
1245And I challenge law, Atturnies are denied me,
And therefore personally I lay my claime
To my inheritance offree descent.
North. The noble Duke hath bin too much abused.
Rosse It stands your Grace vpon to do him right.
1250Willo. Base men by his endowments are made great.
Yorke My Lords of England, let me tell you this:
I haue had feeling of my cousins wrongs,
And labourd all I could to do him right:
But in this kind to come, in brauing armes
1255Be his owne caruer, and cut out his way,
To finde out right wyth wrong it may not be:
And you that do abette him in this kinde,
Cherish rebellion, and are rebells all.
North. The noble Duke hath sworne his comming is,
1260But for his owne; and for the right of that,
We al haue strongly sworne to giue him ayde:
And let him neuer see ioy that breakes that oath.
Yorke Wel wel, I see the issue of these armes,
I cannot mend it I must needes confesse,
1265Because my power is weake and all ill left:
But ifI could, by him that gaue me life,
I would attach you all, and make you stoope
Vnto the soueraigne mercie of the king;
But since I cannot, be it knowen vnto you,
1270I do remaine as newter, so fare you well,
Vnlesse you please to enter in the castle,
And there repose you for this night.
Bull. An offer vncle that we will accept,
But we must winne your Grace to go with vs,
1275To Bristow castle, which they say is held
By Bushie, Bagot, and their complices,
The caterpillers of the commonwealth,
Which I haue sworne to weede and plucke away.
Yorke It may be I will go with you, but yet Ile pawse.
1280For I am loath to breake our countries lawes,
Nor friends, nor foes to me welcome you are:
Things past redresse, are now with me past care.
Exeunt.