Obrázky stránek
PDF
ePub

IV, being set forth in a play, and in that play there being set, forth the killing of the king upon a stage; the Friday before, Sir Gilly Merick and some others of the earl's train having an humour to see a play, they must needs have The Play of HENRY IV. The players told them that was stale; they should get nothing by playing that; but no play else would serve: and Sir Gilly Merick gives forty shillings to Philips the player to play this, besides whatso. ever he could get.”

Augustine Philippes was one of the patentees of the Globe playhouse with Shakspeare, in 1603; but the play here described was certainly not Shakspeare's HENRY IV, as that commences above a year after the death of Richard. Tyrwhitt.

This play of Shakspeare was first entered at Stationers' Hall by Andrew Wise, Aug. 29, 1597. Steevens.

It was written, I imagine, in the same year. Malone.

[ocr errors]

;}

King Richard the Second.
Edmund of Langley, duke of York; } uncles to the king.
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster;
Henry, surnamed Bolingbroke, duke of Hereford, son to

John of Gaunt; afterwards king Henry IV.
Duke of Aumerle, 1 son to the duke of York.
Mowbray, duke of Norfolk.
Duke of Surrey.
Earl of Salisbury. Earl Berkley.?
Bushy,
Bagot, creatures to king Richard.
Green,
Earl of Northumberland:
Henry Percy, his son.
Lord Ross.3 Lord Willoughby. Lord Fitzwater.
Bishop of Carlisle. Abbot of Westminster.
Lord marshal; and another lord.
Sir Pierce of Exton. Sir Stephen Scroop.
Captain of a band of Welchmen.
Queen to king Richard.
Duchess of Gloster.
Duchess of York.
Lady attending on the queen.

Lords, heralds, officers, soldiers, two gardeners, keeper,

messenger, groom, and other attendants,

SCENE,
Dispersedly in England and Wales.

1 Duke of Aumerle,] Aumerle, or Aumale, is the French for what we now call Albemarle, which is a town in Normandy. The old historians generally use the French title. Steevens.

2 Earl Berkley.) It ought to be Lord Berkley. There was no Earl Berkley till some ages after. Steevens.

3 Lord Ross.] Now spelt Roos, one of the Duke of Rutland's titles. Steevens.

THE

LIFE AND DEATH

OF

KING RICHARD II.

ACT I.....SCENE I.

London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter King RICHARD, attended; John of GAUNT, and

other Nobles, with him.

K. Rich. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster, Hast thou, according to thy oath and band, 4 Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son; Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

Gaunt. I have, my liege. K. Rich. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded him, If he appeal the duke on ancient malice; Or worthily, as a good subject should, On some known ground of treachery in him?

4

thy oath and band,) When these public challenges were accepted, each combatant found a pledge for his appearance at the time and place appointed. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV, c. üži, st 3:

“The day was set, that all might understand,

“ And pledges pawn'd the same to keep aright.” The old copies read band instead of bond. The former is right. So, in The Comedy of Errors :

“My master is arrested on a band.Steevens. Band and Bond were formerly synonymous. See note on The Comedy of Errors, Act IV, sc. ii. Malone.

Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argu.

ment, On some apparent danger seen in him, Ain’d at your highness, no inveterate malice.

K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face to face, And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser, and the accused, freely speaki

[Exeunt some Attend. High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLR.

Boling. May many years of happy days befal My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

Nor. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!

K. kich. 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?

Boling. First, (heaven be the record to my speech!) In the devotion of a subject's love, Tendering the precious safety of my prince, And free from other misbegotten hate, Come I appellant to this princely presence.Now, 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; Too 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; And wish, (so please my sovereign) ere I move, What my tongue speaks, my right-drawns sword may

prove. Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:

5

right-drawn —] Drawn in a right or just cause.

Fohnson.

'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this.
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast,
As to be hush’d, and nought at all to say:
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
Which else would post, until it had return'd
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
I 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 a-foot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable6
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Mean time, let this defend my loyalty,
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Bolling. Pale trembling coward, there I throw my

gage,
Disclaiming 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 hath left thee so much strength,
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop;
By 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.

Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear,

6

inhabitable,] That is, not habitable, uninhabitable.

Fohnson. Ben Jonson uses the word in the same sense in his Catiline :

“ And pour'd on some inhabitable place.” Again, in Taylor the water-poet's Short Relation of a long Jour. ney, &c.“ there stands a strong castle, but the town is all spoil'd, and almost inhabitable by the late lamentable troubles.”

Steevens. So also, Braithwaite, in his Survey of Histories, 1614: “Others, in imitation of some valiant knights, have frequented desarts and inhabited provinces." Malone.

« PředchozíPokračovat »