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Disclaiming here the kindred of a 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,
Which gently lay'd my knighthood on my shoulder,
I'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!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to
It must be great, that can inherit1 us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.For you, my noble lord of Lancaster, The honourable father to my foe, Once did I lay an ambush for your life, A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul: But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament, I did confess it; and exactly begg'd Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it. This is my fault: As for the rest appeal'd,' It issues from the rancour of a villain, A recreant and most degenerate traitor: Which in myself I boldly will defend; And interchangeably hurl down my gage Upon this overweenings traitor's foot, Mow-To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove it true;
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers;
The which he hath detain'd for lewd2 employments,
Like a false traitor, and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,-
Or here, or elsewhere, to the farthest verge
That ever was survey'd by English eye,-
That all the treasons, for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and
Further I say, and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to make all this good,-
That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death;
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries;
And, consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
Even 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.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution
Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Nor. O, 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,4 How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes,
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Now by my sceptre's awe I inake a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should 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.
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom:
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
(Despite of death, that lives upon my grave,)
To dark dishonour's use, thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here;
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear;
The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood
Which breath'd this poison.
Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage :-Lions make leopards tame.
Nor. Yea, but not change their spots: take but
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, and The purest treasure mortal times afford, Is-spotless reputation; that away, Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay. A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest Is-a bold spirit in a loyal breast. Mine honour is my life; both grow in one, Take honour from me, and my life is done: Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try; In that I live, and for that will I die.
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart, Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest! Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais, Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers: The other part reserv'd I by consent; For that my sovereign liege was in my debt, Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen : Now swallow down that lie.For Gloster's death,
I slew him not; but to my own disgrace,
K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage; do you begin.
Boling. O, God defend my soul from such foul sin!
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight? Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height Before this outdar'd dastard! Ere my tongue Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong, Or sourd 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 harbour, even in Mowbray's face. [Exit Gaunt. (6) Arrogant.
(7) No advantage in delay.
K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to com- And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day;
There 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.-
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
Marshal, command our officers at arms
I take my leave before I have begun;
Be ready to direct these home alarms. [Exeunt. For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
SCENE II.-The same. A room in the Duke of Lo, this is al!:-Nay, yet depart not so;
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York.
Lancaster's palace. Enter Gaunt, and Duchess Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
A caitiff's recreant to my cousin Hereford!
Farewell, old Gaunt; thy sometime brother's wife,
With her companion grief must end her life.
Gaunt. Sister, farewell: I must to Coventry:
As much good stay with thee, as go with me!
Duch. Yet one word mole;Grief boundeth
where it falls,
Gaunt. Alas! the parts I had in Gloster's blood
Doth more solicit me, than your exclaims,
To 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 he sees the hours ripe on earth,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
Were as seven phials of his sacred blood,
Or 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 Gloster,-
One phial full of Edward's sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most royal root,-
Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded,
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that
That metal, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee,
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st, and
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,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair:
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That 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 Gloster's death.
Gaunt. Heaven's is the quarrel; for heaven's
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus'd his death: the which if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duch. Where Then, alas! may I complain myself?
Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and
Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear,
That 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,
(1) Reconcile. (2) Show. (3) Relationship.
(5) A base villain,
I shall remember more. Bid him-0, what?-
With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old Yo
But empty lodgings and unfurnish'd walls,
Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
And what cheer there for welcome, but my groans?
Therefore commend me; let him not come there,
To seek out sorrow that dwells every where:
Desolate, desolate, will I hence, and die;
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
SCENE III-Gosford Green, near Coventry.
Lists set out, and a throne. Heralds, &c. at-
tending. Enter the Lord Marshal, and Aumerle.
Mar. My lord Aunerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd?
Aum. Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in.
Mar. The duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.
Aum. Why then, the champions are prepar'd,
For nothing but his majesty's approach.
Flourish of trumpets. Enter King Richard, who takes his seat on his throne; Gaunt, and several noblemen, who take their places. A trumpet is sounded, and answered by another trumpet withThen enter Norfolk in armour, preceded by
K. Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder champion
The cause of his arrival here in arms:
Ask him his name; and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause.
Mar. In God's name, and the king's, say who
And why thou com'st, thus knightly clad in arms:
Against what man thou com'st, and what thy
Speak truly, on thy knighthood, and thy oath;
And so defend thee heaven, and thy valour!
Nor. My name is Thomas Mowbray, duke of
Who hither come engaged by my oath
(Which, heaven defend, a knight should violate!)
Both 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,
A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
Thus plated in habiliments of war; And formally according to our law Deposc him in the justice of his cause.
Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement, More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore com'st This feast of battle with mine adversary.
Before king Richard, in his royal lists?
Against whom comest thou; and what's thy quarrel?
Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
To prove, by heaven's grace, and my body's valour,
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk,
That he's a traitor, foul and dangerous,
To God of heaven, king Richard, and to me;
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
Mar. On pain of death, no person be so bold,
Or daring-hardy, as to touch the lists;
Except the marshal, and such officers
Appointed to direct these fair designs.
Boling. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's
And bow my knee before his majesty:
For 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.
Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your high-
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
Boling. O, let no noble eye profane a tear
For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbray's spear;
As confident, as is the falcon's flight
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.--
My loving lord, [To Lord Marshal.] I take my
leave of you;-
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
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
O thou, the earthly author of my blood,-
Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,-
Add proof unto my armour 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 of Gaunt,
Even in the lusty 'haviour of his son.
Gaunt. Heaven in thy good cause make thee
Be swift, like lightning, in the execution;
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
Fall, like amazing thunder, on the casque3
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
Rouse up the youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
Boling. Mine innocency, and Saint George to
[He takes his seat.
Nor. [Rising.] However heaven, or fortune, cast
There lives or dics, true to kin? Richard's throne,
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman:
Never did captive with a freer heart
(1) Yielding. (2) Brighten up. (3) Helmet. (4) Play a part in a mask.
Most mighty liege,-and my companion peers,
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years:
As gentle and as jocund, as to jest,4"
Go I to fight; Truth hath a quiet breast.
K. Rich. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.-
Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
[The King and the Lords return to their seats. Mar: Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance: and God defend the right! Boling. [Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope, I
Mar. Go bear this lance [To an officer.] to Thomas duke of Norfolk.
1 Her. 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, A traitor to his God, his king, and him, And dares him to set forward to the fight.
2 Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself, and to approve
Henry 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.
Jar. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, com-
A charge sounded.
Stay, the king hath thrown his warders down.
K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and their
And both return back to their chairs again :-Withdraw with us :-and let the trumpets sound, While we return these dukes what we decree.
[A long flourish. Draw near, [To the combatants. And list, what with our council we have done. For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd With that dear blood which it hath fostered;" And for our eyes do hate the dire aspéct Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' swords;
And for we think the eagle-winged pride
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set you on
To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;
Which so rous'd up with boisterous untun'd drums,
With harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful bray,
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
Might 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 death,
Till twice five summers have enrich'd our fields,
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
Boling. Your will be done: This must my com-
That sun, that warms you here, shall shine on me;
And those his golden beams, to you here lent,
Shall point on me, and gild my banishment.
K. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce: The fly-slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile ;—
The hopeless word of-never to return,
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
Nor. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness' hand.
The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue's use is to me no more,
Than an unstringed viol, or a harp;
Or, like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
Doubly portcullis'd, with my teeth, and lips;
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now;
What is thy sentence then, but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native
K. Rich. It boots thee not to be compassionate;
After our sentence, plaining comes too late.
Nor. Then thus I turn me from my country's
To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
Gaunt. I thank my liege, that, in regard of me,
He 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
My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light,
Shall 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.
K. Rich. Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live. Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou canst give:
Shorten 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;
But, dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
K. Rich. Thy son is banish'd upon good advice,*
Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave;
Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lower?
Gaunt. Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion
You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather, You would have bid me argue like a father:O, 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, [Retiring. And in the sentence my own life destroy'd. K. Rich. Return again, and take an oath with Alas, I look'd, when some of you should say,
Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands;
Swear by the duty that you owe to heaven,
(Our part therein we banish with yourselves,)
To keep the oath that we administer:-
You never shall (so help you truth and heaven!)
Embrace each other's love in banishment;
Nor never look upon each other's face;
Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
This lowering tempest of your home-bred hate;
Nor never by advised3 purpose meet,
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill,
'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
Boling. I swear.
Nor. And I, to keep all this.
Boling. Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy ;-
By this time, had the king permitted us,
One of our souls had wander'd in the air,
Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banish'd 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.
Nor. No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banish'd, as from hence!
But what thou art, heaven, thou, and I do know;
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.-
Farewell, my liege:-Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world's my way.
[Exit. K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspéct Hath from the number of his banish'd years Pluck'd four away;-Six frozen winters spent, Return [To Boling.] with welcome home from banishment.
Boling. 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.
I was too strict, to make mine own away:
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue,
Against my will, to do myself this wrong.
K. Rich. Cousin, farewell:-and, uncle, bid him so;
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
[Flourish. Exeunt K. Rich. and train. Aum. Cousin, farewell: what presence must not know,
From where you do remain, let paper show. Mar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride, As far as land will let me, by your side.
Gaunt. O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends?
Boling I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue's office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant dolour" of the heart.
Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
Boling. Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
Gaunt. What is six winters? they are quickly
Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure.
Boling. My heart will sigh, when I miscall it so, Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.
Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps Esteem a foil, wherein thou art to set The precious jewel of thy home-return. Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make Will but remember me, what a deal of world wander from the jewels that I love. Must I not serve a long apprenticehood To 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:
(5) Had a part or share.
(6) Reproach of partiality.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not, the king did banish thee;
But thou the king: Wo doth the heavier sit,
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go, say-I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
And not-the king exil'd 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
To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou com'st:
Suppose the singing birds, musicians;
The grass whereon thou tread'st, the presence1 strew'd;
The flowers, fair ladies; and thy steps, no more
Than a delightful measure, or a dance:
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it, and sets it light.
Boling. O, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or 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?
O, no! the apprehension of the good,
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more,
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Gaunt. Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on
Had I thy youth, and cause, I would not stay. Boling. 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 banish'd, yet a true-born Englishman.
[Exeunt. SCENE IV.-The same. A room in the king's castle. Enter King Richard, Bagot, and Green; Aumerle following.
K. Rich. We did observe.-Cousin Aumerle, How far brought you high Hereford on his way? Aum. I brought high Hereford, if you call him so, But to the next highway, and there I left him.
K. Rich. And, say, what store of parting tears were shed?
Aum. 'Faith, none by me: except the northeast wind,
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Awak'd the sleeping rheum; and so by chance,
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
K. Rich. What said our cousin, when you parted with him?
And, for my heart disdained that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief,
That words seem'd buried in my sorrow's grave.
Marry, would the word farewell have lengthen'd
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.
K. Rich. He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
When time shall call him home from banishment,
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
Ourself, and Bushy, Bagot here, and Green,
Observ'd his courtship to the common people :-
How he did seem to dive into their hearts,
With humble and familiar courtesy ;
What reverence he did throw away on slaves;
(1) Presence-chamber at court. (2) Growling.
Wooing poor craftsmen, with the craft of smiles,
And patient underbearing of his fortune,
As 'twere, to banish their affects with him.
Off 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
As were our England in reversion his,
And 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,
For their advantage, and your highness' loss.
K. Rich. 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 enforc'd to farm our royal realm;
The 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,
And send them after to supply our wants;
For we will make for Ireland presently.
SCENE 1-London. A room in Ely-house. Gaunt on a couch; the Duke of York, and others, standing by him.
Gaunt. Will the king come? that I may breathe my last,
In wholesome counsel to his unstaied youth. York. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
Gaunt. O, 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.
He, that no more must say, is listen'd more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to
More are men's ends mark'd, than their lives before:
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
Writ in remembrance, more than things long past:
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
(4) Because, (5) Flatter.