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K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to com-And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
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,
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
I take my leave before I have begun;
For sorrow ends not when it secineth done.
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York.
Lo, this is al!:-Nay, yet depart not so;
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.-
Marshal, command our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home alarms.
SCENE II.-The same. A room in the Duke of
Lancaster's palace. Enter Gaunt, and Duchess Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
I shall remember more. Bid him-0, what?-
With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old Yo k there see,
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.
Thus plated in habiliments of war;
And formally according to our law
Depose 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
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
Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore com'st This feast of battle with mine adversary.
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 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 cry-amen.
Mar. Go bear this lance [To an officer.] to
Thomas duke of Norfolk.
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-
ness, And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave. K. Rich. We will descend, and fold him in our
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 prosperous!
Be swift, like lightning, in the execution;
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
Fall, like amazing thunder, on the casque
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 dies, true to king 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.
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
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.
dar. 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.
[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'
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 exíle ;—
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 porteullis'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 natíve
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.
You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather,
You would have bid me argue like a father :-
Q, 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,
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
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
[Flourish. Exeunt K. Rich. and train.
Aum. Cousin, farewell: what presence must
From where you do remain, let paper show.
Mar. My lord, no leave take 1; for I will ride,
As far as land will let me, by your side.
Gaunt. O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy
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 advised' 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 ruc.-
Farewell, my liege:-Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world's my way.
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
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.
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
(2) To move compassion.
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
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 justice seem'st thou then to lower?
Gaunt. Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion
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
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 exíl'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
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
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.
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering
As, praises of his state: then, there are found
Lascivious metres; to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen:
Report of fashions in proud Italy;
Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
Limps after, in base imitation.
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity
(So it be new, there's no respect how vile,)
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
Direct not him, whose way himself will choose;
'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou
Gaunt. Methinks, I am a prophet new inspir'd;
And thus, expiring, do foretel of him:
His rash fierce blaze of 1iot cannot last;
For violent fires soon burn out themselves:
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
He tires betimes, that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding, food doth choke the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden, demi-paradise;
This fortress, built by nature for herself,
Against infection, and the hand of war;'
This happy breed of men, this little world;
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house,
Against the envy of less happier lands:
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home
(For Christian service, and true chivalry,)
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's son:
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out (I die pronouncing it,)
Like to a tenement or pelting' farm:
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds;
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself:
O, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
Enter King Richard, and Queen; Aumerle, Bushy,
Green, Bagot, Ross, and Willoughby.
York. The king is come: deal mildly with his
For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the more.
Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?
K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is't with
Gaunt. O, how that name befits my composition!
Old Gaunt, indeed; and gaunt in being old:
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat, that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time have I watch'd;
Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt:
The pleasure, that some fathers feed upon,
(1) Paltry. (2) Lean, thin. (3) Mad.
Is my strict fast, I mean-my children's looks;
And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt':
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with their
Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself:
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name great king, to flatter thee.
K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those
Gaunt. Oh! no; thou diest, though I the sicker be.
K. Rich. I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill?
Gaunt. Now, He that made me, knows I see
Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
Thy death-bed is no lesser than the land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick :
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure
Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye,
Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame;
Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd,
Which art possess'd3 now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
It were a shame to let this land by lease:
But, for thy world, enjoying but this land,
Is it not more than shame, to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law;
a lunatic lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague's privilege,
Dar'st with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheek; chasing the royal blood,
With fury, from his native residence.
Now by my seat's right royal majesty,
Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head,
Should run thy head from thy unreverend shoulders.
Gaunt. O, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
For that I was his father Edward's son;
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapp'd out, and drunkenly carous'd:
My brother Gloster, plain well-meaning soul,
(Whom fair befall in heaven 'mongst happy souls!)
May be a precedent and witness good,
Join with the present sickness that I have;
That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood:
And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too-long wither'd flower.
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee !-
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!-
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
Love they to live, that love and honour have.
[Exit, borne out by his attendants.
K. Rich. And let them die, that age and sullens
For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
York. 'Beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sickliness and age in him:
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry, duke of Hereford, were he here.
K. Rich. Right; you say true: as Hereford's
love, so his!
Gaunt. No, no; men living flatter those that die.
K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st-thou flat-