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While he', young wanton, and effeminate boy,
Takes on the point of honour to support
So dissolute a crew.
Percy. My lord, some two days since I saw the

And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford.

Boling. And what said the gallant?

Percy. His answer was,—he would unto the stews; And from the common'st creature pluck a glove, And wear it as a favour; and with that He would unhorse the lustiest challenger. Boling. As dissolute, as desperate: yet, through

both I see some sparks of better hope', which elder days May happily bring forth. But who comes here?

Enter AUMERLE, in great haste'. Aum. Where is the king ? Boling. What means our cousin, that he stares and

looks So wildly? Aum. God save your grace. I do beseech your

majesty, To have some conference with your grace alone. . Boling. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.

[Exeunt PERCY and Lords. What is the matter with our cousin now? Aum. For ever may my knees grow to the earth,

[Kneels. My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,

• While he,] All the old copies, quarto and folio, read-Which he. The correction was made by Pope.

3 I see some SPARKS of better hope,] So the quarto, 1597 ; and we adopt also the regulation of the passage, as a twelve-syllable line. The quarto of 1598 alters" sparks” to sparkles, which error the two quartos of 1608 and 1615 adopt. The folio, 1623, returns to "sparks.” Bolingbroke afterwards (p. 115) speaks of “ sparks of honour.”

• Enter Aumerle, in great haste.] “ Enter Aumerle amazed,” old quartos.

Unless a pardon, ere I rise, or speak.

Boling. Intended, or committed, was this fault?
If on the first, how heinous e'er it be,
To win thy after love I pardon thee.

Aum. Then give me leave that I may turn the key',
That no man enter till my tale be done.
Boling. Have thy desire.

[AUMERLE locks the door. York. [Within."] My liege, beware! look to thyself: Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.

Boling. Villain, I'll make thee safe. [Drawing. Aum. Stay thy revengeful hand : thou hast no cause

to fear. York. [Within.] Open the door, secure, fool-hardy

king: Shall I for love speak treason to thy face? Open the door, or I will break it open.

[BOLINGBROKE opens the door.

Enter YORK.

Boling. What is the matter, uncle ? speak; Recover breath : tell us how near is danger, That we may arm us to encounter it.

York. Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know The treason that my haste forbids me show.

Aum. Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise past. I do repent me; read not my name there: My heart is not confederate with my hand.

York. It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king: Fear, and not love, begets his penitence. Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.

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that I may turn the key,) In the first quarto the pronoun “I” is accidentally omitted.

6 York. [Within.] The old stage-direction in the quartos is, “ The duke of York knocks at the door, and crieth.”

Boling. O, heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy ! 0, loyal father of a treacherous son ! Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain, From whence this stream through muddy passages Hath held his current, and defil'd himself! Thy overflow of good converts to bad ; And thy abundant goodness shall excuse This deadly blot in thy digressing son.

York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd, And he shall spend mine honour with his shame, As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold. Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies, Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies: Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath, The traitor lives, the true man's put to death. Duch. [Within.] What ho! my liege! for God's

sake let me in. Boling. What shrill-voic'd suppliants makes this

eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king; 'tis I. Speak with me, pity me, open the door : A beggar begs, that never begg’d before.

Boling. Our scene is altered, from a serious thing, And now chang’d to “ The Beggar and the Kingo.? My dangerous cousin, let your mother in : I know, she's come to pray for your foul sin.

York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, More sins for this forgiveness prosper may. This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rest sound; This, let alone, will all the rest confound.

? Hath held his current.] The folio poorly substitutes had.

$ What shrill-voic'd suppliant-] This is the reading of the quartos of 1608, 1615, and of the folio. The two earlier quartos have “ shrill coice suppliant,” which may be right, though more probably a misprint.

. And now chang'd to “ The Beggar and the King.”] This ballad has been already mentioned by Shakespeare in “Love's Labour's Lost," Vol. ii. pp. 297 and 320. The earliest known copy of it is dated 1612, (in R. Johnson's “ Crown Garland,” printed in that year,) but it was doubtless considerably older.


Duch. O king! believe not this hard-hearted man: Love, loving not itself, none other can. York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make

here? Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear? Duch. Sweet York, be patient. Hear me, gentle liege.

[Kneels. Boling. Rise up, good aunt. Duch.

Not yet, I thee beseech : For ever will I walk upon my knees'', And never see day that the happy sees, Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy, By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy. Aum. Unto my mother's prayers, I bend my knee.

[Kneels. York. Against them both, my true joints bended be.

[Kneels. [Ill may'st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!!]

Duch. Pleads he in earnest ? look upon his face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest ;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast :
He prays but faintly, and would be denied;

pray with heart, and soul, and all beside :
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow :
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then, let them have
That mercy which true prayers ought to have.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up?.



10 For ever will I walk upon my knees,] The folio substitutes kneel, but all the quarto editions have “walk," avoiding the tautology.

[Ill may’st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace !] This line, found in every quarto copy, and necessary for the rhyme, is omitted in the folios.

Good aunt, stand up.] Assigned in the first quarto to York, but corrected in old MS. in the copy belonging to the Duke of Devonshire. The error was not repeated in the later editions.


Nay, do not say-stand up; But, pardon first, and afterwards, stand up. An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach, Pardon should be the first word of thy speech. I never long’d to hear a word till now; Say—pardon, king; let pity teach thee how: The word is short, but not so short as sweet ; No word like pardon, for kings' mouths so meet.

York. Speak it in French, king : say, pardonnez


Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy ?
Ah! my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That set'st the word itself against the word !
Speak, pardon, as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there,
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up.

I do not sue to stand : Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.

Boling. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.

Duch. O, happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying pardon doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.

Boling. I pardon him with all my heart.

A god on earth thou art. Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law, and the

abbot With all the rest of that consorted crew,

3 - pardonnez moi.] That is, (as Johnson remarks,) excuse me ; a French phrase used when any thing is civilly denied.

• But for our trusty brother-in-law, and the abbot,] So the quartos : the folio reads "our trusty brother-in-law, the abbot.” The abbot of Westminster was not brother-in-law to the king, but the duke of Exeter, who had married the sister of Bolingbroke.

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