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The Tragedy of King Richard II by William Shakespeare [Craig, Oxford edition]

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WILLOUGHBY, ROSS; Officers behind, with BUSHY and GREEN,
prisoners.]

BOLINGBROKE.
Bring forth these men.
Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls--
Since presently your souls must part your bodies--
With too much urging your pernicious lives,
For 'twere no charity; yet, to wash your blood
From off my hands, here in the view of men
I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
You have misled a prince, a royal king,
A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
By you unhappied and disfigur'd clean;
You have in manner with your sinful hours
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
Broke the possession of a royal bed,
And stain'd the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
Near to the King in blood, and near in love
Till you did make him misinterpret me,
Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries,
And sigh'd my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment;
Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
Dispark'd my parks and felled my forest woods,
From my own windows torn my household coat,
Raz'd out my impress, leaving me no sign
Save men's opinions and my living blood
To show the world I am a gentleman.
This and much more, much more than twice all this,
Condemns you to the death. See them deliver'd over
To execution and the hand of death.

BUSHY.
More welcome is the stroke of death to me
Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.

GREEN.
My comfort is that heaven will take our souls,
And plague injustice with the pains of hell.

BOLINGBROKE.
My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatch'd.

[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, and Others, with BUSHY and GREEN.]

Uncle, you say the Queen is at your house;
For God's sake, fairly let her be entreated:
Tell her I send to her my kind commends;
Take special care my greetings be deliver'd.

YORK.
A gentleman of mine I have dispatch'd
With letters of your love to her at large.

BOLINGBROKE.
Thanks, gentle uncle. Come, lords, away,
To fight with Glendower and his complices.
Awhile to work, and after holiday.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. The coast of Wales. A castle in view.

[Flourish: drums and trumpets. Enter KING RICHARD, the BISHOP OF
CARLISLE, AUMERLE, and soldiers.]

KING RICHARD.
Barkloughly Castle call they this at hand?

AUMERLE.
Yea, my lord. How brooks your Grace the air
After your late tossing on the breaking seas?

KING RICHARD.
Needs must I like it well: I weep for joy
To stand upon my kingdom once again.
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
Though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs:
As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
So weeping-smiling greet I thee, my earth,
And do thee favours with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth,
Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense;
But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies;
And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords.
This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.

CARLISLE.
Fear not, my lord; that Power that made you king
Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
The means that heaven yields must be embrac'd
And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse,
The proffer'd means of succour and redress.

AUMERLE.
He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;
Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
Grows strong and great in substance and in friends.

KING RICHARD.
Discomfortable cousin! know'st thou not
That when the searching eye of heaven is hid,
Behind the globe, that lights the lower world,
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
In murders and in outrage boldly here;
But when from under this terrestrial ball
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
And darts his light through every guilty hole,
Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs,
Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
Who all this while hath revell'd in the night,
Whilst we were wandering with the Antipodes,
Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
Not able to endure the sight of day,
But self-affrighted tremble at his sin.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord.
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.

[Enter SALISBURY.]

Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?

SALISBURY.
Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
Than this weak arm: discomfort guides my tongue
And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
O! call back yesterday, bid time return,
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men!
To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late,
O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispers'd, and fled.

AUMERLE.
Comfort, my liege! why looks your Grace so pale?

KING RICHARD.
But now, the blood of twenty thousand men
Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
And till so much blood thither come again
Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
All souls that will be safe, fly from my side;
For time hath set a blot upon my pride.

AUMERLE.
Comfort, my liege! remember who you are.

KING RICHARD.
I had forgot myself. Am I not king?
Awake, thou coward majesty! thou sleepest.
Is not the king's name twenty thousand names?
Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes
At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
Ye favourites of a king; are we not high?
High be our thoughts. I know my uncle York
Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who comes here?

[Enter SIR STEPHEN SCROOP.]

SCROOP.
More health and happiness betide my liege
Than can my care-tun'd tongue deliver him!

KING RICHARD.
Mine ear is open and my heart prepar'd:
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, 'twas my care,
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be: if he serve God
We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so:
Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend;
They break their faith to God as well as us:
Cry woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.

SCROOP.
Glad am I that your highness is so arm'd
To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day
Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
As if the world were all dissolv'd to tears,
So high above his limits swells the rage
Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
White-beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy majesty; and boys, with women's voices,
Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown;
Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.

KING RICHARD.
Too well, too well thou tell'st a tale so ill.
Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? Where is Bagot?
What is become of Bushy? Where is Green?
That they have let the dangerous enemy
Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it.
I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.

SCROOP.
Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.

KING RICHARD.
O villains, vipers, damn'd without redemption!
Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man!
Snakes, in my heart-blood warm'd, that sting my heart!
Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
Would they make peace? Terrible hell make war
Upon their spotted souls for this offence!

SCROOP.
Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made
With heads, and not with hands: those whom you curse
Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound
And lie full low, grav'd in the hollow ground.

AUMERLE.
Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?

SCROOP.
Ay, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.

AUMERLE.
Where is the Duke my father with his power?

KING RICHARD.
No matter where. Of comfort no man speak:
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let's choose executors and talk of wills;
And yet not so--for what can we bequeath
Save our deposed bodies to the ground?
Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke's.
And nothing can we can our own but death,
And that small model of the barren earth
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
For God's sake let us sit upon the ground
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos'd,
Some poison'd by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murder'd: for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court; and there the antick sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear'd, and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit
As if this flesh which walls about our life
Were brass impregnable; and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell, king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty;
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me I am a king?

CARLISLE.
My lord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear and be slain; no worse can come to fight;
And fight and die is death destroying death;
Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.

AUMERLE.
My father hath a power; inquire of him,
And learn to make a body of a limb.

KING RICHARD.
Thou chid'st me well. Proud Bolingbroke, I come
To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
This ague fit of fear is over-blown;
An easy task it is to win our own.--
Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.

SCROOP.
Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state in inclination of the day;
So may you by my dull and heavy eye,
My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
I play the torturer, by small and small
To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken:
Your uncle York is join'd with Bolingbroke;
And all your northern castles yielded up,
And all your southern gentlemen in arms
Upon his party.

KING RICHARD.
Thou hast said enough.
[To AUMERLE.] Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
Of that sweet way I was in to despair!
What say you now? What comfort have we now?
By heaven, I'll hate him everlastingly
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go to Flint Castle; there I'll pine away;
A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
That power I have, discharge; and let them go
To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
For I have none. Let no man speak again
To alter this, for counsel is but vain.

AUMERLE.
My liege, one word.

KING RICHARD.
He does me double wrong
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers; let them hence away,
From Richard's night to Bolingbroke's fair day.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE III. Wales. Before Flint Castle.

[Enter, with drum and colours, BOLINGBROKE and Forces; YORK,
NORTHUMBERLAND, and Others.]

BOLINGBROKE.
So that by this intelligence we learn
The Welshmen are dispers'd; and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed
With some few private friends upon this coast.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
The news is very fair and good, my lord.
Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.

YORK.
It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
To say 'King Richard': alack the heavy day
When such a sacred king should hide his head!

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Your Grace mistakes; only to be brief,
Left I his title out.

YORK.
The time hath been,
Would you have been so brief with him, he would
Have been so brief with you to shorten you,
For taking so the head, your whole head's length.

BOLINGBROKE.
Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.

YORK.
Take not, good cousin, further than you should,
Lest you mistake. The heavens are o'er our heads.

BOLINGBROKE.
I know it, uncle; and oppose not myself
Against their will. But who comes here?

[Enter HENRY PERCY.]

Welcome, Harry: what, will not this castle yield?

PERCY.
The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
Against thy entrance.

BOLINGBROKE.
Royally!
Why, it contains no king?

PERCY.
Yes, my good lord,
It doth contain a king; King Richard lies
Within the limits of yon lime and stone;
And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
Sir Stephen Scroop, besides a clergyman
Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
O! belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.

BOLINGBROKE.
[To NORTHUMBERLAND.] Noble lord,
Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver:
Henry Bolingbroke
On both his knees doth kiss King Richard's hand,
And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
To his most royal person; hither come
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
Provided that my banishment repeal'd
And lands restor'd again be freely granted;
If not, I'll use the advantage of my power
And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood
Rain'd from the wounds of slaughtered Englishmen;
The which, how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
It is, such crimson tempest should bedrench
The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land,
My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
Go, signify as much, while here we march
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,
That from this castle's totter'd battlements
Our fair appointments may be well perus'd.
Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
With no less terror than the elements
Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water;
The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.

[A Parley sounded, and answered by a Trumpet within.
Flourish. Enter on the Walls, the KING, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE,
AUMERLE, SCROOP, and SALISBURY.]

HENRY PERCY.
See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
As doth the blushing discontented sun
From out the fiery portal of the east,
When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
To dim his glory and to stain the track
Of his bright passage to the occident.

YORK.
Yet he looks like a king: behold, his eye,
As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
Controlling majesty: alack, alack, for woe,
That any harm should stain so fair a show!

KING RICHARD.
[To NORTHUMBERLAND.] We are amaz'd; and thus long
have we stood
To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
Because we thought ourself thy lawful king;
And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
To pay their awful duty to our presence?
If we be not, show us the hand of God
That hath dismiss'd us from our stewardship;
For well we know no hand of blood and bone
Can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre,
Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
And though you think that all, as you have done,
Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
And we are barren and bereft of friends,
Yet know-my master, God omnipotent,
Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
That lift your vassal hands against my head
And threat the glory of my precious crown.
Tell Bolingbroke,--for yond methinks he stands,--
That every stride he makes upon my land
Is dangerous treason; he is come to open
The purple testament of bleeding war;
But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
Shall ill become the flower of England's face,
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew
Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
The King of Heaven forbid our lord the King
Should so with civil and uncivil arms
Be rush'd upon! Thy thrice noble cousin,
Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
And by the honourable tomb he swears
That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,
And by the royalties of both your bloods,
Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
And by the worth and honour of himself,
Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
His coming hither hath no further scope
Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg
Enfranchisement immediate on his knees;
Which on thy royal party granted once,
His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
His barbed steeds to stables, and his heart
To faithful service of your Majesty.
This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
And as I am a gentleman I credit him.

KING RICHARD.
Northumberland, say, thus the king returns:
His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
And all the number of his fair demands
Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction.
With all the gracious utterance thou hast
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.

[NORTHUMBERLAND retires to BOLINGBROKE.]

[To AUMERLE.] We do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not,
To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
Defiance to the traitor, and so die?

AUMERLE.
No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle words
Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.

KING RICHARD.
O God, O God! that e'er this tongue of mine
That laid the sentence of dread banishment
On yond proud man should take it off again
With words of sooth! O! that I were as great
As is my grief, or lesser than my name,
Or that I could forget what I have been,
Or not remember what I must be now.
Swell'st thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat,
Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.

AUMERLE.
Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.

KING RICHARD.
What must the King do now? Must he submit?
The king shall do it: must he be depos'd?
The king shall be contented: must he lose
The name of king? A God's name, let it go:
I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,
My figur'd goblets for a dish of wood,
My sceptre for a palmer's walking-staff,
My subjects for a pair of carved saints,
And my large kingdom for a little grave,
A little little grave, an obscure grave;
Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
Some way of common trade, where subjects' feet
May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;
For on my heart they tread now whilst I live;
And buried once, why not upon my head?
Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousin!
We'll make foul weather with despised tears;
Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn
And make a dearth in this revolting land.
Or shall we play the wantons with our woes
And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
As thus: to drop them still upon one place
Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
Within the earth; and, there inlaid: 'There lies
Two kinsmen digg'd their graves with weeping eyes.'
Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.
Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
What says King Bolingbroke? will his Majesty
Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
My lord, in the base court he doth attend
To speak with you; may it please you to come down?

KING RICHARD.
Down, down I come; like glist'ring Phaethon,
Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace.
In the base court? Come down? Down, court! down, king!
For night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.

[Exeunt from above.]

BOLINGBROKE.
What says his Majesty?

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Sorrow and grief of heart
Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man;
Yet he is come.

[Enter KING RICHARD, and his attendants.]

BOLINGBROKE.
Stand all apart,
And show fair duty to his Majesty.[Kneeling.]
My gracious lord,--

KING RICHARD.
Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
Me rather had my heart might feel your love
Than my unpleas'd eye see your courtesy.
Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
Thus high at least, although your knee be low.

BOLINGBROKE.
My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.

KING RICHARD.
Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.

BOLINGBROKE.
So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
As my true service shall deserve your love.

KING RICHARD.
Well you deserve: they well deserve to have
That know the strong'st and surest way to get.
Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes:
Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have, I'll give, and willing too;
For do we must what force will have us do.
Set on towards London. Cousin, is it so?

BOLINGBROKE.
Yea, my good lord.

KING RICHARD.
Then I must not say no.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]

SCENE IV. Langley. The DUKE OF YORK's garden.

[Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies.]

QUEEN.
What sport shall we devise here in this garden
To drive away the heavy thought of care?

LADY.
Madam, we'll play at bowls.

QUEEN.
'Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
And that my fortune runs against the bias.

LADY.
Madam, we'll dance.

QUEEN.
My legs can keep no measure in delight,
When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief:
Therefore no dancing, girl; some other sport.

LADY.
Madam, we'll tell tales.

QUEEN.
Of sorrow or of joy?

LADY.
Of either, madam.

QUEEN.
Of neither, girl:
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy;
For what I have I need not to repeat,
And what I want it boots not to complain.

LADY.
Madam, I'll sing.

QUEEN.
'Tis well' that thou hast cause;
But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou weep.

LADY.
I could weep, madam, would it do you good.

QUEEN.
And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
And never borrow any tear of thee.
But stay, here come the gardeners.
Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
They will talk of state, for every one doth so
Against a change: woe is forerun with woe.

[QUEEN and Ladies retire.]

[Enter a Gardener and two Servants.]

GARDENER.
Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
Which, like unruly children, make their sire
Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight:
Give some supportance to the bending twigs.
Go thou, and like an executioner
Cut off the heads of too fast growing sprays
That look too lofty in our commonwealth:
All must be even in our government.
You thus employ'd, I will go root away
The noisome weeds which without profit suck
The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.

SERVANT.
Why should we in the compass of a pale
Keep law and form and due proportion,
Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
Is full of weeds; her fairest flowers chok'd up,
Her fruit trees all unprun'd, her hedges ruin'd,
Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
Swarming with caterpillars?

GARDENER.
Hold thy peace.
He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring
Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf;
The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter,
That seem'd in eating him to hold him up,
Are pluck'd up root and all by Bolingbroke;
I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.

SERVANT.
What! are they dead?

GARDENER.
They are; and Bolingbroke
Hath seiz'd the wasteful King. O! what pity is it
That he had not so trimm'd and dress'd his land
As we this garden! We at time of year
Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
Lest, being over-proud in sap and blood,
With too much riches it confound itself:
Had he done so to great and growing men,
They might have liv'd to bear, and he to taste
Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches
We lop away, that bearing boughs may live:
Had he done so, himself had home the crown,
Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.

SERVANT.
What! think you the king shall be depos'd?

GARDENER.
Depress'd he is already, and depos'd
'Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night
To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's
That tell black tidings.

QUEEN.
O! I am press'd to death through want of speaking!

[Coming forward.]

Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden,
How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
To make a second fall of cursed man?
Why dost thou say King Richard is depos'd?
Dar'st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,
Cam'st thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch.

GARDENER.
Pardon me, madam: little joy have I
To breathe this news; yet what I say is true.
King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
Of Bolingbroke: their fortunes both are weigh'd.
In your lord's scale is nothing but himself,
And some few vanities that make him light;
But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
Besides himself, are all the English peers,
And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
Post you to London, and you will find it so;
I speak no more than every one doth know.

QUEEN.
Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
And am I last that knows it? O! thou thinkest
To serve me last, that I may longest keep
Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go,
To meet at London London's king in woe.
What was I born to this, that my sad look
Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?
Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,
Pray God the plants thou graft'st may never grow!

[Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies.]

GARDENER.
Poor Queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
Here did she fall a tear; here in this place
I'll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
Rue, even for ruth, here shortly shall be seen,
In the remembrance of a weeping queen.

[Exeunt.]

ACT 4

SCENE I. Westminster Hall.

[The Lords spiritual on the right side of the throne; the Lords
temporal on the left; the Commons below. Enter BOLINGBROKE,
AUMERLE, SURREY, NORTHUMBERLAND, HENRY PERCY, FITZWATER, another
Lord, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, the ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER, and
attendants. OFFICERS behind, with BAGOT.]

BOLINGBROKE.
Call forth Bagot.
Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind;
What thou dost know of noble Gloucester's death;
Who wrought it with the King, and who perform'd
The bloody office of his timeless end.

BAGOT.
Then set before my face the Lord Aumerle.

BOLINGBROKE.
Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.

BAGOT.
My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
Scorns to unsay what once it hath deliver'd.
In that dead time when Gloucester's death was plotted
I heard you say 'Is not my arm of length,
That reacheth from the restful English Court
As far as Calais, to mine uncle's head?'
Amongst much other talk that very time
I heard you say that you had rather refuse
The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
Than Bolingbroke's return to England;
Adding withal, how blest this land would be
In this your cousin's death.

AUMERLE.
Princes, and noble lords,
What answer shall I make to this base man?
Shall I so much dishonour my fair stars
On equal terms to give him chastisement?
Either I must, or have mine honour soil'd
With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
There is my gage, the manual seal of death
That marks thee out for hell: I say thou liest,
And will maintain what thou hast said is false
In thy heart-blood, through being all too base
To stain the temper of my knightly sword.

BOLINGBROKE.
Bagot, forbear; thou shalt not take it up.

AUMERLE.
Excepting one, I would he were the best
In all this presence that hath mov'd me so.

FITZWATER.
If that thy valour stand on sympathies,
There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine:
By that fair sun which shows me where thou stand'st,
I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak'st it,
That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester's death.
If thou deny'st it twenty times, thou liest;
And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
Where it was forged, with my rapier's point.

AUMERLE.
Thou darest not, coward, live to see that day.

FITZWATER.
Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.

AUMERLE.
Fitzwater, thou art damn'd to hell for this.

HENRY PERCY.
Aumerle, thou liest; his honour is as true
In this appeal as thou art an unjust;
And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
To prove it on thee to the extremest point
Of mortal breathing: seize it if thou dar'st.

AUMERLE.
And if I do not, may my hands rot off
And never brandish more revengeful steel
Over the glittering helmet of my foe!

ANOTHER LORD.
I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle;
And spur thee on with full as many lies
As may be halloa'd in thy treacherous ear
From sun to sun: there is my honour's pawn;
Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.

AUMERLE.
Who sets me else? By heaven, I'll throw at all:
I have a thousand spirits in one breast
To answer twenty thousand such as you.

SURREY.
My Lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
The very time Aumerle and you did talk.

FITZWATER.
'Tis very true: you were in presence then,
And you can witness with me this is true.

SURREY.
As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.

FITZWATER.
Surrey, thou liest.

SURREY.
Dishonourable boy!
That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword
That it shall render vengeance and revenge
Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
In earth as quiet as thy father's skull.
In proof whereof, there is my honour's pawn;
Engage it to the trial if thou dar'st.

FITZWATER.
How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live,
I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness,
And spit upon him, whilst I say he lies,
And lies, and lies: there is my bond of faith
To tie thee to my strong correction.
As I intend to thrive in this new world,
Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal:
Besides, I heard the banish'd Norfolk say
That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
To execute the noble duke at Calais.

AUMERLE.
Some honest Christian trust me with a gage.
That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
If he may be repeal'd to try his honour.

BOLINGBROKE.
These differences shall all rest under gage
Till Norfolk be repeal'd: repeal'd he shall be
And, though mine enemy, restor'd again
To all his lands and signories; when he is return'd,
Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.

CARLISLE.
That honourable day shall ne'er be seen.
Many a time hath banish'd Norfolk fought
For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
And, toil'd with works of war, retir'd himself
To Italy; and there, at Venice, gave
His body to that pleasant country's earth,
And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
Under whose colours he had fought so long.

BOLINGBROKE.
Why, Bishop, is Norfolk dead?

CARLISLE.
As surely as I live, my lord.

BOLINGBROKE.
Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
Your differences shall all rest under gage
Till we assign you to your days of trial

[Enter YORK, attended.]

YORK.
Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to the
From plume-pluck'd Richard; who with willing soul
Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields
To the possession of thy royal hand.
Ascend his throne, descending now from him;
And long live Henry, of that name the fourth!

BOLINGBROKE.
In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.

CARLISLE.
Marry, God forbid!
Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
Would God that any in this noble presence
Were enough noble to be upright judge
Of noble Richard! Then true noblesse would
Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
What subject can give sentence on his king?
And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?
Thieves are not judg'd but they are by to hear,
Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
And shall the figure of God's majesty,
His captain, steward, deputy elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
Be judg'd by subject and inferior breath,
And he himself not present? O! forfend it, God,
That in a Christian climate souls refin'd
Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
Stirr'd up by God, thus boldly for his king.
My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king;
And if you crown him, let me prophesy,
The blood of English shall manure the ground
And future ages groan for this foul act;
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny,
Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd
The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
O! if you raise this house against this house,
It will the woefullest division prove
That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child, child's children, cry against you 'woe!'

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Well have you argued, sir; and, for your pains,
Of capital treason we arrest you here.
My Lord of Westminster, be it your charge
To keep him safely till his day of trial.
May it please you, lords, to grant the commons' suit?

BOLINGBROKE.
Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
He may surrender; so we shall proceed
Without suspicion.

YORK.
I will be his conduct.

[Exit.]

BOLINGBROKE.
Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
Little are we beholding to your love,
And little look'd for at your helping hands.

[Re-enter YORK, with KING RICHARD, and OFFICERS
bearing the Crown, &c.]

KING RICHARD.
Alack! why am I sent for to a king
Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
Wherewith I reign'd? I hardly yet have learn'd
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
To this submission. Yet I well remember
The favours of these men: were they not mine?
Did they not sometime cry 'All hail!' to me?
So Judas did to Christ: but he, in twelve,
Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand, none.
God save the King! Will no man say, amen?
Am I both priest and clerk? Well then, amen.
God save the King! although I be not he;
And yet, amen, if heaven do think him me.
To do what service am I sent for hither?

YORK.
To do that office of thine own good will
Which tired majesty did make thee offer,
The resignation of thy state and crown
To Henry Bolingbroke.

KING RICHARD.
Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown.
Here, cousin,
On this side my hand, and on that side thine.
Now is this golden crown like a deep well
That owes two buckets, filling one another;
The emptier ever dancing in the air,
The other down, unseen, and full of water.
That bucket down and full of tears am I,
Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.

BOLINGBROKE.
I thought you had been willing to resign.

KING RICHARD.
My crown I am; but still my griefs are mine.
You may my glories and my state depose,
But not my griefs; still am I king of those.

BOLINGBROKE.
Part of your cares you give me with your crown.

KING RICHARD.
Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
My care is loss of care, by old care done;
Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
The cares I give I have, though given away;
They tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.

BOLINGBROKE.
Are you contented to resign the crown?

KING RICHARD.
Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be;
Therefore no no, for I resign to thee.
Now mark me how I will undo myself:
I give this heavy weight from off my head,
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my crown,
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous rites:
All pomp and majesty I do forswear;
My manors, rents, revenues, I forgo;
My acts, decrees, and statutes, I deny:
God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev'd,
And thou with all pleas'd, that hast an achiev'd!
Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit,
And soon lie Richard in an earthly pit!
God save King Henry, unking'd Richard says,
And send him many years of sunshine days!
What more remains?

NORTHUMBERLAND.
[Offering a paper.] No more, but that you read
These accusations, and these grievous crimes
Committed by your person and your followers
Against the state and profit of this land;
That, by confessing them, the souls of men
May deem that you are worthily depos'd.

KING RICHARD.
Must I do so? And must I ravel out
My weav'd-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
If thy offences were upon record,
Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop
To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
There shouldst thou find one heinous article,
Containing the deposing of a king
And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
Mark'd with a blot, damn'd in the book of heaven.
Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me
Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
Have here deliver'd me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
My lord, dispatch; read o'er these articles.

KING RICHARD.
Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see:
And yet salt water blinds them not so much
But they can see a sort of traitors here.
Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
I find myself a traitor with the rest;
For I have given here my soul's consent
T'undeck the pompous body of a king;
Made glory base, and sovereignty a slave,
Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
My lord,--

KING RICHARD.
No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
Nor no man's lord; I have no name, no title,
No, not that name was given me at the font,
But 'tis usurp'd: alack the heavy day!
That I have worn so many winters out,
And know not now what name to call myself!
O! that I were a mockery king of snow,
Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke
To melt myself away in water-drops!
Good king, great king,--and yet not greatly good,
An if my word be sterling yet in England,
Let it command a mirror hither straight,
That it may show me what a face I have,
Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.

BOLINGBROKE.
Go some of you and fetch a looking-glass.

[Exit an Attendant.]

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Read o'er this paper while the glass doth come.

KING RICHARD.
Fiend! thou torments me ere I come to hell.

BOLINGBROKE.
Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
The Commons will not then be satisfied.

KING RICHARD.
They shall be satisfied; I'll read enough,
When I do see the very book indeed
Where all my sins are writ, and that's myself.

[Re-enter Attendant, with glass.]

Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine
And made no deeper wounds? O flatt'ring glass!
Like to my followers in prosperity,
Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
That every day under his household roof
Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
That like the sun did make beholders wink?
Is this the face which fac'd so many follies
That was at last out-fac'd by Bolingbroke?
A brittle glory shineth in this face:
As brittle as the glory is the face;

[Dashes the glass against the ground.]

For there it is, crack'd in a hundred shivers.
Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport,
How soon my sorrow hath destroy'd my face.

BOLINGBROKE.
The shadow of your sorrow hath destroy'd
The shadow of your face.

KING RICHARD.
Say that again.
The shadow of my sorrow! Ha! let's see:
'Tis very true: my grief lies all within;
And these external manner of laments
Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
That swells with silence in the tortur'd soul.
There lies the substance: and I thank thee, king,
For thy great bounty, that not only givest
Me cause to wail, but teachest me the way
How to lament the cause. I'll beg one boon,
And then be gone and trouble you no more.
Shall I obtain it?

BOLINGBROKE.
Name it, fair cousin.

KING RICHARD.
'Fair cousin'! I am greater than a king;
For when I was a king, my flatterers
Were then but subjects; being now a subject,
I have a king here to my flatterer.
Being so great, I have no need to beg.

BOLINGBROKE.
Yet ask.

KING RICHARD.
And shall I have?

BOLINGBROKE.
You shall.

KING RICHARD.
Then give me leave to go.

BOLINGBROKE.
Whither?

KING RICHARD.
Whither you will, so I were from your sights.

BOLINGBROKE.
Go, some of you convey him to the Tower.

KING RICHARD.
O, good! convey? conveyers are you all,
That rise thus nimbly by a true king's fall.

[Exeunt KING RICHARD and Guard.]

BOLINGBROKE.
On Wednesday next we solemnly set down
Our coronation: lords, prepare yourselves.

[Exeunt all but the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, the ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER,
and AUMERLE.]

ABBOT.
A woeful pageant have we here beheld.

CARLISLE.
The woe's to come; the children yet unborn
Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.

AUMERLE.
You holy clergymen, is there no plot
To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?

ABBOT.
My lord,
Before I freely speak my mind herein,
You shall not only take the sacrament
To bury mine intents, but also to effect
Whatever I shall happen to devise.
I see your brows are full of discontent,
Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears:
Come home with me to supper; I will lay
A plot shall show us all a merry day.

[Exeunt.]

ACT 5

SCENE I. London. A street leading to the Tower.

[Enter the QUEEN and ladies.]

QUEEN.
This way the King will come; this is the way
To Julius Caesar's ill-erected tower,
To whose flint bosom my condemned lord
Is doom'd a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
Have any resting for her true King's queen.

[Enter KING RICHARD and Guard.]

But soft, but see, or rather do not see,
My fair rose wither; yet look up, behold,
That you in pity may dissolve to dew,
And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.
Ah! thou, the model where old Troy did stand;
Thou map of honour, thou King Richard's tomb,
And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn,
Why should hard-favour'd grief be lodg'd in thee,
When triumph is become an alehouse guest?

KING RICHARD.
Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
To make my end too sudden: learn, good soul,
To think our former state a happy dream;
From which awak'd, the truth of what we are
Shows us but this. I am sworn brother, sweet,
To grim Necessity; and he and
Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France,
And cloister thee in some religious house:
Our holy lives must win a new world's crown,
Which our profane hours here have thrown down.

QUEEN.
What! is my Richard both in shape and mind
Transform'd and weaken'd! Hath Bolingbroke depos'd
Thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
To be o'erpower'd; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
Take the correction mildly, kiss the rod,
And fawn on rage with base humility,
Which art a lion and the king of beasts?

KING RICHARD.
A king of beasts, indeed; if aught but beasts,
I had been still a happy king of men.
Good sometimes queen, prepare thee hence for France.
Think I am dead, and that even here thou tak'st,
As from my death-bed, thy last living leave.
In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire
With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages long ago betid;
And ere thou bid good night, to quit their griefs
Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
And send the hearers weeping to their beds;
For why, the senseless brands will sympathize
The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
And in compassion weep the fire out;
And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
For the deposing of a rightful king.

[Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, attended.]

NORTHUMBERLAND.
My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is chang'd;
You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.
And, madam, there is order ta'en for you:
With all swift speed you must away to France.

KING RICHARD.
Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
The time shall not be many hours of age
More than it is, ere foul sin gathering head
Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
Though he divide the realm and give thee half
It is too little, helping him to all;
And he shall think that thou, which know'st the way
To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
Being ne'er so little urg'd, another way
To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
The love of wicked men converts to fear;
That fear to hate; and hate turns one or both
To worthy danger and deserved death.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
Take leave, and part; for you must part forthwith.

KING RICHARD.
Doubly divorc'd! Bad men, ye violate
A twofold marriage; 'twixt my crown and me,
And then betwixt me and my married wife.
Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;
And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made.
Part us, Northumberland: I towards the north,
Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp,
She came adorned hither like sweet May,
Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day.

QUEEN.
And must we be divided? Must we part?

KING RICHARD.
Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.

QUEEN.
Banish us both, and send the king with me.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
That were some love, but little policy.

QUEEN.
Then whither he goes, thither let me go.

KING RICHARD.
So two, together weeping, make one woe.
Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
Better far off than near, be ne'er the near.
Go, count thy way with sighs; I mine with groans.

QUEEN.
So longest way shall have the longest moans.

KING RICHARD.
Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,
And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
Come, come, in wooing sorrow let's be brief,
Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part;
Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.

[They kiss.]

QUEEN.
Give me mine own again; 'twere no good part
To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.

[They kiss again.]

So, now I have mine own again, be gone.
That I may strive to kill it with a groan.

KING RICHARD.
We make woe wanton with this fond delay:
Once more, adieu; the rest let sorrow say.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. The same. A roomin the DUKE OF YORK's palace.

[Enter YORK and his DUCHESS.]

DUCHESS.
My Lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
When weeping made you break the story off,
Of our two cousins' coming into London.

YORK.
Where did I leave?

DUCHESS.
At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgoverned hands from windows' tops
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.

YORK.
Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee, Bolingbroke!'
You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage; and that all the walls
With painted imagery had said at once
'Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke!'
Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus, 'I thank you, countrymen:'
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

DUCHESS.
Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

YORK.
As in a theatre, the eyes of men
After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on Richard: no man cried 'God save him;'
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home;
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
But heaven hath a hand in these events,
To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
Whose state and honour I for aye allow.

DUCHESS.
Here comes my son Aumerle.

YORK.
Aumerle that was;
But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
And madam, you must call him Rutland now.
I am in Parliament pledge for his truth
And lasting fealty to the new-made king.

[Enter AUMERLE.]

DUCHESS.
Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?

AUMERLE.
Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
God knows I had as lief be none as one.

YORK.
Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime.
What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs?

AUMERLE.
For aught I know, my lord, they do.

YORK.
You will be there, I know.

AUMERLE.
If God prevent not, I purpose so.

YORK.
What seal is that that without thy bosom?
Yea, look'st thou pale? Let me see the writing.

AUMERLE.
My lord, 'tis nothing.

YORK.
No matter, then, who see it.
I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.

AUMERLE.
I do beseech your Grace to pardon me;
It is a matter of small consequence
Which for some reasons I would not have seen.

YORK.
Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear--

DUCHESS.
What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond that he is ent'red into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.

YORK.
Bound to himself! What doth he with a bond
That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.
Boy, let me see the writing.

AUMERLE.
I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.

YORK.
I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.

[Snatches it and reads.]

Treason, foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!

DUCHESS.
What is the matter, my lord?

YORK.
Ho! who is within there?

[Enter a Servant.]

Saddle my horse.
God for his mercy! what treachery is here!

DUCHESS.
Why, what is it, my lord?

YORK.
Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.
Now, by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
I will appeach the villain.

[Exit Servant.]

DUCHESS.
What is the matter?

YORK.
Peace, foolish woman.

DUCHESS.
I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle?

AUMERLE.
Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.

DUCHESS.
Thy life answer!

YORK.
Bring me my boots. I will unto the King.

[Re-enter Servant with boots.]

DUCHESS.
Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amaz'd.
[To Servant.]
Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.

[Exit Servant.]

YORK.
Give me my boots, I say.

DUCHESS.
Why, York, what wilt thou do?
Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
Have we more sons? or are we like to have?
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age
And rob me of a happy mother's name?
Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?

YORK.
Thou fond mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,
And interchangeably set down their hands
To kill the King at Oxford.

DUCHESS.
He shall be none;
We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?

YORK.
Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son
I would appeach him.

DUCHESS.
Hadst thou groan'd for him
As I have done, thou'dst be more pitiful.
But now I know thy mind: thou dost suspect
That I have been disloyal to thy bed
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind.
He is as like thee as a man may be
Not like to me, or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.

YORK.
Make way, unruly woman!

[Exit.]

DUCHESS.
After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse;
Spur post, and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I'll not be long behind; though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
And never will I rise up from the ground
Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away! be gone.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE III. Windsor. A room in the Castle.

[Enter BOLINGBROKE as King, HENRY PERCY, and other LORDS.]

BOLINGBROKE.
Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son?
'Tis full three months since I did see him last.
If any plague hang over us, 'tis he.
I would to God, my lords, he might be found.
Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there,
For there, they say, he daily doth frequent
With unrestrained loose companions,
Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes
And beat our watch and rob our passengers;
Which 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 prince,
And told him of those triumphs held at Oxford.

BOLINGBROKE.
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.

BOLINGBROKE.
As dissolute as desperate; yet through both
I see some sparks of better hope, which elder years
May happily bring forth. But who comes here?

[Enter AUMERLE.]

AUMERLE.
Where is the King?

BOLINGBROKE.
What means our cousin that he stares and looks
So wildly?

AUMERLE.
God save your Grace! I do beseech your majesty,
To have some conference with your Grace alone.

BOLINGBROKE.
Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.

[Exeunt HENRY PERCY and LORDS.]

What is the matter with our cousin now?

AUMERLE.
[Kneels.] For ever may my knees grow to the earth,
My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.

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

AUMERLE.
Then give me leave that I may turn the key,
That no man enter till my tale be done.

BOLINGBROKE.
Have thy desire.

[AUMERLE locks the door.]

YORK.
[Within.] My liege, beware! look to thyself;
Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.

BOLINGBROKE.
[Drawing.] Villain, I'll make thee safe.

AUMERLE.
Stay thy revengeful hand; thou hast no cause to fear.

YORK.
[Within.] Open the door, secure, foolhardy king:
Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face?
Open the door, or I will break it open.

[BOLINGBROKE unlocks the door; and afterwards, relocks it.]

[Enter YORK.]

BOLINGBROKE.
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.

AUMERLE.
Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise pass'd:
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.

BOLINGBROKE.
O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!
O 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.

DUCHESS.
[Within.] What ho! my liege, for God's sake, let me in.

BOLINGBROKE.
What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this eager cry?

DUCHESS.
[Within.] 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.

BOLINGBROKE.
Our scene is alter'd from a serious thing,
And now chang'd to 'The Beggar and the King.'
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.

[Enter DUCHESS.]

DUCHESS.
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?

DUCHESS.
Sweet York, be patient. [Kneels.] Hear me, gentle liege.

BOLINGBROKE.
Rise up, good aunt.

DUCHESS.
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.

AUMERLE.
Unto my mother's prayers I bend my knee.

[Kneels.]

YORK.
Against them both, my true joints bended be.

[Kneels.]

Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!

DUCHESS.
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;
We pray with heart and soul, and all beside:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees still 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 prayer ought to have.

BOLINGBROKE.
Good aunt, stand up.

DUCHESS.
Nay, do not say 'stand up';
Say '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 'pardonne moy.'

DUCHESS.
Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah! my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,,
That sett'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.

BOLINGBROKE.
Good aunt, stand up.

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

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

DUCHESS.
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.

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