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SCENE I.

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ACT I.

London. A Room in the Palace.

Enter KING RICHARD, attended: JOHN OF GAUNT, and other Nobles, with him.

K. Rich. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,

Hast thou, according to thy oath and band', Brought hither Henry Hereford, thy bold son; Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ? Gaunt. I have, my liege.

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

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As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ?
Boling. First, (heaven be the record to my
speech!)

In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak,
My body sha I make good upon this earth,

Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant;
Too good to be so, and too bad to live:
Since, the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat;
And wish, (so please my sovereign,) ere I move,
What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword may

prove.

Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal : "Tis not the trial of a woman's war,

The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain:
The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this,
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast,
As to be hush'd, and nought at all to say:
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech :
Which else would post, until it had return'd
These terms of treason doubled down his throat,
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;

Call him a slanderous coward, and a villain :
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds,
And meet him, were I tied to run a-foot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable 2,
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Mean time, let this defend my loyalty, -
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Boling. Pale trembling coward, there I throw
my gage,

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 rights 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 laid 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!

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Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Now by my scepter's awe I make 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.

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,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case. —
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay in 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 overweening traitor's foot,

K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's To prove myself a loyal gentleman

charge?

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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

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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.

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 mine honour with such feeble wrong, Or sound 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. [Erit GAUNT. K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to command: 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 4 you, we shall see Justice design the victor's chivalry. Marshal command our officers at arms Be ready to direct these home-alarms.

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[Exeunt.

SCENE II. The same. A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's Palace.

Enter GAUNT and DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.
Gaunt. Alas! the part 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 spur?
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 ;

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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; and though thou liv'st,

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
substitute,

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 defence.

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, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford ! Farewell, old Gaunt; thy sometimes 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 more ; — 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 seemeth done.
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York.
Lo, this is all: - Nay, yet depart not so:
Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
I shall remember more. Bid him-O, what?-
With all good speed at Plashy 6 visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old York 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.
[Exeunt.
SCENE III.- Gosford Green, near Coventry.
Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, &c. attending.

Enter the Lord Marshal, and AUMERLE.
Mar. My lord Aumerle, 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 and
stay

For nothing but his majesty's approach.

6 Her house in Essex.

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