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SCENE 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
On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will
The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :--
[Exeunt some Attendunts.
High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
Boling. May many years of happy days befall My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege! Nor. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!
K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but
As well appeareth by the cause you come; Namely, to appeal each other of high trea
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
Boling. First, (heaven be the record of my In the devotion of a subject's love, [speech!) 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 shall 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;
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my
"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 fairference of your highness curbs
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*
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
Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength,
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop:
By that, and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou can'st worst de-
Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood,*
How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Now by my sceptre's awe I make a vow,
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul;
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou;
Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow.
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy
Through the false passage of thy throat, thou
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
I slew him not; but to my own disgrace,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case,-
ex-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,t
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,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom:
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I
Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoul-
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mow-
It must be great, that can inheritt us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall
prove it true;-
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers;
The which he hath detain'd for lewd; employ-
Like a false traitor, and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,-
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge'
That ever was survey'd by English eye,-
That all the treasons, for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and
Further I say, and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to make all this good,-
That he did plot the Duke of Gloster's death;
Suggests his soon-believing adversaries;
And, consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
To me, for justice, and rough chastisement;
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
Uninhabitable. † Possess. Wicked. Prompt.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd
Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
Deep malice makes too deep incision:
This we prescribe though no physician;
Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed;
Our doctors say, this is no time to bleed.-
Good uncle, let this end where it begun ;
We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you your son.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my
Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
Obedience bids, I should not bid again.
Gaunt. When, Harry? when?
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid;
there is no boot.§
Nor. Myself, I throw, dread sovereign, at
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame;
(Despite of death, that lives upon my grave,)
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here;
The which no balm can cure, but his heart-
Which breath'd this poison.
* Reproach to his ancestry. + Charge.
K. Rich. Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage:-Lions make leopards tame.
Nor. Yea, but not change their spots: take
but my shame,
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford,
Is-spotless reputation; that away,
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
Is-a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done:
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live, and for that will I die.
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 out-dar'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 [Exit 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* you, we shall see
Justice designt the victor's chivalry.-
Marshal, command our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home-alarms.
Some of those branches by the destinies cut: But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloster,
One phial full of Edward's sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most royal root,-
Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed,
That mettle, that self-mould, that fashion'd
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st, and
Yet art thou slain in him: Thou dost consent*
In some large measure to thy father's death,
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair:
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That which in mean men we entitle-patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is-to 'venge my Gloster's death.
Gaunt. Heaven's is the quarrel; for heaven's
His deputy anointed in his sight, [fully
Hath caus'd his death: the which if wrong-
Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain
Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and defence.
Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's
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
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
A caitiff recreant; to my cousin Hereford!
Farewell, old Gaunt; thy sometime brother's
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
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-, what?-
Alack, and what shall good old York there see,
With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
But empty lodgings and unfurnish'd walls,
Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
And what cheer there for welcome, but my
Therefore commend me; let him not come
Desolate, desolate, will I hence, and die;
To seek out sorrow that dwells every where:
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
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 Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumbold, [pet. Aum. Why then, the champions are prepar'd, For nothing but his majesty's approach. and staf
Flourish of Trumpets.-Enter King RICHARD, | My loving lord, [To Lord MARSHAL.] I take who takes his seat on his throne; GAUNT, and several Noblemen, who take their places. A Trumpet is sounded, and answered by another Trumpet within. Then enter NORFOLK in armour, preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder cham-
The cause of his arrival here in arms:
Ask him his name; and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause.
Mar. In God's name, and the king's, say who
And why thou com'st, thus knightly clad in
Against what man thou com'st, and what thy
Speak truly, on thy knighthood, and thy oath;
And so defend thee heaven, and thy valour!
Nor. My name is Thomas Mowbray, duke of
Of you, my noble cousin, lord Aumerle:-
Not, sick, although I have to do with death;
But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
The dantiest last, to make the end most sweet:
O thou, the earthly author of my blood,-
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up
Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
To reach at victory above my head,--
Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers;
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
And furbisht new the name of John of Gaunt,
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen* coat,
Even in the lusty 'haviour of his son.
Gaunt. Heaven in thy good cause make thee
Who hither come engaged by my oath,
(Which, heaven defend, a knight should vio-Be swift like lightning in the execution;
Both to defend my loyalty and truth, [late!) Fall like amazing thunder on the casquet
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,
Against the duke of Hereford that appeals me; Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
And, by the grace of God, and this mine arm,
To prove him, in defending of himself,
Boling. Mine innocency, and Saint George
A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
[He takes his seat.
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
Nor. [Rising] However heaven, or fortune,
[He takes his seat.
cast my lot,
There lives or dies, true to king Richard's
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman:
Never did captive with a freer heart
Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace
His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement,
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
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,
Trumpet sounds.-Enter BOLINGBROKE, in armour; preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. Marshal, ask yonder knight in
Both who he is, and why he cometh hither
Thus plated in habiliments of war;
And formally according to our law
Depose him in the justice of his cause.
Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore
com'st thou hither,
Before King Richard, in his royal lists?
Against whom comest thou; and what's thy
Speak like a true knight, so defend thee hea-
Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
To prove, by heaven's grace, and my body's
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 sove-
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
And craves to kiss your hand, and take his
K. Rich. We will descend, and fold him in
Go I to fight; Truth hath a quiet breast.
K. Rich. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.-
[The KING and the Lords return to their seats.
Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!
Boling. [Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope.
Mur. Go bear this lance [To an Officer.] to
Thomas duke of Norfolk.
1 Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and
Stands here for God, his sovereign, and him-
On pain to be found false and recreant,
To prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mow.
A traitor to his God, his king, and him,
And dares him to set forward to the fight.
2 Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray,
duke of Norfolk,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself, and to approve
Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby;
To God, his sovereign, and to him, disloyal;
Courageously, and with a free desire,
Attending but the signal to begin.
Mar. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants. [A Charge sounded. Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down. K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and And both return back to their chairs again:— Withdraw with us:-and let the trumpets sound,
While we return these dukes what we de- |
[A long flourish.
[To the Combatants.
And list, what with our council we have done.
For that our kingdom's earth should not be
With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
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
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;]
Which so rous'd up with boisterous untun'd
With harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace,
And make us wade even in our kindred's
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 trai-
My name be blotted from the book of life, [tor,
And I from heaven banish'd, as from hence!
But what thou art, heaven, thou, and I do
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.—
Farewell, my liege :-Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world's my way.
Therefore, we banish you our territories:-
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of death,
Till twice five summers have enrich'd our
Shall not regreet our fair dominions, [fields,
K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine
But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
Boling. Your will be done: This must my I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect [eyes
Hath from the number of his banish'd years
Pluck'd four away;-Six frozen winters spent,
That sun, that warms you here, shall shine on
And those his golden beams, to you here lent, Return [To BOLING.] with welcome home from
Shall point on me, and gild my banishment.
K. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
The fly-slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exile ;-
The hopeless word of-never to return
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
Nor. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign
And all unlook'd for from your highness'
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 enjail'd my tongue,
Doubly portcullis'd,t with my teeth and lips;
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
Is made my jailer 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
Which robs my tongue from breathing native
K. Rich. It boots thee not to be compas-
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.
K. Rich. Return again, and take an oath
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!)
Boling. How long a time lies in one little
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
He shortens four years of my son's exile: [me,
But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
For, ere the six years that he hath to spend,
Can change their moons, and bring their times
My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light,
Shall be extinct with age, and endless night;
My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
And blindfold death not let me see my son.
K. Rich. Why, uncle, thou has many years
Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a
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
Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave;
Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lower?
Gaunt. Things sweet to taste, prove in di-
You urg'd ine as a judge: but I had rather,
You would have bid me argue like a father :-
O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
To smooth his fault I should have been more
A partial slanders sought I to avoid, [mild:
And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
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
* Concerted. + Consideration. Had a part or share. Reproach of partiality.