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Richard II Act 1
Enter King Richard, John of Gaunt, with other Nobles
Old John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster,
Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
Brought hither Henry Hereford, thy bold son,
Here to make good the boist’rous late appeal,
Which then our leisure would not let us hear, 5
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
GAUNT I have, my liege.
Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him
If he appeal the Duke on ancient malice
Or worthily, as a good subject should, 10
On some known ground of treachery in him?
As near as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him
Aimed at your Highness, no inveterate malice.
Then call them to our presence. 15
An Attendant exits.
Face to face
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and the accusèd freely speak.
High stomached are they both and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. 20
Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray.
Many years of happy days befall
My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege.
Each day still better other’s happiness
Until the heavens, envying earth’s good hap,
Add an immortal title to your crown. 25
We thank you both. Yet one but flatters us,
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? 30
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 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, 40
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.
Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal :
'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamor of two evil 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 hushed and naught at all to say. 55
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 returned
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood’s royalty, 60
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 afoot 65
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps
Or any other ground inhabitable
Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
Meantime let this defend my loyalty:
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie. 70
BOLINGBROKE, throwing down a gage
Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of the King,
And lay aside my high blood’s royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
If guilty dread have left thee so much strength 75
As to take up mine honor’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 canst worse devise.
MOWBRAY, picking up the gage
I take it up, and by that sword I swear 80
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. 85
What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray’s charge?
It must be great that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Look what I speak, my life shall prove it true:
That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles 90
In name of lendings for your Highness’ soldiers,
The which he hath detained for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,
Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge 95
That ever was surveyed by English eye,
That all the treasons for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrivèd 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 Gloucester’s death,
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
And consequently, like a traitor coward, 105
Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel’s, cries
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth
To me for justice and rough chastisement. 110
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
How high a pitch his resolution soars!—
Thomas of Norfolk, what sayst thou to this?
O, let my sovereign turn away his face 115
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.
Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom’s heir, 120
As he is but my father’s brother’s son,
Now by my scepter’s awe I make a vow:
Such neighbor nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul. 125
He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou.
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
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 130
Disbursed I duly to his Highness’ soldiers;
The other part reserved 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. 135
Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester’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 honorable father to my foe, 140
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grievèd soul.
But ere I last received the sacrament,
I did confess it and exactly begged
Your Grace’s pardon, and I hope I had it.— 145
This is my fault. As for the rest appealed,
It issues from the rancor of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor,
Which in myself I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurl down my gage 150
Upon this overweening traitor’s foot,
He throws down a gage.
To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
Even in the best blood chambered in his bosom;
In haste whereof most heartily I pray
Your Highness to assign our trial day. 155
Bolingbroke picks up the gage.
Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
Let’s purge this choler without letting blood.
This we prescribe, though no physician.
Deep malice makes too deep incision.
Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed. 160
Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.—
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We’ll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
To be a make-peace shall become my age.—
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk’s gage. 165
And, Norfolk, throw down his.
GAUNT When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.
Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.
Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot. 170
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame.
The one my duty owes, but my fair name,
Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
To dark dishonor’s use thou shalt not have.
I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled here, 175
Pierced to the soul with slander’s venomed spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breathed this poison.
KING RICHARD Rage must be withstood.
Give me his gage. Lions make leopards tame. 180
Yea, but not change his 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. 185
A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honor is my life; both grow in one.
Take honor from me and my life is done.
Then, dear my liege, mine honor let me try. 190
In that I live, and for that will I die.
KING RICHARD, to Bolingbroke
Cousin, throw up your gage. Do you begin.
O, God defend my soul from such deep sin!
Shall I seem crestfallen in my father’s sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height 195
Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound my honor 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, 200
Where shame doth harbor, even in Mowbray’s face.
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. 205
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate.
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor’s chivalry.—
Lord Marshal, command our officers-at-arms 210
Be ready to direct these home alarms.
Enter John of Gaunt with the Duchess of Gloucester.
Alas, the part I had in Woodstock’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, 5
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven,
Who, when they see the hours ripe on Earth,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders’ heads.
Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire? 10
Edward’s seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
Were as seven vials 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. 15
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
One vial full of Edward’s sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
Is cracked and all the precious liquor spilt,
Is hacked down, and his summer leaves all faded, 20
By envy’s hand and murder’s bloody ax.
Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! That bed, that
That metal, that self mold that fashioned thee
Made him a man; and though thou livest and 25
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. 30
Call it not patience, Gaunt. It is despair.
In suff’ring thus thy brother to be slaughtered,
Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
That which in mean men we entitle patience 35
Is pale, cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to venge my Gloucester’s death.
God’s is the quarrel; for God’s substitute,
His deputy anointed in His sight, 40
Hath caused his death, the which if wrongfully
Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
An angry arm against His minister.
Where, then, alas, may I complain myself?
To God, the widow’s champion and defense. 45
Why then I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou goest 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! 50
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! 55
Farewell, old Gaunt. Thy sometime brother’s wife
With her companion, grief, must end her life.
Sister, farewell. I must to Coventry.
As much good stay with thee as go with me.
Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where it falls, 60
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 thy brother, Edmund York.
Lo, this is all. Nay, yet depart not so! 65
Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
I shall remember more. Bid him—ah, what?—
With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old York there see
But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls, 70
Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
Therefore commend me; let him not come there
To seek out sorrow that dwells everywhere.
Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die. 75
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
Enter Lord Marshal and the Duke of Aumerle.
My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford armed?
Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
Stays but the summons of the appellant’s trumpet.
Why then, the champions are prepared and stay 5
For nothing but his Majesty’s approach.
The trumpets sound and the King enters with his Nobles
and Officers; when they are set, enter Mowbray, the
Duke of Norfolk in arms, defendant, with a Herald.
Marshal, demand of yonder champion
The cause of his arrival here in arms,
Ask him his name, and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause. 10
MARSHAL, to Mowbray
In God’s name and the King’s, say who thou art
And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms,
Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quarrel.
Speak truly on thy knighthood and thy oath,
As so defend thee heaven and thy valor. 15
My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
Who hither come engagèd by my oath—
Which God defend a knight should violate!—
Both to defend my loyalty and truth
To God, my king, and my succeeding issue, 20
Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me,
And by the grace of God and this mine arm
To prove him, in defending of myself,
A traitor to my God, my king, and me;
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven. 25
The trumpets sound. Enter Bolingbroke, Duke of
Hereford, appellant, in armor, with a Herald.
KING RICHARD Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms
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. 30
MARSHAL, to Bolingbroke
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 quarrel?
Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven.
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby 35
Am I, who ready here do stand in arms
To prove, by God’s grace and my body’s valor,
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
That he is a traitor foul and dangerous
To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me. 40
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven.
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. 45
Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign’s hand
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 50
And loving farewell of our several friends.
MARSHAL, to King Richard
The appellant in all duty greets your Highness
And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
KING RICHARD, coming down
We will descend and fold him in our arms.
He embraces Bolingbroke.
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right, 55
So be thy fortune in this royal fight.
Farewell, my blood—which, if today thou shed,
Lament we may but not revenge thee dead.
O, let no noble eye profane a tear
For me if I be gored with Mowbray’s spear. 60
As confident as is the falcon’s flight
Against a bird do I with Mowbray fight.
My loving lord, I take my leave of you.—
Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
Not sick, although I have to do with death, 65
But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.—
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet.
O, thou the earthly author of my blood,
Whose youthful spirit in me regenerate 70
Doth with a twofold vigor lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,
Add proof unto mine armor with thy prayers,
And with thy blessings steel my lance’s point
That it may enter Mowbray’s waxen coat 75
And furbish new the name of John o’ Gaunt,
Even in the lusty havior of his son.
God in thy good cause make thee prosperous.
Be swift like lightning in the execution,
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled, 80
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy.
Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
Mine innocence and Saint George to thrive!
However God or fortune cast my lot, 85
There lives or dies, true to King Richard’s throne,
A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
Never did captive with a freer heart
Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
His golden uncontrolled enfranchisement 90
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 95
Go I to fight. Truth hath a quiet breast.
Farewell, my lord. Securely I espy
Virtue with valor couchèd in thine eye.—
Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, 100
Receive thy lance; and God defend the right.
He presents a lance to Bolingbroke.
Strong as a tower in hope, I cry “Amen!”
MARSHAL, to an Officer
Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
An Officer presents a lance to Mowbray.
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, 105
On pain to be found false and recreant,
To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
A traitor to his God, his king, and him,
And dares him to set forward to the fight.
Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, 110
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 115
Attending but the signal to begin.
Sound, trumpets, and set forward, combatants.
Trumpets sound. Richard throws down his warder.
Stay! The King hath thrown his warder down.
Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
And both return back to their chairs again. 120
To his council. Withdraw with us, and let the
While we return these dukes what we decree.
Trumpets sound while Richard consults with Gaunt
and other Nobles.
To Bolingbroke and Mowbray. Draw near,
And list what with our council we have done. 125
For that our kingdom’s earth should not be soiled
With that dear blood which it hath fosterèd;
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of civil wounds plowed up with neighbor’s sword;
And for we think the eagle-wingèd pride 130
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set on you
To wake our peace, which in our country’s cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,
Which, so roused up with boist’rous untuned 135
With harsh resounding trumpets’ dreadful bray,
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
And make us wade even in our kindred’s blood: 140
Therefore we banish you our territories.
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
Till twice five summers have enriched our fields
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment. 145
Your will be done. This must my comfort be:
That sun that warms you here shall shine on me,
And those his golden beams to you here lent
Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom, 150
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
The sly, 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. 155
A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlooked-for from your Highness’ mouth.
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deservèd at your Highness’ hands. 160
The language I have learnt these forty years,
My native English, now I must forgo;
And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
Than an unstringèd viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cased up, 165
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
Doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips,
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance 170
Is made my jailor to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now.
What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native 175
It boots thee not to be compassionate.
After our sentence plaining comes too late.
Then thus I turn me from my country’s light,
To dwell in solemn shades of endless night. 180
He begins to exit.
Return again, and take an oath with thee.
To Mowbray and Bolingbroke. Lay on our royal
sword your banished hands.
They place their right hands on the hilts of
Swear by the duty that you owe to God—
Our part therein we banish with yourselves— 185
To keep the oath that we administer:
You never shall, so help you truth and God,
Embrace each other’s love in banishment,
Nor never look upon each other’s face,
Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile 190
This louring tempest of your homebred hate,
Nor never by advisèd purpose meet
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
’Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
BOLINGBROKE I swear. 195
MOWBRAY And I, to keep all this.
They step back.
Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:
By this time, had the King permitted us,
One of our souls had wandered in the air,
Banished this frail sepulcher of our flesh, 200
As now our flesh is banished 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.
No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor, 205
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banished as from hence.
But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know,
And all too soon, I fear, the King shall rue.—
Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray; 210
Save back to England, all the world’s my way.
KING RICHARD, to Gaunt
Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grievèd heart. Thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banished years
Plucked four away. To Bolingbroke. Six frozen 215
Return with welcome home from banishment.
How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word; such is the breath of kings. 220
I thank my liege that in regard of me
He shortens four years of my son’s exile.
But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
For, ere the six years that he hath to spend
Can change their moons and bring their times 225
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. 230
Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
But not a minute, king, that thou canst give.
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow.
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age, 235
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage.
Thy word is current with him for my death,
But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
Thy son is banished upon good advice,
Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave. 240
Why at our justice seem’st thou then to lour?
Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
You urged me 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, 245
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild.
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroyed.
Alas, I looked when some of you should say
I was too strict, to make mine own away. 250
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
Against my will to do myself this wrong.
KING RICHARD, to Bolingbroke
Cousin, farewell.—And, uncle, bid him so.
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
Flourish. King Richard exits with his Attendants.
AUMERLE, to Bolingbroke
Cousin, farewell. What presence must not know, 255
From where you do remain let paper show.
MARSHAL, to Bolingbroke
My lord, no leave take I, for I will ride,
As far as land will let me, by your side.
GAUNT, to Bolingbroke
O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
That thou returnest no greeting to thy friends? 260
I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue’s office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant dolor of the heart.
Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
Joy absent, grief is present for that time. 265
What is six winters? They are quickly gone.
To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure.
My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
Which finds it an enforcèd pilgrimage. 270
The sullen passage of thy weary steps
Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
The precious jewel of thy home return.
Nay, rather every tedious stride I make
Will but remember me what a deal of world 275
I wander from the jewels that I love.
Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
To foreign passages, and in the end,
Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
But that I was a journeyman to grief? 280
All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not the King did banish thee, 285
But thou the King. Woe doth the heavier sit
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honor,
And not the King exiled thee; or suppose
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air 290
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lie that way thou goest, not whence thou com’st.
Suppose the singing birds musicians,
The grass whereon thou tread’st the presence 295
The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
Than a delightful measure or a dance;
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it and sets it light. 300
O, who can hold a fire in his hand
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
By bare imagination of a feast?
Or wallow naked in December snow 305
By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
O no, the apprehension of the good
Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
Fell sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more
Than when he bites but lanceth not the sore. 310
Come, come, my son, I’ll bring thee on thy way.
Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
Then, England’s ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu,
My mother and my nurse that bears me yet.
Where’er I wander, boast of this I can, 315
Though banished, yet a trueborn Englishman.
Enter the King with Green and Bagot, at one door,
and the Lord Aumerle at another.
KING RICHARD We did observe.—Cousin Aumerle,
How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
But to the next highway, and there I left him.
And say, what store of parting tears were shed? 5
Faith, none for me, except the northeast wind,
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Awaked the sleeping rheum and so by chance
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
What said our cousin when you parted with him? 10
And, for my heart disdainèd that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief
That words seemed buried in my sorrow’s grave. 15
Marry, would the word “farewell” have lengthened
And added years to his short banishment,
He should have had a volume of farewells.
But since it would not, he had none of me. 20
He is our cousin, cousin, but ’tis doubt,
When time shall call him home from banishment,
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here and Green,
Observed his courtship to the common people, 25
How he did seem to dive into their hearts
With humble and familiar courtesy,
What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
And patient underbearing of his fortune, 30
As ’twere to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oysterwench;
A brace of draymen bid God speed him well
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With “Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends,” 35
As were our England in reversion his
And he our subjects’ next degree in hope.
Well, he is gone, and with him go these thoughts.
Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
Expedient manage must be made, my liege, 40
Ere further leisure yield them further means
For their advantage and your Highness’ loss.
We will ourself in person to this war.
And, for our coffers, with too great a court
And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light, 45
We are enforced to farm our royal realm,
The revenue whereof shall furnish us
For our affairs in hand. If that come short,
Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters,
Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich, 50
They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold
And send them after to supply our wants,
For we will make for Ireland presently.
Bushy, what news?
Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord, 55
Suddenly taken, and hath sent posthaste
To entreat your Majesty to visit him.
KING RICHARD Where lies he?
BUSHY At Ely House.
Now put it, God, in the physician’s mind 60
To help him to his grave immediately!
The lining of his coffers shall make coats
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
Come, gentlemen, let’s all go visit him.
Pray God we may make haste and come too late. 65