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



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.


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.


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.


KING RICHARD. And shall I have?


KING RICHARD. Then give me leave to go.


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.


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.



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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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


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.

BOLINGBROKE. With all my heart I pardon him.

DUCHESS. A god on earth thou art.

BOLINGBROKE. But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot, With all the rest of that consorted crew, Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels. Good uncle, help to order several powers To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are: They shall not live within this world, I swear, But I will have them, if I once know where. Uncle, farewell: and, cousin, adieu: Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.

DUCHESS. Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.


SCENE IV. Another room in the Castle.

[Enter EXTON and a Servant.]

EXTON. Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake? 'Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?' Was it not so?

SERVANT. These were his very words.

EXTON. 'Have I no friend?' quoth he: he spake it twice And urg'd it twice together, did he not?

SERVANT. He did.

EXTON. And, speaking it, he wistly looked on me, As who should say 'I would thou wert the man That would divorce this terror from my heart'; Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go. I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.


SCENE V. Pomfret. The dungeon of the Castle.


KING RICHARD. I have been studying how I may compare This prison where I live unto the world And for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it; yet I'll hammer it out. My brain I'll prove the female to my soul; My soul the father: and these two beget A generation of still-breeding thoughts, And these same thoughts people this little world, In humours like the people of this world, For no thought is contented. The better sort, As thoughts of things divine, are intermix'd With scruples, and do set the word itself Against the word: As thus: 'Come, little ones'; and then again, 'It is as hard to come as for a camel To thread the postern of a needle's eye.' Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot Unlikely wonders; how these vain weak nails May tear a passage through the flinty ribs Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls; And, for they cannot, die in their own pride. Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves That they are not the first of fortune's slaves, Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars Who sitting in the stocks refuge their shame, That many have and others must sit there: And in this thought they find a kind of ease, Bearing their own misfortunes on the back Of such as have before endur'd the like. Thus play I in one person many people, And none contented: sometimes am I king; Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar, And so I am: then crushing penury Persuades me I was better when a king; Then am I king'd again; and by and by Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke, And straight am nothing: but whate'er I be, Nor I, nor any man that but man is With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd With being nothing. Music do I hear? [Music.] Ha, ha! keep time. How sour sweet music is When time is broke and no proportion kept! So is it in the music of men's lives. And here have I the daintiness of ear To check time broke in a disorder'd string; But, for the concord of my state and time, Had not an ear to hear my true time broke. I wasted time, and now doth time waste me; For now hath time made me his numbering clock: My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch, Whereto my finger, like a dial's point, Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears. Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart, Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans Show minutes, times, and hours; but my time Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy, While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock. This music mads me; let it sound no more; For though it have holp madmen to their wits, In me it seems it will make wise men mad. Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me! For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.

[Enter a Groom of the stable.]

GROOM. Hail, royal Prince!

KING RICHARD. Thanks, noble peer; The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear. What art thou? and how comest thou hither, man, Where no man never comes but that sad dog That brings me food to make misfortune live?

GROOM. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king, When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York, With much ado at length have gotten leave To look upon my sometimes royal master's face. O! how it yearn'd my heart when I beheld, In London streets, that coronation day, When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary, That horse that thou so often hast bestrid, That horse that I so carefully have dress'd.

KING RICHARD. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend, How went he under him?

GROOM. So proudly as if he disdain'd the ground.

KING RICHARD. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back! That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand; This hand hath made him proud with clapping him. Would he not stumble? would he not fall down,— Since pride must have a fall,—and break the neck Of that proud man that did usurp his back? Forgiveness, horse! Why do I rail on thee, Since thou, created to be aw'd by man, Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse; And yet I bear a burden like an ass, Spur-gall'd and tir'd by jauncing Bolingbroke.

[Enter Keeper, with a dish.]

KEEPER. [To the Groom.] Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.

KING RICHARD. If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away.

GROOM. My tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.


KEEPER. My lord, will't please you to fall to?

KING RICHARD. Taste of it first as thou art wont to do.

KEEPER. My lord, I dare not: Sir Pierce of Exton, Who lately came from the king, commands the contrary.

KING RICHARD. The devil take Henry of Lancaster and thee! Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.

[Strikes the Keeper.]

KEEPER. Help, help, help!

[Enter EXTON and Servants, armed.]

KING RICHARD. How now! What means death in this rude assault? Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.

[Snatching a weapon and killing one.]

Go thou and fill another room in hell.

[He kills another, then EXTON strikes him down.]

That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land. Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high; Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.


EXTON. As full of valour as of royal blood: Both have I spilt; O! would the deed were good; For now the devil, that told me I did well, Says that this deed is chronicled in hell. This dead king to the living king I'll bear. Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.


SCENE VI. Windsor. An Apartment in the Castle.

[Flourish. Enter BOLINGBROKE and YORK, with Lords and Attendants.]

BOLINGBROKE. Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear Is that the rebels have consum'd with fire Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire; But whether they be ta'en or slain we hear not.


Welcome, my lord. What is the news?

NORTHUMBERLAND. First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness. The next news is: I have to London sent The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent. The manner of their taking may appear At large discoursed in this paper here.

BOLINGBROKE. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains; And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.


FITZWATER. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely, Two of the dangerous consorted traitors That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.

BOLINGBROKE. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot; Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.


PERCY. The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster, With clog of conscience and sour melancholy, Hath yielded up his body to the grave; But here is Carlisle living, to abide Thy kingly doom, and sentence of his pride.

BOLINGBROKE. Carlisle, this is your doom: Choose out some secret place, some reverend room, More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life; So as thou livest in peace, die free from strife; For though mine enemy thou hast ever been, High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.

[Enter EXTON, with attendants, hearing a coffin.]

EXTON. Great king, within this coffin I present Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies The mightiest of thy greatest enemies, Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.

BOLINGBROKE. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought A deed of slander with thy fatal hand Upon my head and all this famous land.

EXTON. From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.

BOLINGBROKE. They love not poison that do poison need, Nor do I thee: though I did wish him dead, I hate the murderer, love him murdered. The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour, But neither my good word nor princely favour: With Cain go wander thorough shade of night, And never show thy head by day nor light. Lords, I protest my soul is full of woe, That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow: Come, mourn with me for what I do lament, And put on sullen black incontinent. I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land, To wash this blood off from my guilty hand. March sadly after; grace my mournings here, In weeping after this untimely bier.



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