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THE LIFE AND DEATH OF
KING RICHARD II.
ACT I. 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.
thy oath and band,] When these publick challenges were accepted, each combatant found a pledge for his appearance at the time and place appointed. So, in Spenser's Fairy Queen, B. IV. c. iii. st. 3:
"The day was set, that all might understand, "And pledges pawn'd the same to keep aright." The old copies read band instead of bond. The former is right. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
66 My master is arrested on a band."
Band and Bond were formerly synonymous. See note on The Comedy of Errors, Act IV. sc. ii. MALONE.
K. RICH. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded
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 argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :[Exeunt some Attendants. High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
BOLING. May many years of happy days befal 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 flat
As well appeareth by the cause you come; Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? BOLING. First, (heaven be the record to my speech!)
In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.-
NOR. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal: 'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;
Call him-a slanderous coward, and a villain:
-right-drawn-] Drawn in a right or just cause.
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
BOLING. Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
K. RICH. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
It must be great, that can inherit us7
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
-inhabitable,] That is, not habitable, uninhabitable.
Ben Jonson uses the word in the same sense in his Catiline: "And pour'd on some inhabitable place." Again, in Taylor the water-poet's Short relation of a long Journey, &c. " there stands a strong castle, but the town is all spoil'd, and almost inhabitable by the late lamentable troubles."
So also, Braithwaite, in his Survey of Histories, 1614: "Others, in imitation of some valiant knights, have frequented desarts and inhabited provinces." MALONE.
7 -that can inherit us &c.] To inherit is no more than to
BOLING. Look, what I speak my
life shall prove
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring,
Upon his bad life, to make all this good,-
possess, though such a use of the word may be peculiar to Shakspeare. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I. sc. ii.
"Among fresh female buds shall you this night
See Vol. IV. p. 136, n. 7. MALone.
for lewd employments,] Lewd here signifies wicked.
It is so used in many of our old statutes. MALONE.
It sometimes signifies-idle.
Thus, in King Richard III:
"But you must trouble him with lewd complaints."
the duke of Gloster's death;] Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III; who was murdered at Calais, in 1397.
See Froissart's Chronicle, Vol. II. cap. CC. xxvi. STEEVENS.
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries;] i. e. prompt, set them on by injurious hints. Thus, in The Tempest :
"They'll take suggestion, as a cat laps milk."