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THE LIFE AND DEATH
KING RICHARD II.
PERSONS REPRESENTE D.
King RICHARD the Second,
Earl of NORTHUMBERLAND. EDMUND of LANGLEY, Duke of
PERCY, son to Northumberland. York.
Uncles to the Lord Rosst. John of GAUNT, Duke of Lan King.
Lord WILLOUGHBY. caster.
Lord FITZWATER. HENRY, surnamed BOLINGBROKE, Duke of Bishop of CARLISLE.
Hereford, afterwards King Henry the Fourth, Sir STEPHEN SCROOP. son to John of Guunt.
Lord Marshal; and another Lord. Duke of AUMEBLE?, son to the Duke of York. Abbot of WESTMINSTER. MOWBRAY, Duke of Norfolk.
Sir Pierce of Exton.
Captain of a Band of Welchmen.
Queen to King Richard.
Dutchess of GLOSTER. BAGOT, Creatures to King Richard.
Dutchess of YORK.
Ladies, attending on the Queen.
SCENE, dispersedly, in England and Wales.
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 arEnter King Richard, John of Gaunt, zvith other
gument, Noblemen and Attendants.
5 On some apparent danger seen in him, K. Rich. OLD John of Gaunt, time-honour'di Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face Hast thou, according to thy oath and band”,
to face, Brought hither Henry llereford thy bold son; And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, 10 The accuser, and the accused, freely speak:Which then our leisure would not let us hear, High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. Gaunt. I have, my liege.
Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray. K. Rich. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded Boling. Many years of happy days befal If he appeal the duke on ancient malice; 115 My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
This history, however, comprises little more than the two last years of this prince. The action of the drama begins with Bolingbroke's appealing the duke of Norfolk, on an accusation of high treason, which fell out in the year 1398 ; and it closes with the murder of king Richard at Pomfret-castle towards the end of the year 1400, or the beginning of the ensuing year. 2 Aumerle is the French for what we now call Albemarle, which is a town in Normandy. Mr. Steevens says, it ought to be Lord Berkley, as there was no Earl Berkley 'till some ages atier. Now spelt Roos, one of ihe duke of Rutland's titles. bi.e. bond 11
Mowb. Hatters us,
Moxb. Each day still belter other's happiness; Or chivalrous design of knightly trial: Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, And, when I mount, alive may I not light, Add an immortal title to your crown!
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight! [charge? K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but K. Rich. What doth our cousinlay to Mowbray's
5 It must be great, than can inherit us? As well appeareth by the cause you come; So much as of a thought of ill in him. [true; Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.- Boling. Look, what I said, my life shall prove it Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousandnobles, Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray: In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers;
Boling. First(heavenbethe recordtomyspeech) 10 The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments, In the devotion of a subject's love,
Like a false traitor, and injurious villain. Tendering the precious safety of niy prince, Besides I say, and will in battle prove, And free from other misbegoiten hate,
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge Come I appellant to this princely presence.
That ever was survey'd by English eye,Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee, 115 That all the treasons, for these eighteen years And inark my greeting well; for what I speak, Complotted and contrived in this land, [spring My body shall make good upon this earth, Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Further I say,—and further will maintain Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant ;
Upon his bad life, to make all this good, Too good to be so, and too bad to live ; 20 That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death; Since, the more fair and crystal is the sky, Suggest his soon-believing adversaries; The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
And, consequently, like a traitor coward, [blood; Once more, the more to aggravate the note, Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat; Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries, And wish (so please my sovereign) ere I move, 25 Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth, What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn' sword To me, for justice, and rough chastisement; may prove.
[zea!: And, by the glorious worth of my descent, Moub. Let not my cold words here accuse my This arm shall do it, or this life be spent. Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
K. Rich. How high a pitch hisresolution soars! The bitter clamour of two eager tongues, 30 Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this? Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
Mowb. O, let my sovereign turn away his face, The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this. And bid his ears a little while be deaf, Yet can I not of such tame patience boast, 'Till I have told this slander of his blood, As to be husli’d, and nought at all to say: How God, and good men, hate so foula liar. (ears: First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me, 35 K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes, and From giving reins and spurs to my free speech; Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir, Which else would post, until it had return'd (As he is but my father's brother's son) These terms of treason doubled down his throat. Now by my sceptre's awe I make a vow, Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood And let hiin be no Kinsman to ny liege, 40 Should nothing privilege him, por partialize I do defy him, and I spit at him;
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul: Call him-a slanderous coward, and a villain: He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou; Which to maintain, I would allow him odds ; Free speech, and fearless, i to thee allow. And meet him, were I ty'd to run a-foot 1
Mlozb. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as tothy heart, Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
45 Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest! Or any other ground' inhabitable
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais,
The other part reserv dl by consent;
Since last I went to France, to fetch his queen: Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
Now swallow down that lie. -For Gloster's And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Mowb. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear, 60 But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament,
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it. * Meaning his sword drawn in a right or just cause. 2 i. e, not habitable. i, e. possess us.
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd,
K.Rich. We were not born to sue, but to come It issues from the rancour of a villain,
mand : A recreant and most degenerate traitor:
Which since we cannot do to make you friends, Which in myself I buldly will defend;
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it, And interchangeably burl down my gage 5 At Coventry, upon St. Lambert's day; Upon this over-weering traitor's foot,
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate To prove myself a loyal gentleman
The swelling difference of your settled bate; Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom: Since we cannot atone you, you shall see In haste whereof, most beartily I pray
Justice decide the victor's chivalry.Your highness to assign our trial-day. [me; 10 Lord marshal, command our officers at arms
K.Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruld by Be ready to direct these home-alarms. [E.reunt. Let's purge this choler without letting blood :
Ji. This we prescribe, though no physician;
The Duke of Lancaster's Palace. Deep malice makes too deep incision :
Enter Gaunt, and Dutchess of Glostor. Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed; 15 Gaunt. Alas! the part* I had in Gloster's blood Our doctors say, this is no time to bleed. Doth more solicit me, than your exclaims, Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
To stir against the butchers of his life. We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you your son. But, since correction lieth in those hands, Gaunt. Tobe a make-peace shall become my age: Which made the fault that we cannot correct, Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gage. 20 Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven;
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, thrown down his. Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth, Gaunt. When, Harry? when ?
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads. Obedience bids, I should not bid again.
Druck. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharperspur! K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there Hath love in thy old blood no living tire is no boot'.
[foot : 25 Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one, Mowb. Myself, I throw, dread sovereign, at thy Were as seven phials of his sacred blood, My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: Or seven fair branches, springing from one root: The one, my duty owes; but iny fair name, Some of those seven are dry'd by nature's course, (Despight of death, that lives upon my grave) Some of those branches by the dest mies cut. To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. 30_But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloster,-I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled' bere; One phial full of Edward's sacred blood, Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd
spear; One flourishing branch of his most royal root,-The which no balm can cure, but his heart's blood Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt; Which breath'd this poison.
Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded, K. Rich. Rage must be withstood:
35 By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe. Give me his gage:-lions make leopards tame. Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that Mowb. Yea, but not change their spots: take
womb, but my shame,
That metal, that self-mould, that fashiou'd thee, And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, Made him a man; and though shou liv’st, and The purest treasure mortal times afford,
breath'st, Is-spotless reputation; that away,
Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay. in some large measure to thy father's death, A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die, Isama bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Who was the model of thy father's life. Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; 45 Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is clespair: Take hononr from me, and my life is done : In suttering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd, Then, dear my liege, inine honour let me try; Thou shew'st the naked path-way to thy life, In that I live, and for that will I die.
Teaching stern murder bow to butcher thee: K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage; do That wbich in mean men we entitle-patience, you begin.
150 Is pale cold cowardice in pable breasts. Boling. Oh, heaven defend my soul from such What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life, foul sin !
The best way is to venge my Gloster's death. Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight? Grunt. Heaven's is the quarrel; for heaven's Or with pale beggar face' impeach my height
substitute, Before this out-dar'd dastard) Ere my tongue 55 His deputy anointed in his sight, Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong,
Hathcaus'd his death: the which if wrongfully, Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear Let heaven revenge ; for I may never litt The slavish motive of recanting fear;
An angry arm against his minister. And spit it bleeding, in his high disgrace,
Dutch. Whereiben, alas! may I complain myself Where shanie doth harbour, even in Mowbray's 80 Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and face. [Exit Guunt.
defence. 'i.e. no advantage in delay or refusal. * Baffled, in this, as has been noted in a former place, means, treated with the greatest igpowiny imaginable. ?i.e, with a lace of supplication.
*i. e. my relation of consanguinity to Gloster.
Dutch. Why then, I will. Farewel, old Gaunt! And by the grace of God, and this mine arm, Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
To prove him, in defending of myself. Our cousin flereford and fell Mowbray fight: A traitor to my God, my king, and me: O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, And, as I truly light, defend me heaven!
I That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast! 5 Trumpets sound. Enter Bolingbroke, appellant, Or if misfortune miss the first career,
in armour Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom,
K.Rich. Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms, That they may break his foaming courser's back, Both who he is, and why he cometh hither And throw the rider headlong in the lists, Thus plated in habiliments of war; A caitiil' recreant to my cousin Hereford ! 10 And formally according to our law Farewel, old Gaunt; thy sometime brother's wife Depose him in the justice of his cause. With her companion grief inust end her life. Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore com'st Gaunt. Sister, farewel: I must to Coventry :
thou hither, As much good stay with thee, as go with me! Before king Richard, in his royal lists? [To Boling. Dutch. Yet one word more;-Griet bounděth 13 Against whom comest thou? and what's thy quarrel? where it falls,
speak ide a true knight, so defend thee heaven ! Not with the empty hollowness, but weight: Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and I take my leave before I have began;
Derby, For sorrow ends not, when it seemeth done. Am I; who ready here do stand in arms, Commend me to my brother, Edmund York. 20 To prove, by heaven's grace, and my body's valour, Lo, this is all:--Nay, yet depart not so;
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, Though this be all, do not so quickly go; That be's a traitor, foul and dangerous, I shall remember more: Bid him-oh, what?- To God of heaven, king Richard, and to me; With all good speed at Plasly visit me.
And, as I truly tight, defend me heaven ! Alack, and what shall good old York there see, 25 Mar. On pain of death, no person be so bold, But empty lodgings, and unfurnish'd walls, Or daring-hardy, as to touch the lists; Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
Except the marshal, and such officers And what hear there for welcome, but my groans Appointed to direct these fair designs. Therefore commend me; let him not come there, Boling. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sore To seek out sorrow, that dwells every where: 30
reign's hand, Desolate, desolate, will I hence, and die, And bow my knee before his majesty: The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye. For Mowbray, and myself, are like two men
[Escunt. That vow a long and weary pilgrimage;
Then let us take a ceremonious leave,
35 And loving farewel, of our several friends, Enter the Lord Ilarshut and dumerle.
Miur. The appellant in all duty greets your Mar. My lord Aumerle, isHarryllerefordarm’d:
(To K. Rich. Aum. Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in. And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave. Mar. The duke of Nortolk, sprightfully and bold, K.Rich. We will descend and fold him in our Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet. 40 dum. Why then, the champions are prepar'd, Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal tight! For nothing but his majesty's approach. [Flourish. Farewel, my blood; which if to-day thou shed, The trumpets sound, and the king enters with Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
Gaunt, Bushy, Bugot, and others: whín they are 45 Boling: Oh, let no noble eye profane a lear set, enter the Duche of Norfoll: in armour'. For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbray's spear :
K.Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder champion As confident, as is the faulcon's figlit The cause of his arrival here in arms:
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray tight.Asķ bim his name; and orderly proceed
My loving lord, I take my leave of you;To swear him in the justice of his cause.
50 of you, my noble cousin, lord Aumerle ;Mur. In God's name, and the king's, say who Not sick, although I have to do with death; thou art,
[To Mlozbray. But lusty, young, and chearly drawing breath. – And why thou com’st, thus knightly clad in arms; Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quar- The daintiesi last, to make the end most sweet: Speak truly,on thy knighthood, and thy oath, (rel: 35 Oh thou, the earthly author of my blood,And so defend thee heaven, and thy valour!
[To Gaunt. Mowb. My naine is Thomas Mowbray, duke of Whose youthful spirit, in ine regenerate, Who hither coine engaged by niy oath, (Norfolk; Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up (Which heaven detend a knight should violate!) To reach at victory above my head, Both to defend my loyalty and truth,
60 Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers; To God, my king, and his succeeding issue, And with thy blessings steel my lance's point, Against the duke of Hereford that appeals me; That it may enter Mowbray's waxen 'coat,
· Mr. Stecvens observes on this passage, that “ waren may mcan either soft, and consequently penetrable, or flexible. The brigandines or coats of mail, then in use, were composed of small pieces of steel quilted over one another, and yet so flexible as to accoinmodate the dress they form to every motion of the body,"