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And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move, What my tongue speaks, my right drawn sword may prove.
Mow. 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,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain ;
The blood is hot that must be cool'd for this:
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
As to be hush'd and nought at all to say.
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
Which else would post until it had return'd
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;
Call him a slanderous coward and a villain :
Which to maintain I would allow him odds,
And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable,
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Meantime let this defend my loyalty:
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Boling. Pale trembling coward, there I throw
To me for justice and rough chastisement;
And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars!
Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this? 110
Mow. O let my sovereign turn away his face
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood,
How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
As he is but my father's brother's son,
Now by my sceptre's awe I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize 120
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou:
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
Mow. 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
Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers;
The other part reserv'd I by consent,
For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
70 Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester's
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
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop:
By that, and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.
Mow. I take it up; and by that sword I swear,
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!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mow-
It must be great that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look, what I speak, my life shall prove
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employ-
Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
Besides I say and will in battle prove,
Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge
That ever was survey'd by English eye,
That all the treasons for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and
Further I say and further will maintain
Upon his bad life to make all this good,
That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death,
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
And consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth
I slew him not; but to mine own disgrace
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul;
But ere I last receiv'd the sacrament
I did confess it, and exactly begg'd
Your grace's pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor;
Which in myself I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom.
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd
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.
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.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there
is no boot.
Mow. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy
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 dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here,
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breath'd this poison.
Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
Mow. Yea, but not change his spots: take but
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford
Is spotless reputation; that away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done :
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live and for that will I die.
K. Rich. Cousin, throw up your gage; do you
Boling. O! God defend my soul from such
Shall I seem crest-fall'n in my father's sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height 189
Before this out-dar'd dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
The slavish motive of recanting fear,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's
K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day:
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate 200
The swelling difference of your settled hate :
Since we can not atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry.
Lord marshal, command our officers-at-arms
Be ready to direct these home alarms.
Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent
In some large measure to thy father's death
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt; it is despair:
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd 30
Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That which in mean men we entitle patience
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to venge my Gloucester's death.
Gaunt. God's is the quarrel; for God's sub-
SCENE II.-The Same. A Room in the Duke of
Enter GAUNT and Duchess of GLOUCESTER.
Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Woodstock's
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,
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.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
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;
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 crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all vaded,
By envy's hand and murder's bloody axe. 21
Ah! Gaunt, his blood was thine: that bed, that
That metal, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st and
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus'd his death; the which if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain
Gaunt. To God, the widow's champion and defence.
Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell. old Gaunt.
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear,
That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast.
Or, if misfortune miss the first career,
Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom
That they may break his foaming courser's back,
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford !
Farewell,old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother's wife
With her companion grief must end her life.
Gaunt. Sister, farewell; I must to Coventry. As much good stay with thee as go with me! Duch. Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where it falls,
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;
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 unfurnish'd walls,
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 every where.
Desolate, desolate will I hence, and die :
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
SCENE III.-Open Space near Coventry.
Lists set out, and a throne. Heralds etc attending.
Enter the Lord Marshal and AUMERLE.
Mar. My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd ?
Aum. Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
Mar. The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.
Aum. Why then, the champions are prepar'd, and stay
For nothing but his majesty's approach.
Flourish. Enter King RICHARD, who takes his seat on his throne; GAUNT, BUSHY, BAGOT, GREEN, and Others, who take their places. A trumpet is sounded, and answered by another trumpet within. Then enter MOWBRAY in arms, defendant, preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. 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.
Mar. In God's name, and the king's, say who thou art,
And why thou com'st thus knightly clad in
Against what man thou com'st, and what thy quarrel.
Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thine oath;
As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!
Mou. My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of
Who hither come engaged 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,
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!
Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE, appellant,
in armour, preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. 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 canse.
Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore com'st thou hither,
Before King Richard in his royal lists ? Against whom comest thou? and what's thy quarrel?
Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
To prove by God's grace and my body's valour,
In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
That he's a traitor foul and dangerous,
To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me: 40
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
Mar. On pain of death, no person be so bold
Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
Except the marshal and such officers
Appointed to direct these fair designs.
Boling. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's
And bow my knee before his majesty :
For Mowbray and myself are like two men
That vow a long and weary pilgrimage;
Then let us take a ceremonious leave
And loving farewell of our several friends.
Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave. K. Rich. We will descend and fold him in our
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
Boling. O! let no noble eye profane a tear
As confident as is the falcon's flight
For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbray's spear.
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,
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,
Doth with a two-fold vigour lift me up
To reach at victory above my head,
Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers,
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat,
And furbish new the name of John a Gaunt,
Even in the lusty haviour of his son.
Gaunt. God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
Be swift like lightning in the execution;
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and
Boling. Mine innocency and Saint George to thrive!
Mow. However God or fortune cast my lot, 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 uncontroll'd enfranchisement,
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
This feast of battle with mine adversary.
Most mighty liege, and my companion peers,
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
As gentle and as jocund as to jest,
Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.
K. Rich. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy Virtue with valour couched in thine eye. Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance; and God defend the right! Boling. Strong as a tower in hope, I cry 'amen.' Mar. Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
First Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
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.
Second Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray,
Duke of Norfolk,
On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself and to approve
Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
To God, his sovereign, and to him, disloyal;
Courageously and with a free desire
Attending but the signal to begin.
Mar. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants. A charge sounded. Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down. K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
And both return back to their chairs again. 120
Withdraw with us; and let the trumpets sound
While we return these dukes what we decree.
A long flourish.
And list what with our council we have done.
For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd
With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours'
And for we think the eagle-winged pride
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set on you
To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;
Which so rous'd up with boisterous untun'd
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:
Therefore, we banish you our territories:
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
Till twice five summers have enrich'd our fields,
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
Boling. Your will be done: this must my
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.
K. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
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.
Mow. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign
And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness' hands.
The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forgo;
And now my tongue's use is to me no more
Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
Doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips;
And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler 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
K. Rich. It boots thee not to be compassionate: After our sentence plaining comes too late. Mow. Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
To dwell in solemn shades of endless night. K. Rich. Return again, and take an oath with thee.
Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands;
Swear by the duty that you owe to God,
Our part therein we banish with yourselves,
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
This lowering tempest of your home-bred hate;
Nor never by advised purpose meet
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
Boling. I swear.
Mow. No, Bolingbroke: if ever I were traitor, My name be blotted from the book of life, And I from heaven banish'd 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; Save back to England, all the world's my way. Exit.
K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect Hath from the number of his banish'd years 210 Pluck'd four away. To BOLINGBROKE.
Gaunt. Things sweet to taste prove in diges- | For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite tion sour.
You urg'd 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,
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild:
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
Alas! I look'd when some of you should say,
I was too strict to make mine own away;
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
Against my will to do myself this wrong.
K. Rich. Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so:
Six years we banish him, and he shall go. Flourish. Exeunt King RICHARD and Train. Aum. Cousin, farewell: what presence must not know,
From where you do remain let paper show.
Mar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride, As far as land will let me, by your side.
Gaunt. O! to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends?
Boling. I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue's office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart.
Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time. Boling. Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
Gaunt. What is six winters? they are quickly gone.
Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure.
Boling. My heart will sigh when I miscall it so, Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.
Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set The precious jewel of thy home return.
Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride make
Will but remember me what a deal of world
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?
The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
Boling. 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
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 it bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Gaunt. Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee
on thy way.
Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay. Boling. 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,
Though banish'd, yet a true-born Englishman.
I Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief,
That words seem'd buried in my sorrow's grave. Marry, would the word ‘farewell' have lengthen'd hours
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.
K. Rich. 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
Observ'd his courtship to the common people,
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,
As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench;
A brace of draymen bid God speed hi' well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With Thanks, my countrymen, my loving
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope.