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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
Haft thou, according to thy oath and band,4
4thy oath and band,] When thefe publick challenges were accepted, each combatant found a pledge for his appearance at the time and place appointed. So, in Spenfer's Fairy Queen, B. IV. c. iii. ft. 3:
"The day was fet, that all might understand, "And pledges pawn'd the fame to keep aright." The old copies read band inftead of bond. The former is right. So, in The Comedy of Errors:
My mafter-is arrested on a band."
Band and Bond were formerly fynonymous. See note on The Comedy of Errors, A&t IV. fc. ii. MALONE.
KING RICHARD II.
K. RICH. Tell me moreover, haft thou founded him,
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
GAUNT. As near as I could fift him on that argument,
On fome apparent danger feen in him,
K. RICH. Then call them to our presence; face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
BOLING. May many years of happy days befal My gracious fovereign, my moft 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 treafon.— Coufin of Hereford, what doft thou object Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
BOLING. Firft, (heaven be the record to my fpeech!) In the devotion of a fubject's love,
Tendering the precious fafety of my prince,
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, Can arbitrate this caufe betwixt us twain: The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this, Yet can I not of fuch 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 fpurs to my free fpeech; Which elfe would poft, until it had return'd These terms of treafon doubled down his throat. Setting afide his high blood's royalty, And let him be no kinfinan to my liege, I do defy him, and I spit at him ; Call him-a flanderous coward, and a villain : Which to maintain, I would allow him odds; And meet him, were I tied to run a-foot
5 --right-drawn-] Drawn in a right or just cause.
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
BOLING. Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
NOR. I take it up; and, by that fword I swear, Which gently lay'd my knighthood on my shoulder, I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous defign of knightly trial:
K. RICH. What doth our coufin 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 Jonfon ufes the word in the fame fenfe in his Catiline: "And pour'd on fome inhabitable place." Again, in Taylor the water-poet's Short Relation of a long Journey, &c." there ftands a strong castle, but the town is all spoil'd, and almost inhabitable by the late lamentable troubles." STEEVENS.
So alfo, Braithwaite, in his Survey of Hiftories, 1614: "Others, in imitation of fome valiant knights, have frequented defarts and inhabited provinces." MALONE.
that can inherit us &c.] To inherit is no more than to
BOLING. Look, what I fpeak my life shall prove
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
poffefs, though fuch a ufe of the word may be peculiar to Shakfpeare. Again, in Romeo and Juliet, Act I, fc. ii:
Among fresh female buds fhall you this night "Inherit at my houfe." STEEVENS.
See Vol. IV. p. 136, n. 7. Malone.
-for lewd employments,] Lewd here fignifies wicked. It is so used in many of our old statutes. MALONE.
It fometimes fignifies-idle.
Thus, in King Richard III:
"But you must trouble him with lewd complaints."
the duke of Glofter's death;] Thomas of Woodstock. the youngest son of Edward III; who was murdered at Calais, in 1397. MALONE.
See Froiffart's Chronicle, Vol. II. cap. CC.xxvi. Sreevens.
Suggeft his foon-believing adverfaries;] i. e. prompt, fet them on by injurious hints. Thus, in The Tempest:
They'll take fuggeftion, as a cat laps milk."