Richard II

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Original text
Act I, Scene I
Enter King Richard, Iohn of Gaunt, with other
Nobles and Attendants.

King Richard.
OLd Iohn of Gaunt, time honoured Lancaster,
Hast thou according to thy oath and band
Brought hither Henry Herford thy bold son:
Heere to make good ye boistrous late appeale,
Which then our leysure would not let vs heare,
Against the Duke of Norfolke, Thomas Mowbray?

Gaunt.
I haue my Liege.

King.
Tell me moreouer, hast thou sounded him,
If he appeale the Duke on ancient malice,
Or worthily as a good subiect should
On some knowne ground of treacherie in him.

Gaunt.
As neere as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparant danger seene in him,
Aym'd at your Highnesse, no inueterate malice.

Kin.
Then call them to our presence
face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, our selues will heare
Th'accuser, and the accused, freely speake;
High stomackd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage, deafe as the sea; hastie as fire.
Enter Bullingbrooke and Mowbray.

Bul.
Many yeares of happy dayes befall
My gracious Soueraigne, my most louing Liege.

Mow.
Each day still better others happinesse,
Vntill the heauens enuying earths good hap,
Adde an immortall title to your Crowne.

King.
We thanke you both, yet one but flatters vs,
As well appeareth by the cause you come,
Namely, to appeale each other of high treason.
Coosin of Hereford, what dost thou obiect
Against the Duke of Norfolke, Thomas Mowbray?

Bul.
First, heauen be the record to my speech,
In the deuotion of a subiects loue,
Tendering the precious safetie of my Prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appealant to rhis Princely presence.
Now Thomas Mowbray do I turne to thee,
And marke my greeting well: for what I speake,
My body shall make good vpon this earth,
Or my diuine soule answer it in heauen.
Thou art a Traitor, and a Miscreant;
Too good to be so, and too bad to liue,
Since the more faire and christall is the skie,
The vglier seeme the cloudes that in it flye:
Once more, the more to aggrauate the note,
With a foule Traitors name stuffe I thy throte,
And wish (so please my Soueraigne) ere I moue,
What my tong speaks, my right drawn sword may proue

Mow.
Let not my cold words heere accuse my zeale:
'Tis not the triall of a Womans warre,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt vs twaine:
The blood is hot that must be cooI'dfor this.
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast,
As to be husht, and nought at all to say.
First the faire reuerence of your Highnesse curbes mee,
From giuing reines and spurres to my free speech,
Which else would post, vntill it had return'd
These tearmes of treason, doubly downe his throat.
Setting aside his high bloods royalty,
And let him be no Kinsman to my Liege,
I do defie him, and I spit at him,
Call him a slanderous Coward, and a Villaine:
Which to maintaine, I would allow him oddes,
And meete him, were I tide to runne afoote,
Euen to the frozen ridges of the Alpes,
Or any other ground inhabitable,
Where euer Englishman durst set his foote.
Meane time, let this defend my loyaltie,
By all my hopes most falsely doth he lie.

Bul.
Pale trembling Coward, there I throw my gage,
Disclaiming heere the kindred of a King,
And lay aside my high bloods Royalty,
Which feare, not reuerence makes thee to except.
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength,
As to take vp mine Honors pawne, then stoope.
By that, and all the rites of Knight-hood else,
Will I make good against thee arme to arme,
What I haue spoken, or thou canst deuise.

Mow.
I take it vp, and by that sword I sweare,
Which gently laid my Knight-hood on my shoulder,
lIe answer thee in any faire degree,
Or Chiualrous designe of knightly triall:
And when I mount, aliue may I not light,
If I be Traitor, or vniustly fight.

King.
What doth our Cosin lay to Mowbraies charge?
It must be great that can inherite vs,
So much as of a thought of ill in him.

Bul.
Looke what I said, my life shall proue it true,
That Mowbray hath receiu'd eight thousandNobles,
In name of lendings for your Highnesse Soldiers,
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
Like a false Traitor, and iniurious Villaine.
Besides I say, and will in battaile proue,
Or heere, or elsewhere to the furthest Verge
That euer was suruey'd by English eye,
That all the Treasons for these eighteene yeeres
Complotted, and contriued in this Land,
Fetch'd from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say, and further will maintaine
Vpon his bad life, to make all this good.
That he did plot the Duke of Glousters death,
Suggest his soone beleeuing aduersaries,
And consequently, like a Traitor Coward,
Sluc'd out his innocent soule through streames of blood:
Which blood, like sacrificing Abels cries,
(Euen from the toonglesse cauernes of the earth)
To me for iustice, and rough chasticement:
And by the glorious worth of my discent,
This arme shall do it, or this life be spent.

King.
How high a pitch his resolution soares:
Thomas of Norfolke, what sayest thou to this?

Mow.
Oh let my Soueraigne turne away his face,
And bid his eares a little while be deafe,
Till I haue told this slander of his blood,
How God, and good men, hate so foule a lyar.

King.
Mowbray, impartiall are our eyes and eares,
Were he my brother, nay our kingdomes heyre,
As he is but my fathers brothers sonne;
Now by my Scepters awe, I make a vow,
Such neighbour-neerenesse to our sacred blood,
Should nothing priuiledge him, nor partialize
The vn-stooping firmenesse of my vpright soule.
He is our subiect ( Mowbray) so art thou,
Free speech, and fearelesse, I to thee allow.

Mow.
Then Bullingbrooke, as low as to thy heart.
Through the false passage of thy throat; thou lyest:
Threc parts of that receipt I had for Callice,
Disburst I to his Highnesse souldiers;
The other part reseru'd I by consent,
For that my Soueraigne Liege was in my debt,
Vpon remainder of a deere Accompt,
Since last I went to France to fetch his Queene:
Now swallow downe that Lye. For Glousters death,
I slew him not; but (to mine owne disgrace)
Neglected my sworne duty in that case:
For you my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable Father to my foe,
Once I did lay an ambush for your life,
A trespasse that doth vex my greeued soule:
But ere I last receiu'd the Sacrament,
I did confesse it, and exactly begg'd
Your Graces pardon, and I hope I had it.
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a Villaine,
A recreant, and most degenerate Traitor,
Which in my selfe I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurle downe my gage
Vpon this ouer-weening Traitors foote,
To proue my selfe a loyall Gentleman,
Euen in the best blood chamber'd in his bosome.
In hast whereof, most heartily I pray
Your Highnesse to assigne our Triall day.

King.
Wrath-kindled Gentlemen be rul'd by me:
Let's purge this choller without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no Physition,
Deepe malice makes too deepe incision.
Forget, forgiue, conclude, and be agreed,
Our Doctors say, This is no time to bleed.
Good Vnckle, let this end where it begun,
Wee'l calme the Duke of Norfolke; you, your son.

Gaunt.
To be a make-peace shall become my age,
Throw downe (my sonne) the Duke of Norfolkes gage.

King.
And Norfolke, throw downe his.

Gaunt.
When Harrie when?
Obedience bids, / Obedience bids I should not bid agen.

King.
Norfolke, throw downe, we bidde; there is no boote.

Mow.


My selfe I throw (dread Soueraigne) at thy foot.
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame,
The one my dutie owes, but my faire name
Despight of death, that liues vpon my graue
To darke dishonours vse, thou shalt not haue.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffel'd heere,
Pierc'd to the soule with slanders venom'd speare:
The which no balme can cure, but his heart blood
Which breath'd this poyson.

King.
Rage must be withstood:
Giue me his gage: Lyons make Leopards tame.

Mo,
Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame,
And I resigne my gage. My deere, deere Lord,
The purest treasure mortall times afford
Is spotlesse reputation: that away,
Men are but gilded loame, or painted clay.
A Iewell in a ten times barr'd vp Chest,
Is a bold spirit, in a loyall brest.
Mine Honor is my life; both grow in one:
Take Honor from me, and my life is done.
Then (deere my Liege) mine Honor let me trie,
In that I liue; and for that will I die.

King.
Coosin, throw downe your gage, / Do you begin.

Bul.
Oh heauen defend my soule from such foule sin.
Shall I seeme Crest-falne in my fathers sight,
Or with pale beggar-feare impeach my hight
Before this out-dar'd dastard? Ere my toong,
Shall wound mine honor with such feeble wrong;
Or sound so base a parle: my teeth shall teare
The slauish motiue of recanting feare,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, euen in Mowbrayes face.
Exit Gaunt.

King.
We were not borne to sue, but to command,
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be readie, (as your liues shall answer it)
At Couentree, vpon S. Lamberts day:
There shall your swords and Lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your setled hate:
Since we cannot attone you, you shall see
Iustice designe the Victors Chiualrie.
Lord Marshall, command our Officers at Armes,
Be readie to direct these home Alarmes.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act I, Scene II
Enter Gaunt, and Dutchesse of Gloucester.

Gaunt.
Alas, the part I had in Glousters blood,
Doth more solicite me then your exclaimes,
To stirre against the Butchers of his life.
But since correction lyeth in those hands
Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
Put we our quarrell to the will of heauen,
Who when they see the houres ripe on earth,
Will raigne hot vengeance on offenders heads.

Dut.
Findes brotherhood in thee no sharper spurre?
Hath loue in thy old blood no liuing fire?
Edwards seuen sonnes (whereof thy selfe art one)
Were as seuen violles of his Sacred blood,
Or seuen faire branches springing from one roote:
Some of those seuen are dride by natures course,
Some of those branches by the destinies cut:
But Thomas, my deere Lord, my life, my Glouster,
One Violl full of Edwards Sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most Royall roote
Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hackt downe, and his summer leafes all vaded
By Enuies hand, and Murders bloody Axe.
Ah Gaunt! His blood was thine, that bed, that wombe,
That mettle, that selfe-mould that fashion'd thee,
Made him a man: and though thou liu'st, and breath'st,
Yet art thou slaine in him: thou dost consent
In some large measure to thy Fathers death,
In that thou seest thy wretched brother dye,
Who was the modell of thy Fathers life.
Call it not patience (Gaunt) it is dispaire,
In suffring thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
Thou shew'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching sterne murther how to butcher thee:
That which in meane men we intitle patience
Is pale cold cowardice in noble brests:
What shall I say, to safegard thine owne life,
The best way is to venge my Glousters death.

Gaunt.
Heauens is the quarrell: for heauens substitute
His Deputy annointed in his sight,
Hath caus'd his death, the which if wrongfully
Let heauen reuenge: for I may neuer lift
An angry arme against his Minister.

Dut.
Where then (alas may I) complaint my selfe? ?

Gau.
To heauen, the widdowes Champion to defence

Dut.
Why then I will: farewell old Gaunt.
Thou go'st to Couentrie, there to behold
Our Cosine Herford, and fell Mowbray fight:
O sit my husbands wrongs on Herfords speare,
That it may enter butcher Mowbrayes brest:
Or if misfortune misse the first carreere,
Be Mowbrayes sinnes so heauy in his bosome,
That they may breake his foaming Coursers backe,
And throw the Rider headlong in the Lists,
A Caytiffe recreant to my Cosine Herford:
Farewell old Gaunt, thy sometimes brothers wife
With her companion Greefe, must end her life.

Gau.
Sister farewell: I must to Couentree,
As much good stay with thee, as go with mee.

Dut.
Yet one wotd more: Greefe boundeth where it falls,
Not with the emptie hollownes, but weight:
I take my leaue, before I haue begun,
For sorrow ends not, when it seemeth done.
Commend me to my brother Edmund Yorke.
Loe, this is all: nay, yet depart not so,
Though this be all, do not so quickly go,
I shall remember more. Bid him, Oh, what?
With all good speed at Plashie visit mee.
Alacke, and what shall good old Yorke there see
But empty lodgings, and vnfurnish'd walles,
Vn-peopel'd Offices, vntroden stones?
And what heare there for welcome, but my grones?
Therefore commend me, let him not come there,
To seeke out sorrow, that dwels euery where:
Desolate, desolate will I hence, and dye,
The last leaue of thee, takes my weeping eye.
Exeunt
Original text
Act I, Scene III
Enter Marshall, and Aumerle.

Mar.
My L. Aumerle, is Harry Herford arm'd.

Aum.
Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.

Mar.
The Duke of Norfolke, sprightfully and bold,
Stayes but the summons of the Appealants Trumpet.

Au.
Why then the Champions, are prepar'd, and stay
For nothing but his Maiesties approach.
Flourish. Enter King,
Gaunt, Bushy, Bagot, Greene, & others:
Then Mowbray in Armor,
and Harrold.

Rich.
Marshall, demand of yonder Champion
The cause of his arriuall heere in Armes,
Aske him his name, and orderly proceed
To sweare him in the iustice of his cause.

Mar.
In Gods name, and the Kings, say who yu art,
And why thou com'st thus knightly clad in Armes?
Against what man thou com'st, and what's thy quarrell,
Speake truly on thy knighthood, and thine oath,
As so defend thee heauen, and thy valour.

Mow.
My name is Tho. Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
Who hither comes engaged by my oath
(Which heauen defend a knight should violate)
Both to defend my loyalty and truth,
To God, my King, and his succeeding issue,
Against the Duke of Herford, that appeales me:
And by the grace of God, and this mine arme,
To proue him (in defending of my selfe)
A Traitor to my God, my King, and me,
And as I truly fight, defend me heauen.
Tucket. Enter Hereford,
and Harold.

Rich.
Marshall: Aske yonder Knight in Armes,
Both who he is, and why he commeth hither,
Thus placed in habiliments of warre:
And formerly according to our Law
Depose him in the iustice of his cause.

Mar.
What is thy name? and wherfore comst yu hither
Before King Richard in his Royall Lists?
Against whom com'st thou? and what's thy quarrell?
Speake like a true Knight, so defend thee heauen.

Bul.
Harry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derbie,
Am I: who ready heere do stand in Armes,
To proue by heauens grace, and my bodies valour,
In Lists, on Thomas Mowbray Duke of Norfolke,
That he's a Traitor foule, and dangerous,
To God of heauen, King Richard, and to me,
And as I truly fight, defend me heauen.

Mar.
On paine of death, no person be so bold,
Or daring hardie as to touch the Listes,
Except the Marshall, and such Officers
Appointed to direct these faire designes.

Bul.
Lord Marshall, let me kisse my Soueraigns hand,
And bow my knee before his Maiestie:
For Mowbray and my selfe are like two men,
That vow a long and weary pilgrimage,
Then let vs take a ceremonious leaue
And louing farwell of our seuerall friends.

Mar.
The Appealant in all duty greets your Highnes,
And craues to kisse your hand, and take his leaue.

Rich.
We will descend, and fold him in our armes.
Cosin of Herford, as thy cause is iust,
So be thy fortune in this Royall fight:
Farewell, my blood, which if to day thou shead,
Lament we may, but not reuenge thee dead.

Bull.
Oh let no noble eye prophane a teare
For me, if I be gor'd with Mowbrayes speare:
As confident, as is the Falcons flight
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.
My louing Lord, I take my leaue of you,
Of you (my Noble Cosin) Lord Aumerle;
Not sicke, although I haue to do with death,
But lustie, yong, and cheerely drawing breath.
Loe, as at English Feasts, so I regreete
The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet.
Oh thou the earthy author of my blood,
Whose youthfull spirit in me regenerate,
Doth with a two-fold rigor lift mee vp
To reach at victory aboue my head,
Adde proofe vnto mine Armour with thy prayres,
And with thy blessings steele my Lances point,
That it may enter Mowbrayes waxen Coate,
And furnish new the name of Iohn a Gaunt,
Euen in the lusty hauiour of his sonne.

Gaunt.
Heauen in thy good cause make thee prosp'rous
Be swift like lightning in the execution,
And let thy blowes doubly redoubled,
Fall like amazing thunder on the Caske
Of thy amaz'd pernicious enemy.
Rouze vp thy youthfull blood, be valiant, and liue.

Bul.
Mine innocence, and S. George to thriue.

Mow.
How euer heauen or fortune cast my lot,
There liues, or dies, true to Kings Richards Throne,
A loyall, iust, and vpright Gentleman:
Neuer did Captiue with a freer heart,
Cast off his chaines of bondage, and embrace
His golden vncontroul'd enfranchisement,
More then my dancing soule doth celebrate
This Feast of Battell, with mine Aduersarie
Most mighty Liege, and my companion Peeres,
Take from my mouth, the wish of happy yeares,
As gentle, and as iocond, as to iest,
Go I to fight: Truth, hath a quiet brest.

Rich.
Farewell, my Lord, securely I espy
Vertue with Valour, couched in thine eye:
Order the triall Marshall, and begin.

Mar.
Harrie of Herford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Receiue thy Launce, and heauen defend thy right.

Bul.
Strong as a towre in hope, I cry Amen.

Mar.
Go beare this Lance to Thomas D. of Norfolke.

1. Har.
Harry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derbie,
Stands heere for God, his Soueraigne, and himselfe,
On paine to be found false, and recreant,
To proue the Duke of Norfolke, Thomas Mowbray,
A Traitor to his God, his King, and him,
And dares him to set forwards to the fight.

2. Har.
Here standeth Tho: Mowbray Duke of Norfolk
On paine to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himselfe, and to approue
Henry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derby,
To God, his Soueraigne, and to him disloyall:
Couragiously, and with a free desire
Attending but the signall to begin.

Mar.
Sound Trumpets, and set forward Combatants:




Stay, the King hath throwne his Warder downe.

Rich.
Let them lay by their Helmets & their Speares,
And both returne backe to their Chaires againe:


Withdraw with vs, and let the Trumpets sound,
While we returne these Dukes what we decree.
A long Flourish.
Draw neere
and list / What with our Councell we haue done.
For that our kingdomes earth should not be soyld
With that deere blood which it hath fostered,
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of ciuill wounds plowgh'd vp with neighbors swords,
Which so rouz'd vp with boystrous vntun'd drummes,
With harsh resounding Trumpets dreadfull bray,
And grating shocke of wrathfull yron Armes,
Might from our quiet Confines fright faire peace,
And make vs wade euen in our kindreds blood:
Therefore, we banish you our Territories.
You Cosin Herford, vpon paine of death,
Till twice fiue Summers haue enrich'd our fields,
Shall not regreet our faire dominions,
But treade the stranger pathes of banishment.

Bul.
Your will be done: This must my comfort be,
That Sun that warmes you heere, shall shine on me:
And those his golden beames to you heere lent,
Shall point on me, and gild my banishment.

Rich.
Norfolke: for thee remaines a heauier dombe,
Which I with some vnwillingnesse pronounce,
The slye slow houres shall not determinate
The datelesse limit of thy deere exile:
The hopelesse word, of Neuer to returne,
Breath I against thee, vpon paine of life.

Mow.
A heauy sentence, my most Soueraigne Liege,
And all vnlook'd for from your Highnesse mouth:
A deerer merit, not so deepe a maime,
As to be cast forth in the common ayre
Haue I deserued at your Highnesse hands.
The Language I haue learn'd these forty yeares
(My natiue English) now I must forgo,
And now my tongues vse is to me no more,
Then an vnstringed Vyall, or a Harpe,
Or like a cunning Instrument cas'd vp,
Or being open, put into his hands
That knowes no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you haue engaol'd my tongue,
Doubly percullist with my teeth and lippes,
And dull, vnfeeling, barren ignorance,
Is made my Gaoler to attend on me:
I am too old to fawne vpon a Nurse,
Too farre in yeeres to be a pupill now:
What is thy sentence then, but speechlesse death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing natiue breath?

Rich,
It boots thee not to be compassionate,
After our sentence, plaining comes too late.

Mow.
Then thus I turne me from my countries light
To dwell in solemne shades of endlesse night.

Ric.
Returne againe, and take an oath with thee,
Lay on our Royall sword, your banisht hands;
Sweare by the duty that you owe to heauen
(Our part therein we banish with your selues)
To keepe the Oath that we administer:
You ueuer shall (so helpe you Truth, and Heauen)
Embrace each others loue in banishment,
Nor euer looke vpon each others face,
Nor euer write, regreete, or reconcile
This lowring tempest of your home-bred hate,
Nor euer by aduised purpose meete,
To plot, contriue, or complot any ill,
'Gainst Vs, our State, our Subiects, or our Land.

Bull.
I sweare.

Mow.
And I, to keepe all this.

Bul.
Norfolke, so fare, as to mine enemie,
By this time (had the King permitted vs)
One of our soules had wandred in the ayre,
Banish'd this fraile sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banish'd from this Land.
Confesse thy Treasons, ere thou flye this Realme,
Since thou hast farre to go, beare not along
The clogging burthen of a guilty soule.

Mow.
No Bullingbroke: If euer I were Traitor,
My name be blotted from the booke of Life,
And I from heauen banish'd, as from hence:
But what thou art, heauen, thou, and I do know,
And all too soone (I feare) the King shall rue.
Farewell (my Liege) now no way can I stray,
Saue backe to England, all the worlds my way.
Exit.

Rich.
Vncle, euen in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy greeued heart: thy sad aspect,
Hath from the number of his banish'd yeares
Pluck'd foure away: Six frozen Winters spent,
Returne with welcome home, from banishment.

Bul.
How long a time lyes in one little word:
Foure lagging Winters, and foure wanton springs
End in a word, such is the breath of Kings.

Gaunt.
I thanke my Liege, that in regard of me
He shortens foure yeares of my sonnes exile:
But little vantage shall I reape thereby.
For ere the sixe yeares that he hath to spend
Can change their Moones, and bring their times about,
My oyle-dride Lampe, and time-bewasted light
Shall be extinct with age, and endlesse night:
My inch of Taper, will be burnt, and done,
And blindfold death, not let me see my sonne.

Rich.
Why Vncle, thou hast many yeeres to Iiue.

Gaunt.
But not a minute (King) that thou canst giue;
Shorten my dayes thou canst with sudden sorow,
And plucke nights from me, but not lend a morrow:
Thou canst helpe time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage:
Thy word is currant with him, for my death,
But dead, thy kingdome cannot buy my breath.

Ric.
Thy sonne is banish'd vpon good aduice,
Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gaue,
Why at our Iustice seem'st thou then to lowre?

Gau.
Things sweet to tast, proue in digestion sowre:
You vrg'd me as a Iudge, but I had rather
You would haue bid me argue like a Father.
Alas, I look'd when some of you should say,
I was too strict to make mine owne away:
But you gaue leaue to my vnwilling tong,
Against my will, to do my selfe this wrong.

Rich,
Cosine farewell: and Vncle bid him so:
Six yeares we banish him, and he shall go.
Exit. Flourish.

Au.
Cosine farewell: what presence must not know
From where you do remaine, let paper show.

Mar.
My Lord, no leaue take I, for I will ride
As farre as land will let me, by your side.

Gaunt.
Oh to what purpose dost thou hord thy words,
That thou teturnst no greeting to thy friends?

Bnll.
I haue too few to take my leaue of you,
When the tongues office should be prodigall,
To breath th' abundant dolour of the heart.

Gau.
Thy greefe is but thy absence for a time.

Bull.
Ioy absent, greefe is present for that time.

Gau.
What is sixe Winters, they are quickely gone?

Bul.
To men in ioy, but greefe makes one houre ten.

Gau.
Call it a trauell that thou tak'st for pleasure.

Bul.
My heart will sigh, when I miscall it so,
Which findes it an inforced Pilgrimage.

Gau.
The sullen passage of thy weary steppes
Esteeme a soyle, wherein thou art to set
The precious Iewell of thy home returne.















Bul.
Oh who can hold a fire in his hand
By thinking on the frostie Caucasus?
Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite,
by bare imagination of a Feast?
Or Wallow naked in December snow
by thinking on fantasticke summers heate?
Oh no, the apprehension of the good
Giues but the greater feeling to the worse:
Fell sorrowes tooth, doth euer ranckle more
Then when it bites, but lanceth not the sore.

Gau.
Come, come (my son) Ile bring thee on thy way
Had I thy youth, and cause, I would not stay.

Bul.
Then Englands ground farewell: sweet soil adieu,
My Mother, and my Nurse, which beares me yet:
Where ere I wander, boast of this I can,
hough banish'd, yet a true-borne Englishman.
Original text
Act I, Scene IV
Enter King, Aumerle, Greene, and Bagot.

Rich.
We did obserue. Cosine Anmerle,
How far brought you high Herford on his way?

Aum.
I brought high Herford (if you call him so)
but to the next high way, and there I left him.

Rich.
And say, what store of parting tears were shed?

Aum.
Faith none for me: except the Northeast wind
Which then grew bitterly against our face,
Awak'd the sleepie rhewme, and so by chance
Did grace our hollow parting with a teare.

Rich.
What said our Cosin when you parted with him?

Au.
Farewell:
and for my hart disdained yt my tongue
Should so prophane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such greefe,
That word seem'd buried in my sorrowes graue.
Marry, would the word Farwell, haue lengthen'd houres,
And added yeeres to his short banishment,
He should haue had a voIume of Farwels,
but since it would not, he had none of me.

Rich.
He is our Cosin (Cosin) but 'tis doubt,
When time shall call him home from banishment,
Whether our kinsman come to see his friends,
Our selfe, and Bushy: heere Bagot and Greene
Obseru'd his Courtship to the common people:
How he did seeme to diue into their hearts,
With humble, and familiat courtesie,
What reuerence he did throw away on slaues;
Wooing poore Craftes-men, with the craft of soules,
And patient vnder-bearing of his Fortune,
As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
Off goes his bonnet to an Oyster-wench,
A brace of Dray-men bid God speed him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With thankes my Countrimen, my louing friends,
As were our England in reuersion his,
And he our subiects next degree in hope.

Gr.
Well, he is gone, & with him go these thoughts:
Now for the Rebels, which stand out in Ireland,
Expedient manage must be made my Liege
Ere further leysure, yeeld them further meanes
For their aduantage, and your Highnesse losse.

Ric.
We will our selfe in person to this warre,
And for our Coffers, with too great a Court,
And liberall Largesse, are growne somewhat light,
We are inforc'd to farme our royall Realme,
The Reuennew whereof shall furnish vs
For our affayres in hand: if that come short
Our Substitutes at home shall haue Blanke-charters:
Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
They shall subscribe them for large summes of Gold,
And send them after to supply our wants:
For we will make for Ireland presently.
Enter Bushy.
Bushy, what newes?

Bu.
Old Iohn of Gaunt is verie sicke my Lord,
Sodainly taken, and hath sent post haste
To entreat your Maiesty to visit him.

Ric.
Where lyes he?

Bu.
At Ely house.

Ric.
Now put it (heauen) in his Physitians minde,
To helpe him to his graue immediately:
The lining of his coffers shall make Coates
To decke our souldiers for these Irish warres.
Come Gentlemen, let's all go visit him:
Pray heauen we may make hast, and come too late.
Exit.
Modern text
Act I, Scene I
Enter King Richard and John of Gaunt, with other
nobles, including the Lord Marshal, and attendants

KING RICHARD
Old John of Gaunt, time-honoured 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?

JOHN OF GAUNT
I have, my liege.

KING RICHARD
Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him
If he appeal the Duke on ancient malice,
Or worthily, as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?

JOHN OF GAUNT
As near as I could sift him on that argument,
On some apparent danger seen in him
Aimed at your highness; no inveterate malice.

KING RICHARD
Then call them to our presence.
Exit Attendant
Face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser and the accused freely speak.
High-stomached are they both, and full of ire;
In rage, deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray

BOLINGBROKE
Many years of happy days befall
My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

MOWBRAY
Each day still better other's happiness
Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap,
Add an immortal title to your crown!

KING RICHARD
We thank you both. Yet one but flatters us,
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?

BOLINGBROKE
First, heaven be the record to my speech!
In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other, misbegotten hate
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee;
And mark my greeting well, for what I speak
My body shall make good upon this earth
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant,
Too good to be so, and too bad to live,
Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat,
And wish – so please my sovereign – ere I move
What my tongue speaks my right-drawn sword may prove.

MOWBRAY
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 cooled for this.
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
As to be hushed, and naught 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 returned
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.

BOLINGBROKE
(throws down his gage)
Pale, trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
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.

MOWBRAY
(takes up the gage)
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!

KING RICHARD
What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
It must be great that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.

BOLINGBROKE
Look what I speak, my life shall prove it true:
That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
The which he hath detained for lewd employments,
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 surveyed 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 spring.
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,
Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood;
Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth
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.

KING RICHARD
How high a pitch his resolution soars!
Thomas of Norfolk, what sayst thou to this?

MOWBRAY
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!

KING RICHARD
Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
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
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our subject, Mowbray. So art thou.
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.

MOWBRAY
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
Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers.
The other part reserved 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.
Now swallow down that lie! For Gloucester's death,
I slew him not, but to my own disgrace
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
(To John of Gaunt)
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 received the sacrament
I did confess it, and exactly begged
Your grace's pardon; and I hope I had it.
This is my fault. As for the rest appealed,
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 chambered in his bosom.
(He throws down his gage)
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.

KING RICHARD
Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me:
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.
(To John of Gaunt)
Good uncle, let this end where it begun.
We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.

JOHN OF GAUNT
To be a make-peace shall become my age.
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.

KING RICHARD
And, Norfolk, throw down his.

JOHN OF GAUNT
When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.

KING RICHARD
Norfolk, throw down! We bid: there is no boot.

MOWBRAY
(kneels)
Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
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 disgraced, impeached, and baffled here,
Pierced to the soul with slander's venomed spear,
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breathed this poison.

KING RICHARD
Rage must be withstood.
Give me his gage. Lions make leopards tame.

MOWBRAY
Yea, but not change his spots. Take but my shame
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 barred-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.

KING RICHARD
(to Bolingbroke)
Cousin, throw up your gage. Do you begin.

BOLINGBROKE
O God defend my soul from such deep sin!
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
Before this outdared dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound my 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 face.
Exit John of Gaunt

KING RICHARD
We were not born to sue, but to command;
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
The swelling difference of your settled hate.
Since we cannot 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.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene II
Enter John of Gaunt with the Duchess of Gloucester

JOHN OF GAUNT
Alas, the part I had in Woodstock's blood
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.

DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
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 cracked, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hacked down, and his summer leaves all faded,
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! That bed, that womb,
That mettle, that self-mould, that fashioned thee
Made him a man; and though thou livest and breathest
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 slaughtered
Thou showest 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.

JOHN OF GAUNT
God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
His deputy anointed in His sight,
Hath caused his death; the which if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
An angry arm against His minister.

DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
Where then, alas, may I complain myself?

JOHN OF GAUNT
To God, the widow's champion and defence.

DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou goest to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
O, 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
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.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Sister, farewell! I must to Coventry.
As much good stay with thee as go with me!

DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
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 Pleshey visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old York there see
But empty lodgings and unfurnished 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 everywhere.
Desolate, desolate will I hence and die.
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act I, Scene III
Enter the Lord Marshal and the Duke of Aumerle

LORD MARSHAL
My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford armed?

AUMERLE
Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.

LORD MARSHAL
The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.

AUMERLE
Why then, the champions are prepared, and stay
For nothing but his majesty's approach.
The trumpets sound and the King enters with his
nobles, including Gaunt, and Bushy, Bagot, and
Green. When they are set, enter Mowbray, Duke of
Norfolk, in arms, defendant; and a Herald

KING RICHARD
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.

LORD MARSHAL
(to Mowbray)
In God's name and the King's, say who thou art
And why thou comest thus knightly-clad in arms,
Against what man thou comest, and what thy quarrel.
Speak truly on thy knighthood and thy oath,
As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!

MOWBRAY
My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
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!
The trumpets sound. Enter Bolingbroke, Duke of
Hereford, appellant, in armour; and a Herald

KING RICHARD
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 cause.

LORD MARSHAL
(to Bolingbroke)
What is thy name? And wherefore comest 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!

BOLINGBROKE
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
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 is a traitor foul and dangerous
To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me;
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!

LORD MARSHAL
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.

BOLINGBROKE
Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand
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.

LORD MARSHAL
(to King Richard)
The appellant in all duty greets your highness
And craves to kiss your hand, and take his leave.

KING RICHARD
We will descend and fold him in our arms.
He leaves his throne
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Farewell, my blood – which if today thou shed,
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.

BOLINGBROKE
O, let no noble eye profane a tear
For me, if I be gored with Mowbray's spear!
As confident as is the falcon's flight
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.
(To Lord Marshal)
My loving lord, I take my leave of you;
(To Aumerle)
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.
(To John of Gaunt)
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 o' Gaunt,
Even in the lusty haviour of his son!

JOHN OF 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 live.

BOLINGBROKE
Mine innocence and Saint George to thrive!

MOWBRAY
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 uncontrolled 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.

KING RICHARD
Farewell, my lord. Securely I espy
Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.
Order the trial, Marshal, and begin.

LORD MARSHAL
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Receive thy lance; and God defend the right.

BOLINGBROKE
Strong as a tower in hope, I cry ‘ Amen!’

LORD MARSHAL
(to an officer)
Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.

FIRST HERALD
Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
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 HERALD
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.

LORD MARSHAL
Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants!
A charge sounded. King Richard throws his warder
into the lists
Stay! The King hath thrown his warder down.

KING RICHARD
Let them lay by their helmets and their spears
And both return back to their chairs again.
(To his cousellors)
Withdraw with us, and let the trumpets sound
While we return these dukes what we decree.
A long flourish. King Richard consults his nobles, then
addresses the combatants
Draw near,
And list what with our council we have done.
For that our kingdom's earth should not be soiled
With that dear blood which it hath fostered,
And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
Of civil wounds ploughed up with neighbours' sword,
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 roused up with boisterous untuned drums,
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 enriched our fields
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
But tread the stranger paths of banishment.

BOLINGBROKE
Your will be done. This must my comfort be:
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.

KING RICHARD
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.

MOWBRAY
A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlooked-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 learnt 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 cased up –
Or being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have engaoled my tongue,
Doubly portcullised 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 breath?

KING RICHARD
It boots thee not to be compassionate.
After our sentence plaining comes too late.

MOWBRAY
Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.

KING RICHARD
(to Bolingbroke and Mowbray)
Return again, and take an oath with thee.
Lay on our royal sword your banished 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.

BOLINGBROKE
I swear.

MOWBRAY
And I, to keep all this.

BOLINGBROKE
Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:
By this time, had the King permitted us,
One of our souls had wandered in the air,
Banished this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banished from this land.
Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm.
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
The clogging burden of a guilty soul.

MOWBRAY
No, Bolingbroke, if ever I were traitor
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banished 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

KING RICHARD
(to John of Gaunt)
Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grieved heart. Thy sad aspect
Hath from the number of his banished years
Plucked four away. (To Bolingbroke) Six frozen winters spent,
Return with welcome home from banishment.

BOLINGBROKE
How long a time lies in one little word!
Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
End in a word – such is the breath of kings.

JOHN OF GAUNT
I thank my liege that in regard of me
He shortens four years of my son's exile.
But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
For ere the six years that he hath to spend
Can change their moons, and bring their times about,
My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
Shall be extinct with age and endless night.
My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
And blindfold death not let me see my son.

KING RICHARD
Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.

JOHN OF GAUNT
But not a minute, King, that thou canst give.
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow.
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage.
Thy word is current with him for my death,
But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.

KING RICHARD
Thy son is banished upon good advice
Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave.
Why at our justice seemest thou then to lour?

JOHN OF GAUNT
Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
You urged 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 destroyed.
Alas, I looked 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.

KING RICHARD
Cousin, farewell – and, uncle, bid him so.
Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
Flourish. Exit King Richard with his train

AUMERLE
Cousin, farewell! What presence must not know,
From where you do remain let paper show.

LORD MARSHAL
My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride
As far as land will let me by your side.

JOHN OF GAUNT
O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
That thou returnest no greeting to thy friends?

BOLINGBROKE
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.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.

BOLINGBROKE
Joy absent, grief is present for that time.

JOHN OF GAUNT
What is six winters? They are quickly gone.

BOLINGBROKE
To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Call it a travel that thou takest for pleasure.

BOLINGBROKE
My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.

JOHN OF GAUNT
The sullen passage of thy weary steps
Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
The precious jewel of thy home return.

BOLINGBROKE
Nay, rather every tedious stride I 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?

JOHN OF GAUNT
All places that the eye of heaven visits
Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
There is no virtue like necessity.
Think not the King did banish thee,
But thou the King. Woe doth the heavier sit
Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honour,
And not the King exiled thee; or suppose
Devouring pestilence hangs in our air
And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
To lie that way thou goest, not whence thou comest.
Suppose the singing birds musicians,
The grass whereon thou treadest the presence strewed,
The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
Than a delightful measure or a dance;
For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
The man that mocks at it and sets it light.

BOLINGBROKE
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 he bites, but lanceth not the sore.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on thy way.
Had I thy youth and cause I would not stay.

BOLINGBROKE
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 banished, yet a trueborn Englishman!
Modern text
Act I, Scene IV
Enter the King with Bagot and Green at one door,
and the Lord Aumerle at another

KING RICHARD
We did observe. Cousin Aumerle,
How far brought you high Hereford on his way?

AUMERLE
I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
But to the next highway; and there I left him.

KING RICHARD
And say, what store of parting tears were shed?

AUMERLE
Faith, none for me, except the north-east wind,
Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
Awaked the sleeping rheum, and so by chance
Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.

KING RICHARD
What said our cousin when you parted with him?

AUMERLE
‘ Farewell ’ –
And, for my heart disdained that my tongue
Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
To counterfeit oppression of such grief
That words seemed buried in my sorrow's grave.
Marry, would the word ‘ farewell ’ have lengthened 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.

KING RICHARD
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
Observed 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 him well,
And had the tribute of his supple knee,
With ‘ Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends,’
As were our England in reversion his,
And he our subjects' next degree in hope.

GREEN
Well, he is gone; and with him go these thoughts.
Now, for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
Ere further leisure yield them further means
For their advantage and your highness' loss.

KING RICHARD
We will ourself in person to this war;
And, for our coffers with too great a court
And liberal largess are grown somewhat light,
We are enforced to farm our royal realm,
The revenue whereof shall furnish us
For our affairs in hand. If that come short
Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters
Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold
And send them after to supply our wants;
For we will make for Ireland presently.
Enter Bushy
Bushy, what news?

BUSHY
Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
Suddenly taken, and hath sent post-haste
To entreat your majesty to visit him.

KING RICHARD
Where lies he?

BUSHY
At Ely House.

KING RICHARD
Now put it, God, in the physician's mind
To help him to his grave immediately!
The lining of his coffers shall make coats
To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him.
Pray God we may make haste and come too late!

ALL
Amen!
Exeunt
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL