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The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd;
And all the shrouds, wherewith my life should sail,
Are turned to one thread, one little hair:
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be uttered;
And then all this thou seest, is but a clod,
And module of confounded royalty.
Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward;
Where, heaven he knows, how we shall answer him:
For, in a night, the best part of my power,
As I upon advantage did remove,
Were in the washes, all unwarily,
Devoured by the unexpected flood.
Sal. You breathe these dead news in as dead an ear.-
My liege! my lord!-But now a king,-now thus.
P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so stop.
What surety of the world, what hope, what stay,
When this was now a king, and now is clay?
Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind,
To do the office for thee of revenge;
And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven,
As it on earth hath been thy servant still.-
Now, now, you stars, that move in your right spheres,
Where be your powers? Show now your mended faiths;
And instantly return with me again,
To push destruction, and perpetual shame,
Out of the weak-door of our fainting land:
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
Sal. It seems, you know not then so much as we :
The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest,
Who half an hour since came from the Dauphin;
And brings from him such offers of our peace
As we with honour and respect may take,
With purpose presently to leave this war.
Bast. He will the rather do it, when he sees
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath despatch'd
To the sea-side, and put his cause and quarrel
To the disposing of the cardinal:
With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
To cónsummate this business happily.
Bast. Let it be so;-And you, my noble prince,
With other princes that may best be spared,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd;
For so he will'd it.
Bast. Thither shall it then,
And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee,
I do bequeath my faithful services
And true subjection everlastingly.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make,
To rest without a spot for evermore.
P. Hen. I have a kind soul that would give you thanks,
And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe,
Since it hath been before-hand with our griefs.-
This England never did (nor never shall)
Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror,
But when it first did help to wound itself.
Now these her princes are come home again,
Come the three corners of the world in arms,
And we shall shock them: Nought shall make us rue,
If England to itself do rest but true.
KING RICHARD THE SECOND.
EDMUND OF LANGLEY,
Duke of York;
JOHN OF GAUNT, Duke
HENRY, surnamed Bolingbroke,
Duke of Hereford, Son to John of
Gaunt; afterwards King Henry IV.
DUKE OF AUMERLE, Son to the
Duke of York.
MOWBRAY, Duke of Norfolk.
DUKE OF SURREY.
EARL OF SALISBURY.
BUSHY, Creatures to King
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND.
HENRY PERCY, his Son,
SCENE.-Dispersedly in England and Wales.
A Room in the Palace.
Enter KING RICHARD, attended; JOHN of GAUNT, and other Nobles, with him.
K. Rich. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,
Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,*
Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son;
Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ?
Gaunt. I have, my liege.
K. Rich. 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?
Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argument,―
On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :-
High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
Boling. May many years of happy days befall My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
Nor. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!
K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but 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 ?
Boling. First, (heaven be the record of 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.
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 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 a-foot
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 my gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except:
If guilty dread hath 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 worst devise.
Nor. 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 Mowbray's charge? It must be great, that can inheritt us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. 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 detain'd 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 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 spring.
Further I say, and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to make all this good,-
That he did plot the duke of Gloster'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,