Richard II

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Act II, Scene I
Enter Gaunt, sicke with Yorke.

Gau.
Will the King come, that I may breath my last
In wholsome counsell to his vnstaid youth?

Yor.
Vex not your selfe, nor striue not with your breth
For all in vaine comes counsell to his eare.

Gau.
Oh but (they say) the tongues of dying men
Inforce attention like deepe harmony;
Where words are scarse, they are seldome spent in vaine,
For they breath truth, that breath their words in paine.
He that no more must say, is listen'd more,
Then they whom youth and ease haue taught to glose,
More are mens ends markt, then their liues before,
The setting Sun, and Musicke in the close
As the last taste of sweetes, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance, more then things long past;
Though Richard my liues counsell would not heare,
My deaths sad tale, may yet vndeafe his eare.

Yor.
No, it is stopt with other flatt'ring sounds
As praises of his state: then there are sound
Lasciuious Meeters, to whose venom sound
The open eare of youth doth alwayes listen.
Report of fashions in proud Italy,
Whose manners still our tardie apish Nation
Limpes after in base imitation.
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity,
So it be new, there's no respect how vile,
That is not quickly buz'd into his eares?
That all too late comes counsell to be heard,
Where will doth mutiny with wits regard:
Direct not him, whose way himselfe will choose,
Tis breath thou lackst, and that breath wilt thou loose.

Gaunt.
Me thinkes I am a Prophet new inspir'd,
And thus expiring, do foretell of him,
His rash fierce blaze of Ryot cannot last,
For violent fires soone burne out themselues,
Small showres last long, but sodaine stormes are short,
He tyres betimes, that spurs too fast betimes;
With eager feeding, food doth choake the feeder:
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming meanes soone preyes vpon it selfe.
This royall Throne of Kings, this sceptred Isle,
This earth of Maiesty, this seate of Mars,
This other Eden, demy paradise,
This Fortresse built by Nature for her selfe,
Against infection, and the hand of warre:
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone, set in the siluer sea,
Which serues it in the office of a wall,
Or as a Moate defensiue to a house,
Against the enuy of lesse happier Lands,
This blessed plot, this earth, this Realme, this England,
This Nurse, this teeming wombe of Royall Kings,
Fear'd by their breed, and famous for their birth,
Renowned for their deeds, as farre from home,
For Christian seruice, and true Chiualrie,
As is the sepulcher in stubborne Iury
Of the Worlds ransome, blessed Maries Sonne.
This Land of such deere soules, this deere-deere Land,
Deere for her reputation through the world,
Is now Leas'd out (I dye pronouncing it)
Like to a Tenement or pelting Farme.
England bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beates backe the enuious siedge
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With Inky blottes, and rotten Parchment bonds.
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shamefull conquest of it selfe.
Ah! would the scandall vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death?
Enter King, Queene, Aumerle, Bushy,
Greene, Bagot, Ros, and Willoughby.

Yor.
The King is come, deale mildly with his youth,
For young hot Colts, being rag'd, do rage the more.

Qu.
How fares our noble Vncle Lancaster?

Ri.
What comfort man? How ist with aged Gaunt?

Ga.
Oh how that name befits my composition:
Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old:
Within me greefe hath kept a tedious fast,
And who abstaynes from meate, that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time haue I watcht,
Watching breeds leannesse, leannesse is all gaunt.
The pleasure that some Fathers feede vpon,
Is my strict fast, I meane my Childrens lookes,
And therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt:
Gaunt am I for the graue, gaunt as a graue,
Whose hollow wombe inherits naught but bones.

Ric.
Can sicke men pIay so nicely with their names?

Gau.
No, misery makes sport to mocke it selfe:
Since thou dost seeke to kill my name in mec,
I mocke my name (great King) to flatter thee.

Ric.
Should dying men flatter those that liue?

Gau.
No, no, men liuing flatter those that dye.

Rich.
Thou now a dying, sayst thou flatter'st me.

Gau.
Oh no, thou dyest, though I the sicker be.

Rich.
I am in health, I breath, I see thee ill.

Gau.
Now he that made me, knowes I see thee ill:
Ill in my selfe to see, and in thee, seeing ill,
Thy death-bed is no lesser then the Land,
Wherein thou lyest in reputation sicke,
And thou too care-lesse patient as thou art,
Commit'st thy'anointed body to the cure
Of those Physitians, that first wounded thee.
A thousand flatterers sit within thy Crowne,
Whose compasse is no bigger then thy head,
And yet incaged in so small a Verge,
The waste is no whit lesser then thy Land:
Oh had thy Grandsire with a Prophets eye,
Seene how his sonnes sonne, should destroy his sonnes,
From forth thy reach he would haue laid thy shame,
Deposing thee before thou wert possest,
Which art possest now to depose thy selfe.
Why (Cosine) were thou Regent of the world,
It were a shame to let his Land by lease:
But for thy world enioying but this Land,
Is it not more then shame, to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou, and not King:
Thy state of Law, is bondslaue to the law,
And---

Rich.
And thou, a lunaticke leane-witted foole,
Presuming on an Agues priuiledge,
Dar'st with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheeke, chafing the Royall blood
With fury, from his natiue residence?
Now by my Seates right Royall Maiestie,
Wer't thou not Brother to great Edwards sonne,
This tongue that runs soroundly in thy head,
Should run thy head from thy vnreuerent shoulders.

Gau.
Oh spare me not, my brothers Edwards sonne,
For that I was his Father Edwards sonne:
That blood aIready (like the Pellican)
Thou hast tapt out, and drunkenly carows'd.
My brother Gloucester, plaine well meaning soule
(Whom faire befall in heauen 'mongst happy soules)
May be a president, and witnesse good,
That thou respect'st not spilling Edwards blood:
Ioyne with the present sicknesse that I haue,
And thy vnkindnesse be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too-long wither'd flowre.
Liue in thy shame, but dye not shame with thee,
These words heereafter, thy tormentors bee.
Conuey me to my bed, then to my graue,
Loue they to liue, that loue and honor haue.
Exit

Rich.
And let them dye, that age and sullens haue,
For both hast thou, and both become the graue.

Yor.
I do beseech your Maiestie impute his words
To wayward sicklinesse, and age in him:
He loues you on my life, and holds you deere
As Harry Duke of Herford, were he heere.

Rich.
Right, you say true: as Herfords loue, so his;
As theirs, so mine: and all be as it is.
Enter Northumberland.

Nor.
My Liege, olde Gaunt commends him to your Maiestie.

Rich.
What sayes he?

Nor.
Nay nothing, all is said:
His tongue is now a stringlesse instrument,
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.

Yor.
Be Yorke the next, that must be bankrupt so,
Though death be poore, it ends a mortall wo.

Rich.
The ripest fruit first fals, and so doth he,
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be:
So much for that. Now for our Irish warres,
We must supplant those rough rug-headed Kernes,
Which liue like venom, where no venom else
But onely they, haue priuiledge to liue.
And for these great affayres do aske some charge
Towards our assistance, we do seize to vs
The plate, coine, reuennewes, and moueables,
Whereof our Vncle Gaunt did stand possest.

Yor.
How long shall I be patient? Oh how long
Shall tender dutie make me suffer wrong?
Not Glousters death, nor Herfords banishment,
Nor Gauntes rebukes, nor Englands priuate wrongs,
Nor the preuention of poore Bullingbrooke,
About his marriage, nor my owne disgrace
Haue euer made me sowre my patient cheeke,
Or bend one wrinckle on my Soueraignes face:
I am the last of noble Edwards sonnes,
Of whom thy Father Prince of Wales was first,
In warre was neuer Lyon rag'd more fierce:
In peace, was neuer gentle Lambe more milde,
Then was that yong and Princely Gentleman,
His face thou hast, for euen so look'd he
Accomplish'd with the number of thy howers:
But when he frown'd, it was against the French,
And not against his friends: his noble hand
Did win what he did spend: and spent not that
Which his triumphant fathers hand had won:
His hands were guilty of no kindreds blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kinne:
Oh Richard, Yorke is too farre gone with greefe,
Or else he neuer would compare betweene.

Rich.
Why Vncle, / What's the matter?

Yor.
Oh my Liege,
pardon me if you please, if not / I pleas'd
not to be pardon'd, am content with all:
Seeke you to seize, and gripe into your hands
The Royalties and Rights of banish'd Herford?
Is not Gaunt dead? and doth not Herford liue?
Was not Gaunt iust? and is not Harry true?
Did not the one deserue to haue an heyre?
Is not his heyre a well-deseruing sonne?
Take Herfords rights away, and take from time
His Charters, and his customarie rights:
Let not to morrow then insue to day,
Be not thy selfe. For how art thou a King
But by faire sequence and succession?
Now afore God, God forbid I say true,
If you do wrongfully seize Herfords right,
Call in his Letters Patents that he hath
By his Atrurneyes generall, to sue
His Liuerie, and denie his offer'd homage,
You plucke a thousand dangers on your head,
You loose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
And pricke my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honor and allegeance cannot thinke.

Ric.
Thinke what you will: we seise into our hands,
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.

Yor.
Ile not be by the while: My Liege farewell,
What will ensue heereof, there's none can tell.
But by bad courses may be vnderstood,
That their euents can neuer fall out good.
Exit.

Rich.
Go Bushie to the Earle of Wiltshire streight,
Bid him repaire to vs to Ely house,
To see this businesse: to morrow next
We will for Ireland, and 'tis time, I trow:
And we create in absence of our selfe
Our Vncle Yorke, Lord Gouernor of England:
For he is iust, and alwayes lou'd vs well.
Come on our Queene, to morrow must we part,
Be merry, for our time of stay is short.
Flourish.
Manet North. Willoughby, & Ross.

Nor.
Well Lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.

Ross.
And liuing too, for now his sonne is Duke.

Wil.
Barely in title, not in reuennew.

Nor.
Richly in both, if iustice had her right.

Ross.
My heart is great: but it must break with silence,
Er't be disburthen'd with a liberall tongue.

Nor.
Nay speake thy mind: & let him ne'r speak more
That speakes thy words againe to do thee harme.

Wil.
Tends that thou'dst speake to th'Du. of Hereford,
If it be so, out with it boldly man,
Quicke is mine eare to heare of good towards him.

Ross.
No good at all that I can do for him,
Vnlesse you call it good to pitie him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimonie.

Nor.
Now afore heauen, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne,
In him a royall Prince, and many moe
Of noble blood in this declining Land;
The King is not himselfe, but basely led
By Flatterers, and what they will informe
Meerely in hate 'gainst any of vs all,
That will the King seuerely prosecute
'Gainst vs, our liues, our children, and our heires.

Ros.
The Commons hath he pil'd with greeuous taxes
And quite lost their hearts: the Nobles hath he finde
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

Wil.
And daily new exactions are deuis'd,
As blankes, beneuolences, and I wot not what:
But what o'Gods name doth become of this?

Nor.
Wars hath not wasted it, for war'd he hath not.
But basely yeelded vpon comprimize,
That which his Ancestors atchieu'd with blowes:
More hath he spent in peace, then they in warres.

Ros.
The Earle of Wiltshire hath the realme in Farme.

Wil.
The Kings growne bankrupt like a broken man.

Nor.
Reproach, and dissolution hangeth ouer him.

Ros.
He hath not monie for these Irish warres:
(His burthenous taxations notwithstanding)
But by the robbing of the banish'd Duke.

Nor.
His noble Kinsman, most degenerate King:
But Lords, we heare this fearefull tempest sing,
Yet seeke no shelter to auoid the storme:
We see the winde sit sore vpon our salles,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

Ros.
We see the very wracke that we must suffer,
And vnauoyded is the danger now
For suffering so the causes of our wracke.

Nor.
Not so: euen through the hollow eyes of death,
I spie life peering: but I dare not say
How neere the tidings of our comfort is.

Wil.
Nay let vs share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours

Ros.
Be confident to speake Northumberland,
We three, are but thy selfe, and speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts, therefore be bold.

Nor.
Then thus: I haue from Port le Blan
A Bay in Britaine, receiu'd intelligence,
That Harry Duke of Herford, Rainald Lord Cobham,
That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
His brother Archbishop, late of Canterbury,
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir Iohn Rainston,
Sir Iohn Norberie, Sir Robert Waterton, & Francis Quoint,
All these well furnish'd by the Duke of Britaine,
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of warre
Are making hither with all due expedience,
And shortly meane to touch our Northerne shore:
Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
The first departing of the King for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slauish yoake,
Impe out our drooping Countries broken wing,
Redeeme from broaking pawne the blemish'd Crowne,
Wipe off the dust that hides our Scepters gilt,
And make high Maiestie looke like it selfe,
Away with me in poste to Rauenspurgh,
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay, and be secret, and my selfe will go.

Ros.
To horse, to horse, vrge doubts to them yt feare.

Wil.
Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene II
Enter Queene, Bushy, and Bagot.

Bush.
Madam, your Maiesty is too much sad,
You promis'd when you parted with the King,
To lay aside selfe-harming heauinesse,
And entertaine a cheerefull disposition.

Qu.
To please the King, I did: to please my selfe
I cannot do it: yet I know no cause
Why I should welcome such a guest as greefe,
Saue bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard; yet againe me thinkes,
Some vnborne sorrow, ripe in fortunes wombe
Is comming towards me, and my inward soule
With nothing trembles, at something it greeues,
More then with parting from my Lord the King.

Bush.
Each substance of a greefe hath twenty shadows
Which shewes like greefe it selfe, but is not so:
For sorrowes eye, glazed with blinding teares,
Diuides one thing intire, to many obiects,
Like perspectiues, which rightly gaz'd vpon
Shew nothing but confusion, ey'd awry,
Distinguish forme: so your sweet Maiestie
Looking awry vpon your Lords departure,
Finde shapes of greefe, more then himselfe to waile,
Which look'd on as it is, is naught bur shadowes
Of what it is not: then thrice-gracious Queene,
More then your Lords departure weep not, more's not seene;
Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrowes eie,
Which for things true, weepe things imaginary.

Qu.
It may be so: but yet my inward soule
Perswades me it is otherwise: how ere it be,
I cannot but be sad: so heauy sad,
As though on thinking on no thought I thinke,
Makes me with heauy nothing faint and shrinke.

Bush.
'Tis nothing but conceit (my gracious Lady.)

Qu.
'Tis nothing lesse: conceit is still deriu'd
From some fore-father greefe, mine is not so,
For nothing hath begot my something greefe,
Or something, hath the nothing that I greeue,
'Tis in reuersion that I do possesse,
But what it is, that is not yet knowne, what
I cannot name, 'tis namelesse woe I wot.
Enter Greene.

Gree.
Heauen saue your Maiesty, and wel met Gentlemen:
I hope the King is not yet shipt for Ireland.

Qu
Why hop'st thou so? Tis better hope he is:
For his designes craue hast, his hast good hope,
Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipt?

Gre.
That he our hope, might haue retyr'd his power,
and driuen into dispaire an enemies hope,
Who strongly hath set footing in this Land.
The banish'd Bullingbrooke repeales himselfe,
And with vp-lifted Armes is safe arriu'd
At Rauenspurg.

Qu.
Now God in heauen forbid.

Gr.
O Madam 'tis too true: and that is worse,
The L.Northumberland, his yong sonne Henrie Percie,
The Lords of Rosse, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
With all their powrefull friends are fled to him.

Bush.
Why haue you not proclaim'd Northumberland
And the rest of the reuolted faction, Traitors?

Gre.
We haue: whereupon the Earle of Worcester
Hath broke his staffe, resign'd his Stewardship,
And al the houshold seruants fled with him
to Bullinbrook

Qu.
So Greene, thou art the midwife of my woe,
And Bullinbrooke my sorrowes dismall heyre:
Now hath my soule brought forth her prodegie,
And I a gasping new deliuered mother,
Haue woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow ioyn'd.

Bush.
Dispaire not Madam.

Qu.
Who shall hinder me?
I will dispaire, and be at enmitie
With couzening hope; he is a Flatterer,
A Parasite, a keeper backe of death,
Who gently would dissolue the bands of life,
Which false hopes linger in extremity.
Enter Yorke

Gre.
Heere comes the Duke of Yorke.

Qu.
With signes of warre about his aged necke,
Oh full of carefull businesse are his lookes:
Vncle, for heauens sake speake comfortable words:

Yor.
Comfort's in heauen, and we are on the earth,
Where nothing liues but crosses, care and greefe:
Your husband he is gone to saue farre off,
Whilst others come to make him loose at home:
Heere am I left to vnder-prop his Land,
Who weake with age, cannot support my selfe:
Now comes the sicke houre that his surfet made,
Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.
Enter a seruant.

Ser.
My Lord, your sonne was gone before I came.

Yor.
He was: why so: go all which way it will:
The Nobles they are fled, the Commons they are cold,
And will I feare reuolt on Herfords side.
Sirra, get thee to Plashie to my sister Gloster,
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound,
Hold, take my Ring.

Ser.
My Lord, I had forgot / To tell your Lordship,
to day I came by, and call'd there,
But I shall greeue you to report the rest.

Yor.
What is`t knaue?

Ser.
An houre before I came, the Dutchesse di'de.

Yor.
Heau'n for his mercy, what a tide of woes
Come rushing on this wofull Land at once?
I know not what to do: I would to heauen
(So my vntruth had not prouok'd him to it)
The King had cut off my head with my brothers.
What, are there postes dispatcht for Ireland?
How shall we do for money for these warres?
Come sister (Cozen I would say) pray pardon me.
Go fellow, get thee home, poouide some Carts,
And bring away the Armour that is there.
Gentlemen, will you muster men?
If I know how, or which way to order these affaires
Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
Neuer beleeue me. Both are my kinsmen,
Th'one is my Soueraigne, whom both my oath
And dutie bids defend: th'other againe
Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wrong'd,
Whom conscience, and my kindred bids to right:
Well, somewhat we must do: Come Cozen,
Ile dispose of you. Gentlemen, go muster vp your men,
And meet me presently at Barkley Castle:
I should to Plashy too:
but time will not permit, / All is vneuen,
and euery thing is left at six and seuen.
Exit

Bush.
The winde sits faire for newes to go to Ireland,
But none returnes: For vs to leuy power
Proportionable to th'enemy,
is all impossible.

Gr.
Besides our neerenesse to the King in loue,
Is neere the hate of those loue not the King.

Ba
And that's the wauering Commons, for their loue
Lies in their purses, and who so empties them,
By so much fils their hearts with deadly hate.

Bush.
Wherein the king stands generally condemn'd

Bag.
If iudgement lye in them, then so do we,
Because we haue beene euer neere the King.

Gr.
Well: I will for refuge straight to Bristoll Castle,
The Earle of Wiltshire is alreadie there.

Bush.
Thither will I with you, for little office
Will the hatefull Commons performe for vs,
Except like Curres, to teare vs all in peeces:
Will you go along with vs?

Bag.
No, I will to Ireland to his Maiestie:
Farewell, if hearts presages be not vaine,
We three here part, that neu'r shall meete againe.

Bu.
That's as Yorke thriues to beate back Bullinbroke

Gr.
Alas poore Duke, the taske he vndertakes
Is numbring sands, and drinking Oceans drie,
Where one on his side fights, thousands will flye.

Bush.
Farewell at once, for once, for all, and euer.
Well, we may meete againe.

Bag.
I feare me neuer.
Exit.
Original text
Act II, Scene III
Enter the Duke of Hereford, and Northumberland.

Bul.
How farre is it my Lord to Berkley now?

Nor.
Beleeue me noble Lord,
I am a stranger heere in Gloustershire,
These high wilde hilles, and rough vneeuen waies,
Drawes out our miles, and makes them wearisome.
And yet our faire discourse hath beene as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable:
But I bethinke me, what a wearie way
From Rauenspurgh to Cottshold will be found,
In Rosse and Willoughby, wanting your companie,
Which I protest hath very much beguild
The tediousnesse, and processe of my trauell:
But theirs is sweetned with the hope to haue
The present benefit that I possesse;
And hope to ioy, is little lesse in ioy,
Then hope enioy'd: By this, the wearie Lords
Shall make their way seeme short, as mine hath done,
By sight of what I haue, your Noble Companie.

Bull.
Of much lesse value is my Companie,
Then your good words: but who comes here?
Enter H. Percie.

North.
It is my Sonne, young Harry Percie,
Sent from my Brother Worcester: Whence soeuer.
Harry, how fares your Vnckle?

Percie.
I had thought, my Lord, to haue learn'd his health of you.

North.
Why, is he not with the Queene?
No, my good Lord, he hath forsook the Court,
Broken his Staffe of Office, and disperst
The Household of the King.

North.
What was his reason?
He was not so resolu'd, when we last spake together.

Percie.
Because your Lordship was proclaimed Traitor.
But hee, my Lord, is gone to Rauenspurgh,
To offer seruice to the Duke of Hereford,
And sent me ouer by Barkely, to discouer
What power the Duke of Yorke had leuied there,
Then with direction to repaire to Rauenspurgh.

North.
Haue you forgot the Duke of Hereford (Boy.)

Percie.
No, my good Lord; for that is not forgot
Which ne're I did remember: to my knowledge,
I neuer in my life did looke on him.

North.
Then learne to know him now: this is the Duke.

Percie.
My gracious Lord, I tender you my seruice,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
Which elder dayes shall ripen, and confirme
To more approued seruice, and desert.

Bull.
I thanke thee gentle Percie, and be sure
I count my selfe in nothing else so happy,
As in a Soule remembring my good Friends:
And as my Fortune ripens with thy Loue,
It shall be still thy true Loues recompence,
My Heart this Couenant makes, my Hand thus seales it.

North.
How farre is it to Barkely? and what stirre
Keepes good old Yorke there, with his Men of Warre?

Percie.
There stands the Castle, by yond tuft of Trees,
Mann'd with three hundred men, as I haue heard,
And in it are the Lords of Yorke, Barkely, and Seymor,
None else of Name, and noble estimate.
Enter Rosse and Willoughby.

North.
Here come the Lords of Rosse and Willoughby,
Bloody with spurring, fierie red with haste.

Bull.
Welcome my Lords, I wot your loue pursues
A banisht Traytor; all my Treasurie
Is yet but vnfelt thankes, which more enrich'd,
Shall be your loue, and labours recompence.

Ross.
Your presence makes vs rich, most Noble Lord.

Willo.
And farre surmounts our labour to attaine it.

Bull.
Euermore thankes, th'Exchequer of the poore,
Which till my infant-fortune comes to yeeres,
Stands for my Bountie: but who comes here?
Enter Barkely.

North.
It is my Lord of Barkely, as I ghesse.

Bark.
My Lord of Hereford, my Message is to you.

Bull.
My Lord, my Answere is to Lancaster,
And I am come to seeke that Name in England,
And I must finde that Title in your Tongue,
Before I make reply to aught you say.

Bark.
Mistake me not, my Lord, 'tis not my meaning
To raze one Title of your Honor out.
To you, my Lord, I come (what Lord you will)
From the most glorious of this Land,
The Duke of Yorke, to know what pricks you on
To take aduantage of the absent time,
And fright our Natiue Peace with selfe-borne Armes.
Enter Yorke.

Bull.
I shall not need transport my words by you,
Here comes his Grace in Person. My Noble Vnckle.

York.
Shew me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
Whose dutie is deceiuable, and false.

Bull.
My gracious Vnckle.

York.
Tut, tut, Grace me no Grace, nor Vnckle me,
I am no Traytors Vnckle; and that word Grace,
In an vngracious mouth, is but prophane.
Why haue these banish'd, and forbidden Legges,
Dar'd once to touch a Dust of Englands Ground?
But more then why, why haue they dar'd to march
So many miles vpon her peacefull Bosome,
Frighting her pale-fac'd Villages with Warre,
And ostentation of despised Armes?
Com'st thou because th'anoynted King is hence?
Why foolish Boy, the King is left behind,
And in my loyall Bosome lyes his power.
Were I but now the Lord of such hot youth,
As when braue Gaunt, thy Father, and my selfe
Rescued the Black Prince, that yong Mars of men,
From forth the Rankes of many thousand French:
Oh then, how quickly should this Arme of mine,
Now Prisoner to the Palsie, chastise thee,
And minister correction to thy Fault.

Bull.
My gracious Vnckle, let me know my Fault,
On what Condition stands it, and wherein?

York.
Euen in Condition of the worst degree,
In grosse Rebellion, and detested Treason:
Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come
Before th'expiration of thy time,
In brauing Atmes against thy Soueraigne.

Bull.
As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Hereford,
But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And Noble Vnckle, I beseech your Grace
Looke on my Wrongs with an indifferent eye:
You are my Father, for me thinkes in you
I see old Gaunt aliue. Oh then my Father,
Will you permit, that I shall stand condemn'd
A wandring Vagabond; my Rights and Royalties
Pluckt from my armes perforce, and giuen away
To vpstart Vnthrifts? Wherefore was I borne?
If that my Cousin King, be King of England,
It must be graunted, I am Duke of Lancaster.
You haue a Sonne, Aumerle, my Noble Kinsman,
Had you first died, and he beene thus trod downe,
He should haue found his Vnckle Gaunt a Father,
To rowze his Wrongs, and chase them to the bay.
I am denyde to sue my Liucrie here,
And yet my Letters Patents giue me leaue:
My Fathers goods are all distraynd, and sold,
And these, and all, are all amisse imployd.
What would you haue me doe? I am a Subiect,
And challenge Law: Attorneyes are deny'd me;
And therefore personally I lay my claime
To my Inheritance of free Discent.

North.
The Noble Duke hath been too much abus'd.

Ross.
It stands your Grace vpon, to doe him right.

Willo.
Base men by his endowments are made great.

York.
My Lords of England, let me tell you this,
I haue had feeling of my Cosens Wrongs,
And labour'd all I could to doe him right:
But in this kind, to come in brauing Armes,
Be his owne Caruer, and cut out his way,
To find out Right with Wrongs, it may not be;
And you that doe abett him in this kind,
Cherish Rebellion, and are Rebels all.

North.
The Noble Duke hath sworne his comming is
But for his owne; and for the right of that,
Wee all haue strongly sworne to giue him ayd,
And let him neu'r see Ioy, that breakes that Oath.

York.
Well, well, I see the issue of these Armes,
I cannot mend it, I must needes confesse,
Because my power is weake, and all ill left:
But if I could, by him that gaue me life,
I would attach you all, and make you stoope
Vnto the Soueraigne Mercy of the King.
But since I cannot, be it knowne to you,
I doe remaine as Neuter. So fare you well,
Vnlesse you please to enter in the Castle,
And there repose you for this Night.

Bull.
An offer Vnckle, that wee will accept:
But wee must winne your Grace to goe with vs
To Bristow Castle, which they say is held
By Bushie, Bagot, and their Complices,
The Caterpillers of the Commonwealth,
Which I haue sworne to weed, and plucke away.

York.
It may be I will go with you: but yet Ile pawse,
For I am loth to breake our Countries Lawes:
Nor Friends, nor Foes, to me welcome you are,
Things past redresse, are now with me past care.
Exeunt.
Original text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Salisbury, and a Captaine.

Capt.
My Lord of Salisbury, we haue stayd ten dayes,
And hardly kept our Countreymen together,
And yet we heare no tidings from the King;
Therefore we will disperse our selues: farewell.

Sal.
Stay yet another day, thou trustie Welchman,
The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.

Capt.
'Tis thought the King is dead, we will not stay;
The Bay-trees in our Countrey all are wither'd,
And Meteors fright the fixed Starres of Heauen;
The pale-fac'd Moone lookes bloody on the Earth,
And leane-look'd Prophets whisper fearefull change;
Rich men looke sad, and Ruffians dance and leape,
The one in feare, to loose what they enioy,
The other to enioy by Rage, and Warre:
These signes fore-run the death of Kings.
Farewell, our Countreymen are gone and fled,
As well assur'd Richard their King is dead.
Exit.

Sal.
Ah Richard, with eyes of heauie mind,
I see thy Glory, like a shooting Starre,
Fall to the base Earth, from the Firmament:
Thy Sunne sets weeping in the lowly West,
Witnessing Stormes to come, Woe, and Vnrest:
Thy Friends are fled, to wait vpon thy Foes,
And crossely to thy good, all fortune goes.
Exit.
Modern text
Act II, Scene I
Enter John of Gaunt sick, with the Duke of York, the
Earl of Northumberland, attendants, and others

JOHN OF GAUNT
Will the King come, that I may breathe my last
In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?

YORK
Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.

JOHN OF GAUNT
O, but they say the tongues of dying men
Enforce attention like deep harmony.
Where words are scarce they are seldom spent in vain,
For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
He that no more must say is listened more
Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose.
More are men's ends marked than their lives before.
The setting sun, and music at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
Writ in remembrance more than things long past.
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.

YORK
No, it is stopped with other, flattering sounds,
As praises, of whose taste the wise are fond;
Lascivious metres, to whose venom sound
The open ear of youth doth always listen;
Report of fashions in proud Italy,
Whose manners still our tardy-apish nation
Limps after in base imitation.
Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity –
So it be new there's no respect how vile –
That is not quickly buzzed into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
Direct not him whose way himself will choose.
'Tis breath thou lackest, and that breath wilt thou lose.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Methinks I am a prophet new-inspired,
And thus, expiring, do foretell of him:
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last;
For violent fires soon burn out themselves.
Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short.
He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes.
With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder.
Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle,
This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
This other Eden – demi-paradise –
This fortress built by nature for herself
Against infection and the hand of war,
This happy breed of men, this little world,
This precious stone set in the silver sea,
Which serves it in the office of a wall,
Or as a moat defensive to a house
Against the envy of less happier lands;
This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
Feared by their breed, and famous by their birth,
Renowned for their deeds as far from home
For Christian service and true chivalry
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's son;
This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leased out – I die pronouncing it –
Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
That England that was wont to conquer others
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!
Enter King Richard, Queen Isabel, Aumerle, Bushy,
Green, Bagot, Ross, and Willoughby

YORK
The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth;
For young hot colts being raged do rage the more.

QUEEN ISABEL
How fares our noble uncle Lancaster?

KING RICHARD
What comfort, man? How is't with aged Gaunt?

JOHN OF GAUNT
O, how that name befits my composition!
Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old.
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time have I watched.
Watching breeds leanness; leanness is all gaunt.
The pleasure that some fathers feed upon
Is my strict fast – I mean my children's looks;
And therein fasting hast thou made me gaunt.
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits naught but bones.

KING RICHARD
Can sick men play so nicely with their names?

JOHN OF GAUNT
No, misery makes sport to mock itself.
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name, great King, to flatter thee.

KING RICHARD
Should dying men flatter with those that live?

JOHN OF GAUNT
No, no. Men living flatter those that die.

KING RICHARD
Thou now a-dying sayst thou flatterest me.

JOHN OF GAUNT
O, no. Thou diest, though I the sicker be.

KING RICHARD
I am in health. I breathe, and see thee ill.

JOHN OF GAUNT
Now he that made me knows I see thee ill;
Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
Committest thy anointed body to the cure
Of those ‘ physicians ’ that first wounded thee.
A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
Whose compass is no bigger than thy head,
And yet, encaged in so small a verge,
The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
O, had thy grandsire with a prophet's eye
Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,
From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
Deposing thee before thou wert possessed,
Which art possessed now to depose thyself.
Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world
It were a shame to let this land by lease.
But for thy world enjoying but this land,
Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
Landlord of England art thou now, not king.
Thy state of law is bondslave to the law,
And thou –

KING RICHARD
– a lunatic lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague's privilege,
Darest with thy frozen admonition
Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
With fury from his native residence.
Now by my seat's right royal majesty,
Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.

JOHN OF GAUNT
O, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
For that I was his father Edward's son.
That blood already, like the pelican,
Hast thou tapped out and drunkenly caroused.
My brother Gloucester, plain well-meaning soul –
Whom fair befall in heaven 'mongst happy souls –
May be a precedent and witness good
That thou respectest not spilling Edward's blood.
Join with the present sickness that I have,
And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
To crop at once a too-long withered flower.
Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
These words hereafter thy tormentors be!
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave.
Love they to live that love and honour have.
Exit with Northumberland and attendants

KING RICHARD
And let them die that age and sullens have;
For both hast thou, and both become the grave.

YORK
I do beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sickliness and age in him.
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry, Duke of Hereford, were he here.

KING RICHARD
Right, you say true. As Hereford's love, so his.
As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.
Enter Northumberland

NORTHUMBERLAND
My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your majesty.

KING RICHARD
What says he?

NORTHUMBERLAND
Nay, nothing. All is said.
His tongue is now a stringless instrument.
Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.

YORK
Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.

KING RICHARD
The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he.
His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
So much for that. Now for our Irish wars.
We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns
Which live like venom where no venom else
But only they have privilege to live.
And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
Towards our assistance we do seize to us
The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables
Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possessed.

YORK
How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long
Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
Not Gloucester's death, nor Hereford's banishment,
Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
Have ever made me sour my patient cheek
Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign's face.
I am the last of noble Edward's sons,
Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first.
In war was never lion raged more fierce,
In peace was never gentle lamb more mild
Than was that young and princely gentleman.
His face thou hast; for even so looked he
Accomplished with the number of thy hours;
But when he frowned it was against the French,
And not against his friends. His noble hand
Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
Which his triumphant father's hand had won.
His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
O, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.

KING RICHARD
Why, uncle, what's the matter?

YORK
O, my liege,
Pardon me if you please. If not, I, pleased
Not to be pardoned, am content withal.
Seek you to seize and grip into your hands
The royalties and rights of banished Hereford?
Is not Gaunt dead? And doth not Hereford live?
Was not Gaunt just? And is not Harry true?
Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from Time
His charters and his customary rights.
Let not tomorrow then ensue today.
Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
But by fair sequence and succession?
Now afore God – God forbid I say true –
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
Call in the letters patent that he hath
By his attorneys general to sue
His livery, and deny his offered homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honour and allegiance cannot think.

KING RICHARD
Think what you will, we seize into our hands
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.

YORK
I'll not be by the while. My liege, farewell.
What will ensue hereof there's none can tell;
But by bad courses may be understood
That their events can never fall out good.
Exit

KING RICHARD
Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight,
Bid him repair to us to Ely House
To see this business. Tomorrow next
We will for Ireland, and 'tis time I trow.
And we create in absence of ourself
Our uncle York Lord Governor of England;
For he is just, and always loved us well.
Come on, our Queen; tomorrow must we part.
Be merry; for our time of stay is short.
Flourish. Exeunt King Richard and Queen Isabel.
Northumberland, Willoughby, and Ross remain

NORTHUMBERLAND
Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.

ROSS
And living too; for now his son is duke.

WILLOUGHBY
Barely in title, not in revenues.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Richly in both if justice had her right.

ROSS
My heart is great, but it must break with silence
Ere't be disburdened with a liberal tongue.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more
That speaks thy words again to do thee harm.

WILLOUGHBY
Tends that thou wouldst speak to the Duke of Hereford?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man!
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.

ROSS
No good at all that I can do for him,
Unless you call it good to pity him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
In him, a royal prince, and many more
Of noble blood in this declining land.
The King is not himself, but basely led
By flatterers; and what they will inform
Merely in hate 'gainst any of us all,
That will the King severely prosecute
'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.

ROSS
The commons hath he pilled with grievous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts. The nobles hath he fined
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

WILLOUGHBY
And daily new exactions are devised,
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what.
But what o' God's name doth become of this?

NORTHUMBERLAND
Wars hath not wasted it; for warred he hath not,
But basely yielded upon compromise
That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows.
More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.

ROSS
The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.

WILLOUGHBY
The King's grown bankrupt like a broken man.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.

ROSS
He hath not money for these Irish wars –
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding –
But by the robbing of the banished Duke.

NORTHUMBERLAND
His noble kinsman! – most degenerate King!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing
Yet see no shelter to avoid the storm.
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

ROSS
We see the very wrack that we must suffer,
And unavoided is the danger now
For suffering so the causes of our wrack.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Not so. Even through the hollow eyes of death
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.

WILLOUGHBY
Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.

ROSS
Be confident to speak, Northumberland.
We three are but thyself; and speaking so
Thy words are but as thoughts. Therefore be bold.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Then thus: I have from Le Port Blanc,
A bay in Brittaine, received intelligence
That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham,
The son of Richard Earl of Arundel
That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Coint,
All these well-furnished by the Duke of Brittaine
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience,
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
The first departing of the King for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
Redeem from broking pawn the blemished crown,
Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt,
And make high majesty look like itself,
Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh.
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay, and be secret; and myself will go.

ROSS
To horse, to horse. Urge doubts to them that fear.

WILLOUGHBY
Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene II
Enter the Queen, Bushy, and Bagot

BUSHY
Madam, your majesty is too much sad.
You promised when you parted with the King
To lay aside life-harming heaviness,
And entertain a cheerful disposition.

QUEEN ISABEL
To please the King I did. To please myself
I cannot do it. Yet I know no cause
Why I should welcome such a guest as grief
Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard. Yet again methinks
Some unborn sorrow ripe in fortune's womb
Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
With nothing trembles. At some thing it grieves
More than with parting from my lord the King.

BUSHY
Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
Which shows like grief itself, but is not so.
For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects,
Like perspectives which, rightly gazed upon,
Show nothing but confusion; eyed awry,
Distinguish form. So your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail,
Which looked on as it is, is naught but shadows
Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious Queen,
More than your lord's departure weep not – more is not seen,
Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
Which for things true weeps things imaginary.

QUEEN ISABEL
It may be so; but yet my inward soul
Persuades me it is otherwise. Howe'er it be
I cannot but be sad – so heavy-sad
As, though on thinking on no thought I think,
Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.

BUSHY
'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.

QUEEN ISABEL
'Tis nothing less. Conceit is still derived
From some forefather grief. Mine is not so,
For nothing hath begot my something grief,
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve –
'Tis in reversion that I do possess –
But what it is that is not yet known what,
I cannot name; 'tis nameless woe, I wot.
Enter Green

GREEN
God save your majesty, and well met, gentlemen.
I hope the King is not yet shipped for Ireland.

QUEEN ISABEL
Why hopest thou so? 'Tis better hope he is,
For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope.
Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipped?

GREEN
That he, our hope, might have retired his power,
And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
Who strongly hath set footing in this land.
The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself,
And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
At Ravenspurgh.

QUEEN ISABEL
Now God in heaven forbid!

GREEN
Ah, madam, 'tis too true! And, that is worse,
The Lord Northumberland, his son young Henry Percy,
The Lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby,
With all their powerful friends are fled to him.

BUSHY
Why have you not proclaimed Northumberland
And all the rest, revolted faction, traitors?

GREEN
We have; whereupon the Earl of Worcester
Hath broken his staff, resigned his stewardship,
And all the household servants fled with him
To Bolingbroke.

QUEEN ISABEL
So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir.
Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
And I, a gasping new-delivered mother,
Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow joined.

BUSHY
Despair not, madam.

QUEEN ISABEL
Who shall hinder me?
I will despair and be at enmity
With cozening hope. He is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper-back of death
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life
Which false hope lingers in extremity.
Enter York

GREEN
Here comes the Duke of York.

QUEEN ISABEL
With signs of war about his aged neck.
O, full of careful business are his looks!
Uncle, for God's sake speak comfortable words.

YORK
Should I do so I should belie my thoughts.
Comfort's in heaven, and we are on the earth,
Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
Here am I left to underprop his land,
Who weak with age cannot support myself.
Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made.
Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.
Enter a Servingman

SERVINGMAN
My lord, your son was gone before I came.

YORK
He was? – why, so. Go all which way it will.
The nobles they are fled. The commons they are cold,
And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.
Sirrah, get thee to Pleshey to my sister Gloucester.
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound –
Hold: take my ring.

SERVINGMAN
My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship –
Today as I came by I called there –
But I shall grieve you to report the rest.

YORK
What is't, knave?

SERVINGMAN
An hour before I came the Duchess died.

YORK
God for his mercy, what a tide of woes
Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
I know not what to do. I would to God –
So my untruth had not provoked him to it –
The King had cut off my head with my brother's.
What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
How shall we do for money for these wars?
Come, sister – cousin, I would say – pray pardon me.
Go, fellow, get thee home, provide some carts,
And bring away the armour that is there.
Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
If I know how or which way to order these affairs
Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
T' one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
And duty bids defend. T'other again
Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wronged,
Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
Well, somewhat we must do. (To the Queen) Come, cousin,
I'll dispose of you. Gentlemen, go muster up your men,
And meet me presently at Berkeley.
I should to Pleshey, too,
But time will not permit. All is uneven,
And everything is left at six and seven.
Exeunt York and the Queen
Bushy, Bagot, and Green remain

BUSHY
The wind sits fair for news to go to Ireland,
But none returns. For us to levy power
Proportionable to the enemy
Is all unpossible.

GREEN
Besides, our nearness to the King in love
Is near the hate of those love not the King.

BAGOT
And that is the wavering commons; for their love
Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.

BUSHY
Wherein the King stands generally condemned.

BAGOT
If judgement lie in them, then so do we,
Because we ever have been near the King.

GREEN
Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristol Castle.
The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.

BUSHY
Thither will I with you; for little office
Will the hateful commons perform for us –
Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.
Will you go along with us?

BAGOT
No, I will to Ireland to his majesty.
Farewell. If heart's presages be not vain,
We three here part that ne'er shall meet again.

BUSHY
That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.

GREEN
Alas, poor Duke! The task he undertakes
Is numbering sands and drinking oceans dry.
Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.

BAGOT
Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.

BUSHY
Well, we may meet again.

BAGOT
I fear me, never.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene III
Enter Bolingbroke and Northumberland

BOLINGBROKE
How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?

NORTHUMBERLAND
Believe me, noble lord,
I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire.
These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draws out our miles and makes them wearisome.
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
But I bethink me what a weary way
From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
Which I protest hath very much beguiled
The tediousness and process of my travel.
But theirs is sweetened with the hope to have
The present benefit which I possess;
And hope to joy is little less in joy
Than hope enjoyed. By this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short as mine hath done
By sight of what I have – your noble company.

BOLINGBROKE
Of much less value is my company
Than your good words. But who comes here?
Enter Harry Percy

NORTHUMBERLAND
It is my son, young Harry Percy,
Sent from my brother Worcester whencesoever.
Harry, how fares your uncle?

PERCY
I had thought, my lord, to have learned his health of you.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Why, is he not with the Queen?

PERCY
No, my good lord, he hath forsook the court,
Broken his staff of office, and dispersed
The household of the King.

NORTHUMBERLAND
What was his reason?
He was not so resolved when last we spake together.

PERCY
Because your lordship was proclaimed traitor.
But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh
To offer service to the Duke of Hereford,
And sent me over by Berkeley to discover
What power the Duke of York had levied there,
Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?

PERCY
No, my good lord; for that is not forgot
Which ne'er I did remember. To my knowledge
I never in my life did look on him.

NORTHUMBERLAND
Then learn to know him now – this is the Duke.

PERCY
My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
To more approved service and desert.

BOLINGBROKE
I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure
I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul remembering my good friends;
And as my fortune ripens with thy love
It shall be still thy true love's recompense.
My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.

NORTHUMBERLAND
How far is it to Berkeley, and what stir
Keeps good old York there with his men of war?

PERCY
There stands the castle by yon tuft of trees,
Manned with three hundred men as I have heard,
And in it are the Lords of York, Berkeley, and Seymour,
None else of name and noble estimate.
Enter Ross and Willoughby

NORTHUMBERLAND
Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
Bloody with spurring, fiery red with haste.

BOLINGBROKE
Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
A banished traitor. All my treasury
Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enriched,
Shall be your love and labour's recompense.

ROSS
Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.

WILLOUGHBY
And far surmounts our labour to attain it.

BOLINGBROKE
Evermore thank's the exchequer of the poor,
Which till my infant fortune comes to years
Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?
Enter Berkeley

NORTHUMBERLAND
It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.

BERKELEY
My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.

BOLINGBROKE
My lord, my answer is to ‘ Lancaster.’
And I am come to seek that name in England,
And I must find that title in your tongue
Before I make reply to aught you say.

BERKELEY
Mistake me not, my lord. 'Tis not my meaning
To raze one title of your honour out.
To you, my lord, I come – what lord you will –
From the most gracious regent of this land,
The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
To take advantage of the absent time
And fright our native peace with self-borne arms.
Enter York

BOLINGBROKE
I shall not need transport my words by you.
Here comes his grace in person. My noble uncle!
He kneels

YORK
Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
Whose duty is deceivable and false.

BOLINGBROKE
My gracious uncle –

YORK
Tut, tut, grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle!
I am no traitor's uncle; and that word ‘ grace ’
In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
Why have those banished and forbidden legs
Dared once to touch a dust of England's ground?
But then more ‘ why ’ – why have they dared to march
So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
Frighting her pale-faced villages with war
And ostentation of despised arms?
Comest thou because the anointed King is hence?
Why, foolish boy, the King is left behind,
And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
Were I but now the lord of such hot youth
As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself
Rescued the Black Prince – that young Mars of men –
From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
O then how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee
And minister correction to thy fault!

BOLINGBROKE
My gracious uncle, let me know my fault.
On what condition stands it, and wherein?

YORK
Even in condition of the worst degree,
In gross rebellion and detested treason.
Thou art a banished man, and here art come
Before the expiration of thy time
In braving arms against thy sovereign!

BOLINGBROKE
As I was banished, I was banished Hereford;
But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye.
You are my father; for methinks in you
I see old Gaunt alive. O then, my father,
Will you permit that I shall stand condemned
A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties
Plucked from my arms perforce, and given away
To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
If that my cousin King be King in England
It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin.
Had you first died and he been thus trod down
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father
To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
I am denied to sue my livery here,
And yet my letters patents give me leave.
My father's goods are all distrained and sold,
And these, and all, are all amiss employed.
What would you have me do? I am a subject,
And I challenge law. Attorneys are denied me,
And therefore personally I lay my claim
To my inheritance of free descent.

NORTHUMBERLAND
(to York)
The noble Duke hath been too much abused.

ROSS
It stands your grace upon to do him right.

WILLOUGHBY
Base men by his endowments are made great.

YORK
My lords of England, let me tell you this:
I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs,
And laboured all I could to do him right.
But in this kind to come, in braving arms,
Be his own carver, and cut out his way
To find out right with wrong – it may not be.
And you that do abet him in this kind
Cherish rebellion, and are rebels all.

NORTHUMBERLAND
The noble Duke hath sworn his coming is
But for his own, and for the right of that
We all have strongly sworn to give him aid;
And let him never see joy that breaks that oath.

YORK
Well, well, I see the issue of these arms.
I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
Because my power is weak and all ill-left.
But if I could, by Him that gave me life,
I would attach you all and make you stoop
Unto the sovereign mercy of the King.
But since I cannot, be it known unto you
I do remain as neuter. So fare you well,
Unless you please to enter in the castle
And there repose you for this night.

BOLINGBROKE
An offer, uncle, that we will accept;
But we must win your grace to go with us
To Bristol Castle, which they say is held
By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.

YORK
It may be I will go with you, but yet I'll pause;
For I am loath to break our country's laws.
Nor friends, nor foes, to me welcome you are.
Things past redress are now with me past care.
Exeunt
Modern text
Act II, Scene IV
Enter Earl of Salisbury and a Welsh Captain

CAPTAIN
My Lord of Salisbury, we have stayed ten days
And hardly kept our countrymen together,
And yet we hear no tidings from the King.
Therefore we will disperse ourselves. Farewell.

SALISBURY
Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman.
The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.

CAPTAIN
'Tis thought the King is dead. We will not stay.
The bay trees in our country are all withered,
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven.
The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth,
And lean-looked prophets whisper fearful change.
Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap –
The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
The other to enjoy by rage and war.
These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
Farewell. Our countrymen are gone and fled,
As well assured Richard their king is dead.
Exit

SALISBURY
Ah, Richard! With the eyes of heavy mind
I see thy glory like a shooting star
Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
Exit
SHAKESPEARE'S WORDS © 2018 DAVID CRYSTAL & BEN CRYSTAL