Page images

I talk but idly, and you mock at me.-
Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
What says King Bolingbroke? will his majesty
Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?

North. My lord, in the base court he doth attend
To speak with you; may't please you to come down?
K. Rich. Down, down, I come like glistering

Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
[NORTH. retires to BOLING.
In the base court? Base court, where kings grow

To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace.
In the base court? Come down? Down court.
down king!

For night-owls shriek, where mountain larks
should sing. [Exeunt from above.
Boling. What says his majesty?
Sorrow and grief of heart
Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man;
Yet he is come.


Enter King RICHARD, and his Attendants below.

Boling. Stand all apart,

And show fair duty to his majesty,

My gracious lord,


K. Rich. Fair cousin, you debase your princely

To make the base earth proud with kissing it;
Me rather had, my heart might feel your love,
Than my unpleas'd eye see your courtesy.
Up, cousin, up; your heart is up I know,
Thus high at least [touching his own head], although
your knee be low.

Boling. My gracious lord, I come but for mine


K. Rich. Your own is yours, and I am yours,

and all.

Boling. So far be mine, my most redoubted lord, As my true service shall deserve your love.

K. Rich. Well you deserve :-They well deserve
to have,

That know the strong'st and surest way to get.
Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes;
Tears show their love, but want their remedies.-
Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
Though you are old enough to be my heir.
What you will have, I'll give, and willing too;
For do we must what force will have us do.-
Set on towards London :-Cousin, is it so?
Boling. Yea, my good lord.
K. Rich.

Then I must not say no. [Flourish. Exeunt. SCENE.-Westminster Hall. BOLINGBROKE in


Boling. Lords, you that here are under our arrest, Procure your sureties for your day of answer: Little are we beholden to your love, [To CARL. And little look'd for at your helping hands. Re-enter YORK, with King RICHARD, and Officers bearing the crown, &c.

K. Rich. Alack, why am I sent for to a king,
Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
Wherewith I reigned? I hardly yet have learn’d
To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee :
Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me

To this submission. Yet I will remember
The favours of these men; Were they not mine?
Did they not sometime cry, all hail! to me?
So Judas did to Christ: but he in twelve,
Found truth in all, but one; I, in twelve thousand,


God save the king!-will no man say, amen?
Am I both priest and clerk? well then, amen.
God save the king! although I be not he;
And yet, amen, if Heaven do think him me.-
To do what service am I sent for hither?

York. To do that office of thine own good will
Which tired majesty did make the offer,-
The resignation of thy state and crown
To Henry Bolingbroke.

K. Rich. Give me the crown :-Here, cousin,
seize the crown;

Here, on this side my hand; on that side thine.
Now is this golden crown like a deep well,
That owes two buckets filling one another;
The emptier ever dancing in the air,
The other down, unseen, and full of water:
That bucket down, and full of tears, am I,
Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.
Boling. I thought you had been willing to resign.
K. Rich. My crown I am, but still my griefs
are mine:

You may my glories and my state depose,
But not my griefs; still am I king of those.

Boling. Are you contented to resign the crown?
K. Rich. Ay, no; no, ay: for I must nothing

Therefore no, no, for I resign to thee.
Now mark me how I will undo myself:-
I give this heavy weight from off my head,
And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
With mine own hands I give away my crown,
With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
With mine own breath release all duteous oaths:
My manors, rents, revenues, I forego;
All pomp and majesty I do for wear;
My acts, decrees, and statutes, I deny :
God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee!
Make me, that nothing have, with nothing griev'd,
And thou with all pleas'd, that hast all achiev'd!
Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit,
God save King Henry, unking'd Richard says,
And send him many years of sunshine days!
What more remains?
No more, but that you read
[Offering a paper.
These accusations, and these grievous crimes,
Committed by your person, and your followers,
[Exit. Against the state and profit of this land;

York. Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee From plume-pluck'd Richard; who with willing soul

Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields
To the possession of thy royal hand:
Ascend his throne, descending now from him,-
And long live Henry, of that name the fourth!
Boling. In God's name, I'll ascend the regal

Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
He may surrender; so we shall proceed
Without suspicion.


I will be his conduct.


That by confessing them, the souls of men
May deem that you are worthily depos'd.

K. Rich. Must I do so? and must I ravel out My weav'd-up follies! Gentle Northun berland, If thy offences were upon record,

Would it not shame thee, in so fair a troop,
To read a lecture of them? If thou would'st,
There should'st thou find one heinous article,
Containing the deposing of a king,

And crackling the strong warrant of an oath,
Mark'd with a blot, damn'd in the book of Hea-


Nay, all of you, that stand and look upon me,
Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
Have here deliver'd me to my sour cross,
And water cannot wash away your sin.

North. My lord, despatch; read over these articles.
K. Rich. Mine eyes are full of tears, I cannot


And yet salt water blinds them not so much,
But they can set a sort of traitors here.
Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
I find myself a traitor with the rest:
For I have given here my soul's consent
To undeck the pompous body of a king;
Make glory base; a sovereignty a slave;
Proud majesty a subject; state a peasant.
North. My lord,-

K. Rich. No lord of thine, thou haught, insulting man,

Nor no man's lord; I have no name, no title,-
No, not that name was given me at the font,-
But 'tis usurp'd:-Alack the heavy day,
That I have worn so many winters out,
And know not now what name to call myself!
Good king,-great king-(and yet not greatly

And if my word be sterling yet in England,
Let it command a mirror hither straight,
That it may show me what a face I have,
Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.

Boling. Go some of you, and fetch a looking-
[Exit an Attendant.

North. Read o'er this paper, while the glass doth

[blocks in formation]

Re-enter Attendant, with a glass.

Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
So many blows upon this face of mine,
And made no deeper wounds ?-O, flattering glass,
Like to my followers in prosperity,

Thou dost beguile me! Was this face the face
That every day under his household roof
Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
That, like the sun, did make beholders wink?
Is this the face which fac'd so many follies,
That was at last outfac'd by Bolingbroke?
A brittle glory shineth in his face;
As brittle as the glory in the face;

[Dashes the glass against the ground. For there it is, crack'd in an hundred shivers. Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport,How soon my sorrow hath destroy'd my face. Boling. The shadow of your sorrow bath destroy'd

The shadow of yourself.

K. Rich.

Ha, say that again. The shadow of my sorrow? Ha! let's see:'Tis very true, my grief lies all within ; And these external manners of laments Are merely shadows to the unseen grief, That swells with silence in the tortur'd soul; There lies the substance: and I thank thee, king, For thy great bounty, that not only giv'st Me cause to wail, but teachest me the way How to lament the cause. I'll beg one boon, And then be gone, and trouble you no more. Shall I obtain it?

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

Depos'd thine intellect? Hath he been in thy | Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;


The lion, dying, thrusteth forth his paw,

And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
To be o'erpower'd; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
Take thy correction mildly? kiss the rod;
And fawn on rage with base humility,
Which art a lion, and a king of beasts?

Better far off than near, be ne'er the near.
Go count thy way with sighs; I mine with groans.
Queen. So longest way shall have the longest


K. Rich. Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,

And piece the way out with a heavy heart.

K. Rich. A king of beasts, indeed; if aught Come, come, in wooing sorrow let's be brief,

but beasts,

I had been still a happy king of men.

Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for

Think I am dead; and that even here thou tak'st
As from my death-bed, my last living leave.
In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire
With good old folks; and let them tell thee tales
Of woeful ages, long ago betid:

And, ere thou bid good night, to quit their grief,
Tell thou the lamentable fall of me,

And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
For why, the senseless brands will sympathize
The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
And, in compassion, weep the fire out:
And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
For the deposing of a rightful king.

Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, attended.

North. My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is

You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.
And, madam, there is order ta'en for you;
With all swift speed you must away to France.
K. Rich. Northumberland, thou ladder where

The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
The time shall not be many hours of age
More than it is, ere foul sin, gathering head,
Shall break into corruption; thou shalt think,
Though he divide the realm, and give thee half,
It is too little, helping him to all:

And he shall think that thou, which know'st the


To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
Being ne'er so little urg'd another way,
To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
The love of wicked friends converts to fear;
That fear to hate; and hate turns one, or both,
To worthy danger, and deserved death.

North. My guilt be on my head, and there an end
Take leave, and part; for you must part forthwith.
K. Rich. Doubly divorc'd?-Bad man, ye violate
A twofold marriage; 'twixt my crown and me;
And then betwixt me and my married wife.
Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;
And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made.
Part us, Northumberland: I towards the north,
Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime.
My queen to France; from whence, set forth in

[blocks in formation]

Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part;
Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.

[They kiss. Queen. Give me mine own again; 'twere no good part,

To take on me to keep, and kill thy heart.

[blocks in formation]


When weeping made you break the story off,
Of our two cousins coming into London.
York. Where did I leave?

At that sad stop, my lord, Where rude misgovern'd hands, from windows' tops,

Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.
York. Then, as I said, the duke, great Boling-

Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow, but stately pace, kept on his course,
While all tongues cried-God save thee, Boling-


You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage; and that all the walls,
With painted imagery, had said at once,-
Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!
Whilst he, from one side to the other turning,
Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus,-I thank you, countrymen :
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

Duch. Alas, poor Richard! where rides he the

whilst ?

York. As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage,
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious:
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on Richard, no man cried, God save him;
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home:
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head;
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him.

* Tapestry hung from the windows.

[blocks in formation]

K. Rich. I have been studying how to compare
This prison, where I live, unto the world:
And, for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it; yet I'll hammer it out.
My brain I'll prove the female to my soul;
My soul, the father.

And these same thoughts people this little world;
In humours like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,-
As thoughts of things divine,- -are intermix'd'
With scruples, and do set the faith itself
Against the faith:

Thus play I, in one person, many people,
And none contented: Sometimes am I a king,
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: Then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again: and by-and-by,
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing :--But, whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd
With being nothing. Music do I hear?
Ha, ha! keep time:-How sour sweet music is,
When time is broke, and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear,
To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
But, for the concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
Enter GROOM,


Groom. Hail, royal prince! K. Rich. Thanks, noble peer; The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear. What art thou? and how comest thou hither, Where no man ever comes, but that sad dog That brings me food, to make misfortune live? Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king, When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,

With much ado, at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimes royal master's face.
O, how it yearn'd my heart, when I beheld,
In London streets that coronation day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary!
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid;
That horse that I so carefully have dress'd!
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle

How went he under him?

Groom. So proudly as if he had disdain'd the ground.

K. Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!

That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down
(Since pride must have a fall), and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be aw'd by man,
Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;
And yet I bear a burthen like an ass,
Spur-gall'd, and tir'd, by jauncing Bolingbroke.
[Exit Groom.

Enter EXTON, and Servants, armed.

K. Rich. How now? what means death in this

rude assault?

Villain, thine own hand yields thy death's instrument. [Snatching a weapon, and killing one.

Go thou, and fill another room in hell.

[He kills another, then ExTON strikes him down. That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire, That staggers thus my person.-Exton, thy fierce hand

Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land.

Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
Exton. As full of valour as of royal blood:
Both have I spilt; O would the deed were good!
For now the devil, that told me I did well,
Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
This dead king to the living king I'll bear.
Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.


[blocks in formation]

Enter WESTMORELAND, BLUNT, and others. K. Hen. So shaken as we are, so wan with care, Find we a time for frighted peace to pant, And breathe short-winded accents of new broils, To be commenc'd in stronds afar remote. No more the thirsty entrance of this soil Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood; No more shall trenching war channel her fields, Nor bruise her flowrets with the armed hoofs Of hostile paces: Therefore, friends, As far as to the sepulchre of Christ (Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cress We are impressed and engag'd to fight), Forthwith a power of English shall we levy: To chase these pagans, in those holy fields, Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet, Which, fourteen hundred years ago, were nail'd, For our advantage, on the bitter cross. But this our purpose is a twelvemonth old, And bootless 'tis to tell you-we will go; Therefore we meet not now:-Then let me hear Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland, What yesternight our council did decree, In forwarding this dear expedience.

West. My liege, this haste was hot in question, And many limits of the charge set down But yesternight: when, all athwart, there came A post from Wales, loaden with heavy news; Those worst was,-that the noble Mortimer, Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight Against the irregular and wild Glendower, Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken, And a thousand of his people butchered.

K. Hen. It seems, then, that the tidings of this broil

Brake off our business for the Holy Land.
West. This, match'd with other like, my gra-
cious lord,

For more uneven and unwelcome news
Came from the north, and thus it did import :
On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
Young Harry Percy, and brave Archibald,
That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
At Holmedon met,

enemies to the


Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour;
As by discharge of their artillery,
And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
For he that brought them, in the very heat
And pride of their contention did take horse,
Uncertain of the issue any way.

K. Hen. Here is a dear and true industrious friend,

Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse,
Stain'd with the variation of each soil

Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours:
And he hath brought us smooth and welcome


The Earl of Douglas is discomfted;
Ten thousand bold Scots, two-and-twenty knights,
Balk'd in their own blood, did Sir Walter see
On Holmedon's plains: Of prisoners, Hotspur

Mordake earl of Fife, and eldest son

To beaten Douglas; and the earl of Athol,
Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith.
And is not this an honourable spoil?
A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?
West. In faith,

It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.
K. Hen. Yea, there thou mak'st me sad, and
mak'st me sin,

In envy that my lord Northumberland
Should be the father of so bless'd a son:

A son, who is the theme of honour's tongue;
Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
Who is sweet fortune's minion, and her pride:
Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
See riot and dishonour stain the brow
Of my young Harry. O, that it could be prov'd,
That some night-tripping fairy had exchang'd
In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet!
Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
But let him from my thoughts :-What think you,

Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
Which he in his adventure hath surpris'd,
To his own use he keeps; and sends me word,
I shall have none but Mordake earl of Fife.
West. This is his uncle's teaching, this is


« PreviousContinue »