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When the tongue s office should be prodigal
ten. Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure.
Boling. My heart will sigh, when I miscall it so, Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.
Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps
Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make?
Gaunt. All places that the eye of heaven ? visits, Are to a wise man ports and happy heavens. 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 honor, 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 go'st, not whence thou com'st. Suppose the singing birds, musicians ; The grass whereon thou tread'st, the presence
1 This speech and that which follows are not in the folio. 2 i. e. the sun.
3 We have other allusions to the practice of strewing rushes over the floor of the presence-chamber, in Shakspeare.
The flowers, fair ladies; and thy steps, no more
Boling. O, who can hold a fire in his hand,
way: Had I thy youth, and cause, I would not stay. Boling. Then, England's ground, farewell; sweet
soil, adieu ;
SCENE IV. The same. A Room in the King's Castle.
Enter King RICHARD, Bagot, and GREEN ; AUMERLE
following. K. Rich. We did observe. 2-Cousin Aumerle, How far brought you high Hereford on his way?
Aum. I brought high Hereford, if you call him so, But to the next highway, and there I left him. K. Rich. And, say, what store of parting tears were
i Dr. Johnson thought that the first act should end here.
2 The king here addressed Green and Bagot, who, we may suppose, had been talking to him of Bolingbroke's "courtship to the common people," at the time of his departure. “ Yes," says Richard, “ we did observe it."
Aum. 'Faith, none by 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. K. Rich. What said our cousin, when you parted
with him ? Aum. 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.
K. Rich. 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, Bagot here, and Green, 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,3 With-Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends;
i The first folio and the quarto of 1597 read “ 'Faith, none for me.” The emendation was made in the folio, 1623.
2 The earlier quarto copies read, “ Ourself and Bushy," and no more. The folio :
“Ourself, and Bushy here, Bagot, and Greene. In the quarto, the stage-direction says, “ Enter the King, with Bushie," &c.; but in the folio, “ Enter the King, Aumerle," &c., because it was observed that Bushy comes in afterward. On this account we have adopted a transposition made in the quarto of 1634.
3 To illustrate this, it should be remembered that courtesying (the act of reverence now confined to women) was anciently practised by men.
" Ireland :
As were our England in reversion his,
K. Rich. We will ourself in person to this war.
The revenue whereof shall furnish us
Enter Bushy. Bushy, what news ?
Bushy. Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord ; Suddenly taken; and hath sent post-haste,
K. Rich. Where lies he?
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.
i Shakspeare often uses expedient for erpeditious ; but here its ordinary signification of fit, proper, will suit the context equally well.
2 i. e. cause.
SCENE s. London. A Room in Ely-house. Gaunt
on a couch ; the DUKE OF YORK,' and others standing by him.
Gaunt. Will the king come ? that I may breathe my
last In wholesome counsel to his unstayed youth. York. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your
breath; For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
Gaunt. 0, 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 gloze; More are men's ends marked, than their lives before:
The setting sun and music at the close,
Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
York. No; it is stopped with other flattering sounds,
1 Edmond, duke of York, was the fifth son of Edward III., and was born, in 1441, at Langley, near St. Albans, Herts; whence he had his surname. “ He was of an indolent disposition, a lover of pleasure, and averse to business; easily prevailed upon to lie still and consult his own quiet, and never acting with spirit upon any occasion.”—Lowth's William of Wykeham, p. 205.
2 Mason suggests the following punctuation of this passage. He considers the word last as a verb.
The setting sun, and music at the close,