Page images
PDF
EPUB

Scorns to unsay what once it hath delivered.
In that dead time when Gloster's death was plotted,
I heard you say,—Is not my arm of length,
That reacheth from the restful English court
As far as Calais, to my uncle's head ?
Amongst much other talk, that very time,
I heard you say, that you had rather refuse
The offer of a hundred thousand crowns,
Than Bolingbroke's return to England;
Adding withal, how blessed this land would be,
In this your cousin's death.
Aum.

Princes, and noble lords,
What answer shall I make to this base man?
Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars,
On equal terms to give him chastisement?
Either I must, or have mine honor soiled
With the attainder of his slanderous lips.-
There is my gage, the manual seal of death,
That marks thee out for hell. I say thou liest,
And will maintain, what thou hast said, is false,
In thy heart-blood, though being all too base,
To stain the temper of my knightly sword.

Boling. Bagot, forbear ; thou shalt not take it up.

Aum. Excepting one, I would he were the best In all this presence, that hath moved me so.

Fitz. If that thy valor stand on sympathies,? There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine. By that fair sun that shows me where thou stand'st, I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak'st it, That thou wert cause of noble Gloster's death. If thou deny'st it, twenty times thou liest ; And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart, Where it was forged, with my rapier's point.

1 The birth is supposed to be influenced by stars, therefore the Poet takes stars for birth.

2 Fitzwater throws down his gage as a pledge of battle, and tells Aumerle that if he stands upon sympathies, that is, upon equality of blood, the combat is now offered him by a man of rank not inferior to his own. Sympathy is an affection incident at once to two subjects. This community of affection implies a likeness or equality of nature; and hence the Poet transferred the term to equality of blood.

Aum. Thou dar'st not, coward, live to see that day. Fitz. Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour. Aum. Fitzwater, thou art damned to hell for this.

Percy. Aumerle, thou liest. His honor is as true,
In this appeal, as thou art all unjust;
And, that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
To prove it on thee to the extremest point
Of mortal breathing; seize it, if thou dar’st.

Aum. And if I do not, may my hands rot off,
And never brandish more revengeful steel
Over the glittering helmet of my foe!

Lord. I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle ;
And spur thee on with full as many lies
As may be hollaed in thy treacherous ear
From sun to sun. There is my honor's pawn ;
Engage it to the trial, if thou dar’st.
Aum. Who sets me else? By Heaven, I'll throw at

all : I have a thousand spirits in one breast, To answer twenty thousand such as you.

Surrey. My lord Fitzwater, I do remember well The very time Aumerle and you did talk.

Fitz. 'Tis very true. You were in presence then ; And you can witness with me, this is true.

Surrey. As false, by Heaven, as Heaven itself is true.
Fitz. Surrey, thou liest.
Surrey.

Dishonorable boy!
That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword,
That it shall render vengeance and revenge,
Till thou the lie-giver, and that lie, do lie
In earth as quiet as thy father's skull.
In proof whereof, there is my honor's pawn;
Engage it to the trial, if thou dar’st.

Fitz. How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
If I dare eat, or drink, or breathe, or live,
I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness,
And spit upon him, whilst I say, he lies,
And lies, and lies. There is my bond of faith,

i The preceding eight lines are not in the folio of 1623. 2 I dare meet him where no help can be had by me against him.

To tie thee to my strong correction.-
As I intend to thrive in this new world,
Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal.
Besides, I heard the banished Norfolk say,
That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
To execute the noble duke at Calais.

Aum. Some honest Christian trust me with a gage,
That Norfolk lies. Here do I throw down this, 2
If he may be repealed to try his honor.

Boling. These differences shall all rest under gage,
Till Norfolk be repealed ; repealed he shall be,
And, though mine enemy, restored again
To all his land and seigniories. When he's returned,
Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.

Car. That honorable day shall ne'er be seen.-
Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought
For Jesu Christ; in glorious Christian field
Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross,
Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens :
And, toiled with works of war, retired himself
To Italy; and there, at Venice, gave
His body to that pleasant country's earth,
And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
Under whose colors he had fought so long.

Boling. Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead ?
Car. As sure as I live, my lord.
Boling. Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the

bosom
Of good old Abraham !-Lords appellants,
Your differences shall all rest under gage,
Till we assign you to your days of trial.

Enter York, attended.
York. Great duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
From plume-plucked Richard ; who with willing soul

1 i. e. in this world, where I have just begun to be an actor. Surrey has just called him boy.

2 Holinshed says that on this occasion he threw down a hood that he had borrowed.

3 This is not historically true. The duke of Norfolk's death did not take place till after Richard's.

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 throne.

Car. Marry, God forbid !-
Worst in this royal presence, may I speak,
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
'Would God, that any in this noble presence
Were enough noble to be upright judge
Of noble Richard ; then true nobless 2 would
Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
What subject can give sentence on his king ?
And who sits here, that is not Richard's subject ?
Thieves are not judged, but they are by to hear,
Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
And shall the figure of God's majesty, 3
His captain, steward, deputy elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
And he himself not present? O, forbid 4 it, God,
That, in a Christian climate, souls refined
Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
Stirred up by Heaven, thus boldly for his king.
My lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king;
And if you crown him, let me prophesy,–
The blood of English shall manure the ground,
And future ages groan for this foul act;
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
And, in this seat of peace, tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin, and kind with kind confound;
Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny
Shall here inhabit, and this land be called

1 Hume gives the words that Henry actually spoke on this occasion, which he copied from Knyghton.

2 i. e. nobleness ; a word now obsolete.

3 This speech, which contains in the most expressive terms the doctrine of passive obedience, is founded upon Holinshed's account. 4 The quarto reads forfend.

VOL. II. 54

The field of Golgotha, and dead mens' skulls.
O, if you rear this house against this house,
It will the wofullest division prove,
That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
Prevent, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child's child's children ? cry against you-woe!
North. Well have you argued, sir; and, for your

pains,
Of capital treason we arrest you here.-
My lord of Westminster, be it your charge

To keep him safely till bis day of trial.-
May't please you, lords, to grant the commons' suit.3

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

I will be his conduct. [Exit. Boling. Lords, you that are here under our arrest, Procure your sureties for your days of answer.Little are we beholden to your love,

To CAR. And little looked 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 learned
To insinuate, flatter, bow and bend my knee: 4
Give sorrow leave a while to tutor me
To this submission. Yet I well remember
The favors 5 of these men. Were they not mine?

1 The quarto reads raise.

2 Pope altered this to a children's children,” and was followed by others. The old copies read, “Lest child, childs children.”

3 What follows, almost to the end of the act, is not found in the first two quartos. The addition was made in the quarto of 1608. In the quarto, 1597, after the words “his day of trial,” the scene thus closes :

Bol. Let it be so: and lo! on Wednesday next We solemnly proclaim our coronation.

Lords, be ready all." 4 The quarto reads limbs.

5 Countenances, features.

« PreviousContinue »