Page images

High-ftomach'd are they Both, and full of ire;
In rage, deaf as the fea; hafty as fire.


Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray.

Boling. May many years of happy days befal My gracious Sovereign, my moft loving Liege! Mob. Each day ftill better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your Crown!

K. Rich. We thank you both, yet one but flatters us,
As well appeareth by the cause you come ;
Namely, t'appeal each other of high Treafon.
Coufin of Hereford, what doft thou object
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ?
Boling. First (Heaven be the record to my speech!)
In the devotion of a Subject's love,

Tend'ring the precious fafety of my Prince,
And free from other mif-begotten hate,
Come I Appellant to this princely prefence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my Greeting well; for what I fpeak,
My body fhall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine foul anfwer it in heav'n.
Thou art a traitor and a mifcreant ;
Too good to be fo, and too bad to live;
Since, the more fair and crystal is the Sky,
The uglier feem the Clouds, that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the Note,
With a foul Traytor's Name ftuff I thy throat;
And wish, so please my Sov'reign, ere I move,
What my Tongue fpeaks, my Right drawn Sword may


Mowh. Let not my cold words here accuse 'Tis not the tryal of a woman's war,

The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this caufe betwixt us twain ;
The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this.
Yet can I not of fuch tame patience boaft,
As to be hufht, and nought at all to say.



First, the fair Rev'rence of your Highness curbs me,


From giving reins and fpurs to my free speech;
Which elfe would post, until it had return'd
Thefe terms of Treafon doubled down his throat.
Setting afide his high blood's Royalty,

And let him be no kinfman to my Liege,
I do defie him, and I spit at him;

Call him a fland'rous coward, and a villain;
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds,
And meet him, were I ty'd to run a-foot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable,
Where never Englishman durft fet his foot.
Mean time, let this defend my Loyalty ;
By all my hopes, moft falfly doth he lie.

Boling. Pale trembling Coward, there I throw my gage,

Disclaiming here the kindred of a King,

And lay afide my high blood's Royalty:

(Which fear, not rev'rence, makes thee to except:)
If guilty Dread hath left thee so much strength,
As to take up mine Honour's pawn, then stoop.
By that, and all the rights of Knighthood elfe,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoken, or thou canst devise.

Morub. I take it up, and by that Sword I swear,
Which gently laid my Knighthood on my shoulder,
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,

Or chivalrous defign of knightly tryal;

And when I mount, alive may I not light,

If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!

K. Rich. What doth our Coufin lay to Mowbray's charge?

It must be great, 2 that can inhabit us

So much as of a thought of Ill in him.

Boling Look, what I faid, my life shall prove it true; That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles, In name of lendings for your Highness' foldiers, The which he hath detain'd for lewd imployments; Like a falfe traitor and injurious villain.

2 that can INHERIT us.] We should read, INHABIT.


Befides, I fay, and will in battle prove,
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furtheft verge,
That ever was furvey'd by English eye ;
That all the treafons for these eighteen years,
Complotted and contrived in this Land,

Fetch from falfe Mowbray their first head and spring,
Further, I fay, and further will maintain
Upon his bad Life to make all This good,
That he did plot the Duke of Gloucefter's death
Suggest his foon-believing adverfaries;

And confequently, like a traitor-coward,


Sluic'd out his inn'cent foul through ftreams of blood
Which blood, like facrificing Abel's, cries
Even from the tonguelefs caverns of the earth,
To me, for juftice, and rough chaftisement.
And by the glorious worth of my Descent,
This arm fhall do it, or this life be spent.

K. Rich. How high a pitch his refolution foars!
Thomas of Norfolk, what fay't thou to this?
Mowb. O, let my Sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,

Till I have told this Slander of his blood,

How God and good men hate fo foul a liar.

K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears. Were he our brother, nay, our Kingdom's heir, As he is but our father's brother's fon; Now by my Scepter's awe, I make a vow, Such neighbour-nearnefs to our facred blood Should nothing priv'lege him, nor partialize Th' unftooping firmnefs of my upright foul. He is our Subject, Mowbray, fo art thou; Free fpeech, and fearless, I to thee allow.

Mowb. Then Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
Through the falfe paffage of thy throat, thou lieft!
Three parts of that Receipt I had for Calais,
Disburft I to his Highness' foldiers;

The other part referv'd I by confent,
For that my fovereign Liege was in my debt;:
Upon remainder of a dear account,

Since laft I went to France to fetch his Queen.

Now, fwallow down that Lie.-For Gloucester's death;

I flew him not; but, to mine own disgrace,
Neglected my fworn duty in that cafe.
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved foul;
But ere I laft receiv'd the Sacrament,
I did confefs it, and exactly begg'd

Your Grace's pardon; and, I hope, I had it.
This is my fault; as for the rest appeal'd,
It iffues from the rancor of a villain,
A recreant and moft degen'rate traitor :
Which in myself I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurle down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot;
To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bofom,
In hafte whereof, most heartily I pray

Your Highness to affign our tryal day.

K. Rich, Wrath-kindled Gentlemen, be rûl'd by me;

Let's purge this Choler without letting blood :

3 This we prescribe, though no physician;
Deep malice makes too deep incifion :
Forget, forgive, conclude and be agreed;
Our Doctors fay, this is no time to bleed.
Good Uncle, let this end where it begun;
We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your Son.
Gaunt. To be a make peace fhall become my age;
Throw down, my Son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
Gaunt. When, Harry, when?

Obedience bids, I fhould not bid again.

K.Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot. Morb. My felf I throw, dread Sovereign, at thy foot. 3 This we preferibe, though no phyfician, &c.] I must make one remark, in general, on the Rhymes throughout this whole play they are so much inferior to the reft of the writing, that they appear to me of a different hand. What confirms this, is, that the context does every where exactly (and frequently much better) connect without the inferted rhymes, except in a very few places; and juft there too, the rhyming verfes are of a much better taste than all the others, which rather strengthens my conjecture. Mr. Pope.


My life thou shalt command, but not my Shame ;;
The one my duty owes; but my fair Name,
(Defpight of death, That lives upon my Grave,).
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am difgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here,
Pierc'd to the foul with flander's venom'd fpear:
The which no balme can cure, but his heart-blood
Which breath'd this poison.

K. Rich. Rage must be withstood ::

Give me his gage: Lions make Leopards tame.
Mowb. Yea, but not change their fpots: take but
my fhame,

And I refign my gage. My dear, dear lord,
The pureft treasure mortal times afford,
Is fpotless Reputation; That away,
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up cheft,
Is a bold fpirit in a loyal breast.

Mine Honour is my life, both grow in one;
Take honour from me, and my life is done.
Then, dear my Liege, mine honour let me try;
In That I live, and for That will I die.

K. Rich. Coufin, throw down your gage; do you


Boling. Oh, heav'n defend my foul from fuch foul fin Shall I feem creft-fall'n in my father's fight, 4 Or with pale beggar face impeach my height, Before this out-dar'd Daftard? Ere my tongue Shall wound my honour with fuch feeble wrong, Or found fo base a parle, my teeth shall tear 5 The flavish motive of recanting fear, And fpit it bleeding, in his high difgrace, Where fhame doth harbour, ev'n in Mowbray's face. [Exit Gaunt,

K. Rich. We were not born to fue, but to command, Which fince we cannot do to make you friends, Be ready, as your lives fhall answer it,

4 Or with pale beggar face---] i. e. with a face of fupplica tion. But this will not fatisfy the Oxford Editor, he turns it to baggard fear.

5 The flavish motive---] Motive, for instrument,


« PreviousContinue »