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K. Rich. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd
a Hereford,–] This name is usually spelt Herford in the old copies, and must be pronounced as a dissyllable.
Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ? (2) And wish (so please my sovereign), ere I move, Gaunt. I have, my liege.
What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword K. Rich. Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded
may prove. hin,
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
zeal: Or worthily, as a good subject should,
'Tis not the trial of a woman's war, On some known ground of treachery in him ? The bitter clamour of two eager tongues, GAUNT. As near as I could sift him on that Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain : argument,
The blood is hot that must be coold for this. On some apparent danger seen in him,
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast, Aim'd at your highness,—no inveterate malice. As to be hush’d, and nought at all to say: K. Rich. Then call them to our presence ; face First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me to face,
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech ; And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear Which else would post, until it had return'd The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :- These terms of treason doubled * down his throat.
[Exeunt some Attendants. Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
I do defy him, and I spit at him,
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds,
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable
Nor. Each day still better other's happiness ; By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
BOLING. Pale trembling coward, there I throw Add an immortal title to your crown!
my gage, K. Rich. We thank you both : yet one but flat- Disclaiming here the kindred of the t king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty, As well appeareth by the cause you come;" Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except: Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.- If guilty-dread hath left thee so much strength, Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop; Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray ? By that, and all the rites of knighthood else, Boling. First, (heaven be the record to my Will I make good against thee, arm to arm, speech!)
What I have spoke, I or thou canst worse & devise. In the devotion of a subject's love,
Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear, Tendering the precious safety of my prince, Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder, And free from other misbegotten hate,
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
charge? Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant ;
It must be great, that can inherit us Too good to be so, and too bad to live ;
So much as of a thought of ill in him. Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
Boling. Look, what I speak| my life shall The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
it true ; Once more, the more to aggravate the note, That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles, With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat ; In name of lendings, for your highness' soldiers;
a BOLINGBROKE-) Henry Plantagenet, Earl of Hereford, eldest son of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, was surnamed Bolingbroke from the castle of that name in Lincolnshire, where he was born. According to Drayton, however, he was not distinguished by this name until after he assumed the crown.
b By the cause you come;] Meaning, by the cause for which you
c Inhabitable-] That is, unhabitable, not habitable; a primi tive use of the word, common in old books. " Where all the country was scorched by the heat of the sun, and the place
(*) First folio, doubly.
(1) First folio, a. (1) First folio, spoken.
($) First folio omits, worse.
(11) First folio, said. almost inhabitable for the multitude of serpents."-T. II EYWOOD's General History of Women, 1624.
d Makes thee to except :] Except iş here employed in the old sense, to put a bar to, or stay, action.
That can inherit us-] Inherit here means possess, but this use of the word is quite exceptional.
The which he hath detain’d for lewd * employments, Upon remainder of a deard account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen :(5) Besides I say, and will in battle prove,
Now swallow down that lie.--For Gloster's death, Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge I slew him not; but, to mine own disgrace, That ever was survey'd by English eye,- Neglected my sworn duty in that case. That'all the treasons, for these eighteen years For you, my noble lord of Lancaster, Complotted and contrived in this land, [spring The honourable father to my foe, Fetch* from false Mowbray their first head and Once did I *. lay an ambush for your life, Further I say,—and further will maintain
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul : Upon his bad life, to make all this good,
But, ere I last receiv'd the saorament, That he did plot the duke of Gloster’s death ; b I did confess it; and exactlye begg'd Suggest his soon-believing adversaries;
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it. And, consequently, like a traitor coward,
This is my fault: as for the rest appeal'd, Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of It issues from the rancour of a villain, blood :
A recreant and most degenerate traitor :
Which in myself I boldly will defend ;
To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom: K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution In haste whereof, most heartily I pray soars !
Your highness to assign our trial day. Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this? K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
by me; And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Let's purge this choler without letting blood : Till I have told this slander of his blood,
This we prescribe, though no physician;
Our doctors say, this is no month † to bleed.
We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you, your son. Now by my # sceptre's awe I make a vow,
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
age : Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gage. The unstooping firmness of my upright soul :
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his. He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou ;
When, Harry? when ? Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow.
Obedience bids, I should not bid
agen." Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart, K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid ; there Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest !
is no boot.s Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy Disburs'd I duly $ to his highness' soldiers :
foot : The other part reserv'd I by consent;
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame : For that my sovereign liege was in my debt, The one my duty owes ; but my fair name,
(*) First folio, I did.
(+) First folio, time.
(*) First folio, fetch'd. (+) First folio, our. (1) Quartos omit, my.
() First folio omits, duly. a For lewd employments,-) Lewd here signifies wicked, base, malicious.
b The duke of Gloster's death ;) Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III., who was murdered at Calais in 1397.
c Suggest - ] Incite, prompt. See Note (a), p. 17.
d Upon remainder oj a dear account,-) Mr. Collier's annotator has thrown suspicion on the word dear in the present passage, by proposing to read, “clear account;”-a poor and needless innovation. Dear, in this place, means, precious, mo mentous, pressing, all-important; and it assumes the same sense frequently in Shakespeare. Thus, in “King Lear," Act IV, Sc. 3:
Some dear cause,
Will in concealment wrap me up awhile." Again, in “Romeo and Juliet," Act I, Sc. 5.:
“O doar account! my life is my foe's debt."
In the same play, Act V. Sc. 2 :
“ The letter was not nice, but full of charge
Of dear import."
“A precious ring; a ring that I must use
In dear employment." And exactly begg'd-) That is, duly b-gged. f When, Harry? when ? &c.] In the old copies this speech is given thus :
" When Harrie when? Obedience bids,
Obedience bids I should not bid agen.'
“Why, when, I say?-nay, good sweet Kate, be merry." % There is no boot.] There is no help, it is vain to resisl.
(Despite of death,) that lives upon my grave, To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. SCENE II.-London. A Room in the Duke of I am disgrac'd, impeachd, and baffled here;
Lancaster's Palace. Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear ;
Enter Gaunt and DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER, The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood Which breath'd this poison.
Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Woodstock's * K. Rich. Rage must be withstood:
blood Give me his gage :-lions make leopards tame. Doth more solicit me than your exclaims, Nor. Yea, but not change his spots : take but To stir against the butchers of his life. my shame,
But since correction lieth in those hands And I resign my gage. My dear-dear lord, Which made the fault that we cannot correct, The purest treasure mortal times afford
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven ; Is-spotless reputation ; that away,
Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth, Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads. A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest,
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper Is - a bold spirit in a loyal breast. Mine honour is my life; both grow in one ; IIath love in thy old blood no living fire ? Take honour from me, and my life is done: Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one, Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try; Were as seven phials of his sacred blood, In that I live, and for that will I die.
Or seven fair branches springing from one root : K. Rich. Cousin, throw up* your gage ; do you Some of those seven are dried by nature's course, begin.
Some of those branches by the destinies cut: Boling. Ö Godo defend my soul from such But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloster, — deept sin !
One phial full of Edward's sacred blood, Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight? One flourishing branch of his most royal root, Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height Is crack’d, and all the precious liquor spilt ; Before this outdared dastard ? Ere my tongue Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded, † Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong, By envy's hand, and murder’s bloody axe. [womb, Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine ; that bed, that The slavish motive of recanting fear,
That metal, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee, And spit it bleeding, in his high disgrace,
Made him a man; and though thou livst and Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's
[Exit GAUNT. Yet art thou slain in him : thou dost consent K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to In some large measure to thy father's death, command:
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
1 Who was the model of thy father's life. Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
it At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day;
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd, There shall
swords and lances arbitrate Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life, The swelling difference of your settled hate ; Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee : Since we cannot atoned you, we shall see
That which in mean men we entitle patience, Justice design the victor's chivalry.
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts. Lord marshal, command our officers at arms What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life, Be ready to direct these home-alarms. [Exeunt. The best way is to 'venge my Gloster's death.
(*) First folio, down.
(+) First folio, Soul.
(1) First folio, you. a Baffled-] Baffled is here employed in the general sense of being treated with ignominy; but it particularly, and Nares says originally, meant, a degrading punishment inflicted on recreant knights; one part of which consisted in hanging them up by the heels. Thus, Spenser :
" And after all for greater infamie
He by the heels him hung upon a tree,
Faërie Queen, B. VI. vii. 27. To this signification of the word Falstaff seems to allude when he says (“Henry IV.” Part I. Act I. Sc. 2),-
" An I do not, call me villain, and bafie me." And afterwards, ibid., Act II. Sc. 4:
"If thou do it half so gravely, so majestically both in word and matter, hang me up by the heels for a rabbit-sucker," &c.
(*) First folio, Gloster's. (+) First folio, raded. b) Lions make leopards tame.) Malone was the first to discover an allusion, in this passage, to the Norfolk crest, which was a golden leopard.
C () God defend my soul-} In obedience to the Act, 3 Jac. 1, the folio here and elsewhere throughout the play, substitutes hearen for God.
d Atone you,--] Reconcile you, make you at one. Thus, in "Cymbeline," Act I. Sc. 5:
“I was glad I did atone my country man and you." And in "Oihello," Act IV. Sc. 1:
"I would do much to atone them." e DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER.} This was Eleanor Bohun, widow of Duke Thomas, son of Edward III., whose tomb, richly inlaid with brass, still remains in Westminster Abbey.
Gaunt. God's * is the quarrel ; for God's* sub
stitute, His deputy anointed, in His sight, Hath caus'd his death: the which, if wrongfully, Let heaven revenge ; for I may never lift An angry arm against His minister. Duch. Where then, alas ! + may I complain“
myself? Gaunt. To God, I the widow's champion and §
defence. Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt. Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight: O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast ! Or, if misfortune miss the first career, Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom, That they may break his foaming courser's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford ! Farewell, old Gaunt; thy sometimes brother's
wife, With her companion, Grief, must end her life.
GAUNT. Sister, farewell; I must to Coventry : As much good stay with thee, as go with me! Duch. Yet one word more ;-Grief boundeth
where it falls,
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
SCENE III.-Coventry. A Public Place. Lists set out, and a Throne, Heralds, &c.
attending. Enter the Lord Marshal and AUMERLE. MAR, My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford
(*) First folio, heavens. (t) First quarto omits, alas! (1) First folio, heaven.
(5) First folio, to. * Complain myself?] Complain is here a verb active, as in “The
Queenes Majesties Entertainment in Suffolke and Norfolke," by Thomas Churchyard :-“Cupid encountring the Queene, beganne to complayne hys state and his mothers," &c.