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Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? Gaunt. I have, my liege.
K. Rich. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded him,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness; no inveterate malice.
K. Rich. Then call them to our presence, face to face,
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser, and the accused, freely speak:[Exeunt some Attendants. High stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE1 and NORFOLK.
Boling. May many years of happy days befall My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege! Nor. Each day still 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 flat
As well appeareth by the cause you come 5:
4 Drayton asserts that Henry Plantagenet, the eldest son of John of Gaunt, was not distinguished by the name of Bolingbroke till after he had assumed the crown. He is called earl of Hereford by the old historians, and was surnamed Bolingbroke from having been born at the town of that name in Lincolnshire, about 1366.
5 i. e. by the cause you come on.' The suppression of the preposition has been shown to have been frequent with Shakspeare.
Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.-
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal: "Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain:
6 My right-drawn sword is my sword drawn in a right or just
I do defy him, and I spit at him;
Call him- -a slanderous coward, and a villain :
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Disclaiming here the kindred of the king;
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except:
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial;
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
It must be great, that can inheritR us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove
7 i. e. uninhabitable.
8 To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess :—
Among fresh female buds shall you this night
Inherit at my house.'-Romeo and Juliet, Act i. Sc. 2.
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars !— Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir
9 Lewd formerly signified knavish, ungracious, naughty, idle, beside its now general acceptation. Vide note on Much Ado about Nothing, Act v. Sc. 1. Vol. ii. p. 206.
10 Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III. who was murdered at Calais in 1397. See Froissart, chap. ccxxvi. i. e. prompt them, set them on by injurious hints.
12 Reproach to his ancestry.
(As he is but my father's brother's son),
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen
I slew him not; but to my own disgrace,
13 The duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play) to go to France in the year 1395, to demand in marriage Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles VI. then between seven and eight years of age. Richard was married to his young consort in November 1396, at Calais; his first wife, Anne, daughter of Charles IV. emperor of Germany, died at Shene on Whit Sunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella was merely political, it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England for thirty years. 14 Charged.