Page images

Were I but now the lord of such hot youth
As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself,

Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men, · From forth the ranks of many thousand French,

0, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee,

And minister correction to thy fault!
BOLING. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault;

On what conditions stands it, and wherein ?
YORK. Even in condition of the worst degree,

In gross rebellion, and detested treason :
Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come,
Before the expiration of thy time,

In braving arms against thy sovereign.
BOLING. As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Hereford :

But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace,
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:
You are my father, for methinks in you
I see old Gaunt alive; O, then, my father!
Will you permit that I shall stand condemn'd
A wand'ring vagabond; my rights and royalties
Pluck'd from my arms perforce, and given away
To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born ?
If that my cousin king be king of England,
It must be granted I am duke of Lancaster.
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble kinsman ;
Had you first died, and he been thus trod down,
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father,
To rouse his wrongs, and chase them to the bay.
I am denied to sue my livery here,
And yet my letters-patent give me leave :
My father's goods are all distrain'd, and sold ;
And these, and all, are all amiss employ'd.
What would you have me do? I am a subject,
And challenge law: Attorneys are denied me;
And therefore personally I lay my claim

To my inheritance of free descent.
NORTH. The noble duke hath been too much abus'd.
Ross. It stands your grace upon, to do him right.
WILLO. Base men by his endowments are made great.
YORK, My lords of England, let me tell you this :-

I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs,
And labour'd all I could to do him right:
But in this kind to come, in braving arms,

Be his own carver, and cut out his way, . To find out right with wrongs,-it may not be ;

And you that do abet him in this kind,

Cherish rebellion, and are rebels all.
NORTH. The noble duke hath sworn his coming is

But for his own : and, for the right of that,
We all have strongly sworn to give him aid ;

And let him ne'er see joy that breaks that oath
YORK. Well, well, I see the issue of these arms;

I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
Because my power is weak, and all ill left :
But, if I could, by Him that gave me life,
I would attach you all, and make you stoop
Unto the sovereign mercy of the king;
But, since I cannot, be it known to you,
I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well;
Unless you please to enter in the castle,

And there repose you for this night.
BOLING. An offer, uncle, that we will accept.

But we must win your grace to go with us
To Bristol castle; which, they say, is held
By Busby, Bagot, and their complices,
The caterpillars of the commonwealth,

Which I have sworn to weed, and pluck away.
YORK. It may be I will go with you :—but yet I 'll pause;

For I am loth to break our country's laws.
Nor friends, nor foes, to me welcome you are:
Things past redress are now with me past care.


SCENE IV.-A Camp in Wales.

Enter SALISBURY and a Captain.

CAP. My lord of Salisbury, we have stay'd ten days,

And hardly kept our countrymen together,
And yet we hear no tidings from the king;

Therefore we will disperse ourselves : farewelt.
SAL. Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman;

The king reposeth all his confidence

In thee.
CAP. 'Tis thoaght the king is dead; we will not stay.

The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd,
And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven ;
The pale-fac'd moon looks bloody on the earth,


And lean-look'd prophets whisper fearful change ;
Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,-
The one, in fear to lose what they enjoy,
The other, to enjoy by rage and war :
These signs forerun the death or falla of kings.-
Farewell; our countrymen are gone and Aled,

As well assurd Richard their king is dead.
Sal. Ah, Richard! with the eyes of heavy mind,

I see thy glory, like a shooting star,
Fall to the base earth from the firmament!
Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest;
Thy friends are fled, to wait upon thy foes ;
And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.


* Or fall is not in any of the original copies except the first quarto.

[graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]


Officers behind, with Bushy and GREEN, prisoners.

BOLING. Bring forth these men.

Bushy, and Green, I will not vex your souls
(Since presently your souls must part your bodies,)
With too much urging your pernicious lives,
For 't were no charity: yet, to wash your blood
From off my hands, here, in the view of men,
I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
You have misled a prince, a royal king,

A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
By you unhappied and disfigur'd clean.
You have, in manner, with your sinful hours,
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him;
Broke the possession of a royal bed,
And stain'd the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
Myself—a prince, by fortune of my birth;
Near to the king in blood; and near in love,
Till you did make him misinterpret me,-
Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries,
And sigh'd my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment:
While you have fed upon my seignories,
Dispark'd my parks a, and fellid my forest woods ;
From mine own windows torn my household coat,
Raz'd out my impress, leaving me no sign-
Save men's opinions, and my living blood-
To show the world I am a gentleman.
This, and much more, much more than twice all this,
Condemns you to the death :-See them deliver'd over

To execution and the hand of death.
BUSHY. More welcome is the stroke of death to me,

Than Bolingbroke to England. [Lords, farewellb.]
GREEN. My comfort is, that heaven will take our souls,

And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
Boling. My lord Northumberland, see them despatch'd.

(Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND and others, with Prisoners.
Uncle, you say, the queen is at your house :
For heaven's sake, fairly let her be entreated :
Tell her, I send to her my kind commends ;

Take special care my greetings be deliver'd.
YORK. A gentleman of mine I have despatch'd

With letters of your love to her at large.
BOLING. Thanks, gentle uncle.-Come, lords, away;

To fight with Glendower and his complices ;
Awhile to work, and, after, boliday.


Dispark'd my parks. To disafforest a forest is to annul all the peculiar privileges which belong to it, and render it, with reference to the rights of the owner or lord, and the privileges of the tenants or vassals, the same as that of ordinary land. Bolingbroke, we presume, complains that, when the favourites of Richard had disparked his parks, they let out the property to com. mon purposes of pasture or tillage, and at the same time felled his woods;-thas, not only feeding upon his seignories, but destroying their ancient beauty and propriety.

* Lords, farewell, is omitted in the folio.

« PreviousContinue »