« PreviousContinue »
KING RICHARD THE SECOND.
Son to John of Gaunt; afterwards King Henry
Queen to King Richard.
Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, two Gardeners, Keeper,
Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants.
SCENE, dispers.dly in England and Wales.
KING RICHARD II.
SCENE I. London. A Room in the Palace. Enter KING RICHARD, attended; John of Gaunt, and
other Nobles with him.
K. Rich. Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,
Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argument,On some apparent danger seen in him, Aimed 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 stomached are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
Boling. 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 flatters us, As well appeareth by the cause you come: Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.Cousin of Hereford, what dost 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, Tendering the precious safety of my prince, And free from other misbegotten hate, Come I appellant to this princely presence.Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee; And mark my greeting well; for what I speak, My body shall make good upon this earth, Or my divine soul answer it in heaven. Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant; Too good to be so, and too bad to live; Since, the more fair and crystal is the sky, The uglier seem the clouds that in it ily. Once more, the more to aggravate the note, With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat; And wish, (so please my sovereign,) ere I move, What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword may prove.
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal. 'Tis not the trial of a woman's war, The bitter clamor of two eager tongues, Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain. The blood is hot that must be cooled for this; Yet can I not of such tame patience boast, As to be hushed, and nought at all to say. First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me From giving reins and spurs to my free speech; Which else would post, until it had returned These terms of treason doubled down his throat. Setting aside his high blood's royalty, . And let him be no kinsman to my liege, I do defy him, and I spit at him; Call him—a slanderous coward, and a villain; Which to maintain, I would allow him odds ; And meet him, were I tied to run afoot Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps, Or any other ground inhabitable, Where ever Englishman durst set his foot. Mean time, let this defend my loyalty, By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Boling. Pale, trembling coward, there I throw my gage, Disclaiming here the kindred of the king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear,
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove it true; That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles, In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers; The which he hath detained for lewd employments, Like a false traitor, and injurious villain. Besides I say, and will in battle prove,Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge That ever was surveyed by English eye,That all the treasons for these eighteen years Complotted and contrived in this land, Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring. Further I say, and further will maintain Upon his bad life, to make all this good,That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death; Suggest his soon-believing adversaries; And, consequently, like a traitor coward, Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood; Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries, Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth, To mc for justice, and rough chastisement; And by the glorious worth of my descent, This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars ! -
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
1. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears. ere he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,