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Thy overflow of good converts to bad;
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressing son.

York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd;
And he shall spend mine honor with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honor lives when his dishonor dies,
Or my shamed life in his dishonor lies.
Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.

Duch. [Within.] What, ho, my liege! for God's sake, let me in.

Boling. What shrill-voiced suppliant makes this eager cry?

Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king; 'tis I. Speak with me, pity me, open the door; A beggar begs, that never begged before.

Boling. Our scene is altered,-from a serious thing, And now changed to The Beggar and the King.—' My dangerous cousin, let your mother in; I know she's come to pray for your foul sin.

York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, More sins, for his forgiveness, prosper may. This festered joint cut off, the rest rests sound; This let alone, will all the rest confound.

Enter Duchess.

Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man; Love, loving not itself, none other can.

York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make 2


Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?

Duch. Sweet York, be patient. Hear me, gentle



1 It is probable that the old ballad of "King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid" is here alluded to. The reader will find it in the first volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry. There may have been a popular interlude on the subject.

2 i. e. "what dost thou do here?"

Boling. Rise up, good aunt. Duch. Not yet, I thee beseech Forever will I kneel1 upon my knees, And never see day that the happy sees, Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy, By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy. Aum. Unto my mother's prayers, I bend my knee.

[Kneels. York. Against them both, my true joints bended be [Kneels.

Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!
Duch. Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face
His eyes do drop no tears; his prayers are in jest ;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast;
He prays but faintly, and would be denied;
We pray with heart, and soul, and all beside;
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow;
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy ;
Ours, of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers
do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy, which true prayers ought to have.
Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
Nay, do not say-stand up;
But, pardon, first; and afterwards, stand up.
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon-should be the first word of thy speech.
I never longed to hear a word till now;
Say-pardon, king; let pity teach thee how.
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like pardon, for kings' mouths so meet.
York. Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez

Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ay, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That sett'st the word itself against the word!—

1 Thus the folio.

2 This line is not in the folio.

3 i. e. excuse me

The quarto copies read walk.

a phrase used when any thing is civilly declined.


I pardon him.2


Speak, pardon, as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there,
Or, in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
That, hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee, pardon to rehearse.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
I do not sue to stand;
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.

Boling. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
Duch. O, happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying pardon, doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.

With all my heart

A god on earth thou art.

Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law,3—and the abbot,1

With all the rest of that consorted crew,-
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.—
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are.
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell,—and cousin too,5 adieu :
Your mother well hath prayed, and prove you true.
Duch. Come, my old son;-I pray God make thee



1 Thus "chopping churches" is changing one church for another, and chopping logic is discoursing or interchanging logic with another. To chop and change is still a common idiom.

2 The old copies read, "I pardon him with all my heart." The transposition was made by Pope.

3 The brother-in-law meant was John duke of Exeter and earl of Huntingdon (own brother to Edward II.), who had married the lady Elizabeth, Bolingbroke's sister.

4 i. e. the abbot of Westminster.

5 Too, which is not in the old copies, was added by Theobald for the sake of the metre.


Enter EXTON and a Servant.

Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake?

Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?
Was it not so?


Those were his very words.

Exton. Have I no friend? quoth he; he spake it twice,

And urged it twice together; did he not?

Serv. He did.

Exton. And, speaking it, he wistfully looked on me; As who should say,-I would thou wert the man That would divorce this terror from my heart; Meaning, the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go; I am the king's friend, and will rid1 his foe.


SCENE V. Pomfret. The Dungeon of the Castle.


K. Rich. I have been studying how I may compare This prison, where I live, unto the world; And, for because the world is populous, And here is not a creature but myself, I cannot do it ;-yet I'll hammer it out. My brain I'll prove the female to my soul; My soul, the father; and these two beget A generation of still-breeding thoughts, And these same thoughts people this little world; 2 In humors, like the people of this world,

2 i. e. his own body.

1 To rid and to despatch were formerly synonymous, as may be seen in

the old dictionaries.

For no thought is contented. The better sort-
As thoughts of things divine-are intermixed
With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word ;1

As thus, Come, little ones; and then again,—
It is as hard to come, as for a camel
To thread the postern of a needle's eye.
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders: how these vain, weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content, flatter themselves,—
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars,
Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame,-
That many have, and others must sit there;
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune on the back
Of such as have before endured the like.

Thus play I, in one person, many people,
And none contented. Sometimes am I king;
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am. Then crushing penury
Persuades me, I was better when a king;
Then am I kinged again: and, by-and-by,
Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing.-But whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man, that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased
With being nothing.-Music do I hear?
Ha, ha! keep time.-How sour sweet music is,
When time is broke, and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives.

And here have I the daintiness of ear


1 By the word is meant the Holy Scriptures. The folio reads, the faith itself against the faith.

2 The folio, and other copies, read "in one prison."

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