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York. Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime.
What news from Oxford ? hold* those justs and triumphs ?
Aum. For aught I know, my lord, they do.
York. You will be there, I know.
Aum. If God prevent it not; I
York. What seal is that, that hangs without thy bosom ?
Yea, look’st thou pale ? let me see the writing.
Aum. My lord, 'tis nothing.
York. No matter then who sees it:
I will be satisfied, let me see the writing.
Aum. I do beseech your grace to pardon me;
It is a matter of small consequence,
Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
York. Which for some reasons, Sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear,
Duch. What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond that he is enter'd into
For gay apparel, 'gainst the triumph day.
York. Bound to himself? what doth he with a bond
That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.-
Boy, let me see the writing.
Aum. I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.
York. I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.
[Snatches it, and reads. Treason! foul treason !-villain! traitor! slave!
Duch. What is the matter, my lord ?
York. Ho! who is within there? [Enter a Servant.] Sad-
dle my horse.
God for his mercy! what treachery is here!
Duch. Why, what is it, my lord ?
York. Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse:-
Now by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
I will appeach the villain.
Duch. What's the matter?
York. Peace, foolish woman.
Duch. I will not peace :-What is the matter, son ?
Aum. Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.
Duch. Thy life answer!
Re-enter Servant with Boots.
York. Bring me my boots, I will unto the king.
Duch. Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed :t
Hence, villain; never more come in my sight.
[To the Servant. York. Give me my boots, I say. Duch. Why, York, what wilt thou do? Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own? Have we more sons? or are we like to have? Is not my teeming date I drunk up with time? * Are they still to be held. + Confounded.
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age,
And rob me of a happy mother's name?
Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?
York. Thou fond mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy ?
A dozen of them here have ta’en the sacrament,
And interchangeably set down their hands
To kill the king at Oxford.
Duch. He shall be none;
We'll keep him here: Then what is that to him?
Fond woman! were he twenty times my son,
I would appeach him.
Duch. Hadst thou groan'd for him,
As I have done, thou'dst be more pitiful.
But now I know thy mind; thou dost suspect,
That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind :
He is as like thee as a man may be, i
Not like to me, or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.
York. Make way, unruly woman.
Duch. After, Aumerle; mount thee upon his horse;
Spur, post; and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I'll not be long behind; though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
And never will I rise up from the ground,
Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee: Away;
SCENE III.-Windsor. A Room in the Castle, Enter BOLINGBROKE as King; PERCY, and other LORDS. Boling. Can no man tell of my unthrifty son ? 'Tis full three months, since I did see him last: If any plague hang over us, 'tis he. I would to God, my lords, he might be found: Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there, For there, they say, he daily doth frequent, With unrestrained'loose companions; Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes, And beat our watch, and rob our passengers: While he, young, wanton, and effeminate boy, Takes on the point of honour, to support So dissolute a crew.
Percy. My lord, some two days since I saw the prince; And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford.
Boling. And what said the gallant ?
Percy. His answer was, he would unto the stews; And from the commonest creature pluck a glove,
And wear it as a favour; and with that
He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
Boling. As dissolute as desperate; yet, through both
I see some sparkles of a better hope,
Which elder days may happily bring forth.
But who comes here?
Enter AUMERLE, hastily.
Aum. Where is the king ?
Boling. What means
Our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly?
Aum. God save your grace. I do beseech your majesty,
To have some conference with your grace alone.
Boling. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone. -
[Exeunt PERCY and LORDS. What is the matter with our cousin now?
Aum. For ever may my knees grow to the earth, [Kneels.
My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
Unless a pardon, ere I rise, or speak.
Boling. Intended, or committed, was this fault?
If but the first, how heinous ere it be,
To win thy after-love, I pardon thee.
Aum. Then give me leave that I may turn the key,
That no man enter till my tale be done.
Boling. Have thy desire.
[AUMERLE locks the door.
York [within). My liege, beware; look to thyself;
Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
Boling. Villain, I'll make thee safe.
[Drawing. Aum. Stay thy revengeful hand; Thou hast no cause to fear.
York [within). Open the door, secure, fool-hardy king:
Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face?
Open the door, or I will break it open.
[BOLINGBROKE opens the door.
Boling. What is the matter, uncle ? speak;
Recover breath; tell us how near is danger,
That we may arm us to encounter it.
York. Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
The treason that my haste forbids me show.
Aum. Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise past:
I do repent me; read not my name there,
My heart is not confederate with my hand.
York. 'Twas, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.-
I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king:
Fear, and not love, begets his penitence:
Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
Boling. O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy !
O loyal father of a treacherous son !
Thou sheer,* immaculate, and silver fountain,
From whence this stream through muddy passages,
Hath held his current, and defiled himself !
Thy overflow of good converts to bad;
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressingt son.
York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd;
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers gold.
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or my shamed life in his dishonour 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 begg'd before.
Boling. Our scene is alter'd, -from a serious thing,
And now changed to The Beggar and the King. I
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 this forgiveness, prosper may.
This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound;
This, let alone, will all the rest confound.
Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man;
Love, loving not itself, none other can.
York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou makes here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear ?
Duch. Sweet York, be patient: Hear me, gentle liege. [Kneels.
Boling. Rise up, good aunt.
Duch. Not yet, I thee beseech:
For ever will I kneel 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.
Duch. Nay, do not say-stand up;
But, pardon first; and afterwards stand up.
And if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon-should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long‘d to hear a word till now;
Sayapardon, 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 moy.
Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy ?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That set'st the word itself against the word ! -
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.
Duch. 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.
Boling. With all my heart
I pardon him.
Duch, A God on earth thou art.
Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law,--and the abbot,
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, adieu :
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.
Duch. Come, my old son ;-I pray God make thee new.
[Exeunt. SCENE IF
Enter Exton, and a SERVANT. Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spako? Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear ? Was it not so ?