« PreviousContinue »
Serv. 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 wistly* look'd 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 rid his foe.
[Exeunt. SCENE V:-Pomfret. The Dungeon of the Castle,
Enter KING RICHARD.
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 ;
In humours, like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,-
As thoughts of things divine,--are intermix'd
With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word :
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.
Thought 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 king'd again; and, by-and-by,
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing :- But, whate'er I am,
* Wistfully. + His own body.
• The Scriptures.
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,
To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
But, for the concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me.
For now hath'time made me his numb'ring clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they jar*
Their watches on to mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now, Sir, the sound, that tells what hour it is,
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: So sighs, and tears, and groans,
Show minutes, times, and hours: but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o'the clock.
This music mads me, let it sound no more;
For, though it have holpe madmen to their wit
In me, it seems it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
For 'tis a sign of love : and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch& in this all-hating world.
Groom. Hail, royal prince!
K. Rich. Thanks, noble peer;
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
What art thou ? and how comest thou hither,
Where no man never comes, but that sad dog
That brings me food, to make misfortune live ?
Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
With much ado, at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimell master's face.
o, how it yearn’d my heart, when I beheld,
In London streets, that coronation day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary!
The horse, that thou so often hast bestrid
That horse, that I so carefully have dress'd !
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary ? Tell me, gentle friend,
How went he under him ?
Groom. So proudly, as if he disdain'd the ground.
K. Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
+ 1. e. dial-plate.
# The figure of a man that struck the hours on a bell.
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down
(Since pride must have a fall), and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back ?
Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be awed by man,
Was born to bear? I was not made a horse;
And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
Spur-galld, and tired, by jauncing* Bolingbroke.
Enter KEEPER, with a Dish.
Keep. Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.
[To the GROOM. K. Rich. If thou love me, 'tis time thou wert away. Groom. What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.
[Exit. Keep. My lord, will't please you to fall to ? K. Rich. Taste of it first, as thou art wont to do.
Keep. My lord, I dare not; Sir Pierce of Exton, who Lately came from the king, commands the contrary.
K. Rich. The devil take Henry of Lancaster, and thee ! Patience is stale, and I am weary of it. [Beats the KEEPER. Keep. Help, help, help!
Enter Exton, and Servants, armed. K. Rich. How now? what means death in this rude assault? Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.
[Snatching a weapon and killing one. Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
[He kills another, then EXTON strikes him down. That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire, That staggers thus my person.-Exton, thy fierce hand Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land. Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high; Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die. [Dies.
Exton. As full of valour, as of royal blood : Both have I spilt; 0, would the deed were good! For now the devil, that told me I did well, Says that this deed is chronicled in hell. This dead king to the living king I'll bear;Take hence the rest, and give them burial here. [Exeunt.
SCENE VI.-Windsor. A Room in the Castle. Flourish. Enter BOLINGBROKE, and YORK, with LORDS and
Boling. Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
Is—that the rebels have consumed with fire
Our town of Cicester in Glostershire;
But whether they be ta’en, or slain, we hear not.
Welcome, my lord: What is the news ?
North. First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness. The next news is,-I have to London sent The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent: The manner of their taking may appear At large discoursed in this paper here. [Presenting a paper.
Boling. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains;
And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.
Fitz. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
The heads of Brocas, and sir Bennet Seely;
Two of the dangerous consorted traitors,
That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
Boling. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;
Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.
Enter PERCY, with the Bishop of CARLISLE.
Percy. The grand conspirator, abbot of Westminster,
With clog of conscience, and sour melancholy,
Hath yielded up his body to the grave;
But here is Carlisle living, to abide
Thy kingly doom, and sentence of his pride.
Boling. Carlisle, this is your doom :-
Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life;
So, as thou liv'st in peace, die free from strife;
For though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.
Enter Exton, with Attendants bearing a Coffin,
Exton. Great king, within this coffin I present
Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies
The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
Richard of Bourdeaux, by me hither brought.
Boling. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought
A deed of slander with thy fatal hand,
Upon my head, and all this famous land.
Exton. From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
Boling. They love not poison that do poison need,
Nor do I thee; though I did wish him dead,
I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,
But neither my good word, nor princely favour:
With Cain go wander through the shade of night,
And never show thy head by day nor light.---
Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe,
That blood should sprinkle me, to make me grow:
Come, mourn with me for what I do lament,
And put on sullen black incontinent;*
I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land,
To wash this blood off from my guilty hand :-
March sadly after; grace my mournings here,
In weeping after this untimely bier.