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Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argu

ment, 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.

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Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE? and Non


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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.

1 Drayton asserts that Henry Plantagenet, the eldest son of John of Gaunt, was not distinguished by the name of Bolingbroke till after he had assumed the crown. He is called earl of Hereford by the old historians, and was surnamed Bolingbroke from having been born at the town of that name in Lincolnshire, about 1366.

2 i. e. "by the cause you come on.” The suppression of the preposition has been shown to have been frequent with Shakspeare.



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 fly.
Once inore, 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?

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

Disclaiming here the kindred of the king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength,



1 My right-drawn sword is my sword drawn in a right or just cause % i. e. uninhabitable. VOL. III.



As to take up mine honor's pawn, then stoop;
By that, and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worst devise.

Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear,
Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial ;
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's

charge ? It must be great, that can inherit? us So much as of a thought of ill in him. 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 ;3 Suggest · bis 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 me for justice, and rough chastisement;


I To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess.

2 Lewd formerly signified knavish, ungracious, naughty, idle, beside its now general acceptation.

3 Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III., who was murdered at Calais in 1397.

4 i. e. prompt them, set them on by injurious hints.



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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 !
Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?

Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood,
How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.

K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow,
Such neighbor-nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou;
Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow.

Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart, Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest ! Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais, Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers: The other part reserved I by consent; For that my sovereign liege was in my debt, Upon remainder of a dear account, Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.” Now swallow down that lie. -For Gloster's death, I slew him not, but, to my own disgrace, Neglected my sworn duty in that case.For you, my noble lord of Lancaster, The honorable father to my foe, Once did I lay in ambush for your lifeA trespass that doth vex my grieved soul ; But, ere I last received the sacrainent,

1 Reproach to his ancestry. ? The duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward, earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play), to go to France in the year 1395, to demand in marriage Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles VI., then between seven and eight years of age. Richard was married to his young consort in November, 1396, at Calais ; his first wife, Anne, daughter of Charles IV., emperor of Germany, died at Shene, on Whit Sunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella was merely political: it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England for thirty years.

I did confess it; and exactly begged
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it.
This is my fault. As for the rest appealed,
It issues from the rancor of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate traitor ;
Which in myself I boldly will defend;
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Even in the best blood chambered in his bosom.
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.

K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me. Let's

purge this choler without letting blood :
This we prescribe, though no physician; 2
Deep malice makes too deep incision :
Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed;
Our doctors say, this is no time to bleed.-
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you your son.

Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age. Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gage.

K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.

Gaunt. When, Harry? when ? 3 Obedience bids, I should not bid again. K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there is

no boot. Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot. My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: The one my duty owes ; but


fair name (Despite of death, that lives upon my grave) 5 To dark dishonor's use thou shalt not have.


i Charged.

2 Pope thought that some of the rhyming verses in this play were not from the hand of Shakspeare.

3 This abrupt elliptical exclamation of impatience is again used in the Taming of the Shrew :-“Why, when, I say! Nay, good, sweet Kate, be merry.” It appears to be equivalent to « when will such a thing be done ? "

4 « There is no boot,” or it booteth not, is as much as to say resistance would be profilless.

5 i. e. my name that lives on my grave in despite of death.

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