« PreviousContinue »
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.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE? and Non
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!)
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;
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;
Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear,
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.
And by the glorious worth of my descent,
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars !
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
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
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me. Let's
purge this choler without letting blood :
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.
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.