List iconRichard II:
Act 1, scene 4
List icon

Richard II
Act 1, scene 4



Characters in the Play

Entire Play

In Richard II, anger at a king’s arbitrary rule leads to his downfall—and sets in motion a decades-long struggle for the…

Act 1, scene 1

Henry Bolingbroke, King Richard’s cousin, publicly accuses Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk, of treason. Among Bolingbroke’s charges is that Mowbray…

Act 1, scene 2

The widow of the duke of Gloucester begs John of Gaunt to avenge the murder of her husband. Gaunt says…

Act 1, scene 3

Bolingbroke and Mowbray prepare to fight to the death. King Richard suddenly calls off the fight and banishes Mowbray for…

Act 1, scene 4

Richard makes plans to fight in person in Ireland. To obtain money for the war against the Irish, he leases…

Act 2, scene 1

John of Gaunt, knowing that he is dying, speaks plainly to Richard about his deficiencies as king. Richard expresses his…

Act 2, scene 2

As the Queen grieves for Richard’s departure, news comes that Bolingbroke has landed in England with an army. As York…

Act 2, scene 3

Bolingbroke and Northumberland, just outside Berkeley Castle, meet young Henry Percy, Northumberland’s son. When the duke of York enters, he…

Act 2, scene 4

The Welsh troops, having waited ten days for Richard’s return, disperse. The earl of Salisbury predicts that Richard stands at…

Act 3, scene 1

Bolingbroke sentences Bushy and Green to death.

Act 3, scene 2

Richard, landing in England, greets his kingdom and expresses certainty that God will protect him against Bolingbroke’s threat. He learns…

Act 3, scene 3

Bolingbroke, approaching Flint Castle, learns that Richard is within. In answer to Bolingbroke’s trumpets, Richard and Aumerle appear on the…

Act 3, scene 4

Richard’s queen overhears a gardener describing Richard’s downfall and probable deposition.

Act 4, scene 1

Bolingbroke seeks information about the duke of Gloucester’s death. Bagot implicates Aumerle, and several nobles challenge Aumerle and each other….

Act 5, scene 1

Richard and his queen say their farewells, she to be sent to France, he to Pomfret Castle.

Act 5, scene 2

The duke of York expresses his sympathy for Richard but declares his allegiance to King Henry. When York discovers that…

Act 5, scene 3

Aumerle reaches King Henry and begs a pardon for an unnamed offence. The duke of York arrives and reveals the…

Act 5, scene 4

Sir Pierce Exton, reflecting on King Henry’s wish that Richard be removed, decides to carry out that wish.

Act 5, scene 5

Richard, imprisoned at Pontefract Castle, is visited by a former groom of his stable and then by the prison Keeper….

Act 5, scene 6

News is brought to Henry about the capture and punishment of rebel leaders. Henry pardons the bishop of Carlisle. Exton…

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Scene 4
Enter the King with Green and Bagot, at one door,
and the Lord Aumerle at another.

KING RICHARD We did observe.—Cousin Aumerle,
 How far brought you high Hereford on his way?

Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 4

 I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
 But to the next highway, and there I left him.
5 And say, what store of parting tears were shed?
 Faith, none for me, except the northeast wind,
 Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
 Awaked the sleeping rheum and so by chance
 Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
10 What said our cousin when you parted with him?
AUMERLE “Farewell.”
 And, for my heart disdainèd that my tongue
 Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
 To counterfeit oppression of such grief
15 That words seemed buried in my sorrow’s grave.
 Marry, would the word “farewell” have lengthened
 And added years to his short banishment,
 He should have had a volume of farewells.
20 But since it would not, he had none of me.
 He is our cousin, cousin, but ’tis doubt,
 When time shall call him home from banishment,
 Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
 Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here and Green,
25 Observed his courtship to the common people,
 How he did seem to dive into their hearts
 With humble and familiar courtesy,
 What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
 Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
30 And patient underbearing of his fortune,
 As ’twere to banish their affects with him.
 Off goes his bonnet to an oysterwench;
 A brace of draymen bid God speed him well

Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 4

 And had the tribute of his supple knee,
35 With “Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends,”
 As were our England in reversion his
 And he our subjects’ next degree in hope.
 Well, he is gone, and with him go these thoughts.
 Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
40 Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
 Ere further leisure yield them further means
 For their advantage and your Highness’ loss.
 We will ourself in person to this war.
 And, for our coffers, with too great a court
45 And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
 We are enforced to farm our royal realm,
 The revenue whereof shall furnish us
 For our affairs in hand. If that come short,
 Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters,
50 Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
 They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold
 And send them after to supply our wants,
 For we will make for Ireland presently.

Enter Bushy.

 Bushy, what news?
55 Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
 Suddenly taken, and hath sent posthaste
 To entreat your Majesty to visit him.
KING RICHARD Where lies he?
BUSHY At Ely House.
60 Now put it, God, in the physician’s mind
 To help him to his grave immediately!
 The lining of his coffers shall make coats

Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 4

 To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
 Come, gentlemen, let’s all go visit him.
65 Pray God we may make haste and come too late.
ALL Amen!
They exit.