List iconRichard II:
Act 2, scene 3
List icon

Richard II
Act 2, scene 3



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 3
Enter Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, and

 How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?
NORTHUMBERLAND Believe me, noble lord,
 I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire.
 These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
5 Draws out our miles and makes them wearisome.
 And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
 Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
 But I bethink me what a weary way
 From Ravenspurgh to Cotshall will be found

Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

10 In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
 Which, I protest, hath very much beguiled
 The tediousness and process of my travel.
 But theirs is sweetened with the hope to have
 The present benefit which I possess,
15 And hope to joy is little less in joy
 Than hope enjoyed. By this the weary lords
 Shall make their way seem short as mine hath done
 By sight of what I have, your noble company.
 Of much less value is my company
20 Than your good words. But who comes here?

Enter Harry Percy.

NORTHUMBERLAND It is my son, young Harry Percy,
 Sent from my brother Worcester whencesoever.—
 Harry, how fares your uncle?
 I had thought, my lord, to have learned his health of
25 you.
NORTHUMBERLAND Why, is he not with the Queen?
 No, my good lord, he hath forsook the court,
 Broken his staff of office, and dispersed
 The Household of the King.
30 What was his reason? He was not so resolved
 When last we spake together.
 Because your Lordship was proclaimèd traitor.
 But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh
 To offer service to the Duke of Hereford,
35 And sent me over by Berkeley to discover
 What power the Duke of York had levied there,
 Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.

Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?
 No, my good lord, for that is not forgot
40 Which ne’er I did remember. To my knowledge
 I never in my life did look on him.
 Then learn to know him now. This is the Duke.
PERCY, to Bolingbroke 
 My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
 Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young,
45 Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
 To more approvèd service and desert.
 I thank thee, gentle Percy, and be sure
 I count myself in nothing else so happy
 As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends;
50 And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
 It shall be still thy true love’s recompense.
 My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.
Gives Percy his hand.
 How far is it to Berkeley, and what stir
 Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
55 There stands the castle by yon tuft of trees,
 Manned with three hundred men, as I have heard,
 And in it are the Lords of York, Berkeley, and
 None else of name and noble estimate.

Enter Ross and Willoughby.

60 Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
 Bloody with spurring, fiery red with haste.

Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
 A banished traitor. All my treasury
 Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enriched,
65 Shall be your love and labor’s recompense.
 Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
 And far surmounts our labor to attain it.
 Evermore thank’s the exchequer of the poor,
 Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
70 Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?

Enter Berkeley.

 It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.
BERKELEY, to Bolingbroke 
 My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
 My lord, my answer is—to “Lancaster”;
 And I am come to seek that name in England.
75 And I must find that title in your tongue
 Before I make reply to aught you say.
 Mistake me not, my lord, ’tis not my meaning
 To rase one title of your honor out.
 To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
80 From the most gracious regent of this land,
 The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
 To take advantage of the absent time,
 And fright our native peace with self-borne arms.

Enter York.

 I shall not need transport my words by you.

Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

85 Here comes his Grace in person.He kneels.
 My noble uncle.
 Show me thy humble heart and not thy knee,
 Whose duty is deceivable and false.
BOLINGBROKE, standing My gracious uncle—
YORK 90Tut, tut!
 Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle.
 I am no traitor’s uncle, and that word “grace”
 In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
 Why have those banished and forbidden legs
95 Dared once to touch a dust of England’s ground?
 But then, more why: why have they dared to march
 So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
 Frighting her pale-faced villages with war
 And ostentation of despisèd arms?
100 Com’st thou because the anointed king is hence?
 Why, foolish boy, the King is left behind
 And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
 Were I but now lord of such hot youth
 As when brave Gaunt thy father and myself
105 Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
 From forth the ranks of many thousand French,
 O, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
 Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee
 And minister correction to thy fault!
110 My gracious uncle, let me know my fault.
 On what condition stands it and wherein?
 Even in condition of the worst degree,
 In gross rebellion and detested treason.
 Thou art a banished man and here art come,
115 Before the expiration of thy time,
 In braving arms against thy sovereign.

Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

 As I was banished, I was banished Hereford,
 But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
 And, noble uncle, I beseech your Grace
120 Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye.
 You are my father, for methinks in you
 I see old Gaunt alive. O, then, my father,
 Will you permit that I shall stand condemned
 A wandering vagabond, my rights and royalties
125 Plucked from my arms perforce and given away
 To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
 If that my cousin king be king in England,
 It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
 You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin.
130 Had you first died and he been thus trod down,
 He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father
 To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
 I am denied to sue my livery here,
 And yet my letters patents give me leave.
135 My father’s goods are all distrained and sold,
 And these, and all, are all amiss employed.
 What would you have me do? I am a subject,
 And I challenge law. Attorneys are denied me,
 And therefore personally I lay my claim
140 To my inheritance of free descent.
 The noble duke hath been too much abused.
ROSS, to York 
 It stands your Grace upon to do him right.
 Base men by his endowments are made great.
 My lords of England, let me tell you this:
145 I have had feeling of my cousin’s wrongs
 And labored all I could to do him right.
 But in this kind to come, in braving arms,

Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

 Be his own carver and cut out his way
 To find out right with wrong, it may not be.
150 And you that do abet him in this kind
 Cherish rebellion and are rebels all.
 The noble duke hath sworn his coming is
 But for his own, and for the right of that
 We all have strongly sworn to give him aid.
155 And let him never see joy that breaks that oath.
 Well, well. I see the issue of these arms.
 I cannot mend it, I must needs confess,
 Because my power is weak and all ill-left.
 But if I could, by Him that gave me life,
160 I would attach you all and make you stoop
 Unto the sovereign mercy of the King.
 But since I cannot, be it known unto you
 I do remain as neuter. So fare you well—
 Unless you please to enter in the castle
165 And there repose you for this night.
 An offer, uncle, that we will accept.
 But we must win your Grace to go with us
 To Bristow Castle, which they say is held
 By Bushy, Bagot, and their complices,
170 The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
 Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
 It may be I will go with you; but yet I’ll pause,
 For I am loath to break our country’s laws.
 Nor friends nor foes, to me welcome you are.
175 Things past redress are now with me past care.
They exit.