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Richard II
Act 5, scene 2

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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 2
Enter Duke of York and the Duchess.

DUCHESS 
 My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
 When weeping made you break the story off
 Of our two cousins coming into London.
YORK 
 Where did I leave?
DUCHESS 5 At that sad stop, my lord,
 Where rude misgoverned hands from windows’ tops
 Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard’s head.
YORK 
 Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
 Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,
10 Which his aspiring rider seemed to know,
 With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
 Whilst all tongues cried “God save thee,
 Bolingbroke!”
 You would have thought the very windows spake,
15 So many greedy looks of young and old
 Through casements darted their desiring eyes
 Upon his visage, and that all the walls
 With painted imagery had said at once
 “Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke!”
20 Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
 Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed’s neck,
 Bespake them thus: “I thank you, countrymen.”
 And thus still doing, thus he passed along.
DUCHESS 
 Alack, poor Richard! Where rode he the whilst?
YORK 
25 As in a theater the eyes of men,
 After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,
 Are idly bent on him that enters next,
 Thinking his prattle to be tedious,

189
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 2

 Even so, or with much more contempt, men’s eyes
30 Did scowl on gentle Richard. No man cried “God
 save him!”
 No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home,
 But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
 Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
35 His face still combating with tears and smiles,
 The badges of his grief and patience,
 That had not God for some strong purpose steeled
 The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
 And barbarism itself have pitied him.
40 But heaven hath a hand in these events,
 To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
 To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
 Whose state and honor I for aye allow.

Enter Aumerle.

DUCHESS 
 Here comes my son Aumerle.
YORK 45 Aumerle that was;
 But that is lost for being Richard’s friend,
 And, madam, you must call him Rutland now.
 I am in parliament pledge for his truth
 And lasting fealty to the new-made king.
DUCHESS 
50 Welcome, my son. Who are the violets now
 That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?
AUMERLE 
 Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
 God knows I had as lief be none as one.
YORK 
 Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
55 Lest you be cropped before you come to prime.
 What news from Oxford? Do these jousts and
 triumphs hold?
AUMERLE For aught I know, my lord, they do.

191
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 2

YORK You will be there, I know.
AUMERLE 60If God prevent not, I purpose so.
YORK 
 What seal is that that hangs without thy bosom?
 Yea, lookst thou pale? Let me see the writing.
AUMERLE 
 My lord, ’tis nothing.
YORK  No matter, then, who see it.
65 I will be satisfied. Let me see the writing.
AUMERLE 
 I do beseech your Grace to pardon me.
 It is a matter of small consequence,
 Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
YORK 
 Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
70 I fear, I fear—
DUCHESS  What should you fear?
 ’Tis nothing but some bond that he is entered into
 For gay apparel ’gainst the triumph day.
YORK 
 Bound to himself? What doth he with a bond
75 That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.—
 Boy, let me see the writing.
AUMERLE 
 I do beseech you, pardon me. I may not show it.
YORK 
 I will be satisfied. Let me see it, I say.
He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it.
YORK 
 Treason! Foul treason! Villain, traitor, slave!
DUCHESS 80What is the matter, my lord?
YORK, calling offstage 
 Ho, who is within there? Saddle my horse!—
 God for his mercy, what treachery is here!
DUCHESS Why, what is it, my lord?

193
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 2

YORK, calling offstage 
 Give me my boots, I say! Saddle my horse!—
85 Now by mine honor, by my life, by my troth,
 I will appeach the villain.
DUCHESS What is the matter?
YORK Peace, foolish woman.
DUCHESS 
 I will not peace!—What is the matter, Aumerle?
AUMERLE 
90 Good mother, be content. It is no more
 Than my poor life must answer.
DUCHESS  Thy life answer?
YORK, calling offstage 
 Bring me my boots!—I will unto the King.

His man enters with his boots.

DUCHESS 
 Strike him, Aumerle! Poor boy, thou art amazed.—
95 Hence, villain, never more come in my sight.
YORK Give me my boots, I say.
His man helps him on with his boots, then exits.
DUCHESS Why, York, what wilt thou do?
 Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
 Have we more sons? Or are we like to have?
100 Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
 And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age
 And rob me of a happy mother’s name?
 Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?
YORK Thou fond mad woman,
105 Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
 A dozen of them here have ta’en the sacrament
 And interchangeably set down their hands
 To kill the King at Oxford.
DUCHESS 
 He shall be none. We’ll keep him here.
110 Then what is that to him?

195
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 3

YORK 
 Away, fond woman! Were he twenty times my son,
 I would appeach him.
DUCHESS 
 Hadst thou groaned for him as I have done,
 Thou wouldst be more pitiful.
115 But now I know thy mind: thou dost suspect
 That I have been disloyal to thy bed
 And that he is a bastard, not thy son.
 Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind!
 He is as like thee as a man may be,
120 Not like to me or any of my kin,
 And yet I love him.
YORK  Make way, unruly woman!
He exits.
DUCHESS 
 After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse,
 Spur post, and get before him to the King,
125 And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
 I’ll not be long behind. Though I be old,
 I doubt not but to ride as fast as York.
 And never will I rise up from the ground
 Till Bolingbroke have pardoned thee. Away, begone!
They exit.