List iconRichard IIList icon

Richard II
Entire Play

Synopsis:

Contents

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…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
ACT 1
Scene 1
Enter King Richard, John of Gaunt, with other Nobles
and Attendants.


KING RICHARD 
 Old John of Gaunt, time-honored Lancaster,
 Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
 Brought hither Henry Hereford, thy bold son,
 Here to make good the boist’rous late appeal,
5 Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
 Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
GAUNT I have, my liege.
KING RICHARD 
 Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him
 If he appeal the Duke on ancient malice
10 Or worthily, as a good subject should,
 On some known ground of treachery in him?
GAUNT 
 As near as I could sift him on that argument,
 On some apparent danger seen in him
 Aimed at your Highness, no inveterate malice.
KING RICHARD 
15 Then call them to our presence.
An Attendant exits.
 Face to face
 And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
7

9
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 1

 The accuser and the accusèd freely speak.
 High stomached are they both and full of ire,
20 In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.

Enter Bolingbroke and Mowbray.

BOLINGBROKE 
 Many years of happy days befall
 My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege.
MOWBRAY 
 Each day still better other’s happiness
 Until the heavens, envying earth’s good hap,
25 Add an immortal title to your crown.
KING RICHARD 
 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
30 Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
BOLINGBROKE 
 First—heaven be the record to my speech!—
 In the devotion of a subject’s love,
 Tend’ring the precious safety of my prince
 And free from other misbegotten hate,
35 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.
40 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 more, the more to aggravate the note,
45 With a foul traitor’s name stuff I thy throat,
 And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,

11
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 1

 What my tongue speaks my right-drawn sword may
 prove.
MOWBRAY 
 Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal.
50 ’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
55 As to be hushed and naught 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.
60 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
65 And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
 Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps
 Or any other ground inhabitable
 Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
 Meantime let this defend my loyalty:
70 By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
BOLINGBROKE, throwing down a gage 
 Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
 Disclaiming here the kindred of the King,
 And lay aside my high blood’s royalty,
 Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
75 If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
 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 worse devise.

13
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 1

MOWBRAY, picking up the gage 
80 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
85 If I be traitor or unjustly fight.
KING RICHARD 
 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.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Look what I speak, my life shall prove it true:
90 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,
95 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 contrivèd in this land
 Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and
100 spring.
 Further I say, and further will maintain
 Upon his bad life to make all this good,
 That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester’s death,
 Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
105 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
110 To me for justice and rough chastisement.
 And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
 This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.

15
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 1

KING RICHARD 
 How high a pitch his resolution soars!—
 Thomas of Norfolk, what sayst thou to this?
MOWBRAY 
115 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.
KING RICHARD 
 Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
120 Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom’s heir,
 As he is but my father’s brother’s son,
 Now by my scepter’s awe I make a vow:
 Such neighbor nearness to our sacred blood
 Should nothing privilege him nor partialize
125 The unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
 He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou.
 Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
MOWBRAY 
 Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
 Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
130 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
135 Since last I went to France to fetch his queen.
 Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester’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,
140 The honorable father to my foe,
 Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
 A trespass that doth vex my grievèd soul.
 But ere I last received the sacrament,
 I did confess it and exactly begged

17
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 1

145 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,
150 And interchangeably hurl down my gage
 Upon this overweening traitor’s foot,
He throws down a gage.
 To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
 Even in the best blood chambered in his bosom;
 In haste whereof most heartily I pray
155 Your Highness to assign our trial day.
Bolingbroke picks up the gage.
KING RICHARD 
 Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me.
 Let’s purge this choler without letting blood.
 This we prescribe, though no physician.
 Deep malice makes too deep incision.
160 Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed.
 Our doctors say this is no month 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.—
165 Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk’s gage.
KING RICHARD 
 And, Norfolk, throw down his.
GAUNT  When, Harry, when?
 Obedience bids I should not bid again.
KING RICHARD 
 Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.
MOWBRAY 
170 Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
Mowbray kneels.
 My life thou shalt command, but not my shame.
 The one my duty owes, but my fair name,

19
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 1

 Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
 To dark dishonor’s use thou shalt not have.
175 I am disgraced, impeached, and baffled here,
 Pierced to the soul with slander’s venomed spear,
 The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
 Which breathed this poison.
KING RICHARD  Rage must be withstood.
180 Give me his gage. Lions make leopards tame.
MOWBRAY, standing 
 Yea, but not change his spots. Take but my shame
 And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
 The purest treasure mortal times afford
 Is spotless reputation; that away,
185 Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
 A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest
 Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
 Mine honor is my life; both grow in one.
 Take honor from me and my life is done.
190 Then, dear my liege, mine honor let me try.
 In that I live, and for that will I die.
KING RICHARD, to Bolingbroke 
 Cousin, throw up your gage. Do you begin.
BOLINGBROKE 
 O, God defend my soul from such deep sin!
 Shall I seem crestfallen in my father’s sight?
195 Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
 Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue
 Shall wound my honor with such feeble wrong
 Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
 The slavish motive of recanting fear
200 And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
 Where shame doth harbor, even in Mowbray’s face.
KING RICHARD 
 We were not born to sue, but to command,
 Which, since we cannot do, to make you friends,
 Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,

21
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 2

205 At Coventry upon Saint Lambert’s day.
 There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
 The swelling difference of your settled hate.
 Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
 Justice design the victor’s chivalry.—
210 Lord Marshal, command our officers-at-arms
 Be ready to direct these home alarms.
They exit.


Scene 2
Enter John of Gaunt with the Duchess of Gloucester.

GAUNT 
 Alas, the part I had in Woodstock’s blood
 Doth more solicit me than your exclaims
 To stir against the butchers of his life.
 But since correction lieth in those hands
5 Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
 Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven,
 Who, when they see the hours ripe on Earth,
 Will rain hot vengeance on offenders’ heads.
DUCHESS 
 Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
10 Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
 Edward’s seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
 Were as seven vials of his sacred blood
 Or seven fair branches springing from one root.
 Some of those seven are dried by nature’s course,
15 Some of those branches by the Destinies cut.
 But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
 One vial full of Edward’s sacred blood,
 One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
 Is cracked and all the precious liquor spilt,
20 Is hacked down, and his summer leaves all faded,
 By envy’s hand and murder’s bloody ax.

23
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 2

 Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! That bed, that
 womb,
 That metal, that self mold that fashioned thee
25 Made him a man; and though thou livest and
 breathest,
 Yet art thou slain in him. Thou dost consent
 In some large measure to thy father’s death
 In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
30 Who was the model of thy father’s life.
 Call it not patience, Gaunt. It is despair.
 In suff’ring thus thy brother to be slaughtered,
 Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
 Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
35 That which in mean men we entitle patience
 Is pale, cold cowardice in noble breasts.
 What shall I say? To safeguard thine own life,
 The best way is to venge my Gloucester’s death.
GAUNT 
 God’s is the quarrel; for God’s substitute,
40 His deputy anointed in His sight,
 Hath caused his death, the which if wrongfully
 Let heaven revenge, for I may never lift
 An angry arm against His minister.
DUCHESS 
 Where, then, alas, may I complain myself?
GAUNT 
45 To God, the widow’s champion and defense.
DUCHESS 
 Why then I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
 Thou goest to Coventry, there to behold
 Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
 O, sit my husband’s wrongs on Hereford’s spear,
50 That it may enter butcher Mowbray’s breast!
 Or if misfortune miss the first career,
 Be Mowbray’s sins so heavy in his bosom

25
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

 That they may break his foaming courser’s back
 And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
55 A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
 Farewell, old Gaunt. Thy sometime brother’s wife
 With her companion, grief, must end her life.
GAUNT 
 Sister, farewell. I must to Coventry.
 As much good stay with thee as go with me.
DUCHESS 
60 Yet one word more. Grief boundeth where it falls,
 Not with the empty hollowness, but weight.
 I take my leave before I have begun,
 For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
 Commend me to thy brother, Edmund York.
65 Lo, this is all. Nay, yet depart not so!
 Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
 I shall remember more. Bid him—ah, what?—
 With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
 Alack, and what shall good old York there see
70 But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls,
 Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
 And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
 Therefore commend me; let him not come there
 To seek out sorrow that dwells everywhere.
75 Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die.
 The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Lord Marshal and the Duke of Aumerle.

MARSHAL 
 My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford armed?
AUMERLE 
 Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.

27
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

MARSHAL 
 The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
 Stays but the summons of the appellant’s trumpet.
AUMERLE 
5 Why then, the champions are prepared and stay
 For nothing but his Majesty’s approach.

The trumpets sound and the King enters with his Nobles
and Officers; when they are set, enter Mowbray, the
Duke of Norfolk in arms, defendant, with a Herald.


KING RICHARD 
 Marshal, demand of yonder champion
 The cause of his arrival here in arms,
 Ask him his name, and orderly proceed
10 To swear him in the justice of his cause.
MARSHAL, to Mowbray 
 In God’s name and the King’s, say who thou art
 And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms,
 Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quarrel.
 Speak truly on thy knighthood and thy oath,
15 As so defend thee heaven and thy valor.
MOWBRAY 
 My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
 Who hither come engagèd by my oath—
 Which God defend a knight should violate!—
 Both to defend my loyalty and truth
20 To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,
 Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me,
 And by the grace of God and this mine arm
 To prove him, in defending of myself,
 A traitor to my God, my king, and me;
25 And as I truly fight, defend me heaven.

The trumpets sound. Enter Bolingbroke, Duke of
Hereford, appellant, in armor, with a Herald.


KING RICHARD Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms

29
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Both who he is and why he cometh hither
 Thus plated in habiliments of war,
 And formally, according to our law,
30 Depose him in the justice of his cause.
MARSHAL, to Bolingbroke 
 What is thy name? And wherefore com’st thou hither,
 Before King Richard in his royal lists?
 Against whom comest thou? And what’s thy quarrel?
 Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven.
BOLINGBROKE 
35 Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
 Am I, who ready here do stand in arms
 To prove, by God’s grace and my body’s valor,
 In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
 That he is a traitor foul and dangerous
40 To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me.
 And as I truly fight, defend me heaven.
MARSHAL 
 On pain of death, no person be so bold
 Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
 Except the Marshal and such officers
45 Appointed to direct these fair designs.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign’s hand
 And bow my knee before his Majesty;
 For Mowbray and myself are like two men
 That vow a long and weary pilgrimage.
50 Then let us take a ceremonious leave
 And loving farewell of our several friends.
MARSHAL, to King Richard 
 The appellant in all duty greets your Highness
 And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
KING RICHARD, coming down 
 We will descend and fold him in our arms.
He embraces Bolingbroke.
55 Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,

31
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

 So be thy fortune in this royal fight.
 Farewell, my blood—which, if today thou shed,
 Lament we may but not revenge thee dead.
BOLINGBROKE 
 O, let no noble eye profane a tear
60 For me if I be gored with Mowbray’s spear.
 As confident as is the falcon’s flight
 Against a bird do I with Mowbray fight.
 My loving lord, I take my leave of you.—
 Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
65 Not sick, although I have to do with death,
 But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.—
 Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
 The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet.
 O, thou the earthly author of my blood,
70 Whose youthful spirit in me regenerate
 Doth with a twofold vigor lift me up
 To reach at victory above my head,
 Add proof unto mine armor with thy prayers,
 And with thy blessings steel my lance’s point
75 That it may enter Mowbray’s waxen coat
 And furbish new the name of John o’ Gaunt,
 Even in the lusty havior of his son.
GAUNT 
 God in thy good cause make thee prosperous.
 Be swift like lightning in the execution,
80 And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
 Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
 Of thy adverse pernicious enemy.
 Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Mine innocence and Saint George to thrive!
MOWBRAY 
85 However God or fortune cast my lot,
 There lives or dies, true to King Richard’s throne,
 A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.

33
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Never did captive with a freer heart
 Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
90 His golden uncontrolled enfranchisement
 More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
 This feast of battle with mine adversary.
 Most mighty liege and my companion peers,
 Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
95 As gentle and as jocund as to jest
 Go I to fight. Truth hath a quiet breast.
KING RICHARD 
 Farewell, my lord. Securely I espy
 Virtue with valor couchèd in thine eye.—
 Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
MARSHAL 
100 Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
 Receive thy lance; and God defend the right.
He presents a lance to Bolingbroke.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Strong as a tower in hope, I cry “Amen!”
MARSHAL, to an Officer 
 Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
An Officer presents a lance to Mowbray.
FIRST HERALD 
 Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
105 Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
 On pain to be found false and recreant,
 To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
 A traitor to his God, his king, and him,
 And dares him to set forward to the fight.
SECOND HERALD 
110 Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
 On pain to be found false and recreant,
 Both to defend himself and to approve
 Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby
 To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal,

35
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

115 Courageously and with a free desire
 Attending but the signal to begin.
MARSHAL 
 Sound, trumpets, and set forward, combatants.
Trumpets sound. Richard throws down his warder.
 Stay! The King hath thrown his warder down.
KING RICHARD 
 Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
120 And both return back to their chairs again.
 To his council. Withdraw with us, and let the
 trumpets sound
 While we return these dukes what we decree.
Trumpets sound while Richard consults with Gaunt
and other Nobles.

 To Bolingbroke and Mowbray. Draw near,
125 And list what with our council we have done.
 For that our kingdom’s earth should not be soiled
 With that dear blood which it hath fosterèd;
 And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
 Of civil wounds plowed up with neighbor’s sword;
130 And for we think the eagle-wingèd pride
 Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
 With rival-hating envy, set on you
 To wake our peace, which in our country’s cradle
 Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep,
135 Which, so roused up with boist’rous untuned
 drums,
 With harsh resounding trumpets’ dreadful bray,
 And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
 Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
140 And make us wade even in our kindred’s blood:
 Therefore we banish you our territories.
 You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
 Till twice five summers have enriched our fields
 Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
145 But tread the stranger paths of banishment.

37
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

BOLINGBROKE 
 Your will be done. This must my comfort be:
 That sun that warms you here shall shine on me,
 And those his golden beams to you here lent
 Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
KING RICHARD 
150 Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
 Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
 The sly, slow hours shall not determinate
 The dateless limit of thy dear exile.
 The hopeless word of “never to return”
155 Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
MOWBRAY 
 A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
 And all unlooked-for from your Highness’ mouth.
 A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
 As to be cast forth in the common air,
160 Have I deservèd at your Highness’ hands.
 The language I have learnt these forty years,
 My native English, now I must forgo;
 And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
 Than an unstringèd viol or a harp,
165 Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
 Or, being open, put into his hands
 That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
 Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
 Doubly portcullised with my teeth and lips,
170 And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
 Is made my jailor to attend on me.
 I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
 Too far in years to be a pupil now.
 What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
175 Which robs my tongue from breathing native
 breath?
KING RICHARD 
 It boots thee not to be compassionate.
 After our sentence plaining comes too late.

39
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

MOWBRAY 
 Then thus I turn me from my country’s light,
180 To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
He begins to exit.
KING RICHARD 
 Return again, and take an oath with thee.
 To Mowbray and Bolingbroke. Lay on our royal
 sword your banished hands.
They place their right hands on the hilts of
Richard’s sword.

 Swear by the duty that you owe to God—
185 Our part therein we banish with yourselves—
 To keep the oath that we administer:
 You never shall, so help you truth and God,
 Embrace each other’s love in banishment,
 Nor never look upon each other’s face,
190 Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
 This louring tempest of your homebred hate,
 Nor never by advisèd purpose meet
 To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
 ’Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
BOLINGBROKE 195I swear.
MOWBRAY And I, to keep all this.
They step back.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:
 By this time, had the King permitted us,
 One of our souls had wandered in the air,
200 Banished this frail sepulcher of our flesh,
 As now our flesh is banished from this land.
 Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm.
 Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
 The clogging burden of a guilty soul.
MOWBRAY 
205 No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
 My name be blotted from the book of life,

41
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

 And I from heaven banished as from hence.
 But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know,
 And all too soon, I fear, the King shall rue.—
210 Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray;
 Save back to England, all the world’s my way.
He exits.
KING RICHARD, to Gaunt 
 Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
 I see thy grievèd heart. Thy sad aspect
 Hath from the number of his banished years
215 Plucked four away. To Bolingbroke. Six frozen
 winters spent,
 Return with welcome home from banishment.
BOLINGBROKE 
 How long a time lies in one little word!
 Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
220 End in a word; such is the breath of kings.
GAUNT 
 I thank my liege that in regard of me
 He shortens four years of my son’s exile.
 But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
 For, ere the six years that he hath to spend
225 Can change their moons and bring their times
 about,
 My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
 Shall be extinct with age and endless night;
 My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
230 And blindfold death not let me see my son.
KING RICHARD 
 Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
GAUNT 
 But not a minute, king, that thou canst give.
 Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
 And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow.
235 Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
 But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage.

43
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

 Thy word is current with him for my death,
 But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
KING RICHARD 
 Thy son is banished upon good advice,
240 Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave.
 Why at our justice seem’st thou then to lour?
GAUNT 
 Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
 You urged me as a judge, but I had rather
 You would have bid me argue like a father.
245 O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
 To smooth his fault I should have been more mild.
 A partial slander sought I to avoid,
 And in the sentence my own life destroyed.
 Alas, I looked when some of you should say
250 I was too strict, to make mine own away.
 But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
 Against my will to do myself this wrong.
KING RICHARD, to Bolingbroke 
 Cousin, farewell.—And, uncle, bid him so.
 Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
Flourish. King Richard exits with his Attendants.
AUMERLE, to Bolingbroke 
255 Cousin, farewell. What presence must not know,
 From where you do remain let paper show.
MARSHAL, to Bolingbroke 
 My lord, no leave take I, for I will ride,
 As far as land will let me, by your side.
GAUNT, to Bolingbroke 
 O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
260 That thou returnest no greeting to thy friends?
BOLINGBROKE 
 I have too few to take my leave of you,
 When the tongue’s office should be prodigal
 To breathe the abundant dolor of the heart.

45
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 3

GAUNT 
 Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
BOLINGBROKE 
265 Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
GAUNT 
 What is six winters? They are quickly gone.
BOLINGBROKE 
 To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
GAUNT 
 Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure.
BOLINGBROKE 
 My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
270 Which finds it an enforcèd pilgrimage.
GAUNT 
 The sullen passage of thy weary steps
 Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
 The precious jewel of thy home return.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Nay, rather every tedious stride I make
275 Will but remember me what a deal of world
 I wander from the jewels that I love.
 Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
 To foreign passages, and in the end,
 Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
280 But that I was a journeyman to grief?
GAUNT 
 All places that the eye of heaven visits
 Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
 Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
 There is no virtue like necessity.
285 Think not the King did banish thee,
 But thou the King. Woe doth the heavier sit
 Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
 Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honor,
 And not the King exiled thee; or suppose
290 Devouring pestilence hangs in our air
 And thou art flying to a fresher clime.

47
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 4

 Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
 To lie that way thou goest, not whence thou com’st.
 Suppose the singing birds musicians,
295 The grass whereon thou tread’st the presence
 strewed,
 The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
 Than a delightful measure or a dance;
 For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
300 The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
BOLINGBROKE 
 O, who can hold a fire in his hand
 By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
 Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
 By bare imagination of a feast?
305 Or wallow naked in December snow
 By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
 O no, the apprehension of the good
 Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
 Fell sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more
310 Than when he bites but lanceth not the sore.
GAUNT 
 Come, come, my son, I’ll bring thee on thy way.
 Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Then, England’s ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu,
 My mother and my nurse that bears me yet.
315 Where’er I wander, boast of this I can,
 Though banished, yet a trueborn Englishman.
They exit.


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?

49
Richard II
ACT 1. SC. 4

AUMERLE 
 I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
 But to the next highway, and there I left him.
KING RICHARD 
5 And say, what store of parting tears were shed?
AUMERLE 
 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.
KING RICHARD 
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
 hours
 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.
KING RICHARD 
 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

51
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.
GREEN 
 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.
KING RICHARD 
 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?
BUSHY 
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.
KING RICHARD 
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

53
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.


ACT 2
Scene 1
Enter John of Gaunt sick, with the Duke of York, and
Attendants.


GAUNT 
 Will the King come, that I may breathe my last
 In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
YORK 
 Vex not yourself nor strive not with your breath,
 For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
GAUNT 
5 O, but they say the tongues of dying men
 Enforce attention like deep harmony.
 Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in
 vain,
 For they breathe truth that breathe their words in
10 pain.
 He that no more must say is listened more
  Than they whom youth and ease have taught to
  gloze.
 More are men’s ends marked than their lives before.
15  The setting sun and music at the close,
 As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
 Writ in remembrance more than things long past.
 Though Richard my life’s counsel would not hear,
 My death’s sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.
57

59
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

YORK 
20 No, it is stopped with other flattering sounds,
 As praises, of whose taste the wise are fond;
 Lascivious meters, to whose venom sound
 The open ear of youth doth always listen;
 Report of fashions in proud Italy,
25 Whose manners still our tardy-apish nation
 Limps after in base imitation.
 Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity—
 So it be new, there’s no respect how vile—
 That is not quickly buzzed into his ears?
30 Then all too late comes counsel to be heard
 Where will doth mutiny with wit’s regard.
 Direct not him whose way himself will choose.
 ’Tis breath thou lack’st, and that breath wilt thou
 lose.
GAUNT 
35 Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
 And thus expiring do foretell of him:
 His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
 For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
 Small showers last long, but sudden storms are
40 short;
 He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
 With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder;
 Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
 Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
45 This royal throne of kings, this sceptered isle,
 This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
 This other Eden, demi-paradise,
 This fortress built by Nature for herself
 Against infection and the hand of war,
50 This happy breed of men, this little world,
 This precious stone set in the silver sea,
 Which serves it in the office of a wall
 Or as a moat defensive to a house,

61
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

 Against the envy of less happier lands,
55 This blessèd plot, this earth, this realm, this
 England,
 This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
 Feared by their breed and famous by their birth,
 Renownèd for their deeds as far from home
60 For Christian service and true chivalry
 As is the sepulcher in stubborn Jewry
 Of the world’s ransom, blessèd Mary’s son,
 This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
 Dear for her reputation through the world,
65 Is now leased out—I die pronouncing it—
 Like to a tenement or pelting farm.
 England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
 Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
 Of wat’ry Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
70 With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds.
 That England that was wont to conquer others
 Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
 Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
 How happy then were my ensuing death!

Enter King and Queen, Aumerle, Bushy, Green, Bagot,
Ross, Willoughby, etc.


YORK 
75 The King is come. Deal mildly with his youth,
 For young hot colts being reined do rage the more.
QUEEN, to Gaunt 
 How fares our noble uncle Lancaster?
KING RICHARD, to Gaunt 
 What comfort, man? How is ’t with agèd Gaunt?
GAUNT 
 O, how that name befits my composition!
80 Old Gaunt indeed and gaunt in being old.
 Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast,
 And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?

63
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

 For sleeping England long time have I watched;
 Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt.
85 The pleasure that some fathers feed upon
 Is my strict fast—I mean my children’s looks—
 And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt.
 Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
 Whose hollow womb inherits naught but bones.
KING RICHARD 
90 Can sick men play so nicely with their names?
GAUNT 
 No, misery makes sport to mock itself.
 Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
 I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
KING RICHARD 
 Should dying men flatter with those that live?
GAUNT 
95 No, no, men living flatter those that die.
KING RICHARD 
 Thou, now a-dying, sayest thou flatterest me.
GAUNT 
 O, no, thou diest, though I the sicker be.
KING RICHARD 
 I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
GAUNT 
 Now He that made me knows I see thee ill,
100 Ill in myself to see, and in thee, seeing ill.
 Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land,
 Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
 And thou, too careless-patient as thou art,
 Commit’st thy anointed body to the cure
105 Of those physicians that first wounded thee.
 A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
 Whose compass is no bigger than thy head,
 And yet encagèd in so small a verge,
 The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.

65
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

110 O, had thy grandsire with a prophet’s eye
 Seen how his son’s son should destroy his sons,
 From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
 Deposing thee before thou wert possessed,
 Which art possessed now to depose thyself.
115 Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
 It were a shame to let this land by lease;
 But, for thy world enjoying but this land,
 Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
 Landlord of England art thou now, not king.
120 Thy state of law is bondslave to the law,
 And thou—
KING RICHARD  A lunatic lean-witted fool,
 Presuming on an ague’s privilege,
 Darest with thy frozen admonition
125 Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
 With fury from his native residence.
 Now, by my seat’s right royal majesty,
 Wert thou not brother to great Edward’s son,
 This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
130 Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
GAUNT 
 O, spare me not, my brother Edward’s son,
 For that I was his father Edward’s son!
 That blood already, like the pelican,
 Hast thou tapped out and drunkenly caroused.
135 My brother Gloucester—plain, well-meaning soul,
 Whom fair befall in heaven ’mongst happy souls—
 May be a precedent and witness good
 That thou respect’st not spilling Edward’s blood.
 Join with the present sickness that I have,
140 And thy unkindness be like crooked age
 To crop at once a too-long withered flower.
 Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
 These words hereafter thy tormentors be!—

67
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

 Convey me to my bed, then to my grave.
145 Love they to live that love and honor have.
He exits, carried off by Attendants.
KING RICHARD 
 And let them die that age and sullens have,
 For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
YORK 
 I do beseech your Majesty, impute his words
 To wayward sickliness and age in him.
150 He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
 As Harry, Duke of Hereford, were he here.
KING RICHARD 
 Right, you say true: as Hereford’s love, so his;
 As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.

Enter Northumberland.

NORTHUMBERLAND 
 My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your Majesty.
KING RICHARD 
155 What says he?
NORTHUMBERLAND  Nay, nothing; all is said.
 His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
 Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
YORK 
 Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
160 Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
KING RICHARD 
 The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
 His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
 So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
 We must supplant those rough rugheaded kern,
165 Which live like venom where no venom else
 But only they have privilege to live.
 And, for these great affairs do ask some charge,
 Towards our assistance we do seize to us

69
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

 The plate, coin, revenues, and movables
170 Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possessed.
YORK 
 How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long
 Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
 Not Gloucester’s death, nor Hereford’s banishment,
 Nor Gaunt’s rebukes, nor England’s private wrongs,
175 Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
 About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
 Have ever made me sour my patient cheek
 Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign’s face.
 I am the last of noble Edward’s sons,
180 Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first.
 In war was never lion raged more fierce,
 In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
 Than was that young and princely gentleman.
 His face thou hast, for even so looked he,
185 Accomplished with the number of thy hours;
 But when he frowned, it was against the French
 And not against his friends. His noble hand
 Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
 Which his triumphant father’s hand had won.
190 His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
 But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
 O, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
 Or else he never would compare between.
KING RICHARD 
 Why, uncle, what’s the matter?
YORK 195 O, my liege,
 Pardon me if you please. If not, I, pleased
 Not to be pardoned, am content withal.
 Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
 The royalties and rights of banished Hereford?
200 Is not Gaunt dead? And doth not Hereford live?
 Was not Gaunt just? And is not Harry true?
 Did not the one deserve to have an heir?

71
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

 Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
 Take Hereford’s rights away, and take from time
205 His charters and his customary rights;
 Let not tomorrow then ensue today;
 Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
 But by fair sequence and succession?
 Now afore God—God forbid I say true!—
210 If you do wrongfully seize Hereford’s rights,
 Call in the letters patents that he hath
 By his attorneys general to sue
 His livery, and deny his offered homage,
 You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
215 You lose a thousand well-disposèd hearts,
 And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
 Which honor and allegiance cannot think.
KING RICHARD 
 Think what you will, we seize into our hands
 His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.
YORK 
220 I’ll not be by the while. My liege, farewell.
 What will ensue hereof there’s none can tell;
 But by bad courses may be understood
 That their events can never fall out good.He exits.
KING RICHARD 
 Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight.
225 Bid him repair to us to Ely House
 To see this business. Tomorrow next
 We will for Ireland, and ’tis time, I trow.
 And we create, in absence of ourself,
 Our uncle York Lord Governor of England,
230 For he is just and always loved us well.—
 Come on, our queen. Tomorrow must we part.
 Be merry, for our time of stay is short.
King and Queen exit with others;
Northumberland, Willoughby, and Ross remain.


73
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.
ROSS 
 And living too, for now his son is duke.
WILLOUGHBY 
235 Barely in title, not in revenues.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Richly in both, if justice had her right.
ROSS 
 My heart is great, but it must break with silence
 Ere ’t be disburdened with a liberal tongue.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Nay, speak thy mind, and let him ne’er speak more
240 That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!
WILLOUGHBY, to Ross 
 Tends that thou wouldst speak to the Duke of
 Hereford?
 If it be so, out with it boldly, man.
 Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.
ROSS 
245 No good at all that I can do for him,
 Unless you call it good to pity him,
 Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Now, afore God, ’tis shame such wrongs are borne
 In him, a royal prince, and many more
250 Of noble blood in this declining land.
 The King is not himself, but basely led
 By flatterers; and what they will inform
 Merely in hate ’gainst any of us all,
 That will the King severely prosecute
255 ’Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
ROSS 
 The commons hath he pilled with grievous taxes,
 And quite lost their hearts. The nobles hath he fined
 For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

75
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

WILLOUGHBY 
 And daily new exactions are devised,
260 As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what.
 But what i’ God’s name doth become of this?
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Wars hath not wasted it, for warred he hath not,
 But basely yielded upon compromise
 That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows.
265 More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
ROSS 
 The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
WILLOUGHBY 
 The King grown bankrupt like a broken man.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.
ROSS 
 He hath not money for these Irish wars,
270 His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
 But by the robbing of the banished duke.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 His noble kinsman. Most degenerate king!
 But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
 Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm;
275 We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
 And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
ROSS 
 We see the very wrack that we must suffer,
 And unavoided is the danger now
 For suffering so the causes of our wrack.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
280 Not so. Even through the hollow eyes of death
 I spy life peering; but I dare not say
 How near the tidings of our comfort is.
WILLOUGHBY 
 Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.

77
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 1

ROSS 
 Be confident to speak, Northumberland.
285 We three are but thyself, and speaking so
 Thy words are but as thoughts. Therefore be bold.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Then thus: I have from Le Port Blanc,
 A bay in Brittany, received intelligence
 That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord
290 Cobham,
 That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
 His brother, archbishop late of Canterbury,
 Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
 Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis
295 Coint—
 All these well furnished by the Duke of Brittany
 With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
 Are making hither with all due expedience
 And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
300 Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
 The first departing of the King for Ireland.
 If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
 Imp out our drooping country’s broken wing,
 Redeem from broking pawn the blemished crown,
305 Wipe off the dust that hides our scepter’s gilt,
 And make high majesty look like itself,
 Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh.
 But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
 Stay and be secret, and myself will go.
ROSS 
310 To horse, to horse! Urge doubts to them that fear.
WILLOUGHBY 
 Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.
They exit.




79
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 2

Scene 2
Enter the Queen, Bushy, and Bagot.

BUSHY 
 Madam, your Majesty is too much sad.
 You promised, when you parted with the King,
 To lay aside life-harming heaviness
 And entertain a cheerful disposition.
QUEEN 
5 To please the King I did; to please myself
 I cannot do it. Yet I know no cause
 Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
 Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
 As my sweet Richard. Yet again methinks
10 Some unborn sorrow ripe in Fortune’s womb
 Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
 With nothing trembles. At some thing it grieves
 More than with parting from my lord the King.
BUSHY 
 Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows
15 Which shows like grief itself but is not so;
 For sorrow’s eyes, glazed with blinding tears,
 Divides one thing entire to many objects,
 Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
 Show nothing but confusion, eyed awry
20 Distinguish form. So your sweet Majesty,
 Looking awry upon your lord’s departure,
 Find shapes of grief more than himself to wail,
 Which, looked on as it is, is naught but shadows
 Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
25 More than your lord’s departure weep not. More is
 not seen,
 Or if it be, ’tis with false sorrow’s eye,
 Which for things true weeps things imaginary.
QUEEN 
 It may be so, but yet my inward soul
30 Persuades me it is otherwise. Howe’er it be,

81
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 2

 I cannot but be sad—so heavy sad
 As thought, on thinking on no thought I think,
 Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.
BUSHY 
 ’Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
QUEEN 
35 ’Tis nothing less. Conceit is still derived
 From some forefather grief. Mine is not so,
 For nothing hath begot my something grief—
 Or something hath the nothing that I grieve.
 ’Tis in reversion that I do possess,
40 But what it is that is not yet known what,
 I cannot name. ’Tis nameless woe, I wot.

Enter Green.

GREEN 
 God save your Majesty!—And well met, gentlemen.
 I hope the King is not yet shipped for Ireland.
QUEEN 
 Why hopest thou so? ’Tis better hope he is,
45 For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope.
 Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipped?
GREEN 
 That he, our hope, might have retired his power
 And driven into despair an enemy’s hope,
 Who strongly hath set footing in this land.
50 The banished Bolingbroke repeals himself
 And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
 At Ravenspurgh.
QUEEN  Now God in heaven forbid!
GREEN 
 Ah, madam, ’tis too true. And that is worse,
55 The Lord Northumberland, his son young Harry
 Percy,
 The Lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby,
 With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.

83
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 2

BUSHY 
 Why have you not proclaimed Northumberland
60 And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
GREEN 
 We have; whereupon the Earl of Worcester
 Hath broken his staff, resigned his stewardship,
 And all the Household servants fled with him
 To Bolingbroke.
QUEEN 
65 So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
 And Bolingbroke my sorrow’s dismal heir.
 Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
 And I, a gasping new-delivered mother,
 Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow joined.
BUSHY 
70 Despair not, madam.
QUEEN  Who shall hinder me?
 I will despair and be at enmity
 With cozening hope. He is a flatterer,
 A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
75 Who gently would dissolve the bands of life
 Which false hope lingers in extremity.

Enter York.

GREEN Here comes the Duke of York.
QUEEN 
 With signs of war about his agèd neck.
 O, full of careful business are his looks!—
80 Uncle, for God’s sake speak comfortable words.
YORK 
 Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts.
 Comfort’s in heaven, and we are on the Earth,
 Where nothing lives but crosses, cares, and grief.
 Your husband, he is gone to save far off
85 Whilst others come to make him lose at home.
 Here am I left to underprop his land,

85
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 2

 Who, weak with age, cannot support myself.
 Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
 Now shall he try his friends that flattered him.

Enter a Servingman.

SERVINGMAN 
90 My lord, your son was gone before I came.
YORK 
 He was? Why, so go all which way it will.
 The nobles they are fled; the commons they are
 cold
 And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford’s side.
95 Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
 Bid her send me presently a thousand pound.
 Hold, take my ring.
SERVINGMAN 
 My lord, I had forgot to tell your Lordship:
 Today as I came by I callèd there—
100 But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
YORK What is ’t, knave?
SERVINGMAN 
 An hour before I came, the Duchess died.
YORK 
 God for His mercy, what a tide of woes
 Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
105 I know not what to do. I would to God,
 So my untruth had not provoked him to it,
 The King had cut off my head with my brother’s!
 What, are there no posts dispatched for Ireland?
 How shall we do for money for these wars?—
110 Come, sister—cousin I would say, pray pardon
 me.—
 Go, fellow, get thee home. Provide some carts
 And bring away the armor that is there.
Servingman exits.
 Gentlemen, will you go muster men?

87
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 2

115 If I know how or which way to order these affairs
 Thus disorderly thrust into my hands,
 Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen.
 T’ one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
 And duty bids defend; t’ other again
120 Is my kinsman, whom the King hath wronged,
 Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
 Well, somewhat we must do. To Queen. Come,
 cousin,
 I’ll dispose of you.—Gentlemen, go muster up your
125 men
 And meet me presently at Berkeley.
 I should to Plashy too,
 But time will not permit. All is uneven,
 And everything is left at six and seven.
Duke of York and Queen exit.
Bushy, Green, and Bagot remain.

BUSHY 
130 The wind sits fair for news to go for Ireland,
 But none returns. For us to levy power
 Proportionable to the enemy
 Is all unpossible.
GREEN 
 Besides, our nearness to the King in love
135 Is near the hate of those love not the King.
BAGOT 
 And that is the wavering commons, for their love
 Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
 By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
BUSHY 
 Wherein the King stands generally condemned.
BAGOT 
140 If judgment lie in them, then so do we,
 Because we ever have been near the King.
GREEN 
 Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristow Castle.
 The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.

89
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

BUSHY 
 Thither will I with you, for little office
145 Will the hateful commons perform for us,
 Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.—
 Will you go along with us?
BAGOT 
 No, I will to Ireland to his Majesty.
 Farewell. If heart’s presages be not vain,
150 We three here part that ne’er shall meet again.
BUSHY 
 That’s as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
GREEN 
 Alas, poor duke, the task he undertakes
 Is numb’ring sands and drinking oceans dry.
 Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
155 Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.
BUSHY 
 Well, we may meet again.
BAGOT  I fear me, never.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, and
Northumberland.


BOLINGBROKE 
 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

91
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.
BOLINGBROKE 
 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?
PERCY 
 I had thought, my lord, to have learned his health of
25 you.
NORTHUMBERLAND Why, is he not with the Queen?
PERCY 
 No, my good lord, he hath forsook the court,
 Broken his staff of office, and dispersed
 The Household of the King.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
30 What was his reason? He was not so resolved
 When last we spake together.
PERCY 
 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.

93
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?
PERCY 
 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.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 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.
BOLINGBROKE 
 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.
NORTHUMBERLAND, to Percy 
 How far is it to Berkeley, and what stir
 Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
PERCY 
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
 Seymour,
 None else of name and noble estimate.

Enter Ross and Willoughby.

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

95
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

BOLINGBROKE 
 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.
ROSS 
 Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
WILLOUGHBY 
 And far surmounts our labor to attain it.
BOLINGBROKE 
 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.

NORTHUMBERLAND 
 It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.
BERKELEY, to Bolingbroke 
 My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
BOLINGBROKE 
 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.
BERKELEY 
 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.

BOLINGBROKE 
 I shall not need transport my words by you.

97
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

85 Here comes his Grace in person.He kneels.
 My noble uncle.
YORK 
 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!
BOLINGBROKE 
110 My gracious uncle, let me know my fault.
 On what condition stands it and wherein?
YORK 
 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.

99
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 3

BOLINGBROKE 
 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.
NORTHUMBERLAND, to York 
 The noble duke hath been too much abused.
ROSS, to York 
 It stands your Grace upon to do him right.
WILLOUGHBY, to York 
 Base men by his endowments are made great.
YORK 
 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,

101
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.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 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.
YORK 
 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.
BOLINGBROKE 
 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.
YORK 
 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.




103
Richard II
ACT 2. SC. 4

Scene 4
Enter Earl of Salisbury and a Welsh Captain.

WELSH CAPTAIN 
 My Lord of Salisbury, we have stayed ten days
 And hardly kept our countrymen together,
 And yet we hear no tidings from the King.
 Therefore we will disperse ourselves. Farewell.
SALISBURY 
5 Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman.
 The King reposeth all his confidence in thee.
WELSH CAPTAIN 
 ’Tis thought the King is dead. We will not stay.
 The bay trees in our country are all withered,
 And meteors fright the fixèd stars of heaven;
10 The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the Earth,
 And lean-looked prophets whisper fearful change;
 Rich men look sad, and ruffians dance and leap,
 The one in fear to lose what they enjoy,
 The other to enjoy by rage and war.
15 These signs forerun the death or fall of kings.
 Farewell. Our countrymen are gone and fled,
 As well assured Richard their king is dead.
He exits.
SALISBURY 
 Ah, Richard! With the eyes of heavy mind
 I see thy glory like a shooting star
20 Fall to the base earth from the firmament.
 Thy sun sets weeping in the lowly west,
 Witnessing storms to come, woe, and unrest.
 Thy friends are fled to wait upon thy foes,
 And crossly to thy good all fortune goes.
He exits.


ACT 3
Scene 1
Enter Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, York,
Northumberland, with other Lords, and Bushy and
Green prisoners.


BOLINGBROKE Bring forth these men.—
 Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls,
 Since presently your souls must part your bodies,
 With too much urging your pernicious lives,
5 For ’twere no charity; yet to wash your blood
 From off my hands, here in the view of men
 I will unfold some causes of your deaths:
 You have misled a prince, a royal king,
 A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments
10 By you unhappied and disfigured clean.
 You have in manner with your sinful hours
 Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
 Broke the possession of a royal bed,
 And stained the beauty of a fair queen’s cheeks
15 With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
 Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
 Near to the King in blood, and near in love
 Till you did make him misinterpret me,
 Have stooped my neck under your injuries
20 And sighed my English breath in foreign clouds,
 Eating the bitter bread of banishment,
107

109
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 1

 Whilst you have fed upon my seigniories,
 Disparked my parks and felled my forest woods,
 From my own windows torn my household coat,
25 Rased out my imprese, leaving me no sign,
 Save men’s opinions and my living blood,
 To show the world I am a gentleman.
 This and much more, much more than twice all
 this,
30 Condemns you to the death.—See them delivered
 over
 To execution and the hand of death.
BUSHY 
 More welcome is the stroke of death to me
 Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.
GREEN 
35 My comfort is that heaven will take our souls
 And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
BOLINGBROKE 
 My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatched.Northumberland exits with Bushy and Green.
 To York. Uncle, you say the Queen is at your
 house.
40 For God’s sake, fairly let her be entreated.
 Tell her I send to her my kind commends.
 Take special care my greetings be delivered.
YORK 
 A gentleman of mine I have dispatched
 With letters of your love to her at large.
BOLINGBROKE 
45 Thanks, gentle uncle.—Come, lords, away,
 To fight with Glendower and his complices.
 A while to work, and after holiday.
They exit.




111
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

Scene 2
Drums. Flourish and colors. Enter the King, Aumerle,
Carlisle, and Soldiers.


KING RICHARD 
 Barkloughly Castle call they this at hand?
AUMERLE 
 Yea, my lord. How brooks your Grace the air
 After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
KING RICHARD 
 Needs must I like it well. I weep for joy
5 To stand upon my kingdom once again.He kneels.
 Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
 Though rebels wound thee with their horses’ hoofs.
 As a long-parted mother with her child
 Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
10 So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
 And do thee favors with my royal hands.
 Feed not thy sovereign’s foe, my gentle earth,
 Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense,
 But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
15 And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
 Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
 Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
 Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies,
 And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
20 Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder,
 Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
 Throw death upon thy sovereign’s enemies.
 Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords.
 This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
25 Prove armèd soldiers, ere her native king
 Shall falter under foul rebellion’s arms.
CARLISLE 
 Fear not, my lord. That power that made you king
 Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.

113
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

 The means that heavens yield must be embraced
30 And not neglected. Else heaven would,
 And we will not—heaven’s offer we refuse,
 The proffered means of succor and redress.
AUMERLE 
 He means, my lord, that we are too remiss,
 Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
35 Grows strong and great in substance and in power.
KING RICHARD 
 Discomfortable cousin, know’st thou not
 That when the searching eye of heaven is hid
 Behind the globe that lights the lower world,
 Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
40 In murders and in outrage boldly here?
 But when from under this terrestrial ball
 He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines
 And darts his light through every guilty hole,
 Then murders, treasons, and detested sins,
45 The cloak of night being plucked from off their
 backs,
 Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves.
 So when this thief, this traitor Bolingbroke,
 Who all this while hath reveled in the night
50 Whilst we were wand’ring with the Antipodes,
 Shall see us rising in our throne, the east,
 His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
 Not able to endure the sight of day,
 But self-affrighted, tremble at his sin.
55 Not all the water in the rough rude sea
 Can wash the balm off from an anointed king.
 The breath of worldly men cannot depose
 The deputy elected by the Lord.
 For every man that Bolingbroke hath pressed
60 To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
 God for His Richard hath in heavenly pay

115
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

 A glorious angel. Then, if angels fight,
 Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right.

Enter Salisbury.

 Welcome, my lord. How far off lies your power?
SALISBURY 
65 Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
 Than this weak arm. Discomfort guides my tongue
 And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
 One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
 Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth.
70 O, call back yesterday, bid time return,
 And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men.
 Today, today, unhappy day too late,
 Overthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state;
 For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
75 Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed, and fled.
AUMERLE 
 Comfort, my liege. Why looks your Grace so pale?
KING RICHARD 
 But now the blood of twenty thousand men
  Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
 And till so much blood thither come again
80  Have I not reason to look pale and dead?
 All souls that will be safe, fly from my side,
 For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
AUMERLE 
 Comfort, my liege. Remember who you are.
KING RICHARD 
 I had forgot myself. Am I not king?
85 Awake, thou coward majesty, thou sleepest!
 Is not the King’s name twenty thousand names?
 Arm, arm, my name! A puny subject strikes
 At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
 You favorites of a king. Are we not high?
90 High be our thoughts. I know my Uncle York

117
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Hath power enough to serve our turn.—But who
 comes here?

Enter Scroop.

SCROOP 
 More health and happiness betide my liege
 Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him.
KING RICHARD 
95 Mine ear is open and my heart prepared.
 The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
 Say, is my kingdom lost? Why, ’twas my care,
 And what loss is it to be rid of care?
 Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
100 Greater he shall not be. If he serve God,
 We’ll serve Him too and be his fellow so.
 Revolt our subjects? That we cannot mend.
 They break their faith to God as well as us.
 Cry woe, destruction, ruin, and decay.
105 The worst is death, and death will have his day.
SCROOP 
 Glad am I that your Highness is so armed
 To bear the tidings of calamity.
 Like an unseasonable stormy day
 Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores
110 As if the world were all dissolved to tears,
 So high above his limits swells the rage
 Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
 With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
 Whitebeards have armed their thin and hairless
115 scalps
 Against thy Majesty; boys with women’s voices
 Strive to speak big and clap their female joints
 In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown;
 Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
120 Of double-fatal yew against thy state.
 Yea, distaff women manage rusty bills

119
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

 Against thy seat. Both young and old rebel,
 And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
KING RICHARD 
 Too well, too well thou tell’st a tale so ill.
125 Where is the Earl of Wiltshire? Where is Bagot?
 What is become of Bushy? Where is Green,
 That they have let the dangerous enemy
 Measure our confines with such peaceful steps?
 If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it!
130 I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
SCROOP 
 Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.
KING RICHARD 
 O villains, vipers, damned without redemption!
 Dogs easily won to fawn on any man!
 Snakes in my heart blood warmed, that sting my
135 heart!
 Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
 Would they make peace? Terrible hell
 Make war upon their spotted souls for this!
SCROOP 
 Sweet love, I see, changing his property,
140 Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.
 Again uncurse their souls. Their peace is made
 With heads and not with hands. Those whom you
 curse
 Have felt the worst of death’s destroying wound
145 And lie full low, graved in the hollow ground.
AUMERLE 
 Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?
SCROOP 
 Ay, all of them at Bristow lost their heads.
AUMERLE 
 Where is the Duke my father with his power?
KING RICHARD 
 No matter where. Of comfort no man speak.

121
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

150 Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs,
 Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
 Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
 Let’s choose executors and talk of wills.
 And yet not so, for what can we bequeath
155 Save our deposèd bodies to the ground?
 Our lands, our lives, and all are Bolingbroke’s,
 And nothing can we call our own but death
 And that small model of the barren earth
 Which serves as paste and cover to our bones.
160 For God’s sake, let us sit upon the ground
 And tell sad stories of the death of kings—
 How some have been deposed, some slain in war,
 Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed,
 Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed,
165 All murdered. For within the hollow crown
 That rounds the mortal temples of a king
 Keeps Death his court, and there the antic sits,
 Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
 Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
170 To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks,
 Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
 As if this flesh which walls about our life
 Were brass impregnable; and humored thus,
 Comes at the last and with a little pin
175 Bores through his castle wall, and farewell, king!
 Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
 With solemn reverence. Throw away respect,
 Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
 For you have but mistook me all this while.
180 I live with bread like you, feel want,
 Taste grief, need friends. Subjected thus,
 How can you say to me I am a king?
CARLISLE 
 My lord, wise men ne’er sit and wail their woes,
 But presently prevent the ways to wail.

123
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 2

185 To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
 Gives in your weakness strength unto your foe,
 And so your follies fight against yourself.
 Fear, and be slain—no worse can come to fight;
 And fight and die is death destroying death,
190 Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
AUMERLE 
 My father hath a power. Inquire of him,
 And learn to make a body of a limb.
KING RICHARD 
 Thou chid’st me well.—Proud Bolingbroke, I come
 To change blows with thee for our day of doom.—
195 This ague fit of fear is overblown.
 An easy task it is to win our own.—
 Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
 Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
SCROOP 
 Men judge by the complexion of the sky
200  The state and inclination of the day;
 So may you by my dull and heavy eye.
  My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
 I play the torturer by small and small
 To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken.
205 Your uncle York is joined with Bolingbroke,
 And all your northern castles yielded up,
 And all your southern gentlemen in arms
 Upon his party.
KING RICHARD  Thou hast said enough.
210 To Aumerle. Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst
 lead me forth
 Of that sweet way I was in to despair.
 What say you now? What comfort have we now?
 By heaven, I’ll hate him everlastingly
215 That bids me be of comfort anymore.
 Go to Flint Castle. There I’ll pine away;
 A king, woe’s slave, shall kingly woe obey.

125
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

 That power I have, discharge, and let them go
 To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
220 For I have none. Let no man speak again
 To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
AUMERLE 
 My liege, one word.
KING RICHARD  He does me double wrong
 That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
225 Discharge my followers. Let them hence away,
 From Richard’s night to Bolingbroke’s fair day.
They exit.


Scene 3
Enter with Drum and Colors Bolingbroke, York,
Northumberland, with Soldiers and Attendants.


BOLINGBROKE 
 So that by this intelligence we learn
 The Welshmen are dispersed, and Salisbury
 Is gone to meet the King, who lately landed
 With some few private friends upon this coast.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
5 The news is very fair and good, my lord:
 Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.
YORK 
 It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
 To say “King Richard.” Alack the heavy day
 When such a sacred king should hide his head!
NORTHUMBERLAND 
10 Your Grace mistakes; only to be brief
 Left I his title out.
YORK 
 The time hath been, would you have been so brief
 with him,
 He would have been so brief to shorten you,

127
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

15 For taking so the head, your whole head’s length.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.
YORK 
 Take not, good cousin, further than you should,
 Lest you mistake. The heavens are over our heads.
BOLINGBROKE 
 I know it, uncle, and oppose not myself
20 Against their will. But who comes here?

Enter Percy.

 Welcome, Harry. What, will not this castle yield?
PERCY 
 The castle royally is manned, my lord,
 Against thy entrance.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Royally? Why, it contains no king.
PERCY 25Yes, my good lord,
 It doth contain a king. King Richard lies
 Within the limits of yon lime and stone,
 And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
 Sir Stephen Scroop, besides a clergyman
30 Of holy reverence—who, I cannot learn.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 O, belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.
BOLINGBROKE, to Northumberland Noble lord,
 Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle,
 Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
35 Into his ruined ears, and thus deliver:
 Henry Bolingbroke
 On both his knees doth kiss King Richard’s hand
 And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
 To his most royal person, hither come
40 Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
 Provided that my banishment repealed
 And lands restored again be freely granted.

129
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

 If not, I’ll use the advantage of my power
 And lay the summer’s dust with showers of blood
45 Rained from the wounds of slaughtered
 Englishmen—
 The which how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
 It is such crimson tempest should bedrench
 The fresh green lap of fair King Richard’s land,
50 My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
 Go signify as much while here we march
 Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
Northumberland and Trumpets
approach the battlements.

 Let’s march without the noise of threat’ning drum,
 That from this castle’s tottered battlements
55 Our fair appointments may be well perused.
 Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
 With no less terror than the elements
 Of fire and water when their thund’ring shock
 At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
60 Be he the fire, I’ll be the yielding water;
 The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
 My waters—on the earth and not on him.
 March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.
Bolingbroke’s Soldiers march, the trumpets sound.
Richard appeareth on the walls with Aumerle.
 See, see, King Richard doth himself appear
65 As doth the blushing discontented sun
 From out the fiery portal of the east
 When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
 To dim his glory and to stain the track
 Of his bright passage to the occident.
YORK 
70 Yet looks he like a king. Behold, his eye,
 As bright as is the eagle’s, lightens forth
 Controlling majesty. Alack, alack for woe
 That any harm should stain so fair a show!

131
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

KING RICHARD, to Northumberland, below 
 We are amazed, and thus long have we stood
75 To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
 Because we thought ourself thy lawful king.
 An if we be, how dare thy joints forget
 To pay their awful duty to our presence?
 If we be not, show us the hand of God
80 That hath dismissed us from our stewardship,
 For well we know no hand of blood and bone
 Can gripe the sacred handle of our scepter,
 Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
 And though you think that all, as you have done,
85 Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
 And we are barren and bereft of friends,
 Yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
 Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
 Armies of pestilence, and they shall strike
90 Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
 That lift your vassal hands against my head
 And threat the glory of my precious crown.
 Tell Bolingbroke—for yon methinks he stands—
 That every stride he makes upon my land
95 Is dangerous treason. He is come to open
 The purple testament of bleeding war;
 But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
 Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers’ sons
 Shall ill become the flower of England’s face,
100 Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
 To scarlet indignation, and bedew
 Her pastures’ grass with faithful English blood.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 The King of heaven forbid our lord the King
 Should so with civil and uncivil arms
105 Be rushed upon! Thy thrice-noble cousin,
 Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand,
 And by the honorable tomb he swears

133
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

 That stands upon your royal grandsire’s bones,
 And by the royalties of both your bloods,
110 Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
 And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
 And by the worth and honor of himself,
 Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
 His coming hither hath no further scope
115 Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg
 Enfranchisement immediate on his knees;
 Which on thy royal party granted once,
 His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
 His barbèd steeds to stables, and his heart
120 To faithful service of your Majesty.
 This swears he, as he is a prince and just,
 And as I am a gentleman I credit him.
KING RICHARD 
 Northumberland, say thus the King returns:
 His noble cousin is right welcome hither,
125 And all the number of his fair demands
 Shall be accomplished without contradiction.
 With all the gracious utterance thou hast,
 Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.
Northumberland returns to Bolingbroke.
 To Aumerle. We do debase ourselves, cousin, do
130 we not,
 To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
 Shall we call back Northumberland and send
 Defiance to the traitor and so die?
AUMERLE 
 No, good my lord, let’s fight with gentle words,
135 Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful
 swords.
KING RICHARD 
 O God, O God, that e’er this tongue of mine
 That laid the sentence of dread banishment
 On yon proud man should take it off again

135
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

140 With words of sooth! O, that I were as great
 As is my grief, or lesser than my name!
 Or that I could forget what I have been,
 Or not remember what I must be now.
 Swell’st thou, proud heart? I’ll give thee scope to
145 beat,
 Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
AUMERLE 
 Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
KING RICHARD 
 What must the King do now? Must he submit?
 The King shall do it. Must he be deposed?
150 The King shall be contented. Must he lose
 The name of king? I’ God’s name, let it go.
 I’ll give my jewels for a set of beads,
 My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
 My gay apparel for an almsman’s gown,
155 My figured goblets for a dish of wood,
 My scepter for a palmer’s walking-staff,
 My subjects for a pair of carvèd saints,
 And my large kingdom for a little grave,
 A little, little grave, an obscure grave;
160 Or I’ll be buried in the King’s highway,
 Some way of common trade, where subjects’ feet
 May hourly trample on their sovereign’s head;
 For on my heart they tread now whilst I live
 And, buried once, why not upon my head?
165 Aumerle, thou weep’st, my tender-hearted cousin.
 We’ll make foul weather with despisèd tears;
 Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn
 And make a dearth in this revolting land.
 Or shall we play the wantons with our woes
170 And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
 As thus, to drop them still upon one place
 Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
 Within the earth; and therein laid—there lies

137
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 3

 Two kinsmen digged their graves with weeping eyes.
175 Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
 I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.
Northumberland approaches the battlements.
 Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
 What says King Bolingbroke? Will his Majesty
 Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
180 You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 My lord, in the base court he doth attend
 To speak with you, may it please you to come down.
KING RICHARD 
 Down, down I come, like glist’ring Phaëton,
 Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
185 In the base court—base court, where kings grow
 base,
 To come at traitors’ calls and do them grace.
 In the base court come down—down court, down
 king,
190 For nightowls shriek where mounting larks should
 sing.
Richard exits above
and Northumberland returns to Bolingbroke.

BOLINGBROKE What says his Majesty?
NORTHUMBERLAND Sorrow and grief of heart
 Makes him speak fondly like a frantic man,
195 Yet he is come.

Richard enters below.

BOLINGBROKE Stand all apart,
 And show fair duty to his Majesty.He kneels down.
 My gracious lord.
KING RICHARD 
 Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
200 To make the base earth proud with kissing it.
 Me rather had my heart might feel your love

139
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 4

 Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy.
 Up, cousin, up. Your heart is up, I know,
 Thus high at least indicating his crown, although
205 your knee be low.
BOLINGBROKE, standing 
 My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.
KING RICHARD 
 Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.
BOLINGBROKE 
 So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
 As my true service shall deserve your love.
KING RICHARD 
210 Well you deserve. They well deserve to have
 That know the strong’st and surest way to get.—
 Uncle, give me your hands. Nay, dry your eyes.
 Tears show their love but want their remedies.—
 Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
215 Though you are old enough to be my heir.
 What you will have I’ll give, and willing too,
 For do we must what force will have us do.
 Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?
BOLINGBROKE 
 Yea, my good lord.
KING RICHARD 220 Then I must not say no.
They exit.


Scene 4
Enter the Queen with her Ladies-in-waiting.

QUEEN 
 What sport shall we devise here in this garden
 To drive away the heavy thought of care?
LADY Madam, we’ll play at bowls.
QUEEN 
 ’Twill make me think the world is full of rubs
5 And that my fortune runs against the bias.

141
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 4

LADY Madam, we’ll dance.
QUEEN 
 My legs can keep no measure in delight
 When my poor heart no measure keeps in grief.
 Therefore no dancing, girl. Some other sport.
LADY 10Madam, we’ll tell tales.
QUEEN 
 Of sorrow or of joy?
LADY  Of either, madam.
QUEEN Of neither, girl,
 For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
15 It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
 Or if of grief, being altogether had,
 It adds more sorrow to my want of joy.
 For what I have I need not to repeat,
 And what I want it boots not to complain.
LADY 
20 Madam, I’ll sing.
QUEEN  ’Tis well that thou hast cause,
 But thou shouldst please me better wouldst thou
 weep.
LADY 
 I could weep, madam, would it do you good.
QUEEN 
25 And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
 And never borrow any tear of thee.

Enter a Gardener and two Servingmen.

 But stay, here come the gardeners.
 Let’s step into the shadow of these trees.
 My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
30 They will talk of state, for everyone doth so
 Against a change. Woe is forerun with woe.
Queen and Ladies step aside.
GARDENER, to one Servingman 
 Go, bind thou up young dangling apricokes

143
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 4

 Which, like unruly children, make their sire
 Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight.
35 Give some supportance to the bending twigs.—
 Go thou, and like an executioner
 Cut off the heads of too-fast-growing sprays
 That look too lofty in our commonwealth.
 All must be even in our government.
40 You thus employed, I will go root away
 The noisome weeds which without profit suck
 The soil’s fertility from wholesome flowers.
MAN 
 Why should we, in the compass of a pale,
 Keep law and form and due proportion,
45 Showing as in a model our firm estate,
 When our sea-wallèd garden, the whole land,
 Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
 Her fruit trees all unpruned, her hedges ruined,
 Her knots disordered, and her wholesome herbs
50 Swarming with caterpillars?
GARDENER  Hold thy peace.
 He that hath suffered this disordered spring
 Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf.
 The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did
55 shelter,
 That seemed in eating him to hold him up,
 Are plucked up, root and all, by Bolingbroke—
 I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
MAN 
 What, are they dead?
GARDENER 60 They are. And Bolingbroke
 Hath seized the wasteful king. O, what pity is it
 That he had not so trimmed and dressed his land
 As we this garden! We at time of year
 Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit trees,
65 Lest, being overproud in sap and blood,
 With too much riches it confound itself.
 Had he done so to great and growing men,

145
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 4

 They might have lived to bear and he to taste
 Their fruits of duty. Superfluous branches
70 We lop away, that bearing boughs may live.
 Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
 Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
MAN 
 What, think you the King shall be deposed?
GARDENER 
 Depressed he is already, and deposed
75 ’Tis doubt he will be. Letters came last night
 To a dear friend of the good Duke of York’s
 That tell black tidings.
QUEEN 
 O, I am pressed to death through want of speaking!
Stepping forward.
 Thou old Adam’s likeness, set to dress this garden,
80 How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this
 unpleasing news?
 What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
 To make a second fall of cursèd man?
 Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
85 Dar’st thou, thou little better thing than earth,
 Divine his downfall? Say where, when, and how
 Cam’st thou by this ill tidings? Speak, thou wretch!
GARDENER 
 Pardon me, madam. Little joy have I
 To breathe this news, yet what I say is true.
90 King Richard, he is in the mighty hold
 Of Bolingbroke. Their fortunes both are weighed.
 In your lord’s scale is nothing but himself
 And some few vanities that make him light,
 But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
95 Besides himself, are all the English peers,
 And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
 Post you to London and you will find it so.
 I speak no more than everyone doth know.

147
Richard II
ACT 3. SC. 4

QUEEN 
 Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
100 Doth not thy embassage belong to me,
 And am I last that knows it? O, thou thinkest
 To serve me last that I may longest keep
 Thy sorrow in my breast. Come, ladies, go
 To meet at London London’s king in woe.
105 What, was I born to this, that my sad look
 Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?—
 Gard’ner, for telling me these news of woe,
 Pray God the plants thou graft’st may never grow.
She exits with Ladies.
GARDENER 
 Poor queen, so that thy state might be no worse,
110 I would my skill were subject to thy curse.
 Here did she fall a tear. Here in this place
 I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace.
 Rue even for ruth here shortly shall be seen
 In the remembrance of a weeping queen.
They exit.


ACT 4
Scene 1
Enter Bolingbroke with the Lords Aumerle,
Northumberland, Harry Percy, Fitzwater, Surrey, the
Bishop of Carlisle, the Abbot of Westminster, and
another Lord, Herald, Officers to parliament.


BOLINGBROKE Call forth Bagot.

Enter Officers with Bagot.

 Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind
 What thou dost know of noble Gloucester’s death,
 Who wrought it with the King, and who performed
5 The bloody office of his timeless end.
BAGOT 
 Then set before my face the Lord Aumerle.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
Aumerle steps forward.
BAGOT 
 My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
 Scorns to unsay what once it hath delivered.
10 In that dead time when Gloucester’s death was
 plotted,
 I heard you say “Is not my arm of length,
 That reacheth from the restful English court
 As far as Calais, to mine uncle’s head?”
15 Amongst much other talk that very time
151

153
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

 I heard you say that you had rather refuse
 The offer of an hundred thousand crowns
 Than Bolingbroke’s return to England,
 Adding withal how blest this land would be
20 In this your cousin’s death.
AUMERLE Princes and noble lords,
 What answer shall I make to this base man?
 Shall I so much dishonor my fair stars
 On equal terms to give him chastisement?
25 Either I must or have mine honor soiled
 With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
He throws down a gage.
 There is my gage, the manual seal of death
 That marks thee out for hell. I say thou liest,
 And will maintain what thou hast said is false
30 In thy heart-blood, though being all too base
 To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Bagot, forbear. Thou shalt not take it up.
AUMERLE 
 Excepting one, I would he were the best
 In all this presence that hath moved me so.
FITZWATER, throwing down a gage 
35 If that thy valor stand on sympathy,
 There is my gage, Aumerle, in gage to thine.
 By that fair sun which shows me where thou
 stand’st,
 I heard thee say, and vauntingly thou spak’st it,
40 That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester’s death.
 If thou deniest it twenty times, thou liest,
 And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
 Where it was forgèd, with my rapier’s point.
AUMERLE, taking up the gage 
 Thou dar’st not, coward, live to see that day.
FITZWATER 
45 Now, by my soul, I would it were this hour.

155
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

AUMERLE 
 Fitzwater, thou art damned to hell for this.
PERCY 
 Aumerle, thou liest! His honor is as true
 In this appeal as thou art all unjust;
 And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
He throws down a gage.
50 To prove it on thee to the extremest point
 Of mortal breathing. Seize it if thou dar’st.
AUMERLE, taking up the gage 
 An if I do not, may my hands rot off
 And never brandish more revengeful steel
 Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
ANOTHER LORD, throwing down a gage 
55 I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle,
 And spur thee on with full as many lies
 As may be holloed in thy treacherous ear
 From sun to sun. There is my honor’s pawn.
 Engage it to the trial if thou darest.
AUMERLE, taking up the gage 
60 Who sets me else? By heaven, I’ll throw at all!
 I have a thousand spirits in one breast
 To answer twenty thousand such as you.
SURREY 
 My Lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
 The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
FITZWATER 
65 ’Tis very true. You were in presence then,
 And you can witness with me this is true.
SURREY 
 As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.
FITZWATER 
 Surrey, thou liest.
SURREY  Dishonorable boy,
70 That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword
 That it shall render vengeance and revenge

157
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
 In earth as quiet as thy father’s skull.
He throws down a gage.
 In proof whereof, there is my honor’s pawn.
75 Engage it to the trial if thou dar’st.
FITZWATER, taking up the gage 
 How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse!
 If I dare eat or drink or breathe or live,
 I dare meet Surrey in a wilderness
 And spit upon him whilst I say he lies,
80 And lies, and lies. There is my bond of faith
 To tie thee to my strong correction.He throws down a gage.
 As I intend to thrive in this new world,
 Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal.—
 Besides, I heard the banished Norfolk say
85 That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
 To execute the noble duke at Calais.
AUMERLE 
 Some honest Christian trust me with a gage.
A Lord hands him a gage.
Aumerle throws it down.
 That Norfolk lies, here do I throw down this,
 If he may be repealed to try his honor.
BOLINGBROKE 
90 These differences shall all rest under gage
 Till Norfolk be repealed. Repealed he shall be,
 And though mine enemy, restored again
 To all his lands and seigniories. When he is
 returned,
95 Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
CARLISLE 
 That honorable day shall never be seen.
 Many a time hath banished Norfolk fought
 For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
 Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross

159
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

100 Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens;
 And, toiled with works of war, retired himself
 To Italy, and there at Venice gave
 His body to that pleasant country’s earth
 And his pure soul unto his captain, Christ,
105 Under whose colors he had fought so long.
BOLINGBROKE Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead?
CARLISLE As surely as I live, my lord.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
 Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
110 Your differences shall all rest under gage
 Till we assign you to your days of trial.

Enter York.

YORK 
 Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
 From plume-plucked Richard, who with willing
 soul
115 Adopts thee heir, and his high scepter yields
 To the possession of thy royal hand.
 Ascend his throne, descending now from him,
 And long live Henry, fourth of that name!
BOLINGBROKE 
 In God’s name, I’ll ascend the regal throne.
CARLISLE 120Marry, God forbid!
 Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
 Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
 Would God that any in this noble presence
 Were enough noble to be upright judge
125 Of noble Richard! Then true noblesse would
 Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
 What subject can give sentence on his king?
 And who sits here that is not Richard’s subject?
 Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
130 Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
 And shall the figure of God’s majesty,

161
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

 His captain, steward, deputy elect,
 Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
 Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
135 And he himself not present? O, forfend it God
 That in a Christian climate souls refined
 Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
 I speak to subjects and a subject speaks,
 Stirred up by God thus boldly for his king.
140 My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
 Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford’s king,
 And if you crown him, let me prophesy
 The blood of English shall manure the ground
 And future ages groan for this foul act,
145 Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
 And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
 Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound.
 Disorder, horror, fear, and mutiny
 Shall here inhabit, and this land be called
150 The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.
 O, if you raise this house against this house,
 It will the woefullest division prove
 That ever fell upon this cursèd earth!
 Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
155 Lest child, child’s children, cry against you woe!
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 Well have you argued, sir, and, for your pains,
 Of capital treason we arrest you here.—
 My Lord of Westminster, be it your charge
 To keep him safely till his day of trial.
160 May it please you, lords, to grant the commons’
 suit?
BOLINGBROKE 
 Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
 He may surrender. So we shall proceed
 Without suspicion.
YORK 165 I will be his conduct.He exits.

163
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

BOLINGBROKE 
 Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
 Procure your sureties for your days of answer.
 Little are we beholding to your love
 And little looked for at your helping hands.

Enter Richard and York.

KING RICHARD 
170 Alack, why am I sent for to a king
 Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
 Wherewith I reigned? I hardly yet have learned
 To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my knee.
 Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
175 To this submission. Yet I well remember
 The favors of these men. Were they not mine?
 Did they not sometime cry “All hail” to me?
 So Judas did to Christ, but He in twelve
 Found truth in all but one; I, in twelve thousand,
180 none.
 God save the King! Will no man say “amen”?
 Am I both priest and clerk? Well, then, amen.
 God save the King, although I be not he,
 And yet amen, if heaven do think him me.
185 To do what service am I sent for hither?
YORK 
 To do that office of thine own goodwill
 Which tired majesty did make thee offer:
 The resignation of thy state and crown
 To Henry Bolingbroke.
KING RICHARD 
190 Give me the crown.—Here, cousin, seize the crown.
 Here, cousin.
 On this side my hand, on that side thine.
 Now is this golden crown like a deep well
 That owes two buckets, filling one another,
195 The emptier ever dancing in the air,

165
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

 The other down, unseen, and full of water.
 That bucket down and full of tears am I,
 Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.
BOLINGBROKE 
 I thought you had been willing to resign.
KING RICHARD 
200 My crown I am, but still my griefs are mine.
 You may my glories and my state depose
 But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
KING RICHARD 
 Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
205 My care is loss of care, by old care done;
 Your care is gain of care, by new care won.
 The cares I give I have, though given away.
 They ’tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Are you contented to resign the crown?
KING RICHARD 
210 Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be.
 Therefore no “no,” for I resign to thee.
 Now, mark me how I will undo myself.
 I give this heavy weight from off my head
 And this unwieldy scepter from my hand,
215 The pride of kingly sway from out my heart.
 With mine own tears I wash away my balm,
 With mine own hands I give away my crown,
 With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
 With mine own breath release all duteous oaths.
220 All pomp and majesty I do forswear.
 My manors, rents, revenues I forgo;
 My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny.
 God pardon all oaths that are broke to me.
 God keep all vows unbroke are made to thee.
225 Make me, that nothing have, with nothing grieved,

167
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

 And thou with all pleased that hast all achieved.
 Long mayst thou live in Richard’s seat to sit,
 And soon lie Richard in an earthy pit.
 God save King Henry, unkinged Richard says,
230 And send him many years of sunshine days.
 What more remains?
NORTHUMBERLAND, offering Richard a paper 
 No more, but that you read
 These accusations and these grievous crimes
 Committed by your person and your followers
235 Against the state and profit of this land;
 That, by confessing them, the souls of men
 May deem that you are worthily deposed.
KING RICHARD 
 Must I do so? And must I ravel out
 My weaved-up follies? Gentle Northumberland,
240 If thy offenses were upon record,
 Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop
 To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
 There shouldst thou find one heinous article
 Containing the deposing of a king
245 And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
 Marked with a blot, damned in the book of
 heaven.—
 Nay, all of you that stand and look upon me
 Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
250 Though some of you, with Pilate, wash your hands,
 Showing an outward pity, yet you Pilates
 Have here delivered me to my sour cross,
 And water cannot wash away your sin.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 My lord, dispatch. Read o’er these articles.
KING RICHARD 
255 Mine eyes are full of tears; I cannot see.
 And yet salt water blinds them not so much
 But they can see a sort of traitors here.

169
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

 Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
 I find myself a traitor with the rest,
260 For I have given here my soul’s consent
 T’ undeck the pompous body of a king,
 Made glory base and sovereignty a slave,
 Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant.
NORTHUMBERLAND My lord—
KING RICHARD 
265 No lord of thine, thou haught insulting man,
 Nor no man’s lord. I have no name, no title,
 No, not that name was given me at the font,
 But ’tis usurped. Alack the heavy day,
 That I have worn so many winters out
270 And know not now what name to call myself.
 O, that I were a mockery king of snow
 Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke,
 To melt myself away in water drops.—
 Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good,
275 An if my word be sterling yet in England,
 Let it command a mirror hither straight,
 That it may show me what a face I have
 Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Go, some of you, and fetch a looking-glass.
An Attendant exits.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
280 Read o’er this paper while the glass doth come.
KING RICHARD 
 Fiend, thou torments me ere I come to hell!
BOLINGBROKE 
 Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 The commons will not then be satisfied.
KING RICHARD 
 They shall be satisfied. I’ll read enough

171
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

285 When I do see the very book indeed
 Where all my sins are writ, and that’s myself.

Enter one with a glass.

 Give me that glass, and therein will I read.
He takes the mirror.
 No deeper wrinkles yet? Hath sorrow struck
 So many blows upon this face of mine
290 And made no deeper wounds? O flatt’ring glass,
 Like to my followers in prosperity,
 Thou dost beguile me. Was this face the face
 That every day under his household roof
 Did keep ten thousand men? Was this the face
295 That like the sun did make beholders wink?
 Is this the face which faced so many follies,
 That was at last outfaced by Bolingbroke?
 A brittle glory shineth in this face.
 As brittle as the glory is the face,
He breaks the mirror.
300 For there it is, cracked in an hundred shivers.—
 Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport:
 How soon my sorrow hath destroyed my face.
BOLINGBROKE 
 The shadow of your sorrow hath destroyed
 The shadow of your face.
KING RICHARD 305 Say that again.
 The shadow of my sorrow? Ha, let’s see.
 ’Tis very true. My grief lies all within;
 And these external manners of laments
 Are merely shadows to the unseen grief
310 That swells with silence in the tortured soul.
 There lies the substance. And I thank thee, king,
 For thy great bounty, that not only giv’st
 Me cause to wail but teachest me the way
 How to lament the cause. I’ll beg one boon

173
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

315 And then be gone and trouble you no more.
 Shall I obtain it?
BOLINGBROKE  Name it, fair cousin.
KING RICHARD 
 “Fair cousin”? I am greater than a king,
 For when I was a king, my flatterers
320 Were then but subjects. Being now a subject,
 I have a king here to my flatterer.
 Being so great, I have no need to beg.
BOLINGBROKE Yet ask.
KING RICHARD And shall I have?
BOLINGBROKE 325You shall.
KING RICHARD Then give me leave to go.
BOLINGBROKE Whither?
KING RICHARD 
 Whither you will, so I were from your sights.
BOLINGBROKE 
 Go, some of you, convey him to the Tower.
KING RICHARD 
330 O, good! “Convey”? Conveyers are you all,
 That rise thus nimbly by a true king’s fall.
Richard exits with Guards.
BOLINGBROKE 
 On Wednesday next, we solemnly set down
 Our coronation. Lords, prepare yourselves.
They exit. The Abbot of Westminster, the Bishop of
Carlisle, Aumerle remain.

ABBOT 
 A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
CARLISLE 
335 The woe’s to come. The children yet unborn
 Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn.
AUMERLE 
 You holy clergymen, is there no plot
 To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?

175
Richard II
ACT 4. SC. 1

ABBOT My lord,
340 Before I freely speak my mind herein,
 You shall not only take the sacrament
 To bury mine intents, but also to effect
 Whatever I shall happen to devise.
 I see your brows are full of discontent,
345 Your hearts of sorrow, and your eyes of tears.
 Come home with me to supper. I’ll lay
 A plot shall show us all a merry day.
They exit.


ACT 5
Scene 1
Enter the Queen with her Attendants.

QUEEN 
 This way the King will come. This is the way
 To Julius Caesar’s ill-erected tower,
 To whose flint bosom my condemnèd lord
 Is doomed a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke.
5 Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
 Have any resting for her true king’s queen.

Enter Richard and Guard.

 But soft, but see—or rather do not see
 My fair rose wither; yet look up, behold,
 That you in pity may dissolve to dew
10 And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.—
 Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand,
 Thou map of honor, thou King Richard’s tomb,
 And not King Richard! Thou most beauteous inn,
 Why should hard-favored grief be lodged in thee
15 When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
KING RICHARD 
 Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so,
 To make my end too sudden. Learn, good soul,
 To think our former state a happy dream,
 From which awaked, the truth of what we are
179

181
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 1

20 Shows us but this: I am sworn brother, sweet,
 To grim necessity, and he and I
 Will keep a league till death. Hie thee to France
 And cloister thee in some religious house.
 Our holy lives must win a new world’s crown,
25 Which our profane hours here have thrown down.
QUEEN 
 What, is my Richard both in shape and mind
 Transformed and weakened? Hath Bolingbroke
 Deposed thine intellect? Hath he been in thy heart?
 The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw
30 And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
 To be o’er-powered; and wilt thou, pupil-like,
 Take the correction, mildly kiss the rod,
 And fawn on rage with base humility,
 Which art a lion and the king of beasts?
KING RICHARD 
35 A king of beasts indeed. If aught but beasts,
 I had been still a happy king of men.
 Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for
 France.
 Think I am dead and that even here thou takest,
40 As from my deathbed, thy last living leave.
 In winter’s tedious nights sit by the fire
 With good old folks, and let them tell thee tales
 Of woeful ages long ago betid;
 And, ere thou bid good night, to quite their griefs,
45 Tell thou the lamentable tale of me,
 And send the hearers weeping to their beds.
 Forwhy the senseless brands will sympathize
 The heavy accent of thy moving tongue,
 And in compassion weep the fire out,
50 And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
 For the deposing of a rightful king.

Enter Northumberland.


183
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 1

NORTHUMBERLAND 
 My lord, the mind of Bolingbroke is changed.
 You must to Pomfret, not unto the Tower.—
 And madam, there is order ta’en for you.
55 With all swift speed you must away to France.
KING RICHARD 
 Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal
 The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
 The time shall not be many hours of age
 More than it is ere foul sin, gathering head,
60 Shall break into corruption. Thou shalt think,
 Though he divide the realm and give thee half,
 It is too little, helping him to all.
 He shall think that thou, which knowest the way
 To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
65 Being ne’er so little urged another way,
 To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne.
 The love of wicked men converts to fear,
 That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
 To worthy danger and deservèd death.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
70 My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
 Take leave and part, for you must part forthwith.
KING RICHARD 
 Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate
 A twofold marriage—twixt my crown and me,
 And then betwixt me and my married wife.
75 To Queen. Let me unkiss the oath twixt thee and
 me;
 And yet not so, for with a kiss ’twas made.—
 Part us, Northumberland, I towards the north,
 Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
80 My wife to France, from whence set forth in pomp
 She came adornèd hither like sweet May,
 Sent back like Hallowmas or short’st of day.

185
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 1

QUEEN 
 And must we be divided? Must we part?
KING RICHARD 
 Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.
QUEEN, to Northumberland 
85 Banish us both, and send the King with me.
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 That were some love, but little policy.
QUEEN 
 Then whither he goes, thither let me go.
KING RICHARD 
 So two together weeping make one woe.
 Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
90 Better far off than, near, be ne’er the near.
 Go, count thy way with sighs, I mine with groans.
QUEEN 
 So longest way shall have the longest moans.
KING RICHARD 
 Twice for one step I’ll groan, the way being short,
 And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
95 Come, come, in wooing sorrow let’s be brief,
 Since, wedding it, there is such length in grief.
 One kiss shall stop our mouths, and dumbly part.
 Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
They kiss.
QUEEN 
 Give me mine own again. ’Twere no good part
100 To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
They kiss.
 So, now I have mine own again, begone,
 That I may strive to kill it with a groan.
KING RICHARD 
 We make woe wanton with this fond delay.
 Once more, adieu! The rest let sorrow say.
They exit.




187
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 2

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.


Scene 3
Enter the King with his Nobles.

KING HENRY 
 Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son?
 ’Tis full three months since I did see him last.
 If any plague hang over us, ’tis he.
 I would to God, my lords, he might be found.
5 Inquire at London, ’mongst the taverns there,
 For there, they say, he daily doth frequent

197
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 3

 With unrestrainèd loose companions,
 Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes
 And beat our watch and rob our passengers,
10 While he, young wanton and effeminate boy,
 Takes on the point of honor to support
 So dissolute a crew.
PERCY 
 My lord, some two days since I saw the Prince,
 And told him of those triumphs held at Oxford.
KING HENRY 15And what said the gallant?
PERCY 
 His answer was, he would unto the stews,
 And from the common’st creature pluck a glove
 And wear it as a favor, and with that
 He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
KING HENRY 
20 As dissolute as desperate. Yet through both
 I see some sparks of better hope, which elder years
 May happily bring forth. But who comes here?

Enter Aumerle amazed.

AUMERLE Where is the King?
KING HENRY 
 What means our cousin, that he stares and looks so
25 wildly?
AUMERLE 
 God save your Grace. I do beseech your Majesty
 To have some conference with your Grace alone.
KING HENRY, to his Nobles 
 Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.
The Nobles exit.
 What is the matter with our cousin now?
AUMERLE, kneeling 
30 Forever may my knees grow to the earth,
 My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
 Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.

199
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 3

KING HENRY 
 Intended or committed was this fault?
 If on the first, how heinous e’er it be,
35 To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
AUMERLE, standing 
 Then give me leave that I may turn the key
 That no man enter till my tale be done.
KING HENRY Have thy desire.Aumerle locks the door.
The Duke of York knocks at the door and crieth.
YORK, within 
 My liege, beware! Look to thyself!
40 Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
KING HENRY, to Aumerle Villain, I’ll make thee safe.
He draws his sword.
AUMERLE 
 Stay thy revengeful hand. Thou hast no cause to fear.
YORK, within 
 Open the door, secure, foolhardy king!
 Shall I for love speak treason to thy face?
45 Open the door, or I will break it open.
King Henry unlocks the door.

Enter York.

KING HENRY What is the matter, uncle? Speak.
 Recover breath. Tell us how near is danger
 That we may arm us to encounter it.
YORK, giving King Henry a paper 
 Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
50 The treason that my haste forbids me show.
AUMERLE, to King Henry 
 Remember, as thou read’st, thy promise passed.
 I do repent me. Read not my name there.
 My heart is not confederate with my hand.
YORK 
 It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.—
55 I tore it from the traitor’s bosom, king.

201
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 3

 Fear, and not love, begets his penitence.
 Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
 A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
KING HENRY 
 O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!
60 O loyal father of a treacherous son,
 Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain
 From whence this stream, through muddy passages,
 Hath held his current and defiled himself,
 Thy overflow of good converts to bad,
65 And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
 This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
YORK 
 So shall my virtue be his vice’s bawd,
 And he shall spend mine honor with his shame,
 As thriftless sons their scraping fathers’ gold.
70 Mine honor lives when his dishonor dies,
 Or my shamed life in his dishonor lies.
 Thou kill’st me in his life: giving him breath,
 The traitor lives, the true man’s put to death.
DUCHESS, within 
 What ho, my liege! For God’s sake, let me in!
KING HENRY 
75 What shrill-voiced suppliant makes this eager cry?
DUCHESS, within 
 A woman and thy aunt, great king. ’Tis I.
 Speak with me, pity me. Open the door!
 A beggar begs that never begged before.
KING HENRY 
 Our scene is altered from a serious thing
80 And now changed to The Beggar and the King.
 My dangerous cousin, let your mother in.
 I know she is come to pray for your foul sin.
Aumerle opens the door.

Duchess of York enters and kneels.


203
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 3

YORK 
 If thou do pardon whosoever pray,
 More sins for this forgiveness prosper may.
85 This festered joint cut off, the rest rest sound.
 This let alone will all the rest confound.
DUCHESS 
 O king, believe not this hard-hearted man.
 Love loving not itself, none other can.
YORK 
 Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
90 Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?
DUCHESS 
 Sweet York, be patient.—Hear me, gentle liege.
KING HENRY 
 Rise up, good aunt.
DUCHESS  Not yet, I thee beseech.
 Forever will I walk upon my knees
95 And never see day that the happy sees,
 Till thou give joy, until thou bid me joy
 By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
AUMERLE, kneeling 
 Unto my mother’s prayers I bend my knee.
YORK, kneeling 
 Against them both my true joints bended be.
100 Ill mayst thou thrive if thou grant any grace.
DUCHESS 
 Pleads he in earnest? Look upon his face.
 His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
 His words come from his mouth, ours from our
 breast.
105 He prays but faintly and would be denied.
 We pray with heart and soul and all beside.
 His weary joints would gladly rise, I know.
 Our knees still kneel till to the ground they grow.
 His prayers are full of false hypocrisy,
110 Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.

205
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 3

 Our prayers do outpray his. Then let them have
 That mercy which true prayer ought to have.
KING HENRY 
 Good aunt, stand up.
DUCHESS  Nay, do not say “stand up.”
115 Say “pardon” first and afterwards “stand up.”
 An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
 “Pardon” should be the first word of thy speech.
 I never longed to hear a word till now.
 Say “pardon,” king; let pity teach thee how.
120 The word is short, but not so short as sweet.
 No word like “pardon” for kings’ mouths so meet.
YORK 
 Speak it in French, king. Say “pardonne moy.”
DUCHESS 
 Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
 Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
125 That sets the word itself against the word!
 To King Henry. Speak “pardon” as ’tis current in
 our land;
 The chopping French we do not understand.
 Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there,
130 Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
 That, hearing how our plaints and prayers do
 pierce,
 Pity may move thee “pardon” to rehearse.
KING HENRY 
 Good aunt, stand up.
DUCHESS 135 I do not sue to stand.
 Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
KING HENRY 
 I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
DUCHESS 
 O, happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
 Yet am I sick for fear. Speak it again.
140 Twice saying “pardon” doth not pardon twain,
 But makes one pardon strong.

207
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 4

KING HENRY I pardon him with all my heart.
DUCHESS A god on Earth thou art.
They all stand.
KING HENRY 
 But for our trusty brother-in-law and the Abbot,
145 With all the rest of that consorted crew,
 Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
 Good uncle, help to order several powers
 To Oxford or where’er these traitors are.
 They shall not live within this world, I swear,
150 But I will have them, if I once know where.
 Uncle, farewell,—and cousin, adieu.
 Your mother well hath prayed; and prove you true.
DUCHESS, to Aumerle 
 Come, my old son. I pray God make thee new.
They exit.


Scene 4
Enter Sir Pierce Exton and Servants.

EXTON 
 Didst thou not mark the King, what words he spake,
 “Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?”
 Was it not so?
SERVINGMAN  These were his very words.
EXTON 
5 “Have I no friend?” quoth he. He spake it twice
 And urged it twice together, did he not?
SERVINGMAN He did.
EXTON 
 And speaking it, he wishtly looked on me,
 As who should say “I would thou wert the man
10 That would divorce this terror from my heart”—
 Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let’s go.
 I am the King’s friend and will rid his foe.
They exit.




209
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 5

Scene 5
Enter Richard alone.

RICHARD 
 I have been studying how I may compare
 This prison where I live unto the world,
 And for because the world is populous
 And here is not a creature but myself,
5 I cannot do it. Yet I’ll hammer it out.
 My brain I’ll prove the female to my soul,
 My soul the father, and these two beget
 A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
 And these same thoughts people this little world,
10 In humors like the people of this world,
 For no thought is contented. The better sort,
 As thoughts of things divine, are intermixed
 With scruples, and do set the word itself
 Against the word, as thus: “Come, little ones,”
15 And then again,
 “It is as hard to come as for a camel
 To thread the postern of a small needle’s eye.”
 Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
 Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
20 May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
 Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls,
 And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
 Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
 That they are not the first of fortune’s slaves,
25 Nor shall not be the last—like silly beggars
 Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame
 That many have and others must sit there,
 And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
 Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
30 Of such as have before endured the like.
 Thus play I in one person many people,
 And none contented. Sometimes am I king.

211
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 5

 Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
 And so I am; then crushing penury
35 Persuades me I was better when a king.
 Then am I kinged again, and by and by
 Think that I am unkinged by Bolingbroke,
 And straight am nothing. But whate’er I be,
 Nor I nor any man that but man is
40 With nothing shall be pleased till he be eased
 With being nothing. (The music plays.) Music do I
 hear?
 Ha, ha, keep time! How sour sweet music is
 When time is broke and no proportion kept.
45 So is it in the music of men’s lives.
 And here have I the daintiness of ear
 To check time broke in a disordered string;
 But for the concord of my state and time
 Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
50 I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
 For now hath time made me his numb’ring clock.
 My thoughts are minutes, and with sighs they jar
 Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
 Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
55 Is pointing still in cleansing them from tears.
 Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
 Are clamorous groans which strike upon my heart,
 Which is the bell. So sighs and tears and groans
 Show minutes, times, and hours. But my time
60 Runs posting on in Bolingbroke’s proud joy,
 While I stand fooling here, his jack of the clock.
 This music mads me. Let it sound no more,
 For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
 In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
65 Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me,
 For ’tis a sign of love, and love to Richard
 Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.

Enter a Groom of the stable.


213
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 5

GROOM Hail, royal prince!
RICHARD Thanks, noble peer.
70 The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
 What art thou, and how comest thou hither,
 Where no man never comes but that sad dog
 That brings me food to make misfortune live?
GROOM 
 I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
75 When thou wert king; who, traveling towards York,
 With much ado at length have gotten leave
 To look upon my sometime royal master’s face.
 O, how it earned my heart when I beheld
 In London streets, that coronation day,
80 When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
 That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
 That horse that I so carefully have dressed.
RICHARD 
 Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
 How went he under him?
GROOM 
85 So proudly as if he disdained the ground.
RICHARD 
 So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
 That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
 This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
 Would he not stumble? Would he not fall down
90 (Since pride must have a fall) and break the neck
 Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
 Forgiveness, horse! Why do I rail on thee,
 Since thou, created to be awed by man,
 Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse,
95 And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
 Spurred, galled, and tired by jauncing Bolingbroke.

Enter one, the Keeper, to Richard with meat.


215
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 5

KEEPER, to Groom 
 Fellow, give place. Here is no longer stay.
RICHARD, to Groom 
 If thou love me, ’tis time thou wert away.
GROOM 
 What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.
Groom exits.
KEEPER 100My lord, will ’t please you to fall to?
RICHARD 
 Taste of it first as thou art wont to do.
KEEPER 
 My lord, I dare not. Sir Pierce of Exton,
 Who lately came from the King, commands the
 contrary.
RICHARD, attacking the Keeper 
105 The devil take Henry of Lancaster and thee!
 Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.
KEEPER Help, help, help!

The Murderers Exton and his men rush in.

RICHARD 
 How now, what means death in this rude assault?
 Villain, thy own hand yields thy death’s instrument.
Richard seizes a weapon from a Murderer
and kills him with it.

110 Go thou and fill another room in hell.
He kills another Murderer.
Here Exton strikes him down.
 That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire
 That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
 Hath with the King’s blood stained the King’s own
 land.
115 Mount, mount, my soul. Thy seat is up on high,
 Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.
He dies.

217
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 6

EXTON 
 As full of valor as of royal blood.
 Both have I spilled. O, would the deed were good!
 For now the devil that told me I did well
120 Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
 This dead king to the living king I’ll bear.
 Take hence the rest and give them burial here.
They exit with the bodies.


Scene 6
Enter King Henry, with the Duke of York.

KING HENRY 
 Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear
 Is that the rebels have consumed with fire
 Our town of Ciceter in Gloucestershire,
 But whether they be ta’en or slain we hear not.

Enter Northumberland.

5 Welcome, my lord. What is the news?
NORTHUMBERLAND 
 First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.
 The next news is: I have to London sent
 The heads of Oxford, Salisbury, Blunt, and Kent.
 The manner of their taking may appear
10 At large discoursèd in this paper here.
He gives King Henry a paper.
KING HENRY 
 We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains,
 And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.

Enter Lord Fitzwater.

FITZWATER 
 My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
 The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely,

219
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 6

15 Two of the dangerous consorted traitors
 That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
KING HENRY 
 Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot.
 Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.

Enter Harry Percy with the Bishop of Carlisle.

PERCY 
 The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
20 With clog of conscience and sour melancholy
 Hath yielded up his body to the grave.
 But here is Carlisle living, to abide
 Thy kingly doom and sentence of his pride.
KING HENRY Carlisle, this is your doom:
25 Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
 More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life.
 So, as thou liv’st in peace, die free from strife;
 For, though mine enemy thou hast ever been,
 High sparks of honor in thee have I seen.

Enter Exton and Servingmen with the coffin.

EXTON 
30 Great king, within this coffin I present
 Thy buried fear. Herein all breathless lies
 The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,
 Richard of Bourdeaux, by me hither brought.
KING HENRY 
 Exton, I thank thee not, for thou hast wrought
35 A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
 Upon my head and all this famous land.
EXTON 
 From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.
KING HENRY 
 They love not poison that do poison need,
 Nor do I thee. Though I did wish him dead,
40 I hate the murderer, love him murderèd.

221
Richard II
ACT 5. SC. 6

 The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labor,
 But neither my good word nor princely favor.
 With Cain go wander through shades of night,
 And never show thy head by day nor light.
Exton exits.
45 Lords, I protest my soul is full of woe
 That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow.
 Come mourn with me for what I do lament,
 And put on sullen black incontinent.
 I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land
50 To wash this blood off from my guilty hand.
Servingmen lift the coffin to carry it out.
 March sadly after. Grace my mournings here
 In weeping after this untimely bier.
They exit, following the coffin.