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History of Richard II

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Act II, Scene 3

Wilds in Gloucestershire.



  • Henry IV. How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?
  • Earl of Northumberland. Believe me, noble lord,
    I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire: 1155
    These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
    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 1160
    From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
    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 1165
    The present benefit which I possess;
    And hope to joy is little less in joy
    Than hope enjoy'd: by this the weary lords
    Shall make their way seem short, as mine hath done
    By sight of what I have, your noble company. 1170
  • Henry IV. Of much less value is my company
    Than your good words. But who comes here?


  • Earl of Northumberland. It is my son, young Harry Percy,
    Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever. 1175
    Harry, how fares your uncle?
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). No, my good Lord; he hath forsook the court,
    Broken his staff of office and dispersed 1180
    The household of the king.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Because your lordship was proclaimed traitor.
    But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh, 1185
    To offer service to the Duke of Hereford,
    And sent me over by Berkeley, to discover
    What power the Duke of York had levied there;
    Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). No, my good lord, for that is not forgot
    Which ne'er I did remember: to my knowledge,
    I never in my life did look on him.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). My gracious lord, I tender you my service, 1195
    Such as it is, being tender, raw and young:
    Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
    To more approved service and desert.
  • Henry IV. I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure
    I count myself in nothing else so happy 1200
    As in a soul remembering my good friends;
    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.
  • Earl of Northumberland. How far is it to Berkeley? and what stir 1205
    Keeps good old York there with his men of war?
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). There stands the castle, by yon tuft of trees,
    Mann'd 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. 1210


  • Earl of Northumberland. Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
    Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.
  • Henry IV. Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
    A banish'd traitor: all my treasury 1215
    Is yet but unfelt thanks, which more enrich'd
    Shall be your love and labour's recompense.
  • Lord Ross. Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.
  • Henry IV. Evermore thanks, the exchequer of the poor; 1220
    Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
    Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?


  • Henry IV. My lord, my answer is—to Lancaster;
    And I am come to seek that name in England;
    And I must find that title in your tongue,
    Before I make reply to aught you say.
  • Lord Berkeley. Mistake me not, my lord; 'tis not my meaning 1230
    To raze one title of your honour out:
    To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
    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 1235
    And fright our native peace with self-born arms.

[Enter DUKE OF YORK attended]

  • Henry IV. I shall not need transport my words by you;
    Here comes his grace in person. My noble uncle!


  • Edmund of Langley. Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee,
    Whose duty is deceiveable and false.
  • Edmund of Langley. Tut, tut!
    Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle: 1245
    I am no traitor's uncle; and that word 'grace.'
    In an ungracious mouth is but profane.
    Why have those banish'd and forbidden legs
    Dared once to touch a dust of England's ground?
    But then more 'why?' why have they dared to march 1250
    So many miles upon her peaceful bosom,
    Frighting her pale-faced villages with war
    And ostentation of despised arms?
    Comest thou because the anointed king is hence?
    Why, foolish boy, the king is left behind, 1255
    And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
    Were I but now the lord of such hot youth
    As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself
    Rescued the Black Prince, that young Mars of men,
    From forth the ranks of many thousand French, 1260
    O, then how quickly should this arm of mine.
    Now prisoner to the palsy, chastise thee
    And minister correction to thy fault!
  • Henry IV. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault:
    On what condition stands it and wherein? 1265
  • Edmund of Langley. Even in condition of the worst degree,
    In gross rebellion and detested treason:
    Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come
    Before the expiration of thy time,
    In braving arms against thy sovereign. 1270
  • Henry IV. As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Hereford;
    But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
    And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace
    Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:
    You are my father, for methinks in you 1275
    I see old Gaunt alive; O, then, my father,
    Will you permit that I shall stand condemn'd
    A wandering vagabond; my rights and royalties
    Pluck'd from my arms perforce and given away
    To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born? 1280
    If that my cousin king be King of England,
    It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
    You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin;
    Had you first died, and he been thus trod down,
    He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father, 1285
    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:
    My father's goods are all distrain'd and sold,
    And these and all are all amiss employ'd. 1290
    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
    To my inheritance of free descent.
  • Lord Ross. It stands your grace upon to do him right.
  • Edmund of Langley. My lords of England, let me tell you this:
    I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs
    And laboured all I could to do him right; 1300
    But in this kind to come, in braving arms,
    Be his own carver and cut out his way,
    To find out right with wrong, it may not be;
    And you that do abet him in this kind
    Cherish rebellion and are rebels all. 1305
  • Earl of 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;
    And let him ne'er see joy that breaks that oath!
  • Edmund of Langley. Well, well, I see the issue of these arms: 1310
    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,
    I would attach you all and make you stoop
    Unto the sovereign mercy of the king; 1315
    But since I cannot, be it known to you
    I do remain as neuter. So, fare you well;
    Unless you please to enter in the castle
    And there repose you for this night.
  • Henry IV. An offer, uncle, that we will accept: 1320
    But we must win your grace to go with usTo Bristol castle, which they say is held
    By Bushy, Bagot and their complices,
    The caterpillars of the commonwealth,
    Which I have sworn to weed and pluck away.
  • Edmund of Langley. It may be I will go with you: but yet I'll pause; 1325
    For I am loath to break our country's laws.
    Nor friends nor foes, to me welcome you are:
    Things past redress are now with me past care.