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History of Richard II

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Act I

1. London. KING RICHARD II’s palace.

2. The DUKE OF LANCASTER’S palace.

3. The lists at Coventry.

4. The court.

Act II

1. Ely House.

2. The palace.

3. Wilds in Gloucestershire.

4. A camp in Wales.


1. Bristol. Before the castle.

2. The coast of Wales. A castle in view.

3. Wales. Before Flint castle.

4. LANGLEY. The DUKE OF YORK’s garden.

Act IV

1. Westminster Hall.

Act V

1. London. A street leading to the Tower.

2. The DUKE OF YORK’s palace.

3. A royal palace.

4. The same.

5. Pomfret castle.

6. Windsor castle.


Act I, Scene 1

London. KING RICHARD II’s palace.

      next scene .

[Enter KING RICHARD II, JOHN OF GAUNT, with other] [p]Nobles and Attendants]

  • King Richard II. Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,
    Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
    Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son, 5
    Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
    Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
    Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
  • King Richard II. Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him, 10
    If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
    Or worthily, as a good subject should,
    On some known ground of treachery in him?
  • John of Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argument,
    On some apparent danger seen in him 15
    Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
  • King Richard II. Then call them to our presence; face to face,
    And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
    The accuser and the accused freely speak:
    High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, 20
    In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.


  • Henry IV. Many years of happy days befal
    My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
  • Thomas Mowbray. Each day still better other's happiness; 25
    Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap,
    Add an immortal title to your crown!
  • King Richard II. 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. 30
    Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
    Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
  • Henry IV. First, heaven be the record to my speech!
    In the devotion of a subject's love,
    Tendering the precious safety of my prince, 35
    And free from other misbegotten hate,
    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, 40
    Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
    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. 45
    Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
    With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat;
    And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
    What my tongue speaks my right drawn sword may prove.
  • Thomas Mowbray. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal: 50
    'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
    The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
    Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
    The blood is hot that must be cool'd for this:
    Yet can I not of such tame patience boast 55
    As to be hush'd and nought 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 return'd
    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,
    Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
    Mean time let this defend my loyalty, 70
    By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
  • Henry IV. 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 honour'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. 80
  • Thomas Mowbray. 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 II. 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.
  • Henry IV. 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 detain'd 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 survey'd by English eye,
    That all the treasons for these eighteen years
    Complotted and contrived in this land
    Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring. 100
    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,
    And consequently, like a traitor coward, 105
    Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood:
    Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
    Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
    To me for justice and rough chastisement;
    And, by the glorious worth of my descent, 110
    This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
  • King Richard II. How high a pitch his resolution soars!
    Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
  • Thomas Mowbray. O, let my sovereign turn away his face
    And bid his ears a little while be deaf, 115
    Till I have told this slander of his blood,
    How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
  • King Richard II. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:
    Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
    As he is but my father's brother's son, 120
    Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow,
    Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
    Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
    The unstooping firmness of my upright soul:
    He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou: 125
    Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
  • Thomas Mowbray. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
    Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
    Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
    Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers; 130
    The other part reserved I by consent,
    For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
    Upon remainder of a dear account,
    Since last I went to France to fetch his queen:
    Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester's death, 135
    I slew him not; but to my own disgrace
    Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
    For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
    The honourable father to my foe
    Once did I lay an ambush for your life, 140
    A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul
    But ere I last received the sacrament
    I did confess it, and exactly begg'd
    Your grace's pardon, and I hope I had it.
    This is my fault: as for the rest appeall'd, 145
    It issues from the rancour of a villain,
    A recreant and most degenerate traitor
    Which in myself I boldly will defend;
    And interchangeably hurl down my gage
    Upon this overweening traitor's foot, 150
    To prove myself a loyal gentleman
    Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom.
    In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
    Your highness to assign our trial day.
  • King Richard II. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me; 155
    Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
    This we prescribe, though no physician;
    Deep malice makes too deep incision;
    Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed;
    Our doctors say this is no month to bleed. 160
    Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
    We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
  • John of Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age:
    Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
  • John of Gaunt. When, Harry, when?
    Obedience bids I should not bid again.
  • Thomas Mowbray. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
    My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: 170
    The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
    Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
    To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
    I am disgraced, impeach'd and baffled here,
    Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear, 175
    The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
    Which breathed this poison.
  • King Richard II. Rage must be withstood:
    Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
  • Thomas Mowbray. Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame. 180
    And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
    The purest treasure mortal times afford
    Is spotless reputation: that away,
    Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
    A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest 185
    Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
    Mine honour is my life; both grow in one:
    Take honour from me, and my life is done:
    Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
    In that I live and for that will I die. 190
  • Henry IV. O, God defend my soul from such deep sin!
    Shall I seem crest-fall'n in my father's sight?
    Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
    Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue 195
    Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong,
    Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
    The slavish motive of recanting fear,
    And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
    Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face. 200


  • King Richard II. 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,
    At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day: 205
    There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
    The swelling difference of your settled hate:
    Since we can not atone you, we shall see
    Justice design the victor's chivalry.
    Lord marshal, command our officers at arms 210
    Be ready to direct these home alarms.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 2


      next scene .


  • John of Gaunt. Alas, the part I had in Woodstock's blood
    Doth more solicit me than your exclaims, 215
    To stir against the butchers of his life!
    But since correction lieth in those hands
    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, 220
    Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
  • Duchess of Gloucester. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
    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, 225
    Or seven fair branches springing from one root:
    Some of those seven are dried by nature's course,
    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, 230
    One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
    Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt,
    Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded,
    By envy's hand and murder's bloody axe.
    Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! that bed, that womb, 235
    That metal, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee
    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, 240
    Who was the model of thy father's life.
    Call it not patience, Gaunt; it is despair:
    In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
    Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
    Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee: 245
    That which in mean men we intitle 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.
  • John of Gaunt. God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute, 250
    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 of Gloucester. 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, 260
    That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast!
    Or, if misfortune miss the first career,
    Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom,
    They may break his foaming courser's back,
    And throw the rider headlong in the lists, 265
    A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
    Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother's wife
    With her companion grief must end her life.
  • John of Gaunt. Sister, farewell; I must to Coventry:
    As much good stay with thee as go with me! 270
  • Duchess of Gloucester. 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. 275
    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 280
    But empty lodgings and unfurnish'd 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 every where. 285
    Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die:
    The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 3

The lists at Coventry.

      next scene .

[Enter the Lord Marshal and the DUKE OF AUMERLE]

  • Lord Marshal. The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
    Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Why, then, the champions are prepared, and stay
    For nothing but his majesty's approach. 295
    [The trumpets sound, and KING RICHARD enters with]
    his nobles, JOHN OF GAUNT, BUSHY, BAGOT, GREEN, and
    others. When they are set, enter THOMAS MOWBRAY in
    arms, defendant, with a Herald]
  • King Richard II. Marshal, demand of yonder champion 300
    The cause of his arrival here in arms:
    Ask him his name and orderly proceed
    To swear him in the justice of his cause.
  • Lord Marshal. In God's name and the king's, say who thou art
    And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms, 305
    Against what man thou comest, and what thy quarrel:
    Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thy oath;
    As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!
  • Thomas Mowbray. My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk;
    Who hither come engaged by my oath— 310
    Which God defend a knight should violate!—
    Both to defend my loyalty and truth
    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, 315
    To prove him, in defending of myself,
    A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
    And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
    [The trumpets sound. Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE,]
    appellant, in armour, with a Herald] 320
  • King Richard II. Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,
    Both who he is and why he cometh hither
    Thus plated in habiliments of war,
    And formally, according to our law,
    Depose him in the justice of his cause. 325
  • Lord Marshal. What is thy name? and wherefore comest 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!
  • Henry IV. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and Derby 330
    Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
    To prove, by God's grace and my body's valour,
    In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
    That he is a traitor, foul and dangerous,
    To God of heaven, King Richard and to me; 335
    And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
  • Lord Marshal. On pain of death, no person be so bold
    Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
    Except the marshal and such officers
    Appointed to direct these fair designs. 340
  • Henry IV. 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;
    Then let us take a ceremonious leave 345
    And loving farewell of our several friends.
  • Lord Marshal. The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
    And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
  • King Richard II. We will descend and fold him in our arms.
    Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right, 350
    So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
    Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
    Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
  • Henry IV. O let no noble eye profane a tear
    For me, if I be gored with Mowbray's spear: 355
    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;
    Not sick, although I have to do with death, 360
    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,
    Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate, 365
    Doth with a twofold vigour lift me up
    To reach at victory above my head,
    Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers;
    And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
    That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat, 370
    And furbish new the name of John a Gaunt,
    Even in the lusty havior of his son.
  • John of Gaunt. God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
    Be swift like lightning in the execution;
    And let thy blows, doubly redoubled, 375
    Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
    Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
    Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live.
  • Henry IV. Mine innocency and Saint George to thrive!
  • Thomas Mowbray. However God or fortune cast my lot, 380
    There lives or dies, true to King Richard's throne,
    A loyal, just and upright gentleman:
    Never did captive with a freer heart
    Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
    His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement, 385
    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:
    As gentle and as jocund as to jest 390
    Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.
  • King Richard II. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
    Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.
    Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
  • Lord Marshal. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and Derby, 395
    Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!
  • Henry IV. Strong as a tower in hope, I cry amen.
  • Lord Marshal. Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.
  • First Herald. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and Derby,
    Stands here for God, his sovereign and himself, 400
    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. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, 405
    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;
    Courageously and with a free desire 410
    Attending but the signal to begin.
  • Lord Marshal. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants.
    [A charge sounded]
    Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down.
  • King Richard II. Let them lay by their helmets and their spears, 415
    And both return back to their chairs again:
    Withdraw with us: and let the trumpets sound
    While we return these dukes what we decree.
    [A long flourish]
    Draw near, 420
    And list what with our council we have done.
    For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd
    With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
    And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
    Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' sword; 425
    And for we think the eagle-winged 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; 430
    Which so roused up with boisterous untuned drums,
    With harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful bray,
    And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
    Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
    And make us wade even in our kindred's blood, 435
    Therefore, we banish you our territories:
    You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
    Till twice five summers have enrich'd our fields
    Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
    But tread the stranger paths of banishment. 440
  • Henry IV. Your will be done: this must my comfort be,
    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 II. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom, 445
    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'
    Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life. 450
  • Thomas Mowbray. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
    And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth:
    A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
    As to be cast forth in the common air,
    Have I deserved at your highness' hands. 455
    The language I have learn'd these forty years,
    My native English, now I must forego:
    And now my tongue's use is to me no more
    Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
    Or like a cunning instrument cased up, 460
    Or, being open, put into his hands
    That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
    Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
    Doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips;
    And dull unfeeling barren ignorance 465
    Is made my gaoler 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,
    Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath? 470
  • King Richard II. It boots thee not to be compassionate:
    After our sentence plaining comes too late.
  • Thomas Mowbray. Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
    To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
  • King Richard II. Return again, and take an oath with thee. 475
    Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands;
    Swear by the duty that you owe to God—
    Our part therein we banish with yourselves—
    To keep the oath that we administer:
    You never shall, so help you truth and God! 480
    Embrace each other's love in banishment;
    Nor never look upon each other's face;
    Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
    This louring tempest of your home-bred hate;
    Nor never by advised purpose meet 485
    To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
    'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
  • Henry IV. Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:— 490
    By this time, had the king permitted us,
    One of our souls had wander'd in the air.
    Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
    As now our flesh is banish'd from this land:
    Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm; 495
    Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
    The clogging burthen of a guilty soul.
  • Thomas Mowbray. No, Bolingbroke: if ever I were traitor,
    My name be blotted from the book of life,
    And I from heaven banish'd as from hence! 500
    But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know;
    And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.
    Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray;
    Save back to England, all the world's my way.


  • King Richard II. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
    I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
    Hath from the number of his banish'd years
    Pluck'd four away.
    Six frozen winter spent,
    Return with welcome home from banishment.
  • Henry IV. How long a time lies in one little word!
    Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
    End in a word: such is the breath of kings. 515
  • John of 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
    Can change their moons and bring their times about 520
    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,
    And blindfold death not let me see my son.
  • John of 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;
    Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
    But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage; 530
    Thy word is current with him for my death,
    But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
  • King Richard II. Thy son is banish'd upon good advice,
    Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave:
    Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lour? 535
  • John of 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.
    O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
    To smooth his fault I should have been more mild: 540
    A partial slander sought I to avoid,
    And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
    Alas, I look'd when some of you should say,
    I was too strict to make mine own away;
    But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue 545
    Against my will to do myself this wrong.
  • King Richard II. Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so:
    Six years we banish him, and he shall go.

[Flourish. Exeunt KING RICHARD II and train]

  • Duke of Aumerle. Cousin, farewell: what presence must not know, 550
    From where you do remain let paper show.
  • Lord Marshal. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride,
    As far as land will let me, by your side.
  • John of Gaunt. O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
    That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends? 555
  • Henry IV. I have too few to take my leave of you,
    When the tongue's office should be prodigal
    To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart.
  • Henry IV. Joy absent, grief is present for that time. 560
  • Henry IV. To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.
  • Henry IV. My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
    Which finds it an inforced pilgrimage. 565
  • John of Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps
    Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
    The precious jewel of thy home return.
  • Henry IV. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make
    Will but remember me what a deal of world 570
    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
    But that I was a journeyman to grief? 575
  • John of 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.
    Think not the king did banish thee, 580
    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 honour
    And not the king exiled thee; or suppose
    Devouring pestilence hangs in our air 585
    And thou art flying to a fresher clime:
    Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
    To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou comest:
    Suppose the singing birds musicians,
    The grass whereon thou tread'st the presence strew'd, 590
    The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
    Than a delightful measure or a dance;
    For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
    The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
  • Henry IV. O, who can hold a fire in his hand 595
    By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
    Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
    By bare imagination of a feast?
    Or wallow naked in December snow
    By thinking on fantastic summer's heat? 600
    O, no! the apprehension of the good
    Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
    Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more
    Than when he bites, but lanceth not the sore.
  • John of Gaunt. Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on thy way: 605
    Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
  • Henry IV. Then, England's ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu;
    My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet!
    Where'er I wander, boast of this I can,
    Though banish'd, yet a trueborn Englishman. 610


. previous scene      

Act I, Scene 4

The court.

      next scene .

[Enter KING RICHARD II, with BAGOT and GREEN at one] [p]door; and the DUKE OF AUMERLE at another]

  • King Richard II. We did observe. Cousin Aumerle,
    How far brought you high Hereford on his way? 615
  • Duke of Aumerle. I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
    But to the next highway, and there I left him.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Faith, none for me; except the north-east wind,
    Which then blew bitterly against our faces, 620
    Awaked the sleeping rheum, and so by chance
    Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.
  • Duke of Aumerle. 'Farewell:'
    And, for my heart disdained that my tongue 625
    Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
    To counterfeit oppression of such grief
    That words seem'd buried in my sorrow's grave.
    Marry, would the word 'farewell' have lengthen'd hours
    And added years to his short banishment, 630
    He should have had a volume of farewells;
    But since it would not, he had none of me.
  • King Richard II. He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
    When time shall call him home from banishment,
    Whether our kinsman come to see his friends. 635
    Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here and Green
    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, 640
    Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
    And patient underbearing of his fortune,
    As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
    Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench;
    A brace of draymen bid God speed him well 645
    And had the tribute of his supple knee,
    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. 650
    Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
    Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
    Ere further leisure yield them further means
    For their advantage and your highness' loss.
  • King Richard II. We will ourself in person to this war: 655
    And, for our coffers, with too great a court
    And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
    We are inforced to farm our royal realm;
    The revenue whereof shall furnish us
    For our affairs in hand: if that come short, 660
    Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters;
    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. 665
    [Enter BUSHY]
    Bushy, what news?
  • Bushy. Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
    Suddenly taken; and hath sent post haste
    To entreat your majesty to visit him. 670
  • King Richard II. Now put it, God, in the physician's mind
    To help him to his grave immediately!
    The lining of his coffers shall make coats 675
    To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
    Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him:
    Pray God we may make haste, and come too late!


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 1

Ely House.

      next scene .

[Enter JOHN OF GAUNT sick, with the DUKE OF YORK,] [p]&c]

  • John of Gaunt. Will the king come, that I may breathe my last
    In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?
  • Edmund of Langley. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath; 685
    For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.
  • John of Gaunt. 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 pain. 690
    He that no more must say is listen'd more
    Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
    More are men's ends mark'd than their lives before:
    The setting sun, and music at the close,
    As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last, 695
    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.
  • Edmund of Langley. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds,
    As praises, of whose taste the wise are fond, 700
    Lascivious metres, to whose venom sound
    The open ear of youth doth always listen;
    Report of fashions in proud Italy,
    Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
    Limps after in base imitation. 705
    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?
    Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
    Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard. 710
    Direct not him whose way himself will choose:
    'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.
  • John of Gaunt. Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
    And thus expiring do foretell of him:
    His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last, 715
    For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
    Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
    He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
    With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
    Light vanity, insatiate cormorant, 720
    Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
    This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for herself 725
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    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, 730
    Against the envy of less happier lands,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
    This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
    Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
    Renowned for their deeds as far from home, 735
    For Christian service and true chivalry,
    As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
    Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
    This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
    Dear for her reputation through the world, 740
    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 watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame, 745
    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! 750
  • Edmund of Langley. The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;
    For young hot colts being raged do rage the more.
  • Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster? 755
  • John of Gaunt. O how that name befits my composition!
    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? 760
    For sleeping England long time have I watch'd;
    Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt:
    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: 765
    Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
    Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
  • John of Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself:
    Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me, 770
    I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
  • John of Gaunt. Now He that made me knows I see thee ill;
    Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
    Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land
    Wherein thou liest in reputation sick; 780
    And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
    Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure
    Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
    A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
    Whose compass is no bigger than thy head; 785
    And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
    The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
    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, 790
    Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd,
    Which art possess'd now to depose thyself.
    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, 795
    Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
    Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
    Thy state of law is bondslave to the law; And thou—
  • King Richard II. A lunatic lean-witted fool,
    Presuming on an ague's privilege, 800
    Darest with thy frozen admonition
    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, 805
    This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
    Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.
  • John of 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, 810
    Hast thou tapp'd out and drunkenly caroused:
    My brother Gloucester, plain well-meaning soul,
    Whom fair befal in heaven 'mongst happy souls!
    May be a precedent and witness good
    That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood: 815
    Join with the present sickness that I have;
    And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
    To crop at once a too long wither'd flower.
    Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
    These words hereafter thy tormentors be! 820
    Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
    Love they to live that love and honour have.

[Exit, borne off by his Attendants]

  • King Richard II. And let them die that age and sullens have;
    For both hast thou, and both become the grave. 825
  • Edmund of Langley. I do beseech your majesty, impute his words
    To wayward sickliness and age in him:
    He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
    As Harry Duke of Hereford, were he here.
  • King Richard II. Right, you say true: as Hereford's love, so his; 830
    As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.


  • Earl of Northumberland. Nay, nothing; all is said 835
    His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
    Words, life and all, old Lancaster hath spent.
  • Edmund of Langley. Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
    Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.
  • King Richard II. The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he; 840
    His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
    So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
    We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
    Which live like venom where no venom else
    But only they have privilege to live. 845
    And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
    Towards our assistance we do seize to us
    The plate, corn, revenues and moveables,
    Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd.
  • Edmund of Langley. How long shall I be patient? ah, how long 850
    Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
    Not Gloucester's death, nor Hereford's banishment
    Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
    Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
    About his marriage, nor my own disgrace, 855
    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,
    Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first:
    In war was never lion raged more fierce, 860
    In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
    Than was that young and princely gentleman.
    His face thou hast, for even so look'd he,
    Accomplish'd with the number of thy hours;
    But when he frown'd, it was against the French 865
    And not against his friends; his noble hand
    Did will what he did spend and spent not that
    Which his triumphant father's hand had won;
    His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
    But bloody with the enemies of his kin. 870
    O Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
    Or else he never would compare between.
  • Edmund of Langley. O my liege,
    Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleased 875
    Not to be pardon'd, am content withal.
    Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
    The royalties and rights of banish'd Hereford?
    Is not Gaunt dead, and doth not Hereford live?
    Was not Gaunt just, and is not Harry true? 880
    Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
    Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
    Take Hereford's rights away, and take from Time
    His charters and his customary rights;
    Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day; 885
    Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
    But by fair sequence and succession?
    Now, afore God—God forbid I say true!—
    If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
    Call in the letters patent that he hath 890
    By his attorneys-general to sue
    His livery, and deny his offer'd homage,
    You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
    You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts
    And prick my tender patience, to those thoughts 895
    Which honour and allegiance cannot think.
  • King Richard II. Think what you will, we seize into our hands
    His plate, his goods, his money and his lands.
  • Edmund of Langley. I'll not be by the while: my liege, farewell:
    What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell; 900
    But by bad courses may be understood
    That their events can never fall out good.


  • King Richard II. Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight:
    Bid him repair to us to Ely House 905
    To see this business. To-morrow next
    We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow:
    And we create, in absence of ourself,
    Our uncle York lord governor of England;
    For he is just and always loved us well. 910
    Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
    Be merry, for our time of stay is short
    [Flourish. Exeunt KING RICHARD II, QUEEN, DUKE OF]
  • Lord Ross. And living too; for now his son is duke.
  • Lord Ross. My heart is great; but it must break with silence,
    Ere't be disburden'd with a liberal tongue. 920
  • Earl of Northumberland. Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more
    That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!
  • Lord Willoughby. 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. 925
  • Lord Ross. No good at all that I can do for him;
    Unless you call it good to pity him,
    Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.
  • Earl of Northumberland. Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
    In him, a royal prince, and many moe 930
    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 935
    'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.
  • Lord Ross. The commons hath he pill'd with grievous taxes,
    And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fined
    For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
  • Lord Willoughby. And daily new exactions are devised, 940
    As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
    But what, o' God's name, doth become of this?
  • Earl of Northumberland. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he hath not,
    But basely yielded upon compromise
    That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows: 945
    More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
  • Lord Ross. The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
  • Lord Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars, 950
    His burthenous taxations notwithstanding,
    But by the robbing of the banish'd duke.
  • Earl of Northumberland. His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
    But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
    Yet see no shelter to avoid the storm; 955
    We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
    And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
  • Lord Ross. We see the very wreck that we must suffer;
    And unavoided is the danger now,
    For suffering so the causes of our wreck. 960
  • Earl of Northumberland. 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.
  • Lord Ross. Be confident to speak, Northumberland: 965
    We three are but thyself; and, speaking so,
    Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold.
  • Earl of Northumberland. Then thus: I have from Port le Blanc, a bay
    In Brittany, received intelligence
    That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham, 970
    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 Quoint, 975
    All these well furnish'd by the Duke of Bretagne
    With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
    Are making hither with all due expedience
    And shortly mean to touch our northern shore:
    Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay 980
    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 blemish'd crown,
    Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt 985
    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.
  • Lord Ross. To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them that fear. 990


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 2

The palace.

      next scene .


  • Bushy. Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
    You promised, when you parted with the king, 995
    To lay aside life-harming heaviness
    And entertain a cheerful disposition.
  • Queen. 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, 1000
    Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
    As my sweet Richard: yet again, methinks,
    Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb,
    Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
    With nothing trembles: at some thing it grieves, 1005
    More than with parting from my lord the king.
  • Bushy. Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
    Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
    For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
    Divides one thing entire to many objects; 1010
    Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
    Show nothing but confusion, eyed awry
    Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
    Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
    Find shapes of grief, more than himself, to wail; 1015
    Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows
    Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
    More than your lord's departure weep not: more's not seen;
    Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
    Which for things true weeps things imaginary. 1020
  • Queen. It may be so; but yet my inward soul
    Persuades me it is otherwise: howe'er it be,
    I cannot but be sad; so heavy sad
    As, though on thinking on no thought I think,
    Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink. 1025
  • Bushy. 'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.
  • Queen. 'Tis nothing less: conceit is still derived
    From some forefather grief; mine is not so,
    For nothing had begot my something grief;
    Or something hath the nothing that I grieve: 1030
    'Tis in reversion that I do possess;
    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: 1035
    I hope the king is not yet shipp'd for Ireland.
  • Queen. Why hopest thou so? 'tis better hope he is;
    For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope:
    Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipp'd?
  • Green. That he, our hope, might have retired his power, 1040
    And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
    Who strongly hath set footing in this land:
    The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself,
    And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
    At Ravenspurgh. 1045
  • Queen. Now God in heaven forbid!
  • Green. Ah, madam, 'tis too true: and that is worse,
    The Lord Northumberland, his son young Henry Percy,
    The Lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
    With all their powerful friends, are fled to him. 1050
  • Bushy. Why have you not proclaim'd Northumberland
    And all the rest revolted faction traitors?
  • Green. We have: whereupon the Earl of Worcester
    Hath broke his staff, resign'd his stewardship,
    And all the household servants fled with him 1055
    To Bolingbroke.
  • Queen. 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-deliver'd mother, 1060
    Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join'd.
  • Bushy. Despair not, madam.
  • Queen. Who shall hinder me?
    I will despair, and be at enmity
    With cozening hope: he is a flatterer, 1065
    A parasite, a keeper back of death,
    Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
    Which false hope lingers in extremity.


  • Green. Here comes the Duke of York. 1070
  • Queen. With signs of war about his aged neck:
    O, full of careful business are his looks!
    Uncle, for God's sake, speak comfortable words.
  • Edmund of Langley. Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts:
    Comfort's in heaven; and we are on the earth, 1075
    Where nothing lives but crosses, cares and grief.
    Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
    Whilst others come to make him lose at home:
    Here am I left to underprop his land,
    Who, weak with age, cannot support myself: 1080
    Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
    Now shall he try his friends that flatter'd him.

[Enter a Servant]

  • Servant. My lord, your son was gone before I came.
  • Edmund of Langley. He was? Why, so! go all which way it will! 1085
    The nobles they are fled, the commons they are cold,
    And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.
    Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
    Bid her send me presently a thousand pound:
    Hold, take my ring. 1090
  • Servant. My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship,
    To-day, as I came by, I called there;
    But I shall grieve you to report the rest.
  • Servant. An hour before I came, the duchess died. 1095
  • Edmund of Langley. God for his mercy! what a tide of woes
    Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
    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. 1100
    What, are there no posts dispatch'd for Ireland?
    How shall we do for money for these wars?
    Come, sister,—cousin, I would say—pray, pardon me.
    Go, fellow, get thee home, provide some carts
    And bring away the armour that is there. 1105
    [Exit Servant]
    Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
    If I know how or which way to order these affairs
    Thus thrust disorderly into my hands,
    Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen: 1110
    The one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
    And duty bids defend; the other again
    Is my kinsman, whom the king hath wrong'd,
    Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
    Well, somewhat we must do. Come, cousin, I'll 1115
    Dispose of you.
    Gentlemen, go, muster up your men,
    And meet me presently at Berkeley.
    I should to Plashy too;
    But time will not permit: all is uneven, 1120
    And every thing is left at six and seven.


  • Bushy. The wind sits fair for news to go to Ireland,
    But none returns. For us to levy power
    Proportionable to the enemy 1125
    Is all unpossible.
  • Green. Besides, our nearness to the king in love
    Is near the hate of those love not the king.
  • Bagot. And that's the wavering commons: for their love
    Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them 1130
    By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
  • Bushy. Wherein the king stands generally condemn'd.
  • Bagot. If judgement lie in them, then so do we,
    Because we ever have been near the king.
  • Green. Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristol castle: 1135
    The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.
  • Bushy. Thither will I with you; for little office
    The hateful commons will perform for us,
    Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.
    Will you go along with us? 1140
  • Bagot. No; I will to Ireland to his majesty.
    Farewell: if heart's presages be not vain,
    We three here art that ne'er shall meet again.
  • Bushy. That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.
  • Green. Alas, poor duke! the task he undertakes 1145
    Is numbering sands and drinking oceans dry:
    Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
    Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.
  • Bushy. Well, we may meet again.
  • Bagot. I fear me, never. 1150


. previous scene      

Act II, Scene 3

Wilds in Gloucestershire.

      next scene .


  • 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.


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Act II, Scene 4

A camp in Wales.

      next scene .

[Enter EARL OF SALISBURY and a Welsh Captain]

  • Captain. My lord of Salisbury, we have stay'd ten days,
    And hardly kept our countrymen together,
    And yet we hear no tidings from the king;
    Therefore we will disperse ourselves: farewell.
  • Earl of Salisbury. Stay yet another day, thou trusty Welshman: 1335
    The king reposeth all his confidence in thee.
  • Captain. 'Tis thought the king is dead; we will not stay.
    The bay-trees in our country are all wither'd
    And meteors fright the fixed stars of heaven;
    The pale-faced moon looks bloody on the earth 1340
    And lean-look'd 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:
    These signs forerun the death or fall of kings. 1345
    Farewell: our countrymen are gone and fled,
    As well assured Richard their king is dead.


  • Earl of Salisbury. Ah, Richard, with the eyes of heavy mind
    I see thy glory like a shooting star 1350
    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. 1355


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Act III, Scene 1

Bristol. Before the castle.

      next scene .


  • Henry IV. Bring forth these men. 1360
    Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls—
    Since presently your souls must part your bodies—
    With too much urging your pernicious lives,
    For 'twere no charity; yet, to wash your blood
    From off my hands, here in the view of men 1365
    I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
    You have misled a prince, a royal king,
    A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
    By you unhappied and disfigured clean:
    You have in manner with your sinful hours 1370
    Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
    Broke the possession of a royal bed
    And stain'd the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
    With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
    Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth, 1375
    Near to the king in blood, and near in love
    Till you did make him misinterpret me,
    Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries,
    And sigh'd my English breath in foreign clouds,
    Eating the bitter bread of banishment; 1380
    Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
    Dispark'd my parks and fell'd my forest woods,
    From my own windows torn my household coat,
    Razed out my imprese, leaving me no sign,
    Save men's opinions and my living blood, 1385
    To show the world I am a gentleman.
    This and much more, much more than twice all this,
    Condemns you to the death. See them deliver'd over
    To execution and the hand of death.
  • Bushy. More welcome is the stroke of death to me 1390
    Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.
  • Green. My comfort is that heaven will take our souls
    And plague injustice with the pains of hell.
  • Henry IV. My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatch'd.
    [Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND and others, with the] 1395
    Uncle, you say the queen is at your house;
    For God's sake, fairly let her be entreated:
    Tell her I send to her my kind commends;
    Take special care my greetings be deliver'd. 1400
  • Edmund of Langley. A gentleman of mine I have dispatch'd
    With letters of your love to her at large.
  • Henry IV. Thank, gentle uncle. Come, lords, away.
    To fight with Glendower and his complices:
    Awhile to work, and after holiday. 1405


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Act III, Scene 2

The coast of Wales. A castle in view.

      next scene .

[Drums; flourish and colours. Enter KING RICHARD] [p]II, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, DUKE OF AUMERLE, and Soldiers]

  • Duke of Aumerle. Yea, my lord. How brooks your grace the air, 1410
    After your late tossing on the breaking seas?
  • King Richard II. Needs must I like it well: I weep for joy
    To stand upon my kingdom once again.
    Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
    Though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs: 1415
    As a long-parted mother with her child
    Plays fondly with her tears and smiles in meeting,
    So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth,
    And do thee favours with my royal hands.
    Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth, 1420
    Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense;
    But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
    And heavy-gaited toads lie in their way,
    Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
    Which with usurping steps do trample thee: 1425
    Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies;
    And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
    Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder
    Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
    Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies. 1430
    Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords:
    This earth shall have a feeling and these stones
    Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
    Shall falter under foul rebellion's arms.
  • Bishop of Carlisle. Fear not, my lord: that Power that made you king 1435
    Hath power to keep you king in spite of all.
    The means that heaven yields must be embraced,
    And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
    And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse,
    The proffer'd means of succor and redress. 1440
  • Duke of Aumerle. He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;
    Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
    Grows strong and great in substance and in power.
  • King Richard II. Discomfortable cousin! know'st thou not
    That when the searching eye of heaven is hid, 1445
    Behind the globe, that lights the lower world,
    Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen
    In murders and in outrage, boldly here;
    But when from under this terrestrial ball
    He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines 1450
    And darts his light through every guilty hole,
    Then murders, treasons and detested sins,
    The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs,
    Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
    So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke, 1455
    Who all this while hath revell'd in the night
    Whilst we were wandering 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, 1460
    But self-affrighted tremble at his sin.
    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: 1465
    For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd
    To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
    God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
    A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
    Weak men must fall, for heaven still guards the right. 1470
    Welcome, my lord. how far off lies your power?
  • Earl of Salisbury. Nor near nor farther off, my gracious lord,
    Than this weak arm: discomfort guides my tongue
    And bids me speak of nothing but despair. 1475
    One day too late, I fear me, noble lord,
    Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth:
    O, call back yesterday, bid time return,
    And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men!
    To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late, 1480
    O'erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune and thy state:
    For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead.
    Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispersed and fled.
  • King Richard II. But now the blood of twenty thousand men 1485
    Did triumph in my face, and they are fled;
    And, till so much blood thither come again,
    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. 1490
  • King Richard II. I had forgot myself; am I not king?
    Awake, thou coward majesty! thou sleepest.
    Is not the king's name twenty thousand names?
    Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes 1495
    At thy great glory. Look not to the ground,
    Ye favourites of a king: are we not high?
    High be our thoughts: I know my uncle York
    Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who comes here?


  • Sir Stephen Scroop. More health and happiness betide my liege
    Than can my care-tuned tongue deliver him!
  • King Richard II. 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 1505
    And what loss is it to be rid of care?
    Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
    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; 1510
    They break their faith to God as well as us:
    Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay:
    The worst is death, and death will have his day.
  • Sir Stephen Scroop. Glad am I that your highness is so arm'd
    To bear the tidings of calamity. 1515
    Like an unseasonable stormy day,
    Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
    As if the world were all dissolved to tears,
    So high above his limits swells the rage
    Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land 1520
    With hard bright steel and hearts harder than steel.
    White-beards have arm'd their thin and hairless 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: 1525
    The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
    Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
    Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
    Against thy seat: both young and old rebel,
    And all goes worse than I have power to tell. 1530
  • King Richard II. Too well, too well thou tell'st a tale so ill.
    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? 1535
    If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it:
    I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
  • King Richard II. O villains, vipers, damn'd without redemption!
    Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man! 1540
    Snakes, in my heart-blood warm'd, that sting my heart!
    Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas!
    Would they make peace? terrible hell make war
    Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
  • Sir Stephen Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his property, 1545
    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
    And lie full low, graved in the hollow ground. 1550
  • King Richard II. No matter where; of comfort no man speak:
    Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; 1555
    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
    Save our deposed bodies to the ground? 1560
    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.
    For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground 1565
    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 poison'd by their wives: some sleeping kill'd;
    All murder'd: for within the hollow crown 1570
    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,
    To monarchize, be fear'd and kill with looks, 1575
    Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
    As if this flesh which walls about our life,
    Were brass impregnable, and humour'd thus
    Comes at the last and with a little pin
    Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king! 1580
    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:
    I live with bread like you, feel want, 1585
    Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
    How can you say to me, I am a king?
  • Bishop of Carlisle. My lord, wise men ne'er sit and wail their woes,
    But presently prevent the ways to wail.
    To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength, 1590
    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;
    Where fearing dying pays death servile breath. 1595
  • Duke of Aumerle. My father hath a power; inquire of him
    And learn to make a body of a limb.
  • King Richard II. Thou chidest me well: proud Bolingbroke, I come
    To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
    This ague fit of fear is over-blown; 1600
    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.
  • Sir Stephen Scroop. Men judge by the complexion of the sky
    The state and inclination of the day: 1605
    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:
    Your uncle York is join'd with Bolingbroke, 1610
    And all your northern castles yielded up,
    And all your southern gentlemen in arms
    Upon his party.
  • King Richard II. Thou hast said enough.
    Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth 1615
    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
    That bids me be of comfort any more. 1620
    Go to Flint castle: there I'll pine away;
    A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
    That power I have, discharge; and let them go
    To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
    For I have none: let no man speak again 1625
    To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
  • King Richard II. He does me double wrong
    That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
    Discharge my followers: let them hence away, 1630
    From Richard's night to Bolingbroke's fair day.


. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 3

Wales. Before Flint castle.

      next scene .

[Enter, with drum and colours, HENRY BOLINGBROKE,] [p]DUKE OF YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, Attendants, and forces]

  • Henry IV. So that by this intelligence we learn 1635
    The Welshmen are dispersed, and Salisbury
    Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed
    With some few private friends upon this coast.
  • Earl of Northumberland. The news is very fair and good, my lord:
    Richard not far from hence hath hid his head. 1640
  • Edmund of Langley. It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
    To say 'King Richard:' alack the heavy day
    When such a sacred king should hide his head.
  • Edmund of Langley. The time hath been,
    Would you have been so brief with him, he would
    Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
    For taking so the head, your whole head's length.
  • Henry IV. Mistake not, uncle, further than you should. 1650
  • Edmund of Langley. Take not, good cousin, further than you should.
    Lest you mistake the heavens are o'er our heads.
  • Henry IV. I know it, uncle, and oppose not myself
    Against their will. But who comes here?
    [Enter HENRY PERCY] 1655
    Welcome, Harry: what, will not this castle yield?
  • Henry IV. Royally!
    Why, it contains no king? 1660
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Yes, 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 1665
    Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.
  • Henry IV. Noble lords,
    Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
    Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley 1670
    Into his ruin'd 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 1675
    Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
    Provided that my banishment repeal'd
    And lands restored again be freely granted:
    If not, I'll use the advantage of my power
    And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood 1680
    Rain'd from the wounds of slaughter'd 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,
    My stooping duty tenderly shall show. 1685
    Go, signify as much, while here we march
    Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
    Let's march without the noise of threatening drum,
    That from this castle's tatter'd battlements
    Our fair appointments may be well perused. 1690
    Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
    With no less terror than the elements
    Of fire and water, when their thundering shock
    At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
    Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water: 1695
    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.
    [Parle without, and answer within. Then a flourish.]
    Enter on the walls, KING RICHARD II, the BISHOP OF 1700
    See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
    As doth the blushing discontented sun
    From out the fiery portal of the east,
    When he perceives the envious clouds are bent 1705
    To dim his glory and to stain the track
    Of his bright passage to the occident.
  • Edmund of Langley. Yet looks he like a king: behold, his eye,
    As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
    Controlling majesty: alack, alack, for woe, 1710
    That any harm should stain so fair a show!
  • King Richard II. We are amazed; and thus long have we stood
    To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
    Because we thought ourself thy lawful king: 1715
    And 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
    That hath dismissed us from our stewardship;
    For well we know, no hand of blood and bone 1720
    Can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre,
    Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
    And though you think that all, as you have done,
    Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
    And we are barren and bereft of friends; 1725
    Yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
    Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
    Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
    Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
    That lift your vassal hands against my head 1730
    And threat the glory of my precious crown.
    Tell Bolingbroke—for yond methinks he stands—
    That every stride he makes upon my land
    Is dangerous treason: he is come to open
    The purple testament of bleeding war; 1735
    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,
    Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
    To scarlet indignation and bedew 1740
    Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.
  • Earl of Northumberland. The king of heaven forbid our lord the king
    Should so with civil and uncivil arms
    Be rush'd upon! Thy thrice noble cousin
    Harry Bolingbroke doth humbly kiss thy hand; 1745
    And by the honourable tomb he swears,
    That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,
    And by the royalties of both your bloods,
    Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
    And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt, 1750
    And by the worth and honour of himself,
    Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
    His coming hither hath no further scope
    Than for his lineal royalties and to beg
    Enfranchisement immediate on his knees: 1755
    Which on thy royal party granted once,
    His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
    His barbed steeds to stables, and his heart
    To faithful service of your majesty.
    This swears he, as he is a prince, is just; 1760
    And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him.
  • King Richard II. Northumberland, say thus the king returns:
    His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
    And all the number of his fair demands
    Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction: 1765
    With all the gracious utterance thou hast
    Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.
    We do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not,
    To look so poorly and to speak so fair? 1770
    Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
    Defiance to the traitor, and so die?
  • Duke of Aumerle. No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle words
    Till time lend friends and friends their helpful swords.
  • King Richard II. O God, O God! that e'er this tongue of mine, 1775
    That laid the sentence of dread banishment
    On yon proud man, should take it off again
    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, 1780
    Or not remember what I must be now!
    Swell'st thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat,
    Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.
  • King Richard II. What must the king do now? must he submit? 1785
    The king shall do it: must he be deposed?
    The king shall be contented: must he lose
    The name of king? o' God's name, let it go:
    I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
    My gorgeous palace for a hermitage, 1790
    My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,
    My figured goblets for a dish of wood,
    My sceptre for a palmer's walking staff,
    My subjects for a pair of carved saints
    And my large kingdom for a little grave, 1795
    A little little grave, an obscure grave;
    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; 1800
    And buried once, why not upon my head?
    Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousin!
    We'll make foul weather with despised tears;
    Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn,
    And make a dearth in this revolting land. 1805
    Or shall we play the wantons with our woes,
    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 1810
    Two kinsmen digg'd their graves with weeping eyes.
    Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
    I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.
    Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
    What says King Bolingbroke? will his majesty 1815
    Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
    You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.
  • Earl of Northumberland. My lord, in the base court he doth attend
    To speak with you; may it please you to come down.
  • King Richard II. Down, down I come; like glistering Phaethon, 1820
    Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
    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! 1825
    For night-owls shriek where mounting larks
    should sing.

[Exeunt from above]

  • Earl of Northumberland. Sorrow and grief of heart 1830
    Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man
    Yet he is come.

[Enter KING RICHARD and his attendants below]

  • Henry IV. Stand all apart,
    And show fair duty to his majesty. 1835
    [He kneels down]
    My gracious lord,—
  • King Richard II. Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
    To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
    Me rather had my heart might feel your love 1840
    Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy.
    Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
    Thus high at least, although your knee be low.
  • Henry IV. My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.
  • Henry IV. So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
    As my true service shall deserve your love.
  • King Richard II. 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; 1850
    Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
    Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
    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. 1855
    Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?

[Flourish. Exeunt]

. previous scene      

Act III, Scene 4


      next scene .

[Enter the QUEEN and two Ladies]

  • 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,
    And that my fortune rubs against the bias. 1865
  • 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. Madam, we'll tell tales. 1870
  • Queen. Of sorrow or of joy?
  • Lady. Of either, madam.
  • Queen. Of neither, girl:
    For of joy, being altogether wanting,
    It doth remember me the more of sorrow; 1875
    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. Madam, I'll sing. 1880
  • 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. And I could sing, would weeping do me good,
    And never borrow any tear of thee. 1885
    [Enter a Gardener, and two Servants]
    But stay, here come the gardeners:
    Let's step into the shadow of these trees.
    My wretchedness unto a row of pins,
    They'll talk of state; for every one doth so 1890
    Against a change; woe is forerun with woe.

[QUEEN and Ladies retire]

  • Gardener. Go, bind thou up yon dangling apricocks,
    Which, like unruly children, make their sire
    Stoop with oppression of their prodigal weight: 1895
    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. 1900
    You thus employ'd, I will go root away
    The noisome weeds, which without profit suck
    The soil's fertility from wholesome flowers.
  • Servant. Why should we in the compass of a pale
    Keep law and form and due proportion, 1905
    Showing, as in a model, our firm estate,
    When our sea-walled garden, the whole land,
    Is full of weeds, her fairest flowers choked up,
    Her fruit-trees all upturned, her hedges ruin'd,
    Her knots disorder'd and her wholesome herbs 1910
    Swarming with caterpillars?
  • Gardener. Hold thy peace:
    He that hath suffer'd this disorder'd spring
    Hath now himself met with the fall of leaf:
    The weeds which his broad-spreading leaves did shelter, 1915
    That seem'd in eating him to hold him up,
    Are pluck'd up root and all by Bolingbroke,
    I mean the Earl of Wiltshire, Bushy, Green.
  • Gardener. They are; and Bolingbroke 1920
    Hath seized the wasteful king. O, what pity is it
    That he had not so trimm'd and dress'd his land
    As we this garden! We at time of year
    Do wound the bark, the skin of our fruit-trees,
    Lest, being over-proud in sap and blood, 1925
    With too much riches it confound itself:
    Had he done so to great and growing men,
    They might have lived to bear and he to taste
    Their fruits of duty: superfluous branches
    We lop away, that bearing boughs may live: 1930
    Had he done so, himself had borne the crown,
    Which waste of idle hours hath quite thrown down.
  • Servant. What, think you then the king shall be deposed?
  • Gardener. Depress'd he is already, and deposed
    'Tis doubt he will be: letters came last night 1935
    To a dear friend of the good Duke of York's,
    That tell black tidings.
  • Queen. O, I am press'd to death through want of speaking!
    [Coming forward]
    Thou, old Adam's likeness, set to dress this garden, 1940
    How dares thy harsh rude tongue sound this unpleasing news?
    What Eve, what serpent, hath suggested thee
    To make a second fall of cursed man?
    Why dost thou say King Richard is deposed?
    Darest thou, thou little better thing than earth, 1945
    Divine his downfall? Say, where, when, and how,
    Camest 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.
    King Richard, he is in the mighty hold 1950
    Of Bolingbroke: their fortunes both are weigh'd:
    In your lord's scale is nothing but himself,
    And some few vanities that make him light;
    But in the balance of great Bolingbroke,
    Besides himself, are all the English peers, 1955
    And with that odds he weighs King Richard down.
    Post you to London, and you will find it so;
    I speak no more than every one doth know.
  • Queen. Nimble mischance, that art so light of foot,
    Doth not thy embassage belong to me, 1960
    And am I last that knows it? O, thou think'st
    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.
    What, was I born to this, that my sad look 1965
    Should grace the triumph of great Bolingbroke?
    Gardener, for telling me these news of woe,
    Pray God the plants thou graft'st may never grow.

[Exeunt QUEEN and Ladies]

  • Gardener. Poor queen! so that thy state might be no worse, 1970
    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. 1975


. previous scene      

Act IV, Scene 1

Westminster Hall.

      next scene .

[Enter, as to the Parliament, HENRY BOLINGBROKE,] [p]DUKE OF AUMERLE, NORTHUMBERLAND, HENRY PERCY, LORD [p]FITZWATER, DUKE OF SURREY, the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, [p]the Abbot Of Westminster, and another Lord, Herald, [p]Officers, and BAGOT]

  • Henry IV. Call forth Bagot.
    Now, Bagot, freely speak thy mind;
    What thou dost know of noble Gloucester's death,
    Who wrought it with the king, and who perform'd 1985
    The bloody office of his timeless end.
  • Bagot. Then set before my face the Lord Aumerle.
  • Henry IV. Cousin, stand forth, and look upon that man.
  • Bagot. My Lord Aumerle, I know your daring tongue
    Scorns to unsay what once it hath deliver'd. 1990
    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?'
    Amongst much other talk, that very time, 1995
    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
    In this your cousin's death. 2000
  • Duke of Aumerle. Princes and noble lords,
    What answer shall I make to this base man?
    Shall I so much dishonour my fair stars,
    On equal terms to give him chastisement?
    Either I must, or have mine honour soil'd 2005
    With the attainder of his slanderous lips.
    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
    In thy heart-blood, though being all too base 2010
    To stain the temper of my knightly sword.
  • Henry IV. Bagot, forbear; thou shalt not take it up.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Excepting one, I would he were the best
    In all this presence that hath moved me so.
  • Lord Fitzwater. If that thy valour stand on sympathy, 2015
    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 spakest it
    That thou wert cause of noble Gloucester's death.
    If thou deny'st it twenty times, thou liest; 2020
    And I will turn thy falsehood to thy heart,
    Where it was forged, with my rapier's point.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). Aumerle, thou liest; his honour is as true
    In this appeal as thou art all unjust;
    And that thou art so, there I throw my gage,
    To prove it on thee to the extremest point
    Of mortal breathing: seize it, if thou darest. 2030
  • Duke of Aumerle. An if I do not, may my hands rot off
    And never brandish more revengeful steel
    Over the glittering helmet of my foe!
  • Lord. I task the earth to the like, forsworn Aumerle;
    And spur thee on with full as many lies 2035
    As may be holloa'd in thy treacherous ear
    From sun to sun: there is my honour's pawn;
    Engage it to the trial, if thou darest.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Who sets me else? by heaven, I'll throw at all:
    I have a thousand spirits in one breast, 2040
    To answer twenty thousand such as you.
  • Duke of Surrey. My Lord Fitzwater, I do remember well
    The very time Aumerle and you did talk.
  • Lord Fitzwater. 'Tis very true: you were in presence then;
    And you can witness with me this is true. 2045
  • Duke of Surrey. Dishonourable boy!
    That lie shall lie so heavy on my sword,
    That it shall render vengeance and revenge 2050
    Till thou the lie-giver and that lie do lie
    In earth as quiet as thy father's skull:
    In proof whereof, there is my honour's pawn;
    Engage it to the trial, if thou darest.
  • Lord Fitzwater. How fondly dost thou spur a forward horse! 2055
    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,
    And lies, and lies: there is my bond of faith,
    To tie thee to my strong correction. 2060
    As I intend to thrive in this new world,
    Aumerle is guilty of my true appeal:
    Besides, I heard the banish'd Norfolk say
    That thou, Aumerle, didst send two of thy men
    To execute the noble duke at Calais. 2065
  • Duke of Aumerle. Some honest Christian trust me with a gage
    That Norfolk lies: here do I throw down this,
    If he may be repeal'd, to try his honour.
  • Henry IV. These differences shall all rest under gage
    Till Norfolk be repeal'd: repeal'd he shall be, 2070
    And, though mine enemy, restored again
    To all his lands and signories: when he's return'd,
    Against Aumerle we will enforce his trial.
  • Bishop of Carlisle. That honourable day shall ne'er be seen.
    Many a time hath banish'd Norfolk fought 2075
    For Jesu Christ in glorious Christian field,
    Streaming the ensign of the Christian cross
    Against black pagans, Turks, and Saracens:
    And toil'd with works of war, retired himself
    To Italy; and there at Venice gave 2080
    His body to that pleasant country's earth,
    And his pure soul unto his captain Christ,
    Under whose colours he had fought so long.
  • Henry IV. Why, bishop, is Norfolk dead?
  • Henry IV. Sweet peace conduct his sweet soul to the bosom
    Of good old Abraham! Lords appellants,
    Your differences shall all rest under gage
    Till we assign you to your days of trial.

[Enter DUKE OF YORK, attended]

  • Edmund of Langley. Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
    From plume-pluck'd Richard; who with willing soul
    Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields
    To the possession of thy royal hand:
    Ascend his throne, descending now from him; 2095
    And long live Henry, fourth of that name!
  • Henry IV. In God's name, I'll ascend the regal throne.
  • Bishop of Carlisle. Marry. God forbid!
    Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
    Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth. 2100
    Would God that any in this noble presence
    Were enough noble to be upright judge
    Of noble Richard! then true noblesse would
    Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
    What subject can give sentence on his king? 2105
    And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?
    Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
    Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
    And shall the figure of God's majesty,
    His captain, steward, deputy-elect, 2110
    Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
    Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
    And he himself not present? O, forfend it, God,
    That in a Christian climate souls refined
    Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed! 2115
    I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
    Stirr'd up by God, thus boldly for his king:
    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: 2120
    The blood of English shall manure the ground,
    And future ages groan for this foul act;
    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; 2125
    Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
    Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd
    The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
    O, if you raise this house against this house,
    It will the woefullest division prove 2130
    That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
    Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
    Lest child, child's children, cry against you woe!
  • Earl of Northumberland. Well have you argued, sir; and, for your pains,
    Of capital treason we arrest you here. 2135
    My Lord of Westminster, be it your charge
    To keep him safely till his day of trial.
    May it please you, lords, to grant the commons' suit.
  • Henry IV. Fetch hither Richard, that in common view
    He may surrender; so we shall proceed 2140
    Without suspicion.


  • Henry IV. Lords, you that here are under our arrest,
    Procure your sureties for your days of answer. 2145
    Little are we beholding to your love,
    And little look'd for at your helping hands.
    [Re-enter DUKE OF YORK, with KING RICHARD II, and]
    Officers bearing the regalia]
  • King Richard II. Alack, why am I sent for to a king, 2150
    Before I have shook off the regal thoughts
    Wherewith I reign'd? I hardly yet have learn'd
    To insinuate, flatter, bow, and bend my limbs:
    Give sorrow leave awhile to tutor me
    To this submission. Yet I well remember 2155
    The favours 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, none.
    God save the king! Will no man say amen? 2160
    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.
    To do what service am I sent for hither?
  • Edmund of Langley. To do that office of thine own good will 2165
    Which tired majesty did make thee offer,
    The resignation of thy state and crown
    To Henry Bolingbroke.
  • King Richard II. Give me the crown. Here, cousin, seize the crown;
    Here cousin: 2170
    On this side my hand, and on that side yours.
    Now is this golden crown like a deep well
    That owes two buckets, filling one another,
    The emptier ever dancing in the air,
    The other down, unseen and full of water: 2175
    That bucket down and full of tears am I,
    Drinking my griefs, whilst you mount up on high.
  • Henry IV. I thought you had been willing to resign.
  • King Richard II. My crown I am; but still my griefs are mine:
    You may my glories and my state depose, 2180
    But not my griefs; still am I king of those.
  • Henry IV. Part of your cares you give me with your crown.
  • King Richard II. Your cares set up do not pluck my cares down.
    My care is loss of care, by old care done;
    Your care is gain of care, by new care won: 2185
    The cares I give I have, though given away;
    They tend the crown, yet still with me they stay.
  • Henry IV. Are you contented to resign the crown?
  • King Richard II. Ay, no; no, ay; for I must nothing be;
    Therefore no no, for I resign to thee. 2190
    Now mark me, how I will undo myself;
    I give this heavy weight from off my head
    And this unwieldy sceptre from my hand,
    The pride of kingly sway from out my heart;
    With mine own tears I wash away my balm, 2195
    With mine own hands I give away my crown,
    With mine own tongue deny my sacred state,
    With mine own breath release all duty's rites:
    All pomp and majesty I do forswear;
    My manors, rents, revenues I forego; 2200
    My acts, decrees, and statutes I deny:
    God pardon all oaths that are broke to me!
    God keep all vows unbroke that swear to thee!
    Make me, that nothing have, with nothing grieved,
    And thou with all pleased, that hast all achieved! 2205
    Long mayst thou live in Richard's seat to sit,
    And soon lie Richard in an earthly pit!
    God save King Harry, unking'd Richard says,
    And send him many years of sunshine days!
    What more remains? 2210
  • Earl of Northumberland. No more, but that you read
    These accusations and these grievous crimes
    Committed by your person and your followers
    Against the state and profit of this land;
    That, by confessing them, the souls of men 2215
    May deem that you are worthily deposed.
  • King Richard II. Must I do so? and must I ravel out
    My weaved-up folly? Gentle Northumberland,
    If thy offences were upon record,
    Would it not shame thee in so fair a troop 2220
    To read a lecture of them? If thou wouldst,
    There shouldst thou find one heinous article,
    Containing the deposing of a king
    And cracking the strong warrant of an oath,
    Mark'd with a blot, damn'd in the book of heaven: 2225
    Nay, all of you that stand and look upon,
    Whilst that my wretchedness doth bait myself,
    Though some of you with Pilate wash your hands
    Showing an outward pity; yet you Pilates
    Have here deliver'd me to my sour cross, 2230
    And water cannot wash away your sin.
  • King Richard II. 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. 2235
    Nay, if I turn mine eyes upon myself,
    I find myself a traitor with the rest;
    For I have given here my soul's consent
    To undeck the pompous body of a king;
    Made glory base and sovereignty a slave, 2240
    Proud majesty a subject, state a peasant.
  • King Richard II. 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, 2245
    But 'tis usurp'd: alack the heavy day,
    That I have worn so many winters out,
    And know not now what name to call myself!
    O that I were a mockery king of snow,
    Standing before the sun of Bolingbroke, 2250
    To melt myself away in water-drops!
    Good king, great king, and yet not greatly good,
    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, 2255
    Since it is bankrupt of his majesty.
  • Henry IV. Go some of you and fetch a looking-glass.

[Exit an attendant]

  • Henry IV. Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.
  • King Richard II. They shall be satisfied: I'll read enough,
    When I do see the very book indeed
    Where all my sins are writ, and that's myself. 2265
    [Re-enter Attendant, with a glass]
    Give me the glass, and therein will I read.
    No deeper wrinkles yet? hath sorrow struck
    So many blows upon this face of mine,
    And made no deeper wounds? O flattering glass, 2270
    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
    That, like the sun, did make beholders wink? 2275
    Was this the face that faced so many follies,
    And was at last out-faced by Bolingbroke?
    A brittle glory shineth in this face:
    As brittle as the glory is the face;
    [Dashes the glass against the ground] 2280
    For there it is, crack'd in a hundred shivers.
    Mark, silent king, the moral of this sport,
    How soon my sorrow hath destroy'd my face.
  • Henry IV. The shadow of your sorrow hath destroy'd
    The shadow or your face. 2285
  • King Richard II. 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 2290
    That swells with silence in the tortured soul;
    There lies the substance: and I thank thee, king,
    For thy great bounty, that not only givest
    Me cause to wail but teachest me the way
    How to lament the cause. I'll beg one boon, 2295
    And then be gone and trouble you no more.
    Shall I obtain it?
  • King Richard II. 'Fair cousin'? I am greater than a king:
    For when I was a king, my flatterers 2300
    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.
  • Henry IV. Go, some of you convey him to the Tower. 2310
  • King Richard II. O, good! convey? conveyers are you all,
    That rise thus nimbly by a true king's fall.

[Exeunt KING RICHARD II, some Lords, and a Guard]

  • Henry IV. On Wednesday next we solemnly set down
    Our coronation: lords, prepare yourselves. 2315
    [Exeunt all except the BISHOP OF CARLISLE, the Abbot]
    of Westminster, and DUKE OF AUMERLE]
  • Abbot. A woeful pageant have we here beheld.
  • Bishop of Carlisle. The woe's to come; the children yet unborn.
    Shall feel this day as sharp to them as thorn. 2320
  • Duke of Aumerle. You holy clergymen, is there no plot
    To rid the realm of this pernicious blot?
  • Abbot. My lord,
    Before I freely speak my mind herein,
    You shall not only take the sacrament 2325
    To bury mine intents, but also to effect
    Whatever I shall happen to devise.
    I see your brows are full of discontent,
    Your hearts of sorrow and your eyes of tears:
    Come home with me to supper; and I'll lay 2330
    A plot shall show us all a merry day.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 1

London. A street leading to the Tower.

      next scene .

[Enter QUEEN and Ladies]

  • Queen. This way the king will come; this is the way
    To Julius Caesar's ill-erected tower, 2335
    To whose flint bosom my condemned lord
    Is doom'd a prisoner by proud Bolingbroke:
    Here let us rest, if this rebellious earth
    Have any resting for her true king's queen.
    [Enter KING RICHARD II and Guard] 2340
    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,
    And wash him fresh again with true-love tears.
    Ah, thou, the model where old Troy did stand, 2345
    Thou map of honour, thou King Richard's tomb,
    And not King Richard; thou most beauteous inn,
    Why should hard-favour'd grief be lodged in thee,
    When triumph is become an alehouse guest?
  • King Richard II. Join not with grief, fair woman, do not so, 2350
    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
    Shows us but this: I am sworn brother, sweet,
    To grim Necessity, and he and I 2355
    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,
    Which our profane hours here have stricken down.
  • Queen. What, is my Richard both in shape and mind 2360
    Transform'd and weaken'd? hath Bolingbroke deposed
    Thine intellect? hath he been in thy heart?
    The lion dying thrusteth forth his paw,
    And wounds the earth, if nothing else, with rage
    To be o'erpower'd; and wilt thou, pupil-like, 2365
    Take thy correction mildly, kiss the rod,
    And fawn on rage with base humility,
    Which art a lion and a king of beasts?
  • King Richard II. A king of beasts, indeed; if aught but beasts,
    I had been still a happy king of men. 2370
    Good sometime queen, prepare thee hence for France:
    Think I am dead and that even here thou takest,
    As from my death-bed, thy last living leave.
    In winter's tedious nights sit by the fire
    With good old folks and let them tell thee tales 2375
    Of woeful ages long ago betid;
    And ere thou bid good night, to quit their griefs,
    Tell thou the lamentable tale of me
    And send the hearers weeping to their beds:
    For why, the senseless brands will sympathize 2380
    The heavy accent of thy moving tongue
    And in compassion weep the fire out;
    And some will mourn in ashes, some coal-black,
    For the deposing of a rightful king.

[Enter NORTHUMBERLAND and others]

  • Earl of 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;
    With all swift speed you must away to France.
  • King Richard II. Northumberland, thou ladder wherewithal 2390
    The mounting Bolingbroke ascends my throne,
    The time shall not be many hours of age
    More than it is ere foul sin gathering head
    Shalt break into corruption: thou shalt think,
    Though he divide the realm and give thee half, 2395
    It is too little, helping him to all;
    And he shall think that thou, which know'st the way
    To plant unrightful kings, wilt know again,
    Being ne'er so little urged, another way
    To pluck him headlong from the usurped throne. 2400
    The love of wicked men converts to fear;
    That fear to hate, and hate turns one or both
    To worthy danger and deserved death.
  • Earl of Northumberland. My guilt be on my head, and there an end.
    Take leave and part; for you must part forthwith. 2405
  • King Richard II. Doubly divorced! Bad men, you violate
    A twofold marriage, 'twixt my crown and me,
    And then betwixt me and my married wife.
    Let me unkiss the oath 'twixt thee and me;
    And yet not so, for with a kiss 'twas made. 2410
    Part us, Northumberland; I toward the north,
    Where shivering cold and sickness pines the clime;
    My wife to France: from whence, set forth in pomp,
    She came adorned hither like sweet May,
    Sent back like Hallowmas or short'st of day. 2415
  • Queen. And must we be divided? must we part?
  • Queen. Banish us both and send the king with me.
  • Queen. Then whither he goes, thither let me go. 2420
  • King Richard II. So two, together weeping, make one woe.
    Weep thou for me in France, I for thee here;
    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. 2425
  • King Richard II. Twice for one step I'll groan, the way being short,
    And piece the way out with a heavy heart.
    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; 2430
    Thus give I mine, and thus take I thy heart.
  • Queen. Give me mine own again; 'twere no good part
    To take on me to keep and kill thy heart.
    So, now I have mine own again, be gone,
    That I might strive to kill it with a groan. 2435
  • King Richard II. We make woe wanton with this fond delay:
    Once more, adieu; the rest let sorrow say.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 2

The DUKE OF YORK’s palace.

      next scene .


  • Duchess of York. My lord, you told me you would tell the rest, 2440
    When weeping made you break the story off,
    of our two cousins coming into London.
  • Duchess of York. At that sad stop, my lord,
    Where rude misgovern'd hands from windows' tops 2445
    Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.
  • Edmund of Langley. Then, as I said, the duke, great Bolingbroke,
    Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed
    Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
    With slow but stately pace kept on his course, 2450
    Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee,
    You would have thought the very windows spake,
    So many greedy looks of young and old
    Through casements darted their desiring eyes 2455
    Upon his visage, and that all the walls
    With painted imagery had said at once
    'Jesu preserve thee! welcome, Bolingbroke!'
    Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
    Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck, 2460
    Bespake them thus: 'I thank you, countrymen:'
    And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.
  • Edmund of Langley. As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
    After a well-graced actor leaves the stage, 2465
    Are idly bent on him that enters next,
    Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
    Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
    Did scowl on gentle Richard; no man cried 'God save him!'
    No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home: 2470
    But dust was thrown upon his sacred head:
    Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
    His face still combating with tears and smiles,
    The badges of his grief and patience,
    That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd 2475
    The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted
    And barbarism itself have pitied him.
    But heaven hath a hand in these events,
    To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
    To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now, 2480
    Whose state and honour I for aye allow.
  • Edmund of Langley. Aumerle that was;
    But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
    And, madam, you must call him Rutland now: 2485
    I am in parliament pledge for his truth
    And lasting fealty to the new-made king.


  • Duchess of York. Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
    That strew the green lap of the new come spring? 2490
  • Duke of Aumerle. Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not:
    God knows I had as lief be none as one.
  • Edmund of Langley. Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
    Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime.
    What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs? 2495
  • Edmund of Langley. What seal is that, that hangs without thy bosom?
    Yea, look'st thou pale? let me see the writing. 2500
  • Edmund of Langley. No matter, then, who see it;
    I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.
  • Duke of Aumerle. I do beseech your grace to pardon me:
    It is a matter of small consequence, 2505
    Which for some reasons I would not have seen.
  • Duchess of York. What should you fear?
    'Tis nothing but some bond, that he is enter'd into 2510
    For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.
  • Edmund of Langley. Bound to himself! what doth he with a bond
    That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.
    Boy, let me see the writing.
  • Edmund of Langley. I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.
    [He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it]
    Treason! foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!
  • Edmund of Langley. Ho! who is within there? 2520
    [Enter a Servant]
    Saddle my horse.
    God for his mercy, what treachery is here!
  • Edmund of Langley. Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse. 2525
    Now, by mine honour, by my life, by my troth,
    I will appeach the villain.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Good mother, be content; it is no more
    Than my poor life must answer.

[Re-enter Servant with boots]

  • Duchess of York. Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed.
    Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.
  • Duchess of York. Why, York, what wilt thou do?
    Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own? 2540
    Have we more sons? or are we like to have?
    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? 2545
  • Edmund of Langley. Thou fond mad woman,
    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. 2550
  • Duchess of York. He shall be none;
    We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?
  • Edmund of Langley. Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son,
    I would appeach him.
  • Duchess of York. Hadst thou groan'd for him 2555
    As I have done, thou wouldst be more pitiful.
    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: 2560
    He is as like thee as a man may be,
    Not like to me, or any of my kin,
    And yet I love him.


  • Duchess of York. After, Aumerle! mount thee upon his horse;
    Spur post, and get before him to the king,
    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: 2570
    And never will I rise up from the ground
    Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away, be gone!


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 3

A royal palace.

      next scene .


  • Henry IV. Can no man tell me of my unthrifty son? 2575
    '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:
    Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there,
    For there, they say, he daily doth frequent, 2580
    With unrestrained loose companions,
    Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes,
    And beat our watch, and rob our passengers;
    Which he, young wanton and effeminate boy,
    Takes on the point of honour to support 2585
    So dissolute a crew.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). My lord, some two days since I saw the prince,
    And told him of those triumphs held at Oxford.
  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). His answer was, he would unto the stews, 2590
    And from the common'st creature pluck a glove,
    And wear it as a favour; and with that
    He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
  • Henry IV. As dissolute as desperate; yet through both
    I see some sparks of better hope, which elder years 2595
    May happily bring forth. But who comes here?


  • Henry IV. What means our cousin, that he stares and looks
    So wildly? 2600
  • Duke of Aumerle. God save your grace! I do beseech your majesty,
    To have some conference with your grace alone.
  • Henry IV. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.
    [Exeunt HENRY PERCY and Lords]
    What is the matter with our cousin now? 2605
  • Duke of Aumerle. For ever may my knees grow to the earth,
    My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth
    Unless a pardon ere I rise or speak.
  • Henry IV. Intended or committed was this fault?
    If on the first, how heinous e'er it be, 2610
    To win thy after-love I pardon thee.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Then give me leave that I may turn the key,
    That no man enter till my tale be done.
  • Edmund of Langley. [Within] My liege, beware; look to thyself; 2615
    Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.
  • Henry IV. Villain, I'll make thee safe.


  • Edmund of Langley. [Within] Open the door, secure, foolhardy king: 2620
    Shall I for love speak treason to thy face?
    Open the door, or I will break it open.


  • Henry IV. What is the matter, uncle? speak;
    Recover breath; tell us how near is danger, 2625
    That we may arm us to encounter it.
  • Edmund of Langley. Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know
    The treason that my haste forbids me show.
  • Duke of Aumerle. Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise pass'd:
    I do repent me; read not my name there 2630
    My heart is not confederate with my hand.
  • Edmund of Langley. It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.
    I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king;
    Fear, and not love, begets his penitence:
    Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove 2635
    A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
  • Henry IV. O heinous, strong and bold conspiracy!
    O loyal father of a treacherous son!
    Thou sheer, immaculate and silver fountain,
    From when this stream through muddy passages 2640
    Hath held his current and defiled himself!
    Thy overflow of good converts to bad,
    And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
    This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
  • Edmund of Langley. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd; 2645
    And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
    As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
    Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
    Or my shamed life in his dishonour lies:
    Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath, 2650
    The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.
  • Henry IV. What shrill-voiced suppliant makes this eager cry?
  • Duchess of York. A woman, and thy aunt, great king; 'tis I. 2655
    Speak with me, pity me, open the door.
    A beggar begs that never begg'd before.
  • Henry IV. Our scene is alter'd from a serious thing,
    And now changed to 'The Beggar and the King.'
    My dangerous cousin, let your mother in: 2660
    I know she is come to pray for your foul sin.
  • Edmund of Langley. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray,
    More sins for this forgiveness prosper may.
    This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rest sound;
    This let alone will all the rest confound. 2665


  • Duchess of York. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man!
    Love loving not itself none other can.
  • Edmund of Langley. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
    Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear? 2670


  • Duchess of York. Not yet, I thee beseech:
    For ever will I walk upon my knees, 2675
    And never see day that the happy sees,
    Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy,
    By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
  • Edmund of Langley. Against them both my true joints bended be. 2680
    Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!
  • Duchess of York. 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:
    He prays but faintly and would be denied; 2685
    We pray with heart and soul and all beside:
    His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
    Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
    His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
    Ours of true zeal and deep integrity. 2690
    Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
    That mercy which true prayer ought to have.
  • Duchess of York. Nay, do not say, 'stand up;'
    Say, 'pardon' first, and afterwards 'stand up.' 2695
    And if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
    'Pardon' should be the first word of thy speech.
    I never long'd to hear a word till now;
    Say 'pardon,' king; let pity teach thee how:
    The word is short, but not so short as sweet; 2700
    No word like 'pardon' for kings' mouths so meet.
  • Duchess of York. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
    Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
    That set'st the word itself against the word! 2705
    Speak 'pardon' as 'tis current in our land;
    The chopping French we do not understand.
    Thine eye begins to speak; set thy tongue there;
    Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
    That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce, 2710
    Pity may move thee 'pardon' to rehearse.
  • Duchess of York. I do not sue to stand;
    Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
  • Henry IV. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me. 2715
  • Duchess of York. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
    Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
    Twice saying 'pardon' doth not pardon twain,
    But makes one pardon strong.
  • Henry IV. With all my heart 2720
    I pardon him.
  • Henry IV. But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot,
    With all the rest of that consorted crew,
    Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels. 2725
    Good uncle, help to order several powers
    To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
    They shall not live within this world, I swear,
    But I will have them, if I once know where.
    Uncle, farewell: and, cousin too, adieu: 2730
    Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 4

The same.

      next scene .

[Enter EXTON and Servant]

  • Sir Pierce of Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words he spake, 2735
    'Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear?'
    Was it not so?
  • Servant. These were his very words.
  • Sir Pierce of Exton. 'Have I no friend?' quoth he: he spake it twice,
    And urged it twice together, did he not? 2740
  • Sir Pierce of Exton. And speaking it, he wistly look'd on me,
    And who should say, 'I would thou wert the man'
    That would divorce this terror from my heart;'
    Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go: 2745
    I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 5

Pomfret castle.

      next scene .


  • King Richard II. I have been studying how I may compare
    This prison where I live unto the world: 2750
    And for because the world is populous
    And here is not a creature but myself,
    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 2755
    A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
    And these same thoughts people this little world,
    In humours like the people of this world,
    For no thought is contented. The better sort,
    As thoughts of things divine, are intermix'd 2760
    With scruples and do set the word itself
    Against the word:
    As thus, 'Come, little ones,' and then again,
    'It is as hard to come as for a camel
    To thread the postern of a small needle's eye.' 2765
    Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
    Unlikely wonders; how these vain weak nails
    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. 2770
    Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
    That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
    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; 2775
    And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
    Bearing their own misfortunes on the back
    Of such as have before endured the like.
    Thus play I in one person many people,
    And none contented: sometimes am I king; 2780
    Then treasons make me wish myself a beggar,
    And so I am: then crushing penury
    Persuades me I was better when a king;
    Then am I king'd again: and by and by
    Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke, 2785
    And straight am nothing: but whate'er I be,
    Nor I nor any man that but man is
    With nothing shall be pleased, till he be eased
    With being nothing. Music do I hear?
    [Music] 2790
    Ha, ha! keep time: how sour sweet music is,
    When time is broke and no proportion kept!
    So is it in the music of men's lives.
    And here have I the daintiness of ear
    To cheque time broke in a disorder'd string; 2795
    But for the concord of my state and time
    Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
    I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
    For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
    My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar 2800
    Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
    Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
    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, 2805
    Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
    Show minutes, times, and hours: but my time
    Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
    While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock.
    This music mads me; let it sound no more; 2810
    For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
    In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
    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. 2815

[Enter a Groom of the Stable]

  • Groom. Hail, royal prince!
  • King Richard II. Thanks, noble peer;
    The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
    What art thou? and how comest thou hither, 2820
    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,
    When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
    With much ado at length have gotten leave 2825
    To look upon my sometimes royal master's face.
    O, how it yearn'd my heart when I beheld
    In London streets, that coronation-day,
    When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,
    That horse that thou so often hast bestrid, 2830
    That horse that I so carefully have dress'd!
  • King Richard II. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend,
    How went he under him?
  • Groom. So proudly as if he disdain'd the ground.
  • King Richard II. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back! 2835
    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,
    Since pride must have a fall, and break the neck
    Of that proud man that did usurp his back? 2840
    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;
    And yet I bear a burthen like an ass,
    Spurr'd, gall'd and tired by jouncing Bolingbroke. 2845

[Enter Keeper, with a dish]

  • Keeper. Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.
  • Groom. What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.


  • Keeper. My lord, will't please you to fall to?
  • Keeper. My lord, I dare not: Sir Pierce of Exton, who
    lately came from the king, commands the contrary.
  • King Richard II. The devil take Henry of Lancaster and thee! 2855
    Patience is stale, and I am weary of it.

[Beats the keeper]

[Enter EXTON and Servants, armed]

  • King Richard II. How now! what means death in this rude assault? 2860
    Villain, thy own hand yields thy death's instrument.
    [Snatching an axe from a Servant and killing him]
    Go thou, and fill another room in hell.
    [He kills another. Then Exton strikes him down]
    That hand shall burn in never-quenching fire 2865
    That staggers thus my person. Exton, thy fierce hand
    Hath with the king's blood stain'd the king's own land.
    Mount, mount, my soul! thy seat is up on high;
    Whilst my gross flesh sinks downward, here to die.


  • Sir Pierce of Exton. As full of valour as of royal blood:
    Both have I spill'd; O would the deed were good!
    For now the devil, that told me I did well,
    Says that this deed is chronicled in hell.
    This dead king to the living king I'll bear 2875
    Take hence the rest, and give them burial here.


. previous scene      

Act V, Scene 6

Windsor castle.


[Flourish. Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE, DUKE OF YORK,] [p]with other Lords, and Attendants]

  • Henry IV. Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear 2880
    Is that the rebels have consumed with fire
    Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire;
    But whether they be ta'en or slain we hear not.
    Welcome, my lord. what is the news? 2885
  • Earl of 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
    At large discoursed in this paper here. 2890
  • Henry IV. We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains;
    And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.


  • Lord Fitzwater. My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London
    The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely, 2895
    Two of the dangerous consorted traitors
    That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.
  • Henry IV. Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;
    Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.


  • Hotspur (Henry Percy). The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,
    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. 2905
  • Henry IV. Carlisle, this is your doom:
    Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,
    More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life;
    So as thou livest in peace, die free from strife:
    For though mine enemy thou hast ever been, 2910
    High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.

[Enter EXTON, with persons bearing a coffin]

  • Sir Pierce of Exton. Great king, within this coffin I present
    Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies
    The mightiest of thy greatest enemies, 2915
    Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.
  • Henry IV. Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought
    A deed of slander with thy fatal hand
    Upon my head and all this famous land.
  • Henry IV. They love not poison that do poison need,
    Nor do I thee: though I did wish him dead,
    I hate the murderer, love him murdered.
    The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,
    But neither my good word nor princely favour: 2925
    With Cain go wander through shades of night,
    And never show thy head by day nor light.
    Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe,
    That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow:
    Come, mourn with me for that I do lament, 2930
    And put on sullen black incontinent:
    I'll make a voyage to the Holy Land,
    To wash this blood off from my guilty hand:
    March sadly after; grace my mournings here;
    In weeping after this untimely bier. 2935