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On some apparent danger seen in him,
to face, And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser and the accuséd freely speak:
[Exeunt some Attendants. High-stomached are they both, and full of ire ; In
rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and
NORFOLK. Boling. Many years of happy days befal My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
Nor. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!
K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but
As well appeareth by the cause you come; Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray? Boling. First, (Heaven be the record to my
speech!) In the devotion of a subject's love, Tendering the precious safety of my prince, 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, 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. 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. Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my
zeal: "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 cooled for this. Yet can I not of such tame patience boast, As to be hushed, 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 returned These terms of treason doubled down his throat. 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 :
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.
Nor. 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 If I be traitor or unjustly fight! K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mow
bray's charge ? It must be great that can inherit us So much as of a thought of ill in him. Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove
it true;That Mowbray hath received eight thousand
nobles, In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers: The which he hath detained for lewd employments, Like a false traitor and injurious villain. Besides I say, and will in battle prove (Or here or elsewhere, to the furthest verge That ever was surveyed by English eye), That all the treasons for these eighteen years Complotted and contrivéd in this land, Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and
spring. Further I say (and further will maintain Upon his bad life to make all this good), That he did plot the Duke of Gloster's death; Suggest his soon-believing adversaries; And consequently, like a traitor coward, Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of
blood : Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries, Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth, To me for justice and rough chastisement: And, by the glorious worth of my descent, This arm shall do it, or this life be spent. K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution
soars ! Thomas of Norfolk, what sayst thou to this ?
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face, And bid his ears a little while be deaf, Till I have told this slander of his blood How God and good men hate so foul a liar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
by me: 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 time to bleed.— Good uncle, let this end where it begun: We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk; you your son.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down ; we bid: there
is no boot. Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot: My life thou shalt command, but not my shame: 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, impeached, and baffled here; Pierced to the soul with slander's venomed spear : The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood Which breathed this poison.
K. Rich. Rage must be withstood: Give me his gage:- lions make leopards tame. Nor. Yea, but not change their spots : take
but my shame, And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord, The purest treasure mortal times afford, Is spotless reputation : that away, Men are but gilded loam or painted clay. A jewel in a ten-times-barred-up chest Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast. Mine 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. K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage: do
you begin. Boling. O God defend my soul from such foul sin! Shall I seem crestfallen in my father's sight; Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height Before this outdared dastard ?
Ere my tongue Shall wound mine 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.
[Exit Gaunt. K. Rich. 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: There shall your swords and lances arbitrate The swelling difference of your settled hate. Since we cannot atone you, you shall see Justice design the victor's chivalry.Lord Marshal, command our officer at arms Be ready to direct these home-alarms. [Exeunt.
Scene II.-The same. A Room in the Duke of
Enter Gaunt and Duchess of GLOSTER.
Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Gloster's blood Doth more solieit me than your exclaims,
To stir against the butchers of his life.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
Some of those branches by the destinies cut:
In some large measure to thy father's death,
Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain myself? Gaunt. To Heaven, the widow's champion and
defence. Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt: Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:-0, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast ! Or, if misfortune miss the first career, Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom That they may break his foaming courser's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford !Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometime brother's wife With her companion grief must end her life.
Gaunt, Sister, farewell: I must to Coventry: As much good stay with thee as go with me!
(Which Heaven defend a knight should violate!)
[He takes his seat.
Duch. 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 my brother, Edmund York. Lo, this is all :-nay, yet depart not so: Though this be all, do not so quickly go : I shall remember more. Bid him-0, what ?With all good speed at Plashy visit me. Alack, and what shall good old York there see But empty lodgings and unfurnished walls, Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones? And what hear there for welcome but my groans ? Therefore commend me: let him not come there, To seek out sorrow that dwells everywhere. Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die : The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
Scene III. – Gosford Green, near Coventry.
Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, &c. attending.
Enter the Lord Marshal and AUMERLE. Nar. My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford
armed ? Aum. Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in. Mar. The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and
bold, Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet. Aum. Why, then, the champions are prepared,
and stay For nothing but his majesty's approach. Flourish of trumpets.
Enter King Richard, who takes his seat on the throne; Gaunt and several Noblemen, who take their places. A trumpet is sounded, and answered by another trumpet within. Then enter Norfolk in armour, preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder champion The cause of his arrival here in arms: Ask him his name; and orderly proceed To swear him in the justice of his cause. Mar. In God's name and the King's, say who
thou art, And why thou com'st thus knightly clad in arms: Against what man thou com’st, and what thy
Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE in armour;
preceded by a Herald. K. Rich. 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. Mar. What is thy name; and wherefore com'st
thou hither, Before King Richard, in his royal lists ? Against whom comést thou; and what's thy
quarrel ? Speak like a true knight, so defend thee Heaven! Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Derby, Am I : who ready here do stand in arms, To prove, by Heaven's grace and my body's valour, In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk, That he's a traitor, foul and dangerous, To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me: And, as I truly fight, defend me Heaven!
Mar. 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, Boling. Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sove
reign'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 And loving farewell of our several friends. Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your
highness, And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
K. Rich. We will descend and fold him in our
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right
Boling. O, let no noble eye profane a tear
leave of you :
[A charge sounded. Stay! the King hath thrown his warder down.
K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and
Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle:-
prosperous ! Be swift like lightning in the execution ; And let thy blows, doubly redoubled, Fall like amazing thunder on the casque Of thy advérse pernicious enemy. Rouse up thy youthful blood: be valiant and live. Boling. Mine innocency, and Saint George to thrive!
[He takes his seat. Nor. [rising). However Heaven or fortune
cast my lot, 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 uncontrolled enfranchisement, More than my dancing soul doth celebrate This feast of battle with mine adversary:Most mighty liege, and my companion peers, Take from my mouth the wish of happy years: As gentle and as jocund as to jest, Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.
K. Rich. Farewell, my lord: securely I espy Virtue with valour couchéd in thine eye.Order the trial, marshal, and begin.
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.
[To the Combatants. And list what, with our council, we have done: For that our kingdom's earth should not be soiled With that dear blood which it hath fosteréd; And for our eyes do hate the dire aspéct Of civil wounds, ploughed up with neighbours'
swords; And for we think the eagle-wingéd pride Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts, With rival-hating envy, set you on To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep (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 cónfines fright fair peace, And make us wade even in our kindred's blood);— Therefore we banish you our territories. You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of death, Till twice five summers have enriched our fields Shall not regreet our fair dominions, But tread the stranger paths of banishment. Boling. Your will be done. This must my
comfort be,That sun that warms you here shall shine on me; And those his golden beams, to you here lent, Shall point on me, and gild my banishment. K. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier
doom, Which I with some unwillingness pronounce: The fly-slow hours shall not determinate The dateless limit of thy dear exile :The hopeless word of “ never to return" Breathe I agairist thee, upon pain of life. Nor. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign
liege, And all unlooked for from your highness' mouth! A dearer merit-not so deep a maim As to be cast forth in the common airHave I deserved at your higliness' hand. The language I have learned these forty years,
The King and the Lords return to their seats.
Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby, Receive thy lance; and God defend the right! Boling. [rising). Strong as a tower in liope, I
cry “Amen." Mar. Go bear this lance [To an Officer] to
Thomas, Duke of Norfolk. 1st Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and
Derby, Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself, On pain to be found false and recreant, To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray, A traitor to his God, his king, and him; And dares him to set forward to the fight. 2nd Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray,
Duke of Norfolk,