« PreviousContinue »
· K. Rich. What doth our coufin lay to Mowbray's It must be great, that can inhabit us [charge ? So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look what I said, my life shall prove it true, That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles, In name of lendings for your Highness' foldiers, The which he hath detain'd 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 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, 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 foon-believing adversaries; And consequently, like a traitor-coward, Sluce'd out his inn'cent foul through streams of blood; Which blood, like facrificing 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 defcent, This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution foars !
Thomas of Norfolk, what fay'st thou to this?
Mowb. O, let my Sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this Nander of his blood,
How God and good men hate so foul a lyar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Were he our brother, nay, our kingdom's heir,
As he is but our father's brother's fon;
Now by my fçeptre's awe, I make a vow,
Such neighbour-nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing priv'lege him, nor partialize
Th’unstooping firmness of my upright soul.
He is our fubject, Mowbray, so art thou;
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
Mowh. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart Through the false pallage of thy throat thou lyest!
Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais,
Disbursid I to his Highness' foldiers;
The other part referv'd I by confent,
For that my Sovereign Liege was ių my debt,
Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his Queen.
Now, Swallow down that lye.-For Gloucester's death,
I flew him not; but, to mine own disgrace,
Neglected my sworn duty in that cafe.
For you my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul;
But ere I last receiv'd the facrament,
I did confefs it, and exactly begg'd
Your Grace's pardon; and I hope I had it.
This is my fault; as for the rest appeald,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degen’rate traitor :
Which in myself I boldly will defend,
And interchangeably hurl down my gage
Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
To prove myself a loyal gentleman,
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom.
In haste whereof, moit heartily I pray
Your Highness to afsign our trial-day.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruld by me;
Let's purge this choler without letting blood. *
Good uncle, let this.end where it begun:
We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your
fon. Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age; Throw down, my fon, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
Gaunt. When, Harry, when ? Obedience bids I should not bid again.
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 bleedi Good uncle, &c.
K. Richa Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no
boot. Morb.Myself I throw, dread Sovereign, at thy foot. My life thou shalt command, but not my shame; The one my duty owes ;
my (Despight of death, that lives upon my grave), To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. I am disgrace'd, impeach'd, and baffled here, Pierce'd to the soul with slander's venom'd fpear: The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood Which breath'd this poison.
K. Rich. Rage must be withstood :
Give me his gage : lions make leopards tame.
Mowb. Yea, but not change their spots : take but
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,
Is a bold fpirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life, both grow
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;
you begin. Boling. Oh, heaven defend my soul from such foul fin ! Shall I seem crest-fall’n in my father's sight, Or with pale beggar face impeach my height, Before this out-dar'd daftar'd? Ere my tongue Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong, Or found fo base a parle, my teeth shall tear The flavilh motive * of recanting fear, And spit it bleeding, in his high disgrace, Where shame doth harbour, ev'n 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. * Motive, tor inftrument,
There fhall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling diff'rence of your settled hate :
Since we cannot atone you, you shall see
Justice decide the victor's chivalry.
Lord Marshal, bid our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home-alarms [Exeunt.
Changes to the Duke of Lancaster's palace.
Enter Gaunt, and Duchess of Gloucester. Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Glo'ster's blood * Doth more folicit me than your exclaims, To ftir 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 Heav'n; Who when it sees the hours ripe on earth, Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper fpur?
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire ?
Edward's sev'n fons, whereof thyself art one,
Were as fev'n vials of his facred blood;
Or sev’n fair branches fpringing from one root:
Some of those fev’n are dry'd by Nature's course;
Some of those branches by the deit' nies cut:
But Thomas, my dear Lord, my life, my Glo'ster,
(One vial full of Edward's facred blood,
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,
That metal, that self-mould that fashion'd thee,
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st and breath'st,
Yet art thou slain in him; thou doit consent
In some large measure to thy father's death;
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair,
Meaning the relation he had to it.
In fuff'ring thus thy brother to be flaughter'd,
Thou shew'st the naked path-way to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee.
That which in mean men we intitle patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble brealts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to 'venge my Glo'ster's death.
Gaunt. God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
His deputy anointed in his fight,
Hath caus’d his death : 'the which if wongfully,
Let God revenge ; for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duch. Where then, alas, may I complain myself?
Gaunt. To Heav'n, the widow's champion and de-
Duch. Why then, I will : farewel, old Gaunt, fare-
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold [wel.
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight.
O, fit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's fpear,
That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast !
Or, if misfortune miss the first career,
Be Mowbray's fins fo heavy in his bofom,
That they may break his foaming courser's back,
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford !
Farewel, old Gaunt; thy sometime * brother's wife
With her companion Grief must end her life.
Gaunt. Siiter, farewel; I must to Coventry.
As much good stay with thee, as go with me!
Duch. Yet one word more; grief boundeth where it
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight: [falls,
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 fo;
Though this be all, do not so quickly go:
I shall remember more. Bid him oh, what?
With all good speed at Plashie visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old York see there,
But empty lodgings, and unfurnish'd walls,