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York. 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.
Duch.

He shall be none;
We'll keep him here. Then what is that to him ?

York. Away,
Fond woman! were he twenty times my son,
I would appeach him.
Duch.

Hadst thou groaned for him,
As I have done, thou’dst 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;
He is as like thee as a man may be,
Not like to me, or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.
York.
Make way, unruly woman.

[Exit. Duch. 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 ; And never will I rise up from the ground, Till Bolingbroke have pardoned thee. Away; Begone.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III. Windsor. A Room in the Castle.

Enter BOLINGBROKE as king ; Percy, and other Lords.

Boling. Can no man tell of my unthrifty son ?
'Tis full three months since I did see him last.
If any plague hang over us, 'tis he.
I would to God, my lords, he might be found.
Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there,

For there, they say, he daily doth frequent,
With unrestrained, loose companions ;
Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes,
And beat our watch, and rob our passengers ;
While he, young, wanton, and effeminate boy,
Takes on the point of honor, to support
So dissolute a crew.
Percy. My lord, some two days since I saw the

prince,
And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford.

Boling. And what said the gallant ?

Percy. His answer was,--he would unto the stews,
And from the commonest creature pluck a glove,
And wear it as a favor; and with that
He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.
Boling. As dissolute as desperate; yet, through

both
I see some sparkles? of a better hope,
Which elder days may happily bring forth.
But who comes here?

Enter AUMERLE, hastily. Aum.

Where is the king ? Boling. What means Our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly? Aum. God save your grace. I do beseech your

majesty, To have some conference with your grace alone. Boling. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here alone.

[Exeunt Percy and Lords. What is the matter with our cousin now? Aum. Forever may my knees grow to the earth,

[Kneels. My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth, Unless a pardon, ere I rise, or speak.

1 This is a very proper introduction to the future character of king Henry V., to his debaucheries in his youth, and his greatness in his manhood, as the Poet has described them. But it has been ably contended by Mr. Luders that the whole story of his dissipation was a fiction. At this period (i. e. 1400) he was but twelve years old, being born in 1388.

2 The folio reads sparks.

Boling. Intended, or committed, was this fault?
If but the first, how heinous e'er it be,
To win thy after-love, I pardon thee.

Aum. Then give me leave that I may turn the key, That no man enter till my tale be done.

Boling. Have thy desire. [Aum. locks the door.

York. [Within.] My liege, beware ; look to thyself; Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.

Boling. Villain, I'll make thee safe. [Drawing

Aum. Stay thy revengeful hand; Thou hast no cause to fear. York. [Within.] Open the door, secure, fool-hardy

king Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face? Open the door, or I will break it open.

[BOLINGBROKE opens the door.

Enter YORK

Boling. What is the matter, uncle ? speak; Recover breath ; tell us how near is danger, That we may arm us to encounter it.

York. Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know The treason that my haste forbids me show.

Aum. Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise past. I do repent me; read not my name there; My heart is not confederate with my hand.

York. 'Twas, 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 A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.

Boling. O, heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy! 0, loyal father of a treacherous son! Thou sheer,2 immaculate, and silver fountain, From whence this stream through muddy passages, Hath held his current, and defiled himself!

1 The old copies read “If on," &c. Pope made the alteration.
2 Sheer is pellucid, transparent.

56

VOL. III.

Thy overflow of good converts to bad;
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressing son.

York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd ;
And he shall spend mine honor with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honor lives when his dishonor dies,
Or my shamed life in his dishonor lies.
Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.
Duch. [Within.] What, ho, my liege! for God's

sake, let me in. Boling. What shrill-voiced suppliant makes this

eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king; 'tis I. Speak with me, pity me, open the door; A beggar begs, that never begged before.

Boling. Our scene is altered from a serious thing, And now changed to The Beggar and the King.My dangerous cousin, let your mother in; I know she's come to pray for your foul sin.

York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, More sins, for his forgiveness, prosper may. This festered joint cut off, the rest rests sound; This let alone, will all the rest confound.

Enter Duchess.

Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man; Love, loving not itself, none other can. York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make ?

here? Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear ? Duch. Sweet York, be patient. Hear me, gentle liege.

[Kneels.

1 It is probable that the old ballad of “King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid” is here alluded to. The reader will find it in the first volume of Dr. Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry. There may have been a popular interlude on the subject.

2 i. e. “ what dost thou do here?”

2

Boling. Rise up, good aunt.
Duch.

Not yet, I thee beseech
Forever will I kneel? upon my knees,
And never see day that the happy sees,
Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy,
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
Áum. Unto my mother's prayers, I bend my knee.

[Kneels. York. Against them both, my true joints bended be

[Kneels. Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!

Duch. 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;
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.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy, which true prayers ought to have.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
Duch.

Nay, do not say-stand up;
But, pardon, first; and afterwards, stand up.
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon--should be the first word of thy speech.
I never longed to hear a word till now;
Say—pardon, king ; let pity teach thee how.
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like pardon, for kings' mouths so meet.
York. Speak it in French, king; say, pardonnez

moy. Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy ? Ay, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord, That sett’st the word itself against the word !

3

1 Thus the folio. The quarto copies read walk. 2 This line is not in the folio. 3 i. e. excuse me—a phrase used when any thing is civilly declined.

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