By William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae


JOHN OF GAUNT, 1st Duke of Lancaster, uncle to the king

EDMUND OF LANGLEY, 1st Duke of York, uncle to the king

HENRY BOLINGBROKE (sometimes spelt Bullingbrook), Duke of Hereford, son of John of Gaunt, afterwards King Henry IV

DUKE OF AURMELE, (Edward, Duke of Albermarle, later Duke of York), son to the Duke of York

THOMAS MOWBRAY, 1st Duke of Norfolk

DUKE OF SURREY (Thomas Holland, 1st Duke of Surrey)

EARL OF SALISBURY (John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury)

LORD BERKELEY (Thomas de Berkeley, 5th Baron Berkeley)

BUSHY (Sir John Bussy), BAGOT (Sir William Bagot), GREEN (Sir Henry Green), all favourites to King Richard

HENRY PERCY, 1st Earl of Northumberland










Welsh Captain

Queen to Richard

Duchess of York

Duchess of Gloucester

attendants, lords, soldiers, messengers, etc.

ACT I, Scene i

London. KING RICHARD II’s palace.

Enter KING RICHARD II, JOHN OF GAUNT, with other 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?

John of Gaunt.   I have, my liege.

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.

King Richard II.   And, Norfolk, throw down his. 165

John of Gaunt.   When, Harry, when?
Obedience bids I should not bid again.

King Richard II.   Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.

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

King Richard II.   Cousin, throw up your gage; do you begin.

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.


ACT I, Scene ii



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.   Where then, alas, may I complain myself? 255

John of Gaunt.   To God, the widow’s champion and defence.

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.


ACT I, Scene iii

The lists at Coventry.

Enter the Lord Marshal and the DUKE OF AUMERLE

Lord Marshal.   My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm’d? 290

Duke of Aumerle.   Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in.

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

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.   I swear.

Thomas Mowbray.   And I, to keep all this.

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. 510


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.

King Richard II.   Why uncle, thou hast many years to live. 525

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.

John of Gaunt.   Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.

Henry IV.   Joy absent, grief is present for that time. 560

John of Gaunt.   What is six winters? they are quickly gone.

Henry IV.   To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.

John of Gaunt.   Call it a travel that thou takest for pleasure.

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


ACT I, Scene iv

The court.

Enter KING RICHARD II, with BAGOT and GREEN at one 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.

King Richard II.   And say, what store of parting tears were shed?

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.

King Richard II.   What said our cousin when you parted with him?

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


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.   Where lies he?

Bushy.   At Ely House.

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!

All.   Amen.


ACT II, Scene i

Ely House.

Enter JOHN OF GAUNT sick, with the DUKE OF YORK, &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

King Richard II.   What comfort, man? how is’t with aged Gaunt?

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.

King Richard II.   Can sick men play so nicely with their names?

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.

King Richard II.   Should dying men flatter with those that live?

John of Gaunt.   No, no, men living flatter those that die.

King Richard II.   Thou, now a-dying, say’st thou flatterest me.

John of Gaunt.   O, no! thou diest, though I the sicker be. 775

King Richard II.   I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.

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.   My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your majesty.

King Richard II.   What says he?

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.

King Richard II.   Why, uncle, what’s the matter?

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


Earl of Northumberland.   Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead. 915

Lord Ross.   And living too; for now his son is duke.

Lord Willoughby.   Barely in title, not in revenue.

Earl of Northumberland.   Richly in both, if justice had her right.

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 Willoughby.   The king’s grown bankrupt, like a broken man.

Earl of Northumberland.   Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.

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 Willoughby.   Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.

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

Lord Willoughby.   Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.


ACT II, Scene ii

The palace.


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.


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.

Edmund of Langley.   What is’t, knave?

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


ACT II, Scene iii

Wilds in Gloucestershire.


Henry IV.   How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?

Earl of Northumberland.   Believe me, noble lord,
I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire: 1155
These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome,
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
But I bethink me what a weary way 1160
From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
Which, I protest, hath very much beguiled
The tediousness and process of my travel:
But theirs is sweetened with the hope to have 1165
The present benefit which I possess;
And hope to joy is little less in joy
Than hope enjoy’d: by this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short, as mine hath done
By sight of what I have, your noble company. 1170

Henry IV.   Of much less value is my company
Than your good words. But who comes here?


Earl of Northumberland.   It is my son, young Harry Percy,
Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever. 1175
Harry, how fares your uncle?

Hotspur (Henry Percy).   I had thought, my lord, to have learn’d his health of you.

Earl of Northumberland.   Why, is he not with the queen?

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.

Earl of Northumberland.   What was his reason?
He was not so resolved when last we spake together.

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.

Earl of Northumberland.   Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy? 1190

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.

Earl of Northumberland.   Then learn to know him now; this is the duke.

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.

Lord Willoughby.   And far surmounts our labour to attain it.

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?


Earl of Northumberland.   It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.

Lord Berkeley.   My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you. 1225

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.

Henry IV.   My gracious uncle—

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.

Earl of Northumberland.   The noble duke hath been too much abused. 1295

Lord Ross.   It stands your grace upon to do him right.

Lord Willoughby.   Base men by his endowments are made great.

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 us
To 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.


ACT II, Scene iv

A camp in Wales.

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


ACT III, Scene i

Bristol. Before the castle.


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 prisoners

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


ACT III, Scene ii

The coast of Wales. A castle in view.

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

King Richard II.   Barkloughly castle call they this at hand?

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.

Duke of Aumerle.   Comfort, my liege; why looks your grace so pale?

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

Duke of Aumerle.   Comfort, my liege; remember who you are.

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.

Sir Stephen Scroop.   Peace have they made with him indeed, my lord.

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

Duke of Aumerle.   Is Bushy, Green, and the Earl of Wiltshire dead?

Sir Stephen Scroop.   Ay, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.

Duke of Aumerle.   Where is the duke my father with his power?

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.

Duke of Aumerle.   My liege, one word.

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.


ACT III, Scene iii

Wales. Before Flint castle.

Enter, with drum and colours, HENRY BOLINGBROKE, 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.

Earl of Northumberland.   Your grace mistakes; only to be brief
Left I his title out. 1645

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?


Welcome, Harry: what, will not this castle yield?

Hotspur (Henry Percy).   The castle royally is mann’d, my lord,
Against thy entrance.

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.

Earl of Northumberland.   O, belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.

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 CARLISLE, DUKE OF AUMERLE, SIR STEPHEN SCROOP, and EARL OF SALISBURY

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.

Duke of Aumerle.   Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.

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

Henry IV.   What says his majesty?

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.

King Richard II.   Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all. 1845

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?

Henry IV.   Yea, my good lord.

King Richard II.   Then I must not say no.

Flourish. Exeunt

ACT III, Scene iv


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.

Servant.   What, are they dead?

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


ACT IV, Scene i

Westminster Hall.

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

Duke of Aumerle.   Thou darest not, coward, live to see that day.

Lord Fitzwater.   Now by my soul, I would it were this hour.

Duke of Aumerle.   Fitzwater, thou art damn’d to hell for this. 2025

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.   As false, by heaven, as heaven itself is true.

Lord Fitzwater.   Surrey, thou liest.

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?

Bishop of Carlisle.   As surely as I live, my lord. 2085

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.

Edmund of Langley.   I will be his conduct.


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.

Earl of Northumberland.   My lord, dispatch; read o’er these articles.

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.

Earl of Northumberland.   My lord,—

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

Earl of Northumberland.   Read o’er this paper while the glass doth come.

King Richard II.   Fiend, thou torment’st me ere I come to hell! 2260

Henry IV.   Urge it no more, my Lord Northumberland.

Earl of Northumberland.   The commons will not then be satisfied.

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

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?

Henry IV.   Name it, fair cousin.

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.   Yet ask.

King Richard II.   And shall I have? 2305

Henry IV.   You shall.

King Richard II.   Then give me leave to go.

Henry IV.   Whither?

King Richard II.   Whither you will, so I were from your sights.

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.


ACT V, Scene i

London. A street leading to the Tower.

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

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?

King Richard II.   Ay, hand from hand, my love, and heart from heart.

Queen.   Banish us both and send the king with me.

Earl of Northumberland.   That were some love but little policy.

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.


ACT V, Scene ii

The DUKE OF YORK’s palace.


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.

Edmund of Langley.   Where did I leave?

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.

Duchess of York.   Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

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.

Duchess of York.   Here comes my son Aumerle.

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

Duke of Aumerle.   For aught I know, my lord, they do.

Edmund of Langley.   You will be there, I know.

Duke of Aumerle.   If God prevent not, I purpose so.

Edmund of Langley.   What seal is that, that hangs without thy bosom?
Yea, look’st thou pale? let me see the writing. 2500

Duke of Aumerle.   My lord, ’tis nothing.

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.

Edmund of Langley.   Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear,—

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.

Duke of Aumerle.   I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it. 2515

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!

Duchess of York.   What is the matter, my lord?

Edmund of Langley.   Ho! who is within there? 2520

Enter a Servant

Saddle my horse.
God for his mercy, what treachery is here!

Duchess of York.   Why, what is it, my lord?

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.

Duchess of York.   What is the matter?

Edmund of Langley.   Peace, foolish woman.

Duchess of York.   I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle. 2530

Duke of Aumerle.   Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.

Duchess of York.   Thy life answer!

Edmund of Langley.   Bring me my boots: I will unto the king.

Re-enter Servant with boots

Duchess of York.   Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed.
Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.

Edmund of Langley.   Give me my boots, I say.

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.

Edmund of Langley.   Make way, unruly woman!


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!


ACT V, Scene iii

A royal palace.


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.

Henry IV.   And what said the gallant?

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?


Duke of Aumerle.   Where is the king?

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.

Henry IV.   Have thy desire.

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.


Duke of Aumerle.   Stay thy revengeful hand; thou hast no cause to fear.

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.

Duchess of York.   [Within] What ho, my liege! for God’s sake,
let me in.

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.   Sweet York, be patient. Hear me, gentle liege.


Henry IV.   Rise up, good aunt.

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.

Duke of Aumerle.   Unto my mother’s prayers I bend my knee.

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.

Henry IV.   Good aunt, stand up.

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.

Edmund of Langley.   Speak it in French, king; say, ‘pardonne moi.’

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.

Henry IV.   Good aunt, stand up.

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.

Duchess of York.   A god on earth thou art.

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.

Duchess of York.   Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.


ACT V, Scene iv

The same.

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

Servant.   He did.

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.


ACT V, Scene v

Pomfret castle.


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?


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.

King Richard II.   If thou love me, ’tis time thou wert away.

Groom.   What my tongue dares not, that my heart shall say.


Keeper.   My lord, will’t please you to fall to?

King Richard II.   Taste of it first, as thou art wont to do.

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

Keeper.   Help, help, help!

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.


ACT V, Scene vi

Windsor castle.

Flourish. Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE, DUKE OF YORK, 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.

Sir Pierce of Exton.   From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed. 2920

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


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