Imágenes de páginas


SCENE I.- London. A Room in Ely-house.

GAUNT on a Couch; the DUKE OF YORK, and others standing by him.

Gaunt. Will the king come? that I may breathe my last

In wholesome counsel to his unstayed youth.

York. Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;

For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.

This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
Dear for her reputation through the world,
Is now leas'd out (I die pronouncing it,)
Like to a tenement or pelting 5 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,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds;
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself:

Gaunt. O, but they say, the tongues of dying men O, would the scandal vanish with my life,
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.

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 musick at the close,
As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last;
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.

York. No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds,
As, praises of his state: then, there are found
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,

Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity,
(So it be new, there's no respect how vile,)
That is not quickly buzz'd into his ears?
Then all too late comes counsel to be heard
Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
Direct not him, whose way himself will choose;
'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.
Gaunt. Methinks, I am a prophet new inspir'd;
And thus, expiring, do foretell of him :
His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last :
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,
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,
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,
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,
(For Christian service, and true chivalry,)
As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's son:

1 Flatter.

How happy then were my ensuing death!

York. The king is come: deal mildly with his


For young hot colts, being rag'd, do rage the more.
Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?
K. Rich. What comfort, man? How is't with aged

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?
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 :
Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.
K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with their

Gaunt. No, misery makes sport to mock itself:
Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.
K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those
that live?

Gaunt. No, no; men living flatter those that die.
K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st-thou flat-
ter'st me.

Gaunt. Oh! no; thou diest, though I the sicker be.
K. Rich. I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.
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 the land,
Wherein thou liest in reputation sick :
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 ;
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 ;
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,
6 Lean, thin.

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

K. Rich. a lunatick lean-witted fool,
Presuming on an ague's privilege,
Dar'st 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,
This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head,
Should run thy head from thy unreverend shoulders.
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,

Hast thou tapp'd out, and drunkenly carous'd:
My brother Gloster, plain well-meaning soul,
(Whom fair befall in heaven 'mongst happy souls!)
May be a precedent and witness good,

That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood:
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,
Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
Love they to live, that love and honour have.

[Exit, borne out by his Attendants. K. Rich. And let them die, that age and sullens have;

For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
York. 'Beseech your majesty, impute his words
To wayward sick liness and age in him:
He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
As Harry duke of Hereford, were he here.

K. Rich. Right; you say true: as Hereford's love, so his :

As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.


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

K. Rich. What says he now? North. Nay, nothing; all is said: Ilis tongue is now a stringless instrument; Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent. York. Be York the next that must be bankrupt so! Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe. K. Rich. The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he; His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be : So much for that.

Now for our Irish wars: We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns7; Which live like venom, where no venom else, But only they, hath privilege to live. And for these great affairs do ask some charge, Towards our assistance, we do seize to us The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables, Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd. York. How long shall I be patient? Ah, how long Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong? Not Gloster'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, 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;

7 Irish soldiers.

In war, was never lion rag'd more fierce,
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,
And not against his friends: his noble hand
Did win what he did spend, and spent not that
Which his triumphant father's hand had won:
His hands were guilty of no kindred's blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
O, Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.

K. Rich. Why, uncle, what's the matter?
O, my liege,
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleas'd
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?
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 ;
Be not thyself, for how art thou a king,
But by fair sequence and succession?
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
Call in the letters patent that he hath
By his attornies-general to sue

His livery, and deny his offer'd homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your hea
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honour and allegiance cannot think.

K. Rich. Think what you will; we seize into our hands

His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands. York. I'll not be by, the while: My liege, fare.. well:


What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell;
But by bad courses may be understood,
That their events can never fall out good.
K. Rich. Go, Bushy, to the earl of Wiltshire

Bid him repair to us to Ely-house,
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 lov'd us well.
Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
Be merry, for our time of stay is short. [Flourish.

North. Well, lords, the duke of Lancaster is dead.
Ross. And living too; for now his son is duke.
Willo. Barely in title, not in revenue.
North Richly in both, if justice had her right.
Ross. My heart is great; but it must break with

Ere't be disburden'd with a liberal tongue.

North. Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er

[blocks in formation]

If it be so, out with it boldly, man;
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.
Ross. No good at all, that I can do for him;
Unless you call it good to pity him,
Stript and bereft of all his patrimony.


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 5,
And make high majesty look like itself,
Away, with me, in post to Ravenspurg:

North. Now, afore heaven, 'tis shame, such But if you faint, as fearing to do so,

wrongs are borne,

In him a royal prince, and many more
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

'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs. Ross. The commons hath he pill'd 9 with grievous taxes,

And lost their hearts; the nobles hath he fin'd
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

Willo. And daily new exactions are devis'd;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what :
But what, in heaven's name, doth become of this?
North. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he hath


But basely yielded upon compromise

That which his ancestors achiev'd with blows:
More hath he spent in peace, than they in wars
Ross. The earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
Willo. The king's grown bankrupt, like a broken


North. Reproach, and dissolution, hangeth over him.

Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars, His burdenous taxations notwithstanding, But by the robbing of the banish'd duke.

North. His noble kinsman: most degenerate king! But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing, Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm: We see the wind sit sore upon our sails, And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

Ross. We see the very wreck that we must suffer; And unavoided is the danger now, For suffering so the causes of our wreck.

Stay, and be secret, and myself will go.

Ross. To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them that fear.

Willo. Hold out my horse, and I will first be there. [Exeunt. SCENE II. -The same. A Room in the Palace.

[ocr errors]


Bushy. Madam, your majesty is too much sad: You promis'd, when you parted with the king, 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, 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 something it grieves, More than with parting from my lord the king.

Bushy. Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,

Which show like grief itself, but are not so:
For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
Divides one thing entire to many objects;
Like perspectives 6, which, rightly gaz'd upon,
Show nothing but confusion; ey'd awry,
Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
Finds shapes of grief, more than himself to wail;
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,

North. Not so; even through the hollow eyes of Which, for things true, weeps things imaginary.


I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.

Willo. Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost


Ross. Be confident to speak, Northumberland: We three are but thyself; and, speaking so, Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore be bold. North. Then thus: - I have from Port le Blanc, a bay

In Britanny, receiv'd intelligence,

That Harry Hereford, Reignold lord Cobham,
[The son of Richard earl of Arundel,]
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

[blocks in formation]

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,


though, in thinking on no thought I think,Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink. Bushy. 'Tis nothing but conceit7, my gracious

[blocks in formation]

Green. Heaven save your majesty !— and well met, gentlemen: —

I hope, the king is not yet shipp'd for Ireland. Queen. Why hop'st 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 retir'd his

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

The lord Northumberland, his young son Henry Percy,

The lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
Bushy. Why have you not proclaim'd Northum-

And all the rest of the revolting faction

Green. We have: whereon the earl of Worcester
Hath broke his staff, resign'd his stewardship,
And all the household servants fled with him
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, Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join'd. Bushy. Despair not, madam. Queen.

[blocks in formation]

Go, fellow, [To the Servant.] get thee home, provide some carts,

And bring away the armour that is there.

[Erit 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 ; The one's 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 Dispose of you: - Go, muster up your men, And meet me presently at Berkley-castle. I should to Plashy too, But time will not permit :All is uneven, And every thing is left at six and seven.

[Exeunt YORK and QUEEN. Bushy. The wind sits fair for news to go to Ireland, But none returns. For us to levy power, Proportionable to the enemy,

Who shall hinder me? Is all impossible.

I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope; he is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
Which false hope lingers in extremity.

Enter YORK.

Green. Here comes the duke of York. Queen. With signs of war about his aged neck; O, full of careful business are his looks! Uncle,

For heaven's sake, speak comfortable words.

York. Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts: Comfort's in heaven; and we are on the earth, Where nothing lives but crosses, care, 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; Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made; Now shall he try his friends that flatter'd him.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

The nobles they are fled, the commons cold,
And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.

Get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloster;
Bid her send me presently a thousand pound: -
Hold, take my ring.

Serv. 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.

York. What is it, knave?

Serv. An hour before I came, the duchess died. York. 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 heaven, (So my untruth9 had not provok'd him to it,)

[ocr errors]

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,
By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.
Bushy. Wherein the king stands generally con-

Bagot. If judgment lie in them, then so do we, Because we ever have been near the king.

Green. Well, I'll for refuge straight to Bristol castle ;

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?

Bagot. No; I'll to Ireland to his majesty. Farewell if heart's presages be not vain, We three here part, that ne'er shall meet again. Bushy. That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.

Green. Alas, poor duke! the task he undertakes Is-numb'ring sands, and drinking oceans dry; Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly. Bushy. Farewell at once; for once, for all, and

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

The Wilds in Gloucestershire. Enter BOLINGBROKE and NORTHUMBERLAND, with Forces.

Boling. How far is it, my lord, to Berkley now?
North. Believe me, noble lord,

I am a stranger here in Glostershire.
These high wild hills, and rough uneven ways,
Draw out our miles and make them wearisome:
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,

The king had cut off my head with my brother's.-Making the hard way sweet and délectable.

9 Disloyalty.

But, I bethink me, what a weary way

From Ravenspurg to Cotswola will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company;
Which, I protest, hath very much beguil'd
The tediousness and process of my travel:
But theirs is sweeten'd with the hope to have
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.
Boling. Of much less value is my company,
Than your good words. But who comes here?


North. It is my son, young Harry Percy, Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever. Harry, how fares your uncle?

Percy. I had thought, my lord, to have learn'd
his health of you.

North. Why, is he not with the queen?
Percy. No, my good lord; he hath forsook the


Broken his staff of office, and dispers'd
The household of the king.

What was his reason?
He was not so resolv'd, when last we spake together.
Percy. Because your lordship was proclaimed

But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurg,
To offer service to the duke of Hereford;
And sent me o'er by Berkley, to discover
What power the duke of York had levied there;
Then with direction to repair to Ravenspurg.
North. Have you forgot the duke of Hereford,

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.

North. Then learn to know him now; this is the


Percy. My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young;
Which elder days shall ripen and confirm
To more approved service and desert.

Boling. I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure,
I count myself in nothing else so happy,
As in a soul rememb'ring 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.
North. How far is it to Berkley? And what stir
Keeps good old York there, with his men of war?
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, Berkley, and Sey-


None else of name, and noble estimate.

Enter Ross and WILLOUGHBY.

North. Here come the lords of Ross and Wil


Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

North. It is my lord of Berkley, as I guess.
Berk. My lord of Hereford, my message is to you.
Boling. 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.

Berk. Mistake me not, my lord; 'tis not my mean-

To raze one title of your honour out: -
To you, my lord, I come, (what lord you will,)
From the most glorious regent of this land,
The duke of York; to know, what pricks you on
To take advantage of the absent time?,
And fright our native peace with self-born arms.

[blocks in formation]

Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle :
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
Dar'd once to touch a dust of England's ground?
But then more why ;-Why have they dar'd to march
So many miles upon her peaceful bosom ;
Frighting her pale-fac'd villages with war,
And ostentation of despised arms?
Com'st thou because the anointed king is hence?
Why, foolish boy, the king is left behind,
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;
O, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chástise thee,
And minister correction to thy fault!

Boling. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault;
On what condition stands it, and wherein?

York. 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.
Boling. As I was banish'd, I was banish'd Here-

But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace,
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:

Boling. Welcome, my lords: I wot', your love You are my father, for, methinks, in you

[blocks in formation]

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?
If that my cousin king be king of England,
3 Impartial

2 Time of the king's absence.

« AnteriorContinuar »