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Percy. The castle royally is manned, my lord,
Against thy entrance.
Why, it contains no king ?
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
Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.
North. Belike it is the bishop of Carlisle.
Boling. Noble lord,
Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parle,
Into his ruined ears, and thus deliver:
Upon his knees doth kiss king Richard's hand;
And sends allegiance, and true faith of heart,
To his most royal person; hither come
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power ;
Provided that, my banishment repealed,
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,
Rained from the wounds of slaughtered 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.
Go, signify as much; while here we march
Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.-
[NORTHUMBERLAND advances to the
castle, with a trumpet.
Let's march without the noise of threatening drum,
That from the castle's tottered battlements
Our fair appointments may be well perused.
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:
The rage be his, while on the earth I rain
My waters ; on the earth, and not on him.
March on, and mark king Richard how he looks.
A parley sounded, and answered by another trumpet w ithin,
Flourish. Enter, on the walls, KING RICHARD, the Bishop of Carlisle, AUMERLE, SCROOP, and SALISBURY.
York. 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
To dim his glory, and to stain the track
Of his bright passage to the occident.
Yet looks he like a king; behold, his eye,
As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
Controlling majesty. Alack, alack, for woe,
That any harm should stain so fair a show
K. Rich. We are amazed ; and thus long have we stood To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
[T. NORTHUMBERLAND. Because we thought ourself thy lawful king; 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 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 ;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, And threat the glory of my precious crown. Tell Bolingbroke, (for yond', methinks, he is,) That every stride he makes upon my land Is dangerous treason. He is come to ope The purple testament of bleeding war; 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 Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.
North. The King of heaven forbid, our lord the king Should so with civil and uncivil arms
Be rushed upon! Thy thrice-noble cousin,
Harry Bolingbroke, doth humbly kiss thy hand;
And by the honorable tomb he swears,
That stands upon thy 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;
And by the worth and honor 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;
Which on the 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;
And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him.
K. Rich. Northumberland, say,—thus the king returns;
His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
And all the number of his fair demands
Shall be accomplished without contradiction.
With all the gracious utterance thou hast,
Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.-
We do debase ourself, cousin, do we not, [To AUMERLE.
To look so poorly, and to speak so fair ?
Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
Defiance to the traitor, and so die?
Aum. No, good my lord ; let's fight with gentle words, Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.
K. Rich. O God! O God! that e'er this tongue of mine, 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 ! 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.
Aum. Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.
K. Rich. What must the king do now? Must he submit? 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;
My gay apparel, for an alms-man'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,
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;
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.
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
Two kinsmen, digged their graves with weeping eyes ?
Would not this ill do well ?— Well, well, I see
I talk but idly, and you mock at me.-
Most mighty prince, my lord Northumberland,
What says king Bolingbroke? Will his majesty
Give Richard leave to live till Richard die ?
You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says — ay.
North. My lord, in the base court he doth attend
To speak with you; may't please you to come down ?
K. Rich. Down, down, I come, like glistering Phaëton, Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
[NORTH. retires to BOLING. 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. For night-owls shriek, where mounting larks should sing...
[Exeunt from above. Boling. What says his majesty ? North.
Sorrow and grief of heart
Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man.
Yet he is come.
Enter King RICHARD, and his Attendants, below.
Boling. Stand all apart,
And show fair duty to his majesty. -
My gracious lord, —
K. Rich. 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, Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy. Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know, Thus high at least, [Touching his own head.] although your
knee be low. Boling. My gracious lord, I come but for mine own. K. Rich. Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.
Boling. So far be mine, my most redoubted lord, As my true service shall deserve your love.
K. Rich. Well you deserve;—they well deserve to have,
That know the strong'st and surest way to geto-,
Uncle, give me your hand: nay, dry your eyes;
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.-
Set on towards London.— Cousin, is it so?
Boling. Yea, my good lord.
Then I must not say, no.
SCENE IV. Langley. Duke of York's Garden.
Enter the Queen and two Ladies. Queen. What sport shall we devise here in this garden, To drive away the heavy thought of care?
1 Lady. Madam, we'll play at bowls. Queen.
'Twill make me think, The world is full of rubs, and that my fortune Runs 'gainst the bias. 1 Lady.
Madam, we will 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.
1 Lady. Madam, we'll tell tales.
Of sorrow, or of joy! 1 Lady. Of either, madam. Queen.
Of neither, girl,
For if of joy, being altogether wanting,
It doth remember me the more of sorrow;
Or if of grief, being altogether had,
It adds more sorrow to my want of joy.