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K. Rich. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded
him, If he appeal the duke on ancient malice; Or worthily, as a good subject should, On some known ground of treachery in him? Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argu
ment, On some apparent danger seen in him, Aim'd at your highness; no inveterate malice. K. Rich. Then call them to our presence, face
to face, And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser, and the accused, freely speak:
[Exeunt some Attendants. High stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE" and
NORFOLK. Boling. May many years of happy days befall My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!
Nor. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown! K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but flat
As well appeareth by the cause you comes : Namely, to appeal each other of high treason.Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
Boling. First, (heaven be the record of my speech!) In the devotion of a subject's love,
4 Drayton asserts that Henry Plantagenet, the eldest son of John of Gaunt, was not distinguished by the name of Bolingbroke till after he had assumed the crown. He is called earl of Hereford by the old historians, and was surnamed Bolingbroke from having been born at the town of that name in Lincolnshire, about 1366.
5 i. e. 'by the cause you come The suppression of the preposition has been shown to bave been frequent with Shakspeare.
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
6 My right-drawn sword is my sword drawn in a right or just 7 i e. uninhabitable.
Mean time, let this defend my loyalty,
Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear, Which gently lay'd 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, If I be traitor, or unjustly fight! K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's
charge? It must be great, that can inherite us So much as of a thought of ill in him. Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove
it true; That Mowbray hath receiv'd 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,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,
8 To inherit, in the language of Shakspeare, is to possess :
Inherit at my house.'-Romeo and Juliet, Act i, Sc. 2. 9 Lewd formerly signified knavish, ungracious, naughty, idle, beside its now general acceptation Vide note on Much Ado about Nothing, Act v. Sc. 1. Vol. ii. p. 192.
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars! Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face, And bid his ears a little while be deaf, Till I have told this slander of his blood12, How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar. K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes, and
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
10 Thomas of Woodstock, the youngest son of Edward III. who was murdered at Calais in 1397. See Froissart, chap. ccxxvi.
11 i. e. prompt them, set them on by injurious hints. 12 Reproach to his ancestry.
Upon remainder of a dear account,
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by me: Let's purge this choler without letting blood: This we prescribe, though no physician16; Deep malice makes too deep incision: Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed; Our doctors say, this is no time to bleed.-
13 The duke of Norfolk was joined in commission with Edward earl of Rutland (the Aumerle of this play) to go to France in the year 1395, to demand in marriage Isabel, eldest daughter of Charles VI. thon between seven and eight years of age. Richard was married to his young consort in November 1396, at Calais; his first wife, Anne, daughter of Charles IV. emperor of Germany, died at Shene on Whit Sunday, 1394. His marriage with Isabella was merely political, it was accompanied with an agreement for a truce between France and England for thirty years.
14 Charged. 15 Arrogant.
16 Pope thought that some of the rhyming verses in this play were not from the hand of Shakspeare.