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K. Rich. 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,
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;
Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.
Nor. 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
Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers;
The other part reserv'd I by consent,
For that my sovereign liege was in my
Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen:
Now swallow down that lie !-For Gloster's death,
I slew him not; but, to mine own disgrace,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.-
For you, my noble Lord of Lan ster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul:
But, ere I last receiv'd 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 appeal’d,
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,
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.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruld by
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. -
Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age :-
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
When, Harry? when? Obedience bids I should not bid again.
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there is no boot.
Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot:
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
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 disgrac'd, impeach'd, and bathed here;
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd
The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
Which breath'd this poison.
Rage must be withstood :--
Give me his gage :- lions make leopards tame.
Nor. Yea, but not change his spots: take but
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
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.
K. Rich. Cousin, throw down your gage; do you begin.
Boling. O, God defend my soul from such foul sin !
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
Before this outdar'd dastard ? Ere my tongue
Shall wound mine 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!
K. Rich. 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:
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
Be ready to direct these home-alarms.
SCENE II.—The same. A Room in the DUKE OF
Enter GAUNT and DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.
Gaunt. Alas, the part I had in Gloster's blood
Doth more solicit me than your exclaims,
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,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.
Duch. 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,
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 Gloster, —
One vial full of Edward's sacred blood,
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,
That mettle, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee,
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st and breath’st,
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,
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 show'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That which in mean men we entitle patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is to venge my Gloster's death,
Gaunt. God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus’d his death: the which, if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duch. Where, then, alas, may I complain myself?
Gaunt. To God, the widow's champion and defence.
Duch. Why, then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold
Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear,
That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast !
Or, if misfortune miss the first career,
Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom
That they may break his foaming courser's back,
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford !
Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother's wife
With her companion grief must end her life.
Gaunt. Sister, farewell: I must to Coventry:
As much good stay with thee as go with me!
Duch. 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 my brother, Edmund York. Lo, this is all :-nay, yet depart not so; Though this be all, do not so quickly go; I shall remember more. Bid him—0, what?With all good speed at Plashy visit me. Alack, and what shall good old York there see, 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 everywhere. Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die: The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye!
[Exeunt. SCENE III.--Gosford Green, near Coventry. Lists set out, and a throne; Heralds, &c., attending.
Enter the Lord Marshal, and AUMERLE. Mar. My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm’d? Aum. Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in.
Mar. The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold, Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.
Aum. Why, then, the champions are prepar'd, and stay For nothing but his majesty's approach. Flourish of trumpets. Enter KING RICHARD, who takes his
seat on his throne; GAUNT, and several Noblemen, who take their places. A trumpet is sounded, and answered by another trumpet within. Then enter NORFOLK in armour, preceded by a Herald. K. Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder champion The cause of his arrival here in arms: Ask him his name; and orderly proceed To swear him in the justice of his cause.
Mar. In God's name and the king's, say who thou art, And why thou com’st thus knightly clad in arms; Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quarrel : Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thine oath; As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!
Nor. My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk;
Who hither come engaged by my oath,
Which God defend a knight should violate !
Both to defend my loyalty and truth
To God, my king, and his succeeding issue,
Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me;
And, by the grace of God and this mine arm,
To prove him, in defending of myself
A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
Trumpet sounds. Enter BOLINGBROKE in armour,
preceded by a Herald.
K. Rich. 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.
Mar. What is thy name? and wherefore com’st thou
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!
Boling. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
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,