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'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
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 inherit* us
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove it
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars ! -
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes, and
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
#Prompt. § Reproach to his ancestry.
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
death, 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 in 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'a 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 rul’d by
me; Let's purge this choler without letting blood : This we prescribe, though no physician ; Deep malice makes too deep incision : * Charged.
Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed;
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 ?
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 baffled here; Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear; The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood Which breath'd this poison. K. Rich.
Rage must be withstood : Give me his gage :-Lions make leopards tame. Nor. Yea, but not change their spots : take but
my shame, 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
* No advantage in delay.
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight?
Erit Gaunt. K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to com
mand : 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 cannot atone* you, we shall see Justice designt the victor's chivalry. Marshal, command our officers at arms Be ready to direct these home-alarms. [Exeunt.
A room in the Duke of Lancaster's
Enter Gaunt, and Duchess of Gloster. Gaunt. Alas! the parts 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 he sees 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, * Reconcile, t Show,