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The very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
Of double-fatal yew against thy state;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat; both young and old rebel,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
K. Rich. Too well, too well, thou tell’st a tale so ill :
Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot?
What is become of Bushy? where is Green ?
That they have let the dangerous enemy
Measure our confines with such peaceful steps ?
If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it.
I warrant, they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
Scroop. Peace have they made with him, indeed, my lord.
K. Rich. O villains, vipers, damned without redemption ! Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man! Snakes, in my heart-blood warmed, that sting my heart ! Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas! Would they make peace ? terrible hell make war Upon their spotted souls for this offence!
Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his property, Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate.Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made With heads, and not with hands; those whom you curse, Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound, And lie full low, graved in the hollow ground.
Aum. Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire, dead? Scroop. Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their heads. Aum. Where is the duke, my father, with his power ?
K. Rich. No matter where; of comfort no man speak. Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs; Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth. Let's choose executors, and talk of wills: And yet not so,— for what can we bequeath, Save our deposed bodies to the ground? Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke's, And nothing can we call our own, but death; And that small model of the barren earth, Which serves as paste and cover to our bones. For Heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground, And tell sad stories of the death of kings ;How some have been deposed, some slain in war; Some haunted by the ghosts they have deposed; Some poisoned by their wives, some sleeping killed; All murdered.- For within the hollow crown, That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp;
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be feared, and kill with looks;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,-
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable; and humored thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and — farewell, king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while.
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends.— Subjected thus,
How can you say to me- I am a king ?
Car. My lord, wise men ne'er wail their present woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail.
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
And so your follies fight against yourself.
Fear, and be slain ; no worse can come, to fight:
And fight and die, is death destroying death;
Where fearing dying, pays death servile breath.
Aum. My father hath a power; inquire of him,
And learn to make a body of a limb.
K. Rich. Thou chid'st me well.- Proud Bolingbroke, I
To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
This ague-fit of fear is overblown;
An easy task it is, to win our own.
Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
Scroop. Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state and inclination of the day;
So may you, by my dull and heavy eye,
My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
I play the torturer, by small and small,
To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken.-
Your uncle York hath joined with Bolingbroke;
And all your northern castles yielded up,
And all your southern gentlemen in arms
Upon his party.
K. Rich. Thou hast said enough.-
Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth
Of that sweet way I was in to despair !
What say you now? What comfort have we now?
By Heaven, I'll hate him everlastingly,
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go, to Flint castle; there I'll pine away;
A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
That power I have, discharge; and let them go
To ear the land that hath some hope to grow,
For I have none.- - Let no man speak again
To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
Aum. My liege, one word.
He does me double wrong,
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers; let them hence.-Away,
From Richard's night, to Bolingbroke's fair day. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. Wales. A Plain before Flint Castle. Enter, with drum and colors, BOLING BROKE and Forces ;
YORK, NORTHUMBRLAND, and others.
Boling. So that by this intelligence we learn,
The Welshmen are dispersed; and Salisbury,
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed,
With some few private friends, upon this coast.
North. The news is very fair and good, my lord;
Richard, not far from hence, hath hid his head.
York., It would beseem the lord Northumberland
To say — king Richard.—Alack the heavy day,
When such a sacred king should hide his head!
North. Your grace mistakes me; only to be brief,
Left I his title out.
The time hath been,
Would you have been so brief with him, he would
Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
For taking so the head, your whole head's length.
Boling. Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.
York. Take not, good cousin, further than you should, Lest you mis-take; the Heavens are o'er your head.
Boling. I know it, uncle; and oppose not
Myself against their will.—But who comes here?
Well, Harry; what, will not this castle yield ?
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 within.
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,
[To 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