Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors]

Mar. On pain of death, no person be so bold,
Or daring-hardy, as to touch the lists;
Except the marshal, and such officers
Appointed to direct these fair designs.

Boling. Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand,
And bow my knee before his majesty;
For Mowbray, and myself, are like two men
That vow a lone and weary pilgrimage;
Then let us take a ceremonious leave,
And loving farewell, of our several friends.

Mar. The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
K. Rich. We will descend, and fold him in our arms.
Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.

Boling. O, let no noble eye profane a tear
For me, if I be gored with Mowbray's spear;
As confident, as is the falcon's flight
Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight..

My loving lord, [To lord marshal.] I take my leave of you;

Of you, my noble cousin, lord Aumerle;

Not sick, although I have to do with death;

But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.
Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet

The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet.

O thou, the earthly author of my blood,- [To GAUNT.

Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,

Doth with a twofold vigor lift me up

To reach at victory above my head,-
Add proof unto mine armor with thy prayers;
And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat,
And furbish new the name of John of Gaunt,
Even in the lusty 'havior of his son.

Gaunt. Heaven in thy good cause make thee prosperous!

Be swift like lightning in the execution;
And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
Of thy adverse, pernicious enemy.

Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant, and live.
Boling. Mine innocency, and Saint George to thrive!
[He takes his seat.
Nor. [Rising.] However, Heaven, or fortune, cast my lot,
There lives or dies, true to king Richard's throne,

[graphic]

A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
Never did captive with a freer heart
Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace
His golden, uncontrolled enfranchisement,
More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
This feast of battle with mine adversary.-
Most mighty liege,-and my companion peers,—
Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
As gentle and as jocund as to jest,
Go I to fight; truth hath a quiet breast.

K. Rich. Farewell, my lord; securely I espy
Virtue with valor couched in thine eye.-
Order the trial, marshal, and begin.

[The King and the Lords return to their seats.
Mar. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!
Boling. [Rising.] Strong as a tower in hope, I cry-
Amen.

Mar. Go bear this lance [To an Officer.] to Thomas duke of Norfolk.

1 Her. Harry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
On pain to be found false and recreant,

To prove the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
A traitor to his God, his king, and him,

And dares him to set forward to the fight.

2 Her. Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, duke of Nor

folk,

[ocr errors]

On pain to be found false and recreant,
Both to defend himself, and to approve
Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal;
Courageously, and with a free desire,
Attending but the signal to begin.

Mar. Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants. [A charge sounded.

Stay; the king hath thrown his warder down.

K. Rich. Let them lay by their helmets and their spears, And both return back to their chairs again. Withdraw with us; and let the trumpets sound,

While we return these dukes what we decree.

[A long flourish. Draw near, [To the Combatants. And list, what with our council we have done. For that our kingdom's earth should not be soiled With that dear blood which it hath fostered;

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

And for our eyes do hate the dire aspéct

Of civil wounds ploughed up with neighbors' swords;
And for we think the eagle-winged pride
Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
With rival-hating envy, set you on

To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
Draws the sweet, infant breath of gentle sleep;
Which so roused up with boisterous, untuned drums,
With harsh, resounding trumpets' dreadful bray,
And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace,
And make us wade even in our kindred's blood:-
Therefore, we banish you our territories.-
You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of death,

Till twice five summers have enriched our fields,
Shall not regreet our fair dominions,

But tread the stranger paths of banishment.

[ocr errors]

Boling. Your will be done. This must my comfort be,-
That sun, that warms you here, shall shine on me;
And those his golden beams, to you here lent,
Shall point on me, and gild my banishment.

Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
Or, being open, put into his hands

That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my mouth you have enjailed my tongue,
Doubly portcullised, with my teeth, and lips;
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
Is made my jailer to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now;
VOL. II.-22
2 D

K. Rich. Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
Which I with some unwillingness pronounce
The fly-slow hours shall not determinate
The dateless limit of thy dear exíle ;-
The hopeless word of-never to return,
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.

Nor. A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
And all unlooked for from your highness' mouth:
A dearer merit, not so deep a maim

As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness' hand.
The language I have learned these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue's use is to me no more,
Than an unstringed viol or a harp;

[graphic]

What is thy sentence, then, but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
K. Rich. It boots thee not to be compassionate;
After our sentence plaining comes too late.

Nor. Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
To dwell in solemn shades of endless night. [Retiring.
K. Rich. Return again, and take an oath with thee.
Lay on our royal sword your banished hands;
Swear by the duty that you owe to Heaven
(Our part therein we banish with yourselves)
To keep the oath that we administer.-

You never shall (so help you truth and Heaven!)
Embrace each other's love in banishment;

Nor never look upon each other's face;
Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
This lowering tempest of your home-bred hate;
Nor never by advised purpose meet,

To plot, contrive, or complot any ill,

'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land. Boling. I swear.

Nor. And I, to keep all this.

Boling. Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy.-
By this time, had the king permitted us,
One of our souls had wandered in the air,
Banished this frail sepúlchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banished from this land.
Confess thy treasons, ere thou fly the realm;
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
The clogging burden of a guilty soul.

Nor. No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banished, as from hence!
But what thou art, Heaven, thou, and I do know;
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.—
Farewell, my liege.-Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world's my way.

[Exit.

K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes I see thy grieved heart; thy sad aspéct Hath from the number of his banished years Plucked four away.- Six frozen winters spent, Return [To BOLING.] with welcome home from banishment. Boling. How long a time lies in one little word! Four lagging winters, and four wanton springs, End in a word; such is the breath of kings.

Gaunt. I thank my liege, that, in regard of me, He shortens four years of my son's exíle.

But little vantage shall I reap thereby;

For, ere the six years, that he hath to spend,
Can change their moons, and bring their times about,
My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light,
Shall be extinct with age, and endless night;
My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
And blindfold death not let me see my son.

K. Rich. Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou canst give.
Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow;
Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage;
Thy word is current with him for my death;
But, dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.

K. Rich. Thy son is banished upon good advice,
Whereto thy tongue a party verdict gave
Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lower?

Gaunt. Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion sour.
You urged me as a judge; but I had rather,
You would have bid me argue like a father.-
O, had it been a stranger, not my child,

To smooth his fault I should have been more mild;
A partial slander sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroyed.
Alas, I looked, when some of you should say
I was too strict, to make mine own away;
But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue,
Against my will, to do myself this wrong.

K. Rich. Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so: Six years we banish him, and he shall go.

[Flourish. Exeunt K. RICH. and Train. Aum. Cousin, farewell; what presence must not know, From where you do remain, let paper show.

Mar. My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride, As far as land will let me, by your side.

Gaunt. O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words, That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends?

Boling. I have too few to take my leave of you,
When the tongue's office should be prodigal
To breathe the abundant dolor of the heart.

Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time. Boling. Joy absent, grief is present for that time. Gaunt. What is six winters? they are quickly gone. Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten. Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak'st for pleasure.

« ZurückWeiter »