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But, for thy world, enjoying but this land,
K. Rich. --a lunatick lean-witted fool,
that runs so roundly in thy head, Should run thy head from thy unreverend shoulders. Gaunt. O, spare me not, my brother Edward's
son, For that I was his father Edward's son; That blood already, like the pelican, Hast thou tapp'd out, and drunkenly carous'd: My brother Gloster, plain well-meaning soul, (Whom fair befal in heaven 'mongst happy souls!) May be a precedent and witness good, That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood: Join with the present sickness that I have; And thy unkindness be like crooked age, To crop at once a too-long wither'd flower. Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!These words hereafter thy tormentors be!Convey me to my bed, then to my grave: Love they? to live, that love and honour have.
[Exit, borne out by his Attendants. K. Rich. And let them die, that age and sullens
have; For both hast thou, and both become the grave.
York. 'Beseech your majesty, impute his words
Lore they -] That is, let them love.
To wayward sickliness and age in him:
Enter NORTHUMBERLAND.3 North. My liege, old Gaunt commends him to
your majesty. K. Rich. What says he now? North.
Nay, nothing; all is said: His tongue is now a stringless instrument; Words, life, and all, old Lancaster hath spent. York. Be York the next that must be bankrupt
so! Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe. K. Rich. The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth
he; His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be: So much for that. Now for our Irish wars: We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns; Which live like venom, where no venom else, But only they, hath privilege to live. And for these great affairs do ask some charge, Towards our assistance, we do seize to us The plate, coin, revenues, and moveables, Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd. York. How long shall I be patient! Ah, how
long Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong? Not Gloster's death, nor Hereford's banishment,
Northumberland.] Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland.
where no venom else,] This alludes to a tradition that St. Patrick freed the kingdom of Ireland from venomous reptiles of every kind.
Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs, Nor the prevention of
K. Rich. Why, uncle, what's the matter?
O, my liege,
Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
About his marriage,] When the duke of Hereford, after his banishment, went into France, he was honourably entertained at that court, and would have obtained in marriage the only daughter of the duke of Berry, uncle to the French king, had not Richard prevented the match.
6 Accomplish'd with the number of thy hours;] i. e. when he was
of thy age.
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from time
hands His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands. York. I'll not be by, the while: My liege, fare
well: What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell; But by bad courses may be understood, That their events can never fall out good. K. Rich. Go, Bushy, to the earl of Wiltshire
straight; Bid him repair to us to Ely-house, To see this business: To-morrow next We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow; And we create, in absence of ourself, Our uncle York lord governor of England, For he is just, and always lov'd us well.Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part; Be merry, for our time of stay is short. [Flourish.
Exeunt King, Queen, Bushy, AUMERLE,
Green, and Bagot.
[Exit. North. Well, lords, the duke of Lancaster is
1-deny his offer'd homage,] That is, refuse to admit the homage, by which he is to hold his lands.
dead. Ross. And living too; for now his son is duke. Willo. Barely in title, not in revenue. North. Richly in both, if justice had her right. Ross. My heart is great ; but it must break with
silence, Ere't be disburden'd with a liberal tongue. North. Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er
speak more, That speaks thy words again, to do thee harm! Willo. Tends that thou’dst speak, to the duke of
Ross. No good at all, that I can do for him ;
wrongs are borne, In him a royal prince, and many more Of noble blood in this declining land. The king is not himself, but basely led By flatterers; and what they will inform, Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all, That will the king severely prosecute 'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs. Ross. The commons hath he pill'd with grievous
taxes, And lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.
Willo. And daily new exactions are devis’d; As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what: But what, o'God's name, doth become of this?
North. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he
But basely yielded upon compromise