Imatges de pÓgina
PDF
EPUB

K. Rich. What doth our coufin lay to Mowbray's It must be great, that can inhabit us [charge? So much as of a thought of ill in him.

Boling. Look what I faid, my life fhall prove it true, That Mowbray hath received eight thoufand nobles, In name of lendings for your Highness' foldiers, The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments; Like a falfe traitor and injurious villain. Befides, I fay, and will in battle prove, Or here, or elsewhere, to the furtheft verge That ever was furvey'd by English eye, That all the treafons for thefe eighteen years, Complotted and contrived in this land,

Fetch from falfe Mowbray their firft head and spring,
Further, I fay, and further will maintain.

Upon his bad life to make all this good,
That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death;
Suggeft his foon-believing adverfaries;

And confequently, like a traitor-coward,

Sluce'd out his inn'cent foul through streams of blood;
Which blood, like facrificing Abel's, cries
Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
To me, for justice, and rough chastisement.
And, by the glorious worth of my defcent,
This arm fhall do it, or this life be spent.

K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution foars!
Thomas of Norfolk, what fay'ft thou to this?
Mowb. O, let my Sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this flander of his blood,
How God and good men hate fo foul a lyar.

K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears.
Were he our brother, nay, our kingdom's heir,
As he is but our father's brother's fon;
Now by my fceptre's awe, I make a vow,
Such neighbour-nearnefs to our facred blood,
Should nothing priv'lege him, nor partialize
Th' unftooping firmness of my upright foul. -
He is our fubject, Mowbray, fo art thou;
Free fpeech and fearlefs I to thee allow.

Mowb. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart Through the false paffage of thy throat thou lyest!

Three

Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais,
Difburs'd I to his Highnefs' foldiers;
The other part referv'd I by confent,

For that my Sovereign Liege was in my debt,
Upon remainder of a dear account,

Since last I went to France to fetch his Queen.
Now, Swallow down that lye.-For Gloucefter's death,
I flew him not; but, to mine own difgrace,
Neglected my fworn duty in that cafe.
For you my noble Lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved foul;
But ere I laft receiv'd the facrament,
I did confefs it, and exactly begg'd
Your Grace's pardon; and I hope I had it.
This is my fault; as for the reft appeal'd,
It iffues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degen'rate 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 beft blood chamber'd in his bofom.
In hafte whereof, moft heartily I pray

Your Highness to affign our trial-day.

K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by me; Let's purge this choler without letting blood. * Good uncle, let this end where it begun : We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your fon. Gaunt. To be a make-peace fhall become my age; Throw down, my fon, the Duke of Norfolk's gage. K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.

Gaunt. When, Harry, when? Obedience bids I fhould not bid again.

without letting blood.

This we prefcribe, though no phyfician;
Deep malice makes too deep incision:
Forget, forgive, conclude and be agreed:
Our doctors fay, this is no time to bleed.
Good uncle, &c.

K. Rich.

K. Rich Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is ne

boot.

Mob. Myfelf I throw, dread Sovereign, at thy foot. My life thou fhalt command, but not my fhame; The one my duty owes; but my fair name, (Defpight of death, that lives upon my grave), To dark difhonour's use thou shalt not have. I am difgrace'd, impeach'd, and baffled here, Pierce'd to the foul with flander's venom'd spear: The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood Which breath'd this poifon.

K. Rich. Rage must be withstood :

Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.
Mowb. Yea, but not change their spots: take but
my fhame,

And I refign my gage. My dear, dear Lord,
The pureft treasure mortal times afford,
Is fpotlefs reputation; that away,

Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd up cheft,
Is a bold fpirit 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. Coufin, throw down your gage; do you begin.

Boling. Oh, heaven defend my foul from fuch foul fin ! Shall I feem creft-fall'n in my father's fight, Or with pale beggar face impeach my height, Before this out-dar'd dastar'd? Ere my tongue Shall wound my honour with fuch feeble wrong, Or found fo bafe a parle, my teeth fhall tear The flavish motive of recanting fear,

*

And fpit it bleeding, in his high difgrace,

Where fhame doth harbour, ev'n in Mowbray's face.

[Exit. Gaunt.

K. Rich. We were not born to fue, but to command; Which fince we cannot do to make you friends,

Be ready as your lives fhall anfwer it, At Coventry upon Saint Lambert's day. *Motive, tor inftrument.

[blocks in formation]

There fhall your fwords and lances arbitrate
The fwelling diff'rence of your fettled hate :
Since we cannot atone you, you fhall fee
Juftice decide the victor's chivalry.
Lord Marfhal, bid our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home-alarms

[blocks in formation]

[Exeunt.

Changes to the Duke of Lancaster's palace. Enter Gaunt, and Duchess of Gloucester. Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Glo'fter's blood * Doth more folicit me than your exclaims,

To ftir against the butchers of his life.
But fince correction lieth in those hands,
Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
Put we our quarrel to the will of Heav'n;
Who when it fees the hours ripe on earth,
Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.

Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no fharper fpur?
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
Edward's fev'n fons, whereof thyfelf art one,
Were as fev'n vials of his facred blood;

Or fev'n fair branches fpringing from one root:
Some of those fev'n are dry'd by Nature's course;
Some of thofe branches by the deft'nies cut:
But Thomas, my dear Lord, my life, my Glo'fter,
(One vial full of Edward's facred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most Royal root),
Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor fpilt;

Is hack'd down, and his fummer-leaves all faded,

By Envy's hand, and Murder's bloody axe!

Ah, Gaunt his blood was thine that bed, that womb,
That metal, that self-mould that fashion'd thee,
Made him a man; and though thou liv'ft and breath'st,
Yet art thou flain in him; thou doft con ent
In fome large measure to thy father's death;
In that thou feeft thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair.

Meaning the relation he had to it.

VOL. IV.

B

In

In fuff'ring thus thy brother to be flaughter'd,
Thou fhew'ft the naked path-way to thy life,
Teaching ftern murder how to butcher thee.
That which in mean men we intitle patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What fhall I fay? to fafeguard thine own life,
The best way is to 'venge my Glo'ster's death.

[ocr errors]

Gaunt. God's is the quarrel; for God's fubftitute, His deputy anointed in his fight,

Hath caus'd his death: the which if wongfully,
Let God revenge; for I may never lift

An angry arm against his minister.

Duch. Where then, alas, may I complain myfelf? Gaunt. To Heav'n, the widow's champion and de

fence.

[wel.

Duch. Why then, I will: farewel, old Gaunt, fareThou go'ft to Coventry, there to behold Our coufin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight. O, fit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's fpear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast! Or, if misfortune mifs the first career, Be Mowbray's fins fo heavy in his bofom, That they may break his foaming courfer's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lifts, A caitiff recreant to my coufin Hereford ! Farewel, old Gaunt; thy fometime * brother's wife With her companion Grief must end her life.

Gaunt. Sifter, farewel; I must to Coventry.

As much good stay with thee, as go with me !
Duch. Yet one word more; grief boundeth where it
Not with the empty hollownefs, but weight: [falls,
I take my leave before I have begun ;

For forrow ends not when it feemeth done.
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York :

Lo, this is all

nay, yet depart not fo;

Though this be all, do not fo quickly go:
I fhall remember more. Bid him

oh, what?

With all good speed at Plafhie vifit me.
Alack, and what fhall good old York fee there,
But empty lodgings, and unfurnish'd walls,

* i. e. formerly.

Unpeopled

« AnteriorContinua »