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The speakers in the ensuing scene are John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster; and the widowed duchess of Glo'ster. [Gaunt.] Alas! the part I had in Gloster's blood
Doth more solicit me than your exclaims,
Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven.
Hath love in thy old blood no living fire ?
Made him a man: then, 'venge my Gloster's death. [Gaunt.] Heaven's is the quarrel : for heaven's substitute,
His deputy, anointed in His sight,
An angry arm against His minister. [Duchess.] Where, then, alas ! where, where may I com
[plain ? [Gaunt.] To Heaven, the widow's champion and defence. [Duchess.] Why then I will. Farewell, old Gaunt !
Thou goest to Coventry, and shalt behold
may never lift
I shall remember more : Bid him-Oh what ?
The last leave of thee takes my weary eye. We may now imagine we look upon the lists at Coventry just at the moment when, after all the verbal ceremonies of appeal and defence have been performed, the marshal directs the trumpets to sound, and the combatants to set forward ; at this instant the king throws his warder down, and desires the combatants to return to their places. After a pause, he thus speaks : [Richard.] For that our kingdom's earth should not be
With that dear blood which it hạth fostered ; [soil'd
Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
And all unlook’d-for at your highness' hands.
Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
What is thy sentence, then, but speechless death ?
He is about to retire when his antagonist, the duke of
One of our souls had wander'd in the air,
The clogging burthen of a guilty soul.
My name be blotted from the book of life,
Save back to England, all the world's my way.
I see thy grieved heart: thy mournful aspect
Thy son, pluck'd four away.
I thank my liege:
[Richard.] Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
Shorten my days thou canst, with sullen sorrow,
But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
Cousin, farewell :-and, uncle, bid him so;
Six years we banish him, and go he shall. The king being gone, those who are left behind take their leave of Bolingbroke: the rest of the dialogue is then between his father and him. [Gaunt.] O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words
That thou returnst no greeting to thy friends ? [Bolingbroke.] I have too few to take my leave of you. [Gaunt.] Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
What is six winters ? they are quickly gone[Bolingbroke.] To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten. [Gaunt.] Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure. [Bolingbroke.] My heart will sigh when I miscal it so ;
And every lingering tedious stride I take
I wander from the jewels that I love.
Are, to the wise man, ports and happy havens.
[Bolingbroke.] 0, who can hold a fire in his hand,
By thinking on the frosty Caucasus ?
Than when it bites, but lanceth not the sore. [Gaunt.] Come, come, my son, I 'll bring thee on thy way:
Had I thy youth, I should not wish to stay.
INDICATED BY SCENES
The MORTAL SICKNESS OF JOHN OF GAUNT; RICHARD'S PRODIGALITY
HIS EXPEDITION TO IRELAND; AND THE
HISTORICAL MEMORANDA. When the king banished Hereford, he granted him letters-patent, by which he was empowered, in case any inheritance should accrue to him before his permitted time of return, to enter immediately in possession, and to postpone the doing of homage till the end of his banishment. His father, John of Gaunt, died in the next year; and Hereford, now duke of Lancaster, desired to be put in possession of the estate and jurisdictions of his father: but Richard revoked the letters he had given, and retained possession of the estate. This act offended all the nobles, as they saw their own estates endangered by it; and on the landing of Boling hroke, who came to enforce his claims, the most powerful of the barons flocked to his standard. Richard was at this time absent in Ireland, and had left his uncle Edmund of Langley, duke of York, guardian of the kingdom. The duke did what he could to withstand the disaffected lords ; but his affinity to the chief among them made his situation one of great difficulty to his feelings, and he yielded, finally, to the course of events. Shakspeare represents the queen as a woman of mature age; but Richard's first queen, the sister of the king of Bohemia, had been dead some years; and Isabella, the daughter of Charles the Sixth of France, to whom he was affianced, was, at this time, only nine years of age.
John of Gaunt is discovered on a couch : his brother, the duke of York, is standing by him : in the course of the