Imatges de pàgina
PDF
EPUB

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 valour 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

[ocr errors]

amen.

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

duke of Norfolk. i 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

Norfolk,
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 soil'd With that dear blood which it hath fostered; And for our eyes do hate the dire aspéct Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' swords; [° And for we think the eagle-winged pride Or sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts, With rival-hating envy, set you on 10 To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep ;] Which so rous'd up with boisterous untun'd 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 enrich'd our fields, Shall not regreet our fair dominions, But tread the stranger paths of banishment,

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.

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 exile ;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 unlook'd 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 learn'd 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; Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up, Or, being open, put into his hands That knows no touch to tune the harmony. Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue, Doubly portcullis’d, with my teeth, and lips; And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance Is made my gaoler to attend on me. I am too old to fawn upon a nurse, Too far in years to be a pupil now;

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 banish'd hands 5;
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 wander'd in the air,
Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banish'd 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 banish'd, 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.

[Erit.
K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspéct
Hath from the number of his banish'd years
Pluck'd four away ;-Six frozen winters spent,
Return (To Boling.] with welcome home from banish-

ment.
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 exile:
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 :

[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »