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Like to a tenement, or pelting farm :
England, bound in with the triumphant sea,
Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
With inky blots, and rotten parchment bonds;
That England, that was wont to conquer others,
Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
O, would the scandal vanish with my life,
How happy then were my ensuing death!

Enter King Richard and Queen ;? AUMERLE, BUSHY,

GREEN, Bagot, Ross, and WillougHBY.
York. The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;
For young, hot colts, being raged, do rage the more.

Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster ?
K. Rich. What comfort, man ? How is't with aged

Gaunt. O, how that name befits my composition !
Old Gaunt, indeed ; and gaunt in being old.
Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
And who abstains from meat, that is not gaunt?
For sleeping England long time have I watched;
Watching breeds leanness; leanness is all gaunt.
The pleasure, that some fathers feed upon,
Is my strict fast, I mean—my children's looks

; And, therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt: Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave, Whose hollow womb inhabits nought but bones.

1 “In this 22d yeare of King Richard, the common fame ranne that the king had letten to farme the realme unto Sir William Scrope, earle of Wiltshire, and then treasurer of England, to Syr John Bushey, Sir John Bagot, and Sir Henry Greene, Knightes.”—Fabian. Pelling is paltry, pitiful, petty.

? Shal sperre has deviated from historical truth in the introduction of Richard en as a woman; for Anne, his first wife, was dead before the period ar vich the commencement of the play is laid; and

abella, his second wife, was a child at the time of his death.

3 i. e. William lord Ross, of Hamlake, afterwards lord treasurer to Henry IV.

4 William lord Willoughby, of Eresby. 5 Ritson proposes to read :>

being reined, do rage the more.”

K. Rich. Can sick men play so nicely with their

names ? Gaunt. No; misery makes sport to mock itself: Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me, I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee. K. Rich. Should dying men flatter with those that

live? Gaunt. No, no ; men living, flatter those that die. K. Rich. Thou, now a dying, say'st—thou flatter'st


Gaunt. O, no; thou diest, though I the sicker be. K. Rich. I am in health, 1 breathe, and see thee ill.

Gaunt. Now, He that made me, knows I see thee ill; Ill in myself to see, and in thee, seeing ill. Thy deathbed is no lesser than thy land, Wherein thou liest in reputation sick; And thou, too careless patient as thou art, . Committ'st thy anointed body to the cure Of those physicians that first wounded thee: A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown, Whose compass is no bigger than thy head; And yet, incaged in so small a verge, The waste is no whit lesser than thy land; O, had thy grandsire, with a prophet's eye, Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons, From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame, Deposing thee before thou wert possessed, Which art possessed' now to depose thyself. Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world, It were a shame to let this land by lease; But, for thy world, enjoying but this land, Is it not more than shame, to shame it so? Landlord of England art thou now, not king; Thy state of law is bondslave to the law;2 And thouK. Rich.

-a lunatic, lean-witted fool, 1 Mad. 2 « Thy legal state, that rank in the state and these large desmesnes, which the constitution allotted thee, are now bondslave to the law; being subject to the same legal restrictions as every ordinary, pelting farm that has been let on lease.

: Which his triumphant father's hand had won;

His hands were guilty of no kindred's blood,
But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
0, Richard ! York is too far gone with grief,
Or else he never would compare between.

K. Rich. Why, uncle, what's the matter?

O, my liege,
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleased
Not to be pardoned, am content withal.
Seek you to seize, and gripe into your hands,
The royalties and rights of banished Hereford ?
Is not Gaunt dead ? and doth not Hereford live?
Was not Gaunt just ? and is not Harry true ?
Did not the one deserve to have an heir ?
Is not his heir a well-deserving son ?
Take Hereford's rights away, and take from time
His charters, and his customary rights;
Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day;
Be not thyself, for how art thou a king,
But by fair sequence and succession ?
Now, afore God (God forbid, I say true !)
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
Call in the letters patent that he hath
By his attorneys-general to sue
His livery,' and deny his offered homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts,
And prick my tender patience to those thoughts
Which honor and allegiance cannot think.

K. Rich. Think what you will; we seize into our hands His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.

York. I'll not be by the while; my liege, farewell. What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell ; But by bad courses may be understood, That their events can never fall out good. [Exit.

1 On the death of every person who held by knight's service, his heir, if under age, became a ward of the king's; but if of age, he had a right to sue out a writ of ouster le main, i. e. livery, that the king's hand might be taken off, and the land delivered to him. To deny his offered homage" was to refuse to admit the homage by which he was to hold his lands.

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 loved 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. North. Well, lords, the duke of Lancaster is 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 disburdened 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 wouldst speak, to the duke

of Hereford ? If it be so, out with it boldly, man; Quick is mine ear, to hear of good towards him.

Ross. No good at all, that I can do for him; Unless call it good to pity him, Bereft and gelded of his patrimony. North. Now, afore Heaven, 'tis shame, such 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 pilled with grievous taxes,

i Pillaged.


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And quite lost their hearts; the nobles hath he fined
For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

Willo. And daily new exactions are devised;
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 warred he hath

But basely yielded, upon compromise,
That which his ancestors achieved with blows.
More hath he spent in peace, than they in wars.

Ross. The earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
Willo. The king's grown bankrupt, like a broken


North. Reproach, and dissolution, hangeth over him.

Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banished duke.

North. His noble kinsman; most degenerate king!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm.
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

Ross. We see the very wreck that we must suffer ; And unavoided is the danger now, For suffering so the causes of our wreck. North. Not so; even through the hollow eyes of

death, I

spy life peering; but I dare not say How near the tidings of our comfort is.

Willo. Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost


Ross. Be confident to speak, Northumberland: We three are but thyself; and, speaking so, Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold. North. Then thus :- I have from Port le Blanc,

a bay

i Stow records that Richard II.“ compelled all the religious, gentlemen, and commons, to set their seales to blankes, to the end he might, if it pleased him, oppress them severally, or all at once; some of the commons paid him 1000 marks, some 1000 pounds," &c.

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