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Like to a tenement, or pelting farm :
Enter King Richard and Queen ;? AUMERLE, BUSHY,
GREEN, Bagot, Ross, and WillougHBY.
Queen. How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster ?
; 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,
K. Rich. Why, uncle, what's the matter?
O, my liege,
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,
And quite lost their hearts; the nobles hath he fined
Willo. And daily new exactions are devised;
Ross. The earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
North. Reproach, and dissolution, hangeth over him.
Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars,
North. His noble kinsman; most degenerate king!
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
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,
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.