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Already smokes about the burning crest
Of the old, feeble, and day-wearied sun, —
Even this ill night, your breathing shall expire;
Paying the fine of rated treachery,
Even with a treacherous fine of all your lives,
If Lewis by your assistance win the day.
Commend me to one Hubert, with your king;
The love of him, and this respect besides,
For that my grandsire was an Englishman, -
Awakes my conscience to confess all this.
In lieu whereof, I pray you, bear me hence
From forth the noise and rumour of the field;
Where I may think the remnant of my thoughts
In peace, and part this body and my soul
With contemplation and devout desires.
Sal. We do believe thee, And beshrew my
But I do love the favour and the form
Of this most fair occasion, by the which
We will untread the steps of damned flight;
And, like a bated and retired flood,
Leaving our rankness and irregular course,
Stoop low within those bounds we have o'erlook'd,
And calmly run on in obedience,
Even to our ocean, to our great king John.
My arm shall give thee help to bear thee hence;
For I do see the cruel pangs of death
Right in thine eye.
Away, my friends!
And happy newness, that intends old right.
[Exeunt, leading off MELUN.
The same. The French Camp.
Enter LEWIS and his Train.
Lew. The sun of heaven, methought, was loath
But stay'd, and made the western welkin blush, When the English measur'd backward their own
In faint retire: O, bravely came we off, When with a volley of our needless shot, After such bloody toil, we bid good night; And wound our tatter'd colours clearly up, Last in the field, and almost lords of it!
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Where is my prince, the dauphin? Here::- What news? Mess. The count Melun is slain; the English lords,
By his persuasion, are again fallen off:
And your supply, which you have wish'd so long,
Are cast away, and sunk, on Goodwin sands.
Lew. Ah, foul shrewd news! Beshrew thy
I did not think to be so sad to-night,
As this hath made me. - Who was he, that said,
King John did fly, an hour or two before
The stumbling night did part our weary powers?
Mess. Whoever spoke it, it is true, my lord.
Lew. Well; keep good quarter, and good care
The day shall not be up so soon as I,
To try the fair adventure of to-morrow. [Exeunt.
Thou hast a perfect thought.
I will, upon all hazards, well believe
Thou art my friend, that know'st my tongue so well:
Who art thou?
Bast. Who thou wilt: an if thou please, Thou may'st befriend me so much, as to think I come one way of the Plantagenets.
Hub. Unkind remembrance! thou, and eyeless
Have done me shame :- Brave soldier, pardon me,
That any accent, breaking from thy tongue,
Should 'scape the true acquaintance of mine ear.
Bast. Come, come; sans compliment, what news
Hub. Why, here walk I, in the black brow of night, To find you out. Bast. Brief, then; and what's the news? Hub. O, my sweet sir, news fitting to the night, Black, fearful, comfortless, and horrible.
Bast. Show me the very wound of this ill news; I am no woman, I'll not swoon at it.
Hub. The king, I fear, is poison'd by a monk : I left him almost speechless, and broke out To acquaint you with this evil; that you might The better arm you to the sudden time, Than if you had at leisure known of this.
Bast. How did he take it? who did taste to him? Hub. A monk, I tell you; a resolved villain, Whose bowels suddenly burst out the king Yet speaks, and peradventure, may recover.
Bast. Who didst thou leave to tend his majesty? Hub. Why, know you not? the lords are all come back,
And brought prince Henry in their company;
At whose request the king hath pardon'd them,
And they are all about his majesty.
Bast. Withhold thine indignation, mighty heaven,
And tempt us not to bear above our power!
I'll tell thee, Hubert, half my power this night,
Passing these flats, are taken by the tide,
These Lincoln washes have devoured them;
Myself, well-mounted, hardly have escap'd.
Away, before! conduct me to the king;
I doubt, he will be dead, or ere I come. [Exeunt
SCENE VII.-The Orchard of Swinstead-Abbey
Enter PRINCE HENRY, SALISBURY, and BIGOT.
P. Hen. It is too late; the life of all his blood
Is touch'd corruptibly; and his brain
(Which some suppose the soul's frail dwelling-house,)
Doth, by the idle comments that it makes,
Foretell the ending of mortality.
Pem. His highness yet doth speak; and holds
That, being brought into the open air, It would allay the burning quality
Of that fell poison which assaileth him.
P. Hen. Let him be brought into the orchard here. Doth he still rage?
[Erit BIGOT. He is more patient Than when you left him; even now he sung. P. Hen. O vanity of sickness! fierce extremes, In their continuance, will not feel themselves. Death, having prey'd upon the outward parts, Leaves them insensible; and his siege is now Against the mind, the which he pricks and wounds With many legions of strange fantasies; Which, in their throng and press to that last hold, Confound themselves. 'Tis strange, that death
I am the cygnet to this pale faint swan,
Who chants a doleful hymn to his own death;
And, from the organ-pipe of frailty, sings
His soul and body to their lasting rest.
Sal. Be of good comfort, prince; for you are born
To set a form upon that indigest,
Which he hath left so shapeless and so rude.
And none of you will bid the winter come,
To thrust his icy fingers in my maw;
Nor let my kingdom's rivers take their course
Through my burn'd bosom; nor entreat the north
To make his bleak winds kiss my parched lips,
And comfort me with cold :-I do not ask you much,
I beg cold comfort; and you are so strait,
And so ingrateful, you deny me that.
P. Hen. O, that there were some virtue in my
That might relieve you!
The salt in them is hot.
Within me is a hell; and there the poison
Is, as a fiend, confin'd to tyrannize
On unreprievable condemned blood.
Bast. O, I am scalded with my violent motion, And spleen of speed to see your majesty.
K. John. O cousin, thou art come to set mine eye:
The tackle of my heart is crack'd and burn'd;
And all the shrouds, wherewith my life should sail,
Are turned to one thread, one little hair :
My heart hath one poor string to stay it by,
Which holds but till thy news be utter'd;
And then all this thou see'st is but a clod,
And module of confounded royalty.
Bast. The Dauphin is preparing hitherward; Where, heaven he knows, how we shall answer him :
My liege! my lord!—But now a king,-now thus. P. Hen. Even so must I run on, and even so stop. What surety of the world, what hope, what stay, When this was now a king, and now is clay!
Bast. Art thou gone so? I do but stay behind, To do the office for thee of revenge; And then my soul shall wait on thee to heaven, As it on earth hath been thy servant still.
Now, now, you stars, that move in your right spheres,
Where be your powers? Show now your mended faiths;
And instantly return with me again,
To push destruction, and perpetual shame,
Out of the weak door of our fainting land:
Straight let us seek, or straight we shall be sought;
The Dauphin rages at our very heels.
Sal. It seems, you know not then so much as we The cardinal Pandulph is within at rest, Who half an hour since came from the dauphin; And brings from him such offers of our peace As we with honour and respect may take, With purpose presently to leave this war.
Bast. He will the rather do it, when he sees
Ourselves well sinewed to our defence.
Sal. Nay, it is in a manner done already;
For many carriages he hath despatch'd
To the seaside, and put his cause and quarrel
To the disposing of the cardinal.
With whom yourself, myself, and other lords,
If you think meet, this afternoon will post
To consummate this business happily.
Bast. Let it be so :-And you, my noble prince,
With other princes that may best be spar'd,
Shall wait upon your father's funeral.
P. Hen. At Worcester must his body be interr'd; For so he will'd it.
Thither shall it then.
And happily may your sweet self put on
The lineal state and glory of the land!
To whom, with all submission, on my knee,
I do bequeath my faithful services
And true subjection everlastingly.
Sal. And the like tender of our love we make, To rest without a spot for evermore.
P. Hen. I have a kind soul, that would give you thanks,
And knows not how to do it, but with tears.
Bast. O, let us pay the time but needful woe, Since it hath been beforehand with our griefs. This England never did, (nor never shall,) Lie at the proud foot of a conqueror, But when it first did help to wound itself. Now these her princes are come home again, Come the three corners of the world in arms, And we shall shock them: Nought shall make us
If England to itself do rest but true.
Hast thou, according to thy oath and band, Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son ; Here to make good the boisterous late appeal, Which then our leisure would not let us hear, Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray. Gaunt. I have, my liege.
K. Rich. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded him.
LORD WILLOUGHBY. LORD FITZWATER.
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
Or worthily as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
Gaunt. As near as I could sift him on that argu-
BISHOP OF CARLISLE. ABBOT OF WESTMINSTER.
SCENE,- dispersedly in ENGLAND and WALES.
On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.
K. Rick. Then call them to our presence; face
Lord Marshal; and another Lord.
Sir PIERCE OF EXTON.
Sir STEPHEN SCROOP.
Captain of a band of Welchmen.
QUEEN to King Richard.
DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.
DUCHESS OF YORK.
Lady attending on the Queen.
Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Two Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants.
And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :
[Exeunt some Attendants.
High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Re-enter Attendants, with BOLINGBROKE and NORFOLK.
Boling. Many years of happy days befal My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege.
Nor. Each day still better other's happiness, Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown!
K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but flat
As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely, to appeal cach other of high treason. —-
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
Boling. First, (heaven be the record to my
In the devotion of a subject's love, Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak,
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant ;
Too good to be so, and too bad to live;
Since, the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The ug.jer seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's name stuff' I thy throat;
And wish, (so please my sovereign,) ere I move,
What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my zcal : 'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain:
The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this,
Yet can I not of such tame patience boast,
As to be hush'd, and nought at all to say:
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
Which else would post, until it had return'd
These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;
Call him -a slanderous coward, and a villain :
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds;
And meet him, were I tied to run a-foot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable
Wherever Englishman durst set his foot.
Mean time, let this defend my loyalty,
By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.
Boling. Pale trembling coward, there I throw
Disclaiming here the kindred of the king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except:
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength,
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop;
By that, and all the rites of knighthood else,
Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.
Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear, Which gently lay'd my knighthood on my shoulder, I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's
It must be great, that can inherit us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall prove it true;
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers;
The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
Like a false traitor, and injurious villain.
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge
That ever was survey'd by English eye, -
That all the treasons, for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say,
and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to make all this good, -
That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death;
Suggest his soon-believing adversaries;
And, consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of
Which blood, like sacrificing 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 descent,
This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.
K. Rich. How high a pitch his resolution soars! Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?
Nor. O, let my sovereign turn away his face,
And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
Till I have told this slander of his blood,
How God, and good men, hate so foul a fiar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:
Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Now by my scepter's awe I make a vow,
Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
The unstooping firmness of my upright soul;
He is our subject, Mowbray, so art thou;
Free speech, and fearless, I to thee allow.
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart, Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest! Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais, Disburs'd I duly to his highness' soldiers: The other part reserv'd I by consent;
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 lie. For Gloster's
I slew him not; but to my own disgrace,
Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
For you, my noble lord of Lancaster,
The honourable father to my foe,
Once did I lay in ambush for your life,
A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul :
But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament,
I did confess it; and exactly begg'd
Your grace's pardon, and, I hope, I had it.
This is my fault: As for the rest appcal'd,
It issues from the rancour of a villain,
A recreant and most degenerate 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 best blood chamber'd in his bosom :
In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be rul'd by
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down; we bid; there is no boot.
Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot:
My life thou shalt command, but not my shame :
The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
(Despite of death, that lives upon my grave,)
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffled here ;
Pierc'd to the soul with slander's venom'd spear;
The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood
Which breath'd this poison.
Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage:
Lions make leopards tame.
Nor. Yea, but not change their spots: take but
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford,
Is spotless reputation; that away,
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
Is -a bold spirit 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. Cousin, throw down your gage; do you begin.
Boling. O, God defend my soul from such foul sin!
Shall I seem crest-fallen in my father's sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
Before this outdar'd dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound mine honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
The slavish motive of recanting fear;
And spit it bleeding, in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.
K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to command:
Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day;
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate;
Since we cannot atone you, we shall see
Justice design the victor's chivalry.
Marshal, command our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home-alarms.
The same. A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's Palace.
Enter GAUNT, and DUCHESS of Gloster.
Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Gloster's blood Doth more solicit me, than your exclaims, To stir against the butchers of his life. But since correction lieth in those hands, Which made the fault that we cannot correct, Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven; Who when he sees the hours ripe on earth, Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads. Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur? Hath love in thy old blood no living fire? Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one, Were as seven phials of his sacred blood, Or seven fair branches springing from one root: Some of those seven are dried by nature's course, Some of those branches by the destinies cut :
But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloster,
One phial full of Edward's sacred blood,
One flourishing branch of his most royal root, ——
Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt;
Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded,
By envy's hand, and murder's bloody axe.
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that womb,
That mettle, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee, Made him a man; and though thou liv'st, and breath'st,
Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent
In some large measure to thy father's death,
In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
Who was the model of thy father's life.
Call it not patience, Gaunt, it is despair :
In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
Thou show'st the naked pathway to thy life,
Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
That which in mean men we entitle- patience,
Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
The best way is
to 'venge my Gloster's death.
Gaunt. Heaven's is the quarrel; for heaven's
His deputy anointed in his sight,
Hath caus'd his death: the which if wrongfully,
Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift
An angry arm against his minister.
Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain myself? Gaunt. To heaven, the widow's champion and defence.
Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt. Thou go'st to Coventry, there to behold Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight: O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear, That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast! Or, if misfortune miss the first career, Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom, That they may break his foaming courser's back, And throw the rider headlong in the lists, A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford! Farewell, old Gaunt; thy sometimes brother's wife, With her companion grief must end her life.
Gaunt. Sister, farewell: I must to Coventry : As much good stay with thee, as go with me! Duch. Yet one word more ; - Grief boundeth where it falls,
Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
I take my leave before I have begun;
For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
Commend me to my brother, Edmund York.
Lo, this is all : Nay, yet depart not so;
Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
I shall remember more. Bid him-O, what?
With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
Alack, and what shall good old York there see,
But empty lodgings and unfurnish'd walls,
Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
And what cheer there for welcome, but my groans?
Therefore commend me; let him not come there,
To seek out sorrow that dwells every where :
Desolate, desolate, will I hence, and die;
The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.
[Exeunt SCENE III.— Gosford Green, near Coventry. Lists set out, and a Throne. Heralds, &c. attending.
Enter the Lord Marshal and AUMERLE. Mar My lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd'