Page images

But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurg,
To offer service to the duke of Hereford ;
And sent me o'er by Berkley, to discover

the duke of York had levied there; Then with direction to repair to Ravenspurg.

North. Have you forgot the duke of Hereford, boy?

Percy. No, my good lord; for that is not forgot, Which ne'er I did remember: to my knowledge, I never in


life did look on him. North. Then learn to know him now; this is the

duke. Percy. My gracious lord, I tender you my service, Such as it is, being tender, raw, and

young; Which elder days shall ripen and confirm To more approved service and desert.

Boling. I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure, I count myself in nothing else so happy, As in a soul rememb’ring my good friends; And, as my fortune ripens with thy love, It shall be still thy true love's recompense: My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.

North. How far is it to Berkley? And what stir Keeps good old York there, with his men of war?

Percy. There stands the castle, by yon tuft of trees, Mann'd with three hundred men, as I have heard: And in it are the lords of York, Berkley, and Sey

mour ; None else of name, and noble estimate.

Enter Ross and WILLOUGHBY. North. Here come the lords of Ross and Wil

loughby, Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste. Boling. Welcome, my lords : I wot your love

pursues A banish'd traitor: all my treasury

Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enrich’d,
Shall be


love and labour's recompense. Ross. Your presence makes us rich, most noble

lord. Willo. And far surmounts our labour to attain it. Boling. Evermore thanks, the exchequer of the

poor; Which,


infant fortune comes to years, Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?

Enter BERKLEY. North. It is my lord of Berkley, as I guess. Berk. My lord of Hereford, my message is to you.

Boling. My lord, my answer is—to Lancaster”; And I am come to seek that name in England : And I must find that title in your tongue, Before I make reply to aught you say.

Berk.Mistake me not,my lord; 'tis not my meaning, To raze one title of your honour out 3: To you, my lord, I come (what lord you will), From the most gracious regent of this land, The duke of York; to know, what pricks you on To take advantage of the absent time“, And fright our native peace with self-born arms.

Enter YORK, attended. Boling. I shall not need transport my words by you; Here comes his grace in person.—My noble uncle!


2. Your message, you say, is to my lord of Hereford. My answer is, It is not to him, it is to the Duke of Lancaster.'

3 • How the names of them which for capital crimes against majestie were erazed out of the publicke records, tables, and registers, or forbidden to be borne by their posteritie, when their memory was damned, I could show at large.'- Camden's Remaines, 1605, p. 136.

4 Time of the king's absence.

York. Show me thy humble heart, and not thy knee, Whose duty is deceivable and false.

Boling. My gracious uncle !

York. Tut, tut !
Grace me no grace, nor uncle me no uncle 5 :
I am no traitor's uncle; and that word—grace,
In an ungracious mouth, is but profane.
Why have those banish'd and forbidden legs
Dar'd once to touch a dust of England's ground ?
But then more why ; -Why have they dar’d to

So many miles upon her peaceful bosom;
Frighting her pale-fac'd villages with war,
And ostentation of despised arms ?
Com'st thou because the anointed king is hence ?
Why, foolish boy, the king is left behind,
And in my loyal bosom lies his power.
Were I but now the lord of such hot youth,
As when brave Gaunt, thy father, and myself,
Rescued the Black Prince, that

From forth the ranks of many thousand French;
O, then, how quickly should this arm of mine,
Now prisoner to the palsy, chástise thee,
And minister correction to thy fault!

Mars of men,

5 In Romeo and Juliet we have the same kind of phraseology :

* Thank me no thankings, nor proud me no prouds.' 6 Perhaps Shakspeare here uses despised for hated or hateful arms? Sir Thomas Hanmer changed it to despiteful, but the old copies all agree in reading despised. Shakspeare uses the word again in a singular sense in Othello, Act i. Sc. 1, where Brabantio exclaims upon the loss of his daughter :

what's to come of my despised time

Is nought but bitterness.' It has been suggested that despised is used to denote the general contempt in which the British held the French forces. The duke of Bretagne furnished Bolingbroke with three thousand French soldiers.

eye :

Boling. My gracious uncle, let me know my fault; On what condition stands it, and wherein ?

York. Even in condition of the worst degree,In

gross rebellion, and detested treason :
Thou art a banish'd man, and here art come,
Before the expiration of thy time,
In braving arms against thy sovereign.
Boling. As I was banish’d, I was banish'd Here-

But as I come, I come for Lancaster,
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace,
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent?
You are my father, for, methinks, in

you I see old Gaunt alive; 0, then,


father! Will you permit that I shall stand condemn'd A wand’ring vagabond; my rights and royalties Pluck'd from my arms perforce, and given away To upstart unthrifts ? Wherefore was I born? If that my cousin king be king of England, It must be granted, I am duke of Lancaster. You have a son, Aumerle, my noble kinsman; Had you

first died, and he had been thus trod down, He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father, To rouse his wrongs, and chase them to the bay. I am denied to sue my livery here, And yet my letters patent give me leave : My father's goods are all distrain'd, and sold; And these, and all, are all amiss employ’d.

? Indifferent is impartial. The instances of this use of the word among the poet's contemporaries are very numerous. So, in King Henry VIII. Act i. Sc. 4, Queen Katharine says :

* Born out of your dominions, having here

No judge indifferent.' See Baret's Alvearie, in letter I, 108, where he translates · Aequus judex, a just and indifferent judge; nothing partial.'

Wrongs is probably here used for wrongers. 9 See the former scene, p. 32, note. 5.


What would you have me do? I am a subject,
And challenge law : Attornies are denied me;
And therefore personally I lay my claim ,

inheritance of free descent.
North. The noble duke hath been too much abus’d.
Ross. It stands your grace upon

10 to do him right. Willo. Base men by his endowments are made

great. York. My lords of England, let me tell you this,I have had feeling of my cousin's wrongs, And labour'd all I could to do him right: But in this kind to come, in braving arms, Be his own carver, and cut out his way, To find out right with wrong,—it may not be; And you,

that do abet him in this kind, Cherish rebellion, and are rebels all.

North. The noble duke hath sworn, his coming is But for his own: and, for the right of that, We all have strongly sworn to give him aid; And let him ne'er see joy, that breaks that oath.

York. Well, well, I see the issue of these arms; I cannot mend it, I must needs confess, Because my power is weak, and all ill left: But, if I could, by him that gave me life, I would attach you all, and make you stoop

10 Steevens explains the phrase, ' It stands your grace upon, to mean, ‘ it is your interest; it is matter of consequence to you.' But hear Baret, ' The heyre is bound; the heyre ought, or it is the heyre's part to defend; it standeth him upon; or is in his charge. Incumbit defensio mortis hæredi. The phrase is therefore equivalent to it is incumbent upon your grace. Shakspeare uses it again in King Richard III :

It stands me much upon
To stop all bopes whose growth may danger me.'
Sir N. Throckmorton, writing to Queen Elizabeth, says,

• Howsoever things do fall out, it standeth your majestie so uppon, for your own suretie and reputation to be well ware,' &c.-Conway Papers. Vide Humlet, Act v. Sc. 2.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »