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And, consequently, like a traitor coward,
Sluic'd out his innocent soul through streams of blood :
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 liar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:
Were he my brother, nay, our kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son,)
Now by my sceptre'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 Upon remainder of a dear account, Since last I went to France to fetch his queen: Now swallow down that lie.-For Gloster's death, 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 I did lay an ambush for your life, A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul: But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament, a Our kingilom's heir. So the folio. The earlier copies, my kingdom's heir.
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 appeal’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 me;
Let's purge this choler without letting blood :
This we prescribe, though no physician;
Deep malice makes too deep incision :
Forget, forgive; conclude, and be agreed;
Our doctors say, this is no montha to bleed."
Good uncle, let this end where it begun ;
We'll calm the duke of Norfolk, you your son.
Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age :-
Throw down, my son, the duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
When, Harry? when ? Obedience bids, I should not bid again.
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 ;
(Despite of death,) that lives upon my grave,
To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
a Month in the quartos; in the folio, time.
b When, Harry? when? When, so used, is an expression of impatience, as in * The Taming of the Shrew,'—“Why when, I say ?"! Monck Mason, in this passage, suggests a new punctuation, which is very ingenious, though we can scarcely venture to adopt it in the text, contrary to all the old copies. It is this,—
“ When, Harry? When
Obedience bids, I should not bid again.”' c No boot. Boot is here used in its original sense of compensation. There is no boot, no remedy for what is past,—nothing to be added, or substituter'.
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.a
Nor. Yea, but not change his spots : take but my
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, heaven 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;
a Lions make leopards tame. The crest of Norfolk was a golden leopard.
b His spots. So the old copies. According to the custom in Shakspere's time of changing from the singular to the plural number, or from the plural to the singular, the alteration to their in modern copies was scarcely called for.
But in this case Mowbray quotes the very text of Scripture—Jer. xiii. 23.
© Gilded loam. In ‘England's Parnassus ’ (1600) these three lines are extracted, but the third line reads thus :
“ Men are but gilded trunks, or painted clay."
There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
The swelling difference of your settled hate;
Since we cannot atone you,a you
shall see b
Justice design the victor's chivalry.
Lord marshal, command our officers at arms
Be ready to direct these home-alarms.
SCENE II.-- London. A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's
Enter GAUNT and DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.
Gaunt. Alas! the partd 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 seese 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 vaded,
* Atone you—make you in concord-cause you to be at one. b You shall see.
All the old copies read you ; modern editors have substituted
· Design—designate-point out-exhibit-show by a token. d The part I had, &c. My consanguinity to Gloster.
All the old copies, they see. Heaven is often put as the impersonation of the Deity. f Vaded.
So all the old copies; modern editors read faded. But to vade seems to have a stronger sense than to fude, although fade was often written vade. Still we may trace the distinction. In “The Mirrour for Magistrates' we have,
By envy's hand, and murther'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 murther 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 substitute,
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 ? a
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,8
That they may break his foaming courser's back,
And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
“ The barren fields, which whilom flower'd as they would never vade.” This is clearly in the sense of fade. In Spenser we have,
“ However gay their blossom or their blade
Do flourish now, they into dust shall vade.” Here we have, as clearly, the sense to pass away, to vanish. But, after all, the old writers probably used the words without distinction; for doubtless they are the same words.
Complain myself. The verb is here the same as the French verb se plaindre.