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SCENE I.-Bolingbroke's Camp at Bristol.
Enter BOLINGBROKE, YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, PERCY,
WILLOUGHBY, Ross: Officers behind, with BUSHY and
Boling. Bring forth these men.-
Bushy, and Green, I will not vex your souls
(Since presently your souls must part your bodies)
With too much urging your pernicious lives,
For 't were no charity: yet, to wash your blood
From off my hands, here, in the view of men,
I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
You have misled a prince, a royal king,
A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
By you unhappied and disfigur'd clean.
You have, in manner, with your sinful hours,
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him;
Broke the possession of a royal bed,
And stain’d the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
With tears drawn from her eyes by your soul wrongs. .
Myself—a prince, by fortune of my birth ;
Near to the king in blood; and near in love,
Till you did make him misinterpret me,--
Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries,
And sigh’d my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment:
While you have fed upon my scignories,
Dispark'd my parks,a and fell’d my forest woods;
Dispark'd my parks. To disafforest a forest is to annul all the peculiar privileges which belong to it, and render it, with reference to the rights of the owner or lord, and the privileges of the tenants or vassals, the same as that of ordinary land. Boling broke, we presume, complains that, when the favourites of Richard had disparked his parks, they let out the property to common purposes of pasture or tillage, and at the same time felled his woods;—thus, not only feeding upon his seignories, but destroying their ancient beauty and propriety.
From mine own windows torn my household coat,
Raz’d out my impress, leaving me no sign-
Save men's opinions, and my living blood-
To show the world I am a gentleman.
This, and much more, much more than twice all this,
Condemns you to the death :-See them deliver'd over
To execution and the hand of death.
Bushy. More welcome is the stroke of death to me,
Than Bolingbroke to England. [Lords, farewell.a]
Green. My comfort is, that heaven will take our souls, And plague injustice with the pains of hell. Boling. My lord Northumberland, see them despatch’d.
[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND and others, with Prisoners. Uncle, you say, the queen is at your house : For heaven's sake, fairly let her be entreated : Tell her, I send to her my kind commends; Take special care my greetings be deliver'd.
York. A gentleman of mine I have despatch'd
With letters of your love to her at large.
Boling. Thanks, gentle uncle.--Come, lords, away;
To fight with Glendower and his complices;
Awhile to work, and, after, holiday.
SCENE II.—The Coast of Wales. A Castle in View. Flourish : Drums and Trumpets. Enter King RICHARD,
BISHOP OF CARLISLE, AUMERLE, and Soldiers. K. Rich. Barkloughly castle call you this at hand?
Aum. Yea, my lord. How brooks your grace the air,
After yourb late tossing on the breaking seas?
K. Rich. Needs must I like it well; I weep for joy,
To stand upon my kingdom once again.
Dear earth, I do salute thee with my hand,
Though rebels wound thee with their horses' hoofs:
As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly, with her tears and smiles, in meeting;
a Lords, farewell, is omitted in the folio.
b Steevens omits your.
e The usual mode of reading these two beautiful lines is as follows:
So, weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth, a
And do thee favour with my royal hands.
Feed not thy sovereign's foe, my gentle earth,
Nor with thy sweets comfort his ravenous sense :
But let thy spiders, that suck up thy venom,
And heavy-gaited toads," lie in their way;
Doing annoyance to the treacherous feet
Which with usurping steps do trample thee.
Yield stinging nettles to mine enemies :
And when they from thy bosom pluck a flower,
Guard it, I pray thee, with a lurking adder,
Whose double tongue may with a mortal touch
Throw death upon thy sovereign's enemies.
Mock not my senseless conjuration, lords;
This earth shall have a feeling, and these stones
Prove armed soldiers, ere her native king
Shall falter under foul rebellion's c
Bishop. Fear not, my lord ; that Power that made you king
Hath power to keep you king, in spite of all.
[The means that heaven yields must be embrac’d,
And not neglected; else, if heaven would,
And we will not, heaven's offer we refuse;
The proffer'd means of succour and redress.]"!
“ As a long-parted mother with her child
Plays fondly with her tears, and smiles in meeting.” Smiles, in this way, is a verb; but, by the transposition of the comma, it is read as a
The “long-parted mother " does not only play fondly with her tears, but with her smiles also. Richard adds,
“So weeping, smiling, greet I thee, my earth." a The repeated use, by Richard, of the word earth, would seem to indicate that Shakspere employs the word in the meaning of inheritance,--possession,—“ my kingdom,”—“ dear earth,”
my gentle earth.” Mr. Whiter, in his curious · Etymological Dictionary,' has shown that the word heir is derived from earth. 6. The Latin hæres, hæred-is, or, as it was anciently written, eres, is the person who possesses, or is destined to possess, the certain spot of land, -or of earth, hertha, herda, &c.” When Capulet, in ‘Romeo and Juliet,' says,
“She is the hopeful lady of my earth,” there is little doubt that he means that Juliet is his heiress.
b Heavy-gaited toads. This epithet is one of the many examples of Shakspere's wonderful accuracy in observing natural objects, and of his power of conveying an image by a word. c Rebellion's arms. So the quarto of 1597. The folio rebellious.
These four lines, enclosed in brackets, are omitted in the folio.
Aum. He means, my lord, that we are too remiss;
Whilst Bolingbroke, through our security,
Grows strong and great, in substance, and in friends.
K. Rich. Discomfortable cousin ! know'st thou not,
That, when the searching eye of heaven is hid
Behind the globe, and lightsa the lower world,
Then thieves and robbers range abroad unseen,
In murthers, and in outrage, bloody here;
But when, from under this terrestrial ball,
He fires the proud tops of the eastern pines,
And darts his lightb through every guilty hole,
Then murthers, treasons, and detested sins,
The cloak of night being pluck'd from off their backs,
Stand bare and naked, trembling at themselves?
So when this thief, this traitor, Bolingbroke,
Who all this while hath revell’d in the night,
Whilst we were wand’ring with the antipodes -
Shall see us rising in our throne the east,
His treasons will sit blushing in his face,
Not able to endure the sight of day,
But, self-affrighted, tremble at his sin.
Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm from an anointed king:
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord :
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press’d,
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
Heaven for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,
Weak men must fall; for heaven still guards the right.
Welcome, my lord ; How far off lies your power ?
Sal. Nor near, nor farther off, my gracious lord,
Than this weak arm: Discomfort guides my tongue,
And bids me speak of nothing but despair.
a And lights. All the old copies read that 'lights. That, as a relative, has probably searching eye for its antecedent; but the construction is still difficult, whilst A slight alteration removes the difficulty.
Light: In the folio, lightning
One day too late, I fear, my noble lord,
Hath clouded all thy happy days on earth :
O, call back yesterday, bid time return,
And thou shalt have twelve thousand fighting men :
To-day, to-day, unhappy day, too late,
O’erthrows thy joys, friends, fortune, and thy state ;
For all the Welshmen, hearing thou wert dead,
Are gone to Bolingbroke, dispers’d, and fled.
Aum. Comfort, my liege: why looks your grace so pale?
K. Rich. But now, the blood of twenty thousand men
Did triumph in my face, and they are fled ; And, till so much blood thither come again,
Have I not reason to look pale and dead? All souls that will be safe fly from my side; For time hath set a blot upon my pride.
Aum. Comfort, my liege; remember who you are.
K. Rich. I had forgot myself: Am I not king?
Awake thou sluggarda majesty! thou sleepest.
Is not the king's name forty thousand names?
Arm, arm, my name! a puny subject strikes
At thy great glory.-Look not to the ground,
Ye favourites of a king. Are we not high?
High be our thoughts: I know, my uncle York
Hath power enough to serve our turn. But who
Scroop. More health and happiness betide my liege,
Than can my care-tund tongue deliver him.
K. Rich. Mine ear is
The worst is worldly loss thou canst unfold.
Say, is my kingdom lost? why, 't was my care;
And what loss is it to be rid of care?
Strives Bolingbroke to be as great as we?
Greater he shall not be ; if he serve God,
We'll serve him too, and be his fellow so.
Revolt our subjects ? that we cannot mend;
They break their faith to God, as well as us:
Sluggard. One of the quartos has coward.