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Cry, woe, destruction, ruin, loss, decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
Scroop. Glad am I that your highness is so arm’d
To bear the tidings of calamity.
Like an unseasonable stormy day,
Which makes the silver rivers drown their shores,
As if the world were all dissolv’d to tears;
So high above his limits swells the rage
Of Bolingbroke, covering your fearful land
With hard bright steel, and hearts harder than steel.
White beards have arm'd their thin and hairless scalps
Against thy majesty; and boys, with women's voices,
Strive to speak big, and clap their female joints
In stiff unwieldy arms against thy crown:
Thy very beadsmen learn to bend their bows
of double-fatal yew against thy state;
Yea, distaff-women manage rusty bills
Against thy seat: both young and old rebel, ,
And all goes worse than I have power to tell.
K. Rich. Too well, too well, thou tell’st a tale so ill.
Where is the earl of Wiltshire? where is Bagot ?
What is become of Bushy? where is Green ?
That they have let the dangerous enemy
Measure our confines with such peaceful steps ?
If we prevail, their heads shall pay for it.
I warrant they have made peace with Bolingbroke.
Scroop. Peace have they made with him, indeed, my lord.
K. Rich. O villains, vipers, damnd without redemption ! Dogs, easily won to fawn on any man ! Snakes, in my heart-blood warm’d, that sting my heart! Three Judases, each one thrice worse than Judas! Would they make peace ? terrible hell make war Upon their spotted souls for this offence !
Scroop. Sweet love, I see, changing his property, Turns to the sourest and most deadly hate: Again uncurse their souls; their peace is made With heads, and not with hands : those whom you curse Have felt the worst of death's destroying wound, And lie full low, grav’d in the hollow ground.
Aum. Is Bushy, Green, and the earl of Wiltshire, dead?
Scroop. Yea, all of them at Bristol lost their heads.
Aum. Where is the duke my father with his power ?
K. Rich. No matter where. Of comfort no man speak :
Let's talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper, and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth.
Let’s choose executors, and talk of wills :
And yet not so,-for what can we bequeath,
Save our deposed bodies to the ground ?
Our lands, our lives, and all, are Bolingbroke's,
And nothing can we call our own but death;
And that small model a of the barren earth,
Which serves as paste and cover to our bones."
For heaven's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings :-
How some have been depos’d, some slain in war,
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos’d : •
Some poison’d by their wives, some sleeping kill'd;
All murther’d:-For within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king,
Keeps Death his court; and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state, and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene
To monarchize, be fear’d, and kill with looks ;
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,-
As if this flesh, which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable,--and, humour'd thus,
Comes at the last, and with a little pin
Bores through his castle walls, and—farewell king!
Cover your heads, and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence; throw away respect,
å Model. The word is, probably, here used for something formed or fashioned. The earth assumes the shape of the body which it covers. Douce seems to think it means only measure, portion, or quantity,-a modicum.
b We copy a remark of Johnson upon this line, to show what criticism upon Shakspere used to be, even in the hands of one of the ablest of modern writers: “ A metaphor, not of the most sublime kind, taken from a pie.”
c Ghosts they have deposed. Ghosts of those whom they have deposed. This sort of ellipsis is very frequently used by our poet.
Tradition, form, and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while :
I live with bread like you, feel want, taste grief,
Need friends :-Subjected thus,
How can you say to me—I am a king?
Car. My lord, wise men ne'er wail their present woes,
But presently prevent the ways to wail. .
To fear the foe, since fear oppresseth strength,
Gives, in your weakness, strength unto your foe,
[And so your follies fight against yourself.a]
Fear, and be slain ; no worse can come, to fight :
And fight and die, is death destroying death;
Where fearing dying pays death servile breath.
Aum. My father hath a power, inquire of him ;
And learn to make a body of a limb.
K. Rich. Thou chid'st me well :-Proud Bolingbroke, I
To change blows with thee for our day of doom.
This ague-fit of fear is over-blown;
task it is to win our own.
Say, Scroop, where lies our uncle with his power?
Speak sweetly, man, although thy looks be sour.
Scroop. Men judge by the complexion of the sky
The state and inclination of the day:
So may you by my dull and heavy eye ;
My tongue hath but a heavier tale to say.
I play the torturer, by small and small,
To lengthen out the worst that must be spoken
Your uncle York is b join'd with Bolingbroke;
And all your northern castles yielded up,
And all your southern gentlemen in arms
Upon his faction.
Thou hast said enough.-
Beshrew thee, cousin, which didst lead me forth [T. AUM.
Of that sweet way I was in to despair !
What say you now? What comfort have we now?
By heaven, I 'll hate him everlastingly
That bids me be of comfort any more.
Go to Flint castle; there I'll pine away;
A king, woe's slave, shall kingly woe obey.
That power I have, discharge; and let them go
To ear the land a that hath some hope to grow,
For I have none :-Let no man speak again
To alter this, for counsel is but vain.
Aum. My liege, one word.
He does me double wrong
That wounds me with the flatteries of his tongue.
Discharge my followers, let them hence.-Away, ,
From Richard's night to Bolingbroke's fair day. Ereunt.
SCENE III.—Wales. Before Flint Castle.
Enter, with drum and colours, BOLINGBROKE and Forces,
YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, and others.
Boling. So that by this intelligence we learn,
The Welshmen are dispers’d; and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed,
With some few private friends, upon this coast.
North. The news is very fair and good, my lord ;
Richard, not far from hence, hath hid his head.
York. It would beseem the lord Northumberland
To say, king Richard : Alack the heavy day,
When such a sacred king should hide his head!
North. Your grace mistakes ;, only to be brief,
Left I his title out.
The time hath been,
Would you have been so bries with him, he would
Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
For taking so the head, your whole head's length.
a Ear the land-plough the land. So in Shakspere's dedication of · Venus and Adonis' to the Earl of Southampton, “never after ear so barren a land, for fear it yield me still so bad a harvest.” Ear is the same as the Latin arare, to plough, to till. Arable is ear-able.
b Hanmer added me ;---make a pause after the emphatic mistakes, and the metre wants no such addition.
Taking so the head. Johnson thinks that to take the head is to take undue liberties. We incline to Douce's opinion, that the expression means to take away the sovereign's chief title.
Boling. Mistake not, uncle, farther than
should. York. Take not, good cousin, farther than you should, Lest you mis-take: The heavens are o'er your head.
Boling. I know it, uncle ; and oppose not myself Against their will.--But who comes here?
Welcome, Harry :a what, will not this castle yield ?
Percy. The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
Against thy entrance.
Why, it contains no king ?
Yes, my good lord,
It doth contain a king; king Richard lies
Within the limits of yon lime and stone:
And with him the lord Aumerle, lord Salisbury,
Sir Stephen Scroop ; besides a clergyman
Of holy reverence, who, I cannot learn.
North. Oh! belike it is the bishop of Carlisle.
Boling. Noble lord,
Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle :
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parle
Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver.
Upon his knees doth kiss king Richard's hand;
And sends allegiance, and true faith of heart,
To his most royal person : hither come
Even at his feet to lay my arms and power;
Provided that, my banishment repeal’d,
And lands restor'd again, be freely granted :
If not, I 'll use the advantage of my power,
And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood,
Rain'd from the wounds of slaughter'd Englishmen:
The which, how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
It is such crimson tempest should bedrench
The fresh green lap of fair king Richard's land,
Welcome, Harry. In Steevens, who followed Hanmer, we must put up with the feeble Well, Harry.