Графични страници
PDF файл

K. Rich.

Rage must be withstood:

Give me his gage:-Lions make leopards tame†.

Nor. Yea, but not change their 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, 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. [Exit GAUNT.

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.—

+ Lions make leopards tame.] There is a peculiar allusion here which has not been noticed. The Norfolk crest was a golden leopard. MALONE. In the next line Mr. M. reads "his spots."


atone you,] i. e. reconcile you.

2 Justice design —] i. e. mark out.

+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 GLOSTER3.

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.

[ocr errors][merged small]



Duchess of Gloster.] The duchess of Gloster was Eleanor Bohun, widow of duke Thomas, son of Edward III.

4 the part-] That is, my relation of consanguinity to Gloster.

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 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? 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.

[ocr errors]

thou dost consent, &c.] i. e. assent.

A caitiff-] Caitiff originally signified a prisoner; next, a slave, from the condition of prisoners; then, a scoundrel, from the qualities of a slave.

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-0, 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.


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? Aum. Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in.

7 · Lord Marshal,] Shakspeare has here committed a slight mistake. The office of lord marshal was executed on this occasion by Thomas Holland, duke of Surrey. Our author has inadvertently introduced that nobleman as a distinct person from the marshal, in the present drama. Mowbray duke of Norfolk was the ear marshal of England; but being himself one of the combatants, the duke of Surrey officiated as earl marshal for the day.

8 Aumerle.] Edward duke of Aumerle, so created by his cousin

Mar. The duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold, Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.

Aum. Why then, the champions are prepar'd, and stay For nothing but his majesty's approach.

Flourish of Trumpets. Enter King RICHARD, who takes his seat on his Throne; GAUNT, and several Noblemen, who take their places. A Trumpet is sounded, and answered by another Trumpet within. Then enter NORFOLK, in armour, preceded by a Herald.

K. Rich. Marshal, demand of yonder champion
The cause of his arrival here in arms:
Ask him his name; and orderly proceed
To swear him in the justice of his cause.

Mar. In God's name, and the king's, say who thou art, And why thou com'st, thus knightly clad in arms: Against what man thou com'st, and what thy quarrel: Speak truly, on thy knighthood, and thy oath;

† And so defend thee heaven, and thy valour!

Nor. My name is Thomas Mowbray, duke of Norfolk ; Who hither come engaged by my oath,

(Which, heaven defend, a knight should violate!)
Both to defend my loyalty and truth,

To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,
Against the duke of Hereford that appeals me;
And, by the grace of God, and this mine arm,
To prove him, in defending of myself,
A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
And, as I truly fight, defend me heaven!

[He takes his seat.

german, King Richard II. in 1397. He was the eldest son of Edward of Langley duke of Norfolk, fifth son of Edward the Third, and was killed in 1415, at the battle of Agincourt. He officiated at the lists of Coventry, as high constable of England.

+ "As so," i. e. as you hope that heaven and your valour may defend you. MALONE.



« ПредишнаНапред »