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THE

LIFE AND DEATH

O

KING RICHARD II.

ACT I.

SCENE I. London. A room in the palace.

Enter King Richard, attended ; John of Gaunt and

other nobles, with him.

King Richard.
OLD John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,
Hast thou, according to thy oath and band*,
Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son ;
Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
Agaiost the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

Gaunt. I have, my liege.
K. Rich. Tell me moreover, hast thou sounded

him,
If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;

• Bond.

Or worthily as a good subject should,
On some known ground of treachery in him?
Guunt. As near as I could sift him on that argu-

nient,
On some apparent danger seen in him,
Aim'd at your highness; no inveterate malice.
K. Rich. Then call them to our presence; face

to face, And frowuing brow to brow, ourselves will hear The accuser, and the accused, freely speak :

(Ereunt some attendants. High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire. Re-enter attendants, with Bolingbroke and Norfolk.

Boling. May many years of happy days befal My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

Nor. Each day still better other's happiness; Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap, Add an immortal title to your crown! K. Rich. We thank you both: yet one but flat

ters us,
As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely, to appeal* each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?
Boling. First (heaven be the record of my

speech!),
In the devotion of a subject's love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this priucely presence.-
Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak,
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor, and a miscreant;
Too good to be so, and too bad to live;

• Charge.

Since, the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once niore, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor's bame stuff I thy throat;
And wish (so please my sovereigo), ere I move,
What my tongue speaks, my right-drawn sword may

prove.
Nor. Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:
'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain:
The blood is hot, that must be cool'd for this,
Yet cap I not of such tame patience boast,
As to be hush'd, and nought at all to say:
First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
Which else would post, until it had return'd
These terms of reason doubled down his throat.
Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
And let him be vo kinsman to my liege,
I do defy him, and I spit at him;
Call hina slanderous coward, and a villain:
Which to maintain, I would allow him odds;
Apd meet him, were I tied to run a-foot
Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
Or any other ground inhabitable
Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
Mean time, let this defend my loyalty,
By all my hopes, niost falsely doth he lie.
Boling. Pale trembling coward, there I throw my

gage,
Disclaiming here the kindred of a king;
And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except:
If guilty dread hath left thee so much strength,
As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop;
By that, and all the rites of kuighthood else,

Uninhabitable.

Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise. '

Nor. I take it up; and, by that sword I swear,
Which gently lay'd my knighthood on my shoulder,
I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
Or chivalrous design of kniglıtly trial:
And, when I mount, alive may I not light,
If I be traitor, or unjustly fight!
K. Rich. What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's

charge
It must be great, that can inherit* us
So much as of a thought of ill in him.
Boling. Look, what I speak my life shall

prove it
true;
That Mowbray hath receiv'd eight thousand nobles,
In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers ;
The which he hath detain'd for lewd f employments,
Like a false traitor, and injurious villain,
Besides I say, and will in battle prove,
Or here, or elsewhere, to the furthest verge
That ever was survey'd by English eye-
That all the treasons, for these eighteen years
Complotted and contrived in this land,
Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
Further I say,--and further will maintain
Upon his bad life, to

all this good,
That he did plot the duke of Gloster's death;
Suggest I his soon-believing adversaries;
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.

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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, my kingdom's heir,
(As he is but my father's brother's son),
Now by my scepter'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 my debt,
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 did I lay an ambush for your life, A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul : But, ere I last receiv'd the sacrament, 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 appealdt, It issues from the rancour of a villain, A recreant and most degenerate traitor:

• Reproach to his ancestry.

+ Chargod.

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