King Richard II
Act I, Scene 3
The lists at Coventry.
- Enter Lord Marshal and the Duke Aumerle.
- My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Herford arm’d?
- Yea, at all points, and longs to enter in.
Lord Marshal3 - 4
- The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
- Stays but the summons of the appellant’s trumpet.
Aumerle5 - 6
- Why then the champions are prepar’d, and stay
- For nothing but his Majesty’s approach.
- The trumpets sound, and the King enters with his nobles
- Gaunt, Bushy, Bagot, Green, and others. When they are set,
- enter Mowbray, the Duke of Norfolk, in arms, defendant, with
- a Herald.
King Richard II7 - 10
- 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.
Lord Marshal11 - 15
- In God’s name and the King’s, say who thou art
- And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms,
- Against what man thou com’st, and what thy quarrel.
- Speak truly on thy knighthood and thy oath,
- As so defend thee heaven and thy valor!
Mowbray16 - 25
- My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
- Who hither come engaged by my oath
- (Which God defend a knight should violate!)
- Both to defend my loyalty and truth
- To God, my king, and my succeeding issue,
- Against the Duke of Herford 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!
- The trumpets sound. Enter Bullingbrook, Duke of Herford,
- appellant, in armor, with a Herald.
King Richard II26 - 30
- Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,
- Both who he is and why he cometh hither
- Thus plated in habiliments of war,
- And formally, according to our law,
- Depose him in the justice of his cause.
Lord Marshal31 - 34
- What is thy name? And wherefore com’st thou hither
- Before King Richard in his royal lists?
- Against whom com’st thou? And what’s thy quarrel?
- Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!
Bullingbrook35 - 41
- Harry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derby
- Am I, who ready here do stand in arms
- To prove by God’s grace, and my body’s valor,
- In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
- That he is a traitor, foul and dangerous,
- To God of heaven, King Richard, and to me—
- And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!
Lord Marshal42 - 45
- On pain of death, no person be so bold
- Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
- Except the Marshal and such officers
- Appointed to direct these fair designs.
Bullingbrook46 - 51
- Lord Marshal, let me kiss my sovereign’s hand
- And bow my knee before his Majesty,
- For Mowbray and myself are like two men
- That vow a long and weary pilgrimage.
- Then let us take a ceremonious leave
- And loving farewell of our several friends.
Lord Marshal52 - 53
- The appellant in all duty greets your Highness,
- And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.
King Richard II54 - 58
- We will descend and fold him in our arms.
- Cousin of Herford, as thy cause is right,
- So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
- Farewell, my blood, which if today thou shed,
- Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.
Bullingbrook59 - 77
- O, let no noble eye profane a tear
- For me, if I be gor’d with Mowbray’s spear.
- As confident as is the falcon’s flight
- Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.
- My loving lord, I take my leave of you;
- Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
- Not sick, although I have to do with death,
- But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.
- Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
- The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
- O thou, the earthly author of my blood,
- Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
- Doth with a twofold vigor lift me up
- To reach at victory above my head,
- Add proof unto mine armor with thy prayers,
- And with thy blessings steel my lance’s point,
- That it may enter Mowbray’s waxen coat,
- And furbish new the name of John a’ Gaunt,
- Even in the lusty havior of his son.
Gaunt78 - 83
- God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
- Be swift like lightning in the execution,
- And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
- Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
- Of thy adverse pernicious enemy.
- Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live.
- Mine innocence and Saint George to thrive!
Mowbray85 - 96
- However God or fortune cast my lot,
- There lives or dies, true to King Richard’s throne,
- A loyal, just, and upright gentleman.
- Never did captive with a freer heart
- Cast off his chains of bondage, and embrace
- His golden uncontroll’d enfranchisement,
- More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
- This feast of battle with mine adversary.
- Most mighty liege, and my companion peers,
- Take from my mouth the wish of happy years.
- As gentle and as jocund as to jest
- Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.
King Richard II97 - 99
- Farewell, my lord, securely I espy
- Virtue with valor couched in thine eye.
- Order the trial, Marshal, and begin.
Lord Marshal100 - 101
- Harry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derby,
- Receive thy lance, and God defend the right!
- Strong as a tower in hope, I cry amen.
- To an Officer.
- Go bear this lance to Thomas Duke of Norfolk,
First Herald104 - 109
- Harry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derby
- Stands here for God, his sovereign, and himself,
- On pain to be found false and recreant,
- To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
- A traitor to his God, his king, and him,
- And dares him to set forward to the fight.
Second Herald110 - 116
- Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
- On pain to be found false and recreant,
- Both to defend himself and to approve
- Henry of Herford, Lancaster, and Derby
- To God, his sovereign, and to him disloyal,
- Courageously, and with a free desire,
- Attending but the signal to begin.
Lord Marshal117 - 118
- Sound, trumpets, and set forward, combatants.
- A charge sounded.
- Stay, the King hath thrown his warder down.
King Richard II119 - 143
- Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
- And both return back to their chairs again.
- Withdraw with us, and let the trumpets sound
- While we return these dukes what we decree.
- A long flourish.
- Draw near,
- And list what with our Council we have done:
- For that our kingdom’s earth should not be soil’d
- With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
- And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
- Of civil wounds plough’d up with neighbors’ sword;
- And for we think the eagle-winged pride
- Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
- With rival-hating envy, set on you
- To wake our peace, which in our country’s cradle
- Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;
- Which so rous’d up with boist’rous untun’d drums,
- With harsh-resounding trumpets’ dreadful bray,
- And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
- Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace,
- And make us wade even in our kindred’s blood:
- Therefore we banish you our territories.
- You, cousin Herford, upon pain of life,
- Till twice five summers have enrich’d our fields
- Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
- But tread the stranger paths of banishment.
Bullingbrook144 - 147
- Your will be done. This must my comfort be,
- That sun that warms you here shall shine on me,
- And those his golden beams to you here lent
- Shall point on me and gild my banishment.
King Richard II148 - 153
- Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
- Which I with same unwillingness pronounce:
- The sly, slow hours shall not determinate
- The dateless limit of thy dear exile;
- The hopeless word of “never to return”
- Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.
Mowbray154 - 173
- A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
- And all unlook’d for from your Highness’ mouth.
- A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
- As to be cast forth in the common air,
- Have I deserved at your Highness’ hands.
- The language I have learnt these forty years,
- My native English, now I must forgo,
- And now my tongue’s use is to me no more
- Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
- Or like a cunning instrument cas’d up,
- Or being open, put into his hands
- That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
- Within my mouth you have enjail’d my tongue,
- Doubly portcullis’d with my teeth and lips,
- And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
- Is made my jailer to attend on me.
- I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
- Too far in years to be a pupil now.
- What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
- Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?
King Richard II174 - 175
- It boots thee not to be compassionate,
- After our sentence plaining comes too late.
Mowbray176 - 177
- Then thus I turn me from my country’s light,
- To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.
King Richard II178 - 190
- Return again, and take an oath with thee.
- Lay on our royal sword your banish’d hands;
- Swear by the duty that y’ owe to God
- (Our part therein we banish with yourselves)
- To keep the oath that we administer:
- You never shall, so help you truth and God,
- Embrace each other’s love in banishment,
- Nor never look upon each other’s face,
- Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
- This low’ring tempest of your home-bred hate,
- Nor never by advised purpose meet
- To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
- ’Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.
- I swear.
- And I, to keep all this.
Bullingbrook193 - 200
- Norfolk, so fare as to mine enemy:
- By this time, had the King permitted us,
- One of our souls had wand’red in the air,
- Banish’d this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
- As now our flesh is banish’d from this land;
- Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm;
- Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
- The clogging burden of a guilty soul.
Mowbray201 - 207
- No, Bullingbrook, if ever I were traitor,
- My name be blotted from the book of life,
- And I from heaven banish’d as from hence!
- But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know,
- And all too soon, I fear, the King shall rue.
- Farewell, my liege, now no way can I stray;
- Save back to England, all the world’s my way.
King Richard II208 - 213
- Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
- I see thy grieved heart. Thy sad aspect
- Hath from the number of his banish’d years
- Pluck’d four away.
- To Bullingbrook.
- Six frozen winters spent,
- Return with welcome home from banishment.
Bullingbrook214 - 216
- How long a time lies in one little word!
- Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
- End in a word: such is the breath of kings.
Gaunt217 - 225
- I thank my liege that in regard of me
- He shortens four years of my son’s exile,
- But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
- For ere the six years that he hath to spend
- Can change their moons and bring their times about,
- My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
- Shall be extinct with age and endless night;
- My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
- And blindfold Death not let me see my son.
King Richard II226
- Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.
Gaunt227 - 233
- But not a minute, King, that thou canst give.
- Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
- And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow;
- Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
- But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage;
- Thy word is current with him for my death,
- But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.
King Richard II234 - 236
- Thy son is banish’d upon good advice,
- Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave.
- Why at our justice seem’st thou then to low’r?
Gaunt237 - 247
- Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
- You urg’d me as a judge, but I had rather
- You would have bid me argue like a father.
- O, had’t been a stranger, not my child,
- To smooth his fault I should have been more mild.
- A partial slander sought I to avoid,
- And in the sentence my own life destroyed.
- Alas, I look’d when some of you should say
- I was too strict to make mine own away;
- But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
- Against my will to do myself this wrong.
King Richard II248 - 249
- Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so.
- Six years we banish him, and he shall go.
- Flourish. Exit with his Train.
Aumerle250 - 251
- Cousin, farewell! What presence must not know,
- From where you do remain let paper show.
Lord Marshal252 - 253
- My lord, no leave take I, for I will ride,
- As far as land will let me, by your side.
Gaunt254 - 255
- O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
- That thou returnest no greeting to thy friends?
Bullingbrook256 - 258
- I have too few to take my leave of you,
- When the tongue’s office should be prodigal
- To breathe the abundant dolor of the heart.
- Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
- Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
- What is six winters? They are quickly gone.
- To men in joy, but grief makes one hour ten.
- Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure.
Bullingbrook264 - 265
- My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
- Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.
Gaunt266 - 268
- The sullen passage of thy weary steps
- Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
- The precious jewel of thy home return.
Bullingbrook269 - 275
- Nay rather, every tedious stride I make
- Will but remember me what a deal of world
- I wander from the jewels that I love.
- Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
- To foreign passages, and in the end,
- Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
- But that I was a journeyman to grief?
Gaunt276 - 294
- All places that the eye of heaven visits
- Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
- Teach thy necessity to reason thus:
- There is no virtue like necessity.
- Think not the King did banish thee,
- But thou the King. Woe doth the heavier sit
- Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
- Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honor,
- And not the King exil’d thee; or suppose
- Devouring pestilence hangs in our air,
- And thou art flying to a fresher clime.
- Look what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
- To lie that way thou goest, not whence thou com’st.
- Suppose the singing birds musicians,
- The grass whereon thou tread’st the presence strow’d,
- The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
- Than a delightful measure or a dance,
- For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
- The man that mocks at it and sets it light.
Bullingbrook295 - 304
- O, who can hold a fire in his hand
- By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
- Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
- By bare imagination of a feast?
- Or wallow naked in December snow
- By thinking on fantastic summer’s heat?
- O no, the apprehension of the good
- Gives but the greater feeling to the worse.
- Fell Sorrow’s tooth doth never rankle more
- Than when he bites, but lanceth not the sore.
Gaunt305 - 306
- Come, come, my son, I’ll bring thee on thy way;
- Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.
Bullingbrook307 - 310
- Then England’s ground, farewell, sweet soil, adieu;
- My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet!
- Where e’er I wander, boast of this I can,
- Though banish’d, yet a true-born Englishman.