« PreviousContinue »
I do repent me; read not my name there;
My heart is not confederate with my hand.
York. It was, villain, ere thy hand did set it down.—
I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king;
Fear, and not love, begets his penitence:
Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
Boling. O heinous, strong, and bold conspiracy!—
O loyal father of a treacherous son!
Thou sheer, immaculate, and silver fountain,
From whence this stream through muddy passages
Hath held his current and defil'd himself!
Thy overflow of good converts to bad;
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressing son.
York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd;
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies:
Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.
Duch. [within.] What ho, my liege! for God's sake, let
Boling. What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king; 'tis I. Speak with me, pity me, open the door:
A beggar begs that never begg'd before.
Boling. Our scene is alter'd from a serious thing,
And now chang'd to The Beggar and the King.-
My dangerous cousin, let your mother in :
I know she's come to pray for your foul sin.
[AUMERLE unlocks the door.
York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, More sins, for this forgiveness, prosper may. This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound; This let alone will all the rest confound.
Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man;
Love, loving not itself, none other can.
York. Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?
Duch. Sweet York, be patient. --Hear me, gentle liege.
Boling. Rise up, good aunt.
For ever will I walk upon my knees,
And never see day that the happy sees
Till thou give joy; until thou bid me joy,
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.
Aum. Unto my mother's prayers I bend my knee.
York. Against them both, my true joints bended be.
Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!
Duch. Pleads he in earnest? look upon his face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast:
He prays but faintly, and would be denied;
We pray with heart and soul, and all beside:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees shall kneel till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy which true prayers ought to have.
Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
Nay, do not say stand up;
But pardon first, and afterwards stand up.
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
Pardon should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long'd to hear a word till now;
Say pardon, king; let pity teach thee how:
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like pardon, for kings' mouths so meet.
York. Speak it in French, king; say pardonnez moi.
Duch. Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah, my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,
That sett'st the word itself against the word!-
Speak pardon as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there:
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear;
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse.
Boling. Good aunt, stand up.
I do not sue to stand;
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.
Boling. I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.
Duch. O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying pardon doth not pardon twain,
But makes one pardon strong.
Boling. But for our trusty brother-in-law, and the abbot, With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.—
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell:—and, cousin mine, adieu:
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.
Duch. Come, my old son:-I pray God make thee new.
SCENE IV.-Another Room in the Castle.
Enter SIR PIERCE OF EXTON and a Servant.
Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words he Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear? [spake?Was it not so?
Those were his very words.
Exton. Have I no friend? quoth he: he spake it twice, And urg'd it twice together, did he not?
Exton. And, speaking it, he wistly look'd on me.
As who should say,-I would thou wert the man
That would divorce this terror from my heart,-
Meaning the king at Pomfret. Come, let's go :
I am the king's friend, and will rid his foe.
The Dungeon of the Castle.
Enter KING RICHARD.
K. Rich. I have been studying how I may compare
This prison where I live unto the world:
And, for because the world is populous,
And here is not a creature but myself,
I cannot do it ;-yet I'll hammer 't out.
My brain I'll prove the female to my soul,
My soul the father: and these two beget
A generation of still-breeding thoughts,
And these same thoughts people this little world,
In humours like the people of this world,
For no thought is contented. The better sort,-
As thoughts of things divine,- -are intermix'd
With scruples, and do set the word itself
Against the word:
As thus,-Come, little ones; and then again,—
It is as hard to come as for a camel
To thread the postern of a needle's eye.
Thoughts tending to ambition, they do plot
Unlikely wonders: how these vain weak nails
May tear a passage through the flinty ribs
Of this hard world, my ragged prison walls;
And, for they cannot, die in their own pride.
Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
Nor shall not be the last; like silly beggars,
Who, sitting in the stocks, refuge their shame,
That many have, and others must sit there;
And in this thought they find a kind of ease,
Bearing their own misfortune on the back
Of such as have before endur'd the like.
Thus play I, in one person, many people,
And none contented: sometimes am Î king;
Then treason makes me wish myself a beggar,
And so I am: then crushing penury
Persuades me I was better when a king;
Then am I king'd again: and by and by
Think that I am unking'd by Bolingbroke,
And straight am nothing:-but whate'er I am,
Nor I, nor any man that but man is,
With nothing shall be pleas'd till he be eas'd
With being nothing.-Music do I hear?
Ha, ha! keep time:-how sour sweet music is
When time is broke and no proportion kept!
So is it in the music of men's lives.
And here have I the daintiness of ear
To check time broke in a disorder'd string;
But, for the concord of my state and time,
Had not an ear to hear my true time broke.
I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and, with sighs, they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial's point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now, sir, the sound that tells what hour it is,
Are clamorous groans, that strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: so sighs, and tears, and groans,
Show minutes, times, and hours:-but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke's proud joy,
While I stand fooling here, his Jack o' the clock.
This music mads me; let it sound no more;
For though it have holp madmen to their wits,
In me it seems it will make wise men mad.
Yet blessing on his heart that gives it me!
For 'tis a sign of love; and love to Richard
Is a strange brooch in this all-hating world.
Groom. Hail, royal prince!
Thanks, noble pcer;
The cheapest of us is ten groats too dear.
What art thou? and how com'st thou hither,
Where no man ever comes, but that sad dog
That brings me food to make misfortune live?
Groom. I was a poor groom of thy stable, king,
When thou wert king; who, travelling towards York,
With much ado at length have gotten leave
To look upon my sometimes royal master's face.
O, how it yearn'd my heart, when I beheld,
In London streets, that coronation-day,
When Bolingbroke rode on roan Barbary,—
That horse that thou so often hast bestrid,
That horse that I so carefully have dress'd!
K. Rich. Rode he on Barbary? Tell me, gentle friend, How went he under him?
Groom. So proudly as if he disdain'd the ground.
K. Rich. So proud that Bolingbroke was on his back!
That jade hath eat bread from my royal hand;
This hand hath made him proud with clapping him.
Would he not stumble? would he not fall down,-
Since pride must have a fall,—and break the neck
Of that proud man that did usurp his back?
Forgiveness, horse! why do I rail on thee,
Since thou, created to be aw'd by man,
Wast born to bear? I was not made a horse;
And yet I bear a burden like an ass,
Spur-gall'd and tir'd by jauncing Bolingbroke.
Enter Keeper with a dish.
Keep. Fellow, give place; here is no longer stay.