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King Richard the Second.
to John of Gaunt; afterwards King Henry IV.
; } Creatures to King Richard.
Earl of Northumberland: Henry Percy, his Son.
Queen to King Richard,
Lords, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers, Two Gardeners, Keeper, Messenger, Groom, and other Attendants.
SCENE, dispersedly in England and Wales.
Duke of Aumerle,] Aumerle, or Aumale, is the French for what we now call Albemarle, which is a town in Normandy. The old historians generally use the French title. STEEVEXS.
2 Earl Berkley.] It ought to be Lord Berkley. There was no Earl Berkley till some ages after. STEEVENS.
3 Lord Ross.] Now spelt Roos, one of the Duke of Rutland's titles. STEEVENS.
THE LIFE AND DEATH OF
KING RICHARD II.
SCENE 1. London. A Room in the Palace.
Enter King RICHARD, attended; John of GAŬNT,
and other Nobles, with him.
Gaunt. I have, my liege.
thy oath and band,] i, e. bond.
The accuser, and the accused, freely speak:
[Exeunt some Attendants, High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire, In rage
deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.
Nor. Each day still better other's happiness;
As well appeareth by the cause you come;
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 can 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 treason doubled down his throat. Setting aside his high blood's royalty, And let him be no kinsman to my liege, I do defy him, and I spit at him; Call him-a slanderous coward, and a villain: Which to maintain, I would allow him odds; And meet him, were I tied to run a-foot Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps, Or any other ground inhabitable 3 Where ever Englishman durst set his foot. Mean time, let this defend my loyalty, By all my hopes, most 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 knighthood else, 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,
-right-drawn--] Drawn in a right or just cause.
Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
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 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
that can inherit us, &c.] To inherit is no more than to possess, though such a use of the word may be peculiar to Shakspeare,
for lewd-] Lewd, in our author, sometimes signifies wicked, and sometimes idle.
& Suggest -] i. e. prompt.