Document:  All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Richard II > Act III, scene III

	[Enter, with drum and colours, HENRY BOLINGBROKE,
	DUKE OF YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, Attendants, and forces]

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: So that by this intelligence we learn
	The Welshmen are dispersed, and Salisbury
	Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed
	With some few private friends upon this coast.

NORTHUMBERLAND: The news is very fair and good, my lord:
	Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.

DUKE OF YORK: It would beseem the Lord Northumberland
	To say 'King Richard:' alack the heavy day
	When such a sacred king should hide his head.

NORTHUMBERLAND: Your grace mistakes; only to be brief
	Left I his title out.

DUKE OF YORK: The time hath been,
	Would you have been so brief with him, he would
	Have been so brief with you, to shorten you,
	For taking so the head, your whole head's length.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.

DUKE OF YORK: Take not, good cousin, further than you should.
	Lest you mistake the heavens are o'er our heads.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: I know it, uncle, and oppose not myself
	Against their will. But who comes here?


	Welcome, Harry: what, will not this castle yield?

HENRY PERCY: The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,
	Against thy entrance.

	Why, it contains no king?

HENRY PERCY: Yes, my good lord,
	It doth contain a king; King Richard lies
	Within the limits of yon lime and stone:
	And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,
	Sir Stephen Scroop, besides a clergyman
	Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.

NORTHUMBERLAND: O, belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.

	Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
	Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley
	Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver:
	Henry Bolingbroke
	On both his knees doth kiss King Richard's hand
	And sends allegiance and true faith of heart
	To his most royal person, hither come
	Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,
	Provided that my banishment repeal'd
	And lands restored again be freely granted:
	If not, I'll use the advantage of my power
	And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood
	Rain'd from the wounds of slaughter'd Englishmen:
	The which, how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke
	It is, such crimson tempest should bedrench
	The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land,
	My stooping duty tenderly shall show.
	Go, signify as much, while here we march
	Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.
	Let's march without the noise of threatening drum,
	That from this castle's tatter'd battlements
	Our fair appointments may be well perused.
	Methinks King Richard and myself should meet
	With no less terror than the elements
	Of fire and water, when their thundering shock
	At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.
	Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water:
	The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain
	My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
	March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.

	[Parle without, and answer within. Then a flourish.
	Enter on the walls, KING RICHARD II, the BISHOP OF

	See, see, King Richard doth himself appear,
	As doth the blushing discontented sun
	From out the fiery portal of the east,
	When he perceives the envious clouds are bent
	To dim his glory and to stain the track
	Of his bright passage to the occident.

DUKE OF YORK: Yet looks he like a king: behold, his eye,
	As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth
	Controlling majesty: alack, alack, for woe,
	That any harm should stain so fair a show!

KING RICHARD II: We are amazed; and thus long have we stood
	To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,


	Because we thought ourself thy lawful king:
	And if we be, how dare thy joints forget
	To pay their awful duty to our presence?
	If we be not, show us the hand of God
	That hath dismissed us from our stewardship;
	For well we know, no hand of blood and bone
	Can gripe the sacred handle of our sceptre,
	Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
	And though you think that all, as you have done,
	Have torn their souls by turning them from us,
	And we are barren and bereft of friends;
	Yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
	Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
	Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
	Your children yet unborn and unbegot,
	That lift your vassal hands against my head
	And threat the glory of my precious crown.
	Tell Bolingbroke--for yond methinks he stands--
	That every stride he makes upon my land
	Is dangerous treason: he is come to open
	The purple testament of bleeding war;
	But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,
	Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons
	Shall ill become the flower of England's face,
	Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
	To scarlet indignation and bedew
	Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.

NORTHUMBERLAND: The king of heaven forbid our lord the king
	Should so with civil and uncivil arms
	Be rush'd upon! Thy thrice noble cousin
	Harry Bolingbroke doth humbly kiss thy hand;
	And by the honourable tomb he swears,
	That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,
	And by the royalties of both your bloods,
	Currents that spring from one most gracious head,
	And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,
	And by the worth and honour of himself,
	Comprising all that may be sworn or said,
	His coming hither hath no further scope
	Than for his lineal royalties and to beg
	Enfranchisement immediate on his knees:
	Which on thy royal party granted once,
	His glittering arms he will commend to rust,
	His barbed steeds to stables, and his heart
	To faithful service of your majesty.
	This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
	And, as I am a gentleman, I credit him.

KING RICHARD II: Northumberland, say thus the king returns:
	His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
	And all the number of his fair demands
	Shall be accomplish'd without contradiction:
	With all the gracious utterance thou hast
	Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.
	We do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not,


	To look so poorly and to speak so fair?
	Shall we call back Northumberland, and send
	Defiance to the traitor, and so die?

DUKE OF AUMERLE: No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle words
	Till time lend friends and friends their helpful swords.

KING RICHARD II: O God, O God! that e'er this tongue of mine,
	That laid the sentence of dread banishment
	On yon proud man, should take it off again
	With words of sooth! O that I were as great
	As is my grief, or lesser than my name!
	Or that I could forget what I have been,
	Or not remember what I must be now!
	Swell'st thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat,
	Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.

DUKE OF AUMERLE: Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.

KING RICHARD II: What must the king do now? must he submit?
	The king shall do it: must he be deposed?
	The king shall be contented: must he lose
	The name of king? o' God's name, let it go:
	I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,
	My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,
	My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,
	My figured goblets for a dish of wood,
	My sceptre for a palmer's walking staff,
	My subjects for a pair of carved saints
	And my large kingdom for a little grave,
	A little little grave, an obscure grave;
	Or I'll be buried in the king's highway,
	Some way of common trade, where subjects' feet
	May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;
	For on my heart they tread now whilst I live;
	And buried once, why not upon my head?
	Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousin!
	We'll make foul weather with despised tears;
	Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn,
	And make a dearth in this revolting land.
	Or shall we play the wantons with our woes,
	And make some pretty match with shedding tears?
	As thus, to drop them still upon one place,
	Till they have fretted us a pair of graves
	Within the earth; and, therein laid,--there lies
	Two kinsmen digg'd their graves with weeping eyes.
	Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see
	I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.
	Most mighty prince, my Lord Northumberland,
	What says King Bolingbroke? will his majesty
	Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?
	You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says ay.

NORTHUMBERLAND: My lord, in the base court he doth attend
	To speak with you; may it please you to come down.

KING RICHARD II: Down, down I come; like glistering Phaethon,
	Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
	In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
	To come at traitors' calls and do them grace.
	In the base court? Come down? Down, court!
	down, king!
	For night-owls shriek where mounting larks
	should sing.

	[Exeunt from above]

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: What says his majesty?

NORTHUMBERLAND: Sorrow and grief of heart
	Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man
	Yet he is come.

	[Enter KING RICHARD and his attendants below]

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: Stand all apart,
	And show fair duty to his majesty.

	[He kneels down]

	My gracious lord,--

KING RICHARD II: Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
	To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
	Me rather had my heart might feel your love
	Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy.
	Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
	Thus high at least, although your knee be low.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.

KING RICHARD II: Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,
	As my true service shall deserve your love.

KING RICHARD II: Well you deserve: they well deserve to have,
	That know the strong'st and surest way to get.
	Uncle, give me your hands: nay, dry your eyes;
	Tears show their love, but want their remedies.
	Cousin, I am too young to be your father,
	Though you are old enough to be my heir.
	What you will have, I'll give, and willing too;
	For do we must what force will have us do.
	Set on towards London, cousin, is it so?

HENRY BOLINGBROKE: Yea, my good lord.

KING RICHARD II: Then I must not say no.

	[Flourish. Exeunt]


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