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Wales. Before Flint Castle.

Enter, with Drum and Colours, BOLINGBROKE and
Forces; YORK, NORTHUMBERLAND, and Others.

Boling. So that by this intelligence we learn,
The Welshmen are dispers'd; and Salisbury
Is gone to meet the king, who lately landed,
With some few private friends, upon this coast.

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

York. It would beseem the lord Northumberland, To say-king Richard:-Alack the heavy day, When such a sacred king should hide his head. North. Your grace mistakes me; only to be brief, Left I his title out.

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. Boling. Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.

York. Take not, good cousin, further than you should,


Lest you mis-take: The heavens are o'er your head. Boling. I know it, uncle; and oppose not Myself against their will.-But who comes here?

Enter PERCY.

Well, Harry; what, will not this castle yield? Percy. The castle royally is mann'd, my lord,

9 For taking so the head,] To take the head is, to act without restraint; to take undue liberties.

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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.

North. Belike, it is the bishop of Carlisle.
Boling. Noble lord,

Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;
Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parle
Into his ruin'd ears, and thus deliver.
Harry 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 restor'd 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 Boling ·

It is, such crimson tempest should bedrenca
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.---

[NORTHUMBERLAND advances to the Castle,
with a Trumpet.

Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,
That from the castle's totter'd battlements

Our fair appointments may be well perus'd.
Methinks, king Richard and myself should me


With no less terror than the elements

Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven,
Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water:
The rage be his, while on the earth I rain.
My waters; on the earth, and not on him.
March on, and mark king Richard how he looks.

A parle sounded, and answered by another Trumpet within. Flourish. Enter on the walls King RICHARD, the Bishop of Carlisle, AUMERLE, SCROOP, and SALISBURY.

York. See, see, king Richard doth himself ap-

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.
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!

K. Rich. We are amaz'd; and thus long have we


To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,

[To NORTHUMBERLAND, 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 dismiss'd us from our stewardship; For well we know, no hand of blood and bone Can gripe the sacred handle of our scepter, 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 must'ring in his clouds, in 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 is,)
That every stride he makes upon my land,
Is dangerous treason: He is come to ope
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;1
Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace
To scarlet indignation, and bedew

Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood. North. 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 thy 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,

4 the flower of England's face;] Dr. Warburton says, by the flower of England's face is meant the choicest youths of England, who shall be slaughtered in this quarrel, or have bloody crowns. The flower of England's face, to design her choicest youth, is a fine and noble expression, but Mr. Steevens is of opinion that the flower of England's face, means England's flowery face, the flowery surface of England's soil.

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.

K. Rich. Northumberland, say, thus the king


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 ourself, 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?

Aum. No, good my lord; let's fight with gentle words,

Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.

K. Rich. 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!5 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,

5 With words of sooth!] Sooth is sweet as well as true. In this place sooth means sweetness or softness, a signification yet retained in the verb to sooth. JOHNSON.

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