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Wales. Before Flint Castle.
Enter, with Drum and Colours, BOLINGBROKE and
Boling. So that by this intelligence we learn,
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?
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.
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,
North. Belike, it is the bishop of Carlisle.
On both his knees doth kiss king Richard's hand;
It is, such crimson tempest should bedrenca
Go, signify as much; while here we march
[NORTHUMBERLAND advances to the Castle,
Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,
Our fair appointments may be well perus'd.
With no less terror than the elements
Of fire and water, when their thund'ring shock
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,
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,
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,
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
This swears he, as he is a prince, is just;
K. Rich. Northumberland, say, thus the king
His noble cousin is right welcome hither;
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
That laid the sentence of dread banishment
On yon proud man, should take it off again
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.