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How God, and good men, hate so foul a liar.
K. Rich. Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears :
Nor. Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
130 Upon remainder of a dear account,
Since last I went to France to fetch his queen :
To prove myself a loyal gentleman
Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom :
150 In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
Your highness to assign our trial day.
K. Rich. Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by mé :
Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
This we prescribe, though no physician;
Deep malice makes too deep incision :
Good uncle, let this end where it begun ;
'We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.
160 Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age.-
Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.
K. Rich. And, Norfolk, throw down his.
Obedience bids, I should not bid again.
K. Rich. Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot. Nor. Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot; My life thou shalt command, but not my shame : The one my duty owes; but my fair name, Despite of death, that lives upon my grave, To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have. 170 I am disgraced, impeach'd, and baffled here; Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear; The which no balm can cure, but his heart-blood, Which breathed this poison.
K. Rich. Rage must be withstood :
Give me his gage :-Lions make leopards tame.
Nor. Yea, but not change his spots : take but my shame,
The purest treasure mortal times afford,
Men are but gilded loam, or painted clay.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one;
K. Rich. Cousin, throw up your gage; do you begin.
190 Before this outdared dastard? Ere my tongue
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.
K. Rich. We were not born to sue, but to command:
Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
At Coventry upon Saint Lambert's day;
200 There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
SCENE II.-The same. A Room in the Duke of Lancaster's Palace.
Enter GAUNT, and Duchess of GLOSTER.
Gaunt. Alas! the part I had in Woodstock's blood
To stir against the butchers of his life.
Duch. Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
10 Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
Or seven fair branches springing from one root;
One flourishing branch of his most royal root,—
20 Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded,
Ah, Gaunt! his blood was thine; that bed, that womb,
Made him a man; and though thou liv'st, and breath'st,
Gaunt. God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
Hath caused his death the which, if wrongfully,
Duch. Where then, alas! may I complain myself?
Duch. Why then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
50 Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom,
A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford !
Gaunt. Sister, farewell: I must to Coventry :
Duch. Yet one word more; Grief boundeth where it falls, Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
60 I take my leave before I have begun ;
For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
70 And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
(The numbers refer to the lines.)
A general account of this play will be given in a future number.
1. Old John of Gaunt; John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and fourth son of Edward III., was born in 1340, at Ghent, from whence he derived his name. As this play opens in the year 1398, he was then only 58 years old, though Shakespeare describes him as a very old man. He died in 1399.
2. band; equivalent to "bond," that with which any one is bound. So in Antony and Cleopatra, Act III. Sc. 2,
"As my farthest band Shall pass on thy aproof."
3. Henry Hereford; Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, eldest son of John of Gaunt, and afterwards Henry IV. He was called Bolingbroke from the name of the castle in Lincolnshire where he was born.
4. boisterous late appeal; the loud accusation which he lately made. 12. sift him on that argument; examine or scrutinize him on that subject.
13. apparent; appearing, manifest. So we speak of the "heir apparent." Compare Julius Caesar, Act II. Sc. 1, "these apparent prodigies." 18. high stomach'd; "stomach" is "pride." So in Henry VIII., Act IV. Scene 2, Wolsey is described as being "of an unbounded stomach.
20. befal; infinitive mood, gov. by "may" understood.
22. Each day, etc.; may each day's happiness exceed that of every other which has gone before it.
23. hap; fortune, luck-that which happens. Compare Ruth ii. 3, "Her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz.'
26. the cause you come; the cause (for which) you come; or, the cause you come (on).
28. object; to offer in opposition, oppose. (Lat. jacio, I throw.)
30. record; register, witness.
32. Tendering; esteeming, heeding, regarding.
38. divine; godlike, immortal, immaterial, partaking of the essence of the deity.
39. miscreant; (Lat. credo, I believe), properly, an unbeliever; then, an infidel, a vile, wicked wretch.
43. aggravate the note; (Lat. gravis, heavy) to render heavier, make more distinct and emphatic the note or mark (Lat. nota) of infamy Iwith which I brand thee.
45. so please my sovereign; adv. sent. (condition) to "and wish." (If it may) so please my sovereign.
46. right-drawn; drawn in a rightful cause.
47. accuse; charge with insincerity or indifference, blame my (want of)
49. eager; sharp, keen (Lat. acer; Fr. aigre).
"It is a nipping and an eager air.
Comp. Hamlet, I. 4,
56. post; to travel post, or with great speed. Comp. Milton, Sonnet 19,
"And post o'er land and ocean without rest."
59. let him be; the more regular construction would be, "and letting him be,"-i.e., supposing him to be.
63. tied; bound, obliged.
65. inhabitable; not habitable, uninhabitable.
67. this; this defiance (contained in the next line).
69. gage; a pledge or pawn, a challenge to combat represented by a glove, cap, or some other article, thrown'down by the challenger, and picked up by the person who accepts the trial by arms.
72. except; to take out, not to include (Lat. capio, I take).
77. or thou canst worse devise; if I do not make it good against thee, then thou canst devise worse things (than thou hast already devised). Eo. fair degree; fair mode of trial.