Richard II By William Shakespeare Act V

ACT 5 SCENE II. The same. A roomin the DUKE OF YORK's palace.

[Enter YORK and his DUCHESS.]

DUCHESS.
My Lord, you told me you would tell the rest,
When weeping made you break the story off,
Of our two cousins' coming into London.

YORK.
Where did I leave?

DUCHESS.
At that sad stop, my lord,
Where rude misgoverned hands from windows' tops
Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.

YORK.
Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,
Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed
Which his aspiring rider seem'd to know,
With slow but stately pace kept on his course,
Whilst all tongues cried 'God save thee, Bolingbroke!'
You would have thought the very windows spake,
So many greedy looks of young and old
Through casements darted their desiring eyes
Upon his visage; and that all the walls
With painted imagery had said at once
'Jesu preserve thee! Welcome, Bolingbroke!'
Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,
Bareheaded, lower than his proud steed's neck,
Bespake them thus, 'I thank you, countrymen:'
And thus still doing, thus he pass'd along.

DUCHESS.
Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

YORK.
As in a theatre, the eyes of men
After a well-grac'd actor leaves the stage
Are idly bent on him that enters next,
Thinking his prattle to be tedious;
Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes
Did scowl on Richard: no man cried 'God save him;'
No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home;
But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,
Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,
His face still combating with tears and smiles,
The badges of his grief and patience,
That had not God, for some strong purpose, steel'd
The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,
And barbarism itself have pitied him.
But heaven hath a hand in these events,
To whose high will we bound our calm contents.
To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,
Whose state and honour I for aye allow.

DUCHESS.
Here comes my son Aumerle.

YORK.
Aumerle that was;
But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
And madam, you must call him Rutland now.
I am in Parliament pledge for his truth
And lasting fealty to the new-made king.

[Enter AUMERLE.]

DUCHESS.
Welcome, my son: who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?

AUMERLE.
Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.
God knows I had as lief be none as one.

YORK.
Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,
Lest you be cropp'd before you come to prime.
What news from Oxford? hold those justs and triumphs?

AUMERLE.
For aught I know, my lord, they do.

YORK.
You will be there, I know.

AUMERLE.
If God prevent not, I purpose so.

YORK.
What seal is that that without thy bosom?
Yea, look'st thou pale? Let me see the writing.

AUMERLE.
My lord, 'tis nothing.

YORK.
No matter, then, who see it.
I will be satisfied; let me see the writing.

AUMERLE.
I do beseech your Grace to pardon me;
It is a matter of small consequence
Which for some reasons I would not have seen.

YORK.
Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.
I fear, I fear —

DUCHESS.
What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond that he is ent'red into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.

YORK.
Bound to himself! What doth he with a bond
That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.
Boy, let me see the writing.

AUMERLE.
I do beseech you, pardon me; I may not show it.

YORK.
I will be satisfied; let me see it, I say.

[Snatches it and reads.]

Treason, foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!

DUCHESS.
What is the matter, my lord?

YORK.
Ho! who is within there?

[Enter a Servant.]

Saddle my horse.
God for his mercy! what treachery is here!

DUCHESS.
Why, what is it, my lord?

YORK.
Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.
Now, by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
I will appeach the villain.

[Exit Servant.]

DUCHESS.
What is the matter?

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