Richard II By William Shakespeare Act II

KING RICHARD.
Think what you will: we seize into our hands
His plate, his goods, his money, and his lands.

YORK.
I'll not be by the while: my liege, farewell:
What will ensue hereof there's none can tell;
But by bad courses may be understood
That their events can never fall out good.

[Exit.]

KING RICHARD.
Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight:
Bid him repair to us to Ely House
To see this business. To-morrow next
We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow:
And we create, in absence of ourself,
Our Uncle York lord governor of England;
For he is just, and always lov'd us well.
Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
Be merry, for our time of stay is short.

[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, BUSHY, AUMERLE, GREEN, and BAGOT.]

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.

ROSS.
And living too; for now his son is Duke.

WILLOUGHBY.
Barely in title, not in revenues.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Richly in both, if justice had her right.

ROSS.
My heart is great; but it must break with silence,
Ere't be disburdened with a liberal tongue.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more
That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!

WILLOUGHBY.
Tends that thou wouldst speak to the Duke of Hereford?
If it be so, out with it boldly, man;
Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.

ROSS.
No good at all that I can do for him,
Unless you call it good to pity him,
Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
In him, a royal prince, and many moe
Of noble blood in this declining land.
The king is not himself, but basely led
By flatterers; and what they will inform,
Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all,
That will the king severely prosecute
'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.

ROSS.
The commons hath he pill'd with grievous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd
For ancient quarrels and quite lost their hearts.

WILLOUGHBY.
And daily new exactions are devis'd;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
But what, o' God's name, doth become of this?

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Wars hath not wasted it, for warr'd he hath not,
But basely yielded upon compromise
That which his ancestors achiev'd with blows.
More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.

ROSS.
The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.

WILLOUGHBY.
The King's grown bankrupt like a broken man.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.

ROSS.
He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banish'd Duke.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm;
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

ROSS.
We see the very wrack that we must suffer;
And unavoided is the danger now,
For suffering so the causes of our wrack.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Not so: even through the hollow eyes of death
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.

WILLOUGHBY.
Nay, let us share thy thoughts as thou dost ours.

ROSS.
Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
We three are but thyself: and, speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore be bold.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Then thus: I have from Le Port Blanc, a bay
In Brittany, receiv'd intelligence
That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham,
That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton, and Francis Quoint,
All these well furnish'd by the Duke of Britaine,
With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
Are making hither with all due expedience,
And shortly mean to touch our northern shore.
Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
The first departing of the king for Ireland.
If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown,
Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt,
And make high majesty look like itself,
Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh;
But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
Stay and be secret, and myself will go.

ROSS.
To horse, to horse! Urge doubts to them that fear.

WILLOUGHBY.
Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.

[Exeunt.]

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