Richard II By William Shakespeare Act II

ACT 2 SCENE III. The Wolds in Gloucestershire.

[Enter BOLINGBROKE and NORTHUMBERLAND, with Forces.]

BOLINGBROKE.
How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Believe me, noble lord,
I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire.
These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
Draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome;
And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
But I bethink me what a weary way
From Ravenspurgh to Cotswold will be found
In Ross and Willoughby, wanting your company,
Which, I protest, hath very much beguil'd
The tediousness and process of my travel.
But theirs is sweeten'd with the hope to have
The present benefit which I possess;
And hope to joy is little less in joy
Than hope enjoy'd: by this the weary lords
Shall make their way seem short, as mine hath done
By sight of what I have, your noble company.

BOLINGBROKE.
Of much less value is my company
Than your good words. But who comes here?

[Enter HARRY PERCY.]

NORTHUMBERLAND.
It is my son, young Harry Percy,
Sent from my brother Worcester, whencesoever.
Harry, how fares your uncle?

PERCY.
I had thought, my lord, to have learn'd his health of you.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Why, is he not with the Queen?

PERCY.
No, my good lord; he hath forsook the court,
Broken his staff of office, and dispers'd
The household of the King.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
What was his reason?
He was not so resolv'd when last we spake together.

PERCY.
Because your lordship was proclaimed traitor.
But he, my lord, is gone to Ravenspurgh,
To offer service to the Duke of Hereford;
And sent me over by Berkeley, to discover
What power the Duke of York had levied there;
Then with directions to repair to Ravenspurgh.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Have you forgot the Duke of Hereford, boy?

PERCY.
No, my good lord; for that is not forgot
Which ne'er I did remember; to my knowledge,
I never in my life did look on him.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Then learn to know him now; this is the duke.

PERCY.
My gracious lord, I tender you my service,
Such as it is, being tender, raw, and young;,
Which elder days shall ripen, and confirm
To more approved service and desert.

BOLINGBROKE.
I thank thee, gentle Percy; and be sure
I count myself in nothing else so happy
As in a soul remembering my good friends;
And as my fortune ripens with thy love,
It shall be still thy true love's recompense.
My heart this covenant makes, my hand thus seals it.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
How far is it to Berkeley? And what stir
Keeps good old York there with his men of war?

PERCY.
There stands the castle, by yon tuft of trees,
Mann'd with three hundred men, as I have heard;
And in it are the Lords of York, Berkeley, and Seymour;
None else of name and noble estimate.

[Enter Ross and WILLOUGHBY.]

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Here come the Lords of Ross and Willoughby,
Bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste.

BOLINGBROKE.
Welcome, my lords. I wot your love pursues
A banish'd traitor; all my treasury
Is yet but unfelt thanks, which, more enrich'd,
Shall be your love and labour's recompense.

ROSS.
Your presence makes us rich, most noble lord.

WILLOUGHBY.
And far surmounts our labour to attain it.

BOLINGBROKE.
Evermore thanks, the exchequer of the poor;
Which, till my infant fortune comes to years,
Stands for my bounty. But who comes here?

[Enter BERKELEY.]

NORTHUMBERLAND.
It is my Lord of Berkeley, as I guess.

BERKELEY.
My Lord of Hereford, my message is to you.

BOLINGBROKE.
My lord, my answer is — to Lancaster;
And I am come to seek that name in England;
And I must find that title in your tongue
Before I make reply to aught you say.

BERKELEY.
Mistake me not, my lord; 'tis not my meaning
To raze one title of your honour out:
To you, my lord, I come, what lord you will,
From the most gracious regent of this land,
The Duke of York, to know what pricks you on
To take advantage of the absent time,
And fright our native peace with self-borne arms.

[Enter YORK, attended.]

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