Richard II By William Shakespeare Act V

YORK.
If thou do pardon, whosoever pray,
More sins for this forgiveness prosper may.
This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rest sound;
This let alone will all the rest confound.

[Enter DUCHESS.]

DUCHESS.
O King, believe not this hard-hearted man:
Love, loving not itself, none other can.

YORK.
Thou frantic woman, what dost thou make here?
Shall thy old dugs once more a traitor rear?

DUCHESS.
Sweet York, be patient. [Kneels.] Hear me, gentle liege.

BOLINGBROKE.
Rise up, good aunt.

DUCHESS.
Not yet, I thee beseech.
For ever will I walk upon my knees,
And never see day that the happy sees,
Till thou give joy: until thou bid me joy
By pardoning Rutland, my transgressing boy.

AUMERLE.
Unto my mother's prayers I bend my knee.

[Kneels.]

YORK.
Against them both, my true joints bended be.

[Kneels.]

Ill mayst thou thrive, if thou grant any grace!

DUCHESS.
Pleads he in earnest? Look upon his face;
His eyes do drop no tears, his prayers are in jest;
His words come from his mouth, ours from our breast;
He prays but faintly and would be denied;
We pray with heart and soul, and all beside:
His weary joints would gladly rise, I know;
Our knees still kneel till to the ground they grow:
His prayers are full of false hypocrisy;
Ours of true zeal and deep integrity.
Our prayers do out-pray his; then let them have
That mercy which true prayer ought to have.

BOLINGBROKE.
Good aunt, stand up.

DUCHESS.
Nay, do not say 'stand up';
Say 'pardon' first, and afterwards 'stand up'.
An if I were thy nurse, thy tongue to teach,
'Pardon' should be the first word of thy speech.
I never long'd to hear a word till now;
Say 'pardon,' king; let pity teach thee how:
The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like 'pardon' for kings' mouths so meet.

YORK.
Speak it in French, King, say 'pardonne moy.'

DUCHESS.
Dost thou teach pardon pardon to destroy?
Ah! my sour husband, my hard-hearted lord,,
That sett'st the word itself against the word.
Speak 'pardon' as 'tis current in our land;
The chopping French we do not understand.
Thine eye begins to speak, set thy tongue there,
Or in thy piteous heart plant thou thine ear,
That hearing how our plaints and prayers do pierce,
Pity may move thee pardon to rehearse.

BOLINGBROKE.
Good aunt, stand up.

DUCHESS.
I do not sue to stand;
Pardon is all the suit I have in hand.

BOLINGBROKE.
I pardon him, as God shall pardon me.

DUCHESS.
O happy vantage of a kneeling knee!
Yet am I sick for fear: speak it again;
Twice saying 'pardon' doth not pardon twain,

But makes one pardon strong.

BOLINGBROKE.
With all my heart
I pardon him.

DUCHESS.
A god on earth thou art.

BOLINGBROKE.
But for our trusty brother-in-law and the abbot,
With all the rest of that consorted crew,
Destruction straight shall dog them at the heels.
Good uncle, help to order several powers
To Oxford, or where'er these traitors are:
They shall not live within this world, I swear,
But I will have them, if I once know where.
Uncle, farewell: and, cousin, adieu:
Your mother well hath pray'd, and prove you true.

DUCHESS.
Come, my old son: I pray God make thee new.

[Exeunt.]

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