Scene II

The Duke of York's palace

Enter Duke of York and Duchess OF York

Duchess of York

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.

Duke of York

Where did I leave?

Duchess of York

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

Duke of 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 of York

Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

Duke of York

As in a theatre, the eyes of men,
After a well-graced 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 gentle 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 of York

Here comes my son Aumerle.

Duke of 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 Duke of Aumerle

Duchess of York

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

Duke of Aumerle

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

Duke of 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?

Duke of Aumerle

For aught I know, my lord, they do.

Duke of York

You will be there, I know.

Duke of Aumerle

If God prevent not, I purpose so.

Duke of York

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

Duke of Aumerle

My lord, 'tis nothing.

Duke of York

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

Duke of 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.

Duke of York

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

Duchess of York

What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond, that he is enter'd into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.

Duke of 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.

Duke of Aumerle

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

Duke of York

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

He plucks it out of his bosom and reads it

Treason! foul treason! Villain! traitor! slave!

Duchess of York

What is the matter, my lord?

Duke of York

Ho! who is within there?

Enter a Servant

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

Duchess of York

Why, what is it, my lord?

Duke of York

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

Duchess of York

What is the matter?

Duke of York

Peace, foolish woman.

Duchess of York

I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle.

Duke of Aumerle

Good mother, be content; it is no more
Than my poor life must answer.

Duchess of York

Thy life answer!

Duke of York

Bring me my boots: I will unto the king.

Re-enter Servant with boots

Duchess of York

Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amazed.
Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.

Duke of York

Give me my boots, I say.

Duchess of York

Why, York, what wilt thou do?
Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?
Have we more sons? or are we like to have?
Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?
And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age,
And rob me of a happy mother's name?
Is he not like thee? is he not thine own?

Duke of York

Thou fond mad woman,
Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?
A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,
And interchangeably set down their hands,
To kill the king at Oxford.

Duchess of York

He shall be none;
We'll keep him here: then what is that to him?

Duke of York

Away, fond woman! were he twenty times my son,
I would appeach him.

Duchess of York

Hadst thou groan'd for him
As I have done, thou wouldst be more pitiful.
But now I know thy mind; thou dost suspect
That I have been disloyal to thy bed,
And that he is a bastard, not thy son:
Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind:
He is as like thee as a man may be,
Not like to me, or any of my kin,
And yet I love him.

Duke of York

Make way, unruly woman!

Exit

Duchess of York

After, Aumerle! mount thee upon his horse;
Spur post, and get before him to the king,
And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.
I'll not be long behind; though I be old,
I doubt not but to ride as fast as York:
And never will I rise up from the ground
Till Bolingbroke have pardon'd thee. Away, be gone!

Exeunt