Page images

York. You will be there, I know.

Aum. If God prevent it not; I purpose so.

York. What seal is that, that hangs without thy


Yea, look'st thou pale? let me see the writing.
Aum. My lord, 'tis nothing.


No matter then who sees it:

I will be satisfied, let me see the writing.

Aum. 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,—


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

York. Bound to himself? what doth he with a


That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.-
Boy, let me see the writing.

Aum. 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!
Duch. What is the matter, my lord?

York. Ho! who is within there? [Enter a ser-
vant.] Saddle my horse.

God for his mercy! what treachery is here!

Duch. Why, what is it, my lord?

York. Give me my boots, I say; saddle my


Now by mine honour, by my life, my troth,

I will appeach the villain.


York. Peace, foolish woman.

[Exit servant.

What's the matter?

Duch. I will not peace:-What is the matter, son? Aum. Good mother, be content; it is no more

Than my poor life must answer.


Thy life answer!



Re-enter servant, with boots.

York. Bring me my boots, I will unto the king.
Duch. Strike him, Aumerle.-Poor boy, thou art

Hence, villain; never more come in my sight.-
[To the servant.

York. Give me my boots, I say.

Duch. 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 t 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?
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.


He shall be none;

We'll keep him here: Then what is that to him?

York. Away,

Fond woman! were he twenty times my son,

I would appeach him.


Hadst thou groan'd for him,

As I have done, thou'dst 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.


Make way, unruly woman.

* Perplexed, confounded.


+ Breeding.

Duch. After, Aumerle; mount thee upon his


Spur, post; and get before him to the king,
And beg his 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;



Windsor. A room in the castle.

Enter Bolingbroke as king; Percy, and other lords.

Boling. Can no man tell of my unthrifty son? 'Tis full three months, since I did see him last:If any plague hang over us, 'tis he.

I would to God, my lords, he might be found:
Inquire at London, 'mongst the taverns there,
For there, they say, he daily doth frequent,
With unrestrained loose companions;
Even such, they say, as stand in narrow lanes,
And beat our watch, and rob our passengers;
While he, young, wanton, and effeminate boy,
Takes on the point of honour, to support

So dissolute a crew.

Percy. My lord, some two days since I saw the prince;

And told him of these triumphs held at Oxford.
Boling. And what said the gallant?

Percy. His answer was,--he would unto the stews;
And from the common'st creature pluck a glove,
And wear it as a favour; and with that
He would unhorse the lustiest challenger.

Boling. As dissolute, as desperate: yet, through


I see some sparkles of a better hope,

Which elder days may happily bring forth.

But who comes here?

Enter Aumerle, hastily.


Where is the king?

What means

Our cousin, that he stares and looks so wildly? Aum. God save your grace. I do beseech your majesty,

To have some conference with your grace alone, Boling. Withdraw yourselves, and leave us here [Exeunt Percy and lords.


What is the matter with our cousin now?
Aum. For ever may my knees grow to the earth,


My tongue cleave to my roof within my mouth,
Unless a pardon, ere I rise, or speak.

Boling. Intended, or committed, was this fault?

If but the first, how heinous e'er it be,

To win thy after-love, I pardon thee.

Aum. Then give me leave that I may turn the key, That no man enter till my tale be doue.

Boling. Have thy desire.

[Aumerle locks the door.

York. [Within.] My liege, beware; look to thy


Thou hast a traitor in thy presence there.

Boling. Villain, I'll make thee safe. [Drawing.
Aum. Stay thy revengeful hand;

Thou hast no cause to fear.

York. [Within.] Open the door, secure, fool-bardy


Shall I, for love, speak treason to thy face?

Open the door, or I will break it open.

[Bolingbroke opens the door.

Enter York.

Boling. What is the matter, uncle? speak; Recover breath; tell us how near is danger, That we may arm us to encounter it.

York. Peruse this writing here, and thou shalt know

The treason that my haste forbids me show.
Aum. Remember, as thou read'st, thy promise

I do repent me; read not my name there,
My heart is not confederate with my hand.

York. 'Twas, villain, ere thy hand did set it

I tore it from the traitor's bosom, king:
Fear, and not love, begets his penitence:
Forget to pity him, lest thy pity prove
A serpent that will sting thee to the heart.
Boling. O heinous, strong, and bold conspira-

O loyal father of a treacherous son!

Thou sheer*, immaculate, and silver fountain,
From whence this stream through muddy passages,
Hath held his current, and defil'd himself!
Thy overflow of good converts to bad;
And thy abundant goodness shall excuse
This deadly blot in thy digressing + son.

York. So shall my virtue be his vice's bawd;
And he shall spend mine honour with his shame,
As thriftless sons their scraping fathers' gold.
Mine honour lives when his dishonour dies,
Or my sham'd life in his dishonour lies:
Thou kill'st me in his life; giving him breath,
The traitor lives, the true man's put to death.
Duch. [Within.] What ho, my liege! for God's
sake let me in.

* Transparent.

+ Transgressing.

« PreviousContinue »