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As to be cast forth in the common air,
Have I deserved at your highness' hand.
The language I have learn'd these forty years,
My native English, now I must forego:
And now my tongue's use is to me no more,
Than an unstringed viol or a harp:
Or like a cunning instrument cas'd up,
Or, being open, put into his hands
That knows no touch to tune the harmony.
Within my

mouth you have engaold my tongue,
Doubly portcullis’d, with my teeth, and lips;
And dull, unfeeling, barren ignorance
Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
Too far in years to be a pupil now;
What is thy sentence then, but speechless death,
Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath ?

K. Rich. It boots thee not to be compassionate "1; After our sentence plaining comes too late.

Nor. Then thus I turn me from my country's light, To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.

[Retiring. K. Rich. Return again, and take an oath with thee. Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands; Swear by the duty that you owe to heaven (Our part therein we banish with yourselves), To keep the oath that we administer :You never shall (so help you truth and heaven!)

11 Compassionate is apparently here used in the sense of complaining, plaintive; but no other instance of the word in this sense has occurred to the commentators. May it not be an error of the press, for so passionate?' which would give the required meaning to the passage; passionate being frequently used for to express passion or grief, to complain. Now leave we this amorous hermit to passionate and playne his misfortune.'— Palace of Pleasure, vol. ii. L1, 5. • And cannot passionate our tenfold griefs.'

Tit. Andron. Act iii. Sc. 2.

Embrace each other's love in banishment;
Nor never look upon each other's face;
Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
This lowering tempest of your home-bred hate ;
Nor never by advised 12

purpose meet,
To plot, contrive, or complot any ill,
'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.

Boling. I swear.
Nor. And I, to keep all this.

Boling. Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy 13;-
By this time, had the king permitted us,
One of our souls had wander'd in the air,
Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
As now our flesh is banish'd from this land :
Confess thy treasons, ere thou fly the realm;
Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
The clogging burden of a guilty soul.

Nor. No, Bolingbroke; if ever I were traitor,
My name be blotted from the book of life,
And I from heaven banish’d, as from hence!
But what thou art, heaven, thou, and I do know;
And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.
Farewell, my liege :-Now no way can I stray;
Save back to England, all the world's my way.

[Exit 14 K. Rich. Uncle, even in the glasses of thine

eyes I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspéct Hath from the number of his banish'd

years Pluck'd four away;—Six frozen winters spent, Return To BOLING.] with welcome home from


12 Premeditated, deliberated.

13 The first folio reads 'So fare. This line seems to be addressed by way of caution to Mowbray, lest he should think that Bolingbroke was about to conciliate him.

14 The duke of Norfolk went to Venice, 'where for thought and melancholy he deceased.'— Holinshed.

Boling. How long a time lies in one little word ! Four lagging winters, and four wanton springs, End in a word; Such is the breath of kings.

Gaunt. I thank my liege, that, in regard of me, He shortens four years of my son's exile: But little vantage shall I reap thereby; For, ere the six years, that he hath to spend, Can change their moons, and bring their times about, My oil-dried lamp, and time-bewasted light, Shall be extinct with age, and endless night; My inch of taper will be burnt and done, And blindfold death not let me see my son.

K. Rich. Why, uncle, thou hast many years to live.

Gaunt. But not a minute, king, that thou canst give: Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow, And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow 15: Thou canst help time to furrow me with age, But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage; Thy word is current with him for


death; But, dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.

K. Rich. Thy son is banish'd upon good advice 16, Whereto thy tongue a party 17 verdict gave; Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lower ?

Gaunt. Things sweet to taste, prove in digestion


You urg'd me as a judge; but I had rather,
You would have bid me argue like a father :-
0, had it been a stranger, not my child,
To smooth his fault I should have been more mild 18:
A partial slander 19 sought I to avoid,
And in the sentence my own life destroy’d.

15 It is a matter of very melancholy consideration that all human advantages confer more power of doing evil than good.

16 Consideration. 17 Had a part or share in it.
18 This couplet is wanting in the folio.
19 i. e. the reproach of partiality.

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Alas, I look’d, when some of you


say, I was too strict, to make mine own away; But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue, Against my will, to do myself this wrong.

K.Rich. Cousin,farewell;—and, uncle, bid him so; Six years we banish him, and he shall go.

(Flourish. Exeunt K. Rich. and Train. Aum. Cousin, farewell; what presence must not

know, From where

do remain, let


show. Mar. My lord, no leave take I: for I will ride, As far as land will let me, by your side. Gaunt. 0, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy

That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends ?
Boling. I have too few to take

leave of

you, When the tongue's office should be prodigal To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart.

Gaunt. Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.
Boling. Joy absent, grief is present for that time.
Gaunt. What is six winters ? they are quickly gone.
Boling. To men in joy; but grief makes one hour

Gaunt. Call it a travel that thou tak’st for pleasure.

Boling. My heart will sigh, when I miscall it so, Which finds it an enforced pilgrimage.

Gaunt. The sullen passage of thy weary steps Esteem a foil, wherein thou art to set The precious jewel of thy home-return.

Boling. Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make 20 Will but remember me, what a deal of world I wander from the jewels that I love. Must I not serve a long apprenticehood To foreign passages; and in the end, Having my freedom, boast of nothing else, But that I was a journeyman to grief?

20 This speech and that which follows are not in the folio.

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Gaunt. All places that the eye of heaven 21 visits, Are to a wise man ports and happy havens: Teach thy necessity to reason thus; There is no virtue like necessity. Think not the king did banish thee; But thou the king 22 : Woe doth the heavier sit, Where it perceives it is but faintly borne. Go, say-I sent thee forth to purchase honour, And not—the king exild thee: or suppose, Devouring pestilence hangs in our air, And thou art flying to a fresher clime. Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou com’st: Suppose the singing birds, musicians; The grass whereon thou tread’st, the presence

strew'd 23; 21 So Nonnus :—'aidépos ôujua; i.e. the sun. Thus in the Rape of Lucrece:

*The eye of heaven is out.' And in Spenser's Faerie Queene, b. i. c. iii. st. 4:

Her angel face As the great eye of heaven shyned bright.' 22 Shakspeare probably remembered Euphues' exhortation to Botonio to take his exile patiently. Nature hath given to man a country no more than she hath a house, or lands, or livings. Socrates would neither call himself an Athenian, neither a Grecian; but a citizen of the world. Plato would never accompt him banished, that had the sunne, fire, ayre, water, and earth, that he had before ; where he felt the winter's blast, and the summer's blaze; where the same sunne and same moone shined : whereby he noted that every place was a country to a wise man, and all parts a palace to a quiet mind.-When it was cast in Diogenes' teeth, that the Sinoponetes had banished him from Pontus; Yea, said he, I them of Diogenes.'

23 We have other allusions to the practice of strewing rushes over the floor of the presence chamber in Shakspeare. So in Cymbeline :

- Tarquin thus
Did softly press the rushes ere he waken'd

The chastity he wounded.' See Hentzner's account of the presence chamber in the palace at Greenwich, 1598.-Itiner. p. 135.

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