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Enter BOLINGBROKE, as King; Percy, and other


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 heaven, 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

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

Aum. Boling.

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

alone. [Exeunt Percy and Lords. What is the matter with our cousin now? Aum. For ever may my knees grow to the earth,

[Kneels. 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 done. Boling., Have thy desire.

[AUMERLE locks the door. York. [Within.] My liege beware; look to

thyself; 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

hardy king : 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

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


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 conspiracy!--
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 he 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

Heaven's sake let me in. Boling. What shrill-voic'd suppliant makes this

eager cry? Duch. A woman, and thine aunt, great king;

'tis I. Speak with me, pity me, open the door ; A beggar begs, that never begg'd before.

Boling. My dangerous cousin, let your mother in; I know, she's come to pray


foul sin. York. If thou do pardon, whosoever pray, More sins, for this forgiveness, prosper may.

4 Transparent.

This fester'd joint cut off, the rest rests sound;
This, let alone, will all the rest confound.

Enter Duchess.
Duch. O king, believe not this hard-hearted man.
York. Thou frantick woman, what dost thou

make here? Duch. Sweet York, be patient: Hear me gentle liege.

[Kneels. Boling. Rise up, good aunt. Duch,

Not yet, I thee beseech : For ever will I kneel 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. Aum. Unto my mother's prayers, I bend my knee.

[Kneels. York. Against them both, my true joints bended be.

[Kneels. Ill may'st thou thrive, if thou grant any grace! Duch. 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 shall 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 prayers ought to have. Boling. Good aunt, stand up. Duch.

Nay, do not say- stand up; But, 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 :

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The word is short, but not so short as sweet;
No word like, pardon, for kings' mouths so meet.
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.

Boling. Good aunt, stand up.

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

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

Duch. 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.

With all my heart
I pardon him.
Duch. A god on earth thou art.
Boling. 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 too, adieu : Your mother well hath pray'd,


prove you true. Duch. Come, my make thee new.


old son ;

pray Heaven


Enter Exton and a Servant.

Exton. Didst thou not mark the king, what words

he spake? Have I no friend will rid me of this living fear? Was it not so ? Serv.

Those were



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