ACT V
Scene 2
 

The DUKE OF YORK's palace

[Enter the DUKE OF YORK and the DUCHESS]

DUCHESS
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.

YORK
Where did I leave?

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

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
Alack, poor Richard! where rode he the whilst?

YORK
As in a theatre the eyes of men
After a well-grac'd 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
Here comes my son Aumerle.

YORK
Aumerle that was
But that is lost for being Richard's friend,
And madam, you must call him Rudand now.
I am in Parliament pledge for his truth
And lasting fealty to the new-made king.

[Enter AUMERLE]

DUCHESS
Welcome, my son. Who are the violets now
That strew the green lap of the new come spring?

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

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? Do these justs and triumphs hold?

AUMERLE
For aught I know, my lord, they do.

YORK
You will be there, I know.

AUMERLE
If God prevent not, I purpose so.

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

AUMERLE
My lord, 'tis nothing.

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

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.

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

DUCHESS
What should you fear?
'Tis nothing but some bond that he is ent'red into
For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph-day.

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.

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

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
What is the matter, my lord?

YORK
Ho! who is within there?

[Enter a servant]

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

DUCHESS
Why, York, what is it, my lord?

YORK
Give me my boots, I say; saddle my horse.

[Exit servant]

Now, by mine honour, by my life, my troth,
I will appeach the villain.

DUCHESS
What is the matter?

YORK
Peace, foolish woman.

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

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

DUCHESS
Thy life answer!

YORK
Bring me my boots. I will unto the King.

[His man enters with his boots]

DUCHESS
Strike him, Aumerle. Poor boy, thou art amaz'd.
Hence, villain! never more come in my sight.

YORK
Give me my boots, I say.

DUCHESS
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?

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
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.

DUCHESS
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.

YORK
Make way, unruly woman!

[Exit]

DUCHESS
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]