Gaunt. To be a make-peace shall become my age, Throw downe (my sonne) the Duke of Norfolkes gage

King. And Norfolke, throw downe his

Gaunt. When Harrie when? Obedience bids, Obedience bids I should not bid agen

King. Norfolke, throw downe, we bidde; there is no boote

Mow. My selfe I throw (dread Soueraigne) at thy foot. My life thou shalt command, but not my shame, The one my dutie owes, but my faire name Despight of death, that liues vpon my graue To darke dishonours vse, thou shalt not haue. I am disgrac'd, impeach'd, and baffel'd heere, Pierc'd to the soule with slanders venom'd speare: The which no balme can cure, but his heart blood Which breath'd this poyson

King. Rage must be withstood: Giue me his gage: Lyons make Leopards tame

Mo. Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame, And I resigne my gage. My deere, deere Lord, The purest treasure mortall times afford Is spotlesse reputation: that away, Men are but gilded loame, or painted clay. A Iewell in a ten times barr'd vp Chest, Is a bold spirit, in a loyall brest. Mine Honor is my life; both grow in one: Take Honor from me, and my life is done. Then (deere my Liege) mine Honor let me trie, In that I liue; and for that will I die

King. Coosin, throw downe your gage, Do you begin

Bul. Oh heauen defend my soule from such foule sin. Shall I seeme Crest-falne in my fathers sight, Or with pale beggar-feare impeach my hight Before this out-dar'd dastard? Ere my toong, Shall wound mine honor with such feeble wrong; Or sound so base a parle: my teeth shall teare The slauish motiue of recanting feare, And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace, Where shame doth harbour, euen in Mowbrayes face.

Exit Gaunt.

King. We were not borne to sue, but to command, Which since we cannot do to make you friends, Be readie, (as your liues shall answer it) At Couentree, vpon S[aint]. Lamberts day: There shall your swords and Lances arbitrate The swelling difference of your setled hate: Since we cannot attone you, you shall see Iustice designe the Victors Chiualrie. Lord Marshall, command our Officers at Armes, Be readie to direct these home Alarmes.


Scaena Secunda.

Enter Gaunt, and Dutchesse of Gloucester.

Gaunt. Alas, the part I had in Glousters blood, Doth more solicite me then your exclaimes, To stirre against the Butchers of his life. But since correction lyeth in those hands Which made the fault that we cannot correct, Put we our quarrell to the will of heauen, Who when they see the houres ripe on earth, Will raigne hot vengeance on offenders heads

Dut. Findes brotherhood in thee no sharper spurre? Hath loue in thy old blood no liuing fire? Edwards seuen sonnes (whereof thy selfe art one) Were as seuen violles of his Sacred blood, Or seuen faire branches springing from one roote: Some of those seuen are dride by natures course, Some of those branches by the destinies cut: But Thomas, my deere Lord, my life, my Glouster, One Violl full of Edwards Sacred blood, One flourishing branch of his most Royall roote Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt; Is hackt downe, and his summer leafes all vaded By Enuies hand, and Murders bloody Axe. Ah Gaunt! His blood was thine, that bed, that wombe, That mettle, that selfe-mould that fashion'd thee, Made him a man: and though thou liu'st, and breath'st, Yet art thou slaine in him: thou dost consent In some large measure to thy Fathers death, In that thou seest thy wretched brother dye, Who was the modell of thy Fathers life. Call it not patience (Gaunt) it is dispaire, In suffring thus thy brother to be slaughter'd, Thou shew'st the naked pathway to thy life, Teaching sterne murther how to butcher thee: That which in meane men we intitle patience Is pale cold cowardice in noble brests: What shall I say, to safegard thine owne life, The best way is to venge my Glousters death

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

All Pages of This Book
King Edward the Third
The Famous History of the Life of King Henry the Eight
The life and death of King John
The Tragedie of King Lear