Mow. No Bullingbroke: If euer I were Traitor, My name be blotted from the booke of Life, And I from heauen banish'd, as from hence: But what thou art, heauen, thou, and I do know, And all too soone (I feare) the King shall rue. Farewell (my Liege) now no way can I stray, Saue backe to England, all the worlds my way. Enter.

Rich. Vncle, euen in the glasses of thine eyes I see thy greeued heart: thy sad aspect, Hath from the number of his banish'd yeares Pluck'd foure away: Six frozen Winters spent, Returne with welcome home, from banishment

Bul. How long a time lyes in one little word: Foure lagging Winters, and foure wanton springs End in a word, such is the breath of Kings

Gaunt. I thanke my Liege, that in regard of me He shortens foure yeares of my sonnes exile: But little vantage shall I reape thereby. For ere the sixe yeares that he hath to spend Can change their Moones, and bring their times about, My oyle-dride Lampe, and time-bewasted light Shall be extinct with age, and endlesse night: My inch of Taper, will be burnt, and done, And blindfold death, not let me see my sonne

Rich. Why Vncle, thou hast many yeeres to liue

Gaunt. But not a minute (King) that thou canst giue; Shorten my dayes thou canst with sudden sorow, And plucke nights from me, but not lend a morrow: Thou canst helpe time to furrow me with age, But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage: Thy word is currant with him, for my death, But dead, thy kingdome cannot buy my breath

Ric. Thy sonne is banish'd vpon good aduice, Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gaue, Why at our Iustice seem'st thou then to lowre? Gau. Things sweet to tast, proue in digestion sowre: You vrg'd me as a Iudge, but I had rather You would haue bid me argue like a Father. Alas, I look'd when some of you should say, I was too strict to make mine owne away: But you gaue leaue to my vnwilling tong, Against my will, to do my selfe this wrong

Rich. Cosine farewell: and Vncle bid him so: Six yeares we banish him, and he shall go. Enter.


Au. Cosine farewell: what presence must not know From where you do remaine, let paper show

Mar. My Lord, no leaue take I, for I will ride As farre as land will let me, by your side

Gaunt. Oh to what purpose dost thou hord thy words, That thou returnst no greeting to thy friends? Bull. I haue too few to take my leaue of you, When the tongues office should be prodigall, To breath th' abundant dolour of the heart

Gau. Thy greefe is but thy absence for a time

Bull. Ioy absent, greefe is present for that time

Gau. What is sixe Winters, they are quickely gone? Bul. To men in ioy, but greefe makes one houre ten

Gau. Call it a trauell that thou tak'st for pleasure

Bul. My heart will sigh, when I miscall it so, Which findes it an inforced Pilgrimage

Gau. The sullen passage of thy weary steppes Esteeme a soyle, wherein thou art to set The precious Iewell of thy home returne

Bul. Oh who can hold a fire in his hand By thinking on the frostie Caucasus? Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite, By bare imagination of a Feast? Or Wallow naked in December snow By thinking on fantasticke summers heate? Oh no, the apprehension of the good Giues but the greater feeling to the worse: Fell sorrowes tooth, doth euer ranckle more Then when it bites, but lanceth not the sore

Gau. Come, come (my son) Ile bring thee on thy way Had I thy youth, and cause, I would not stay

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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