William Shakespeare: Richard II, Act III

Updated September 23, 2019 | Infoplease Staff


Scene I

Bristol. Before the castle

Enter Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of York, Northumberland, Lord Ross, Henry Percy, Lord Willoughby, with Bushy and Green, prisoners

Henry Bolingbroke

Bring forth these men.
Bushy and Green, I will not vex your souls—
Since presently your souls must part your bodies—
With too much urging your pernicious lives,
For 'twere no charity; yet, to wash your blood
From off my hands, here in the view of men
I will unfold some causes of your deaths.
You have misled a prince, a royal king,
A happy gentleman in blood and lineaments,
By you unhappied and disfigured clean:
You have in manner with your sinful hours
Made a divorce betwixt his queen and him,
Broke the possession of a royal bed
And stain'd the beauty of a fair queen's cheeks
With tears drawn from her eyes by your foul wrongs.
Myself, a prince by fortune of my birth,
Near to the king in blood, and near in love
Till you did make him misinterpret me,
Have stoop'd my neck under your injuries,
And sigh'd my English breath in foreign clouds,
Eating the bitter bread of banishment;
Whilst you have fed upon my signories,
Dispark'd my parks and fell'd my forest woods,
From my own windows torn my household coat,
Razed out my imprese, leaving me no sign,
Save men's opinions and my living blood,
To show the world I am a gentleman.
This and much more, much more than twice all this,
Condemns you to the death. See them deliver'd over
To execution and the hand of death.


More welcome is the stroke of death to me
Than Bolingbroke to England. Lords, farewell.


My comfort is that heaven will take our souls
And plague injustice with the pains of hell.

Henry Bolingbroke

My Lord Northumberland, see them dispatch'd.

Exeunt Northumberland and others, with the prisoners

Uncle, you say the queen is at your house;
For God's sake, fairly let her be entreated:
Tell her I send to her my kind commends;
Take special care my greetings be deliver'd.

Duke of York

A gentleman of mine I have dispatch'd
With letters of your love to her at large.

Henry Bolingbroke

Thank, gentle uncle. Come, lords, away.
To fight with Glendower and his complices:
Awhile to work, and after holiday.


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