Gary Taylor, John Jowett, Terri Bourus, and Gabriel Egan (eds), The New Oxford Shakespeare: Modern Critical Edition

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Editor’s Note5.2Sc. 15

Enter the Duke of York and the Duchess of York

duchess of york My lord, you told me you would tell the rest,

2When weeping made you break the story off,

3Of our two cousins' coming into London.


york Where did I leave?

duchess of york At that sad stop, my lord,

Editor’s Note5Where rude misgoverned hands from windows' tops.

6Threw dust and rubbish on King Richard's head.


york Then, as I said, the Duke, great Bolingbroke,

8Mounted upon a hot and fiery steed,

Editor’s Note9Which his aspiring rider seemed to know,

10With slow but stately pace kept on his course,

pg 91111Whilst all tongues cried, 'God save thee, Bolingbroke!'

12You would have thought the very windows spoke,

13So many greedy looks of young and old

14Through casements darted their desiring eyes

Link 15Upon his visage, and that all the walls

Editor’s Note16With painted imagery had said at once,

17'Jesu preserve thee, welcome Bolingbroke!'

18Whilst he, from the one side to the other turning,

19Bare-headed, lower than his proud steed's neck,

20Bespoke them thus: 'I thank you countrymen',

21And thus still doing, thus he passed along.


duchess of york Alack, poor Richard! Where rode he the whilst?


york As in a theatre the eyes of men,

24After a well-graced actor leaves the stage,

25Are idly bent on him that enters next,

26Thinking his prattle to be tedious,

27Even so, or with much more contempt, men's eyes

28Did scowl on gentle Richard. No man cried 'God save him!'

29No joyful tongue gave him his welcome home;

30But dust was thrown upon his sacred head,

31Which with such gentle sorrow he shook off,

Editor’s Note32His face still combating with tears and smiles,

Editor’s Note33The badges of his grief and patience,

34That had not God for some strong purpose steeled

35The hearts of men, they must perforce have melted,

36And barbarism itself have pitied him.

37But heaven hath a hand in these events,

38To whose high will we bound our calm contents.

39To Bolingbroke are we sworn subjects now,

Editor’s Note40Whose state and honour I for ay allow.

[Enter the Duke of Aumerle]
Editor’s Note41

duchess of york Here comes my son Aumerle.

york Aumerle that was;

42But that is lost for being Richard's friend,

43And, madam, you must call him 'Rutland' now.

Editor’s Note44I am in Parliament pledge for his truth

Editor’s Note45And lasting fealty to the new-made King.


duchess of york Welcome, my son. Who are the violets now

47That strew the green lap of the new-come spring?


aumerle Madam, I know not, nor I greatly care not.

49God knows I had as lief be none as one.


york Well, bear you well in this new spring of time,

Link 51Lest you be cropped before you come to prime.

Editor’s Note52What news from Oxford? Do these jousts and triumphs hold ?


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


york You will be there, I know.

pg 912Editor’s Note55

aumerle If God prevent it not, I purpose so.

Editor’s Note56

york What seal is that that hangs without thy bosom?

Editor’s Note57Yea, look'st thou pale? Let me see the writing.


aumerle My lord, 'tis nothing.

york No matter then who see it.

Editor’s Note59I will be satisfied. Let me see the writing.

Editor’s Note60

aumerle I do beseech your grace to pardon me.

61It is a matter of small consequence,

62Which for some reasons I would not have seen.


york Which for some reasons, sir, I mean to see.

64I fear, I fear—

duchess of york What should you fear?

65'Tis nothing but some bond that he is entered into

Editor’s Note66For gay apparel 'gainst the triumph day.

Editor’s Note67

york Bound to himself? What doth he with a bond

68That he is bound to? Wife, thou art a fool.

69Boy, 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

72Treason, foul treason! Villain, traitor, slave!


duchess of york What is the matter, my lord?


york [calls offstage] Ho, who is within there?

Editor’s Note[Enter Servingman]

Saddle my horse.

75God for His mercy, what treachery is here!


duchess of york Why, what is it, my lord?


york Give me my boots, I say. Saddle my horse.

[Exit Servingman]

78Now by mine honour, by my life, my troth

Editor’s Note79I will appeach the villain.


duchess of york What is the matter?


york Peace, foolish woman.

Editor’s Note82

duchess of york I will not peace. What is the matter, Aumerle?


aumerle Good mother, be content. It is no more

84Than my poor life must answer.

duchess of york Thy life answer?

Link 85

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

His man enters with his boots
Editor’s Note86

duchess of york Strike him, Aumerle! Poor boy, thou art amazed.

[To Servingman]

Editor’s Note87Hence, villain! Never more come in my sight.


york [to Servingman] Give me my boots, I say.

duchess of york Why, York, what wilt thou do?

89Wilt thou not hide the trespass of thine own?

90Have we more sons? Or are we like to have?

pg 913Editor’s Note91Is not my teeming date drunk up with time?

92And wilt thou pluck my fair son from mine age,

93And rob me of a happy mother's name?

94Is he not like thee? Is he not thine own?

Editor’s Note95

york Thou fond, mad woman,

96Wilt thou conceal this dark conspiracy?

97A dozen of them here have ta'en the sacrament,

Editor’s Note98And interchangeably set down their hands

Editor’s Note99To kill the King at Oxford.

duchess of york He shall be none.

Editor’s Note100We'll keep him here; then what is that to him?


york Away, fond woman! Were he twenty times my son,

Editor’s Note102I would appeach him.

duchess of york Hadst thou groaned for him

103As I have done, thou wouldst be more pitiful.

104But now I know thy mind: thou dost suspect

105That I have been disloyal to thy bed,

106And that he is a bastard, not thy son.

107Sweet York, sweet husband, be not of that mind.

108He is as like thee as a man may be,

109Not like to me, or any of my kin,

110And yet I love him.

york Make way, unruly woman.

Editor’s NoteExit [with Servingman]

duchess of york After, Aumerle! Mount thee upon his horse.

Editor’s Note112Spur, post, and get before him to the King,

113And beg thy pardon ere he do accuse thee.

114I'll not be long behind—though I be old,

115I doubt not but to ride as fast as York—

Link 116And never will I rise up from the ground

117Till Bolingbroke have pardoned thee. Away, be gone!

[Exeunt severally]

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note
5.2.title Enter … York This domestic scene (which may be emphasized by props or costumes, and in modern productions by sets) contrasts with the insistently public or outdoor setting of much of the play.
Editor’s Note
5.2.5 rude ignorant; brutal
Editor’s Note
5.2.5 misgoverned unruly
Editor’s Note
5.2.5 windows' tops upper-storey windows
Editor’s Note
5.2.9 Which (the subject of 'seemed to know')
Editor’s Note
5.2.16 painted imagery i.e. painted cloths, such as were hung on the walls in pageants; figures in some of these had gratulatory 'speech bubbles'
Editor’s Note
5.2.32 combating with expressing the combat between
Editor’s Note
5.2.33 badges heraldic emblems
Editor’s Note
5.2.40 ay ever. Also, a pun on 'I', 'ay', and 'eye'.
Editor’s Note
5.2.41 Aumerle that was Aumerle has been deprived of his title following the dispute in 4.1.
Editor’s Note
5.2.44 pledge for his truth guarantor of his loyalty
Editor’s Note
5.2.45 fealty fidelity (to a feudal overlord)
Editor’s Note
5.2.52 Do will
Editor’s Note
5.2.52 triumphs processional shows
Editor’s Note
5.2.52 hold are (they) to be held
Editor’s Note
5.2.55 purpose intend
Editor’s Note
5.2.56 hangs without protrudes from
Editor’s Note
5.2.57 Let me see the writing Aumerle's rolled paper must be visible here. Some badge or tag attached to the rolled paper may be hanging out of a jacket or shirt, for instance.
Editor’s Note
5.2.59 satisfied fully answered
Editor’s Note
5.2.60 pardon excuse
Editor’s Note
5.2.66 'gainst in time for
Editor’s Note
5.2.67 Bound to himself? The bond documenting a loan would be kept by the lender.
Editor’s Note Enter Servingman The role of the servingman can be played to great comic effect in this scene, looking befuddled and unsure of what to do next as York issues contradictory orders and then the Duchess issues orders countermanding York's. He may leave the stage immediately after York demands that he saddle York's horse, or he may be slightly slow in leaving and remain on stage for York's next orders at l. 77. He must exit the stage at some point before l. 85, where he returns with York's boots.
Editor’s Note
5.2.79 appeach inform against
Editor’s Note
5.2.82 Aumerle The 1623 text prints 'son' (emphasizing personal relationships) for the more formal 'Aumerle'.
Editor’s Note
5.2.86 him i.e. the servant
Editor’s Note
5.2.86 amazed distraught
Editor’s Note
5.2.87 Hence … sight York's man might leave here and re-enter the stage multiple times over the course of the argument between the spouses.
Editor’s Note
5.2.91 teeming date period of childbearing
Editor’s Note
5.2.91 drunk up i.e. made dry and infertile
Editor’s Note
5.2.91 with by
Editor’s Note
5.2.95 fond foolish
Editor’s Note
5.2.98 interchangeably reciprocally
Editor’s Note
5.2.98 set down their hands committed themselves in writing
Editor’s Note
5.2.99 be none not be one of them
Editor’s Note
5.2.100 that i.e. the bond
Editor’s Note
5.2.102 groaned suffered labour-pains
Editor’s Note with Servingman See note to l. 86.
Editor’s Note
5.2.112 post ride fast
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