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

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3.3Sc. 11

Editor’s NoteEnter Bolingbroke Duke of Lancaster and Hereford, [the Duke of York, the Earl of Northumberland, [and soldiers, with drum and colours]
Editor’s Note1

bolingbroke So that by this intelligence we learn

2The Welshmen are dispersed, and Salisbury

3Is gone to meet the King, who lately landed

4With some few private friends upon this coast.


northumberland The news is very fair and good, my lord.

Editor’s Note6Richard not far from hence hath hid his head.


york It would beseem the Lord Northumberland

8To say 'King Richard.' Alack the heavy day

9When such a sacred king should hide his head!


northumberland Your grace mistakes. Only to be brief

Editor’s Note11Left I his title out.

york The time hath been,

Editor’s Note12Would you have been so brief with him,

pg 89213He would have been so brief to shorten you,

Editor’s Note14For taking so the head, your whole head's length.


bolingbroke Mistake not, uncle, further than you should.


york Take not, good cousin, further than you should,

Editor’s Note17Lest you mistake the heavens are over our heads.

Editor’s Note18

bolingbroke I know it, uncle, and oppose not myself

Editor’s Note19Against their will. But who comes here?

Enter [Harry] Percy [and a trumpeter]

20Welcome, Harry. What, will not this castle yield?


harry percy The castle royally is manned, my lord,

Link 22Against thy entrance.

bolingbroke Royally?

23Why, it contains no king.

harry percy Yes, my good lord,

24It doth contain a king: King Richard lies

Editor’s Note25Within the limits of yon lime and stone;

26And with him are the Lord Aumerle, Lord Salisbury,

27Sir Stephen Scrope, besides a clergyman

28Of holy reverence; who, I cannot learn.

Editor’s Note29

northumberland O, belike it is the Bishop of Carlisle.


bolingbroke [to Northumberland] Noble lord,

Editor’s Note31Go to the rude ribs of that ancient castle;

32Through brazen trumpet send the breath of parley

Editor’s Note33Into his ruined ears, and thus deliver.

34Henry Bolingbroke

35On both his knees doth kiss King Richard's hand,

36And sends allegiance and true faith of heart

Editor’s Note37To his most royal person, hither come

Editor’s Note38Even at his feet to lay my arms and power,

39Provided that my banishment repealed

40And lands restored again be freely granted.

41If not, I'll use the advantage of my power,

42And lay the summer's dust with showers of blood

43Rained from the wounds of slaughtered Englishmen;

Editor’s Note44The which how far off from the mind of Bolingbroke

45It is such crimson tempest should bedrench

Editor’s Note46The fresh green lap of fair King Richard's land

Editor’s Note47My stooping duty tenderly shall show.

48Go, signify as much, while here we march

49Upon the grassy carpet of this plain.

50Let's march without the noise of threat'ning drum,

Editor’s Note51That from this castle's tottered battlements

Editor’s Note52Our fair appointments may be well perused.

53Methinks King Richard and myself should meet

pg 89354With no less terror than the elements

55Of fire and water when their thund'ring shock

56At meeting tears the cloudy cheeks of heaven.

57Be he the fire, I'll be the yielding water.

Editor’s Note58The rage be his, whilst on the earth I rain

Link 59My waters on the earth, and not on him.

60March on, and mark King Richard how he looks.

[They march about the stage, then Bolingbroke, York, Percy, and soldiers stand at a distance from walls; Northumberland and trumpeter advance to the walls. Parle without, and answer within: then a flourish.] Editor’s NoteRichard appeareth on the walls, [with the Bishop of Carlisle, the Duke of Aumerle, Scrope, Earl of Salisbury]

61See, see. King Richard doth himself appear,

Editor’s Note62As doth the blushing discontented sun

Editor’s Note63From out the fiery portal of the east

Editor’s Note64When he perceives the envious clouds are bent

Editor’s Note65To dim his glory and to stain the track

66Of his bright passage to the occident.

Editor’s Note67

york Yet looks he like a king. Behold his eye,

Editor’s Note68As bright as is the eagle's, lightens forth

69Controlling majesty. Alack, alack for woe

70That any harm should stain so fair a show!

Editor’s Note71

king richard [to Northumberland] We are amazed; and thus long have we stood

72To watch the fearful bending of thy knee,

73Because we thought ourself thy lawful king.

74An if we be, how dare thy joints forget

Editor’s Note75To pay their aweful duty to our presence?

76If we be not, show us the hand of God

77That hath dismissed us from our stewardship.

78For well we know no hand of blood and bone

Editor’s Note79Can grip the sacred handle of our sceptre,

80Unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.

81And though you think that all—as you have done—

82Have torn their souls by turning them from us,

Editor’s Note83And we are barren and bereft of friends,

84Yet know my master, God omnipotent,

85Is mustering in his clouds on our behalf

86Armies of pestilence; and they shall strike

87Your children yet unborn and unbegot,

Editor’s Note88That lift your vassal hands against my head,

89And threat the glory of my precious crown.

90Tell Bolingbroke, for yon methinks he stands,

91That every stride he makes upon my land

Editor’s Note92Is dangerous treason. He is come to open

pg 894Editor’s Note93The purple testament of bleeding war;

Link 94But ere the crown he looks for live in peace,

Editor’s Note95Ten thousand bloody crowns of mothers' sons

Editor’s Note96Shall ill become the flower of England's face,

97Change the complexion of her maid-pale peace

98To scarlet indignation, and bedew

99Her pastures' grass with faithful English blood.

Editor’s Note100

northumberland The King of heaven forbid our lord the King

Editor’s Note101Should so with civil and uncivil arms

102Be rushed upon. Thy thrice-noble cousin

103Harry Bolingbroke doth humbly kiss thy hand,

104And by the honourable tomb he swears,

105That stands upon your royal grandsire's bones,

106And by the royalties of both your bloods,

Editor’s Note107Currents that spring from one most gracious head,

108And by the buried hand of warlike Gaunt,

109And by the worth and honour of himself,

110Comprising all that may be sworn or said,

Editor’s Note111His coming hither hath no further scope

112Than for his lineal royalties, and to beg

Editor’s Note113Enfranchisement immediate on his knees;

Editor’s Note114Which on thy royal party granted once,

Editor’s Note115His glittering arms he will commend to rust,

Editor’s Note116His barbèd steeds to stables, and his heart

117To faithful service of your majesty.

118This swears he, as he is a prince and just,

Editor’s Note119And as I am a gentleman I credit him.

Editor’s Note120

king richard Northumberland, say thus the King returns:

121His noble cousin is right welcome hither,

122And all the number of his fair demands

123Shall be accomplished without contradiction.

124With all the gracious utterance thou hast,

125Speak to his gentle hearing kind commends.

[Northumberland and the trumpeter return to Bolingbroke] [To Aumerle]

126We do debase ourselves, cousin, do we not,

Editor’s Note127To look so poorly and to speak so fair?

128Shall we call back Northumberland, and send

129Defiance to the traitor, and so die?


aumerle No, good my lord, let's fight with gentle words

Link 131Till time lend friends, and friends their helpful swords.


king richard O God, O God, that e'er this tongue of mine

133That laid the sentence of dread banishment

134On yon proud man should take it off again

pg 895Editor’s Note135With words of sooth! O, that I were as great

136As is my grief, or lesser than my name,

137Or that I could forget what I have been,

138Or not remember what I must be now!

139Swell'st thou, proud heart? I'll give thee scope to beat,

140Since foes have scope to beat both thee and me.

[Northumberland advances to the wall and Richard's faction]

aumerle Northumberland comes back from Bolingbroke.


king richard What must the King do now? Must he submit?

143The King shall do it. Must he be deposed?

144The King shall be contented. Must he lose

Editor’s Note145The name of King? A God's name, let it go.

Editor’s Note146I'll give my jewels for a set of beads,

147My gorgeous palace for a hermitage,

148My gay apparel for an almsman's gown,

Editor’s Note149My figured goblets for a dish of wood,

Editor’s Note150My sceptre for a palmer's walking staff,

151My subjects for a pair of carvèd saints,

152And my large kingdom for a little grave,

Editor’s Note153A little little grave, an òbscure grave;

154Or I'll be buried in the King's highway,

Editor’s Note155Some way of common trade where subjects' feet

156May hourly trample on their sovereign's head;

157For on my heart they tread now whilst I live,

158And, buried once, why not upon my head?

159Aumerle, thou weep'st, my tender-hearted cousin.

Editor’s Note160We'll make foul weather with despisèd tears.

Editor’s Note161Our sighs and they shall lodge the summer corn,

Editor’s Note162And make a dearth in this revolting land.

Editor’s Note163Or shall we play the wantons with our woes,

Editor’s Note164And make some pretty match with shedding tears,

Editor’s Note165As thus to drop them still upon one place

Editor’s Note166Till they have fretted us a pair of graves

Editor’s Note167Within the earth, and therein laid? 'There lies

Editor’s Note Link 168Two kinsmen digged their graves with weeping eyes.'

Editor’s Note169Would not this ill do well? Well, well, I see

Editor’s Note170I talk but idly, and you laugh at me.

171Most mighty prince, my lord Northumberland,

172What says King Bolingbroke? Will his majesty

173Give Richard leave to live till Richard die?

Editor’s Note174You make a leg, and Bolingbroke says 'Ay'.

pg 896175

northumberland My lord, in the base court he doth attend

176To speak with you. May it please you to come down?

Editor’s Note177

king richard Down, down I come, like glist'ring Phaëton,

Editor’s Note178Wanting the manage of unruly jades.

Editor’s Note179In the base court: base court where kings grow base,

Editor’s Note180To come at traitors' calls, and do them grace.

Editor’s Note181In the base court, come down: down court, down King,

Editor’s Note182For night-owls shriek where mounting larks should sing.

[Exeunt Richard and his party]

bolingbroke What says his majesty?

northumberland Sorrow and grief of heart

Editor’s Note184Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man.

[Enter King Richard and his party below]

185Yet he is come.

bolingbroke Stand all apart,

186And show fair duty to his majesty.

Editor’s NoteHe kneels down

187My gracious lord.


king richard Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee

189To make the base earth proud with kissing it.

Editor’s Note190Me rather had my heart might feel your love

Editor’s Note191Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy.

Editor’s Note192Up, cousin, up. Your heart is up, I know,

Editor’s Note193Thus high at least, although your knee be low.


bolingbroke My gracious lord, I come but for mine own.


king richard Your own is yours, and I am yours, and all.

Editor’s Note196

bolingbroke So far be mine, my most redoubted lord,

197As my true service shall deserve your love.


king richard Well you deserve. They well deserve to have

199That know the strong'st and surest way to get.

[Bolingbroke rises] [To York]

200Uncle, give me your hands. Nay, dry your eyes.

Editor’s Note201Tears show their love, but want their remedies.

[To Bolingbroke]

202Cousin, I am too young to be your father,

Link 203Though you are old enough to be my heir.

204What you will have I'll give, and willing too;

205For do we must what force will have us do.

206Set on towards London, cousin: is it so?


bolingbroke Yea, my good lord.

king richard Then I must not say no.

Editor’s Note[Flourish. Exeunt.]

Notes Settings


Editor’s Note–2 Enter … [colours] The emblematic significance of the castle as recurrent location is at its most pronounced in this scene. See
Editor’s Note
3.3.1 So that so
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3.3.1 this intelligence The scene begins mid-conversation. Bolingbroke may refer to a piece of paper or scroll at this point, to which the audience assumes he is responding.
Editor’s Note
3.3.6 hid his head taken shelter
Editor’s Note
3.3.11 The time hath been at one time
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3.3.12 Would you have if you had
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3.3.14 taking so the head omitting the title so; acting without restraint.
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3.3.17 mistake forget that; or transgress. With the latter areheads is a relative clause ('which are …').
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3.3.18 myself (accented on my)
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3.3.19 their will Alternatively, Percy may enter at the mid-line.
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3.3.25 lime mortar
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3.3.29 belike probably
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3.3.31 rude rough
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3.3.31 ribs i.e. walls
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3.3.33 ears i.e. loop-holes
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3.3.37 come being come (with I understood from my, l. 38)
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3.3.38 lay make settle
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3.3.44 The which as to which
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3.3.46 fair could qualify King Richard or land
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3.3.47 stooping i.e. submissive, humble
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3.3.51 tottered tottering, tattered
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3.3.52 appointments military preparations
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3.3.58 I rain rain, rein
Editor’s Note on the walls Refers to the upper acting area of the Elizabethan stage; the rear wall of the main stage conventionally represented castle or city walls.
Editor’s Note
3.3.62–6 As … occident i.e. the proverbial idea that a red sky in the morning anticipates bad weather
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3.3.63 From out out of
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3.3.64 envious malicious
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3.3.64 bent intent
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3.3.65 stain obscure the lustre
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3.3.67 Yet i.e. despite the threatening clouds (or simply 'still')
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3.3.68–9 lightens … majesty sends out lightning-flashes of controlling majesty
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3.3.71 We … stood Northumberland has failed to kneel to the King.
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3.3.75 aweful reverential
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3.3.79 grip seize
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3.3.83 And and that
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3.3.88 That i.e. you that
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3.3.92 dangerous i.e. threatening Richard
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3.3.93 purple i.e. blood-coloured
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3.3.93 testament will
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3.3.95 crowns heads
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3.3.96 flower of England's face flower-like face of England; the faces of the choicest youth of England
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3.3.100 The … forbid Northumberland may be kneeling half-heartedly or in an exaggerated manner.
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3.3.101 civil of the same country (as in civil war)
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3.3.101 uncivil barbarous
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3.3.107 Currents streams
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3.3.111 scope end in view
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3.3.113 Enfranchisement repeal from banishment and restitution of lands and rights
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3.3.114 party part
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3.3.115 commend commit
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3.3.116 barbèd armed with barbs or bards (armoured covering for the breast and flanks of a horse)
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3.3.119 credit believe
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3.3.120 returns replies
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3.3.127 poorly abjectly
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3.3.135 sooth blandishment
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3.3.145 A in
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3.3.146 set of beads rosary
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3.3.149 figured engraved with patterns
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3.3.150 palmer's pilgrim's
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3.3.153 òbscure lowly; dark; remote
Editor’s Note
3.3.155 trade passage, resort
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3.3.160 despisèd contemptible, mocked at
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3.3.161 lodge beat down
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3.3.162 revolting rebelling
Editor’s Note
3.3.163 play the wantons act playfully
Editor’s Note
3.3.164 pretty match clever game
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3.3.165 still continually
Editor’s Note
3.3.166 fretted worn away
Editor’s Note
3.3.167 laid laid ourselves
Editor’s Note
3.3.167–8 There … eyes i.e. an 'epitaph' on the graves
Editor’s Note
3.3.168 digged i.e. who digged
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3.3.169 do well be appropriate
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3.3.170 idly foolishly
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3.3.174 You … 'Ay' i.e. if you as a mighty prince petition on my behalf, Bolingbroke is bound to assent
Editor’s Note
3.3.174 make a leg crook the knee, make an obeisance
Editor’s Note
3.3.177 Phaëthon In Greek myth, son of the sun-god, Apollo. He rashly took his father's sun-chariot and drove it round the earth, but was too weak to control the horses. Zeus struck him down with a thunderbolt to prevent him destroying the earth.
Editor’s Note
3.3.177 Down, down I come Richard descends from the upper acting area of Elizabethan stage to main stage. In modern versions, Richard may be lowered by mechanical means or come down a visible staircase.
Editor’s Note
3.3.178 Wanting the manage of i.e. lacking the horsemanship to control
Editor’s Note
3.3.178 jades horses (a contemputous term, here an image for Richard's noblemen)
Editor’s Note
3.3.179 base court outer courtyard (surrounded by stables, offices, and servants' quarters)
Editor’s Note
3.3.180 do them grace favour them
Editor’s Note
3.3.181 court courtyard; royal court
Editor’s Note
3.3.182 night-owls (associated with evil)
Editor’s Note
3.3.184 fondly foolishly, insanely
Editor’s Note
3.3.184 frantic insane, frenzied
Editor’s Note Hedown Bolingbroke and Richard's followers may stand significantly upstage in order to put the emphasis on Richard and Bolingbroke, creating an emblematic tableau that may mirror the deposition episode in 4.1.
Editor’s Note
3.3.190 Me rather had i.e. I had rather
Editor’s Note
3.3.191 courtesy (also meaning curtsy, the act of obeisance)
Editor’s Note
3.3.192–9 Up, cousin The King may raise up Bolingbroke with 'Up, cousin, up', or Bolingbroke may not rise until the end of their one-on-one exchange at l. 199.
Editor’s Note
3.3.193 Thus high i.e. as high as my crown
Editor’s Note
3.3.193 Thus high Richard touches his head or his crown.
Editor’s Note
3.3.196 redoubted dreaded
Editor’s Note
3.3.201 want their remedies i.e. are unable to remedy their causes
Editor’s Note Flourish. Exeunt Productions have sometimes made a spectacle of Richard being led away in shame.
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