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  Act 2 Scene 3

page Act 2 Scene 3 Page 5

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HENRY BOLINGBROKE

My gracious uncle, let me know my fault:
On what condition stands it and wherein?

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

My gracious uncle, why don’t you tell me exactly what I’ve done wrong?

DUKE OF YORK

Even in condition of the worst degree,
110In gross rebellion and detested treason:
Thou art a banish’d man, and here art come
Before the expiration of thy time,
In braving arms against thy sovereign.

DUKE OF YORK

You’ve done the worst that you can: rebellion and treason. You are banished from this country and now you’ve returned before you are allowed to do so. And you’ve brought an army to fight against your king.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

As I was banish’d, I was banish’d Hereford;
115But as I come, I come for Lancaster.
And, noble uncle, I beseech your grace
Look on my wrongs with an indifferent eye:
You are my father, for methinks in you
I see old Gaunt alive; O, then, my father,
120Will you permit that I shall stand condemn’d
A wandering vagabond; my rights and royalties
Pluck’d from my arms perforce and given away
To upstart unthrifts? Wherefore was I born?
If that my cousin king be King of England,
125It must be granted I am Duke of Lancaster.
You have a son, Aumerle, my noble cousin;
Had you first died, and he been thus trod down,
He should have found his uncle Gaunt a father,
To rouse his wrongs and chase them to the bay.
130I am denied to sue my livery here,
And yet my letters-patents give me leave:
My father’s goods are all distrain’d and sold,
And these and all are all amiss employ’d.
What would you have me do? I am a subject,
135And I challenge law: attorneys are denied me;
And therefore, personally I lay my claim
To my inheritance of free descent.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

I was banished as Hereford, but I return as Lancaster. And, noble uncle, I beg that you look at my missteps impartially. I think I see my father in you. Oh, then, my father, are you going to force me to be a wandering drifter forever, while what is rightfully mine is taken away by force and given to wasteful social climbers? Why was I born? If my cousin is allowed to be the King of England, then I must be allowed to be the Duke of Lancaster. You have a son, Aumerle, who is my noble cousin. Let’s say that you died, and he had been treated this way. His uncle Gaunt would have acted as a father to him and fought to correct the wrongs done against him. I’m not allowed to claim my inheritance, though I’m legally entitled to do so. My father’s possessions have all been wrongfully confiscated and sold. What do you think I should do? I am a subject of the King of England, aren’t I? I claim what is lawfully mine. Since I’m not allowed to have attorneys, I must claim my inheritance myself.

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