Richard II

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 7

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KING RICHARD II

175Rage must be withstood:
Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.

KING RICHARD II

Such rage should be resisted. Give me his glove. I, as king, will tame these lesser nobles.

THOMAS MOWBRAY

Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame.
And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
The purest treasure mortal times afford
180Is spotless reputation: that away,
Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
A jewel in a ten-times-barr’d-up chest
Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
Mine honour is my life; both grow in one:
185Take honour from me, and my life is done:
Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
In that I live and for that will I die.

THOMAS MOWBRAY

Yes, but you won’t take away the stain of these charges. If you’ll clear my name, I’ll give up my glove. My dear, dear lord, the greatest treasure in our earthly lives is to have a good reputation. Without that, men are nothing. To have a brave spirit is as valuable as a well-guarded jewel. My honor is my life. One is inseparable from the other. Take my honor, and my life is over. So, my lord, let me prove my honor, since I live for it and I will die for it.

KING RICHARD II

Cousin, throw up your gage; do you begin.

KING RICHARD II

Cousin, take up your glove. Be the one to start.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

O, God defend my soul from such deep sin!
190Shall I seem crest-fall’n in my father’s sight?
Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue
Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong,
Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
195The slavish motive of recanting fear,
And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray’s face.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

Oh, God, keep me from such a terrible sin! Should I appear humbled in front of my father? Or discredit my rank out of fear before this terrified coward? Before I’d let my tongue utter such lies against my honor or make such a false truce, I’d rip it apart with my teeth and spit it into Mowbray’s shameful face.

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