No Fear Act 3 Scene 3
No Fear Act 3 Scene 3 Page 6

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NORTHUMBERLAND

My lord, in the base court he doth attend
To speak with you; may it please you to come down.

NORTHUMBERLAND

My lord, he waits in the outer court below to speak with you. Will you come down?

KING RICHARD II

180Down, down I come; like glistering Phaethon,
Wanting the manage of unruly jades.
In the base court? Base court, where kings grow base,
To come at traitors’ calls and do them grace.
In the base court? Come down? Down, court!
185down, king!
For night-owls shriek where mounting larks
should sing.

KING RICHARD II

I’m coming down, like shining

Phaeton

Son of Helios, the sun god, in Greek myth. Helios allowed him to drive the chariot of the sun, but Phaeton was unable to control the horses pulling the chariot. They veered too close to the earth, burning it, until Zeus struck Phaeton down with a thunderbolt.

Phaeton
unable to control unruly horses. In the bottom court? The bottom court, where kings become common enough to obey a traitor’s summons and bow to them. In the bottom court? Come down? The bottom court! And now the king is on the bottom! Everything is backward, and night owls shriek when mounting larks should be singing.
Exeunt from above
They exit from above.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

What says his majesty?

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

What does the king say?

NORTHUMBERLAND

Sorrow and grief of heart
190Makes him speak fondly, like a frantic man
Yet he is come.

NORTHUMBERLAND

His sorrow makes him speak foolishly, like a mad man. But he’s coming.
Enter KING RICHARD and his attendants below
KING RICHARD and his attendants enter below.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

Stand all apart,
And show fair duty to his majesty.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

Stand apart, and show your duty to the king.
He kneels down
He kneels.
My gracious lord,—
My gracious lord.

KING RICHARD II

195Fair cousin, you debase your princely knee
To make the base earth proud with kissing it:
Me rather had my heart might feel your love
Than my unpleased eye see your courtesy.
Up, cousin, up; your heart is up, I know,
200Thus high at least, although your knee be low.

KING RICHARD II

Fair cousin, you insult your princely knee by touching it to the lowly earth. I’d rather my heart feel your love than my eyes see your fake courtesy. Get up, cousin. Your heart is proud, I know, even if your knee is humbled.

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