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  Act 4 Scene 1

page Act 4 Scene 1 Page 5

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Enter DUKE OF YORK, attended
The DUKE OF YORK enters, with his attendants.

DUKE OF YORK

Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to thee
110From plume-pluck’d Richard; who with willing soul
Adopts thee heir, and his high sceptre yields
To the possession of thy royal hand:
Ascend his throne, descending now from him;
And long live Henry, fourth of that name!

DUKE OF YORK

Great Duke of Lancaster, I come to you from humbled Richard, who is willing to make you his heir and yields his royal scepter to your hands. Take his throne from him, and long live Henry, the fourth king with that name!

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

115In God’s name, I’ll ascend the regal throne.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

In God’s name, I’ll take the royal throne.

BISHOP OF CARLISLE

Marry. God forbid!
Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
Would God that any in this noble presence
120Were enough noble to be upright judge
Of noble Richard! then true noblesse would
Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
What subject can give sentence on his king?
And who sits here that is not Richard’s subject?
125Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
And shall the figure of God’s majesty,
His captain, steward, deputy-elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
130Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
And he himself not present? O, forfend it, God,
That in a Christian climate souls refined
Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
135Stirr’d up by God, thus boldly for his king:
My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford’s king:
And if you crown him, let me prophesy:
The blood of English shall manure the ground,
140And future ages groan for this foul act;
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
145Shall here inhabit, and this land be call’d
The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.
O, if you raise this house against this house,
It will the woefullest division prove
That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
150Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child, child’s children, cry against you woe!

BISHOP OF CARLISLE

God forbid! I’m the least worthy to speak in this noble company, but it’s fitting that I, a clergyman, speak the truth. If only one of the nobles here were noble enough to judge Richard! Then he would restrain himself from committing such a wrong. What subject can pass judgment on his king? And who here isn’t Richard’s subject? Even thieves aren’t judged unless they’re present, even when they’re obviously guilty. Shall the image of God’s majesty, who is His chosen deputy and caretaker and has been so for many years, be judged by his inferiors without even being present? Oh, God, don’t allow such refined souls in a Christian land to be so obscene. I’m speaking to subjects as a subject, because I’ve been moved by God to speak boldly for his king. You might call my Lord of Hereford here king, but he is a traitor to his king. If you give him the crown, I predict that the blood of the English will soak the soil, and future generations will regret this act. Peace will leave England and go to the Turks and infidels, while we will have terrible wars that will pit families against each other. Disorder, fear, mutiny, and horror will live here, and it will be known as a place of terror and skulls. If you pit your

family against his

That is, Lancaster against York.

family against his
, it will prove to be the worst division ever to take place on earth. Prevent it from happening. Don’t let it be so, or your children and your grandchildren will lament your actions!

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