Richard II

by: William Shakespeare

  Act 1 Scene 1

page Act 1 Scene 1 Page 2

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THOMAS MOWBRAY

Each day still better other’s happiness;
Until the heavens, envying earth’s good hap,
Add an immortal title to your crown!

THOMAS MOWBRAY

May each day be happier than the last, and heaven give you immortality!

KING RICHARD II

25We thank you both: yet one but flatters us,
As well appeareth by the cause you come;
Namely to appeal each other of high treason.
Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

KING RICHARD II

Thank you both. But I know one of you isn’t sincere since each of you accuses the other of treason against me. Henry of Hereford, what do you have to say against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

30First, heaven be the record to my speech!
In the devotion of a subject’s love,
Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
And free from other misbegotten hate,
Come I appellant to this princely presence.
35Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
My body shall make good upon this earth,
Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
Thou art a traitor and a miscreant,
40Too good to be so and too bad to live,
Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
With a foul traitor’s name stuff I thy throat;
45And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
What my tongue speaks my right drawn sword may prove.

HENRY BOLINGBROKE

First, may heaven be my witness! I’ve come here as an accuser because I am a devoted subject who cares for the safety of my prince, not because of any other prejudice against the duke. Now, Thomas Mowbray, I will turn to you. Pay attention to this. I will prove that what I am about to say is true, either with my body here on earth or with my immortal soul in heaven. You are a traitor and a villain, born into too good a family to be so and too bad to live. The more beautiful the sky, the uglier the clouds look. Once more, to emphasize my accusation, I call you a traitor. And with my king’s permission, I’d like to follow what I say with my sword.

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