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  Act 2 Scene 1

page Act 2 Scene 1 Page 8

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KING RICHARD II

Why, uncle, what’s the matter?

KING RICHARD II

Why, uncle, what’s the matter?

DUKE OF YORK

O my liege,
Pardon me, if you please; if not, I, pleased
190Not to be pardon’d, am content withal.
Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
The royalties and rights of banish’d Hereford?
Is not Gaunt dead, and doth not Hereford live?
Was not Gaunt just, and is not Harry true?
195Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
Take Hereford’s rights away, and take from Time
His charters and his customary rights;
Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day;
200Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
But by fair sequence and succession?
Now, afore God—God forbid I say true!—
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford’s rights,
Call in the letters patent that he hath
205By his attorneys-general to sue
His livery, and deny his offer’d homage,
You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts
And prick my tender patience, to those thoughts
210Which honour and allegiance cannot think.

DUKE OF YORK

Oh, my lord, forgive me, please. If you won’t I’ll understand. Do you really want to seize all of Gaunt’s property? He might be dead, but isn’t his son still alive? Wasn’t Gaunt a good man, and isn’t Harry good, too? Doesn’t Gaunt deserve to have an heir? And isn’t Harry a deserving heir? If you take away Harry’s right to inherit his father’s belongings, then you are going against tradition. It would be like taking away Time’s authority and rights and preventing tomorrow from following today. Remember, you yourself are a king because you inherited the position. Now, I swear before God, if you do this, you will bring all sorts of danger to yourself and turn a thousand people against you. You will force me to lose my patience, and I’ll think about doing things to you that, because I still honor and obey you, I cannot even think about.

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