Home  »  The Oxford Shakespeare  »  The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

William Shakespeare (1564–1616). The Oxford Shakespeare. 1914.

Act V. Scene VI.

The Tragedy of King Richard the Second

Windsor.An Apartment in the Castle.

Flourish.Enter BOLINGBROKE and YORK, with Lords and Attendants.

Boling.Kind uncle York, the latest news we hear

Is that the rebels have consum’d with fire

Our town of Cicester in Gloucestershire;

But whether they be ta’en or slain we hear not.


Welcome, my lord. What is the news?

North.First, to thy sacred state wish I all happiness.

The next news is: I have to London sent

The heads of Salisbury, Spencer, Blunt, and Kent.

The manner of their taking may appear

At large discoursed in this paper here.

Boling.We thank thee, gentle Percy, for thy pains,

And to thy worth will add right worthy gains.


Fitz.My lord, I have from Oxford sent to London

The heads of Brocas and Sir Bennet Seely,

Two of the dangerous consorted traitors

That sought at Oxford thy dire overthrow.

Boling.Thy pains, Fitzwater, shall not be forgot;

Right noble is thy merit, well I wot.


H. Percy.The grand conspirator, Abbot of Westminster,

With clog of conscience and sour melancholy,

Hath yielded up his body to the grave;

But here is Carlisle living, to abide

Thy kingly doom and sentence of his pride.

Boling.Carlisle, this is your doom:

Choose out some secret place, some reverend room,

More than thou hast, and with it joy thy life;

So, as thou livest in peace, die free from strife:

For though mine enemy thou hast ever been,

High sparks of honour in thee have I seen.

Enter EXTON, with Attendants bearing a coffin.

Exton.Great king, within this coffin I present

Thy buried fear: herein all breathless lies

The mightiest of thy greatest enemies,

Richard of Bordeaux, by me hither brought.

Boling.Exton, I thank thee not; for thou hast wrought

A deed of slander with thy fatal hand

Upon my head and all this famous land.

Exton.From your own mouth, my lord, did I this deed.

Boling.They love not poison that do poison need,

Nor do I thee: though I did wish him dead,

I hate the murderer, love him murdered.

The guilt of conscience take thou for thy labour,

But neither my good word nor princely favour:

With Cain go wander through the shade of night,

And never show thy head by day nor light.

Lords, I protest, my soul is full of woe,

That blood should sprinkle me to make me grow:

Come, mourn with me for that I do lament,

And put on sullen black incontinent.

I’ll make a voyage to the Holy Land,

To wash this blood off from my guilty hand.

March sadly after; grace my mournings here,

In weeping after this untimely bier.[Exeunt.