Richard II Act 4, Scene 1 Bishop of Carlisle
(This text is featured in our interview with David McCann)
116 Marry. God forbid!
117 Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
118 Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
119 Would God that any in this noble presence
120 Were enough noble to be upright judge
121 Of noble Richard! then true noblesse would
122 Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
123 What subject can give sentence on his king?
124 And who sits here that is not Richard’s subject?
125 Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
126 Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
127 And shall the figure of God’s majesty,
128 His captain, steward, deputy-elect,
129 Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
130 Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
131 And he himself not present? O, forfend it, God,
132 That in a Christian climate souls refined
133 Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
134 I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
135 Stirr’d up by God, thus boldly for his king:
136 My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
137 Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford’s king:
138 And if you crown him, let me prophesy:
139 The blood of English shall manure the ground,
140 And future ages groan for this foul act;
141 Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
142 And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
143 Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
144 Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
145 Shall here inhabit, and this land be call’d
146 The field of Golgotha and dead men’s skulls.
147 O, if you raise this house against this house,
148 It will the woefullest division prove
149 That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
150 Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
151 Lest child, child’s children, cry against you woe!