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his meekness to sustain; more especially as Richard had, previous to his departure, granted him letters patent, empowering him, though in exile, to receive through an attorney any possessions which might perchance fall to him during his absence. So palpable a breach of faith exasperated the Duke of York, who expostulated with him in terms of spirit he had never before, under any grievance, adopted.
Now, afore God (God forbid I say true!)
If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's right,
His livery, and deny his offered homage;
But the King neither regarded danger, nor was sensible to the influence of honour: sentence of perpetual banishment was instantly pronounced upon Henry Bolinbroke; his letters patent were revoked; and the estates of Lancaster appropriated to his own With coffers thus replenished, Richard set out for Ireland!
His departure was a heavy affliction to the Queen
ness. She mourned the loss of her "sweet Richard," but there was something in her mourning more than she could account for! A dreadful presage of evil sat upon her soul; and she could not remove the impression! Bushy and Bagot, two minions of the King, used their utmost efforts to sooth her, but in vain; her heart refused all consolation, and she dreaded she knew not what. Her -apprehensions were too soon verified-Green, another creature of the King, rushed hastily into her presence, with the alarming intelligence, that Bolinbroke, returned from his banishment, was actually arrived at Ravenspurg; where a powerful army had already flocked to his standard; that the Lord Northumberland, with his young son Harry Percy -the Lords of Ross, Beaumont, and Willoughby, with all their powerful friends, were fled to him— and that the Earl of Worcester, master of his majesty's household, had broken his staff, dismissed the establishment, and also joined the rebel Botinbroke!
Isabella's gloomy presages were now fully verified. Overwhelmed with sorrow, and anxiety for the fate of her adored husband, she sought a refuge in the Duke of York's palace; but little of peace could she obtain; she wandered with her ladies through the gardens, listening to their praises of her beloved; listening to their suggestions of hope, though even hope itself could scarce bestow a gleam of comfort to cheer her sickening heart; in vain she looked for tidings of Richard; day after day passed over, and all remained in the most gloomy uncertainty!
The kingdom was already thrown into confusion. Richard's counsellors, weak, and incapable of acting in extremity, quitted London, and retired to St. AIban's; and all restraint being thus taken off, the citizens revolted and declared for Henry Bolin
broke! The Duke of York, whom Richard had appointed regent in his absence, was beset with dif ficulties, and knew not how to act. Weak with age and infirmity, and even at the best unqualified for any station of activity, or enterprise, his present situation was most painful; without money-without friends, with few soldiers, and even those few scarce to be depended upon; what prospect could he entertain of meeting with any chance of advantage against the powerful Bolinbroke ?-Or, even had these difficulties been less formidable, still, the situation of the venerable old man was truly painful. Whichever party he espoused, he must take up arms against a nephew, the son of a brother. His loyalty indeed induced him to lean to the side of Richard as his king; yet the injuries of Harry Bolinbroke pleaded powerfully to his heart and he stood hesitating, and spending that precious time in deliberation, which should have been devoted to action! Green justly observed—
Alas, poor Duke! the task he undertakes
He did not however make the effort! He had not courage to take up arms: but proceeded to Bolinbroke, who waited his arrival in Gloucestershire, where he accused him of rebellion in taking up arms against his King, and exciting his subjects to revolt. Bolinbroke, in answer to this remonstrance, pleaded his own wrongs so eloquentlyurging the insults, indignities and injuries heaped upon him by Richard Plantaganet, that York could advance little in support of his own argument, since his heart whispered that Harry Bolinbroke had been oppressed and that there was a much greater colour of justice in his rebellion, than there had been in Richard's banishment, and in the confisca
tion of his hereditary property! Henry assured him that his only purpose was to demand à restitution of his father's possessions, and a reinstatetnent in those honours and privileges, which he had been wantonly deprived of, but which he had never for feited, by any acts of impropriety! that as the banished Duke of Hereford, he revolted against the injustice of his King, but as the acknowledged Duke of Lancaster, he would return to his allegiance, and bow the knee in humble duty and loyalty to his sovereign!
Old York, deluded by these specious arguments, and admitting the justice of his pretensions, gave up what he considered an unequal contest; and retired to his own castle, leaving the affairs of the kingdom exposed to the effects of intestine warfare, without any effort to stem the torrent. This conduct of the Duke was as a signal to all those, who had hitherto stood neuter, waiting only to learn which side was likely to prove victorious; intending that circumstance should at once determine their allegiance.
All things conspired to favour Bolinbroke,-his wrongs had pleaded
"Like angels trumpet torgued,"
and his whole demeanour had formed a striking contrast to that of Richard. He possessed all that native dignity of deportment, which is expected to characterize a prince; he exercised all that urbanity of manner, which is calculated to win the hearts of the multitude; ne hau signalized himself by deeds of valour in the wars of Prussia; and his conduct in all things had been such as to insure the respect, as well as the love of the people.
Richard on the contrary, was light and frivolous in his deportment; and weakly enthusiastic in his attachments to worthless characters, many of whom he raised from obscurity to high rank; whose only
recommendation to favour, was, that they indulged his inordinate love of flattery, and administered to his weaknesses. On these he bestowed his regard, but never strove to conciliate the good opinion of the wise and the virtuous! The obedience of the multitude he thought he had a right to command; and while Bolinbroke was exposed to hardships in the field, Richard amused himself by sham fights, and expended his revenues in the support of tilts and tournaments. This conduct (placing all oppression out of the question) was little calculated to ensure the respect of his subjects; and without respect for the man, loyalty for the prince will soon become inert and feeble.
When Richard heard the news of Bolinbroke's arrival, he prepared for his immediate return to England: but contrary winds detained him for several days-and a report of his death being circu lated, the army collected in Wales by the Earl of Salisbury, amounting to twenty thousand men, dis persed, alarmed by superstitious fears, and fatal prognostics-the bay trees had withered, meteors had been seen; the moon was tinged with a crimson hue! All men now looked sad; save those who, hoping to profit by plunder, rejoiced in the prospect of war. Gloomy prophets whispered fearful change; and the Welshmen considered these portents, as the prelude of royal destruction! The unfavourable winds preventing the arrival of their monarch, was confirmation of their worst fears; the report of his death filled them with dismay, nor could they, in the confusion of their superstitious apprehensions, reflect on the improbability of the report having any just foundation, since the same impediment which really prevented Richard advancing to England, precluded also any possibility of the communication of the reported intelligence. Salisbury urged this -but his eloquence was vainly exerted; nothing