Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version
Act II, Scene 3
In Gloucestershire, Bolingbroke is engaged in conversation with Northumberland. Bolingbroke asks Northumberland how long it will take them to reach Berkeley. Northumberland replies that he himself is a stranger in Gloucestershire, but Bolingbroke's "fair discourse" has been like "sugar" and has made the hard way "sweet and delectable." He adds that Ross and Willoughby must find their way from Ravenspurgh to Cotswold tedious, but the prospect of enjoying noble company will ease their journey.
Henry Percy, Northumberland's son, enters with news of the political developments. He offers his "tender, raw, and young" service to Bolingbroke, who accepts it graciously. As they discuss their present military positioning, Ross and Willoughby enter, "bloody with spurring, fiery-red with haste." They too offer their services and military support to Bolingbroke. Then the Lord of Berkeley enters with a message from the Duke of York. Bolingbroke gets offended when Berkeley addresses him as "Lord of Hereford." He tells Berkeley to address him by his correct title, Duke of Lancaster. Berkeley apologizes, saying that he had no intention whatsoever of insulting Bolingbroke, but had been sent by York to find out about the reason for Bolingbroke's arrival in England with his army.
Northumberland, Ross and Willoughby assert in unison that Bolingbroke has been wronged by Richard. York confesses that he has had the "feeling of (his) cousin's wrongs" and had done all that he could to right these wrongs. But he does not approve of Bolingbroke's mode of coming to England with an army and denounces all of them as rebels. Northumberland asserts that they will all support Bolingbroke. York acknowledges that his power is weak. His army cannot defeat Bolingbroke and make him "stoop / Unto the sovereign mercy of the king." Bolingbroke asks York to join him in his expedition to Bristol Castle, where Bushy, Bagot and their accomplices are taking refuge. York finds this proposal appealing and says, "It may be I will go with you," but he reminds himself that he cannot break the country's laws. He welcomes Bolingbroke as neither friend nor foe and remarks with resignation, "things past redress are now with me past care."