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King Henry VI, Second Part by William Shakespeare [Rolfe edition]

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by William Shakespeare

Dramatis Personae

HUMPHREY, Duke of Gloster, his uncle.
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, Bishop of Winchester,
great-uncle to the King.
EDWARD and RICHARD, his sons.

STAFFORD, his brother.
A Sea-Captain, Master, and Master's-Mate, and WALTER
Two Gentlemen, prisoners with Suffolk.
THOMAS HORNER, an armourer. PETER, his man.
Clerk of Chatham. Mayor of Saint Albans.
SIMPCOX, an impostor.
ALEXANDER IDEN, a Kentish gentleman.
JACK CADE, a rebel.
SMITH the weaver, MICHAEL, etc., followers of Cade.
Two Murderers.

MARGARET, Queen to King Henry.
ELEANOR, Duchess of Gloster.
Wife to Simpcox.

Lords, Ladies, and Attendants, Petitioners, Aldermen, a Herald,
a Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers, Citizens, Prentices,
Falconers, Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.

A Spirit.

SCENE: England.


London. The palace

[Flourish of trumpets: then hautboys. Enter the KING, GLOSTER,
one side; the QUEEN, SUFFOLK, YORK, SOMERSET, and
BUCKINGHAM, on the other.]

As by your high imperial Majesty
I had in charge at my depart for France,
As procurator to your excellence,
To marry Princess Margaret for your grace,
So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne, and Alencon,
Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops,
I have perform'd my task and was espous'd,
And humbly now upon my bended knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
Deliver up my title in the queen
To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
Of that great shadow I did represent:
The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.

Suffolk, arise.--Welcome, Queen Margaret.
I can express no kinder sign of love
Than this kind kiss.--O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.

Great King of England and my gracious lord,
The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
In courtly company or at my beads,
With you, mine alder-liefest sovereign,
Makes me the bolder to salute my king
With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
And over-joy of heart doth minister.

Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
Her words yclad with wisdom's majesty,
Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys;
Such is the fulness of my heart's content.--
Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.

[Kneeling] Long live Queen Margaret, England's

We thank you all.


My Lord Protector, so it please your grace,
Here are the articles of contracted peace
Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
For eighteen months concluded by consent.

[Reads] 'Imprimis, It is agreed between the French king
Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, ambassador
for Henry King of England, that the said Henry shall espouse the
Lady Margaret, daughter unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia,
and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the thirtieth
of May next ensuing. Item, that the duchy of Anjou and the
county of Maine shall be released and delivered to the king her

[Lets the paper fall.]

Uncle, how now!

Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.

Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.

[Reads] 'Item, It is further agreed between them,
that the duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and
delivered over to the king her father, and she sent over of the
King of
England's own proper cost and charges, without having any dowry.'

They please us well.--Lord marquess, kneel down.
We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
And girt thee with the sword.--Cousin of York,
We here discharge your grace from being regent
I' the parts of France, till term of eighteen months
Be full expir'd.--Thanks, uncle Winchester,
Gloster, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
Salisbury, and Warwick;
We thank you all for this great favour done
In entertainment to my princely queen.
Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.

[Exeunt King, Queen, and Suffolk.]

Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
What! did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars?
Did he so often lodge in open field,
In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,
To conquer France, his true inheritance?
And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
To keep by policy what Henry got?
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy?
Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
With all the learned counsel of the realm,
Studied so long, sat in the council-house
Early and late, debating to and fro
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
And had his highness in his infancy
Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
And shall these labours and these honours die?
Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?
O peers of England, shameful is this league!
Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
Blotting your names from books of memory,
Razing the characters of your renown,
Defacing monuments of conquer'd France,
Undoing all, as all had never been!

Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
This peroration with such circumstance?
For France, 't is ours; and we will keep it still.

Ay, uncle, we will keep it if we can,
But now it is impossible we should.
Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.

Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
These counties were the keys of Normandy!--
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?

For grief that they are past recovery;
For, were there hope to conquer them again,
My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no tears.
Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both,
Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer;
And are the cities that I got with wounds
Deliver'd up again with peaceful words?
Mort Dieu!

For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,
That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
France should have torn and rent my very heart,
Before I would have yielded to this league.
I never read but England's kings have had
Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;
And our King Henry gives away his own,
To match with her that brings no vantages.

A proper jest, and never heard before,
That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
For costs and charges in transporting her!
She should have staid in France, and starv'd in France,

My Lord of Gloster, now ye grow too hot;
It was the pleasure of my lord the King.

My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
'T is not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 't is my presence that doth trouble ye.
Rancour will out.
Proud prelate, in thy face
I see thy fury; if I longer stay,
We shall begin our ancient bickerings.--
Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
I prophesied France will be lost ere long.


So, there goes our protector in a rage.
'T is known to you he is mine enemy,
Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
And no great friend, I fear me, to the king.
Consider, lords, he is the next of blood,
And heir apparent to the English crown.
Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,
There's reason he should be displeas'd at it.
Look to it, lords.
Let not his smoothing words
Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
What though the common people favour him,
Calling him 'Humphrey, the good Duke of Gloster,'
Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice,
'Jesu maintain your royal excellence!'
With 'God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!'
I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
He will be found a dangerous protector.

Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
He being of age to govern of himself?--
Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.

This weighty business will not brook delay;
I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.


Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride
And greatness of his place be grief to us,
Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal;
His insolence is more intolerable
Than all the princes in the land beside;
If Gloster be displac'd, he 'll be protector.

Or thou or I, Somerset, will be protector,
Despite Duke Humphrey or the cardinal.

[Exeunt Buckingham and Somerset.]

Pride went before, ambition follows him.
While these do labour for their own preferment,
Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloster
Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
More like a soldier than a man o' the church,
As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.--
Warwick my son, the comfort of my age,
Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy housekeeping,
Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,
Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey;--
And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
In bringing them to civil discipline,
Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
Have made thee fear'd and honour'd of the people.--
Join we together, for the public good,
In what we can, to bridle and suppress
The pride of Suffolk and the cardinal,
With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition,
And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds
While they do tend the profit of the land.

So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
And common profit of his country!

[Aside.] And so says York, for he hath greatest cause.

Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.

Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost;
That Maine which by main force Warwick did win,
And would have kept so long as breath did last!
Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
Which I will win from France, or else be slain.

[Exeunt Warwick and Salisbury.]

Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
Suffolk concluded on the articles,
The peers agreed; and Henry was well pleas'd
To changes two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.
I cannot blame them all: what is't to them?
'T is thine they give away, and not their own.
Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage,
And purchase friends, and give to courtesans,
Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
Whileas the silly owner of the goods
Weeps over them and wrings his hapless hands
And shakes his head and trembling stands aloof,
While all is shar'd and all is borne away,
Ready to starve and dare not touch his own.
So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue,
While his own lands are bargain'd for and sold.
Methinks the realms of England, France, and Ireland
Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
As did the fatal brand Althaea burn'd
Unto the prince's heart of Calydon.
Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
A day will come when York shall claim his own;
And therefore I will take the Nevils' parts,
And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
And when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
For that 's the golden mark I seek to hit.
Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
Whose church-like humours fits not for a crown.
Then, York, be still awhile till time do serve;
Watch thou and wake when others be asleep,
To pry into the secrets of the state;
Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,
And Humphrey with the peers be fallen at jars.
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfum'd,
And in my standard bear the arms of York,
To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
And, force perforce, I 'll make him yield the crown
Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.


SCENE II. The Duke of Gloster's House.

[Enter DUKE HUMPHREY and his wife ELEANOR]

Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd corn,
Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
As frowning at the favours of the world?
Why are thine eyes fix'd to the sullen earth,
Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
What see'st thou there? King Henry's diadem,
Enchas'd with all the honours of the world?
If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,
Until thy head be circled with the same.
Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious gold.
What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with mine,
And, having both together heav'd it up,
We'll both together lift our heads to heaven,
And never more abase our sight so low
As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.

O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts;
And may that thought when I imagine ill
Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.

What dream'd my lord? Tell me, and I'll requite it
With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.

Methought this staff, mine office-badge in court,
Was broke in twain;--by whom I have forgot,
But, as I think, it was by the cardinal,--
And on the pieces of the broken wand
Were plac'd the heads of Edmund Duke of Somerset
And William de la Pole, first duke of Suffolk.
This was my dream; what it doth bode, God knows.

Tut, this was nothing but an argument
That he that breaks a stick of Gloster's grove
Shall lose his head for his presumption.
But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke:
Methought I sat in seat of majesty
In the cathedral church of Westminster
And in that chair where kings and queens are crown'd,
Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneel'd to me
And on my head did set the diadem.

Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright.
Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtur'd Eleanor,
Art thou not second woman in the realm,
And the protector's wife, belov'd of him?
Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
And wilt thou still be hammering treachery,
To tumble down thy husband and thyself
From top of honour to disgrace's feet?
Away from me, and let me hear no more!

What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
With Eleanor for telling but her dream?
Next time I'll keep my dreams unto myself,
And not be check'd.

Nay, be not angry; I am pleas'd again.

[Enter Messenger.]

My lord protector, 't is his highness' pleasure
You do prepare to ride unto Saint Alban's,
Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk.

I go.--Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?

Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently.

[Exeunt Gloster and Messenger.]

Follow I must; I cannot go before
While Gloster bears this base and humble mind.
Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks
And smooth my way upon their headless necks;
And, being a woman, I will not be slack
To play my part in Fortune's pageant.--
Where are you there? Sir John! nay, fear not, man,
We are alone; here's none but thee and I.

[Enter HUME.]

Jesus preserve your royal majesty!

What say'st thou? majesty! I am but grace.

But, by the grace of God, and Hume's advice,
Your grace's title shall be multiplied.

What say'st thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
And will they undertake to do me good?

This they have promised,--to show your highness
A spirit rais'd from depth of underground,
That shall make answer to such questions
As by your Grace shall be propounded him.

It is enough; I'll think upon the questions.
When from Saint Alban's we do make return,
We'll see these things effected to the full.
Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man,
With thy confederates in this weighty cause.


Hume must make merry with the duchess' gold,
Marry, and shall. But, how now, Sir John Hume!
Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum;
The business asketh silent secrecy.
Dame Eleanor gives gold to bring the witch;
Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.
Yet have I gold flies from another coast.
I dare not say, from the rich cardinal
And from the great and new-made Duke of Suffolk,
Yet I do find it so; for, to be plain,
They, knowing Dame Eleanor's aspiring humour,
Have hired me to undermine the duchess
And buzz these conjurations in her brain.
They say ' A crafty knave does need no broker;'
Yet am I Suffolk and the cardinal's broker.
Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.
Well, so its stands; and thus, I fear, at last
Hume's knavery will be the duchess' wrack,
And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall.
Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.


SCENE III. London. The palace.

[Enter PETER and other PETITIONERS.]

My masters, let's stand close; my lord protector
will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver our
supplications in the quill.

Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good
man! Jesu bless him!

[Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN.]

Here 'a comes, methinks, and the queen with him.
I'll be the first, sure.

Come back, fool; this is the Duke of Suffolk and
not my lord protector.

How now, fellow! wouldst any thing with me?

I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye for my lord

[Reading] 'To my Lord Protector!' Are your supplications
to his lordship? Let me see them; what is thine?

Mine is, an 't please your grace, against John
Goodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keeping my house and lands,
and wife and all, from me.

Thy wife too! that's some wrong, indeed.--What's
yours?--What's here! [Reads] 'Against the Duke of Suffolk for
the commons of Melford.'--How now, sir knave!

Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our
whole township.

[Giving his petition] Against my master, Thomas Horner,
for saying that the Duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.

What say'st thou? did the Duke of York say he was
rightful heir to the crown?

That my master was? no, forsooth; my master said that he
was, and that the king was an usurper.

Who is there? [Enter Servant.] Take this fellow in, and
send for his master with a pursuivant presently.--We'll hear more
of your matter before the king.

[Exit Servant with Peter.]

And as for you, that love to be protected
Under the wings of our protector's grace,
Begin your suits anew and sue to him.

[Tears the supplications.]

Away, base cullions!--Suffolk, let them go.

Come, let's be gone.


My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
Is this the fashion in the court of England?
Is this the government of Britain's isle,
And this the royalty of Albion's king?
What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
Under the surly Gloster's governance?
Am I a queen in title and in style,
And must be made a subject to a duke?
I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love
And stol'st away the ladies' hearts of France,
I thought King Henry had resembled thee
In courage, courtship, and proportion;
But all his mind is bent to holiness,
To number Ave-Maries on his beads,
His champions are the prophets and apostles,
His weapons holy saws of sacred writ,
His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
Are brazen images of canoniz'd saints.
I would the college of the cardinals
Would choose him pope and carry him to Rome,
And set the triple crown upon his head;
That were a state fit for his holiness.

Madam, be patient; as I was cause
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your grace's full content.

Beside the haughty protector, have we Beaufort
The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham,
And grumbling York; and not the least of these
But can do more in England than the king.

And he of these that can do most of all
Cannot do more in England than the Nevils;
Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.

Not all these lords do vex me half so much
As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife.
She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies,
More like an empress than Duke Humphrey's wife.
Strangers in court do take her for the queen;
She bears a duke's revenues on her back,
And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
Shall I not live to be aveng'd on her?
Contemptuous base-born callat as she is,
She vaunted 'mongst her minions t' other day,
The very train of her worst wearing gown
Was better worth than all my father's land
Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.

Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her,
And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds
That she will light to listen to the lays,
And never mount to trouble you again.
So, let her rest; and, madam, list to me,
For I am bold to counsel you in this.
Although we fancy not the cardinal,
Yet must we join with him and with the lords
Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in disgrace.
As for the Duke of York, this late complaint
Will make but little for his benefit.
So, one by one, we'll weed them all at last,
And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.


For my part, noble lords, I care not which;
Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.

If York have ill demean'd himself in France,
Then let him be denay'd the regentship.

If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
Let York be regent; I will yield to him.

Whether your grace be worthy, yea or no,
Dispute not that; York is the worthier.

Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.

The cardinal's not my better in the field.

All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.

Warwick may live to be the best of all.

Peace, son!--and show some reason, Buckingham,
Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.

Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.

Madam, the King is old enough himself
To give his censure; these are no women's matters.

If he be old enough, what needs your grace
To be protector of his excellence?

Madam, I am protector of the realm,
And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.

Resign it then, and leave thine insolence.
Since thou wert king--as who is king but thou?--
The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack;
The Dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the seas;
And all the peers and nobles of the realm
Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.

The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags
Are lank and lean with thy extortions.

Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire
Have cost a mass of public treasury.

Thy cruelty in execution
Upon offenders hath exceeded law,
And left thee to the mercy of the law.

Thy sale of offices and towns in France,
If they were known, as the suspect is great,
Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.--

[Exit Gloster. The Queen drops her fan..]

Give me my fan. What minion! can ye not?

[She gives the Duchess a box on the ear.]

I cry your mercy, madam; was it you?

Was 't I! yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.
Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

Sweet aunt, be quiet; 't was against her will.

Against her will! good king, look to 't in time;
She'll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby.
Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unreveng'd.


Lord cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds.
She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.


[Re-enter GLOSTER.]

Now, lords, my choler being overblown
With walking once about the quadrangle,
I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
As for your spiteful false objections,
Prove them, and I lie open to the law;
But God in mercy so deal with my soul
As I in duty love my king and country!
But, to the matter that we have in hand:
I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
To be your regent in the realm of France.

Before we make election, give me leave
To show some reason, of no little force,
That York is most unmeet of any man.

I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet:
First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride;
Next, if I be appointed for the place,
My Lord of Somerset will keep me here,
Without discharge, money, or furniture,
Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands.
Last time, I danc'd attendance on his will
Till Paris was besieg'd, famish'd, and lost.

That can I witness; and a fouler fact
Did never traitor in the land commit.

Peace, headstrong Warwick!

Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?

[Enter HORNER and his man PETER, guarded.]

Because here is a man accus'd of treason.
Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!

Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?

What mean'st thou, Suffolk? tell me, what are these?

Please it your majesty, this is the man
That doth accuse his master of high treason.
His words were these: that Richard Duke of York
Was rightful heir unto the English crown,
And that your majesty was an usurper.

Say, man, were these thy words?

An 't shall please your majesty, I never said nor
thought any such matter; God is my witness, I am
falsely accused by the villain.

By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak them to
me in the garret one night, as we were scouring my Lord of
York's armour.

Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
I'll have thy head for this thy traitor's speech.--
I do beseech your royal majesty,
Let him have all the rigour of the law.

Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the words. My
accuser is my prentice; and when I did correct him for his fault
the other day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even with
me. I have good witness of this; therefore I beseech your
majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain's

Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?

This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
Let Somerset be Regent o'er the French,
Because in York this breeds suspicion;
And let these have a day appointed them
For single combat in convenient place,
For he hath witness of his servant's malice.
This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.

I humbly thank your royal Majesty.

And I accept the combat willingly.

Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake, pity my case.
The spite of man prevaileth against me. O Lord, have mercy
upon me! I shall never be able to fight a blow! O Lord, my heart!

Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hang'd.

Away with them to prison; and the day of combat shall
be the last of the next month.--Come, Somerset, we'll see thee
sent away.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]

SCENE IV. Gloster's Garden


Come, my masters; the duchess, I tell you, expects
performance of your promises.

Master Hume, we are therefore provided;
will her ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?

Ay, what else? fear you not her courage.

I have heard her reported to be a woman of an invincible spirit:
but it shall be convenient, Master Hume, that you be by her
aloft while we be busy below; and so, I pray you go, in God's
name, and leave us.--[Exit Hume.] Mother Jourdain, be you
prostrate and grovel on the earth.--John Southwell, read you; and
let us to our work.

[Enter DUCHESS aloft, HUME following.]

Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this gear
the sooner the better.

Patience, good lady, wizards know their times:
Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
The time of night when Troy was set on fire,
The time when screech-owls cry and ban-dogs howl
And spirits walk and ghosts break up their graves,
That time best fits the work we have in hand.
Madam, sit you and fear not; whom we raise,
We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.

[Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle;
Bolingbroke or Southwell reads, Conjuro te, etc.
It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth.]


By the eternal God, whose name and power
Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask;
For till thou speak thou shalt not pass from hence.

Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!

[Reads] 'First of the king: what shall
of him become?'

The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose,
But him outlive and die a violent death.

[As the Spirit speaks, Southwell writes the answer.]

'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'

By water shall he die and take his end.

[Reads] 'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'

Let him shun castles;
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand.
Have done, for more I hardly can endure.

Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
False fiend, avoid!

[Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit.]

with their Guard and break in YORK.]

Lay hands upon these traitors and their trash.--
Beldam, I think we watch'd you at an inch.
What, madam, are you there? the king and commonweal
Are deeply indebted for this piece of pains;
My lord protector will, I doubt it not,
See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts.

Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
Injurious duke, that threatest where's no cause.

True, madam, none at all; what call you this?--
Away with them! let them be clapp'd up close,
And kept asunder.--You, madam, shall with us.--
Stafford, take her to thee.--

[Exeunt above, Duchess and Hume, guarded.]

We'll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.--
All, away!

[Exeunt guard with Jourdain, Southwell, etc.]

Lord Buckingham, methinks you watch'd her well;
A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon!
Now, pray, my lord, let's see the devil's writ.
What have we here?
[Reads] 'The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose.
But him outlive and die a violent death.'
Why, this is just
'Aio te, Aeacida, Romanos vincere posse.'
Well, to the rest:
'Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of Suffolk?
By water shall he die and take his end.
What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
Let him shun castles;
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand.'--
Come, come, my lords;
These oracles are hardly attain'd,
And hardly understood.
The king is now in progress towards Saint Alban's,
With him the husband of this lovely lady.
Thither go these news, as fast as horse can carry them;
A sorry breakfast for my lord protector.

Your Grace shall give me leave, my
Lord of York,
To be the post, in hope of his reward.

At your pleasure, my good lord.--
Who's within there, ho!

[Enter a Servingman.]

Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick
To sup with me to-morrow night. Away!



SCENE I. Saint Alban's.

with FALCONERS halloing.]

Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook,
I saw not better sport these seven years' day;
Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high,
And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.

But what a point, my lord, your falcon made,
And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
To see how God in all His creatures works!
Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.

No marvel, an it like your majesty,
My lord protector's hawks do tower so well;
They know their master loves to be aloft,
And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.

My lord, 't is but a base ignoble mind
That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.

I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.

Ay, my lord cardinal? how think you by that?
Were it not good your grace could fly to heaven?

The treasury of everlasting joy.

Thy heaven is on earth; thine eyes and thoughts
Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart,
Pernicious protector, dangerous peer,
That smooth'st it so with king and commonweal.

What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown peremptory?
Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?
Churchmen so hot? good uncle, hide such malice;
With such holiness can you do it?

No malice, sir; no more than well becomes
So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.

As who, my lord?

Why, as you, my lord,
An 't like your lordly lord-protectorship.

Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.

And thy ambition, Gloster.

I prithee, peace, good queen,
And whet not on these furious peers;
For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.

Let me be blessed for the peace I make
Against this proud protector, with my sword!

[Aside to Cardinal.] Faith, holy uncle, would 't
were come to that!

[Aside to Gloster.] Marry, when thou dar'st.

[Aside to Cardinal.] Make up no factious numbers
for the matter;
In thine own person answer thy abuse.

[Aside to Gloster.] Ay, where thou dar'st not peep;
an if thou dar'st,
This evening, on the east side of the grove.

How now, my lords!

Believe me, cousin Gloster,
Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
We had had more sport.--[Aside to Gloster.] Come with thy
two-hand sword.

True, uncle.

[Aside to Gloster.] Are ye advis'd? the east side
of the grove?

[Aside to CARDINAL.] Cardinal, I am with you.

Why, how now, uncle Gloster!

Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.--
[Aside to Cardinal.] Now, by God's mother, priest,
I'll shave your crown for this,
Or all my fence shall fail.

[Aside to Gloster.] Medice, teipsum--
Protector, see to 't well, protect yourself.

The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.
How irksome is this music to my heart!
When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.

[Enter a Townsman of Saint Alban's, crying 'A miracle!']

What means this noise?
Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?

A miracle! A miracle!

Come to the king, and tell him what miracle.

Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's shrine,
Within this half hour, hath receiv'd his sight;
A man that ne'er saw in his life before.

Now, God be prais'd, that to believing souls
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!

[Enter the Mayor of Saint Alban's and his brethren,
bearing SIMPCOX, between two in a chair, SIMPCOX's
Wife following.]

Here comes the townsmen on procession,
To present your highness with the man.

Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.

Stand by, my masters.
Bring him near the king;
His highness' pleasure is to talk with him.

Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,
That we for thee may glorify the Lord.
What, hast thou been long blind and now restor'd?

Born blind, an 't please your grace.

Ay indeed was he.

What woman is this?

His wife, an 't like your worship.

Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst
have better told.

Where wert thou born?

At Berwick in the north, an 't like your grace.

Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee;
Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.

Tell me, good fellow, cam'st thou here by chance,
Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?

God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd
A hundred times and oftener, in my sleep,
By good Saint Alban, who said 'Simpcox, come,
Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'

Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft
Myself have heard a voice to call him so.

What, art thou lame?

Ay, God Almighty help me!

How cam'st thou so?

A fall off of a tree.

A plum-tree, master.

How long hast thou been blind?

O, born so, master!

What, and wouldst climb a tree?

But that in all my life, when I was a youth.

Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.

Mass, thou lov'dst plums well that wouldst venture so.

Alas, good master, my wife desir'd some damsons,
And made me climb, with danger of my life.

A subtle knave! but yet it shall not serve.--
Let me see thine eyes.--Wink now;--now open them.
In my opinion yet thou seest not well.

Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and Saint Alban.

Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?

Red, master, red as blood.

Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?

Black, forsooth, coal-black as jet.

Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?

And yet, I think, jet did he never see.

But cloaks and gowns before this day, a many.

Never before this day in all his life.

Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?

Alas, master, I know not.

What's his name?

I know not.

Nor his?

No, indeed, master.

What's thine own name?

Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.

Then, Saunder, sit there, the lyingest knave in
Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou mightst as well
have known all our names as thus to name the several colours we
do wear. Sight may distinguish of colours; but suddenly to
nominate them all, it is impossible.--My lords, Saint Alban here
hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his cunning to be
great that could restore this cripple to his legs again?

O master, that you could!

My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not beadles in
your town, and things called whips?

Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.

Then send for one presently.

Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.

[Exit an Attendant.]

Now fetch me a stool hither by and by.--Now, sirrah,
if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this
stool and run away.

Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone;
You go about to torture me in vain.

[Enter a Beadle with whips.]

Well, sir, we must have you find your legs.--
Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.

I will, my lord.--Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet

Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.

[After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over
the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry,
'A miracle!']

O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?

It made me laugh to see the villain run.

Follow the knave, and take this drab away.

Alas, sir, we did it for pure need!

Let them be whipped through every market-town
till they come to Berwick, from whence they came.

[Exeunt Wife, Beadle, Mayor, etc.]

Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.

True; made the lame to leap and fly away.

But you have done more miracles than I;
You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.


What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?

Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold.
A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent,
Under the countenance and confederacy
Of Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife,
The ringleader and head of all this rout,
Have practis'd dangerously against your state,
Dealing with witches and with conjurers,
Whom we have apprehended in the fact,
Raising up wicked spirits from underground,
Demanding of King Henry's life and death,
And other of your highness' privy-council,
As more at large your Grace shall understand.

[Aside to Gloster.] And so, my lord protector,
by this means
Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge;
'T is like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.

Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart.
Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers;
And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee,
Or to the meanest groom.

O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!

Gloster, see here the tainture of thy nest;
And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.

Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal,
How I have lov'd my king and commonweal;
And, for my wife, I know not how it stands.
Sorry I am to hear what I have heard;
Noble she is; but if she have forgot
Honour and virtue, and convers'd with such
As like to pitch defile nobility,
I banish her my bed and company,
And give her as a prey to law and shame,
That hath dishonoured Gloster's honest name.

Well, for this night we will repose us here;
To-morrow toward London back again,
To look into this business thoroughly,
And call these foul offenders to their answers,
And poise the cause in justice' equal scales,
Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]

SCENE II. London. The Duke of York's Garden.


Now, my good Lords of Salisbury and Warwick,
Our simple supper ended, give me leave
In this close walk to satisfy myself,
In craving your opinion of my title,
Which is infallible, to England's crown.

My lord, I long to hear it at full.

Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good,
The Nevils are thy subjects to command.

Then thus:
Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons:
The first, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales;
The second, William of Hatfield; and the third,
Lionel Duke of Clarence; next to whom
Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster;
The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York;
The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloster;
William of Windsor was the seventh and last.
Edward the Black Prince died before his father
And left behind him Richard, his only son,
Who after Edward the Third's death reign'd as king;
Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
Crown'd by the name of Henry the Fourth,
Seiz'd on the realm, depos'd the rightful king,
Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she came,
And him to Pomfret, where, as all you know,
Harmless Richard was murther'd traitorously.

Father, the duke hath told the truth;
Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.

Which now they hold by force and not by right;
For Richard, the first son's heir, being dead,
The issue of the next son should have reign'd.

But William of Hatfield died without an heir.

The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line
I claim the crown, had issue, Philippe, a daughter,
Who married Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.
Edmund had issue, Roger Earl of March;
Roger had issue, Edmund, Anne, and Eleanor.

This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,
As I have read, laid claim unto the crown;
And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
Who kept him in captivity till he died.
But to the rest.

His eldest sister, Anne,
My mother, being heir unto the crown,
Married Richard Earl of Cambridge, who was son
To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son.
By her I claim the kingdom; she was heir
To Roger Earl of March, who was the son
Of Edmund Mortimer, who married Philippe,
Sole daughter unto Lionel Duke of Clarence.
So, if the issue of the elder son
Succeed before the younger, I am king.

What plain proceeding is more plain than this?
Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
The fourth son; York claims it from the third.
Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign;
It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee
And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.--
Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together;
And in this private plot be we the first
That shall salute our rightful sovereign
With honour of his birthright to the crown.

Long live our sovereign Richard, England's king!

We thank you, lords. But I am not your king
Till I be crown'd, and that my sword be stain'd
With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster;
And that's not suddenly to be perform'd,
But with advice and silent secrecy.
Do you as I do in these dangerous days,--
Wink at the Duke of Suffolk's insolence,
At Beaufort's pride, at Somerset's ambition,
At Buckingham, and all the crew of them,
Till they have snar'd the shepherd of the flock,
That virtuous prince, the good Duke Humphrey;
'T is that they seek, and they in seeking that
Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.

My lord, break we off; we know your mind at full.

My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.

And, Nevil, this I do assure myself:
Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
The greatest man in England but the king.


SCENE III. A Hall of Justice.

[Sound trumpets. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, GLOSTER,
under guard.]

Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloster's wife.
In sight of God and us, your guilt is great;
Receive the sentence of the law for sins
Such as by God's book are adjudg'd to death.--
You four, from hence to prison back again,
From thence unto the place of execution.
The witch in Smithfield shall be burn'd to ashes,
And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.--
You, madam, for you are more nobly born,
Despoiled of your honour in your life,
Shall, after three days' open penance done,
Live in your country here in banishment,
With Sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man.

Welcome is banishment; welcome were my death.

Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee;
I cannot justify whom the law condemns.--

[Exeunt Duchess and the other prisoners, guarded..]

Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
Ah, Humphrey, this dishonour in thine age
Will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground!--
I beseech your majesty, give me leave to go;
Sorrow would solace, and mine age would ease.

Stay, Humphrey Duke of Gloster.
Ere thou go,
Give up thy staff; Henry will to himself
Protector be, and God shall be my hope,
My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet.
And go in peace, Humphrey, no less belov'd
Than when thou wert protector to thy king.

I see no reason why a king of years
Should be to be protected like a child.--
God and King Henry govern England's realm.
Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm.

My staff? Here, noble Henry, is my staff.
As willingly do I the same resign
As e'er thy father Henry made it mine;
And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it
As others would ambitiously receive it.
Farewell, good king; when I am dead and gone,
May honourable peace attend thy throne!


Why, now is Henry king, and Margaret queen;
And Humphrey Duke of Gloster scarce himself,
That bears so shrewd a maim; two pulls at once--
His lady banish'd, and a limb lopp'd off.
This staff of honour raught, there let it stand
Where it best fits to be, in Henry's hand.

Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays;
Thus Eleanor's pride dies in her youngest days.

Lords, let him go.--Please it your majesty,
This is the day appointed for the combat;
And ready are the appellant and defendant,
The armourer and his man, to enter the lists,
So please your highness to behold the fight.

Ay, good my lord; for purposely therefore
Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.

O' God's name, see the lists and all things fit.
Here let them end it; and God defend the right!

I never saw a fellow worse bested,
Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant,
The servant of his armourer, my lords.

[Enter at one door, HORNER the Armourer, and his
Neighbours, drinking to him so much that he is
drunk; and he enters with a drum before him and
his staff with a sand-bag fastened to it; and at the
other door PETER, his man, with a drum and sandbag,
and Prentices drinking to him.]

Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of
sack; and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.

And here, neighbour, here's a cup of charneco.

And here's a pot of good double beer, neighbour;
drink, and fear not your man.

Let it come, i' faith, and I'll pledge you all; and a
fig for Peter!

Here, Peter, I drink to thee; and be not afraid.

Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master: fight
for credit of the prentices.

I thank you all; drink, and pray for me, I pray you, for I
think I have taken my last draught in this world.--Here, Robin,
an if I die, I give thee my apron;--and, Will, thou shalt have my
hammer;--and here, Tom, take all the money that I have.--O Lord
bless me! I pray God! for I am never able to deal with my master,
he hath learnt so much fence already.

Come, leave your drinking and fall to blows.--
Sirrah, what's thy name?

Peter, forsooth.

Peter? what more?


Thump! then see thou thump thy master well.

Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon my man's instigation,
to prove him a knave and myself an honest man; and touching the
Duke of York, I will take my death, I never meant him any ill,
nor the
king, nor the queen;--and therefore, Peter, have at thee with a

Dispatch; this knave's tongue begins to double.--
Sound, trumpets, alarum to the combatants!

[Alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes him down.]

Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.


Take away his weapon.--Fellow, thank God, and the good
wine in thy master's way.

O God, have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O
Peter, thou hast prevail'd in right!

Go, take hence that traitor from our sight,
For by his death we do perceive his guilt;
And God in justice hath reveal'd to us
The truth and innocence of this poor fellow,
Which he had thought to have murther'd wrongfully.--
Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.

[Sound a flourish. Exeunt.]

SCENE IV. A Street.

[Enter GLOSTER and his Servingmen, in mourning cloaks.]

Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud,
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold;
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
Sirs, what's o'clock?

Ten, my lord.

Ten is the hour that was appointed me
To watch the coming of my punish'd duchess.
Uneath may she endure the flinty streets,
To tread them with her tender-feeling feet.--
Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook
The abject people gazing on thy face
With envious looks, laughing at thy shame,
That erst did follow thy proud chariot-wheels
When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets.--
But, soft! I think she comes; and I'll prepare
My tear-stain'd eyes to see her miseries.

[Enter the DUCHESS OF GLOSTER in a white sheet,
and a taper burning in her hand; with SIR JOHN STANLEY,
the Sheriff, and Officers.]

So please your Grace, we'll take her from the

No, stir not for your lives; let her pass by.

Come you, my lord, to see my open shame?
Now thou dost penance too. Look how they gaze!
See how the giddy multitude do point,
And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee!
Ah, Gloster, hide thee from their hateful looks,
And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!

Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.

Ah, Gloster, teach me to forget myself!
For whilst I think I am thy married wife,
And thou a prince, protector of this land,
Methinks I should not thus be led along,
Mail'd up in shame, with papers on my back,
And follow'd with a rabble that rejoice
To see my tears and hear my deep-fet groans.
The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet,
And when I start, the envious people laugh
And bid me be advised how I tread.
Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke?
Trow'st thou that e'er I'll look upon the world,
Or count them happy that enjoy the sun?
No; dark shall be my light and night my day;
To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.
Sometimes I'll say, I am Duke Humphrey's wife,
And he a prince and ruler of the land;
Yet so he rul'd and such a prince he was
As he stood by whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
Was made a wonder and a pointing-stock
To every idle rascal follower.
But be thou mild and blush not at my shame,
Nor stir at nothing till the axe of death
Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will;
For Suffolk, he that can do all in all
With her that hateth thee and hates us all,
And York, and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings,
And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle thee;
But fear not thou until thy foot be snar'd,
Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.

Ah, Nell, forbear! thou aimest all awry.
I must offend before I be attainted;
And had I twenty times so many foes,
And each of them had twenty times their power,
All these could not procure me any scath
So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
Wouldst have me rescue thee from this reproach?
Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away,
But I in danger for the breach of law.
Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell.
I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience;
These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.

[Enter a Herald.]

I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament,
Holden at Bury the first of this next month.

And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before!
This is close dealing.--Well, I will be there.--

[Exit Herald.]

My Nell, I take my leave;--and, master sheriff,
Let not her penance exceed the king's commission.

An 't please your grace, here my commission stays,
And Sir John Stanley is appointed now
To take her with him to the Isle of Man.

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