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ACT I. SCENE I.
London. The palace
Flourish of trumpets; then hautboys. Enter the KING, DUKE
OF GLOUCESTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and CARDINAL BEAUFORT, on the
the QUEEN, SUFFOLK, YORK, SOMERSET, and BUCKINGHAM, on the other
SUFFOLK. 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 marquis gave,
The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.
KING HENRY. 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.
QUEEN. 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.
KING HENRY. Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
Makes me from wond'ring fall to weeping joys,
Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
ALL. [Kneeling] Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!
QUEEN. We thank you all. [Flourish]
SUFFOLK. 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.
GLOUCESTER. [Reads] 'Imprimis: It is agreed between the French
Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk,
for Henry King of England, that the said Henry shall espouse
Lady Margaret, daughter unto Reignier King of Naples,
and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the
of May next ensuing.
Item: That the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine shall
released and delivered to the King her father'-
[Lets the paper fall]
KING HENRY. Uncle, how now!
GLOUCESTER. Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart,
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
KING HENRY. Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
CARDINAL. [Reads] 'Item: It is further agreed between them that
duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered
to the King her father, and she sent over of the King of
England's own proper cost and charges, without having any
KING HENRY. 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' th' parts of France, till term of eighteen months
Be full expir'd. Thanks, uncle Winchester,
Gloucester, 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
GLOUCESTER. 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 Council 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!
CARDINAL. Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
This peroration with such circumstance?
For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
SALISBURY. Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
These counties were the keys of Normandy!
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
WARWICK. 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?
YORK. 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.
GLOUCESTER. A proper jest, and never heard before,
That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
For costs and charges in transporting her!
She should have stay'd in France, and starv'd in France,
CARDINAL. My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot:
It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
GLOUCESTER. My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 'tis 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. Exit
CARDINAL. So, there goes our Protector in a rage.
'Tis 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 Gloucester,'
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.
BUCKINGHAM. 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.
CARDINAL. This weighty business will not brook delay;
I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently. Exit
SOMERSET. 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 Gloucester be displac'd, he'll be Protector.
BUCKINGHAM. Or thou or I, Somerset, will be Protector,
Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and SOMERSET
SALISBURY. 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 Gloucester
Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
Oft have I seen the haughty Cardinal-
More like a soldier than a man o' th' 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.
WARWICK. So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
And common profit of his country!
YORK. And so says York- [Aside] for he hath greatest cause.
SALISBURY. Then let's make haste away and look unto the main.
WARWICK. 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
YORK. 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?
'Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage,
And purchase friends, and give to courtezans,
Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
While as 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 burnt
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 fall'n 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. Exit
The DUKE OF GLOUCESTER'S house
Enter DUKE and his wife ELEANOR
DUCHESS. 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.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
DUCHESS. What dream'd my lord? Tell me, and I'll requite it
With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
GLOUCESTER. Methought this staff, mine office-badge in court,
Was broke in twain; by whom I have forgot,
But, as I think, it was by th' 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.
DUCHESS. Tut, this was nothing but an argument
That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester'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 were crown'd;
Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneel'd to me,
And on my head did set the diadem.
GLOUCESTER. 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!
DUCHESS. 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.
GLOUCESTER. Nay, be not angry; I am pleas'd again.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. My Lord Protector, 'tis his Highness' pleasure
You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans,
Where as the King and Queen do mean to hawk.
GLOUCESTER. I go. Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?
DUCHESS. Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently.
Exeunt GLOUCESTER and MESSENGER
Follow I must; I cannot go before,
While Gloucester 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.
HUME. Jesus preserve your royal Majesty!
DUCHESS. What say'st thou? Majesty! I am but Grace.
HUME. But, by the grace of God and Hume's advice,
Your Grace's title shall be multiplied.
DUCHESS. What say'st thou, man? Hast thou as yet conferr'd
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch of Eie,
With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
And will they undertake to do me good?
HUME. 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
DUCHESS. It is enough; I'll think upon the questions;
When from Saint Albans 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. Exit
HUME. 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' wreck,
And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall
Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all. Exit
London. The palace
Enter three or four PETITIONERS, PETER, the Armourer's man, being
FIRST PETITIONER. My masters, let's stand close; my Lord
will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver our
supplications in the quill.
SECOND PETITIONER. Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good
man, Jesu bless him!
Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN
FIRST PETITIONER. Here 'a comes, methinks, and the Queen with
I'll be the first, sure.
SECOND PETITIONER. Come back, fool; this is the Duke of Suffolk
not my Lord Protector.
SUFFOLK. How now, fellow! Wouldst anything with me?
FIRST PETITIONER. I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye for my
QUEEN. [Reads] 'To my Lord Protector!' Are your supplications
his lordship? Let me see them. What is thine?
FIRST PETITIONER. Mine is, an't please your Grace, against John
Goodman, my Lord Cardinal's man, for keeping my house and
and wife and all, from me.
SUFFOLK. 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!
SECOND PETITIONER. Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our
PETER. [Presenting his petition] Against my master, Thomas
for saying that the Duke of York was rightful heir to the
QUEEN. What say'st thou? Did the Duke of York say he was
heir to the crown?
PETER. That my master was? No, forsooth. My master said that he
was, and that the King was an usurper.
SUFFOLK. Who is there? [Enter servant] Take this fellow in, and
send for his master with a pursuivant presently. We'll hear
of your matter before the King.
Exit servant with PETER
QUEEN. 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.
ALL. Come, let's be gone. Exeunt
QUEEN. My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
Is this the fashions 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 Gloucester'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 canonized 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.
SUFFOLK. Madam, be patient. As I was cause
Your Highness came to England, so will I
In England work your Grace's full content.
QUEEN. 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.
SUFFOLK. 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.
QUEEN. 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 callet 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 lands,
Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
SUFFOLK. 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.
Sound a sennet. Enter the KING, DUKE HUMPHREY,
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, BUCKINGHAM, YORK, SOMERSET, SALISBURY,
WARWICK, and the DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
KING HENRY. For my part, noble lords, I care not which:
Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.
YORK. If York have ill demean'd himself in France,
Then let him be denay'd the regentship.
SOMERSET. If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
Let York be Regent; I will yield to him.
WARWICK. Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no,
Dispute not that; York is the worthier.
CARDINAL. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
WARWICK. The Cardinal's not my better in the field.
BUCKINGHAM. All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
WARWICK. Warwick may live to be the best of all.
SALISBURY. Peace, son! And show some reason, Buckingham,
Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.
QUEEN. Because the King, forsooth, will have it so.
GLOUCESTER. Madam, the King is old enough himself
To give his censure. These are no women's matters.
QUEEN. If he be old enough, what needs your Grace
To be Protector of his Excellence?
GLOUCESTER. Madam, I am Protector of the realm;
And at his pleasure will resign my place.
SUFFOLK. 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.
CARDINAL. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags
Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
SOMERSET. Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire
Have cost a mass of public treasury.
BUCKINGHAM. Thy cruelty in execution
Upon offenders hath exceeded law,
And left thee to the mercy of the law.
QUEEN. 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 GLOUCESTER. The QUEEN drops QUEEN 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?
DUCHESS. Was't I? Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.
Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
I could set my ten commandments in your face.
KING HENRY. Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.
DUCHESS. 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. Exit
BUCKINGHAM. 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. Exit
GLOUCESTER. 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.
SUFFOLK. Before we make election, give me leave
To show some reason, of no little force,
That York is most unmeet of any man.
YORK. 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.
WARWICK. That can I witness; and a fouler fact
Did never traitor in the land commit.
SUFFOLK. Peace, headstrong Warwick!
WARWICK. Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?
Enter HORNER, the Armourer, and his man PETER, guarded
SUFFOLK. Because here is a man accus'd of treason:
Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
YORK. Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?
KING HENRY. What mean'st thou, Suffolk? Tell me, what are
SUFFOLK. 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.
KING HENRY. Say, man, were these thy words?
HORNER. An't shall please your Majesty, I never said nor
any such matter. God is my witness, I am falsely accus'd by
PETER. [Holding up his hands] By these ten bones, my lords, he
speak them to me in the garret one night, as we were scouring
Lord of York's armour.
YORK. 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.
HORNER`. Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the words. My
accuser is my prentice; and when I did correct him for his
the other day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even
me. I have good witness of this; therefore I beseech your
Majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain's
KING HENRY. Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?
GLOUCESTER. 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.
SOMERSET. I humbly thank your royal Majesty.
HORNER. And I accept the combat willingly.
PETER. Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake, pity my
The spite of man prevaileth against me. O Lord, have mercy
me, I shall never be able to fight a blow! O Lord, my heart!
GLOUCESTER. Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hang'd.
KING HENRY. Away with them to prison; and the day of combat
be the last of the next month.
Come, Somerset, we'll see thee sent away. Flourish. Exeunt
London. The DUKE OF GLOUCESTER'S garden
Enter MARGERY JOURDAIN, the witch; the two priests, HUME and
HUME. Come, my masters; the Duchess, I tell you, expects
performance of your promises.
BOLINGBROKE. Master Hume, we are therefore provided; will her
ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?
HUME. Ay, what else? Fear you not her courage.
BOLINGBROKE. I have heard her reported to be a woman of an
invincible spirit; but it shall be convenient, Master Hume,
you be by her aloft while we be busy below; and so I pray you
in God's name, and leave us. [Exit HUME] Mother Jourdain, be
prostrate and grovel on the earth; John Southwell, read you;
let us to our work.
Enter DUCHESS aloft, followed by HUME
DUCHESS. Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this gear,
sooner the better.
BOLINGBROKE. 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,' &c.
It thunders and lightens terribly; then the SPIRIT riseth]
MARGERY JOURDAIN. Asmath,
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.
SPIRIT. Ask what thou wilt; that I had said and done.
BOLINGBROKE. [Reads] 'First of the king: what shall of him
SPIRIT. The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose;
But him outlive, and die a violent death.
[As the SPIRIT speaks, SOUTHWELL writes the answer]
BOLINGBROKE. 'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'
SPIRIT. By water shall he die and take his end.
BOLINGBROKE. 'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'
SPIRIT. 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.
BOLINGBROKE. Descend to darkness and the burning lake;
False fiend, avoid! Thunder and lightning. Exit SPIRIT
Enter the DUKE OF YORK and the DUKE OF
BUCKINGHAM with 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.
DUCHESS. Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
Injurious Duke, that threatest where's no cause.
BUCKINGHAM. True, madam, none at all. What can 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.
We'll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.
Exeunt, above, DUCHESS and HUME, guarded; below,
WITCH, SOUTHWELL and BOLINGBROKE, guarded
YORK. 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 Albans,
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.
BUCKINGHAM. Your Grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York,
To be the post, in hope of his reward.
YORK. At your pleasure, my good lord.
Who's within there, ho?
Enter a serving-man
Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick
To sup with me to-morrow night. Away! Exeunt
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ACT II. SCENE I.
Enter the KING, QUEEN, GLOUCESTER, CARDINAL, and SUFFOLK,
with Falconers halloing
QUEEN. 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.
KING HENRY. 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.
SUFFOLK. No marvel, an it like your Majesty,
My Lord Protector's hawks do tow'r so well;
They know their master loves to be aloft,
And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.
GLOUCESTER. My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind
That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
CARDINAL. I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.
GLOUCESTER. Ay, my lord Cardinal, how think you by that?
Were it not good your Grace could fly to heaven?
KING HENRY. The treasury of everlasting joy!
CARDINAL. 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.
GLOUCESTER. What, Cardinal, is your priesthood grown
Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?
Churchmen so hot? Good uncle, hide such malice;
With such holiness can you do it?
SUFFOLK. No malice, sir; no more than well becomes
So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.
GLOUCESTER. As who, my lord?
SUFFOLK. Why, as you, my lord,
An't like your lordly Lord's Protectorship.
GLOUCESTER. Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
QUEEN. And thy ambition, Gloucester.
KING HENRY. I prithee, peace,
Good Queen, and whet not on these furious peers;
For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.
CARDINAL. Let me be blessed for the peace I make
Against this proud Protector with my sword!
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CARDINAL] Faith, holy uncle, would 'twere
come to that!
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Marry, when thou dar'st.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CARDINAL] Make up no factious numbers for
In thine own person answer thy abuse.
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Ay, where thou dar'st not peep;
if thou dar'st,
This evening on the east side of the grove.
KING HENRY. How now, my lords!
CARDINAL. Believe me, cousin Gloucester,
Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
We had had more sport. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Come with thy
GLOUCESTER. True, uncle.
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Are ye advis'd? The east side
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CARDINAL] Cardinal, I am with you.
KING HENRY. Why, how now, uncle Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER. 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.
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Medice, teipsum;
Protector, see to't well; protect yourself.
KING HENRY. 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 Albans, crying 'A miracle!'
GLOUCESTER. What means this noise?
Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
TOWNSMAN. A miracle! A miracle!
SUFFOLK. Come to the King, and tell him what miracle.
TOWNSMAN. Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Albans shrine
Within this half hour hath receiv'd his sight;
A man that ne'er saw in his life before.
KING HENRY. Now God be prais'd that to believing souls
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
Enter the MAYOR OF SAINT ALBANS and his brethren,
bearing Simpcox between two in a chair;
his WIFE and a multitude following
CARDINAL. Here comes the townsmen on procession
To present your Highness with the man.
KING HENRY. Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
GLOUCESTER. Stand by, my masters; bring him near the King;
His Highness' pleasure is to talk with him.
KING HENRY. 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?
SIMPCOX. Born blind, an't please your Grace.
WIFE. Ay indeed was he.
SUFFOLK. What woman is this?
WIFE. His wife, an't like your worship.
GLOUCESTER. Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst have
KING HENRY. Where wert thou born?
SIMPCOX. At Berwick in the north, an't like your Grace.
KING HENRY. Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee.
Let never day nor night unhallowed pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.
QUEEN. Tell me, good fellow, cam'st thou here by chance,
Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?
SIMPCOX. God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd
A hundred times and oft'ner, in my sleep,
By good Saint Alban, who said 'Simpcox, come,
Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'
WIFE. Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft
Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
CARDINAL. What, art thou lame?
SIMPCOX. Ay, God Almighty help me!
SUFFOLK. How cam'st thou so?
SIMPCOX. A fall off of a tree.
WIFE. A plum tree, master.
GLOUCESTER. How long hast thou been blind?
SIMPCOX. O, born so, master!
GLOUCESTER. What, and wouldst climb a tree?
SIMPCOX. But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
WIFE. Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.
GLOUCESTER. Mass, thou lov'dst plums well, that wouldst venture
SIMPCOX. Alas, good master, my wife desir'd some damsons
And made me climb, With danger of my life.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
SIMPCOX. Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and Saint
GLOUCESTER. Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?
SIMPCOX. Red, master; red as blood.
GLOUCESTER. Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?
SIMPCOX. Black, forsooth; coal-black as jet.
KING HENRY. Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?
SUFFOLK. And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
GLOUCESTER. But cloaks and gowns before this day a many.
WIFE. Never before this day in all his life.
GLOUCESTER. Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?
SIMPCOX. Alas, master, I know not.
GLOUCESTER. What's his name?
SIMPCOX. I know not.
GLOUCESTER. Nor his?
SIMPCOX. No, indeed, master.
GLOUCESTER. What's thine own name?
SIMPCOX. Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
GLOUCESTER. Then, Saunder, sit there, the lying'st knave in
Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou mightst as
have known all our names as thus to name the several colours
do wear. Sight may distinguish of colours; but suddenly to
nominate them all, it is impossible. My lords, Saint Alban
hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his cunning to be
great that could restore this cripple to his legs again?
SIMPCOX. O master, that you could!
GLOUCESTER. My masters of Saint Albans, have you not beadles in
your town, and things call'd whips?
MAYOR. Yes, my lord, if it please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER. Then send for one presently.
MAYOR. Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
Exit an attendant
GLOUCESTER. Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. [A stool
brought] Now, sirrah, if you mean to save yourself from
leap me over this stool and run away.
SIMPCOX. Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone!
You go about to torture me in vain.
Enter a BEADLE with whips
GLOUCESTER. Well, sir, we must have you find your legs.
Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
BEADLE. I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet
SIMPCOX. 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
KING HENRY. O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?
QUEEN. It made me laugh to see the villain run.
GLOUCESTER. Follow the knave, and take this drab away.
WIFE. Alas, sir, we did it for pure need!
GLOUCESTER. Let them be whipp'd through every market town till
come to Berwick, from whence they came.
Exeunt MAYOR, BEADLE, WIFE, &c.
CARDINAL. Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.
SUFFOLK. True; made the lame to leap and fly away.
GLOUCESTER. But you have done more miracles than I:
You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.
KING HENRY. What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
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 under ground,
Demanding of King Henry's life and death
And other of your Highness' Privy Council,
As more at large your Grace shall understand.
CARDINAL. 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;
'Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.
GLOUCESTER. 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 the
Or to the meanest groom.
KING HENRY. O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
QUEEN. Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest;
And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
GLOUCESTER. 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 Gloucester's honest name.
KING HENRY. 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.
London. The DUKE OF YORK'S garden
Enter YORK, SALISBURY, and WARWICK
YORK. 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 tide,
Which is infallible, to England's crown.
SALISBURY. My lord, I long to hear it at full.
WARWICK. Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good,
The Nevils are thy subjects to command.
YORK. 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 Gloucester;
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 murdered traitorously.
WARWICK. Father, the Duke hath told the truth;
Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
YORK. 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.
SALISBURY. But William of Hatfield died without an heir.
YORK. 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.
SALISBURY. 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.
YORK. His eldest sister, Anne,
My mother, being heir unto the crown,
Married Richard Earl of Cambridge, who was
To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son, 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.
WARWICK. What plain proceedings 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.
BOTH. Long live our sovereign Richard, England's King!
YORK. 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;
'Tis that they seek; and they, in seeking that,
Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.
SALISBURY. My lord, break we off; we know your mind at full.
WARWICK. My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
YORK. And, Nevil, this I do assure myself,
Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
The greatest man in England but the King. Exeunt
London. A hall of justice
Sound trumpets. Enter the KING and State: the QUEEN, GLOUCESTER,
SUFFOLK, and SALISBURY, with guard, to banish the DUCHESS. Enter,
the DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER, MARGERY JOURDAIN, HUME, SOUTHWELL, and
KING HENRY. Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester's
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 burnt 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.
DUCHESS. Welcome is banishment; welcome were my death.
GLOUCESTER. Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee.
I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
Exeunt the 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.
KING HENRY. Stay, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester; 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.
QUEEN. 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.
GLOUCESTER. My staff! Here, noble Henry, is my staff.
As willingly do I the same resign
As ere 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! Exit
QUEEN. Why, now is Henry King, and Margaret Queen,
And Humphrey Duke of Gloucester 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.
SUFFOLK. Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays;
Thus Eleanor's pride dies in her youngest days.
YORK. 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.
QUEEN. Ay, good my lord; for purposely therefore
Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.
KING HENRY. A God's name, see the lists and all things fit;
Here let them end it, and God defend the right!
YORK. 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
FIRST NEIGHBOUR. Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a
sack; and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.
SECOND NEIGHBOUR. And here, neighbour, here's a cup of
THIRD NEIGHBOUR. And here's a pot of good double beer,
drink, and fear not your man.
HORNER. Let it come, i' faith, and I'll pledge you all; and a
FIRST PRENTICE. Here, Peter, I drink to thee; and be not
SECOND PRENTICE. Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master:
for credit of the prentices.
PETER. I thank you all. Drink, and pray for me, I pray you; for
think I have taken my last draught in this world. Here,
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
he hath learnt so much fence already.
SALISBURY. Come, leave your drinking and fall to blows.
Sirrah, what's thy name?
PETER. Peter, forsooth.
SALISBURY. Peter? What more?
SALISBURY. Thump? Then see thou thump thy master well.
HORNER. Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon my man's
instigation, to prove him a knave and myself an honest man;
touching the Duke of York, I will take my death I never meant
any ill, nor the King, nor the Queen; and therefore, Peter,
at thee with a down right blow!
YORK. Dispatch- this knave's tongue begins to double.
Sound, trumpets, alarum to the combatants!
[Alarum. They fight and PETER strikes him down]
HORNER. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
YORK. Take away his weapon. Fellow, thank God, and the good
thy master's way.
PETER. O God, have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O
Peter, thou hast prevail'd in right!
KING HENRY. 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 murder'd wrongfully.
Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.
Sound a flourish. Exeunt
London. A street
Enter DUKE HUMPHREY and his men, in mourning cloaks
GLOUCESTER. 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?
SERVING-MAN. Ten, my lord.
GLOUCESTER. 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 GLOUCESTER in a white sheet,
and a taper burning in her hand, with SIR JOHN
STANLEY, the SHERIFF, and OFFICERS
SERVING-MAN. So please your Grace, we'll take her from the
GLOUCESTER. No, stir not for your lives; let her pass by.
DUCHESS. 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, Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful looks,
And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!
GLOUCESTER. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
DUCHESS. Ah, Gloucester, 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?
Trowest 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.
GLOUCESTER. 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 scathe
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
HERALD. I summon your Grace to his Majesty's Parliament,
Holden at Bury the first of this next month.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
SHERIFF. 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.
GLOUCESTER. Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
STANLEY. So am I given in charge, may't please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER. Entreat her not the worse in that I pray
You use her well; the world may laugh again,
And I may live to do you kindness if
You do it her. And so, Sir John, farewell.
DUCHESS. What, gone, my lord, and bid me not farewell!
GLOUCESTER. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
Exeunt GLOUCESTER and servants
DUCHESS. Art thou gone too? All comfort go with thee!
For none abides with me. My joy is death-
Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard,
Because I wish'd this world's eternity.
Stanley, I prithee go, and take me hence;
I care not whither, for I beg no favour,
Only convey me where thou art commanded.
STANLEY. Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man,
There to be us'd according to your state.
DUCHESS. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach-
And shall I then be us'd reproachfully?
STANLEY. Like to a duchess and Duke Humphrey's lady;
According to that state you shall be us'd.
DUCHESS. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare,
Although thou hast been conduct of my shame.
SHERIFF. It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
DUCHESS. Ay, ay, farewell; thy office is discharg'd.
Come, Stanley, shall we go?
STANLEY. Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet,
And go we to attire you for our journey.
DUCHESS. My shame will not be shifted with my sheet.
No, it will hang upon my richest robes
And show itself, attire me how I can.
Go, lead the way; I long to see my prison. Exeunt
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ACT III. SCENE I.
The Abbey at Bury St. Edmunds
Sound a sennet. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, CARDINAL, SUFFOLK,
BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY, and WARWICK, to the Parliament
KING HENRY. I muse my Lord of Gloucester is not come.
'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.
QUEEN. Can you not see, or will ye not observe
The strangeness of his alter'd countenance?
With what a majesty he bears himself;
How insolent of late he is become,
How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself?
We know the time since he was mild and affable,
And if we did but glance a far-off look
Immediately he was upon his knee,
That all the court admir'd him for submission.
But meet him now and be it in the morn,
When every one will give the time of day,
He knits his brow and shows an angry eye
And passeth by with stiff unbowed knee,
Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
Small curs are not regarded when they grin,
But great men tremble when the lion roars,
And Humphrey is no little man in England.
First note that he is near you in descent,
And should you fall he is the next will mount;
Me seemeth, then, it is no policy-
Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears,
And his advantage following your decease-
That he should come about your royal person
Or be admitted to your Highness' Council.
By flattery hath he won the commons' hearts;
And when he please to make commotion,
'Tis to be fear'd they all will follow him.
Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
The reverent care I bear unto my lord
Made me collect these dangers in the Duke.
If it be fond, can it a woman's fear;
Which fear if better reasons can supplant,
I will subscribe, and say I wrong'd the Duke.
My Lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
Reprove my allegation if you can,
Or else conclude my words effectual.
SUFFOLK. Well hath your Highness seen into this duke;
And had I first been put to speak my mind,
I think I should have told your Grace's tale.
The Duchess, by his subornation,
Upon my life, began her devilish practices;
Or if he were not privy to those faults,
Yet by reputing of his high descent-
As next the King he was successive heir-
And such high vaunts of his nobility,
Did instigate the bedlam brainsick Duchess
By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep,
And in his simple show he harbours treason.
The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
No, no, my sovereign, Gloucester is a man
Unsounded yet, and full of deep deceit.
CARDINAL. Did he not, contrary to form of law,
Devise strange deaths for small offences done?
YORK. And did he not, in his protectorship,
Levy great sums of money through the realm
For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it?
By means whereof the towns each day revolted.
BUCKINGHAM. Tut, these are petty faults to faults unknown
Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke Humphrey.
KING HENRY. My lords, at once: the care you have of us,
To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot,
Is worthy praise; but shall I speak my conscience?
Our kinsman Gloucester is as innocent
From meaning treason to our royal person
As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove:
The Duke is virtuous, mild, and too well given
To dream on evil or to work my downfall.
QUEEN. Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond affiance?
Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrow'd,
For he's disposed as the hateful raven.
Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him,
For he's inclin'd as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
SOMERSET. All health unto my gracious sovereign!
KING HENRY. Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news from France?
SOMERSET. That all your interest in those territories
Is utterly bereft you; all is lost.
KING HENRY. Cold news, Lord Somerset; but God's will be done!
YORK. [Aside] Cold news for me; for I had hope of France
As firmly as I hope for fertile England.
Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud,
And caterpillars eat my leaves away;
But I will remedy this gear ere long,
Or sell my title for a glorious grave.
GLOUCESTER. All happiness unto my lord the King!
Pardon, my liege, that I have stay'd so long.
SUFFOLK. Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too soon,
Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art.
I do arrest thee of high treason here.
GLOUCESTER. Well, Suffolk, thou shalt not see me blush
Nor change my countenance for this arrest:
A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.
The purest spring is not so free from mud
As I am clear from treason to my sovereign.
Who can accuse me? Wherein am I guilty?
YORK. 'Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France
And, being Protector, stay'd the soldiers' pay;
By means whereof his Highness hath lost France.
GLOUCESTER. Is it but thought so? What are they that think it?
I never robb'd the soldiers of their pay
Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
So help me God, as I have watch'd the night-
Ay, night by night- in studying good for England!
That doit that e'er I wrested from the King,
Or any groat I hoarded to my use,
Be brought against me at my trial-day!
No; many a pound of mine own proper store,
Because I would not tax the needy commons,
Have I dispursed to the garrisons,
And never ask'd for restitution.
CARDINAL. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
GLOUCESTER. I say no more than truth, so help me God!
YORK. In your protectorship you did devise
Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of,
That England was defam'd by tyranny.
GLOUCESTER. Why, 'tis well known that whiles I was Protector
Pity was all the fault that was in me;
For I should melt at an offender's tears,
And lowly words were ransom for their fault.
Unless it were a bloody murderer,
Or foul felonious thief that fleec'd poor passengers,
I never gave them condign punishment.
Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortur'd
Above the felon or what trespass else.
SUFFOLK. My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answer'd;
But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge,
Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
I do arrest you in His Highness' name,
And here commit you to my Lord Cardinal
To keep until your further time of trial.
KING HENRY. My Lord of Gloucester, 'tis my special hope
That you will clear yourself from all suspense.
My conscience tells me you are innocent.
GLOUCESTER. Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous!
Virtue is chok'd with foul ambition,
And charity chas'd hence by rancour's hand;
Foul subornation is predominant,
And equity exil'd your Highness' land.
I know their complot is to have my life;
And if my death might make this island happy
And prove the period of their tyranny,
I would expend it with all willingness.
But mine is made the prologue to their play;
For thousands more that yet suspect no peril
Will not conclude their plotted tragedy.
Beaufort's red sparkling eyes blab his heart's malice,
And Suffolk's cloudy brow his stormy hate;
Sharp Buckingham unburdens with his tongue
The envious load that lies upon his heart;
And dogged York, that reaches at the moon,
Whose overweening arm I have pluck'd back,
By false accuse doth level at my life.
And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
Causeless have laid disgraces on my head,
And with your best endeavour have stirr'd up
My liefest liege to be mine enemy;
Ay, all of you have laid your heads together-
Myself had notice of your conventicles-
And all to make away my guiltless life.
I shall not want false witness to condemn me
Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt.
The ancient proverb will be well effected:
'A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.'
CARDINAL. My liege, his railing is intolerable.
If those that care to keep your royal person
From treason's secret knife and traitor's rage
Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at,
And the offender granted scope of speech,
'Twill make them cool in zeal unto your Grace.
SUFFOLK. Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
With ignominious words, though clerkly couch'd,
As if she had suborned some to swear
False allegations to o'erthrow his state?
QUEEN. But I can give the loser leave to chide.
GLOUCESTER. Far truer spoke than meant: I lose indeed.
Beshrew the winners, for they play'd me false!
And well such losers may have leave to speak.
BUCKINGHAM. He'll wrest the sense, and hold us here all day.
Lord Cardinal, he is your prisoner.
CARDINAL. Sirs, take away the Duke, and guard him sure.
GLOUCESTER. Ah, thus King Henry throws away his crutch
Before his legs be firm to bear his body!
Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee first.
Ah, that my fear were false! ah, that it were!
For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear. Exit, guarded
KING HENRY. My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best
Do or undo, as if ourself were here.
QUEEN. What, will your Highness leave the Parliament?
KING HENRY. Ay, Margaret; my heart is drown'd with grief,
Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes;
My body round engirt with misery-
For what's more miserable than discontent?
Ah, uncle Humphrey, in thy face I see
The map of honour, truth, and loyalty!
And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come
That e'er I prov'd thee false or fear'd thy faith.
What louring star now envies thy estate
That these great lords, and Margaret our Queen,
Do seek subversion of thy harmless life?
Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man wrong;
And as the butcher takes away the calf,
And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays,
Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house,
Even so, remorseless, have they borne him hence;
And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
Looking the way her harmless young one went,
And can do nought but wail her darling's loss,
Even so myself bewails good Gloucester's case
With sad unhelpful tears, and with dimm'd eyes
Look after him, and cannot do him good,
So mighty are his vowed enemies.
His fortunes I will weep, and 'twixt each groan
Say 'Who's a traitor? Gloucester he is none.' Exit
QUEEN. Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun's hot beams:
Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,
Too full of foolish pity; and Gloucester's show
Beguiles him as the mournful crocodile
With sorrow snares relenting passengers;
Or as the snake, roll'd in a flow'ring bank,
With shining checker'd slough, doth sting a child
That for the beauty thinks it excellent.
Believe me, lords, were none more wise than I-
And yet herein I judge mine own wit good-
This Gloucester should be quickly rid the world
To rid us from the fear we have of him.
CARDINAL. That he should die is worthy policy;
But yet we want a colour for his death.
'Tis meet he be condemn'd by course of law.
SUFFOLK. But, in my mind, that were no policy:
The King will labour still to save his life;
The commons haply rise to save his life;
And yet we have but trivial argument,
More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death.
YORK. So that, by this, you would not have him die.
SUFFOLK. Ah, York, no man alive so fain as I!
YORK. 'Tis York that hath more reason for his death.
But, my Lord Cardinal, and you, my Lord of Suffolk,
Say as you think, and speak it from your souls:
Were't not all one an empty eagle were set
To guard the chicken from a hungry kite
As place Duke Humphrey for the King's Protector?
QUEEN. So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
SUFFOLK. Madam, 'tis true; and were't not madness then
To make the fox surveyor of the fold?
Who being accus'd a crafty murderer,
His guilt should be but idly posted over,
Because his purpose is not executed.
No; let him die, in that he is a fox,
By nature prov'd an enemy to the flock,
Before his chaps be stain'd with crimson blood,
As Humphrey, prov'd by reasons, to my liege.
And do not stand on quillets how to slay him;
Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
Sleeping or waking, 'tis no matter how,
So he be dead; for that is good deceit
Which mates him first that first intends deceit.
QUEEN. Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely spoke.
SUFFOLK. Not resolute, except so much were done,
For things are often spoke and seldom meant;
But that my heart accordeth with my tongue,
Seeing the deed is meritorious,
And to preserve my sovereign from his foe,
Say but the word, and I will be his priest.
CARDINAL. But I would have him dead, my Lord of Suffolk,
Ere you can take due orders for a priest;
Say you consent and censure well the deed,
And I'll provide his executioner-
I tender so the safety of my liege.
SUFFOLK. Here is my hand the deed is worthy doing.
QUEEN. And so say I.
YORK. And I. And now we three have spoke it,
It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
Enter a POST
POST. Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain
To signify that rebels there are up
And put the Englishmen unto the sword.
Send succours, lords, and stop the rage betime,
Before the wound do grow uncurable;
For, being green, there is great hope of help.
CARDINAL. A breach that craves a quick expedient stop!
What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
YORK. That Somerset be sent as Regent thither;
'Tis meet that lucky ruler be employ'd,
Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
SOMERSET. If York, with all his far-fet policy,
Had been the Regent there instead of me,
He never would have stay'd in France so long.
YORK. No, not to lose it all as thou hast done.
I rather would have lost my life betimes
Than bring a burden of dishonour home
By staying there so long till all were lost.
Show me one scar character'd on thy skin:
Men's flesh preserv'd so whole do seldom win.
QUEEN. Nay then, this spark will prove a raging fire,
If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with;
No more, good York; sweet Somerset, be still.
Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been Regent there,
Might happily have prov'd far worse than his.
YORK. What, worse than nought? Nay, then a shame take all!
SOMERSET. And in the number, thee that wishest shame!
CARDINAL. My Lord of York, try what your fortune is.
Th' uncivil kerns of Ireland are in arms
And temper clay with blood of Englishmen;
To Ireland will you lead a band of men,
Collected choicely, from each county some,
And try your hap against the Irishmen?
YORK. I will, my lord, so please his Majesty.
SUFFOLK. Why, our authority is his consent,
And what we do establish he confirms;
Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.
YORK. I am content; provide me soldiers, lords,
Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.
SUFFOLK. A charge, Lord York, that I will see perform'd.
But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.
CARDINAL. No more of him; for I will deal with him
That henceforth he shall trouble us no more.
And so break off; the day is almost spent.
Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.
YORK. My Lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days
At Bristol I expect my soldiers;
For there I'll ship them all for Ireland.
SUFFOLK. I'll see it truly done, my Lord of York.
Exeunt all but YORK
YORK. Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts
And change misdoubt to resolution;
Be that thou hop'st to be; or what thou art
Resign to death- it is not worth th' enjoying.
Let pale-fac'd fear keep with the mean-born man
And find no harbour in a royal heart.
Faster than spring-time show'rs comes thought on thought,
And not a thought but thinks on dignity.
My brain, more busy than the labouring spider,
Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
Well, nobles, well, 'tis politicly done
To send me packing with an host of men.
I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherish'd in your breasts, will sting your hearts.
'Twas men I lack'd, and you will give them me;
I take it kindly. Yet be well assur'd
You put sharp weapons in a madman's hands.
Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band,
I will stir up in England some black storm
Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell;
And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage
Until the golden circuit on my head,
Like to the glorious sun's transparent beams,
Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw.
And for a minister of my intent
I have seduc'd a headstrong Kentishman,
John Cade of Ashford,
To make commotion, as full well he can,
Under the tide of John Mortimer.
In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade
Oppose himself against a troop of kerns,
And fought so long tiff that his thighs with darts
Were almost like a sharp-quill'd porpentine;
And in the end being rescu'd, I have seen
Him caper upright like a wild Morisco,
Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.
Full often, like a shag-hair'd crafty kern,
Hath he conversed with the enemy,
And undiscover'd come to me again
And given me notice of their villainies.
This devil here shall be my substitute;
For that John Mortimer, which now is dead,
In face, in gait, in speech, he doth resemble.
By this I shall perceive the commons' mind,
How they affect the house and claim of York.
Say he be taken, rack'd, and tortured;
I know no pain they can inflict upon him
Will make him say I mov'd him to those arms.
Say that he thrive, as 'tis great like he will,
Why, then from Ireland come I with my strength,
And reap the harvest which that rascal sow'd;
For Humphrey being dead, as he shall be,
And Henry put apart, the next for me. Exit
Bury St. Edmunds. A room of state
Enter two or three MURDERERS running over the stage,
from the murder of DUKE HUMPHREY
FIRST MURDERER. Run to my Lord of Suffolk; let him know
We have dispatch'd the Duke, as he commanded.
SECOND MURDERER. O that it were to do! What have we done?
Didst ever hear a man so penitent?
FIRST MURDERER. Here comes my lord.
SUFFOLK. Now, sirs, have you dispatch'd this thing?
FIRST MURDERER. Ay, my good lord, he's dead.
SUFFOLK. Why, that's well said. Go, get you to my house;
I will reward you for this venturous deed.
The King and all the peers are here at hand.
Have you laid fair the bed? Is all things well,
According as I gave directions?
FIRST MURDERER. 'Tis, my good lord.
SUFFOLK. Away! be gone. Exeunt MURDERERS
Sound trumpets. Enter the KING, the QUEEN,
CARDINAL, SOMERSET, with attendants
KING HENRY. Go call our uncle to our presence straight;
Say we intend to try his Grace to-day,
If he be guilty, as 'tis published.
SUFFOLK. I'll call him presently, my noble lord. Exit
KING HENRY. Lords, take your places; and, I pray you all,
Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloucester
Than from true evidence, of good esteem,
He be approv'd in practice culpable.
QUEEN. God forbid any malice should prevail
That faultless may condemn a nobleman!
Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
KING HENRY. I thank thee, Meg; these words content me much.
How now! Why look'st thou pale? Why tremblest thou?
Where is our uncle? What's the matter, Suffolk?
SUFFOLK. Dead in his bed, my lord; Gloucester is dead.
QUEEN. Marry, God forfend!
CARDINAL. God's secret judgment! I did dream to-night
The Duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
[The KING swoons]
QUEEN. How fares my lord? Help, lords! The King is dead.
SOMERSET. Rear up his body; wring him by the nose.
QUEEN. Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope thine eyes!
SUFFOLK. He doth revive again; madam, be patient.
KING. O heavenly God!
QUEEN. How fares my gracious lord?
SUFFOLK. Comfort, my sovereign! Gracious Henry, comfort!
KING HENRY. What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me?
Came he right now to sing a raven's note,
Whose dismal tune bereft my vital pow'rs;
And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
Can chase away the first conceived sound?
Hide not thy poison with such sug'red words;
Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say,
Their touch affrights me as a serpent's sting.
Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
Upon thy eye-balls murderous tyranny
Sits in grim majesty to fright the world.
Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding;
Yet do not go away; come, basilisk,
And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight;
For in the shade of death I shall find joy-
In life but double death,'now Gloucester's dead.
QUEEN. Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolk thus?
Although the Duke was enemy to him,
Yet he most Christian-like laments his death;
And for myself- foe as he was to me-
Might liquid tears, or heart-offending groans,
Or blood-consuming sighs, recall his life,
I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,
Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs,
And all to have the noble Duke alive.
What know I how the world may deem of me?
For it is known we were but hollow friends:
It may be judg'd I made the Duke away;
So shall my name with slander's tongue be wounded,
And princes' courts be fill'd with my reproach.
This get I by his death. Ay me, unhappy!
To be a queen and crown'd with infamy!
KING HENRY. Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched man!
QUEEN. Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.
What, dost thou turn away, and hide thy face?
I am no loathsome leper- look on me.
What, art thou like the adder waxen deaf?
Be poisonous too, and kill thy forlorn Queen.
Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester's tomb?
Why, then Dame Margaret was ne'er thy joy.
Erect his statue and worship it,
And make my image but an alehouse sign.
Was I for this nigh wreck'd upon the sea,
And twice by awkward wind from England's bank
Drove back again unto my native clime?
What boded this but well-forewarning wind
Did seem to say 'Seek not a scorpion's nest,
Nor set no footing on this unkind shore'?
What did I then but curs'd the gentle gusts,
And he that loos'd them forth their brazen caves;
And bid them blow towards England's blessed shore,
Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
Yet Aeolus would not be a murderer,
But left that hateful office unto thee.
The pretty-vaulting sea refus'd to drown me,
Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown'd on shore
With tears as salt as sea through thy unkindness;
The splitting rocks cow'r'd in the sinking sands
And would not dash me with their ragged sides,
Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
Might in thy palace perish Margaret.
As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
I stood upon the hatches in the storm;
And when the dusky sky began to rob
My earnest-gaping sight of thy land's view,
I took a costly jewel from my neck-
A heart it was, bound in with diamonds-
And threw it towards thy land. The sea receiv'd it;
And so I wish'd thy body might my heart.
And even with this I lost fair England's view,
And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart,
And call'd them blind and dusky spectacles
For losing ken of Albion's wished coast.
How often have I tempted Suffolk's tongue-
The agent of thy foul inconstancy-
To sit and witch me, as Ascanius did
When he to madding Dido would unfold
His father's acts commenc'd in burning Troy!
Am I not witch'd like her? Or thou not false like him?
Ay me, I can no more! Die, Margaret,
For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
Noise within. Enter WARWICK, SALISBURY,
and many commons
WARWICK. It is reported, mighty sovereign,
That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murd'red
By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort's means.
The commons, like an angry hive of bees
That want their leader, scatter up and down
And care not who they sting in his revenge.
Myself have calm'd their spleenful mutiny
Until they hear the order of his death.
KING HENRY. That he is dead, good Warwick, 'tis too true;
But how he died God knows, not Henry.
Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse,
And comment then upon his sudden death.
WARWICK. That shall I do, my liege. Stay, Salisbury,
With the rude multitude till I return. Exit
Exit SALISBURY with the
KING HENRY. O Thou that judgest all things, stay my thoughts-
My thoughts that labour to persuade my soul
Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey's life!