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Glo. As who, my lord?
Why, as you, my lord;
An't like your lordly lord-protectorship.
Glo. Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
Q. Mar. And thy ambition, Gloster.
I pr'ythee peace, Good queen; and whet not on these furious peers, For blessed are the peace-makers on earth.
Car. Let me be blessed for the peace I make,
Against this proud protector, with my sword.
Glo. 'Faith, holy uncle, 'would 'twere come to that!
[Aside to the Cardinal.
Car. Marry, when thou dar'st.
Glo. Make up no factious numbers for the matter,
In thine own person answer thy abuse. [Aside.
Car. Ay, where thou dar'st not peep: an if thou
This evening, on the east side of the grove. [Aside.
K. Hen. How now, my lords?
Believe me, cousin Gloster,
Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
We had had more sport.-Come with thy two-hand
[Aside to Gloster.
Glo. What means this noise?
Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
Inhab. A miracle! a miracle
Suff. Come to the king, and tell him what miracle.
Inhab. Forsooth, a blind man at St. Alban's shrine,
Within this half hour, hath receiv'd his sight;
A man, that ne'er saw in his life before.
K. Hen. Now, God be prais'd! that to believing
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair! [souls
Enter the Mayor of St. Albans and his Brethren;
and Simpcox, borne between two Persons in a Chair;
his Wife, and a great Multitude, following.
Car. Here comes the townsmen on procession,
To present your highness with the man.
K. Hen. Great is his comfort in this earthly vale, Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
Glo. Stand by, my masters, bring kim near the king,
His highness pleasure is to talk with him.
K. Hen. 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 ?
Simp. Born blind, an't please your grace.
Wife. Ay, indeed, was he.
Suff. What woman is this?
Wife. His wife, an't like your worship.
Wife. Too true; and bought his climbing very dear. Glo 'Mass, thou lov'dst plums well, that wouldst [sons,
Simp. Alas, good master, my wife desir'd some damAnd made me climb, with danger of my life.
Glo. 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.
Simp. Yes, master, clear as day; I thank God, and
Glo. Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak
Simp. Red, master; red as blood. [gown of?
Glo. Why, that's well said: What colour is my
Simp. Black, forsooth; coal-black, as jet. [is of?
K. Hen. Why then, thou know'st what colour jet
Suff. And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
Glo. But cloaks, and gowns, before this day, a many.
Wife. Never, before this day, in all his life.
Glo. Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?
Simp. Alas, master, I know not.
Glo. What's his name?
Simp. I know not.
Glo. Nor his !
Simp. No, indeed, master.
Glo. What's thine own name?
Simp. Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
Glo. Then, Saunder, sit thon there, the lying'st
In Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind,
Thou might'st as well have known our names, as thus
To name the several colours we do wear.
Sight may distinguish of colours; but suddenly
To nominate them all, 's impossible.
My lords, saint Alban here hath done a miracle;
And would ye not think that cunning to be great,
That could restore this cripple to his legs again?
Simp. O, master, that you could!
Glo. My masters of St. Albans, have you not beadles in your town, and things called whips?
May. Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.
Glo. Then send for one presently.
May. Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
[Exit an Attendant.
Glo. Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. [A
yourself from whipping, leap me over this stool, and
Stool brought out.] Now, sirrah, if you mean to save
You go about to torture me in vain.
Simp. Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone :
Re-enter Attendant, with the Beadle.
Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same
Glo. Well, sir, we must have you find your legs.
Bead. I will, my lord.-Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet quickly.
Simp. Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able
[After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over
the Stool, and runs away; and the People
follow, and cry, A Miracle!
K.Hen. O God, seest thou this, and bear'st so long?
Q. Mar. It made me laugh, to see the villain run.
Glo. Follow the knave; and take this drab away.
Wife. Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.
Glo. Let them be whipped through every market
Glo. Had'st thou been his mother, thou couldst town, till they come to Berwick, whence they came.
Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
But still remember what the Lord hath done.
Q. Mar. Tell me, good fellow, cam'st thou here by
Or of devotion, to his holy shrine ?
[Exeunt Mayor, Beadle, Wife, &c. Car. Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day. Suff. True; made the lame to leap, and fly away. You made, in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly. Glo. But you have done more miracles than I;
K. Hen. What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
Buck. 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,
Ay, God Almighty help me! Demanding of king Henry's life and death,
Simp. 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.
Wife. Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft
Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
Car. What, art thou lame?
Suff. How cam'st thou so?
A fall off a tree.
Wife. A plum-tree, master.
How long hast thou been blind?
Simp. O born so, master.
What, and wouldst climb a tree?
Simp. But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
And other of your highness' privy council,
As more at large your grace shall understand.
Car. 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.
[Aside to Gloster.
Glo. 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.
K. Hen. O God, what mischiefs work the wicked Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby ! Q. Mar. Gloster, see here the tainture of thy nest; And, look, thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
Glo. 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 dishonour'd Gloster's honest name.
K. Hen. Well, for this night, we will repose us 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. Enter York, Salisbury, and Warwick.
York. Now, my good lords of Salisbury and WarOur 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.
Sal. My lord, I long to hear it at full.
War. 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 Glos-
William of Windsor was the seventh, and last. [ter;
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 murder'd traitorously.
War. 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
For Richard, the first son's heir, being dead, [right,
The issue of the next son should have reign'd.
Sal. 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.
Sal. 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.
War. What plain proceedings are more plain than
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 both together;
And, in this private plot, be we the first,
That shall salute our rightful sovereign
With honour of his birthright to the crown. [king!
Both. Long live our sovereign Richard, England's
York. We thank yon, 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. [full.
Sal. My lord, break we off; we know your mind at
War. My heart assures me, that the earl of Warwick
Shall one day make the duke of York a king.
York. And, Nevil, this do I assure myself,-
Richard shall live to make the earl of Warwick
The greatest man in England but the king. [Exeunt.
SCENE III. The same. A Hall of Justice.
Trumpets sounded. Enter King Henry, Queen Mar-
garet, Gloster, York, Suffolk, and Salisbury; the
Duchess of Gloster, Margery Jourdain, Southwell,
Hume, and Bolingbroke, under guard.
K. Hen. 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,
[To the Duchess.
Despoiled of your honour in your life,
Shail, after three days' open penance done,
Live in your country here, in banishment,
With sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man. [death.
Duch. Welcome is banishment, welcome were my
Glo. Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee;
I cannot justify whom the law condemns.-
[Exeunt the Duchess, and the other Prisoners,
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.
K.Hen. Stay, Humphrey, duke of Gloster: ere thou
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.
Q. Mar. I see no reason, why a king of years
Should be to be protected like a child.
God and king Henry govern England's helm :
Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm.
Glo. 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! Exit.
Q. Mar. Why, now is Henry king, and Margaret
And Humphrey, duke of Gloster, scarce himself,
That bears so shrewd a main; 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. [sprays;
Suff. Thus droops this lofty pine, and hangs his
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.
Q. Mar. Ay, good, my lord; for purposely therefore
Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.
K. Hen. O'God's name, see the lists and all things
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 this armourer, my lords.
Enter, on one side, Horner, and his Neighbours,
drinking to him so much that he is drunk; and he
enters bearing his Staff with a Sand-bag fastened
to it; a Drum before him; at the other side, Peter,
with a Drum and a similar Staff; accompanied by
Prentices drinking to him.
1 Neigh. Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of sack; And fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.
1 Neigh. And here, neighbour, here's a cup of
3 Neigh. And here's a pot of good double beer, neighbour drink, and fear not your man.
Hor. Let it come, i'faith, and I'll pledge you all; and a fig for Peter!
1 Pren. Here, Peter, I drink to thee; and be not afraid.
2 Pren. Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master; fight for credit of the prentices.
Pet. 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.
Sal. Come, leave your drinking, and fall to blows. Sirrab, what's thy name?
Pet. Peter, forsooth.
Sal. Peter! what more?
Sal. Thump! then see thou thump thy master well. Hor. 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, will take my death, I never meant him any ill, nor the king, nor the queen: And, therefore, Peter, have at thee with a downright blow, as Bevis of Southampton fell upon Ascapart.
York. Despatch-this knave's tongue begins to Sound trumpets, alarum to the combatants. [double. [Alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes down his Master.
Hor. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
York. Take away his weapon:-Fellow, thank
God, and the good wine in thy master's way.
Pet. O God have I overcome mine enemies in this
presence? O Peter, thou hast prevailed in right!
K. Hen. 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.
Glo. 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 still 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, with
Papers pinned upon her Back, her Feet bare, and
a Taper burning in her Hand; Sir John Stanley, a
Sheriff, and Officers.
Serv. So please your grace, we'll take her from the
Glo. No, stir not, for your lives; let her pass by. Duch. 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.
Glo. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
Duch. 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.
Sometime I'll say, 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.
Glo. 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.
My Nell, I take my leave :-and, master sheriff,
Let not her penance exceed the king's commission.
Sher. An't please your grace, here my commission
And sir John Stanley is appointed now
To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
Glo. Mast you, sir John, protect my lady here?
Stan. So am I given in charge, may't please your
Glo. 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.
Duch. What gone, my lord, and bid me not fare-
Glo. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
[Exeunt Gloster and Servants.
Duch. 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 pr'ythee, go, and take me hence;
I care not whither, for I beg no favour,
Only convey me where thou art commanded.
Stan. Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man ;
There to be us'd according to your state.
Duch. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach:
And shall I then be us'd reproachfully?
Stan. Like to a duchess and duke Humphrey's lady,
According to that state you shall be us'd.
Duch. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare;
Although thou hast been conduct of my shame!
Sher. It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
Duch. Ay, ay, farewell; thy office is discharg'd.-
Come, Stanley, shall we go?
Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this
And go we to attire you for our journey.
Duch. 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.
SCENE I. The Abbey at Bury. Enter to the Parliament, King Henry, Queen Margaret, Cardinal Beaufort, Suffolk, York, Buckingham, and others.
K. Hen. I muse, my lord of Gloster is not come : "Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man, Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.
Q. Mar. Can you not see? or will you 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, 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 ail 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 duly 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, call 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.
Suff. 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; Gloster is a man
Unsounded yet, and full of deep deceit.
Car. 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.
Buck. Tut! these are petty faults to faults un-
Which time will bring to light in smooth duke
K.Hen. 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 Gloster 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 downfal."
Q. Mar. Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond affiance ?
Seems be 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 are the ravenous wolves.
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.
Som. All health unto my gracious sovereign!
K. Hen. Welcome, lord Somerset. What news
Som. That all your interest in those territories [be done! Is utterly bereft you; all is lost.
K. Hen. Cold news, lord Somerset: but God's will York. Cold news for me; for I had hopes 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. Enter Gloster.
Glo. All happiness unto my lord the king! Pardon, my liege, that I have staid so long. Suff. Nay, Gloster, know, that thou art come too Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art :
I do arrest thee of high treason here.
Glo. Well, Suffolk, yet 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
And, being protector, stay'd the soldiers' pay:
By means whereof, his highness hath lost France.
Glo. Is it but thought so? What are they that
I never robb'd the soldiers of their pay: [think it?
Nor never 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 dispersed to the garrisons,
And never ask'd for restitution.
Car. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much. Glo. 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.
Glo. Why, 'tis well known, that whiles I was proPity 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.
Suff. My lord, these faults are easy, quickly anBut 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.
K. Hen. My lord of Gloster, 'tis my special hope,
That you will clear yourself from all suspects;
My conscience tells me, you are innocent.
Glo. 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.
Car. 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.
Suff. 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?
Suff. Madam, 'tis true: And wer't not madness then,
To made the fox surveyor of the fold?
Who being accus'd a crafty murderer,
His guilt should be bat 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 subtilty,
Sleeping, or waking, 'tis no matter how,
So he be dead; for that is good deceit,
Which mates him first, that first intends deceit.
Q. Mar. Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely spoke.
Suff. 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,
Q. Mar. But I can give the loser leave to chide. Glo. 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. Buck. He'll wrest the sense, and hold us here all Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner. [day:
Car. Sirs, take away the duke, and guard him sure. Glo. 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.
[Exeunt Attendants, with Gloster. K. Hen. My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth Do, or undo, as if ourself were here.
And to preserve my sovereign from his foe,-
Say but the word, and I will be his priest.
Car. But I would have him dead, my lord of Suf-
Ere you can take due orders for a priest: [folk,
Say, you consent, and censure well the deed,
And I'll provide his executioner,
I tender so the safety of my liege.
Suff. Here is my hand, the deed is worthy doing. Q. Mar. And so say I.
York. And I and now we three have spoke it, It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
Mess. Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain,
Q. Mar. What, will your highness leave the par-To signify-that rebels there are up, liament ?
K. Hen. Ay, Margaret; my heart is drown'd with 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 low'ring 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 Gloster'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? Gloster he is none.
Q. Mar. Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun's Henry, my lord, is cold in great affairs, [hot beams, Too full of foolish pity: and Gloster's show Beguiles him, as the mournful crocodile With sorrow snares relenting passengers; Or as the snake, roll'd in a flowering bank, With shining chequer'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 Gloster should be quickly rid the world, To rid us from the fear we have of him.
Car. 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. Suff. 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 mistrnst, that shows him worthy death. York. So that, by this, you would not have him die. Suff. 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,
Wer'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?
Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure of
And put the Englishmen unto the sword:
Send succours, lords, and stop the rage betime,
Before the wound do grow incurable;
For, being green, there is great hope of help.
Car. 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.
Som. If York, with all his far-fet policy,
Had been the regent there instead of me,
He never would have staid 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.
Q.Mar. 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 naught? nay, then a shame
Som. And, in the number, thee, that wishest shame! Car. My lord of York, try what your fortune is. The 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. Suff. 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.
Suff. A charge, lord York, that I will see perform'd:
But now return we to the false duke Humphrey.
Car. 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.
Suff. I'll see it truly done, my lord of York.
[Exeunt all but York.
York. Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful
And change misdoubt to resolution: [thoughts,
Be that thou hop'st to be; or what thou art
Resign to death, it is not worth the enjoying:
Let pale-fac'd fear keep with the mean-born man,
And find no harbour in a royal heart. [thought;
Faster than spring-time showers, comes thought on
And not a thought, but thinks on dignity.