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War. Whether your grace be worthy, yea, or no, Dispute not that; York is the worthier.
Car. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
ingham, * Why Somerset should be preferred in this. * Q. Mar. Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.
Glo. Madam, the king is old enough himself • To give his censure ;l these are no women's matters.
Q. Mar. If he be old enough, what needs your grace • To be protector of his excellence ?
· Glo. Madam, I am protector of the realm; * And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.
Suff. Resign it then, and leave thine insolence. · Since thou wert king (as who is king, but thou ?) • The commonwealth hath daily run to wreck; * The dauphin hath prevailed beyond the seas, * And all the peers and nobles of the realm * Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty. * Car. The commons hast thou racked; the clergy's
bags * Are lank and lean with thy extortions. * Som. Thy sumptuous buildings, and thy wife's
attire, * Have cost a mass of public treasury.
* Buck. Thy cruelty in execution, * Upon offenders, hath exceeded law, * And left thee to the mercy of the law.
Q. Mar. Thy sale of offices, and towns in France,* If they were known, as the suspect is great,* Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
[Exit GLOSTER. The Queen drops her fan. Give me my fan. What, minion! can you not ?
[Gives the Duchess a box on the ear 6 I
cry you mercy, madam ; was it you ? 1 Censure here means simply judgment or opinion; the sense in which it was used by all the writers of the time.
· Duch. Was't 1? Yea, 1 it was, proud French
Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
K. Hen. Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.
· Duch. 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 unrevenged.
[Exit Duchess. * Buck. 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 fast enough to her destruction.
[Exit BUCKINGHAM. Re-enter GLOSTER. * Glo. 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.
* Suff. 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 danced attendance on his will, * Till Paris was besieged, famished, and lost.
* War. That I can witness; and a fouler fact * Did never traitor in the land commit.
. Peace, headstrong Warwick ! War. Image of pride, why should I hold my peace ?
Enter Servants of SUFFOLK, bringing in Horner and
Suff. Because here is a man accused of treason : Pray God, the duke of York excuse himself!
* York. Doth any one accuse York for a traitor ? * K. Hen. What mean'st thou, Suffolk ? tell me;
what are these? • Suff. 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.
· K. Hen. Say, man, were these thy words?
Hor. An't shall please your majesty, I never said nor thought any such matter. God is my witness, I am falsely accused by the villain.
· Pet. By these ten bones, my lords, [Holding up • his hands.] he did speak them to me in the garret one night, as we were scouring my lord of York's
• 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 rigor of the law.
Hor. Alas, my lord, hang me, if ever I spake the words. My accuser is my prentice; and when I did correct him for his fault the other day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even with me.
I have good witness of this; therefore, I beseech your majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain's accusation.
K. Hen. Uncle, what shall we say to this in law ?
· Glo. 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 servants malice.
K. Hen. Then be it so. My lord of Somerset,
Som. I humbly thank your royal majesty. Hor. And I accept the combat willingly. Pet Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; * for God's sake, pity my case! the spite of man prevaileth against me. * O Lord, have mercy upon me! I shall never be able to fight a blow. O Lord, my heart! Glo. Sirrah, or you must fight, or else be hanged.
· K. Hen. Away with them to prison; and the day "Of combat shall be the last of the next month.* Come, Somerset, we'll see thee sent away. [Exeunt.
The Duke of Gloster's
Enter MARGERY JOURDAIN, HUME, SOUTHWELL, and
* Hume. Come, my masters; the duchess, I tell
you, expects performance of your promises.
* Boling. Master Hume, we are therefore provided. * Will her ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms ??
* Hume. Ay; what else ? fear you not her courage.
* Boling. I have heard her reported to be a woman * of an invincible spirit. But it shall be convenient, * master Hume, that you be by her aloft, while we be * busy below; and so, I pray you, go in God's name, * and leave us. [Exit Hume.j Mother Jourdain, bé
you prostrate, and grovel on the earth ;-* John * Southwell, read
and let us to our work.
1 Theobald inserted these two lines from the old play, because without them the king has not declared his assent to Gloster's opinion; and the duke of Somerset is made to thank him for his regency before the king has deputed him to it. Malone supposes that Shakspeare thought Henry's consent to Humphrey's doom might be expressed by a nod; and therefore omits the lines.
2 By exorcise Shakspeare invariably means to raise spirits, and not to lay them.
Enter Duchess, above. Duch. Well said, my masters; and welcome all To this geer; the sooner the better. * Boling. 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 hallowed verge.
[Here they perform the ceremonies appertaining,
and make the circle ; BOLINGBROKE, or SOUTHWELL, reads, Conjuro te, foc. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the
Spirit riseth. * Spir. Adsum.
* M. Jourd. 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. Spir. Ask what thou wilt.—That I had said and
done! Boling. First, of the king. What shall of him become?
[Reading out of a paper. Spir. The duke yet lives, that Henry shall depose; But him outlive, and die a violent death.
[As the Spirit speaks, SOUTHWELL writes the
1 The old quarto reads, “ the silence of the night.” The variation of the copies is worth notice :
4 Dark night, dread night, the silence of the night,
Ascalon, ascend, ascend ! »
that interlunar night was meant. Steevens has justly observed that silent is here used by the Poet as a substantive.