Henry VI, Part 2 - Entire Play
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Navigate this workHenry VI, Part 2 - Entire Play
With a weak, unworldly king on the throne, the English nobility heightens its struggle for power in Henry VI, Part 2, leading to the brink of civil war.
At the start of the play, Henry meets his new bride, Margaret, to whom he has been married by proxy through Suffolk, her lover. Henry’s popular and powerful uncle Gloucester, the Lord Protector, soon comes under attack by Margaret, Suffolk, Cardinal Beaufort, and others.
Gloucester’s wife is shamed and exiled and Gloucester himself removed from office, then murdered on Suffolk’s orders. Suffolk is banished, captured by pirates, and killed. Meanwhile, the cardinal dies, raving in madness because of his part in Gloucester’s death.
A Kentish rebel, Jack Cade, leads a short-lived revolt, seizing London before his supporters desert him. He dies fighting in a garden. Soon another revolt emerges: Richard, Duke of York, leads an army against King Henry, who flees back to London. As the play ends, Richard’s forces also move toward London.
Enter King ⌜Henry,⌝ Duke Humphrey ⌜of Gloucester,⌝
Salisbury, Warwick, and ⌜Cardinal⌝ Beaufort, on the one
side; Queen ⌜Margaret,⌝ Suffolk, York, Somerset, and
Buckingham, on the other.
0001 As by your high imperial Majesty
0002 I had in charge at my depart for France,
0003 As procurator to your Excellence,
0004 To marry Princess Margaret for your Grace,
0005 5 So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
0006 In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
0007 The Dukes of Orleance, Calaber, Britaigne, and
0009 Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend
0010 10 bishops,
0011 I have performed my task and was espoused;
0012 And humbly now upon my bended knee,
0013 In sight of England and her lordly peers,
0014 Deliver up my title in the Queen
0015 15 To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
0016 Of that great shadow I did represent:
0017 The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
0018 The fairest queen that ever king received.
0019 Suffolk, arise.—Welcome, Queen Margaret.
0020 20 I can express no kinder sign of love
0021 Than this kind kiss.⌜He kisses her.⌝
0022 O Lord, that lends me life,
0023 Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
0024 For Thou hast given me in this beauteous face
0025 25 A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
0026 If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
0027 Great king of England and my gracious lord,
0028 The mutual conference that my mind hath had
0029 By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
0030 30 In courtly company or at my beads,
0031 With you, mine alderliefest sovereign,
0032 Makes me the bolder to salute my king
0033 With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
0034 And overjoy of heart doth minister.
0035 35 Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
0036 Her words yclad with wisdom’s majesty,
0037 Makes me from wond’ring fall to weeping joys,
0038 Such is the fullness of my heart’s content.
0039 Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
0040 40 Long live Queen Margaret, England’s happiness!
QUEEN MARGARET 0041 We thank you all.
Flourish. ⌜All rise.⌝
SUFFOLK, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
0042 My Lord Protector, so it please your Grace,
0043 Here are the articles of contracted peace
0044 Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
0045 45 For eighteen months concluded by consent.
⌜He hands Gloucester a paper.⌝
0047 French king Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess
0048 of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry, King of England,
0049 that the said Henry shall espouse the Lady
0050 50 Margaret, daughter unto Reignier, King of Naples,
0051 Sicilia, and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England
0052 ere the thirtieth of May next ensuing. Item,
0053 that the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine
0054 shall be released and delivered to the King her
0055 55 father—⌜He drops the paper.⌝
0056 Uncle, how now?
GLOUCESTER 0057 Pardon me, gracious lord.
0058 Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
0059 And dimmed mine eyes, that I can read no further.
0060 60 Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
CARDINAL ⌜picks up the paper and reads⌝ 0061 Item, it is further
0062 agreed between them that the ⌜duchies⌝ of
0063 Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered to
0064 the King her father, and she sent over of the King of
0065 65 England’s own proper cost and charges, without
0066 having any dowry.
0067 They please us well.—Lord Marquess, kneel down.
0068 We here create thee the first Duke of Suffolk
0069 And girt thee with the sword. ⌜Suffolk rises.⌝ Cousin
0070 70 of York,
0071 We here discharge your Grace from being regent
0072 I’ th’ parts of France till term of eighteen months
0073 Be full expired.—Thanks, Uncle Winchester,
0074 Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
0075 75 Salisbury, and Warwick;
0076 We thank you all for this great favor done
0077 In entertainment to my princely queen.
0079 To see her coronation be performed.
King, Queen, and Suffolk exit.
The rest remain.
0080 80 Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
0081 To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
0082 Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
0083 What, did my brother Henry spend his youth,
0084 His valor, coin, and people in the wars?
0085 85 Did he so often lodge in open field,
0086 In winter’s cold and summer’s parching heat,
0087 To conquer France, his true inheritance?
0088 And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
0089 To keep by policy what Henry got?
0090 90 Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
0091 Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
0092 Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
0093 Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
0094 With all the learnèd council of the realm,
0095 95 Studied so long, sat in the Council House,
0096 Early and late, debating to and fro
0097 How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
0098 And ⌜had⌝ his Highness in his infancy
0099 Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
0100 100 And shall these labors and these honors die?
0101 Shall Henry’s conquest, Bedford’s vigilance,
0102 Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?
0103 O peers of England, shameful is this league,
0104 Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
0105 105 Blotting your names from books of memory,
0106 Razing the characters of your renown,
0107 Defacing monuments of conquered France,
0108 Undoing all, as all had never been!
0109 Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
0111 For France, ’tis ours, and we will keep it still.
0112 Ay, uncle, we will keep it if we can,
0113 But now it is impossible we should.
0114 Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
0115 115 Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
0116 Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
0117 Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
0118 Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
0119 These counties were the keys of Normandy.
0120 120 But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
0121 For grief that they are past recovery;
0122 For, were there hope to conquer them again,
0123 My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no
0125 125 Anjou and Maine? Myself did win them both!
0126 Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer.
0127 And are the cities that I got with wounds
0128 Delivered up again with peaceful words?
0129 Mort Dieu!
0130 130 For Suffolk’s duke, may he be suffocate
0131 That dims the honor of this warlike isle!
0132 France should have torn and rent my very heart
0133 Before I would have yielded to this league.
0134 I never read but England’s kings have had
0135 135 Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;
0136 And our King Henry gives away his own
0137 To match with her that brings no vantages.
0138 A proper jest, and never heard before,
0139 That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
0140 140 For costs and charges in transporting her!
0144 My lord of Gloucester, now you grow too hot.
0145 145 It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
0146 My lord of Winchester, I know your mind.
0147 ’Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
0148 But ’tis my presence that doth trouble you.
0149 Rancor will out. Proud prelate, in thy face
0150 150 I see thy fury. If I longer stay,
0151 We shall begin our ancient bickerings.—
0152 Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
0153 I prophesied France will be lost ere long.
0154 So, there goes our Protector in a rage.
0155 155 ’Tis known to you he is mine enemy,
0156 Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
0157 And no great friend, I fear me, to the King.
0158 Consider, lords, he is the next of blood
0159 And heir apparent to the English crown.
0160 160 Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
0161 And all the wealthy kingdoms of the West,
0162 There’s reason he should be displeased at it.
0163 Look to it, lords. Let not his smoothing words
0164 Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
0165 165 What though the common people favor him,
0166 Calling him “Humphrey, the good Duke of
0168 Clapping their hands and crying with loud voice
0169 “Jesu maintain your royal Excellence!”
0170 170 With “God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!”
0171 I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
0172 He will be found a dangerous Protector.
0173 Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
0174 He being of age to govern of himself?—
0175 175 Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
0176 And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
0177 We’ll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
0178 This weighty business will not brook delay.
0179 I’ll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.Cardinal exits.
0180 180 Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey’s pride
0181 And greatness of his place be grief to us,
0182 Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal.
0183 His insolence is more intolerable
0184 Than all the princes’ in the land besides.
0185 185 If Gloucester be displaced, he’ll be Protector.
0186 Or thou or I, Somerset, will be ⌜Protector,⌝
0187 Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.
Buckingham and Somerset exit.
0188 Pride went before; Ambition follows him.
0189 While these do labor for their own preferment,
0190 190 Behooves it us to labor for the realm.
0191 I never saw but Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester,
0192 Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
0193 Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
0194 More like a soldier than a man o’ th’ Church,
0195 195 As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
0196 Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
0197 Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.—
0198 Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age,
0199 Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy housekeeping
0200 200 Hath won the greatest favor of the Commons,
0201 Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey.—
0202 And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
0204 Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
0205 205 When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
0206 Have made thee feared and honored of the people.
0207 Join we together for the public good
0208 In what we can to bridle and suppress
0209 The pride of Suffolk and the Cardinal,
0210 210 With Somerset’s and Buckingham’s ambition;
0211 And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey’s deeds
0212 While they do tend the profit of the land.
0213 So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
0214 And common profit of his country!
0215 215 And so says York—⌜aside⌝ for he hath greatest
0217 Then let’s make haste away and look unto the main.
0218 Unto the main? O father, Maine is lost!
0219 That Maine which by main force Warwick did win
0220 220 And would have kept so long as breath did last!
0221 Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
0222 Which I will win from France or else be slain.
Warwick and Salisbury exit.
0223 Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
0224 Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
0225 225 Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
0226 Suffolk concluded on the articles,
0227 The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased
0228 To change two dukedoms for a duke’s fair daughter.
0229 I cannot blame them all. What is ’t to them?
0230 230 ’Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
0231 Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their
0234 Still reveling like lords till all be gone;
0235 235 Whileas the silly owner of the goods
0236 Weeps over them, and wrings his hapless hands,
0237 And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof,
0238 While all is shared and all is borne away,
0239 Ready to starve, and dare not touch his own.
0240 240 So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue
0241 While his own lands are bargained for and sold.
0242 Methinks the realms of England, France, and
0244 Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
0245 245 As did the fatal brand Althaea burnt
0246 Unto the Prince’s heart of Calydon.
0247 Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
0248 Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
0249 Even as I have of fertile England’s soil.
0250 250 A day will come when York shall claim his own;
0251 And therefore I will take the Nevilles’ parts
0252 And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
0253 And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
0254 For that’s the golden mark I seek to hit.
0255 255 Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
0256 Nor hold the scepter in his childish fist,
0257 Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
0258 Whose churchlike humors fits not for a crown.
0259 Then, York, be still awhile till time do serve.
0260 260 Watch thou and wake, when others be asleep,
0261 To pry into the secrets of the state
0262 Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love
0263 With his new bride and England’s dear-bought
0265 265 And Humphrey with the peers be fall’n at jars.
0266 Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
0267 With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed,
0268 And in my standard bear the arms of York,
0269 To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
0271 Whose bookish rule hath pulled fair England down.
⌜the Duchess⌝ Eleanor.
0272 Why droops my lord like over-ripened corn
0273 Hanging the head at Ceres’ plenteous load?
0274 Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
0275 As frowning at the favors of the world?
0276 5 Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
0277 Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
0278 What seest thou there? King Henry’s diadem,
0279 Enchased with all the honors of the world?
0280 If so, gaze on and grovel on thy face
0281 10 Until thy head be circled with the same.
0282 Put forth thy hand; reach at the glorious gold.
0283 What, is ’t too short? I’ll lengthen it with mine;
0284 And, having both together heaved it up,
0285 We’ll both together lift our heads to heaven
0286 15 And never more abase our sight so low
0287 As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.
0288 O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
0289 Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts!
0290 And may that ⌜hour⌝ when I imagine ill
0291 20 Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
0292 Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
0293 My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.
0294 What dreamed my lord? Tell me, and I’ll requite it
0295 With sweet rehearsal of my morning’s dream.
0296 25 Methought this staff, mine office badge in court,
0297 Was broke in twain—by whom I have forgot,
0298 But, as I think, it was by th’ Cardinal—
0299 And on the pieces of the broken wand
0300 Were placed the heads of Edmund, Duke of
0301 30 Somerset,
0302 And William de la Pole, first Duke of Suffolk.
0303 This was my dream. What it doth bode God knows.
0304 Tut, this was nothing but an argument
0305 That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester’s grove
0306 35 Shall lose his head for his presumption.
0307 But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke:
0308 Methought I sat in seat of majesty,
0309 In the cathedral church of Westminster
0310 And in that chair where kings and queens were
0311 40 crowned,
0312 Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneeled to me
0313 And on my head did set the diadem.
0314 Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright.
0315 Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtured Eleanor,
0316 45 Art thou not second woman in the realm
0317 And the Protector’s wife, beloved of him?
0318 Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
0319 Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
0320 And wilt thou still be hammering treachery
0321 50 To tumble down thy husband and thyself
0322 From top of honor to disgrace’s feet?
0323 Away from me, and let me hear no more!
0324 What, what, my lord? Are you so choleric
0325 With Eleanor for telling but her dream?
0326 55 Next time I’ll keep my dreams unto myself
0327 And not be checked.
0328 Nay, be not angry. I am pleased again.
0329 My Lord Protector, ’tis his Highness’ pleasure
0330 You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans,
0331 60 Whereas the King and Queen do mean to hawk.
0332 I go.—Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?
0333 Yes, my good lord. I’ll follow presently.
Gloucester exits, ⌜with Messenger.⌝
0334 Follow I must; I cannot go before
0335 While Gloucester bears this base and humble mind.
0336 65 Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
0337 I would remove these tedious stumbling blocks
0338 And smooth my way upon their headless necks;
0339 And, being a woman, I will not be slack
0340 To play my part in Fortune’s pageant.—
0341 70 Where are you there? Sir John! Nay, fear not, man.
0342 We are alone; here’s none but thee and I.
Enter ⌜Sir John⌝ Hume.
0343 Jesus preserve your royal Majesty!
0344 What sayst thou? “Majesty”? I am but “Grace.”
0345 But by the grace of God and Hume’s advice,
0346 75 Your Grace’s title shall be multiplied.
0347 What sayst thou, man? Hast thou as yet conferred
0348 With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
0349 With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
0350 And will they undertake to do me good?
0351 80 This they have promisèd: to show your Highness
0352 A spirit raised from depth of underground
0353 That shall make answer to such questions
0354 As by your Grace shall be propounded him.
0355 It is enough. I’ll think upon the questions.
0356 85 When from Saint Albans we do make return,
0357 We’ll see these things effected to the full.
0358 Here, Hume, take this reward.
⌜She gives him money.⌝
0359 Make merry, man,
0360 With thy confederates in this weighty cause.
0361 90 Hume must make merry with the Duchess’ gold.
0362 Marry, and shall! But, how now, Sir John Hume?
0363 Seal up your lips, and give no words but “mum”;
0364 The business asketh silent secrecy.
0365 Dame Eleanor gives gold to bring the witch;
0366 95 Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.
0367 Yet have I gold flies from another coast—
0368 I dare not say, from the rich cardinal
0369 And from the great and new-made Duke of Suffolk,
0370 Yet I do find it so. For, to be plain,
0371 100 They, knowing Dame Eleanor’s aspiring humor,
0372 Have hirèd me to undermine the Duchess
0373 And buzz these conjurations in her brain.
0374 They say a crafty knave does need no broker,
0375 Yet am I Suffolk and the Cardinal’s broker.
0376 105 Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
0377 To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.
0378 Well, so it stands; and thus I fear at last
0379 Hume’s knavery will be the Duchess’ wrack,
0380 And her attainture will be Humphrey’s fall.
0381 110 Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.
Armorer’s man, being one.
FIRST PETITIONER 0382 My masters, let’s stand close. My
0383 Lord Protector will come this way by and by, and
0384 then we may deliver our supplications in the quill.
SECOND PETITIONER 0385 Marry, the Lord protect him, for
0386 5 he’s a good man! Jesu bless him!
Enter Suffolk, ⌜wearing the red rose,⌝
and Queen ⌜Margaret.⌝
⌜FIRST PETITIONER⌝ 0387 Here he comes, methinks, and the
0388 Queen with him. I’ll be the first, sure.
⌜He steps forward.⌝
SECOND PETITIONER 0389 Come back, fool! This is the Duke
0390 of Suffolk, and not my Lord Protector.
SUFFOLK 0391 10How now, fellow? Wouldst anything with
FIRST PETITIONER 0393 I pray, my lord, pardon me. I took
0394 you for my Lord Protector.
QUEEN MARGARET ⌜takes a petition and reads.⌝ 0395 To my
0396 15 Lord Protector. Are your supplications to his Lordship?
0397 Let me see them.—What is thine?
FIRST PETITIONER 0398 Mine is, an ’t please your Grace,
0399 against John Goodman, my Lord Cardinal’s man,
0400 for keeping my house, and lands, and wife and all,
0401 20 from me.
SUFFOLK 0402 Thy wife too? That’s some wrong indeed.—
0403 What’s yours? ⌜Taking a petition.⌝ What’s here?
0404 ⌜(Reads.)⌝ Against the Duke of Suffolk for enclosing
0405 the commons of Melford. How now, sir knave?
SECOND PETITIONER 0406 25Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner
0407 of our whole township.
PETER, ⌜showing his petition⌝ 0408 Against my master,
0410 was rightful heir to the crown.
QUEEN MARGARET 0411 30What sayst thou? Did the Duke of
0412 York say he was rightful heir to the crown?
PETER 0413 That my ⌜master⌝ was? No, forsooth. My master
0414 said that he was and that the King was an
SUFFOLK, ⌜calling⌝ 0416 35Who is there?
0417 Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a
0418 pursuivant presently.—We’ll hear more of your
0419 matter before the King.
⌜Peter⌝ exits ⌜with Servant.⌝
0420 And as for you that love to be protected
0421 40 Under the wings of our Protector’s grace,
0422 Begin your suits anew, and sue to him.
Tear the supplication.
0423 Away, base cullions.—Suffolk, let them go.
ALL 0424 Come, let’s be gone.⌜They⌝ exit.
0425 My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
0426 45 Is this the fashions in the court of England?
0427 Is this the government of Britain’s isle
0428 And this the royalty of Albion’s king?
0429 What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
0430 Under the surly Gloucester’s governance?
0431 50 Am I a queen in title and in style,
0432 And must be made a subject to a duke?
0433 I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
0434 Thou rann’st atilt in honor of my love
0435 And stol’st away the ladies’ hearts of France,
0436 55 I thought King Henry had resembled thee
0437 In courage, courtship, and proportion.
0438 But all his mind is bent to holiness,
0440 His champions are the prophets and apostles,
0441 60 His weapons holy saws of sacred writ,
0442 His study is his tiltyard, and his loves
0443 Are brazen images of canonized saints.
0444 I would the College of the Cardinals
0445 Would choose him pope and carry him to Rome
0446 65 And set the triple crown upon his head!
0447 That were a state fit for his holiness.
0448 Madam, be patient. As I was cause
0449 Your Highness came to England, so will I
0450 In England work your Grace’s full content.
0451 70 Besides the haughty Protector, have we Beaufort
0452 The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham,
0453 And grumbling York; and not the least of these
0454 But can do more in England than the King.
0455 And he of these that can do most of all
0456 75 Cannot do more in England than the Nevilles;
0457 Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.
0458 Not all these lords do vex me half so much
0459 As that proud dame, the Lord Protector’s wife.
0460 She sweeps it through the court with troops of
0461 80 ladies,
0462 More like an empress than Duke Humphrey’s wife.
0463 Strangers in court do take her for the Queen.
0464 She bears a duke’s revenues on her back,
0465 And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
0466 85 Shall I not live to be avenged on her?
0467 Contemptuous baseborn callet as she is,
0468 She vaunted ’mongst her minions t’ other day
0469 The very train of her worst wearing gown
0471 90 Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
0472 Madam, myself have limed a bush for her
0473 And placed a choir of such enticing birds
0474 That she will light to listen to the lays
0475 And never mount to trouble you again.
0476 95 So let her rest. And, madam, list to me,
0477 For I am bold to counsel you in this:
0478 Although we fancy not the Cardinal,
0479 Yet must we join with him and with the lords
0480 Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in disgrace.
0481 100 As for the Duke of York, this late complaint
0482 Will make but little for his benefit.
0483 So, one by one, we’ll weed them all at last,
0484 And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.
Sound a sennet. Enter King ⌜Henry,⌝ Duke Humphrey
⌜of Gloucester,⌝ Cardinal, ⌜Somerset, wearing the red
rose,⌝ Buckingham, Salisbury; York and Warwick, ⌜both
wearing the white rose;⌝ and the Duchess ⌜of
0485 For my part, noble lords, I care not which;
0486 105 Or Somerset or York, all’s one to me.
0487 If York have ill demeaned himself in France,
0488 Then let him be denied the regentship.
0489 If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
0490 Let York be regent; I will yield to him.
0491 110 Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no,
0492 Dispute not that. York is the worthier.
0493 Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
0494 The Cardinal’s not my better in the field.
0495 All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
0496 115 Warwick may live to be the best of all.
0497 Peace, son.—And show some reason, Buckingham,
0498 Why Somerset should be preferred in this.
0499 Because the King, forsooth, will have it so.
0500 Madam, the King is old enough himself
0501 120 To give his censure. These are no women’s matters.
0502 If he be old enough, what needs your Grace
0503 To be Protector of his Excellence?
0504 Madam, I am Protector of the realm,
0505 And at his pleasure will resign my place.
0506 125 Resign it, then, and leave thine insolence.
0507 Since thou wert king—as who is king but thou?—
0508 The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack,
0509 The Dauphin hath prevailed beyond the seas,
0510 And all the peers and nobles of the realm
0511 130 Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
CARDINAL, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
0512 The Commons hast thou racked; the clergy’s bags
0513 Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
SOMERSET, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
0514 Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife’s attire
0515 Have cost a mass of public treasury.
BUCKINGHAM, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
0516 135 Thy cruelty in execution
0517 Upon offenders hath exceeded law
0518 And left thee to the mercy of the law.
0519 Thy sale of offices and towns in France,
0520 If they were known, as the suspect is great,
0521 140 Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
⌜Queen Margaret drops her fan.⌝
0522 ⌜To Duchess.⌝ Give me my fan. What, minion, can
0523 you not?She gives the Duchess a box on the ear.
0524 I cry you mercy, madam. Was it you?
0525 Was ’t I? Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.
0526 145 Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
0527 ⌜I’d⌝ set my ten commandments in your face.
0528 Sweet aunt, be quiet. ’Twas against her will.
0529 Against her will, good king? Look to ’t in time.
0530 She’ll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby.
0531 150 Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
0532 She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unrevenged.
Eleanor, ⌜the Duchess,⌝ exits.
BUCKINGHAM, ⌜aside to Cardinal⌝
0533 Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor
0534 And listen after Humphrey how he proceeds.
0535 She’s tickled now; her fume needs no spurs;
0536 155 She’ll gallop far enough to her destruction.
Enter Humphrey, ⌜Duke of Gloucester.⌝
0537 Now, lords, my choler being overblown
0538 With walking once about the quadrangle,
0539 I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
0540 As for your spiteful false objections,
0541 160 Prove them, and I lie open to the law;
0542 But God in mercy so deal with my soul
0544 But, to the matter that we have in hand:
0545 I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
0546 165 To be your regent in the realm of France.
0547 Before we make election, give me leave
0548 To show some reason, of no little force,
0549 That York is most unmeet of any man.
0550 I’ll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet:
0551 170 First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride;
0552 Next, if I be appointed for the place,
0553 My lord of Somerset will keep me here
0554 Without discharge, money, or furniture
0555 Till France be won into the Dauphin’s hands.
0556 175 Last time I danced attendance on his will
0557 Till Paris was besieged, famished, and lost.
0558 That can I witness, and a fouler fact
0559 Did never traitor in the land commit.
SUFFOLK 0560 Peace, headstrong Warwick!
0561 180 Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?
Enter ⌜Horner, the⌝ Armorer, and his Man
⌜Peter, under guard.⌝
0562 Because here is a man accused of treason.
0563 Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
0564 Doth anyone accuse York for a traitor?
0565 What mean’st thou, Suffolk? Tell me, what are
0566 185 these?
0567 Please it your Majesty, this is the man
0568 That doth accuse his master of high treason.
0569 His words were these: that Richard, Duke of York,
0570 Was rightful heir unto the English crown,
0571 190 And that your Majesty was an usurper.
KING HENRY 0572 Say, man, were these thy words?
HORNER 0573 An ’t shall please your Majesty, I never said
0574 nor thought any such matter. God is my witness, I
0575 am falsely accused by the villain.
PETER 0576 195By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak
0577 them to me in the garret one night as we were
0578 scouring my lord of York’s armor.
YORK, ⌜to Horner⌝
0579 Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
0580 I’ll have thy head for this thy traitor’s speech!—
0581 200 I do beseech your royal Majesty,
0582 Let him have all the rigor of the law.
HORNER 0583 Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the
0584 words. My accuser is my prentice; and when I did
0585 correct him for his fault the other day, he did vow
0586 205 upon his knees he would be even with me. I have
0587 good witness of this. Therefore I beseech your
0588 Majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a
0589 villain’s accusation!
0590 Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?
0591 210 This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
0592 Let Somerset be regent o’er the French,
0593 Because in York this breeds suspicion;
0594 And let these have a day appointed them
0595 For single combat in convenient place,
0596 215 For he hath witness of his servant’s malice.
0597 This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey’s doom.
0598 I humbly thank your royal Majesty.
0599 And I accept the combat willingly.
PETER 0600 Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God’s sake pity
0601 220 my case! The spite of man prevaileth against me. O
0602 Lord, have mercy upon me! I shall never be able to
0603 fight a blow. O Lord, my heart!
0604 Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hanged.
KING HENRY 0605 Away with them to prison; and the day of
0606 225 combat shall be the last of the next month.—
0607 Come, Somerset, we’ll see thee sent away.
Flourish. They exit.
⌜Hume and Southwell,⌝ and Bolingbroke, ⌜a conjurer.⌝
HUME 0608 Come, my masters. The Duchess, I tell you,
0609 expects performance of your promises.
BOLINGBROKE 0610 Master Hume, we are therefore provided.
0611 Will her Ladyship behold and hear our
0612 5 exorcisms?
HUME 0613 Ay, what else? Fear you not her courage.
BOLINGBROKE 0614 I have heard her reported to be a
0615 woman of an invincible spirit. But it shall be convenient,
0616 Master Hume, that you be by her aloft
0617 10 while we be busy below; and so, I pray you, go, in
0618 God’s name, and leave us.Hume exits.
0619 Mother Jourdain, be you prostrate and grovel on
0620 the earth. ⌜She lies face downward.⌝ John Southwell,
0621 read you; and let us to our work.
with Hume,⌝ aloft.
DUCHESS 0622 15Well said, my masters, and welcome all. To
0623 this gear, the sooner the better.
0624 Patience, good lady. Wizards know their times.
0625 Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
0626 The time of night when Troy was set on fire,
0627 20 The time when screech owls cry and bandogs howl,
0628 And spirits walk, and ghosts break up their graves—
0629 That time best fits the work we have in hand.
0630 Madam, sit you, and fear not. Whom we raise
0631 We will make fast within a hallowed verge.
Here ⌜they⌝ do the ceremonies belonging, and
make the circle. Bolingbroke or Southwell reads
“Conjuro te, etc.” It thunders and lightens terribly;
then the Spirit riseth.
SPIRIT 0632 25Adsum.
JOURDAIN 0633 Asmath,
0634 By the eternal God, whose name and power
0635 Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask,
0636 For till thou speak, thou shalt not pass from hence.
0637 30 Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!
BOLINGBROKE, ⌜reading from a paper, while Southwell
0638 First of the King: What shall of him become?
0639 The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose,
0640 But him outlive and die a violent death.
0641 What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?
0642 35 By water shall he die and take his end.
0643 What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?
0645 Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
0646 Than where castles mounted stand.
0647 40 Have done, for more I hardly can endure.
0648 Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
0649 False fiend, avoid!
Thunder and lightning. Spirit exits, ⌜descending.⌝
Enter the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham
with their Guard ⌜and Sir Humphrey Stafford,⌝ and
0650 Lay hands upon these traitors and their trash.
⌜The Guard arrest Margery Jourdain and her
accomplices and seize their papers.⌝
0651 ⌜To Jourdain.⌝ Beldam, I think we watched you at an
0652 45 inch.
0653 ⌜To the Duchess, aloft.⌝ What, madam, are you
0654 there? The King and commonweal
0655 Are deeply indebted for this piece of pains.
0656 My Lord Protector will, I doubt it not,
0657 50 See you well guerdoned for these good deserts.
0658 Not half so bad as thine to England’s king,
0659 Injurious duke, that threatest where’s no cause.
0660 True, madam, none at all. What call you this?
⌜He holds up the papers seized.⌝
0661 Away with them! Let them be clapped up close
0662 55 And kept asunder.—You, madam, shall with us.—
0663 Stafford, take her to thee.⌜Stafford exits.⌝
0664 We’ll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.
0665 All away!⌜Jourdain, Southwell, and Bolingbroke⌝
exit ⌜under guard, below; Duchess and Hume
exit, under guard, aloft.⌝
0666 Lord Buckingham, methinks you watched her well.
0667 60 A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon!
0668 Now, pray, my lord, let’s see the devil’s writ.
⌜Buckingham hands him the papers.⌝
0669 What have we here?
0670 ⌜(Reads.)⌝ The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose,
0671 But him outlive and die a violent death.
0672 65 Why, this is just Aio ⌜te,⌝ Aeacida,
0673 Romanos vincere posse. Well, to the rest:
0674 ⌜(Reads.)⌝ Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of
0676 By water shall he die and take his end.
0677 70 What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
0678 Let him shun castles;
0679 Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
0680 Than where castles mounted stand.
0681 Come, come, my ⌜lord,⌝ these oracles
0682 75 Are hardly attained and hardly understood.
0683 The King is now in progress towards Saint Albans;
0684 With him the husband of this lovely lady.
0685 Thither goes these news as fast as horse can carry
0687 80 A sorry breakfast for my Lord Protector.
0688 Your Grace shall give me leave, my lord of York,
0689 To be the post, in hope of his reward.
YORK 0690 At your pleasure, my good lord.
0691 Who’s within there, ho!
Enter a Servingman.
0692 85 Invite my lords of Salisbury and Warwick
0693 To sup with me tomorrow night. Away!
Lord⌝ Protector, Cardinal, and Suffolk, ⌜and
Attendants,⌝ with Falconers hallowing.
0694 Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook
0695 I saw not better sport these seven years’ day.
0696 Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high,
0697 And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
0698 5 But what a point, my lord, your falcon made,
0699 And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
0700 To see how God in all his creatures works!
0701 Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.
0702 No marvel, an it like your Majesty,
0703 10 My Lord Protector’s hawks do tower so well;
0704 They know their master loves to be aloft
0705 And bears his thoughts above his falcon’s pitch.
0706 My lord, ’tis but a base ignoble mind
0707 That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
0708 15 I thought as much. He would be above the clouds.
0709 Ay, my Lord Cardinal, how think you by that?
0710 Were it not good your Grace could fly to heaven?
0711 The treasury of everlasting joy.
CARDINAL, ⌜to Gloucester⌝
0712 Thy heaven is on Earth; thine eyes and thoughts
0713 20 Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart.
0714 Pernicious Protector, dangerous peer,
0715 That smooth’st it so with king and commonweal!
0716 What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown
0718 25 Tantaene animis caelestibus irae?
0719 Churchmen so hot? Good uncle, hide such malice.
0720 With such holiness, can you do it?
0721 No malice, sir, no more than well becomes
0722 So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.
0723 30 As who, my lord?
SUFFOLK 0724 Why, as you, my lord,
0725 An ’t like your lordly ⌜Lord⌝ Protectorship.
0726 Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
0727 And thy ambition, Gloucester.
KING HENRY 0728 35 I prithee peace,
0729 Good queen, and whet not on these furious peers,
0730 For blessèd are the peacemakers on Earth.
0731 Let me be blessèd for the peace I make
0732 Against this proud Protector with my sword!
GLOUCESTER, ⌜aside to Cardinal⌝
0733 40 Faith, holy uncle, would ’t were come to that!
CARDINAL, ⌜aside to Gloucester⌝ 0734 Marry, when thou
GLOUCESTER, ⌜aside to Cardinal⌝
0736 Make up no factious numbers for the matter.
0737 In thine own person answer thy abuse.
0738 45 Ay, where thou dar’st not peep. An if thou dar’st,
0739 This evening, on the east side of the grove.
0740 How now, my lords?
CARDINAL 0741 Believe me, cousin Gloucester,
0742 Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
0743 50 We had had more sport. ⌜(Aside to Gloucester.)⌝
0744 Come with thy two-hand sword.
0745 True, uncle. ⌜(Aside to Cardinal.)⌝ Are you advised?
0746 The east side of the grove.
CARDINAL, ⌜aside to Gloucester⌝
0747 I am with you.
KING HENRY 0748 55 Why, how now, uncle Gloucester?
0749 Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.
0750 ⌜(Aside to Cardinal.)⌝ Now, by God’s mother, priest,
0751 I’ll shave your crown for this,
0752 Or all my fence shall fail.
CARDINAL, ⌜aside to Gloucester⌝ 0753 60 Medice, teipsum;
0754 Protector, see to ’t well; protect yourself.
0755 The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.
0756 How irksome is this music to my heart!
0757 When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
0758 65 I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.
Enter ⌜a man from St. Albans⌝ crying “A miracle!”
GLOUCESTER 0759 What means this noise?—
0760 Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
MAN 0761 A miracle, a miracle!
0762 Come to the King, and tell him what miracle.
0763 70 Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban’s shrine
0765 A man that ne’er saw in his life before.
0766 Now, God be praised, that to believing souls
0767 Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair.
Enter the Mayor of Saint Albans, and his brethren,
bearing the man ⌜Simpcox⌝ between two in a chair,
⌜followed by Simpcox’s Wife and Others.⌝
0768 75 Here comes the townsmen on procession
0769 To present your Highness with the man.
0770 Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
0771 Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
0772 Stand by, my masters.—Bring him near the King.
0773 80 His Highness’ pleasure is to talk with him.
⌜The two bearers bring the chair forward.⌝
0774 Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,
0775 That we for thee may glorify the Lord.
0776 What, hast thou been long blind and now restored?
SIMPCOX 0777 Born blind, an ’t please your Grace.
WIFE 0778 85Ay, indeed, was he.
SUFFOLK 0779 What woman is this?
WIFE 0780 His wife, an ’t like your Worship.
GLOUCESTER 0781 Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst
0782 have better told.
KING HENRY 0783 90Where wert thou born?
0784 At Berwick in the North, an ’t like your Grace.
0785 Poor soul, God’s goodness hath been great to thee.
0786 Let never day nor night unhallowed pass,
0787 But still remember what the Lord hath done.
0788 95 Tell me, good fellow, cam’st thou here by chance,
0789 Or of devotion to this holy shrine?
0790 God knows, of pure devotion, being called
0791 A hundred times and oftener in my sleep
0792 By good Saint Alban, who said “Simon, come,
0793 100 Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.”
0794 Most true, forsooth, and many time and oft
0795 Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
CARDINAL 0796 What, art thou lame?
SIMPCOX 0797 Ay, God Almighty help me!
SUFFOLK 0798 105How cam’st thou so?
SIMPCOX 0799 A fall off of a tree.
WIFE 0800 A plum tree, master.
GLOUCESTER 0801 How long hast thou been blind?
SIMPCOX 0802 O, born so, master.
GLOUCESTER 0803 110What, and wouldst climb a tree?
SIMPCOX 0804 But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
WIFE 0805 Too true, and bought his climbing very dear.
GLOUCESTER 0806 Mass, thou lov’dst plums well, that
0807 wouldst venture so.
SIMPCOX 0808 115Alas, good master, my wife desired some
0809 damsons, and made me climb, with danger of my
0811 A subtle knave, but yet it shall not serve.—
0812 Let me see thine eyes. Wink now. Now open them.
0813 120 In my opinion, yet thou seest not well.
SIMPCOX 0814 Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and
0815 Saint ⌜Alban.⌝
0816 Sayst thou me so? What color is this cloak of?
SIMPCOX 0817 Red, master, red as blood.
0818 125 Why, that’s well said. What color is my gown of?
SIMPCOX 0819 Black, forsooth, coal-black as jet.
0820 Why, then, thou know’st what color jet is of.
0821 And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
0822 But cloaks and gowns, before this day, a many.
0823 130 Never, before this day, in all his life.
GLOUCESTER 0824 Tell me, sirrah, what’s my name?
SIMPCOX 0825 Alas, master, I know not.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜pointing⌝ 0826 What’s his name?
SIMPCOX 0827 I know not.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜pointing to someone else⌝ 0828 135Nor his?
SIMPCOX 0829 No, indeed, master.
GLOUCESTER 0830 What’s thine own name?
SIMPCOX 0831 Sander Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
GLOUCESTER 0832 Then, Sander, sit there, the lying’st knave
0833 140 in Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind,
0834 thou mightst as well have known all our names as
0835 thus to name the several colors we do wear. Sight
0836 may distinguish of colors; but suddenly to nominate
0837 them all, it is impossible.—My lords, Saint
0838 145 Alban here hath done a miracle; and would you
0839 not think ⌜his⌝ cunning to be great that could
0840 restore this cripple to his legs again?
SIMPCOX 0841 O master, that you could!
GLOUCESTER 0842 My masters of Saint Albans, have you not
0843 150 beadles in your town and things called whips?
MAYOR 0844 Yes, my lord, if it please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER 0845 Then send for one presently.
MAYOR 0846 Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
⌜A man⌝ exits.
0848 155 ⌜One brings a stool.⌝ Now, sirrah, if you mean to
0849 save yourself from whipping, leap me over this
0850 stool, and run away.
SIMPCOX 0851 Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone.
0852 You go about to torture me in vain.
Enter a Beadle with whips.
GLOUCESTER 0853 160Well, sir, we must have you find your
0854 legs.—Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over
0855 that same stool.
BEADLE 0856 I will, my lord.—Come on, sirrah, off with
0857 your doublet quickly.
SIMPCOX 0858 165Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to
After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps
over the stool and runs away; and they follow
and cry “A miracle!”
0860 O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?
0861 It made me laugh to see the villain run.
GLOUCESTER, ⌜to the Beadle⌝
0862 Follow the knave, and take this drab away.
WIFE 0863 170Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.
0864 Let them be whipped through every market town
0865 Till they come to Berwick, from whence they came.
⌜The Beadle, Mayor, Wife, and the others from
Saint Albans⌝ exit.
0866 Duke Humphrey has done a miracle today.
0867 True, made the lame to leap and fly away.
0868 175 But you have done more miracles than I.
0869 You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.
0870 What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
0871 Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold:
0872 A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent,
0873 180 Under the countenance and confederacy
0874 Of Lady Eleanor, the Protector’s wife,
0875 The ringleader and head of all this rout,
0876 Have practiced dangerously against your state,
0877 Dealing with witches and with conjurers,
0878 185 Whom we have apprehended in the fact,
0879 Raising up wicked spirits from under ground,
0880 Demanding of King Henry’s life and death
0881 And other of your Highness’ Privy Council,
0882 As more at large your Grace shall understand.
0883 190 And so, my Lord Protector, by this means
0884 Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
0885 ⌜Aside to Gloucester.⌝ This news, I think, hath turned
0886 your weapon’s edge;
0887 ’Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.
0888 195 Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart.
0889 Sorrow and grief have vanquished all my powers,
0890 And, vanquished as I am, I yield to thee,
0891 Or to the meanest groom.
0892 O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
0893 200 Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
0894 Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest,
0895 And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
0896 Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal
0898 205 And, for my wife, I know not how it stands.
0899 Sorry I am to hear what I have heard.
0900 Noble she is; but if she have forgot
0901 Honor and virtue, and conversed with such
0902 As, like to pitch, defile nobility,
0903 210 I banish her my bed and company
0904 And give her as a prey to law and shame
0905 That hath dishonored Gloucester’s honest name.
0906 Well, for this night we will repose us here.
0907 Tomorrow toward London back again,
0908 215 To look into this business thoroughly,
0909 And call these foul offenders to their answers,
0910 And poise the cause in Justice’ equal scales,
0911 Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause
Flourish. They exit.
0913 Now, my good lords of Salisbury and Warwick,
0914 Our simple supper ended, give me leave,
0915 In this close walk, to satisfy myself
0916 In craving your opinion of my title,
0917 5 Which is infallible, to England’s crown.
0918 My lord, I long to hear it at full.
0919 Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good,
0920 The Nevilles are thy subjects to command.
YORK 0921 Then thus:
0922 10 Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons:
0924 The second, William of Hatfield; and the third,
0925 Lionel, Duke of Clarence; next to whom
0926 Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster;
0927 15 The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York;
0928 The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of
0930 William of Windsor was the seventh and last.
0931 Edward the Black Prince died before his father
0932 20 And left behind him Richard, his only son,
0933 Who, after Edward the Third’s death, reigned as
0935 Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
0936 The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
0937 25 Crowned by the name of Henry the Fourth,
0938 Seized on the realm, deposed the rightful king,
0939 Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she
0941 And him to Pomfret; where, as all you know,
0942 30 Harmless Richard was murdered traitorously.
WARWICK 0943 Father, the Duke hath told the truth.
0944 Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
0945 Which now they hold by force and not by right;
0946 For Richard, the first son’s heir, being dead,
0947 35 The issue of the next son should have reigned.
0948 But William of Hatfield died without an heir.
0949 The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line
0950 I claim the crown, had issue, Philippa, a daughter,
0951 Who married Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.
0952 40 Edmund had issue, Roger, Earl of March;
0953 Roger had issue: Edmund, Anne, and Eleanor.
0954 This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,
0956 And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
0957 45 Who kept him in captivity till he died.
0958 But to the rest.
YORK 0959 His eldest sister, Anne,
0960 My mother, being heir unto the crown,
0961 Married Richard, Earl of Cambridge, who was ⌜son⌝
0962 50 To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third’s fifth son.
0963 By her I claim the kingdom. She was heir
0964 To Roger, Earl of March, who was the son
0965 Of Edmund Mortimer, who married Philippa,
0966 Sole daughter unto Lionel, Duke of Clarence.
0967 55 So, if the issue of the elder son
0968 Succeed before the younger, I am king.
0969 What plain proceedings is more plain than this?
0970 Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
0971 The fourth son; York claims it from the third.
0972 60 Till Lionel’s issue fails, his should not reign.
0973 It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee
0974 And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.
0975 Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together,
0976 And in this private plot be we the first
0977 65 That shall salute our rightful sovereign
0978 With honor of his birthright to the crown.
SALISBURY, WARWICK, ⌜kneeling⌝
0979 Long live our sovereign Richard, England’s king!
0980 We thank you, lords. ⌜They rise.⌝ But I am not your
0982 70 Till I be crowned, and that my sword be stained
0983 With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster;
0984 And that’s not suddenly to be performed,
0985 But with advice and silent secrecy.
0986 Do you as I do in these dangerous days:
0987 75 Wink at the Duke of Suffolk’s insolence,
0989 At Buckingham, and all the crew of them,
0990 Till they have snared the shepherd of the flock,
0991 That virtuous prince, the good Duke Humphrey.
0992 80 ’Tis that they seek; and they, in seeking that,
0993 Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.
0994 My lord, break we off. We know your mind at full.
0995 My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
0996 Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
0997 85 And, Neville, this I do assure myself:
0998 Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
0999 The greatest man in England but the King.
⌜(Queen Margaret, Gloucester, York, Salisbury, Suffolk,
and Others)⌝ with Guard, to banish the Duchess ⌜of
Gloucester, who is accompanied by Margery Jourdain,
Southwell, Hume, and Bolingbroke, all guarded.⌝
1000 Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester’s
1002 In sight of God and us, your guilt is great.
1003 Receive the sentence of the law for ⌜sins⌝
1004 5 Such as by God’s book are adjudged to death.
⌜To Jourdain, Southwell, Hume, and Bolingbroke.⌝
1005 You four, from hence to prison back again;
1006 From thence unto the place of execution:
1007 The witch in Smithfield shall be burnt to ashes,
1008 And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.
1011 Despoilèd of your honor in your life,
1012 Shall, after three days’ open penance done,
1013 Live in your country here in banishment
1014 15 With Sir John Stanley in the Isle of Man.
1015 Welcome is banishment. Welcome were my death.
1016 Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee.
1017 I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
⌜Duchess and the other prisoners exit under guard.⌝
1018 Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
1019 20 Ah, Humphrey, this dishonor in thine age
1020 Will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground.—
1021 I beseech your Majesty give me leave to go;
1022 Sorrow would solace, and mine age would ease.
1023 Stay, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Ere thou go,
1024 25 Give up thy staff. Henry will to himself
1025 Protector be; and God shall be my hope,
1026 My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet.
1027 And go in peace, Humphrey, no less beloved
1028 Than when thou wert Protector to thy king.
1029 30 I see no reason why a king of years
1030 Should be to be protected like a child.
1031 God and King Henry govern England’s realm!—
1032 Give up your staff, sir, and the King his realm.
1033 My staff?—Here, noble Henry, is my staff.
⌜He puts down his staff before Henry.⌝
1034 35 As willingly do I the same resign
1035 As e’er thy father Henry made it mine;
1036 And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it
1037 As others would ambitiously receive it.
1039 40 May honorable peace attend thy throne.
⌜Henry picks up the staff.⌝
1040 Why, now is Henry king and Margaret queen,
1041 And Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, scarce himself,
1042 That bears so shrewd a maim. Two pulls at once:
1043 His lady banished and a limb lopped off.
1044 45 This staff of honor raught, there let it stand
1045 Where it best fits to be, in Henry’s hand.
1046 Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays;
1047 Thus Eleanor’s pride dies in her youngest days.
1048 Lords, let him go.—Please it your Majesty,
1049 50 This is the day appointed for the combat,
1050 And ready are the appellant and defendant—
1051 The armorer and his man—to enter the lists,
1052 So please your Highness to behold the fight.
1053 Ay, good my lord, for purposely therefor
1054 55 Left I the court to see this quarrel tried.
1055 I’ God’s name, see the lists and all things fit.
1056 Here let them end it, and God defend the right!
1057 I never saw a fellow worse bestead
1058 Or more afraid to fight than is the appellant,
1059 60 The servant of this armorer, my lords.
Enter at one door the Armorer ⌜Horner⌝ and his
Neighbors, drinking to him so much that he is drunk;
and he enters with a Drum before him and his staff with
a sandbag fastened to it; and at the other door his man
⌜Peter,⌝ with a Drum and sandbag, and Prentices
drinking to him.
1061 in a cup of sack; and fear not, neighbor, you shall
1062 do well enough.
SECOND NEIGHBOR 1063 And here, neighbor, here’s a cup of
1064 65 charneco.
THIRD NEIGHBOR 1065 And here’s a pot of good double beer,
1066 neighbor. Drink, and fear not your man.
HORNER 1067 Let it come, i’ faith, and I’ll pledge you all.
1068 And a fig for Peter!⌜They drink.⌝
FIRST PRENTICE 1069 70Here, Peter, I drink to thee, and be not
SECOND PRENTICE 1071 Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy
1072 master. Fight for credit of the prentices.
PETER 1073 I thank you all. Drink, and pray for me, I pray
1074 75 you, for I think I have taken my last draft in this
1075 world. Here, Robin, an if I die, I give thee my
1076 apron.—And, Will, thou shalt have my hammer.—
1077 And here, Tom, take all the money that I have. ⌜He
distributes his possessions.⌝ 1078 O Lord, bless me, I
1079 80 pray God, for I am never able to deal with my
1080 master. He hath learnt so much fence already.
SALISBURY 1081 Come, leave your drinking, and fall to
1082 blows. Sirrah, what’s thy name?
PETER 1083 Peter, forsooth.
SALISBURY 1084 85Peter? What more?
PETER 1085 Thump.
SALISBURY 1086 Thump? Then see thou thump thy master
HORNER 1088 Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon
1089 90 my man’s instigation, to prove him a knave and
1090 myself an honest man; and touching the Duke of
1091 York, I will take my death I never meant him any
1092 ill, nor the King, nor the Queen.—And therefore,
1093 Peter, have at thee with a downright blow!
YORK 1094 95Dispatch. This knave’s tongue begins to double.
1095 Sound, trumpets. Alarum to the combatants!
They fight, and Peter strikes him down.
HORNER 1096 Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
YORK 1097 Take away his weapon.—Fellow, thank God and
1098 the good wine in thy master’s way.
PETER 1099 100O God, have I overcome mine enemies in this
1100 presence? O Peter, thou hast prevailed in right!
1101 Go, take hence that traitor from our sight;
1102 For by his death we do perceive his guilt.
1103 And God in justice hath revealed to us
1104 105 The truth and innocence of this poor fellow,
1105 Which he had thought to have murdered
1107 Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.
Sound a flourish. They exit, ⌜bearing Horner’s body.⌝
in mourning cloaks.
1108 Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud,
1109 And after summer evermore succeeds
1110 Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold;
1111 So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
1112 5 Sirs, what’s o’clock?
SERVANT 1113 Ten, my lord.
1114 Ten is the hour that was appointed me
1115 To watch the coming of my punished duchess.
1116 Uneath may she endure the flinty streets,
1117 10 To tread them with her tender-feeling feet.
1118 Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook
1120 With envious looks laughing at thy shame,
1121 That erst did follow thy proud chariot wheels
1122 15 When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets.
1123 But, soft! I think she comes, and I’ll prepare
1124 My tearstained eyes to see her miseries.
Enter the Duchess ⌜of Gloucester, barefoot, and⌝ in a
white sheet, ⌜with papers pinned to her back⌝ and a
taper burning in her hand, with ⌜Sir John Stanley,⌝
the Sheriff, and Officers.
1125 So please your Grace, we’ll take her from the Sheriff.
1126 No, stir not for your lives. Let her pass by.
1127 20 Come you, my lord, to see my open shame?
1128 Now thou dost penance too. Look how they gaze!
1129 See how the giddy multitude do point,
1130 And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee.
1131 Ah, Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful looks,
1132 25 And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
1133 And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine.
1134 Be patient, gentle Nell. Forget this grief.
1135 Ah, Gloucester, teach me to forget myself!
1136 For whilst I think I am thy married wife
1137 30 And thou a prince, Protector of this land,
1138 Methinks I should not thus be led along,
1139 Mailed up in shame, with papers on my back,
1140 And followed with a rabble that rejoice
1141 To see my tears and hear my deep-fet groans.
1142 35 The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet,
1143 And when I start, the envious people laugh
1145 Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke?
1146 Trowest thou that e’er I’ll look upon the world
1147 40 Or count them happy that enjoys the sun?
1148 No, dark shall be my light, and night my day.
1149 To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.
1150 Sometimes I’ll say I am Duke Humphrey’s wife
1151 And he a prince and ruler of the land;
1152 45 Yet so he ruled and such a prince he was
1153 As he stood by whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
1154 Was made a wonder and a pointing-stock
1155 To every idle rascal follower.
1156 But be thou mild, and blush not at my shame,
1157 50 Nor stir at nothing till the ax of death
1158 Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will.
1159 For Suffolk, he that can do all in all
1160 With her that hateth thee and hates us all,
1161 And York and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
1162 55 Have all limed bushes to betray thy wings;
1163 And fly thou how thou canst, they’ll tangle thee.
1164 But fear not thou until thy foot be snared,
1165 Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.
1166 Ah, Nell, forbear. Thou aimest all awry.
1167 60 I must offend before I be attainted;
1168 And had I twenty times so many foes,
1169 And each of them had twenty times their power,
1170 All these could not procure me any scathe
1171 So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
1172 65 Wouldst have me rescue thee from this reproach?
1173 Why, yet thy scandal were not wiped away,
1174 But I in danger for the breach of law.
1175 Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell.
1176 I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience;
1177 70 These few days’ wonder will be quickly worn.
1178 I summon your Grace to his Majesty’s Parliament
1179 Holden at Bury the first of this next month.
1180 And my consent ne’er asked herein before?
1181 This is close dealing. Well, I will be there.
1182 75 My Nell, I take my leave.—And, master sheriff,
1183 Let not her penance exceed the King’s commission.
1184 An ’t please your Grace, here my commission stays,
1185 And Sir John Stanley is appointed now
1186 To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
1187 80 Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
1188 So am I given in charge, may ’t please your Grace.
1189 Entreat her not the worse in that I pray
1190 You use her well. The world may laugh again,
1191 And I may live to do you kindness, if
1192 85 You do it her. And so, Sir John, farewell.
1193 What, gone, my lord, and bid me not farewell?
1194 Witness my tears. I cannot stay to speak.
Gloucester exits ⌜with his Men.⌝
1195 Art thou gone too? All comfort go with thee,
1196 For none abides with me. My joy is death—
1197 90 Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard,
1198 Because I wished this world’s eternity.—
1199 Stanley, I prithee, go, and take me hence.
1200 I care not whither, for I beg no favor;
1201 Only convey me where thou art commanded.
1202 95 Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man,
1203 There to be used according to your state.
1204 That’s bad enough, for I am but reproach.
1205 And shall I, then, be used reproachfully?
1206 Like to a duchess and Duke Humphrey’s lady;
1207 100 According to that state you shall be used.
1208 Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare,
1209 Although thou hast been conduct of my shame.
1210 It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
1211 Ay, ay, farewell. Thy office is discharged.
⌜The Sheriff and Officers exit.⌝
1212 105 Come, Stanley, shall we go?
1213 Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet,
1214 And go we to attire you for our journey.
1215 My shame will not be shifted with my sheet.
1216 No, it will hang upon my richest robes
1217 110 And show itself, attire me how I can.
1218 Go, lead the way. I long to see my prison.
Cardinal, Suffolk, York, Buckingham, Salisbury, and
Warwick, ⌜and Others⌝ to the Parliament.
1219 I muse my lord of Gloucester is not come.
1220 ’Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
1221 Whate’er occasion keeps him from us now.
1222 Can you not see, or will you not observe,
1223 5 The strangeness of his altered countenance?
1224 With what a majesty he bears himself,
1225 How insolent of late he is become,
1226 How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself?
1227 We know the time since he was mild and affable;
1228 10 And if we did but glance a far-off look,
1229 Immediately he was upon his knee,
1230 That all the court admired him for submission.
1231 But meet him now, and, be it in the morn
1232 When everyone will give the time of day,
1233 15 He knits his brow and shows an angry eye
1234 And passeth by with stiff unbowèd knee,
1235 Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
1236 Small curs are not regarded when they grin,
1237 But great men tremble when the lion roars—
1238 20 And Humphrey is no little man in England.
1240 And, should you fall, he is the next will mount.
1241 Meseemeth then it is no policy,
1242 Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears
1243 25 And his advantage following your decease,
1244 That he should come about your royal person
1245 Or be admitted to your Highness’ Council.
1246 By flattery hath he won the Commons’ hearts;
1247 And when he please to make commotion,
1248 30 ’Tis to be feared they all will follow him.
1249 Now ’tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
1250 Suffer them now, and they’ll o’ergrow the garden
1251 And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
1252 The reverent care I bear unto my lord
1253 35 Made me collect these dangers in the Duke.
1254 If it be fond, call it a woman’s fear,
1255 Which fear, if better reasons can supplant,
1256 I will subscribe and say I wronged the Duke.
1257 My ⌜lords⌝ of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
1258 40 Reprove my allegation if you can,
1259 Or else conclude my words effectual.
1260 Well hath your Highness seen into this duke,
1261 And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
1262 I think I should have told your Grace’s tale.
1263 45 The Duchess by his subornation,
1264 Upon my life, began her devilish practices;
1265 Or if he were not privy to those faults,
1266 Yet, by reputing of his high descent—
1267 As next the King he was successive heir,
1268 50 And such high vaunts of his nobility—
1269 Did instigate the bedlam brainsick duchess
1270 By wicked means to frame our sovereign’s fall.
1271 Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep,
1272 And in his simple show he harbors treason.
1273 55 The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
1275 Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.
1276 Did he not, contrary to form of law,
1277 Devise strange deaths for small offenses done?
1278 60 And did he not, in his protectorship,
1279 Levy great sums of money through the realm
1280 For soldiers’ pay in France, and never sent it,
1281 By means whereof the towns each day revolted?
1282 Tut, these are petty faults to faults unknown,
1283 65 Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke
1285 My lords, at once: the care you have of us
1286 To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot
1287 Is worthy praise; but, shall I speak my conscience,
1288 70 Our kinsman Gloucester is as innocent
1289 From meaning treason to our royal person
1290 As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove.
1291 The Duke is virtuous, mild, and too well given
1292 To dream on evil or to work my downfall.
1293 75 Ah, what’s more dangerous than this fond affiance?
1294 Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrowed,
1295 For he’s disposèd as the hateful raven.
1296 Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him,
1297 For he’s inclined as is the ravenous wolves.
1298 80 Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
1299 Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
1300 Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
1301 All health unto my gracious sovereign!
1302 Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news from France?
1303 85 That all your interest in those territories
1304 Is utterly bereft you. All is lost.
1305 Cold news, Lord Somerset; but God’s will be done.
1306 Cold news for me, for I had hope of France
1307 As firmly as I hope for fertile England.
1308 90 Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud,
1309 And caterpillars eat my leaves away.
1310 But I will remedy this gear ere long,
1311 Or sell my title for a glorious grave.
1312 All happiness unto my lord the King!
1313 95 Pardon, my liege, that I have stayed so long.
1314 Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too soon,
1315 Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art.
1316 I do arrest thee of high treason here.
1317 Well, Suffolk, thou shalt not see me blush
1318 100 Nor change my countenance for this arrest.
1319 A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.
1320 The purest spring is not so free from mud
1321 As I am clear from treason to my sovereign.
1322 Who can accuse me? Wherein am I guilty?
1323 105 ’Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France
1324 And, being Protector, stayed the soldiers’ pay,
1325 By means whereof his Highness hath lost France.
1326 Is it but thought so? What are they that think it?
1328 110 Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
1329 So help me God as I have watched the night—
1330 Ay, night by night—in studying good for England!
1331 That doit that e’er I wrested from the King,
1332 Or any groat I hoarded to my use,
1333 115 Be brought against me at my trial day!
1334 No, many a pound of mine own proper store,
1335 Because I would not tax the needy Commons,
1336 Have I dispursèd to the garrisons
1337 And never asked for restitution.
1338 120 It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
1339 I say no more than truth, so help me God.
1340 In your protectorship, you did devise
1341 Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of,
1342 That England was defamed by tyranny.
1343 125 Why, ’tis well known that whiles I was Protector,
1344 Pity was all the fault that was in me;
1345 For I should melt at an offender’s tears,
1346 And lowly words were ransom for their fault.
1347 Unless it were a bloody murderer
1348 130 Or foul felonious thief that fleeced poor passengers,
1349 I never gave them condign punishment.
1350 Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortured
1351 Above the felon or what trespass else.
1352 My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answered;
1353 135 But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge
1354 Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
1355 I do arrest you in his Highness’ name,
1356 And here commit you to my Lord Cardinal
1357 To keep until your further time of trial.
1358 140 My lord of Gloucester, ’tis my special hope
1359 That you will clear yourself from all suspense.
1360 My conscience tells me you are innocent.
1361 Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous.
1362 Virtue is choked with foul ambition,
1363 145 And charity chased hence by rancor’s hand;
1364 Foul subornation is predominant,
1365 And equity exiled your Highness’ land.
1366 I know their complot is to have my life;
1367 And if my death might make this island happy
1368 150 And prove the period of their tyranny,
1369 I would expend it with all willingness.
1370 But mine is made the prologue to their play;
1371 For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril,
1372 Will not conclude their plotted tragedy.
1373 155 Beaufort’s red sparkling eyes blab his heart’s malice,
1374 And Suffolk’s cloudy brow his stormy hate;
1375 Sharp Buckingham unburdens with his tongue
1376 The envious load that lies upon his heart;
1377 And dogged York, that reaches at the moon,
1378 160 Whose overweening arm I have plucked back,
1379 By false accuse doth level at my life.—
1380 And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
1381 Causeless have laid disgraces on my head
1382 And with your best endeavor have stirred up
1383 165 My liefest liege to be mine enemy.
1384 Ay, all of you have laid your heads together—
1385 Myself had notice of your conventicles—
1386 And all to make away my guiltless life.
1387 I shall not want false witness to condemn me
1388 170 Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt.
1389 The ancient proverb will be well effected:
1390 “A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.”
1391 My liege, his railing is intolerable.
1392 If those that care to keep your royal person
1393 175 From treason’s secret knife and traitor’s rage
1394 Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at,
1395 And the offender granted scope of speech,
1396 ’Twill make them cool in zeal unto your Grace.
1397 Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
1398 180 With ignominious words, though clerkly couched,
1399 As if she had subornèd some to swear
1400 False allegations to o’erthrow his state?
1401 But I can give the loser leave to chide.
1402 Far truer spoke than meant. I lose, indeed;
1403 185 Beshrew the winners, for they played me false!
1404 And well such losers may have leave to speak.
1405 He’ll wrest the sense and hold us here all day.
1406 Lord Cardinal, he is your prisoner.
CARDINAL, ⌜to his Men⌝
1407 Sirs, take away the Duke, and guard him sure.
1408 190 Ah, thus King Henry throws away his crutch
1409 Before his legs be firm to bear his body.—
1410 Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
1411 And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee first.
1412 Ah, that my fear were false; ah, that it were!
1413 195 For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.
Gloucester exits, ⌜guarded by Cardinal’s Men.⌝
1414 My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best
1415 Do, or undo, as if ourself were here.
1416 What, will your Highness leave the Parliament?
1417 Ay, Margaret. My heart is drowned with grief,
1418 200 Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes,
1419 My body round engirt with misery;
1420 For what’s more miserable than discontent?
1421 Ah, uncle Humphrey, in thy face I see
1422 The map of honor, truth, and loyalty;
1423 205 And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come
1424 That e’er I proved thee false or feared thy faith.
1425 What louring star now envies thy estate
1426 That these great lords and Margaret our queen
1427 Do seek subversion of thy harmless life?
1428 210 Thou never didst them wrong nor no man wrong.
1429 And as the butcher takes away the calf
1430 And binds the wretch and beats it when it ⌜strains,⌝
1431 Bearing it to the bloody slaughterhouse,
1432 Even so remorseless have they borne him hence;
1433 215 And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
1434 Looking the way her harmless young one went,
1435 And can do naught but wail her darling’s loss,
1436 Even so myself bewails good Gloucester’s case
1437 With sad unhelpful tears, and with dimmed eyes
1438 220 Look after him and cannot do him good,
1439 So mighty are his vowèd enemies.
1440 His fortunes I will weep and, ’twixt each groan,
1441 Say “Who’s a traitor, Gloucester he is none.”
He exits, ⌜with Buckingham, Salisbury, Warwick,
and Others. Somerset steps aside.⌝
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜to Cardinal, Suffolk, and York⌝
1442 Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun’s hot
1443 225 beams.
1444 Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,
1445 Too full of foolish pity; and Gloucester’s show
1446 Beguiles him, as the mournful crocodile
1447 With sorrow snares relenting passengers,
1448 230 Or as the snake, rolled in a flow’ring bank,
1450 That for the beauty thinks it excellent.
1451 Believe me, lords, were none more wise than I—
1452 And yet herein I judge mine own wit good—
1453 235 This Gloucester should be quickly rid the world,
1454 To rid us from the fear we have of him.
1455 That he should die is worthy policy,
1456 But yet we want a color for his death.
1457 ’Tis meet he be condemned by course of law.
1458 240 But, in my mind, that were no policy.
1459 The King will labor still to save his life,
1460 The Commons haply rise to save his life,
1461 And yet we have but trivial argument,
1462 More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death.
1463 245 So that, by this, you would not have him die.
1464 Ah, York, no man alive so fain as I!
1465 ’Tis York that hath more reason for his death.
1466 But, my Lord Cardinal, and you, my lord of Suffolk,
1467 Say as you think, and speak it from your souls:
1468 250 Were ’t not all one an empty eagle were set
1469 To guard the chicken from a hungry kite
1470 As place Duke Humphrey for the King’s Protector?
1471 So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
1472 Madam, ’tis true; and were ’t not madness then
1473 255 To make the fox surveyor of the fold—
1474 Who, being accused a crafty murderer,
1475 His guilt should be but idly posted over
1476 Because his purpose is not executed?
1477 No, let him die in that he is a fox,
1479 Before his chaps be stained with crimson blood,
1480 As Humphrey, proved by reasons, to my liege.
1481 And do not stand on quillets how to slay him—
1482 Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
1483 265 Sleeping or waking. ’Tis no matter how,
1484 So he be dead; for that is good deceit
1485 Which mates him first that first intends deceit.
1486 Thrice noble Suffolk, ’tis resolutely spoke.
1487 Not resolute, except so much were done,
1488 270 For things are often spoke and seldom meant;
1489 But that my heart accordeth with my tongue,
1490 Seeing the deed is meritorious,
1491 And to preserve my sovereign from his foe,
1492 Say but the word and I will be his priest.
1493 275 But I would have him dead, my lord of Suffolk,
1494 Ere you can take due orders for a priest.
1495 Say you consent and censure well the deed,
1496 And I’ll provide his executioner.
1497 I tender so the safety of my liege.
1498 280 Here is my hand. The deed is worthy doing.
QUEEN MARGARET 1499 And so say I.
1500 And I. And now we three have spoke it,
1501 It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
Enter a Post.
1502 Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain
1503 285 To signify that rebels there are up
1504 And put the Englishmen unto the sword.
1505 Send succors, lords, and stop the rage betime,
1507 For, being green, there is great hope of help.
1508 290 A breach that craves a quick expedient stop!
1509 What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
1510 That Somerset be sent as regent thither.
1511 ’Tis meet that lucky ruler be employed—
1512 Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
1513 295 If York, with all his far-fet policy,
1514 Had been the regent there instead of me,
1515 He never would have stayed in France so long.
1516 No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done.
1517 I rather would have lost my life betimes
1518 300 Than bring a burden of dishonor home
1519 By staying there so long till all were lost.
1520 Show me one scar charactered on thy skin.
1521 Men’s flesh preserved so whole do seldom win.
1522 Nay, then, this spark will prove a raging fire
1523 305 If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with.—
1524 No more, good York.—Sweet Somerset, be still.—
1525 Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there,
1526 Might happily have proved far worse than his.
1527 What, worse than naught? Nay, then, a shame take
1528 310 all!
1529 And, in the number, thee that wishest shame!
1530 My lord of York, try what your fortune is.
1531 Th’ uncivil kerns of Ireland are in arms
1532 And temper clay with blood of Englishmen.
1534 Collected choicely, from each county some,
1535 And try your hap against the Irishmen?
1536 I will, my lord, so please his Majesty.
1537 Why, our authority is his consent,
1538 320 And what we do establish he confirms.
1539 Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.
1540 I am content. Provide me soldiers, lords,
1541 Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.
1542 A charge, Lord York, that I will see performed.
1543 325 But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.
1544 No more of him, for I will deal with him,
1545 That henceforth he shall trouble us no more.
1546 And so break off; the day is almost spent.
1547 Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.
1548 330 My lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days
1549 At Bristow I expect my soldiers,
1550 For there I’ll ship them all for Ireland.
1551 I’ll see it truly done, my lord of York.
All but York exit.
1552 Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts
1553 335 And change misdoubt to resolution.
1554 Be that thou hop’st to be, or what thou art
1555 Resign to death; it is not worth th’ enjoying.
1556 Let pale-faced fear keep with the mean-born man
1557 And find no harbor in a royal heart.
1558 340 Faster than springtime showers comes thought on
1561 My brain, more busy than the laboring spider,
1562 Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
1563 345 Well, nobles, well, ’tis politicly done
1564 To send me packing with an host of men.
1565 I fear me you but warm the starvèd snake,
1566 Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your
1568 350 ’Twas men I lacked, and you will give them me;
1569 I take it kindly. Yet be well assured
1570 You put sharp weapons in a madman’s hands.
1571 Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band,
1572 I will stir up in England some black storm
1573 355 Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell;
1574 And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage
1575 Until the golden circuit on my head,
1576 Like to the glorious sun’s transparent beams,
1577 Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw.
1578 360 And for a minister of my intent,
1579 I have seduced a headstrong Kentishman,
1580 John Cade of Ashford,
1581 To make commotion, as full well he can,
1582 Under the title of John Mortimer.
1583 365 In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade
1584 Oppose himself against a troop of kerns,
1585 And fought so long till that his thighs with darts
1586 Were almost like a sharp-quilled porpentine;
1587 And in the end being rescued, I have seen
1588 370 Him caper upright like a wild Morisco,
1589 Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.
1590 Full often, like a shag-haired crafty kern,
1591 Hath he conversèd with the enemy,
1592 And undiscovered come to me again
1593 375 And given me notice of their villainies.
1594 This devil here shall be my substitute;
1595 For that John Mortimer, which now is dead,
1597 By this, I shall perceive the Commons’ mind,
1598 380 How they affect the house and claim of York.
1599 Say he be taken, racked, and torturèd,
1600 I know no pain they can inflict upon him
1601 Will make him say I moved him to those arms.
1602 Say that he thrive, as ’tis great like he will,
1603 385 Why then from Ireland come I with my strength
1604 And reap the harvest which that rascal sowed.
1605 For, Humphrey being dead, as he shall be,
1606 And Henry put apart, the next for me.
murder of Duke Humphrey.
1607 Run to my lord of Suffolk. Let him know
1608 We have dispatched the Duke as he commanded.
1609 O, that it were to do! What have we done?
1610 Didst ever hear a man so penitent?
FIRST MURDERER 1611 5Here comes my lord.
SUFFOLK 1612 Now, sirs, have you dispatched this thing?
FIRST MURDERER 1613 Ay, my good lord, he’s dead.
1614 Why, that’s well said. Go, get you to my house;
1615 I will reward you for this venturous deed.
1616 10 The King and all the peers are here at hand.
1617 Have you laid fair the bed? Is all things well,
1618 According as I gave directions?
FIRST MURDERER 1619 ’Tis, my good lord.
SUFFOLK 1620 Away, be gone.⌜The Murderers⌝ exit.
⌜Margaret,⌝ Cardinal, Somerset, with Attendants.
1621 15 Go, call our uncle to our presence straight.
1622 Say we intend to try his Grace today
1623 If he be guilty, as ’tis publishèd.
1624 I’ll call him presently, my noble lord.He exits.
1625 Lords, take your places; and, I pray you all,
1626 20 Proceed no straiter ’gainst our uncle Gloucester
1627 Than from true evidence of good esteem
1628 He be approved in practice culpable.
1629 God forbid any malice should prevail
1630 That faultless may condemn a nobleman!
1631 25 Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
1632 I thank thee, ⌜Meg.⌝ These words content me much.
1633 How now? Why look’st thou pale? Why tremblest
1635 Where is our uncle? What’s the matter, Suffolk?
1636 30 Dead in his bed, my lord. Gloucester is dead.
QUEEN MARGARET 1637 Marry, God forfend!
1638 God’s secret judgment. I did dream tonight
1639 The Duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
King ⌜Henry⌝ swoons.
1640 How fares my lord? Help, lords, the King is dead!
1641 35 Rear up his body. Wring him by the nose.
1642 Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope thine eyes!
⌜King Henry stirs.⌝
1643 He doth revive again. Madam, be patient.
1644 O heavenly God!
QUEEN MARGARET 1645 How fares my gracious lord?
1646 40 Comfort, my sovereign! Gracious Henry, comfort!
1647 What, doth my lord of Suffolk comfort me?
1648 Came he right now to sing a raven’s note,
1649 Whose dismal tune bereft my vital powers,
1650 And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
1651 45 By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
1652 Can chase away the first-conceivèd sound?
1653 Hide not thy poison with such sugared words.
1654 Lay not thy hands on me. Forbear, I say!
1655 Their touch affrights me as a serpent’s sting.
1656 50 Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
1657 Upon thy eyeballs, murderous Tyranny
1658 Sits in grim majesty to fright the world.
1659 Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding.
1660 Yet do not go away. Come, basilisk,
1661 55 And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight;
1662 For in the shade of death I shall find joy,
1663 In life but double death, now Gloucester’s dead.
1664 Why do you rate my lord of Suffolk thus?
1665 Although the Duke was enemy to him,
1666 60 Yet he most Christian-like laments his death.
1667 And for myself, foe as he was to me,
1668 Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans
1669 Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life,
1670 I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,
1672 And all to have the noble duke alive.
1673 What know I how the world may deem of me?
1674 For it is known we were but hollow friends.
1675 It may be judged I made the Duke away;
1676 70 So shall my name with slander’s tongue be wounded
1677 And princes’ courts be filled with my reproach.
1678 This get I by his death. Ay me, unhappy,
1679 To be a queen and crowned with infamy!
1680 Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched man!
1681 75 Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.
1682 What, dost thou turn away and hide thy face?
1683 I am no loathsome leper. Look on me.
1684 What, art thou, like the adder, waxen deaf?
1685 Be poisonous too, and kill thy forlorn queen.
1686 80 Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester’s tomb?
1687 Why, then, Dame ⌜Margaret⌝ was ne’er thy joy.
1688 Erect his statue and worship it,
1689 And make my image but an alehouse sign.
1690 Was I for this nigh-wracked upon the sea
1691 85 And twice by awkward wind from England’s bank
1692 Drove back again unto my native clime?
1693 What boded this, but well forewarning wind
1694 Did seem to say “Seek not a scorpion’s nest,
1695 Nor set no footing on this unkind shore”?
1696 90 What did I then but cursed the gentle gusts
1697 And he that loosed them forth their brazen caves
1698 And bid them blow towards England’s blessèd shore
1699 Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
1700 Yet Aeolus would not be a murderer,
1701 95 But left that hateful office unto thee.
1702 The pretty-vaulting sea refused to drown me,
1703 Knowing that thou wouldst have me drowned on
1706 100 The splitting rocks cow’red in the sinking sands
1707 And would not dash me with their ragged sides
1708 Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
1709 Might in thy palace perish ⌜Margaret.⌝
1710 As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
1711 105 When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
1712 I stood upon the hatches in the storm,
1713 And when the dusky sky began to rob
1714 My earnest-gaping sight of thy land’s view,
1715 I took a costly jewel from my neck—
1716 110 A heart it was, bound in with diamonds—
1717 And threw it towards thy land. The sea received it,
1718 And so I wished thy body might my heart.
1719 And even with this I lost fair England’s view,
1720 And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart,
1721 115 And called them blind and dusky spectacles
1722 For losing ken of Albion’s wishèd coast.
1723 How often have I tempted Suffolk’s tongue,
1724 The agent of thy foul inconstancy,
1725 To sit and watch me, as Ascanius did
1726 120 When he to madding Dido would unfold
1727 His father’s acts commenced in burning Troy!
1728 Am I not witched like her, or thou not false like
1730 Ay me, I can no more. Die, ⌜Margaret,⌝
1731 125 For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
Noise within. Enter Warwick ⌜and Salisbury,⌝
and many Commons.
1732 It is reported, mighty sovereign,
1733 That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murdered
1734 By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort’s means.
1735 The Commons, like an angry hive of bees
1736 130 That want their leader, scatter up and down
1738 Myself have calmed their spleenful mutiny,
1739 Until they hear the order of his death.
1740 That he is dead, good Warwick, ’tis too true;
1741 135 But how he died God knows, not Henry.
1742 Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse,
1743 And comment then upon his sudden death.
1744 That shall I do, my liege.—Stay, Salisbury,
1745 With the rude multitude till I return.
⌜Warwick exits through one door; Salisbury and
Commons exit through another.⌝
1746 140 O Thou that judgest all things, stay my thoughts,
1747 My thoughts that labor to persuade my soul
1748 Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey’s life.
1749 If my suspect be false, forgive me, God,
1750 For judgment only doth belong to Thee.
1751 145 Fain would I go to chafe his paly lips
1752 With twenty thousand kisses, and to drain
1753 Upon his face an ocean of salt tears,
1754 To tell my love unto his dumb deaf trunk
1755 And with my fingers feel his hand unfeeling;
1756 150 But all in vain are these mean obsequies.
1757 And to survey his dead and earthy image,
1758 What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
Bed put forth, ⌜bearing Gloucester’s body.
1759 Come hither, gracious sovereign. View this body.
1760 That is to see how deep my grave is made,
1761 155 For with his soul fled all my worldly solace;
1762 For seeing him, I see my life in death.
1763 As surely as my soul intends to live
1764 With that dread King that took our state upon Him
1765 To free us from His Father’s wrathful curse,
1766 160 I do believe that violent hands were laid
1767 Upon the life of this thrice-famèd duke.
1768 A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue!
1769 What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?
1770 See how the blood is settled in his face.
1771 165 Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,
1772 Of ashy semblance, meager, pale, and bloodless,
1773 Being all descended to the laboring heart,
1774 Who, in the conflict that it holds with death,
1775 Attracts the same for aidance ’gainst the enemy,
1776 170 Which with the heart there cools and ne’er
1778 To blush and beautify the cheek again.
1779 But see, his face is black and full of blood;
1780 His eyeballs further out than when he lived,
1781 175 Staring full ghastly, like a strangled man;
1782 His hair upreared, his nostrils stretched with
1784 His hands abroad displayed, as one that grasped
1785 And tugged for life and was by strength subdued.
1786 180 Look, on the sheets his hair, you see, is sticking;
1787 His well-proportioned beard made rough and
1789 Like to the summer’s corn by tempest lodged.
1790 It cannot be but he was murdered here.
1791 185 The least of all these signs were probable.
⌜The bed is removed.⌝
1792 Why, Warwick, who should do the Duke to death?
1794 And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.
1795 But both of you were vowed Duke Humphrey’s foes,
1796 190 ⌜To Cardinal.⌝ And you, forsooth, had the good duke
1797 to keep.
1798 ’Tis like you would not feast him like a friend,
1799 And ’tis well seen he found an enemy.
1800 Then you, belike, suspect these noblemen
1801 195 As guilty of Duke Humphrey’s timeless death.
1802 Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh,
1803 And sees fast by a butcher with an ax,
1804 But will suspect ’twas he that made the slaughter?
1805 Who finds the partridge in the puttock’s nest
1806 200 But may imagine how the bird was dead,
1807 Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
1808 Even so suspicious is this tragedy.
1809 Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where’s your knife?
1810 Is Beaufort termed a kite? Where are his talons?
1811 205 I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men,
1812 But here’s a vengeful sword, rusted with ease,
1813 That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart
1814 That slanders me with murder’s crimson badge.—
1815 Say, if thou dar’st, proud lord of Warwickshire,
1816 210 That I am faulty in Duke Humphrey’s death.
1817 What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?
1818 He dares not calm his contumelious spirit
1819 Nor cease to be an arrogant controller,
1820 Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.
1821 215 Madam, be still—with reverence may I say—
1822 For every word you speak in his behalf
1823 Is slander to your royal dignity.
1824 Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanor!
1825 If ever lady wronged her lord so much,
1826 220 Thy mother took into her blameful bed
1827 Some stern untutored churl, and noble stock
1828 Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art
1829 And never of the Nevilles’ noble race.
1830 But that the guilt of murder bucklers thee
1831 225 And I should rob the deathsman of his fee,
1832 Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames,
1833 And that my sovereign’s presence makes me mild,
1834 I would, false murd’rous coward, on thy knee
1835 Make thee beg pardon for thy passèd speech
1836 230 And say it was thy mother that thou meant’st,
1837 That thou thyself wast born in bastardy;
1838 And after all this fearful homage done,
1839 Give thee thy hire and send thy soul to hell,
1840 Pernicious bloodsucker of sleeping men!
1841 235 Thou shalt be waking while I shed thy blood,
1842 If from this presence thou dar’st go with me.
1843 Away even now, or I will drag thee hence!
1844 Unworthy though thou art, I’ll cope with thee
1845 And do some service to Duke Humphrey’s ghost.
⌜Warwick and Suffolk⌝ exit.
1846 240 What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted?
1847 Thrice is he armed that hath his quarrel just,
1848 And he but naked, though locked up in steel,
1849 Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
QUEEN MARGARET 1850 What noise is this?
Enter Suffolk and Warwick, with their weapons drawn.
1851 245 Why, how now, lords? Your wrathful weapons
1853 Here in our presence? Dare you be so bold?
1854 Why, what tumultuous clamor have we here?
1855 The trait’rous Warwick, with the men of Bury,
1856 250 Set all upon me, mighty sovereign.
SALISBURY, ⌜to the offstage Commons⌝
1857 Sirs, stand apart. The King shall know your mind.—
1858 Dread lord, the Commons send you word by me,
1859 Unless Lord Suffolk straight be done to death
1860 Or banishèd fair England’s territories,
1861 255 They will by violence tear him from your palace
1862 And torture him with grievous ling’ring death.
1863 They say, by him the good duke Humphrey died;
1864 They say, in him they fear your Highness’ death;
1865 And mere instinct of love and loyalty,
1866 260 Free from a stubborn opposite intent,
1867 As being thought to contradict your liking,
1868 Makes them thus forward in his banishment.
1869 They say, in care of your most royal person,
1870 That if your Highness should intend to sleep,
1871 265 And charge that no man should disturb your rest,
1872 In pain of your dislike or pain of death,
1873 Yet, notwithstanding such a strait edict,
1874 Were there a serpent seen with forkèd tongue
1875 That slyly glided towards your Majesty,
1876 270 It were but necessary you were waked,
1877 Lest, being suffered in that harmful slumber,
1879 And therefore do they cry, though you forbid,
1880 That they will guard you, whe’er you will or no,
1881 275 From such fell serpents as false Suffolk is,
1882 With whose envenomèd and fatal sting
1883 Your loving uncle, twenty times his worth,
1884 They say, is shamefully bereft of life.
1885 An answer from the King, my lord of Salisbury!
1886 280 ’Tis like the Commons, rude unpolished hinds,
1887 Could send such message to their sovereign!
1888 ⌜To Salisbury.⌝ But you, my lord, were glad to be
1890 To show how quaint an orator you are.
1891 285 But all the honor Salisbury hath won
1892 Is that he was the lord ambassador
1893 Sent from a sort of tinkers to the King.
1894 An answer from the King, or we will all break in.
1895 Go, Salisbury, and tell them all from me,
1896 290 I thank them for their tender loving care;
1897 And, had I not been cited so by them,
1898 Yet did I purpose as they do entreat.
1899 For, sure, my thoughts do hourly prophesy
1900 Mischance unto my state by Suffolk’s means.
1901 295 And therefore, by His Majesty I swear,
1902 Whose far unworthy deputy I am,
1903 He shall not breathe infection in this air
1904 But three days longer, on the pain of death.
1905 O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!
1906 300 Ungentle queen to call him gentle Suffolk!
1908 Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath.
1909 Had I but said, I would have kept my word;
1910 But when I swear, it is irrevocable.
1911 305 ⌜To Suffolk.⌝ If, after three days’ space, thou here
1912 be’st found
1913 On any ground that I am ruler of,
1914 The world shall not be ransom for thy life.—
1915 Come, Warwick, come, good Warwick, go with me.
1916 310 I have great matters to impart to thee.
⌜All but the Queen and Suffolk⌝ exit.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜calling after King Henry and
1917 Mischance and sorrow go along with you!
1918 Heart’s discontent and sour affliction
1919 Be playfellows to keep you company!
1920 There’s two of you; the devil make a third,
1921 315 And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!
1922 Cease, gentle queen, these execrations,
1923 And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.
1924 Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch!
1925 Hast thou not spirit to curse thine ⌜enemies⌝?
1926 320 A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse
1928 ⌜Could⌝ curses kill, as doth the mandrake’s groan,
1929 I would invent as bitter searching terms,
1930 As curst, as harsh, and horrible to hear,
1931 325 Delivered strongly through my fixèd teeth,
1932 With full as many signs of deadly hate,
1933 As lean-faced Envy in her loathsome cave.
1934 My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words;
1935 Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint;
1936 330 Mine hair be fixed on end, as one distract;
1938 And even now my burdened heart would break
1939 Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink!
1940 Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste;
1941 335 Their sweetest shade, a grove of cypress trees;
1942 Their chiefest prospect, murd’ring basilisks;
1943 Their softest touch, as smart as lizards’ stings!
1944 Their music, frightful as the serpent’s hiss,
1945 And boding screech owls make the consort full!
1946 340 All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—
1947 Enough, sweet Suffolk, thou torment’st thyself,
1948 And these dread curses, like the sun ’gainst glass,
1949 Or like an over-chargèd gun, recoil
1950 And ⌜turn⌝ the force of them upon thyself.
1951 345 You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?
1952 Now, by the ground that I am banished from,
1953 Well could I curse away a winter’s night,
1954 Though standing naked on a mountain top
1955 Where biting cold would never let grass grow,
1956 350 And think it but a minute spent in sport.
1957 O, let me entreat thee cease! Give me thy hand,
1958 That I may dew it with my mournful tears;
1959 Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place
1960 To wash away my woeful monuments.
⌜She kisses his hand.⌝
1961 355 O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
1962 That thou mightst think upon these by the seal,
1963 Through whom a thousand sighs are breathed for
1965 So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief;
1966 360 ’Tis but surmised whiles thou art standing by,
1967 As one that surfeits thinking on a want.
1968 I will repeal thee, or, be well assured,
1970 And banishèd I am, if but from thee.
1971 365 Go, speak not to me. Even now be gone!
1972 O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemned
1973 Embrace and kiss and take ten thousand leaves,
1974 Loather a hundred times to part than die.
1975 Yet now farewell, and farewell life with thee.
1976 370 Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banishèd,
1977 Once by the King, and three times thrice by thee.
1978 ’Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence.
1979 A wilderness is populous enough,
1980 So Suffolk had thy heavenly company;
1981 375 For where thou art, there is the world itself,
1982 With every several pleasure in the world;
1983 And where thou art not, desolation.
1984 I can no more. Live thou to joy thy life;
1985 Myself no joy in naught but that thou liv’st.
1986 380 Whither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I prithee?
VAUX 1987 To signify unto his Majesty,
1988 That Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death;
1989 For suddenly a grievous sickness took him
1990 That makes him gasp and stare and catch the air,
1991 385 Blaspheming God and cursing men on Earth.
1992 Sometimes he talks as if Duke Humphrey’s ghost
1993 Were by his side; sometimes he calls the King
1994 And whispers to his pillow, as to him,
1995 The secrets of his overchargèd soul.
1996 390 And I am sent to tell his Majesty
1997 That even now he cries aloud for him.
1998 Go, tell this heavy message to the King.⌜Vaux⌝ exits.
2000 But wherefore grieve I at an hour’s poor loss,
2001 395 Omitting Suffolk’s exile, my soul’s treasure?
2002 Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee,
2003 And with the southern clouds contend in tears—
2004 Theirs for the earth’s increase, mine for my
2006 400 Now get thee hence. The King, thou know’st, is
2008 If thou be found by me, thou art but dead.
2009 If I depart from thee, I cannot live;
2010 And in thy sight to die, what were it else
2011 405 But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?
2012 Here could I breathe my soul into the air,
2013 As mild and gentle as the cradle babe
2014 Dying with mother’s dug between its lips;
2015 Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad
2016 410 And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes,
2017 To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth.
2018 So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul,
2019 Or I should breathe it so into thy body,
2020 And then it lived in sweet Elysium.
2021 415 To die by thee were but to die in jest;
2022 From thee to die were torture more than death.
2023 O, let me stay, befall what may befall!
2024 Away! Though parting be a fretful corrosive,
2025 It is applièd to a deathful wound.
2026 420 To France, sweet Suffolk. Let me hear from thee,
2027 For wheresoe’er thou art in this world’s globe,
2028 I’ll have an Iris that shall find thee out.
SUFFOLK 2029 I go.
QUEEN MARGARET 2030 And take my heart with thee.
2031 425 A jewel locked into the woefull’st cask
2033 Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we.
2034 This way fall I to death.
QUEEN MARGARET 2035 This way for me.
They exit ⌜through different doors.⌝
Cardinal in bed, ⌜raving and staring.⌝
2036 How fares my lord? Speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign.
2037 If thou be’st Death, I’ll give thee England’s treasure,
2038 Enough to purchase such another island,
2039 So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
2040 5 Ah, what a sign it is of evil life,
2041 Where Death’s approach is seen so terrible!
2042 Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
2043 Bring me unto my trial when you will.
2044 Died he not in his bed? Where should he die?
2045 10 Can I make men live, whe’er they will or no?
2046 O, torture me no more! I will confess.
2047 Alive again? Then show me where he is.
2048 I’ll give a thousand pound to look upon him.
2049 He hath no eyes! The dust hath blinded them.
2050 15 Comb down his hair. Look, look. It stands upright,
2051 Like lime-twigs set to catch my wingèd soul.
2052 Give me some drink, and bid the apothecary
2053 Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
2054 O, Thou eternal mover of the heavens,
2056 O, beat away the busy meddling fiend
2057 That lays strong siege unto this wretch’s soul,
2058 And from his bosom purge this black despair!
2059 See how the pangs of death do make him grin!
2060 25 Disturb him not. Let him pass peaceably.
2061 Peace to his soul, if God’s good pleasure be!—
2062 Lord Card’nal, if thou think’st on heaven’s bliss,
2063 Hold up thy hand; make signal of thy hope.
⌜The Cardinal dies.⌝
2064 He dies and makes no sign. O, God forgive him!
2065 30 So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
2066 Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.
2067 Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close,
2068 And let us all to meditation.
⌜After the curtains are closed around
the bed,⌝ they exit. ⌜The bed is removed.⌝
Enter Lieutenant, Suffolk, ⌜captive and in disguise,⌝
and Others, ⌜including a Master, a Master’s Mate,
Walter Whitmore, and Prisoners.⌝
2069 The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
2070 Is crept into the bosom of the sea,
2071 And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades
2072 That drag the tragic melancholy night,
2073 5 Who, with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings
2074 Clip dead men’s graves, and from their misty jaws
2075 Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
2076 Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize;
2077 For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs,
2078 10 Here shall they make their ransom on the sand,
2079 Or with their blood stain this discolored shore.—
2080 Master, this prisoner freely give I thee.—
2081 And, thou that art his mate, make boot of this.—
2082 The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
⌜Three gentlemen prisoners, including Suffolk,
are handed over.⌝
2083 15 What is my ransom, master? Let me know.
2084 A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
MATE, ⌜to the Second Gentleman⌝
2085 And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
2086 What, think you much to pay two thousand crowns,
2087 And bear the name and port of gentlemen?—
2088 20 Cut both the villains’ throats—for die you shall;
2089 The lives of those which we have lost in fight
2090 Be counterpoised with such a petty sum!
2091 I’ll give it, sir, and therefore spare my life.
2092 And so will I, and write home for it straight.
WHITMORE, ⌜to Suffolk⌝
2093 25 I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,
2094 And therefore to revenge it shalt thou die;
2095 And so should these, if I might have my will.
2096 Be not so rash. Take ransom; let him live.
2097 Look on my George; I am a gentleman.
2098 30 Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
2099 And so am I. My name is Walter Whitmore.
2100 How now, why starts thou? What, doth death
2102 Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
2103 35 A cunning man did calculate my birth
2104 And told me that by water I should die.
2105 Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
2106 Thy name is Gualtier, being rightly sounded.
2107 Gualtier or Walter, which it is, I care not.
2109 But with our sword we wiped away the blot.
2110 Therefore, when merchantlike I sell revenge,
2111 Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defaced,
2112 And I proclaimed a coward through the world!
2113 45 Stay, Whitmore, for thy prisoner is a prince,
2114 The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
2115 The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags?
2116 Ay, but these rags are no part of the Duke.
2117 ⌜Jove sometimes went disguised, and why not I?⌝
2118 50 But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.
2119 Obscure and lousy swain, King Henry’s blood,
2120 The honorable blood of Lancaster,
2121 Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
2122 Hast thou not kissed thy hand and held my stirrup?
2123 55 Bareheaded plodded by my footcloth mule,
2124 And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
2125 How often hast thou waited at my cup,
2126 Fed from my trencher, kneeled down at the board,
2127 When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?
2128 60 Remember it, and let it make thee crestfall’n,
2129 Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride.
2130 How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
2131 And duly waited for my coming forth?
2132 This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf,
2133 65 And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
2134 Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
2135 First let my words stab him as he hath me.
2136 Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou.
2137 Convey him hence, and on our longboat’s side,
2138 70 Strike off his head.
SUFFOLK 2139 Thou dar’st not for thy own.
2140 Yes, Pole.
SUFFOLK 2141 Pole!⌝
LIEUTENANT 2142 Pole! Sir Pole! Lord!
2143 75 Ay, kennel, puddle, sink, whose filth and dirt
2144 Troubles the silver spring where England drinks!
2145 Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth
2146 For swallowing the treasure of the realm.
2147 Thy lips that kissed the Queen shall sweep the
2148 80 ground,
2149 And thou that smiledst at good Duke Humphrey’s
2151 Against the senseless winds shall grin in vain,
2152 Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again.
2153 85 And wedded be thou to the hags of hell
2154 For daring to affy a mighty lord
2155 Unto the daughter of a worthless king,
2156 Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
2157 By devilish policy art thou grown great,
2158 90 And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorged
2159 With gobbets of thy ⌜mother’s⌝ bleeding heart.
2160 By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France.
2161 The false revolting Normans thorough thee
2162 Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy
2163 95 Hath slain their governors, surprised our forts,
2164 And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home.
2165 The princely Warwick, and the Nevilles all,
2166 Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,
2167 As hating thee, ⌜are⌝ rising up in arms.
2168 100 And now the house of York, thrust from the crown
2170 And lofty, proud, encroaching tyranny,
2171 Burns with revenging fire, whose hopeful colors
2172 Advance our half-faced sun, striving to shine,
2173 105 Under the which is writ “Invitis nubibus.”
2174 The commons here in Kent are up in arms,
2175 And, to conclude, reproach and beggary
2176 Is crept into the palace of our king,
2177 And all by thee.—Away! Convey him hence.
2178 110 O, that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder
2179 Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges!
2180 Small things make base men proud. This villain
2182 Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
2183 115 Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate.
2184 Drones suck not eagles’ blood, but rob beehives.
2185 It is impossible that I should die
2186 By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
2187 Thy words move rage and not remorse in me.
2188 120 I go of message from the Queen to France.
2189 I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.
LIEUTENANT 2190 ⌜Walter.⌝
2191 Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
2192 Paene gelidus timor occupat artus.
2193 125 It is thee I fear.
2194 Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
2195 What, are you daunted now? Now will you stoop?
2196 My gracious lord, entreat him; speak him fair.
2197 Suffolk’s imperial tongue is stern and rough,
2198 130 Used to command, untaught to plead for favor.
2200 With humble suit. No, rather let my head
2201 Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
2202 Save to the God of heaven and to my king;
2203 135 And sooner dance upon a bloody pole
2204 Than stand uncovered to the vulgar groom.
2205 True nobility is exempt from fear.—
2206 More can I bear than you dare execute.
2207 Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
2208 140 Come, soldiers, show what cruelty you can,
2209 That this my death may never be forgot!
2210 Great men oft die by vile bezonians:
2211 A Roman sworder and banditto slave
2212 Murdered sweet Tully; Brutus’ bastard hand
2213 145 Stabbed Julius Caesar; savage islanders
2214 Pompey the Great, and Suffolk dies by pirates.
⌜Walter Whitmore⌝ exits with
Suffolk ⌜and Others.⌝
2215 And as for these whose ransom we have set,
2216 It is our pleasure one of them depart.
2217 ⌜To Second Gentleman.⌝ Therefore come you with us,
2218 150 and let him go.Lieutenant and the rest exit.
The First Gentleman remains.
Enter Walter ⌜Whitmore⌝ with the body
⌜and severed head of Suffolk.⌝
2219 There let his head and lifeless body lie,
2220 Until the Queen his mistress bury it.
Walter ⌜Whitmore⌝ exits.
2221 O, barbarous and bloody spectacle!
2222 His body will I bear unto the King.
2224 So will the Queen, that living held him dear.
⌜He exits with the head and body.⌝
BEVIS 2225 Come, and get thee a sword, though made of a
2226 lath. They have been up these two days.
HOLLAND 2227 They have the more need to sleep now, then.
BEVIS 2228 I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress
2229 5 the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap
2230 upon it.
HOLLAND 2231 So he had need, for ’tis threadbare. Well, I
2232 say, it was never merry world in England since
2233 gentlemen came up.
BEVIS 2234 10O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in
HOLLAND 2236 The nobility think scorn to go in leather
BEVIS 2238 Nay, more, the King’s Council are no good
2239 15 workmen.
HOLLAND 2240 True, and yet it is said “Labor in thy vocation,”
2241 which is as much to say as “Let the magistrates
2242 be laboring men.” And therefore should we
2243 be magistrates.
BEVIS 2244 20Thou hast hit it, for there’s no better sign of a
2245 brave mind than a hard hand.
HOLLAND 2246 I see them, I see them! There’s Best’s son, the
2247 tanner of Wingham—
BEVIS 2248 He shall have the skins of our enemies to make
2249 25 dog’s leather of.
HOLLAND 2250 And Dick the butcher—
BEVIS 2251 Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity’s
2252 throat cut like a calf.
BEVIS 2254 30Argo, their thread of life is spun.
HOLLAND 2255 Come, come, let’s fall in with them.
Drum. Enter Cade, Dick ⌜the⌝ butcher, Smith the
weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers,
⌜all with staves.⌝
CADE 2256 We, John Cade, so termed of our supposed
DICK, ⌜aside⌝ 2258 Or rather of stealing a cade of herrings.
CADE 2259 35For our enemies shall ⌜fall⌝ before us, inspired
2260 with the spirit of putting down kings and princes—
2261 command silence.
DICK 2262 Silence!
CADE 2263 My father was a Mortimer—
DICK, ⌜aside⌝ 2264 40He was an honest man and a good
CADE 2266 My mother a Plantagenet—
DICK, ⌜aside⌝ 2267 I knew her well; she was a midwife.
CADE 2268 My wife descended of the Lacys.
DICK, ⌜aside⌝ 2269 45She was indeed a peddler’s daughter, and
2270 sold many laces.
SMITH, ⌜aside⌝ 2271 But now of late, not able to travel with
2272 her furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
CADE 2273 Therefore am I of an honorable house.
DICK, ⌜aside⌝ 2274 50Ay, by my faith, the field is honorable;
2275 and there was he born, under a hedge, for his
2276 father had never a house but the cage.
CADE 2277 Valiant I am—
SMITH, ⌜aside⌝ 2278 He must needs, for beggary is valiant.
CADE 2279 55I am able to endure much—
DICK, ⌜aside⌝ 2280 No question of that; for I have seen him
2281 whipped three market-days together.
CADE 2282 I fear neither sword nor fire.
SMITH, ⌜aside⌝ 2283 He need not fear the sword, for his coat
2284 60 is of proof.
2286 fire, being burnt i’ th’ hand for stealing of sheep.
CADE 2287 Be brave, then, for your captain is brave and
2288 vows reformation. There shall be in England seven
2289 65 halfpenny loaves sold for a penny. The three-hooped
2290 pot shall have ten hoops, and I will make it
2291 felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in
2292 common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to
2293 grass. And when I am king, as king I will be—
ALL 2294 70God save your Majesty!
CADE 2295 I thank you, good people.—There shall be no
2296 money; all shall eat and drink on my score; and I
2297 will apparel them all in one livery, that they may
2298 agree like brothers and worship me their lord.
DICK 2299 75The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.
CADE 2300 Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable
2301 thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should
2302 be made parchment? That parchment, being scribbled
2303 o’er, should undo a man? Some say the bee
2304 80 stings, but I say, ’tis the beeswax; for I did but seal
2305 once to a thing, and I was never mine own man
2306 since. How now? Who’s there?
Enter a Clerk ⌜of Chartham, under guard.⌝
SMITH 2307 The clerk of Chartham. He can write and read
2308 and cast account.
CADE 2309 85O, monstrous!
SMITH 2310 We took him setting of boys’ copies.
CADE 2311 Here’s a villain!
SMITH 2312 H’as a book in his pocket with red letters in ’t.
CADE 2313 Nay, then, he is a conjurer.
DICK 2314 90Nay, he can make obligations and write court
CADE 2316 I am sorry for ’t. The man is a proper man, of
2317 mine honor. Unless I find him guilty, he shall not
2319 95 What is thy name?
CLERK 2320 Emmanuel.
DICK 2321 They use to write it on the top of letters.—’Twill
2322 go hard with you.
CADE 2323 Let me alone.—Dost thou use to write thy
2324 100 name? Or hast thou a mark to thyself, like ⌜an⌝
2325 honest, plain-dealing man?
CLERK 2326 Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought
2327 up that I can write my name.
ALL 2328 He hath confessed. Away with him! He’s a villain
2329 105 and a traitor.
CADE 2330 Away with him, I say! Hang him with his pen
2331 and inkhorn about his neck.
One exits with the Clerk.
MICHAEL 2332 Where’s our general?
CADE 2333 Here I am, thou particular fellow.
MICHAEL 2334 110Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his
2335 brother are hard by, with the King’s forces.
CADE 2336 Stand, villain, stand, or I’ll fell thee down. He
2337 shall be encountered with a man as good as himself.
2338 He is but a knight, is he?
MICHAEL 2339 115No.
CADE 2340 To equal him I will make myself a knight
2341 presently. ⌜He kneels.⌝ Rise up Sir John Mortimer.
2342 ⌜He rises.⌝ Now have at him!
Enter Sir Humphrey Stafford and his Brother, with
⌜a Herald,⌝ Drum, and Soldiers.
2343 Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
2344 120 Marked for the gallows, lay your weapons down!
2345 Home to your cottages; forsake this groom.
2346 The King is merciful, if you revolt.
2347 But angry, wrathful, and inclined to blood,
2348 If you go forward. Therefore yield, or die.
2349 125 As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not.
2350 It is to you, good people, that I speak,
2351 Over whom, in time to come, I hope to reign,
2352 For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
2353 Villain, thy father was a plasterer,
2354 130 And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
2355 And Adam was a gardener.
BROTHER 2356 And what of that?
2357 Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
2358 Married the Duke of Clarence’ daughter, did he not?
STAFFORD 2359 135Ay, sir.
2360 By her he had two children at one birth.
BROTHER 2361 That’s false.
2362 Ay, there’s the question. But I say ’tis true.
2363 The elder of them, being put to nurse,
2364 140 Was by a beggar-woman stol’n away,
2365 And, ignorant of his birth and parentage,
2366 Became a bricklayer when he came to age.
2367 His son am I. Deny it if you can.
2368 Nay, ’tis too true. Therefore he shall be king.
SMITH 2369 145Sir, he made a chimney in my father’s house,
2370 and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it.
2371 Therefore deny it not.
2372 And will you credit this base drudge’s words,
2373 That speaks he knows not what?
2374 150 Ay, marry, will we. Therefore get you gone.
2375 Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
CADE 2376 He lies, ⌜aside⌝ for I invented it myself.—Go to,
2377 sirrah. Tell the King from me that, for his father’s
2378 sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to
2379 155 span-counter for French crowns, I am content he
2380 shall reign, but I’ll be Protector over him.
DICK 2381 And, furthermore, we’ll have the Lord Saye’s
2382 head for selling the dukedom of Maine.
CADE 2383 And good reason: for thereby is England mained
2384 160 and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance
2385 holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord
2386 Saye hath gelded the commonwealth and made it
2387 an eunuch; and, more than that, he can speak
2388 French, and therefore he is a traitor.
2389 165 O, gross and miserable ignorance!
CADE 2390 Nay, answer if you can. The Frenchmen are our
2391 enemies. Go to, then, I ask but this: can he that
2392 speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good
2393 counselor, or no?
ALL 2394 170No, no, and therefore we’ll have his head!
BROTHER, ⌜to Stafford⌝
2395 Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
2396 Assail them with the army of the King.
2397 Herald, away, and throughout every town
2398 Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade,
2399 175 That those which fly before the battle ends
2400 May, even in their wives’ and children’s sight
2401 Be hanged up for example at their doors.—
2402 And you that be the King’s friends, follow me.
⌜The Staffords, Soldiers, and Herald⌝ exit.
2403 And you that love the Commons, follow me.
2404 180 Now show yourselves men. ’Tis for liberty!
2405 We will not leave one lord, one gentleman;
2406 Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon,
2407 For they are thrifty, honest men and such
2408 As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.
DICK 2409 185They are all in order and march toward us.
CADE 2410 But then are we in order when we are most out
2411 of order. Come, march forward.
slain. Enter Cade and the rest.
CADE 2412 Where’s Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
DICK 2413 Here, sir.
CADE 2414 They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and
2415 thou behaved’st thyself as if thou hadst been in
2416 5 thine own slaughterhouse. Therefore, thus will I
2417 reward thee: the Lent shall be as long again as it is,
2418 and thou shalt have a license to kill for a hundred
2419 lacking one.
DICK 2420 I desire no more.
CADE 2421 10And to speak truth, thou deserv’st no less. This
2422 monument of the victory will I bear. ⌜He puts on
Sir Humphrey Stafford’s armor and helmet, or sallet.⌝
2423 And the bodies shall be dragged at my horse
2424 heels till I do come to London, where we will have
2425 the Mayor’s sword borne before us.
DICK 2426 15If we mean to thrive and do good, break open
2427 the jails and let out the prisoners.
CADE 2428 Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let’s march
2429 towards London.
They exit ⌜with the bodies of the Staffords.⌝
Queen ⌜Margaret⌝ with Suffolk’s head, the Duke
of Buckingham, and the Lord Saye.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
2430 Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind
2431 And makes it fearful and degenerate.
2432 Think therefore on revenge, and cease to weep.
2433 But who can cease to weep and look on this?
2434 5 Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast,
2435 But where’s the body that I should embrace?
BUCKINGHAM, ⌜to King Henry⌝
2436 What answer makes your Grace to the rebels’
2438 I’ll send some holy bishop to entreat,
2439 10 For God forbid so many simple souls
2440 Should perish by the sword! And I myself,
2441 Rather than bloody war shall cut them short,
2442 Will parley with Jack Cade, their general.
2443 But stay, I’ll read it over once again.⌜He reads.⌝
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
2444 15 Ah, barbarous villains! Hath this lovely face
2445 Ruled, like a wandering planet, over me,
2446 And could it not enforce them to relent
2447 That were unworthy to behold the same?
2448 Lord Saye, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
2449 20 Ay, but I hope your Highness shall have his.
KING HENRY 2450 How now, madam?
2451 Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk’s death?
2452 I fear me, love, if that I had been dead,
2453 Thou wouldst not have mourned so much for me.
2454 25 No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
Enter a Messenger.
2455 How now, what news? Why com’st thou in such
2457 The rebels are in Southwark. Fly, my lord!
2458 Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
2459 30 Descended from the Duke of Clarence’ house,
2460 And calls your Grace usurper, openly,
2461 And vows to crown himself in Westminster.
2462 His army is a ragged multitude
2463 Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless.
2464 35 Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother’s death
2465 Hath given them heart and courage to proceed.
2466 All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen
2467 They call false caterpillars and intend their death.
2468 O, graceless men, they know not what they do!
2469 40 My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth
2470 Until a power be raised to put them down.
2471 Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
2472 These Kentish rebels would be soon appeased!
KING HENRY 2473 Lord Saye, the traitors hateth thee;
2474 45 Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
2475 So might your Grace’s person be in danger.
2476 The sight of me is odious in their eyes;
2477 And therefore in this city will I stay
2478 And live alone as secret as I may.
Enter another Messenger.
2479 50 Jack Cade hath gotten London Bridge.
2480 The citizens fly and forsake their houses.
2481 The rascal people, thirsting after prey,
2482 Join with the traitor, and they jointly swear
2483 To spoil the city and your royal court.
2484 55 Then linger not, my lord. Away! Take horse!
2485 Come, Margaret. God, our hope, will succor us.
2486 My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceased.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Saye⌝
2487 Farewell, my lord. Trust not the Kentish rebels.
2488 Trust nobody, for fear you ⌜be⌝ betrayed.
2489 60 The trust I have is in mine innocence,
2490 And therefore am I bold and resolute.
two or three Citizens below.
SCALES 2491 How now? Is Jack Cade slain?
FIRST CITIZEN 2492 No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for
2493 they have won the Bridge, killing all those that
2494 withstand them. The Lord Mayor craves aid of
2495 5 your Honor from the Tower to defend the city
2496 from the rebels.
2497 Such aid as I can spare you shall command;
2498 But I am troubled here with them myself:
2499 The rebels have essayed to win the Tower.
2501 And thither I will send you Matthew Gough.
2502 Fight for your king, your country, and your lives.
2503 And so farewell, for I must hence again.
CADE 2504 Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting
2505 upon London Stone, I charge and command
2506 that, of the city’s cost, the Pissing Conduit run
2507 nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign.
2508 5 And now henceforward it shall be treason for any
2509 that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.
Enter a Soldier running.
SOLDIER 2510 Jack Cade, Jack Cade!
CADE 2511 Knock him down there.They kill him.
DICK 2512 If this fellow be wise, he’ll never call you Jack
2513 10 Cade more. I think he hath a very fair warning.
⌜Takes a paper from the dead Soldier and
reads the message.⌝
2514 My lord, there’s an army gathered together in
CADE 2516 Come, then, let’s go fight with them. But first, go
2517 and set London Bridge on fire, and, if you can,
2518 15 burn down the Tower too. Come, let’s away.
Then enter Jack Cade with his company.
CADE 2519 So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy;
2520 others to th’ Inns of Court. Down with them all!
DICK 2521 I have a suit unto your Lordship.
CADE 2522 Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
DICK 2523 5Only that the laws of England may come out of
2524 your mouth.
HOLLAND, ⌜aside⌝ 2525 Mass, ’twill be sore law, then, for he
2526 was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and ’tis not
2527 whole yet.
SMITH, ⌜aside⌝ 2528 10Nay, John, it will be stinking law, for
2529 his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
CADE 2530 I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away!
2531 Burn all the records of the realm. My mouth shall
2532 be the Parliament of England.
HOLLAND, ⌜aside⌝ 2533 15Then we are like to have biting
2534 statutes—unless his teeth be pulled out.
CADE 2535 And henceforward all things shall be in
Enter a Messenger.
MESSENGER 2537 My lord, a prize, a prize! Here’s the Lord
2538 20 Saye, which sold the towns in France, he that
2539 made us pay one-and-twenty fifteens, and one
2540 shilling to the pound, the last subsidy.
Enter George with the Lord Saye.
CADE 2541 Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.—Ah,
2542 thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord, now
2543 25 art thou within point-blank of our jurisdiction
2544 regal. What canst thou answer to my Majesty for
2545 giving up of Normandy unto Monsieur Basimecu,
2546 the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by
2548 30 that I am the besom that must sweep the
2549 court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast
2550 most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm
2551 in erecting a grammar school; and whereas,
2552 before, our forefathers had no other books but the
2553 35 score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be
2554 used, and, contrary to the King his crown and dignity,
2555 thou hast built a paper mill. It will be proved
2556 to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually
2557 talk of a noun and a verb and such abominable
2558 40 words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
2559 Thou hast appointed justices of peace to call poor
2560 men before them about matters they were not able
2561 to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison;
2562 and, because they could not read, thou hast
2563 45 hanged them, when indeed only for that cause
2564 they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride
2565 ⌜on⌝ a footcloth, dost thou not?
SAYE 2566 What of that?
CADE 2567 Marry, thou oughtst not to let thy horse wear a
2568 50 cloak when honester men than thou go in their
2569 hose and doublets.
DICK 2570 And work in their shirt too—as myself, for example,
2571 that am a butcher.
SAYE 2572 You men of Kent—
DICK 2573 55What say you of Kent?
SAYE 2574 Nothing but this: ’tis bona terra, mala gens.
CADE 2575 Away with him, away with him! He speaks
2577 Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
2578 60 Kent, in the commentaries Caesar writ,
2579 Is termed the civil’st place of all this isle.
2580 Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
2581 The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;
2583 65 I sold not Maine; I lost not Normandy;
2584 Yet to recover them would lose my life.
2585 Justice with favor have I always done;
2586 Prayers and tears have moved me; gifts could never.
2587 When have I aught exacted at your hands
2588 70 Kent to maintain, the King, the realm, and you?
2589 Large gifts have I bestowed on learnèd clerks,
2590 Because my book preferred me to the King.
2591 And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
2592 Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
2593 75 Unless you be possessed with devilish spirits,
2594 You cannot but forbear to murder me.
2595 This tongue hath parleyed unto foreign kings
2596 For your behoof—
CADE 2597 Tut, when struck’st thou one blow in the field?
2598 80 Great men have reaching hands. Oft have I struck
2599 Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
GEORGE 2600 O monstrous coward! What, to come behind
2602 These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
CADE 2603 85Give him a box o’ th’ ear, and that will make ’em
2604 red again.
2605 Long sitting to determine poor men’s causes
2606 Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
CADE 2607 You shall have a hempen ⌜caudle,⌝ then, and
2608 90 the help of hatchet.
DICK 2609 Why dost thou quiver, man?
SAYE 2610 The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
CADE 2611 Nay, he nods at us, as who should say “I’ll be
2612 even with you.” I’ll see if his head will stand steadier
2613 95 on a pole, or no. Take him away, and behead
2615 Tell me, wherein have I offended most?
2616 Have I affected wealth or honor? Speak.
2617 Are my chests filled up with extorted gold?
2618 100 Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
2619 Whom have I injured, that you seek my death?
2620 These hands are free from guiltless blood-shedding,
2621 This breast from harboring foul deceitful thoughts.
2622 O, let me live!
CADE 2623 105I feel remorse in myself with his words, but I’ll
2624 bridle it. He shall die, an it be but for pleading so
2625 well for his life. Away with him! He has a familiar
2626 under his tongue; he speaks not i’ God’s name. Go,
2627 take him away, I say, and strike off his head
2628 110 presently; and then break into his son-in-law’s
2629 house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head;
2630 and bring them both upon two poles hither.
ALL 2631 It shall be done.
2632 Ah, countrymen, if when you make your prayers,
2633 115 God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
2634 How would it fare with your departed souls?
2635 And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
CADE 2636 Away with him, and do as I command you.
⌜Some exit with Lord Saye.⌝
2637 The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a
2638 120 head on his shoulders unless he pay me tribute.
2639 There shall not a maid be married but she shall
2640 pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it. Men
2641 shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command
2642 that their wives be as free as heart can wish
2643 125 or tongue can tell.
DICK 2644 My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside and take
2645 up commodities upon our bills?
CADE 2646 Marry, presently.
ALL 2647 O, brave!
Cromer on poles.⌝
CADE 2648 130But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another,
2649 for they loved well when they were alive. ⌜The
heads are brought together.⌝ 2650 Now part them again,
2651 lest they consult about the giving up of some more
2652 towns in France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the
2653 135 city until night, for, with these borne before us
2654 instead of maces, will we ride through the streets
2655 and at every corner have them kiss. Away!
He exits ⌜with his company.⌝
all his rabblement.
CADE 2656 Up Fish Street! Down Saint Magnus’ Corner!
2657 Kill and knock down! Throw them into Thames!
Sound a parley.
2658 What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to
2659 sound retreat or parley when I command them
2660 5 kill?
Enter Buckingham and old Clifford ⌜with Attendants.⌝
2661 Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.
2662 Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the King
2663 Unto the Commons, whom thou hast misled,
2664 And here pronounce free pardon to them all
2665 10 That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
2666 What say you, countrymen? Will you relent
2667 And yield to mercy whil’st ’tis offered you,
2668 Or let a rabble lead you to your deaths?
2670 15 Fling up his cap and say “God save his Majesty!”
2671 Who hateth him and honors not his father,
2672 Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
2673 Shake he his weapon at us and pass by.
ALL 2674 God save the King! God save the King!
⌜They fling their caps in the air.⌝
CADE 2675 20What, Buckingham and Clifford, are you so
2676 brave?—And, you base peasants, do you believe
2677 him? Will you needs be hanged with your pardons
2678 about your necks? Hath my sword therefore broke
2679 through London gates, that you should leave me at
2680 25 the White Hart in Southwark? I thought you
2681 would never have given out these arms till you had
2682 recovered your ancient freedom. But you are all
2683 recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery
2684 to the nobility. Let them break your backs with
2685 30 burdens, take your houses over your heads, ravish
2686 your wives and daughters before your faces. For
2687 me, I will make shift for one, and so God’s curse
2688 light upon you all!
ALL 2689 We’ll follow Cade! We’ll follow Cade!
CLIFFORD 2690 35Is Cade the son of Henry the Fifth,
2691 That thus you do exclaim you’ll go with him?
2692 Will he conduct you through the heart of France
2693 And make the meanest of you earls and dukes?
2694 Alas, he hath no home, no place to fly to,
2695 40 Nor knows he how to live but by the spoil,
2696 Unless by robbing of your friends and us.
2697 Were ’t not a shame that, whilst you live at jar,
2698 The fearful French, whom you late vanquishèd,
2699 Should make a start o’er seas and vanquish you?
2700 45 Methinks already in this civil broil
2701 I see them lording it in London streets,
2702 Crying “Villiago!” unto all they meet.
2703 Better ten thousand baseborn Cades miscarry
2705 50 To France, to France, and get what you have lost!
2706 Spare England, for it is your native coast.
2707 Henry hath money; you are strong and manly.
2708 God on our side, doubt not of victory.
2709 À Clifford! À Clifford! We’ll follow the King and
2710 55 Clifford!
CADE, ⌜aside⌝ 2711 Was ever feather so lightly blown to and
2712 fro as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth
2713 hales them to an hundred mischiefs and makes
2714 them leave me desolate. I see them lay their heads
2715 60 together to surprise me. My sword make way for
2716 me, for here is no staying!—In despite of the devils
2717 and hell, have through the very middest of you!
2718 And heavens and honor be witness that no want of
2719 resolution in me, but only my followers’ base and
2720 65 ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my
2721 heels.He exits, ⌜running.⌝
2722 What, is he fled? Go, some, and follow him;
2723 And he that brings his head unto the King
2724 Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.
Some of them exit.
2725 70 Follow me, soldiers. We’ll devise a means
2726 To reconcile you all unto the King.
and Somerset on the terrace, ⌜aloft.⌝
2727 Was ever king that joyed an earthly throne
2728 And could command no more content than I?
2729 No sooner was I crept out of my cradle
2730 But I was made a king at nine months old.
2731 5 Was never subject longed to be a king
2732 As I do long and wish to be a subject!
Enter Buckingham and ⌜old⌝ Clifford.
2733 Health and glad tidings to your Majesty!
2734 Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surprised,
2735 Or is he but retired to make him strong?
Enter ⌜below⌝ multitudes with halters about their necks.
2736 10 He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield
2737 And, humbly thus, with halters on their necks,
2738 Expect your Highness’ doom of life or death.
2739 Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates
2740 To entertain my vows of thanks and praise!
2741 15 Soldiers, this day have you redeemed your lives
2742 And showed how well you love your prince and
2744 Continue still in this so good a mind,
2745 And Henry, though he be infortunate,
2746 20 Assure yourselves, will never be unkind.
2747 And so with thanks and pardon to you all,
2748 I do dismiss you to your several countries.
ALL 2749 God save the King! God save the King!
⌜The multitudes exit.⌝
Enter a Messenger.
2750 Please it your Grace to be advertisèd
2751 25 The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland
2752 And, with a puissant and a mighty power
2754 Is marching hitherward in proud array,
2755 And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,
2756 30 His arms are only to remove from thee
2757 The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
2758 Thus stands my state, ’twixt Cade and York
2760 Like to a ship that, having scaped a tempest,
2761 35 Is straightway ⌜calmed⌝ and boarded with a pirate.
2762 But now is Cade driven back, his men dispersed,
2763 And now is York in arms to second him.
2764 I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him,
2765 And ask him what’s the reason of these arms.
2766 40 Tell him I’ll send Duke Edmund to the Tower.—
2767 And, Somerset, we will commit thee thither
2768 Until his army be dismissed from him.
SOMERSET 2769 My lord,
2770 I’ll yield myself to prison willingly,
2771 45 Or unto death, to do my country good.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Buckingham⌝
2772 In any case, be not too rough in terms,
2773 For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
2774 I will, my lord, and doubt not so to deal
2775 As all things shall redound unto your good.
2776 50 Come, wife, let’s in, and learn to govern better,
2777 For yet may England curse my wretched reign.
Flourish. They exit.
CADE 2778 Fie on ambitions! Fie on myself, that have a
2779 sword and yet am ready to famish! These five days
2780 have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep
2781 out, for all the country is laid for me. But now am
2782 5 I so hungry that, if I might have a lease of my life
2783 for a thousand years, I could stay no longer.
2784 Wherefore, ⌜o’er⌝ a brick wall have I climbed into
2785 this garden, to see if I can eat grass, or pick a sallet
2786 another while, which is not amiss to cool a man’s
2787 10 stomach this hot weather. And I think this word
2788 sallet was born to do me good; for many a time,
2789 but for a sallet, my brainpan had been cleft with a
2790 brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry
2791 and bravely marching, it hath served me instead of
2792 15 a quart pot to drink in; and now the word sallet
2793 must serve me to feed on.
Enter Iden ⌜and his Men.⌝
2794 Lord, who would live turmoilèd in the court
2795 And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
2796 This small inheritance my father left me
2797 20 Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
2798 I seek not to wax great by others’ ⌜waning,⌝
2799 Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy.
2800 Sufficeth that I have maintains my state
2801 And sends the poor well pleasèd from my gate.
CADE, ⌜aside⌝ 2802 25Here’s the lord of the soil come to seize
2803 me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without
2804 leave.—Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me and get a
2805 thousand crowns of the King by carrying my head
2806 to him; but I’ll make thee eat iron like an ostrich
2808 and I part.⌜He draws his sword.⌝
2809 Why, rude companion, whatsoe’er thou be,
2810 I know thee not. Why, then, should I betray thee?
2811 Is ’t not enough to break into my garden
2812 35 And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds,
2813 Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner,
2814 But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
CADE 2815 Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was
2816 broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I
2817 40 have eat no meat these five days, yet come thou
2818 and thy five men, and if I do not leave you all as
2819 dead as a doornail, I pray God I may never eat
2820 grass more.
2821 Nay, it shall ne’er be said, while England stands,
2822 45 That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
2823 Took odds to combat a poor famished man.
2824 Oppose thy steadfast gazing eyes to mine;
2825 See if thou canst outface me with thy looks.
2826 Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser;
2827 50 Thy hand is but a finger to my fist,
2828 Thy leg a stick comparèd with this truncheon.
2829 My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;
2830 And if mine arm be heavèd in the air,
2831 Thy grave is digged already in the earth.
2832 55 As for words, whose greatness answers words,
2833 Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
⌜He draws his sword.⌝
CADE 2834 By my valor, the most complete champion that
2835 ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge or cut not
2836 out the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere
2837 60 thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech ⌜God⌝ on my
2838 knees thou mayst be turned to hobnails.
(Here they fight, ⌜and Cade falls.⌝)
2840 Let ten thousand devils come against me, and give
2841 me but the ten meals I have lost, and I’d defy them
2842 65 all. Wither, garden, and be henceforth a burying
2843 place to all that do dwell in this house, because the
2844 unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
2845 Is ’t Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?
2846 Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
2847 70 And hang thee o’er my tomb when I am dead.
2848 Ne’er shall this blood be wipèd from thy point,
2849 But thou shalt wear it as a herald’s coat
2850 To emblaze the honor that thy master got.
CADE 2851 Iden, farewell, and be proud of thy victory. Tell
2852 75 Kent from me she hath lost her best man, and
2853 exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never
2854 feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valor.
2855 How much thou wrong’st me, heaven be my judge!
2856 Die, damnèd wretch, the curse of her that bare thee!
2857 80 And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,
2858 So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell.
2859 Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
2860 Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave,
2861 And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
2862 85 Which I will bear in triumph to the King,
2863 Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
He exits ⌜with his Men, dragging Cade’s body.⌝
Irish, with ⌜Attendants,⌝ Drum and Colors.
2864 From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right
2865 And pluck the crown from feeble Henry’s head.
2866 Ring, bells, aloud! Burn, bonfires, clear and bright
2867 To entertain great England’s lawful king!
2868 5 Ah, sancta maiestas, who would not buy thee dear?
2869 Let them obey that knows not how to rule.
2870 This hand was made to handle naught but gold.
2871 I cannot give due action to my words
2872 Except a sword or scepter balance it.
2873 10 A scepter shall it have, have I a soul,
2874 On which I’ll toss the fleur-de-luce of France.
Enter Buckingham, ⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
2875 ⌜Aside.⌝ Whom have we here? Buckingham, to
2876 disturb me?
2877 The King hath sent him, sure. I must dissemble.
2878 15 York, if thou meanest well, I greet thee well.
2879 Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting.
2880 Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
2881 A messenger from Henry, our dread liege,
2882 To know the reason of these arms in peace;
2883 20 Or why thou, being a subject as I am,
2884 Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn,
2885 Should raise so great a power without his leave,
2886 Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.
2887 Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great.
2888 25 O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint,
2889 I am so angry at these abject terms!
2890 And now, like Ajax Telamonius,
2891 On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury.
2892 I am far better born than is the King,
2893 30 More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts.
2894 But I must make fair weather yet awhile,
2895 Till Henry be more weak and I more strong.—
2896 Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me,
2897 That I have given no answer all this while.
2898 35 My mind was troubled with deep melancholy.
2899 The cause why I have brought this army hither
2900 Is to remove proud Somerset from the King,
2901 Seditious to his Grace and to the state.
2902 That is too much presumption on thy part.
2903 40 But if thy arms be to no other end,
2904 The King hath yielded unto thy demand:
2905 The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
2906 Upon thine honor, is he prisoner?
2907 Upon mine honor, he is prisoner.
2908 45 Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my powers.—
2909 Soldiers, I thank you all. Disperse yourselves.
2911 You shall have pay and everything you wish.
2912 And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry,
2913 50 Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons,
2914 As pledges of my fealty and love;
2915 I’ll send them all as willing as I live.
2916 Lands, goods, horse, armor, anything I have
2917 Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
2918 55 York, I commend this kind submission.
2919 We twain will go into his Highness’ tent.
⌜They walk arm in arm.⌝
Enter King ⌜Henry⌝ and Attendants.
2920 Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us
2921 That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
2922 In all submission and humility
2923 60 York doth present himself unto your Highness.
2924 Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
2925 To heave the traitor Somerset from hence
2926 And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade,
2927 Who since I heard to be discomfited.
Enter Iden, with Cade’s head.
2928 65 If one so rude and of so mean condition
2929 May pass into the presence of a king,
2930 Lo, I present your Grace a traitor’s head,
2931 The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
2932 The head of Cade? Great God, how just art Thou!
2934 That living wrought me such exceeding trouble.
2935 Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
IDEN 2936 I was, an ’t like your Majesty.
2937 How art thou called? And what is thy degree?
2938 75 Alexander Iden, that’s my name,
2939 A poor esquire of Kent that loves his king.
2940 So please it you, my lord, ’twere not amiss
2941 He were created knight for his good service.
2942 Iden, kneel down. ⌜He kneels.⌝ Rise up a knight. ⌜He
2943 80 We give thee for reward a thousand marks,
2944 And will that thou henceforth attend on us.
2945 May Iden live to merit such a bounty,
2946 And never live but true unto his liege!
Enter Queen ⌜Margaret⌝ and Somerset,
⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
KING HENRY, ⌜aside to Buckingham⌝
2947 See, Buckingham, Somerset comes with th’ Queen.
2948 85 Go bid her hide him quickly from the Duke.
⌜Buckingham whispers to the Queen.⌝
2949 For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head,
2950 But boldly stand and front him to his face.
2951 How now? Is Somerset at liberty?
2952 Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts,
2953 90 And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart.
2954 Shall I endure the sight of Somerset?—
2955 False king, why hast thou broken faith with me,
2957 “King” did I call thee? No, thou art not king,
2958 95 Not fit to govern and rule multitudes,
2959 Which dar’st not—no, nor canst not—rule a traitor.
2960 That head of thine doth not become a crown;
2961 Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer’s staff,
2962 And not to grace an awful princely scepter.
2963 100 That gold must round engirt these brows of mine,
2964 Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles’ spear,
2965 Is able with the change to kill and cure.
2966 Here is a hand to hold a scepter up
2967 And with the same to act controlling laws.
2968 105 Give place. By heaven, thou shalt rule no more
2969 O’er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
2970 O monstrous traitor! I arrest thee, York,
2971 Of capital treason ’gainst the King and crown.
2972 Obey, audacious traitor. Kneel for grace.
2973 110 Wouldst have me kneel? First let me ask of ⌜these⌝
2974 If they can brook I bow a knee to man.
2975 ⌜To an Attendant.⌝ Sirrah, call in my ⌜sons⌝ to be my
2976 bail.⌜Attendant exits.⌝
2977 I know, ere they will have me go to ward,
2978 115 They’ll pawn their swords ⌜for⌝ my enfranchisement.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜to Buckingham⌝
2979 Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain,
2980 To say if that the bastard boys of York
2981 Shall be the surety for their traitor father.
YORK, ⌜to Queen Margaret⌝
2982 O, blood-bespotted Neapolitan,
2983 120 Outcast of Naples, England’s bloody scourge!
2984 The sons of York, thy betters in their birth,
2985 Shall be their father’s bail, and bane to those
2986 That for my surety will refuse the boys.
⌜wearing the white rose.⌝
2987 See where they come; I’ll warrant they’ll make it
2988 125 good.
Enter ⌜old⌝ Clifford ⌜and his Son, wearing the red rose.⌝
2989 And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
CLIFFORD, ⌜kneeling before King Henry⌝
2990 Health and all happiness to my lord the King.
2991 I thank thee, Clifford. Say, what news with thee?
2992 Nay, do not fright us with an angry look.
2993 130 We are thy sovereign, Clifford; kneel again.
2994 For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
2995 This is my king, York; I do not mistake,
2996 But thou mistakes me much to think I do.—
2997 To Bedlam with him! Is the man grown mad?
2998 135 Ay, Clifford, a bedlam and ambitious humor
2999 Makes him oppose himself against his king.
3000 He is a traitor. Let him to the Tower,
3001 And chop away that factious pate of his.
3002 He is arrested, but will not obey.
3003 140 His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
YORK 3004 Will you not, sons?
3005 Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
3006 And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
3007 Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!
3008 145 Look in a glass, and call thy image so.
3009 I am thy king and thou a false-heart traitor.
3010 Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
3011 That, with the very shaking of their chains,
3012 They may astonish these fell-lurking curs.
3013 150 ⌜To an Attendant.⌝ Bid Salisbury and Warwick come
3014 to me.⌜Attendant exits.⌝
Enter the Earls of Warwick and Salisbury, ⌜wearing the
3015 Are these thy bears? We’ll bait thy bears to death
3016 And manacle the bearherd in their chains,
3017 If thou dar’st bring them to the baiting place.
3018 155 Oft have I seen a hot o’erweening cur
3019 Run back and bite because he was withheld,
3020 Who, being suffered with the bear’s fell paw,
3021 Hath clapped his tail between his legs and cried;
3022 And such a piece of service will you do
3023 160 If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
3024 Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump,
3025 As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
3026 Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
3027 Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
3028 165 Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?—
3029 Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair,
3030 Thou mad misleader of thy brainsick son!
3031 What, wilt thou on thy deathbed play the ruffian
3032 And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles?
3033 170 O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty?
3034 If it be banished from the frosty head,
3035 Where shall it find a harbor in the earth?
3036 Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war,
3037 And shame thine honorable age with blood?
3038 175 Why art thou old and want’st experience?
3039 Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it?
3040 For shame! In duty bend thy knee to me
3041 That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
3042 My lord, I have considered with myself
3043 180 The title of this most renownèd duke,
3044 And in my conscience do repute his Grace
3045 The rightful heir to England’s royal seat.
3046 Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
SALISBURY 3047 I have.
3048 185 Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
3049 It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
3050 But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
3051 Who can be bound by any solemn vow
3052 To do a murd’rous deed, to rob a man,
3053 190 To force a spotless virgin’s chastity,
3054 To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
3055 To wring the widow from her customed right,
3056 And have no other reason for this wrong
3057 But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
3058 195 A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
KING HENRY, ⌜to an Attendant⌝
3059 Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
YORK, ⌜to King Henry⌝
3060 Call Buckingham and all the friends thou hast,
3061 I am resolved for death ⌜or⌝ dignity.
3062 The first, I warrant thee, if dreams prove true.
3063 200 You were best to go to bed and dream again,
3064 To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
3065 I am resolved to bear a greater storm
3066 Than any thou canst conjure up today;
3067 And that I’ll write upon thy burgonet,
3068 205 Might I but know thee by thy ⌜house’s⌝ badge.
3069 Now, by my father’s badge, old Neville’s crest,
3070 The rampant bear chained to the ragged staff,
3071 This day I’ll wear aloft my burgonet—
3072 As on a mountaintop the cedar shows
3073 210 That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm—
3074 Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
3075 And from thy burgonet I’ll rend thy bear
3076 And tread it under foot with all contempt,
3077 Despite the bearherd that protects the bear.
3078 215 And so to arms, victorious father,
3079 To quell the rebels and their complices.
3080 Fie! Charity, for shame! Speak not in spite,
3081 For you shall sup with Jesu Christ tonight.
3082 Foul stigmatic, that’s more than thou canst tell!
3083 220 If not in heaven, you’ll surely sup in hell.
⌜They exit separately.⌝
Enter Warwick, ⌜wearing the white rose.⌝
3084 Clifford of Cumberland, ’tis Warwick calls!
3085 An if thou dost not hide thee from the bear,
3086 Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum
3087 And dead men’s cries do fill the empty air,
3088 5 Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me;
3089 Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
3090 Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms.
Enter York, ⌜wearing the white rose.⌝
3091 How now, my noble lord? What, all afoot?
3092 The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed,
3093 10 But match to match I have encountered him
3094 And made a prey for carrion kites and crows
3095 Even of the bonny beast he loved so well.
Enter ⌜old⌝ Clifford, ⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
3096 Of one or both of us the time is come.
3097 Hold, Warwick! Seek thee out some other chase,
3098 15 For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
3099 Then, nobly, York! ’Tis for a crown thou fight’st.—
3100 As I intend, Clifford, to thrive today,
3101 It grieves my soul to leave thee unassailed.
3102 What seest thou in me, York? Why dost thou pause?
3103 20 With thy brave bearing should I be in love,
3104 But that thou art so fast mine enemy.
3105 Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem,
3106 But that ’tis shown ignobly and in treason.
3107 So let it help me now against thy sword
3108 25 As I in justice and true right express it!
3109 My soul and body on the action both!
3110 A dreadful lay! Address thee instantly.
⌜They fight and Clifford falls.⌝
3111 La fin courrone les oeuvres.⌜He dies.⌝
3112 Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.
3113 30 Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will!
Enter young Clifford, ⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
3114 Shame and confusion! All is on the rout.
3115 Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds
3116 Where it should guard. O war, thou son of hell,
3117 Whom angry heavens do make their minister,
3118 35 Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part
3119 Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly.
3120 He that is truly dedicate to war
3121 Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself
3122 Hath not essentially, but by circumstance,
3123 40 The name of valor. ⌜He sees his father, lying dead.⌝ O,
3124 let the vile world end
3125 And the premised flames of the last day
3126 Knit Earth and heaven together!
3127 Now let the general trumpet blow his blast,
3128 45 Particularities and petty sounds
3129 To cease! Wast thou ordained, dear father,
3131 The silver livery of advisèd age,
3132 And, in thy reverence and thy chair-days, thus
3133 50 To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight
3134 My heart is turned to stone, and while ’tis mine,
3135 It shall be stony. York not our old men spares;
3136 No more will I their babes. Tears virginal
3137 Shall be to me even as the dew to fire;
3138 55 And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims,
3139 Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax.
3140 Henceforth I will not have to do with pity.
3141 Meet I an infant of the house of York,
3142 Into as many gobbets will I cut it
3143 60 As wild Medea young Absyrtis did.
3144 In cruelty will I seek out my fame.
⌜He takes his father’s body onto his back.⌝
3145 Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford’s house;
3146 As did Aeneas old Anchises bear,
3147 So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders.
3148 65 But then Aeneas bare a living load,
3149 Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.⌜He exits.⌝
Enter Richard, ⌜wearing the white rose,⌝ and Somerset,
⌜wearing the red rose,⌝ to fight.
⌜Richard kills Somerset under the sign of Castle Inn.⌝
RICHARD 3150 So lie thou there.
3151 For underneath an alehouse’ paltry sign,
3152 The Castle in Saint Albans, Somerset
3153 70 Hath made the wizard famous in his death.
3154 Sword, hold thy temper! Heart, be wrathful still!
3155 Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.⌜He exits.⌝
Fight. Excursions. Enter King ⌜Henry,⌝ Queen
⌜Margaret, both wearing the red rose,⌝ and Others.
3156 Away, my lord! You are slow. For shame, away!
3157 Can we outrun the heavens? Good Margaret, stay!
3158 75 What are you made of? You’ll nor fight nor fly.
3159 Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defense
3160 To give the enemy way, and to secure us
3161 By what we can, which can no more but fly.
Alarum afar off.
3162 If you be ta’en, we then should see the bottom
3163 80 Of all our fortunes; but if we haply scape,
3164 As well we may—if not through your neglect—
3165 We shall to London get, where you are loved
3166 And where this breach now in our fortunes made
3167 May readily be stopped.
Enter ⌜Young⌝ Clifford, ⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
3168 85 But that my heart’s on future mischief set,
3169 I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly;
3170 But fly you must. Uncurable discomfit
3171 Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts.
3172 Away, for your relief! And we will live
3173 90 To see their day and them our fortune give.
3174 Away, my lord, away!
Warwick, and Soldiers, ⌜all wearing the white rose,⌝
with Drum and Colors.
3175 Of Salisbury, who can report of him,
3176 That winter lion, who in rage forgets
3177 Agèd contusions and all brush of time,
3178 And, like a gallant in the brow of youth,
3180 Is not itself, nor have we won one foot,
3181 If Salisbury be lost.
RICHARD 3182 My noble father,
3183 Three times today I holp him to his horse,
3184 10 Three times bestrid him. Thrice I led him off,
3185 Persuaded him from any further act;
3186 But still, where danger was, still there I met him,
3187 And, like rich hangings in a homely house,
3188 So was his will in his old feeble body.
3189 15 But, noble as he is, look where he comes.
Enter Salisbury, ⌜wearing the white rose.⌝
3190 Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought today!
3191 By th’ Mass, so did we all. I thank you, Richard.
3192 God knows how long it is I have to live,
3193 And it hath pleased Him that three times today
3194 20 You have defended me from imminent death.
3195 Well, lords, we have not got that which we have;
3196 ’Tis not enough our foes are this time fled,
3197 Being opposites of such repairing nature.
3198 I know our safety is to follow them;
3199 25 For, as I hear, the King is fled to London
3200 To call a present court of Parliament.
3201 Let us pursue him ere the writs go forth.—
3202 What says Lord Warwick? Shall we after them?
3203 After them? Nay, before them, if we can.
3204 30 Now, by my hand, lords, ’twas a glorious day.
3205 Saint Albans battle won by famous York
3206 Shall be eternized in all age to come.—
3207 Sound drum and trumpets, and to London all;
3208 And more such days as these to us befall!
⌜Flourish.⌝ They exit.