Henry VI, Part 2 - Act 1, scene 4
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Act 1, scene 4
The Duchess of Gloucester watches while a spirit is conjured up to prophesy the fates of her rivals, but she is caught in the act by Buckingham and York.Enter the Witch ⌜Margery Jourdain,⌝ the two Priests
⌜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!