The Second Part of King Henry the Sixth
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
- HUMPHREY, Duke of Gloster, his uncle.
- CARDINAL BEAUFORT, Bishop of Winchester,
- great-uncle to the King.
- RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
- EDWARD and RICHARD, his sons.
- DUKE OF SOMERSET.
- DUKE OF SUFFOLK.
- DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM.
- LORD CLIFFORD.
- YOUNG CLIFFORD, his son.
- EARL OF SALISBURY.
- EARL OF WARWICK.
- LORD SCALES.
- LORD SAY.
- SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD, and WILLIAM
- STAFFORD, his brother.
- SIR JOHN STANLEY.
- MATTHEW GOFFE.
- A Sea-Captain, Master, and Master's-Mate, and WALTER WHITMORE.
- Two Gentlemen, prisoners with Suffolk.
- JOHN HUME and JOHN SOUTHWELL, priests.
- ROGER BOLINGBROKE, a conjurer.
- THOMAS HORNER, an armourer. PETER, his man.
- Clerk of Chatham. Mayor of Saint Albans.
- SIMPCOX, an impostor.
- ALEXANDER IDEN, a Kentish gentleman.
- JACK CADE, a rebel.
- GEORGE BEVIS, JOHN HOLLAND, DICK the butcher,
- SMITH the weaver, MICHAEL, etc., followers of Cade.
- Two Murderers.
- MARGARET, Queen to King Henry.
- ELEANOR, Duchess of Gloster.
- MARGARET JOURDAIN, a witch.
- Wife to Simpcox.
- Lords, Ladies, and Attendants, Petitioners, Aldermen, a Herald, a Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers, Citizens, Prentices, Falconers, Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.
- A Spirit.
- 1 ACT I
- 2 ACT II
- 3 ACT III.
- 4 ACT IV.
- 4.1 SCENE I. The Coast of Kent.
- 4.2 SCENE II. Blackheath.
- 4.3 SCENE III. Another part of Blackheath.
- 4.4 SCENE IV. London. The Palace.
- 4.5 SCENE V. London. The Tower.
- 4.6 SCENE VI. London. Cannon Street.
- 4.7 SCENE VII. London. Smithfield.
- 4.8 SCENE VIII. Southwark.
- 4.9 SCENE IX. Kenilworth Castle.
- 4.10 SCENE X. Kent. Iden's Garden.
- 5 ACT V.
SCENE I. London. The palace
[Flourish of trumpets: then hautboys. Enter the KING, GLOSTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and CARDINAL BEAUFORT, on the one side; the QUEEN, SUFFOLK, YORK, SOMERSET, and BUCKINGHAM, on the other.]
- As by your high imperial Majesty
- I had in charge at my depart for France,
- As procurator to your excellence,
- To marry Princess Margaret for your grace,
- So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
- In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
- The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne, and Alencon,
- Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops,
- I have perform'd my task and was espous'd,
- And humbly now upon my bended knee,
- In sight of England and her lordly peers,
- Deliver up my title in the queen
- To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
- Of that great shadow I did represent:
- The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
- The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.
- Suffolk, arise.—Welcome, Queen Margaret.
- I can express no kinder sign of love
- Than this kind kiss.—O Lord, that lends me life,
- Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
- For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
- A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
- If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
- Great King of England and my gracious lord,
- The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
- By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
- In courtly company or at my beads,
- With you, mine alder-liefest sovereign,
- Makes me the bolder to salute my king
- With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
- And over-joy of heart doth minister.
- Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
- Her words yclad with wisdom's majesty,
- Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys;
- Such is the fulness of my heart's content.—
- Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
- [Kneeling] Long live Queen Margaret, England's
- We thank you all.
- My Lord Protector, so it please your grace,
- Here are the articles of contracted peace
- Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
- For eighteen months concluded by consent.
- [Reads] 'Imprimis, It is agreed between the French king
- Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, ambassador
- for Henry King of England, that the said Henry shall espouse the
- Lady Margaret, daughter unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia,
- and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the thirtieth
- of May next ensuing. Item, that the duchy of Anjou and the
- county of Maine shall be released and delivered to the king her
[Lets the paper fall.]
- Uncle, how now!
- Pardon me, gracious lord;
- Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
- And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
- Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.
- [Reads] 'Item, It is further agreed between them,
- that the duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and
- delivered over to the king her father, and she sent over of the
- King of
- England's own proper cost and charges, without having any dowry.'
- They please us well.—Lord marquess, kneel down.
- We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
- And girt thee with the sword.—Cousin of York,
- We here discharge your grace from being regent
- I' the parts of France, till term of eighteen months
- Be full expir'd.—Thanks, uncle Winchester,
- Gloster, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
- Salisbury, and Warwick;
- We thank you all for this great favour done
- In entertainment to my princely queen.
- Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
- To see her coronation be perform'd.
[Exeunt King, Queen, and Suffolk.]
- Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
- To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
- Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
- What! did my brother Henry spend his youth,
- His valour, coin, and people, in the wars?
- Did he so often lodge in open field,
- In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,
- To conquer France, his true inheritance?
- And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
- To keep by policy what Henry got?
- Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
- Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
- Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy?
- Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
- With all the learned counsel of the realm,
- Studied so long, sat in the council-house
- Early and late, debating to and fro
- How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
- And had his highness in his infancy
- Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
- And shall these labours and these honours die?
- Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
- Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?
- O peers of England, shameful is this league!
- Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
- Blotting your names from books of memory,
- Razing the characters of your renown,
- Defacing monuments of conquer'd France,
- Undoing all, as all had never been!
- Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
- This peroration with such circumstance?
- For France, 't is ours; and we will keep it still.
- Ay, uncle, we will keep it if we can,
- But now it is impossible we should.
- Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
- Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
- Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
- Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
- Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
- These counties were the keys of Normandy!—
- But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
- For grief that they are past recovery;
- For, were there hope to conquer them again,
- My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no tears.
- Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both,
- Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer;
- And are the cities that I got with wounds
- Deliver'd up again with peaceful words?
- Mort Dieu!
- For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,
- That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
- France should have torn and rent my very heart,
- Before I would have yielded to this league.
- I never read but England's kings have had
- Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;
- And our King Henry gives away his own,
- To match with her that brings no vantages.
- A proper jest, and never heard before,
- That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
- For costs and charges in transporting her!
- She should have staid in France, and starv'd in France,
- My Lord of Gloster, now ye grow too hot;
- It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
- My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
- 'T is not my speeches that you do mislike,
- But 't is my presence that doth trouble ye.
- Rancour will out.
- Proud prelate, in thy face
- I see thy fury; if I longer stay,
- We shall begin our ancient bickerings.—
- Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
- I prophesied France will be lost ere long.
- So, there goes our protector in a rage.
- 'T is known to you he is mine enemy,
- Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
- And no great friend, I fear me, to the king.
- Consider, lords, he is the next of blood,
- And heir apparent to the English crown.
- Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
- And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,
- There's reason he should be displeas'd at it.
- Look to it, lords.
- Let not his smoothing words
- Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
- What though the common people favour him,
- Calling him 'Humphrey, the good Duke of Gloster,'
- Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice,
- 'Jesu maintain your royal excellence!'
- With 'God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!'
- I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
- He will be found a dangerous protector.
- Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
- He being of age to govern of himself?—
- Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
- And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
- We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
- This weighty business will not brook delay;
- I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.
- Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride
- And greatness of his place be grief to us,
- Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal;
- His insolence is more intolerable
- Than all the princes in the land beside;
- If Gloster be displac'd, he 'll be protector.
- Or thou or I, Somerset, will be protector,
- Despite Duke Humphrey or the cardinal.
[Exeunt Buckingham and Somerset.]
- Pride went before, ambition follows him.
- While these do labour for their own preferment,
- Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
- I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloster
- Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
- Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
- More like a soldier than a man o' the church,
- As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
- Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
- Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.—
- Warwick my son, the comfort of my age,
- Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy housekeeping,
- Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,
- Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey;—
- And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
- In bringing them to civil discipline,
- Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
- When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
- Have made thee fear'd and honour'd of the people.—
- Join we together, for the public good,
- In what we can, to bridle and suppress
- The pride of Suffolk and the cardinal,
- With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition,
- And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds
- While they do tend the profit of the land.
- So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
- And common profit of his country!
- [Aside.] And so says York, for he hath greatest cause.
- Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.
- Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost;
- That Maine which by main force Warwick did win,
- And would have kept so long as breath did last!
- Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
- Which I will win from France, or else be slain.
[Exeunt Warwick and Salisbury.]
- Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
- Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
- Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
- Suffolk concluded on the articles,
- The peers agreed; and Henry was well pleas'd
- To changes two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.
- I cannot blame them all: what is't to them?
- 'T is thine they give away, and not their own.
- Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage,
- And purchase friends, and give to courtesans,
- Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
- Whileas the silly owner of the goods
- Weeps over them and wrings his hapless hands
- And shakes his head and trembling stands aloof,
- While all is shar'd and all is borne away,
- Ready to starve and dare not touch his own.
- So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue,
- While his own lands are bargain'd for and sold.
- Methinks the realms of England, France, and Ireland
- Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
- As did the fatal brand Althaea burn'd
- Unto the prince's heart of Calydon.
- Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
- Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
- Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
- A day will come when York shall claim his own;
- And therefore I will take the Nevils' parts,
- And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
- And when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
- For that 's the golden mark I seek to hit.
- Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
- Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
- Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
- Whose church-like humours fits not for a crown.
- Then, York, be still awhile till time do serve;
- Watch thou and wake when others be asleep,
- To pry into the secrets of the state;
- Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
- With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,
- And Humphrey with the peers be fallen at jars.
- Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
- With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfum'd,
- And in my standard bear the arms of York,
- To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
- And, force perforce, I 'll make him yield the crown
- Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.
SCENE II. The Duke of Gloster's House.
[Enter DUKE HUMPHREY and his wife ELEANOR]
- Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd corn,
- Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
- Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
- As frowning at the favours of the world?
- Why are thine eyes fix'd to the sullen earth,
- Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
- What see'st thou there? King Henry's diadem,
- Enchas'd with all the honours of the world?
- If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,
- Until thy head be circled with the same.
- Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious gold.
- What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with mine,
- And, having both together heav'd it up,
- We'll both together lift our heads to heaven,
- And never more abase our sight so low
- As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.
- O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
- Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts;
- And may that thought when I imagine ill
- Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
- Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
- My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.
- What dream'd my lord? Tell me, and I'll requite it
- With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
- Methought this staff, mine office-badge in court,
- Was broke in twain;—by whom I have forgot,
- But, as I think, it was by the cardinal,—
- And on the pieces of the broken wand
- Were plac'd the heads of Edmund Duke of Somerset
- And William de la Pole, first duke of Suffolk.
- This was my dream; what it doth bode, God knows.
- Tut, this was nothing but an argument
- That he that breaks a stick of Gloster's grove
- Shall lose his head for his presumption.
- But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke:
- Methought I sat in seat of majesty
- In the cathedral church of Westminster
- And in that chair where kings and queens are crown'd,
- Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneel'd to me
- And on my head did set the diadem.
- Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright.
- Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtur'd Eleanor,
- Art thou not second woman in the realm,
- And the protector's wife, belov'd of him?
- Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
- Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
- And wilt thou still be hammering treachery,
- To tumble down thy husband and thyself
- From top of honour to disgrace's feet?
- Away from me, and let me hear no more!
- What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
- With Eleanor for telling but her dream?
- Next time I'll keep my dreams unto myself,
- And not be check'd.
- Nay, be not angry; I am pleas'd again.
- My lord protector, 't is his highness' pleasure
- You do prepare to ride unto Saint Alban's,
- Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk.
- I go.—Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?
- Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently.
[Exeunt Gloster and Messenger.]
- Follow I must; I cannot go before
- While Gloster bears this base and humble mind.
- Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
- I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks
- And smooth my way upon their headless necks;
- And, being a woman, I will not be slack
- To play my part in Fortune's pageant.—
- Where are you there? Sir John! nay, fear not, man,
- We are alone; here's none but thee and I.
- Jesus preserve your royal majesty!
- What say'st thou? majesty! I am but grace.
- But, by the grace of God, and Hume's advice,
- Your grace's title shall be multiplied.
- What say'st thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd
- With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
- With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
- And will they undertake to do me good?
- This they have promised,—to show your highness
- A spirit rais'd from depth of underground,
- That shall make answer to such questions
- As by your Grace shall be propounded him.
- It is enough; I'll think upon the questions.
- When from Saint Alban's we do make return,
- We'll see these things effected to the full.
- Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man,
- With thy confederates in this weighty cause.
- Hume must make merry with the duchess' gold,
- Marry, and shall. But, how now, Sir John Hume!
- Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum;
- The business asketh silent secrecy.
- Dame Eleanor gives gold to bring the witch;
- Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.
- Yet have I gold flies from another coast.
- I dare not say, from the rich cardinal
- And from the great and new-made Duke of Suffolk,
- Yet I do find it so; for, to be plain,
- They, knowing Dame Eleanor's aspiring humour,
- Have hired me to undermine the duchess
- And buzz these conjurations in her brain.
- They say ' A crafty knave does need no broker;'
- Yet am I Suffolk and the cardinal's broker.
- Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
- To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.
- Well, so its stands; and thus, I fear, at last
- Hume's knavery will be the duchess' wrack,
- And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall.
- Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.
SCENE III. London. The palace.
[Enter PETER and other PETITIONERS.]
- My masters, let's stand close; my lord protector
- will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver our
- supplications in the quill.
- Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good
- man! Jesu bless him!
[Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN.]
- Here 'a comes, methinks, and the queen with him.
- I'll be the first, sure.
- Come back, fool; this is the Duke of Suffolk and
- not my lord protector.
- How now, fellow! wouldst any thing with me?
- I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye for my lord
- [Reading] 'To my Lord Protector!' Are your supplications
- to his lordship? Let me see them; what is thine?
- Mine is, an 't please your grace, against John
- Goodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keeping my house and lands,
- and wife and all, from me.
- Thy wife too! that's some wrong, indeed.—What's
- yours?—What's here! [Reads] 'Against the Duke of Suffolk for
- the commons of Melford.'—How now, sir knave!
- Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our
- whole township.
- [Giving his petition] Against my master, Thomas Horner,
- for saying that the Duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.
- What say'st thou? did the Duke of York say he was
- rightful heir to the crown?
- That my master was? no, forsooth; my master said that he
- was, and that the king was an usurper.
- Who is there? [Enter Servant.] Take this fellow in, and
- send for his master with a pursuivant presently.—We'll hear more
- of your matter before the king.
[Exit Servant with Peter.]
- And as for you, that love to be protected
- Under the wings of our protector's grace,
- Begin your suits anew and sue to him.
[Tears the supplications.]
- Away, base cullions!—Suffolk, let them go.
- Come, let's be gone.
- My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
- Is this the fashion in the court of England?
- Is this the government of Britain's isle,
- And this the royalty of Albion's king?
- What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
- Under the surly Gloster's governance?
- Am I a queen in title and in style,
- And must be made a subject to a duke?
- I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
- Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love
- And stol'st away the ladies' hearts of France,
- I thought King Henry had resembled thee
- In courage, courtship, and proportion;
- But all his mind is bent to holiness,
- To number Ave-Maries on his beads,
- His champions are the prophets and apostles,
- His weapons holy saws of sacred writ,
- His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
- Are brazen images of canoniz'd saints.
- I would the college of the cardinals
- Would choose him pope and carry him to Rome,
- And set the triple crown upon his head;
- That were a state fit for his holiness.
- Madam, be patient; as I was cause
- Your highness came to England, so will I
- In England work your grace's full content.
- Beside the haughty protector, have we Beaufort
- The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham,
- And grumbling York; and not the least of these
- But can do more in England than the king.
- And he of these that can do most of all
- Cannot do more in England than the Nevils;
- Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.
- Not all these lords do vex me half so much
- As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife.
- She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies,
- More like an empress than Duke Humphrey's wife.
- Strangers in court do take her for the queen;
- She bears a duke's revenues on her back,
- And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
- Shall I not live to be aveng'd on her?
- Contemptuous base-born callat as she is,
- She vaunted 'mongst her minions t' other day,
- The very train of her worst wearing gown
- Was better worth than all my father's land
- Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
- Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her,
- And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds
- That she will light to listen to the lays,
- And never mount to trouble you again.
- So, let her rest; and, madam, list to me,
- For I am bold to counsel you in this.
- Although we fancy not the cardinal,
- Yet must we join with him and with the lords
- Till we have brought Duke Humphrey in disgrace.
- As for the Duke of York, this late complaint
- Will make but little for his benefit.
- So, one by one, we'll weed them all at last,
- And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.
[Sennet. Enter the KING, DUKE HUMPHREY, CARDINAL BEAUFORT, BUCKINGHAM, YORK, SOMERSET, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and the DUCHESS OF GLOSTER.]
- For my part, noble lords, I care not which;
- Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.
- If York have ill demean'd himself in France,
- Then let him be denay'd the regentship.
- If Somerset be unworthy of the place,
- Let York be regent; I will yield to him.
- Whether your grace be worthy, yea or no,
- Dispute not that; York is the worthier.
- Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
- The cardinal's not my better in the field.
- All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
- Warwick may live to be the best of all.
- Peace, son!—and show some reason, Buckingham,
- Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.
- Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.
- Madam, the King is old enough himself
- To give his censure; these are no women's matters.
- If he be old enough, what needs your grace
- To be protector of his excellence?
- Madam, I am protector of the realm,
- And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.
- Resign it then, and leave thine insolence.
- Since thou wert king—as who is king but thou?—
- The commonwealth hath daily run to wrack;
- The Dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the seas;
- And all the peers and nobles of the realm
- Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
- The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags
- Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
- Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire
- Have cost a mass of public treasury.
- Thy cruelty in execution
- Upon offenders hath exceeded law,
- And left thee to the mercy of the law.
- Thy sale of offices and towns in France,
- If they were known, as the suspect is great,
- Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.—
[Exit Gloster. The Queen drops her fan..]
- Give me my fan. What minion! can ye not?
[She gives the Duchess a box on the ear.]
- I cry your mercy, madam; was it you?
- Was 't I! yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman.
- Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
- I'd set my ten commandments in your face.
- Sweet aunt, be quiet; 't was against her will.
- Against her will! good king, look to 't in time;
- She'll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby.
- Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
- She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unreveng'd.
- Lord cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
- And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds.
- She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
- She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.
- Now, lords, my choler being overblown
- With walking once about the quadrangle,
- I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
- As for your spiteful false objections,
- Prove them, and I lie open to the law;
- But God in mercy so deal with my soul
- As I in duty love my king and country!
- But, to the matter that we have in hand:
- I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
- To be your regent in the realm of France.
- Before we make election, give me leave
- To show some reason, of no little force,
- That York is most unmeet of any man.
- I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet:
- First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride;
- Next, if I be appointed for the place,
- My Lord of Somerset will keep me here,
- Without discharge, money, or furniture,
- Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands.
- Last time, I danc'd attendance on his will
- Till Paris was besieg'd, famish'd, and lost.
- That can I witness; and a fouler fact
- Did never traitor in the land commit.
- Peace, headstrong Warwick!
- Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?
[Enter HORNER and his man PETER, guarded.]
- Because here is a man accus'd of treason.
- Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
- Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?
- What mean'st thou, Suffolk? tell me, what are these?
- Please it your majesty, this is the man
- That doth accuse his master of high treason.
- His words were these: that Richard Duke of York
- Was rightful heir unto the English crown,
- And that your majesty was an usurper.
- Say, man, were these thy words?
- An 't shall please your majesty, I never said nor
- thought any such matter; God is my witness, I am
- falsely accused by the villain.
- By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak them to
- me in the garret one night, as we were scouring my Lord of
- York's armour.
- Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
- I'll have thy head for this thy traitor's speech.—
- I do beseech your royal majesty,
- Let him have all the rigour of the law.
- Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake the words. My
- accuser is my prentice; and when I did correct him for his fault
- the other day, he did vow upon his knees he would be even with
- me. I have good witness of this; therefore I beseech your
- majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain's
- Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?
- This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
- Let Somerset be Regent o'er the French,
- Because in York this breeds suspicion;
- And let these have a day appointed them
- For single combat in convenient place,
- For he hath witness of his servant's malice.
- This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.
- I humbly thank your royal Majesty.
- And I accept the combat willingly.
- Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake, pity my case.
- The spite of man prevaileth against me. O Lord, have mercy
- upon me! I shall never be able to fight a blow! O Lord, my heart!
- Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hang'd.
- Away with them to prison; and the day of combat shall
- be the last of the next month.—Come, Somerset, we'll see thee
- sent away.
SCENE IV. Gloster's Garden
[Enter MARGERY JOURDAIN, HUME, SOUTHWELL, and BOLINGBROKE.]
- Come, my masters; the duchess, I tell you, expects
- performance of your promises.
- Master Hume, we are therefore provided;
- will her ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?
- Ay, what else? fear you not her courage.
- I have heard her reported to be a woman of an invincible spirit:
- but it shall be convenient, Master Hume, that you be by her
- aloft while we be busy below; and so, I pray you go, in God's
- name, and leave us.—[Exit Hume.] Mother Jourdain, be you
- prostrate and grovel on the earth.—John Southwell, read you; and
- let us to our work.
[Enter DUCHESS aloft, HUME following.]
- Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this gear
- the sooner the better.
- Patience, good lady, wizards know their times:
- Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
- The time of night when Troy was set on fire,
- The time when screech-owls cry and ban-dogs howl
- And spirits walk and ghosts break up their graves,
- That time best fits the work we have in hand.
- Madam, sit you and fear not; whom we raise,
- We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.
[Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle; Bolingbroke or Southwell reads, Conjuro te, etc. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth.]
- By the eternal God, whose name and power
- Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask;
- For till thou speak thou shalt not pass from hence.
- Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!
- [Reads] 'First of the king: what shall
- of him become?'
- The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose,
- But him outlive and die a violent death.
[As the Spirit speaks, Southwell writes the answer.]
- 'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'
- By water shall he die and take his end.
- [Reads] 'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'
- Let him shun castles;
- Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
- Than where castles mounted stand.
- Have done, for more I hardly can endure.
- Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
- False fiend, avoid!
[Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit.]
[Enter the DUKE OF YORK and the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM with their Guard and break in YORK.]
- Lay hands upon these traitors and their trash.—
- Beldam, I think we watch'd you at an inch.
- What, madam, are you there? the king and commonweal
- Are deeply indebted for this piece of pains;
- My lord protector will, I doubt it not,
- See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts.
- Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
- Injurious duke, that threatest where's no cause.
- True, madam, none at all; what call you this?—
- Away with them! let them be clapp'd up close,
- And kept asunder.—You, madam, shall with us.—
- Stafford, take her to thee.—
[Exeunt above, Duchess and Hume, guarded.]
- We'll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.—
- All, away!
[Exeunt guard with Jourdain, Southwell, etc.]
- Lord Buckingham, methinks you watch'd her well;
- A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon!
- Now, pray, my lord, let's see the devil's writ.
- What have we here?
- [Reads] 'The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose.
- But him outlive and die a violent death.'
- Why, this is just
- 'Aio te, Aeacida, Romanos vincere posse.'
- Well, to the rest:
- 'Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of Suffolk?
- By water shall he die and take his end.
- What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
- Let him shun castles;
- Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
- Than where castles mounted stand.'—
- Come, come, my lords;
- These oracles are hardly attain'd,
- And hardly understood.
- The king is now in progress towards Saint Alban's,
- With him the husband of this lovely lady.
- Thither go these news, as fast as horse can carry them;
- A sorry breakfast for my lord protector.
- Your Grace shall give me leave, my
- Lord of York,
- To be the post, in hope of his reward.
- At your pleasure, my good lord.—
- Who's within there, ho!
[Enter a Servingman.]
- Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick
- To sup with me to-morrow night. Away!
SCENE I. Saint Alban's.
[Enter the KING, QUEEN, GLOSTER, CARDINAL, and SUFFOLK, with FALCONERS halloing.]
- Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook,
- I saw not better sport these seven years' day;
- Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high,
- And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.
- But what a point, my lord, your falcon made,
- And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
- To see how God in all His creatures works!
- Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.
- No marvel, an it like your majesty,
- My lord protector's hawks do tower so well;
- They know their master loves to be aloft,
- And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.
- My lord, 't is but a base ignoble mind
- That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
- I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.
- Ay, my lord cardinal? how think you by that?
- Were it not good your grace could fly to heaven?
- The treasury of everlasting joy.
- Thy heaven is on earth; thine eyes and thoughts
- Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart,
- Pernicious protector, dangerous peer,
- That smooth'st it so with king and commonweal.
- What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown peremptory?
- Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?
- Churchmen so hot? good uncle, hide such malice;
- With such holiness can you do it?
- No malice, sir; no more than well becomes
- So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.
- As who, my lord?
- Why, as you, my lord,
- An 't like your lordly lord-protectorship.
- Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
- And thy ambition, Gloster.
- I prithee, peace, good queen,
- And whet not on these furious peers;
- For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.
- Let me be blessed for the peace I make
- Against this proud protector, with my sword!
- [Aside to Cardinal.] Faith, holy uncle, would 't
- were come to that!
- [Aside to Gloster.] Marry, when thou dar'st.
- [Aside to Cardinal.] Make up no factious numbers
- for the matter;
- In thine own person answer thy abuse.
- [Aside to Gloster.] Ay, where thou dar'st not peep;
- an if thou dar'st,
- This evening, on the east side of the grove.
- How now, my lords!
- Believe me, cousin Gloster,
- Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
- We had had more sport.—[Aside to Gloster.] Come with thy
- two-hand sword.
- True, uncle.
- [Aside to Gloster.] Are ye advis'd? the east side
- of the grove?
- [Aside to CARDINAL.] Cardinal, I am with you.
- Why, how now, uncle Gloster!
- Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.—
- [Aside to Cardinal.] Now, by God's mother, priest,
- I'll shave your crown for this,
- Or all my fence shall fail.
- [Aside to Gloster.] Medice, teipsum—
- Protector, see to 't well, protect yourself.
- The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.
- How irksome is this music to my heart!
- When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
- I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.
[Enter a Townsman of Saint Alban's, crying 'A miracle!']
- What means this noise?
- Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
- A miracle! A miracle!
- Come to the king, and tell him what miracle.
- Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's shrine,
- Within this half hour, hath receiv'd his sight;
- A man that ne'er saw in his life before.
- Now, God be prais'd, that to believing souls
- Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
[Enter the Mayor of Saint Alban's and his brethren, bearing SIMPCOX, between two in a chair, SIMPCOX's Wife following.]
- Here comes the townsmen on procession,
- To present your highness with the man.
- Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
- Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
- Stand by, my masters.
- Bring him near the king;
- His highness' pleasure is to talk with him.
- Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,
- That we for thee may glorify the Lord.
- What, hast thou been long blind and now restor'd?
- Born blind, an 't please your grace.
- Ay indeed was he.
- What woman is this?
- His wife, an 't like your worship.
- Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst
- have better told.
- Where wert thou born?
- At Berwick in the north, an 't like your grace.
- Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee;
- Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
- But still remember what the Lord hath done.
- Tell me, good fellow, cam'st thou here by chance,
- Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?
- God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd
- A hundred times and oftener, in my sleep,
- By good Saint Alban, who said 'Simpcox, come,
- Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'
- Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft
- Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
- What, art thou lame?
- Ay, God Almighty help me!
- How cam'st thou so?
- A fall off of a tree.
- A plum-tree, master.
- How long hast thou been blind?
- O, born so, master!
- What, and wouldst climb a tree?
- But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
- Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.
- Mass, thou lov'dst plums well that wouldst venture so.
- Alas, good master, my wife desir'd some damsons,
- And made me climb, with danger of my life.
- A subtle knave! but yet it shall not serve.—
- Let me see thine eyes.—Wink now;—now open them.
- In my opinion yet thou seest not well.
- Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and Saint Alban.
- Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?
- Red, master, red as blood.
- Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?
- Black, forsooth, coal-black as jet.
- Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?
- And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
- But cloaks and gowns before this day, a many.
- Never before this day in all his life.
- Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?
- Alas, master, I know not.
- What's his name?
- I know not.
- Nor his?
- No, indeed, master.
- What's thine own name?
- Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
- Then, Saunder, sit there, the lyingest knave in
- Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou mightst as well
- have known all our names as thus to name the several colours we
- do wear. Sight may distinguish of colours; but suddenly to
- nominate them all, it is impossible.—My lords, Saint Alban here
- hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his cunning to be
- great that could restore this cripple to his legs again?
- O master, that you could!
- My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not beadles in
- your town, and things called whips?
- Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.
- Then send for one presently.
- Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
[Exit an Attendant.]
- Now fetch me a stool hither by and by.—Now, sirrah,
- if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this
- stool and run away.
- Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone;
- You go about to torture me in vain.
[Enter a Beadle with whips.]
- Well, sir, we must have you find your legs.—
- Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
- I will, my lord.—Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet
- Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.
[After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry, 'A miracle!']
- O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?
- It made me laugh to see the villain run.
- Follow the knave, and take this drab away.
- Alas, sir, we did it for pure need!
- Let them be whipped through every market-town
- till they come to Berwick, from whence they came.
[Exeunt Wife, Beadle, Mayor, etc.]
- Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.
- True; made the lame to leap and fly away.
- But you have done more miracles than I;
- You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.
- What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
- Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold.
- A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent,
- Under the countenance and confederacy
- Of Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife,
- The ringleader and head of all this rout,
- Have practis'd dangerously against your state,
- Dealing with witches and with conjurers,
- Whom we have apprehended in the fact,
- Raising up wicked spirits from underground,
- Demanding of King Henry's life and death,
- And other of your highness' privy-council,
- As more at large your Grace shall understand.
- [Aside to Gloster.] And so, my lord protector,
- by this means
- Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
- This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge;
- 'T is like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.
- Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart.
- Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers;
- And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee,
- Or to the meanest groom.
- O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
- Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
- Gloster, see here the tainture of thy nest;
- And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
- Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal,
- How I have lov'd my king and commonweal;
- And, for my wife, I know not how it stands.
- Sorry I am to hear what I have heard;
- Noble she is; but if she have forgot
- Honour and virtue, and convers'd with such
- As like to pitch defile nobility,
- I banish her my bed and company,
- And give her as a prey to law and shame,
- That hath dishonoured Gloster's honest name.
- Well, for this night we will repose us here;
- To-morrow toward London back again,
- To look into this business thoroughly,
- And call these foul offenders to their answers,
- And poise the cause in justice' equal scales,
- Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails.
SCENE II. London. The Duke of York's Garden.
[Enter YORK, SALISBURY, and WARWICK.]
- Now, my good Lords of Salisbury and Warwick,
- Our simple supper ended, give me leave
- In this close walk to satisfy myself,
- In craving your opinion of my title,
- Which is infallible, to England's crown.
- My lord, I long to hear it at full.
- Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good,
- The Nevils are thy subjects to command.
- Then thus:
- Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons:
- The first, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales;
- The second, William of Hatfield; and the third,
- Lionel Duke of Clarence; next to whom
- Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster;
- The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York;
- The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloster;
- William of Windsor was the seventh and last.
- Edward the Black Prince died before his father
- And left behind him Richard, his only son,
- Who after Edward the Third's death reign'd as king;
- Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
- The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
- Crown'd by the name of Henry the Fourth,
- Seiz'd on the realm, depos'd the rightful king,
- Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she came,
- And him to Pomfret, where, as all you know,
- Harmless Richard was murther'd traitorously.
- Father, the duke hath told the truth;
- Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
- Which now they hold by force and not by right;
- For Richard, the first son's heir, being dead,
- The issue of the next son should have reign'd.
- But William of Hatfield died without an heir.
- The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line
- I claim the crown, had issue, Philippe, a daughter,
- Who married Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March.
- Edmund had issue, Roger Earl of March;
- Roger had issue, Edmund, Anne, and Eleanor.
- This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,
- As I have read, laid claim unto the crown;
- And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
- Who kept him in captivity till he died.
- But to the rest.
- His eldest sister, Anne,
- My mother, being heir unto the crown,
- Married Richard Earl of Cambridge, who was son
- To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son.
- By her I claim the kingdom; she was heir
- To Roger Earl of March, who was the son
- Of Edmund Mortimer, who married Philippe,
- Sole daughter unto Lionel Duke of Clarence.
- So, if the issue of the elder son
- Succeed before the younger, I am king.
- What plain proceeding is more plain than this?
- Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
- The fourth son; York claims it from the third.
- Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign;
- It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee
- And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.—
- Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together;
- And in this private plot be we the first
- That shall salute our rightful sovereign
- With honour of his birthright to the crown.
- Long live our sovereign Richard, England's king!
- We thank you, lords. But I am not your king
- Till I be crown'd, and that my sword be stain'd
- With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster;
- And that's not suddenly to be perform'd,
- But with advice and silent secrecy.
- Do you as I do in these dangerous days,—
- Wink at the Duke of Suffolk's insolence,
- At Beaufort's pride, at Somerset's ambition,
- At Buckingham, and all the crew of them,
- Till they have snar'd the shepherd of the flock,
- That virtuous prince, the good Duke Humphrey;
- 'T is that they seek, and they in seeking that
- Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.
- My lord, break we off; we know your mind at full.
- My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
- Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
- And, Nevil, this I do assure myself:
- Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
- The greatest man in England but the king.
SCENE III. A Hall of Justice.
[Sound trumpets. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, GLOSTER, YORK, SUFFOLK, and SALISBURY; the DUCHESS OF GLOSTER, MARGERY JOURDAIN, SOUTHWELL, HUME, and BOLINGBROKE, under guard.]
- Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloster's wife.
- In sight of God and us, your guilt is great;
- Receive the sentence of the law for sins
- Such as by God's book are adjudg'd to death.—
- You four, from hence to prison back again,
- From thence unto the place of execution.
- The witch in Smithfield shall be burn'd to ashes,
- And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.—
- You, madam, for you are more nobly born,
- Despoiled of your honour in your life,
- Shall, after three days' open penance done,
- Live in your country here in banishment,
- With Sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man.
- Welcome is banishment; welcome were my death.
- Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee;
- I cannot justify whom the law condemns.—
[Exeunt Duchess and the other prisoners, guarded..]
- Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
- Ah, Humphrey, this dishonour in thine age
- Will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground!—
- I beseech your majesty, give me leave to go;
- Sorrow would solace, and mine age would ease.
- Stay, Humphrey Duke of Gloster.
- Ere thou go,
- Give up thy staff; Henry will to himself
- Protector be, and God shall be my hope,
- My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet.
- And go in peace, Humphrey, no less belov'd
- Than when thou wert protector to thy king.
- I see no reason why a king of years
- Should be to be protected like a child.—
- God and King Henry govern England's realm.
- Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm.
- My staff? Here, noble Henry, is my staff.
- As willingly do I the same resign
- As e'er thy father Henry made it mine;
- And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it
- As others would ambitiously receive it.
- Farewell, good king; when I am dead and gone,
- May honourable peace attend thy throne!
- Why, now is Henry king, and Margaret queen;
- And Humphrey Duke of Gloster scarce himself,
- That bears so shrewd a maim; two pulls at once—
- His lady banish'd, and a limb lopp'd off.
- This staff of honour raught, there let it stand
- Where it best fits to be, in Henry's hand.
- Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays;
- Thus Eleanor's pride dies in her youngest days.
- Lords, let him go.—Please it your majesty,
- This is the day appointed for the combat;
- And ready are the appellant and defendant,
- The armourer and his man, to enter the lists,
- So please your highness to behold the fight.
- Ay, good my lord; for purposely therefore
- Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.
- O' God's name, see the lists and all things fit.
- Here let them end it; and God defend the right!
- I never saw a fellow worse bested,
- Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant,
- The servant of his armourer, my lords.
[Enter at one door, HORNER the Armourer, and his Neighbours, drinking to him so much that he is drunk; and he enters with a drum before him and his staff with a sand-bag fastened to it; and at the other door PETER, his man, with a drum and sandbag, and Prentices drinking to him.]
- Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of
- sack; and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.
- And here, neighbour, here's a cup of charneco.
- And here's a pot of good double beer, neighbour;
- drink, and fear not your man.
- Let it come, i' faith, and I'll pledge you all; and a
- fig for Peter!
- Here, Peter, I drink to thee; and be not afraid.
- Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master: fight
- for credit of the prentices.
- I thank you all; drink, and pray for me, I pray you, for I
- think I have taken my last draught in this world.—Here, Robin,
- an if I die, I give thee my apron;—and, Will, thou shalt have my
- hammer;—and here, Tom, take all the money that I have.—O Lord
- bless me! I pray God! for I am never able to deal with my master,
- he hath learnt so much fence already.
- Come, leave your drinking and fall to blows.—
- Sirrah, what's thy name?
- Peter, forsooth.
- Peter? what more?
- Thump! then see thou thump thy master well.
- Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon my man's instigation,
- to prove him a knave and myself an honest man; and touching the
- Duke of York, I will take my death, I never meant him any ill,
- nor the
- king, nor the queen;—and therefore, Peter, have at thee with a
- Dispatch; this knave's tongue begins to double.—
- Sound, trumpets, alarum to the combatants!
[Alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes him down.]
- Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
- Take away his weapon.—Fellow, thank God, and the good
- wine in thy master's way.
- O God, have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O
- Peter, thou hast prevail'd in right!
- Go, take hence that traitor from our sight,
- For by his death we do perceive his guilt;
- And God in justice hath reveal'd to us
- The truth and innocence of this poor fellow,
- Which he had thought to have murther'd wrongfully.—
- Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.
[Sound a flourish. Exeunt.]
SCENE IV. A Street.
[Enter GLOSTER and his Servingmen, in mourning cloaks.]
- Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud,
- And after summer evermore succeeds
- Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold;
- So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
- Sirs, what's o'clock?
- Ten, my lord.
- Ten is the hour that was appointed me
- To watch the coming of my punish'd duchess.
- Uneath may she endure the flinty streets,
- To tread them with her tender-feeling feet.—
- Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook
- The abject people gazing on thy face
- With envious looks, laughing at thy shame,
- That erst did follow thy proud chariot-wheels
- When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets.—
- But, soft! I think she comes; and I'll prepare
- My tear-stain'd eyes to see her miseries.
[Enter the DUCHESS OF GLOSTER in a white sheet, and a taper burning in her hand; with SIR JOHN STANLEY, the Sheriff, and Officers.]
- So please your Grace, we'll take her from the
- No, stir not for your lives; let her pass by.
- Come you, my lord, to see my open shame?
- Now thou dost penance too. Look how they gaze!
- See how the giddy multitude do point,
- And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee!
- Ah, Gloster, hide thee from their hateful looks,
- And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
- And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!
- Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
- Ah, Gloster, teach me to forget myself!
- For whilst I think I am thy married wife,
- And thou a prince, protector of this land,
- Methinks I should not thus be led along,
- Mail'd up in shame, with papers on my back,
- And follow'd with a rabble that rejoice
- To see my tears and hear my deep-fet groans.
- The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet,
- And when I start, the envious people laugh
- And bid me be advised how I tread.
- Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke?
- Trow'st thou that e'er I'll look upon the world,
- Or count them happy that enjoy the sun?
- No; dark shall be my light and night my day;
- To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.
- Sometimes I'll say, I am Duke Humphrey's wife,
- And he a prince and ruler of the land;
- Yet so he rul'd and such a prince he was
- As he stood by whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
- Was made a wonder and a pointing-stock
- To every idle rascal follower.
- But be thou mild and blush not at my shame,
- Nor stir at nothing till the axe of death
- Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will;
- For Suffolk, he that can do all in all
- With her that hateth thee and hates us all,
- And York, and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
- Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings,
- And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle thee;
- But fear not thou until thy foot be snar'd,
- Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.
- Ah, Nell, forbear! thou aimest all awry.
- I must offend before I be attainted;
- And had I twenty times so many foes,
- And each of them had twenty times their power,
- All these could not procure me any scath
- So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
- Wouldst have me rescue thee from this reproach?
- Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away,
- But I in danger for the breach of law.
- Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell.
- I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience;
- These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.
[Enter a Herald.]
- I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament,
- Holden at Bury the first of this next month.
- And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before!
- This is close dealing.—Well, I will be there.—
- My Nell, I take my leave;—and, master sheriff,
- Let not her penance exceed the king's commission.
- An 't please your grace, here my commission stays,
- And Sir John Stanley is appointed now
- To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
- Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
- So am I given in charge, may 't please your grace.
- Entreat her not the worse in that I pray
- You use her well.
- The world may laugh again,
- And I may live to do you kindness if
- You do it her; and so, Sir John, farewell!
- What, gone, my lord, and bid me not farewell!
- Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
[Exeunt Gloster and Servingmen.]
- Art thou gone too? all comfort go with thee!
- For none abides with me; my joy is death,
- Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard,
- Because I wish'd this world's eternity.—
- Stanley, I prithee, go, and take me hence;
- I care not whither, for I beg no favour,
- Only convey me where thou art commanded.
- Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man;
- There to be us'd according to your state.
- That's bad enough, for I am but reproach;
- And shall I then be us'd reproachfully?
- Like to a duchess, and Duke Humphrey's lady;
- According to that state you shall be us'd.
- Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare,
- Although thou hast been conduct of my shame.
- It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
- Ay, ay, farewell; thy office is discharg'd.—
- Come, Stanley, shall we go?
- Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet,
- And go we to attire you for our journey.
- My shame will not be shifted with my sheet;
- No, it will hang upon my richest robes
- And show itself, attire me how I can.
- Go, lead the way; I long to see my prison.
SCENE I. The Abbey at Bury St. Edmund's.
[Sound a sennet. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, CARDINAL BEAUFORT, SUFFOLK, YORK, BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY, and WARWICK to the Parliament.]
- I muse my Lord of Gloster is not come;
- 'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
- Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.
- Can you not see? or will ye not observe
- The strangeness of his alter'd countenance?
- With what a majesty he bears himself,
- How insolent of late he is become,
- How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself?
- We know the time since he was mild and affable,
- And if we did but glance a far-off look,
- Immediately he was upon his knee,
- That all the court admir'd him for submission;
- But meet him now, and be it in the morn
- When every one will give the time of day,
- He knits his brow, and shows an angry eye,
- And passeth by with stiff unbowed knee,
- Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
- Small curs are not regarded when they grin,
- But great men tremble when the lion roars;
- And Humphrey is no little man in England.
- First note that he is near you in descent,
- And should you fall, he is the next will mount.
- Me seemeth then it is no policy,
- Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears
- And his advantage following your decease,
- That he should come about your royal person
- Or be admitted to your highness' council.
- By flattery hath he won the commons' hearts,
- And when he please to make commotion
- 'T is to be fear'd they all will follow him.
- Now 't is the spring and weeds are shallow-rooted;
- Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden
- And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
- The reverent care I bear unto my lord
- Made me collect these dangers in the duke.
- If it be fond, can it a woman's fear;
- Which fear if better reasons can supplant,
- I will subscribe and say I wrong'd the duke.—
- My Lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
- Reprove my allegation if you can,
- Or else conclude my words effectual.
- Well hath your highness seen into this duke;
- And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
- I think I should have told your grace's tale.
- The duchess by his subornation,
- Upon my life, began her devilish practices;
- Or, if he were not privy to those faults,
- Yet, by reputing of his high descent,
- As next the king he was successive heir,
- And such high vaunts of his nobility,
- Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess
- By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall.
- Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep,
- And in his simple show he harbours treason.
- The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.—
- No, no, my sovereign; Gloster is a man
- Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.
- Did he not, contrary to form of law,
- Devise strange deaths for small offences done?
- And did he not, in his protectorship,
- Levy great sums of money through the realm
- For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it?
- By means whereof the towns each day revolted.
- Tut, these are petty faults to faults unknown,
- Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke Humphrey.
- My lords, at once: the care you have of us,
- To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot,
- Is worthy praise; but, shall I speak my conscience,
- Our kinsman Gloster is as innocent
- From meaning treason to our royal person
- As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove.
- The duke is virtuous, mild, and too well given
- To dream on evil or to work my downfall.
- Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond affiance!
- Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrow'd,
- For he's disposed as the hateful raven;
- Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
- For he's inclin'd as is the ravenous wolf.
- Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
- Take heed, my lord; the welfare of us all
- Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
- All health unto my gracious sovereign!
- Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news from France?
- That all your interest in those territories
- Is utterly bereft you; all is lost.
- Cold news, Lord Somerset; but God's will be done!
- [Aside.] Cold news for me, for I had hope of France
- As firmly as I hope for fertile England.
- Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud,
- And caterpillars eat my leaves away;
- But I will remedy this gear ere long
- Or sell my title for a glorious grave.
- All happiness unto my lord the king!
- Pardon, my liege, that I have staid so long.
- Nay, Gloster, know that thou art come too soon,
- Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art.
- I do arrest thee of high treason here.
- Well, Suffolk, thou shalt not see me blush,
- Nor change my countenance for this arrest;
- A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.
- The purest spring is not so free from mud
- As I am clear from treason to my sovereign.
- Who can accuse me? wherein am I guilty?
- 'T is thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France,
- And, being protector, stay'd the soldiers' pay,
- By means whereof his highness hath lost France.
- Is it but thought so? what are they that think it?
- I never robb'd the soldiers of their pay,
- Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
- So help me God, as I have watch'd the night,
- Ay, night by night, in studying good for England!
- That doit that e'er I wrested from the king,
- Or any groat I hoarded to my use,
- Be brought against me at my trial-day!
- No; many a pound of mine own proper store,
- Because I would not tax the needy commons,
- Have I dispursed to the garrisons,
- And never ask'd for restitution.
- It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
- I say no more than truth, so help me God!
- In your protectorship you did devise
- Strange tortures for offenders never heard of,
- That England was defam'd by tyranny.
- Why, 't is well known that, whiles I was protector,
- Pity was all the fault that was in me;
- For I should melt at an offender's tears,
- And lowly words were ransom for their fault.
- Unless it were a bloody murtherer,
- Or foul felonious thief that fleec'd poor passengers,
- I never gave them condign punishment.
- Murther indeed, that bloody sin, I tortur'd
- Above the felon or what trespass else.
- My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answer'd;
- But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge,
- Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
- I do arrest you in his highness' name,
- And here commit you to my lord cardinal
- To keep until your further time of trial.
- My Lord of Gloster, 't is my special hope
- That you will clear yourself from all suspect;
- My conscience tells me you are innocent.
- Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous.
- Virtue is chok'd with foul ambition,
- And charity chas'd hence by rancour's hand;
- Foul subornation is predominant,
- And equity exil'd your highness' land.
- I know their complot is to have my life,
- And if my death might make this island happy
- And prove the period of their tyranny,
- I would expend it with all willingness;
- But mine is made the prologue to their play,
- For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril,
- Will not conclude their plotted tragedy.
- Beaufort's red sparkling eyes blab his heart's malice,
- And Suffolk's cloudy brow his stormy hate;
- Sharp Buckingham unburthens with his tongue
- The envious load that lies upon his heart;
- And dogged York, that reaches at the moon,
- Whose overweening arm I have pluck'd back,
- By false accuse doth level at my life.—
- And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
- Causeless have laid disgraces on my head
- And with your best endeavour have stirr'd up
- My liefest liege to be mine enemy.—
- Ay, all of you have laid your heads together—
- Myself had notice of your conventicles—
- And all to make away my guiltless life.
- I shall not want false witness to condemn me,
- Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt;
- The ancient proverb will be well effected,—
- 'A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.'
- My liege, his railing is intolerable;
- If those that care to keep your royal person
- From treason's secret knife and traitor's rage
- Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at,
- And the offender granted scope of speech,
- 'T will make them cool in zeal unto your grace.
- Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
- With ignominious words, though clerkly couch'd,
- As if she had suborned some to swear
- False allegations to o'erthrow his state?
- But I can give the loser leave to chide.
- Far truer spoke than meant; I lose, indeed.
- Beshrew the winners, for they play'd me false!
- And well such losers may have leave to speak.
- He'll wrest the sense and hold us here all day.—
- Lord Cardinal, he is your prisoner.
- Sirs, take away the Duke, and guard him sure.
- Ah, thus King Henry throws away his crutch
- Before his legs be firm to bear his body.
- Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
- And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee first.
- Ah, that my fear were false! ah, that it were!
- For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.
- My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best,
- Do or undo, as if ourself were here.
- What, will your highness leave the parliament?
- Ay, Margaret; my heart is drown'd with grief,
- Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes,
- My body round engirt with misery,
- For what's more miserable than discontent?—
- Ah, uncle Humphrey! in thy face I see
- The map of honour, truth, and loyalty;
- And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come
- That e'er I prov'd thee false or fear'd thy faith.
- What lowering star now envies thy estate,
- That these great lords and Margaret our queen
- Do seek subversion of thy harmless life?
- Thou never didst them wrong nor no man wrong;
- And as the butcher takes away the calf
- And binds the wretch and beats it when it strays,
- Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house,
- Even so remorseless have they borne him hence;
- And as the dam runs lowing up and down,
- Looking the way her harmless young one went,
- And can do nought but wail her darling's loss,
- Even so myself bewails good Gloster's case
- With sad unhelpful tears, and with dimm'd eyes
- Look after him, and cannot do him good,
- So mighty are his vowed enemies.
- His fortunes I will weep and 'twixt each groan
- Say 'Who's a traitor? Gloster he is none.'
[Exeunt all but Queen, Cardinal Beaufort, Suffolk and York; Somerset remains apart.]
- Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun's hot beams.
- Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,
- Too full of foolish pity, and Gloster's show
- Beguiles him as the mournful crocodile
- With sorrow snares relenting passengers,
- Or as the snake roll'd in a flowering bank,
- With shining checker'd slough, doth sting a child
- That for the beauty thinks it excellent.
- Believe me, lords, were none more wise than I—
- And yet herein I judge mine own wit good—
- This Gloster should be quickly rid the world,
- To rid us from the fear we have of him.
- That he should die is worthy policy,
- But yet we want a colour for his death,
- 'T is meet he be condemn'd by course of law.
- But, in my mind, that were no policy.
- The king will labour still to save his life;
- The commons haply rise to save his life,
- And yet we have but trivial argument,
- More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death.
- So that, by this, you would not have him die.
- Ah, York, no man alive so fain as I!
- 'T is York that hath more reason for his death.—
- But, my lord cardinal, and you, my Lord of Suffolk,
- Say as you think, and speak it from your souls,
- Were 't not all one an empty eagle were set
- To guard the chicken from a hungry kite,
- As place Duke Humphrey for the king's protector?
- So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
- Madam, 't is true; and were 't not madness, then,
- To make the fox surveyor of the fold?
- Who being accus'd a crafty murtherer,
- His guilt should be but idly posted over,
- Because his purpose is not executed.
- No; let him die, in that he is a fox,
- By nature prov'd an enemy to the flock,
- Before his chaps be stain'd with crimson blood,
- As Humphrey, prov'd by reasons, to my liege.
- And do not stand on quillets how to slay him.
- Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
- Sleeping or waking, 't is no matter how,
- So he be dead; for that is good deceit
- Which mates him first that first intends deceit.
- Thrice-noble Suffolk, 't is resolutely spoke.
- Not resolute, except so much were done,
- For things are often spoke and seldom meant;
- But that my heart accordeth with my tongue,—
- Seeing the deed is meritorious,
- And to preserve my sovereign from his foe,—
- Say but the word, and I will be his priest.
- But I would have him dead, my Lord of Suffolk,
- Ere you can take due orders for a priest.
- Say you consent and censure well the deed,
- And I'll provide his executioner,
- I tender so the safety of my liege.
- Here is my hand, the deed is worthy doing.
- And so say I.
- And I; and now we three have spoke it,
- It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
[Enter a Post.]
- Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain,
- To signify that rebels there are up
- And put the Englishmen unto the sword.
- Send succours, lords, and stop the rage betime,
- Before the wound do grow uncurable;
- For, being green, there is great hope of help.
- A breach that craves a quick expedient stop!
- What council give you in this weighty cause?
- That Somerset be sent as regent thither.
- 'T is meet that lucky ruler be employ'd;
- Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
- If York, with all his far-fet policy,
- Had been the regent there instead of me,
- He never would have stay'd in France so long.
- No, not to lose it all as thou hast done;
- I rather would have lost my life betimes
- Than bring a burden of dishonour home
- By staying there so long till all were lost.
- Show me one scar character'd on thy skin;
- Men's flesh preserv'd so whole do seldom win.
- Nay then, this spark will prove a raging fire,
- If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with.
- No more, good York.—Sweet Somerset, be still.—
- Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there,
- Might happily have prov'd far worse than his.
- What, worse than nought? nay, then a shame take all!
- And, in the number, thee that wishest shame!
- My Lord of York, try what your fortune is.
- The uncivil kerns of Ireland are in arms,
- And temper clay with blood of Englishmen.
- To Ireland will you lead a band of men,
- Collected choicely, from each county some,
- And try your hap against the Irishmen?
- I will, my lord, so please his majesty.
- Why, our authority is his consent,
- And what we do establish he confirms.—
- Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.
- I am content.—Provide me soldiers, lords,
- Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.
- A charge, Lord York, that I will see perform'd.
- But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.
- No more of him; for I will deal with him
- That henceforth he shall trouble us no more.
- And so break off; the day is almost spent.—
- Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.
- My Lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days
- At Bristol I expect my soldiers;
- For there I'll ship them all for Ireland.
- I'll see it truly done, my Lord of York.
[Exeunt all but York.]
- Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts,
- And change misdoubt to resolution.
- Be that thou hop'st to be, or what thou art
- Resign to death; it is not worth the enjoying.
- Let pale-fac'd fear keep with the mean-born man,
- And find no harbour in a royal heart.
- Faster than spring-time showers comes thought on thought,
- And not a thought but thinks on dignity.
- My brain more busy than the labouring spider
- Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
- Well, nobles, well, 't is politicly done,
- To send me packing with an host of men;
- I fear me you but warm the starved snake,
- Who, cherish'd in your breasts, will sting your hearts.
- 'T was men I lack'd, and you will give them me;
- I take it kindly, yet be well-assur'd
- You put sharp weapons in a madman's hands.
- Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band,
- I will stir up in England some black storm
- Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell;
- And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage
- Until the golden circuit on my head,
- Like to the glorious sun's transparent beams,
- Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw.
- And for a minister of my intent,
- I have seduc'd a headstrong Kentishman,
- John Cade of Ashford,
- To make commotion, as full well he can,
- Under the tide of John Mortimer.
- In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade
- Oppose himself against a troop of kerns,
- And fought so long till that his thighs with darts
- Were almost like a sharp-quill'd porpentine;
- And, in the end being rescu'd, I have seen
- Him caper upright like a wild Morisco,
- Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.
- Full often, like a shag-hair'd crafty kern,
- Hath he conversed with the enemy,
- And undiscover'd come to me again
- And given me notice of their villainies.
- This devil here shall be my substitute;
- For that John Mortimer, which now is dead,
- In face, in gait, in speech, he doth resemble.
- By this I shall perceive the commons' mind,
- How they affect the house and claim of York.
- Say he be taken, rack'd, and tortured,
- I know no pain they can inflict upon him
- Will make him say I mov'd him to those arms.
- Say that he thrive, as 't is great like he will,
- Why, then from Ireland come I with my strength
- And reap the harvest which that rascal sow'd;
- For Humphrey being dead, as he shall be,
- And Henry put apart, the next for me.
SCENE II. Bury St. Edmund's. A Room of State.
[Enter certain Murderers, hastily.]
- Run to my Lord of Suffolk; let him know
- We have dispatch'd the duke, as he commanded.
- O that it were to do! What have we done?
- Didst ever hear a man so penitent?
- Here comes my lord.
- Now, sirs, have you dispatch'd this thing?
- Ay, my good lord, he's dead.
- Why, that's well said. Go, get you to my house;
- I will reward you for this venturous deed.
- The king and all the peers are here at hand.
- Have you laid fair the bed? Is all things well,
- According as I gave directions?
- 'T is, my good lord.
- Away! be gone.
[Sound trumpets. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, CARDINAL BEAUFORT, SOMERSET, with attendants.]
- Go, call our uncle to our presence straight;
- Say we intend to try his grace to-day,
- If he be guilty, as 't is published.
- I'll call him presently, my noble lord.
- Lords, take your places; and, I pray you all,
- Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloster
- Than from true evidence of good esteem
- He be approv'd in practice culpable.
- God forbid any malice should prevail
- That faultless may condemn a nobleman!
- Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
- I thank thee, Meg; these words content me much.—
- How now! why look'st thou pale? why tremblest thou?
- Where is our uncle? what's the matter, Suffolk?
- Dead in his bed, my lord; Gloster is dead.
- Marry, God forfend!
- God's secret judgment!—I did dream to-night
- The duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
[The King swoons.]
- How fares my lord?—Help, lords! the king is dead.
- Rear up his body; wring him by the nose.
- Run, go, help, help!—O Henry, ope thine eyes!
- He doth revive again.—Madam, be patient.
- O heavenly God!
- How fares my gracious lord?
- Comfort, my sovereign! gracious Henry, comfort!
- What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me?
- Came he right now to sing a raven's note
- Whose dismal tune bereft my vital powers,
- And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
- By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
- Can chase away the first-conceived sound?
- Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words;
- Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say!
- Their touch affrights me as a serpent's sting.
- Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
- Upon thy eye-balls murtherous tyranny
- Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world.
- Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding.
- Yet do not go away; come, basilisk,
- And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight,
- For in the shade of death I shall find joy,
- In life but double death, now Gloster's dead.
- Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolk thus?
- Although the duke was enemy to him,
- Yet he most Christian-like laments his death;
- And for myself, foe as he was to me,
- Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans
- Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life,
- I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,
- Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs,
- And all to have the noble duke alive.
- What know I how the world may deem of me?
- For it is known we were but hollow friends.
- It may be judg'd I made the duke away;
- So shall my name with slander's tongue be wounded
- And princes' courts be fill'd with my reproach.
- This get I by his death. Ay me, unhappy!
- To be a queen, and crown'd with infamy!
- Ah, woe is me for Gloster, wretched man!
- Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.
- What, dost thou turn away and hide thy face?
- I am no loathsome leper; look on me.
- What! art thou, like the adder, waxen deaf?
- Be poisonous too and kill thy forlorn queen.
- Is all thy comfort shut in Gloster's tomb?
- Why, then, dame Margaret was ne'er thy joy.
- Erect his statue and worship it,
- And make my image but an alehouse sign.
- Was I for this nigh wrack'd upon the sea,
- And twice by awkward wind from England's bank
- Drove back again unto my native clime?
- What boded this but well forewarning wind
- Did seem to say 'Seek not a scorpion's nest,
- Nor set no footing on this unkind shore?'
- What did I then, but curs'd the gentle gusts
- And he that loos'd them forth their brazen caves,
- And bid them blow towards England's blessed shore,
- Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
- Yet Aeolus would not be a murtherer,
- But left that hateful office unto thee.
- The pretty-vaulting sea refus'd to drown me,
- Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown'd on shore,
- With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness.
- The splitting rocks cower'd in the sinking sands
- And would not dash me with their ragged sides,
- Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
- Might in thy palace perish Margaret.
- As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
- When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
- I stood upon the hatches in the storm,
- And when the dusky sky began to rob
- My earnest-gaping sight of thy land's view,
- I took a costly jewel from my neck—
- A heart it was, bound in with diamonds—
- And threw it towards thy land; the sea receiv'd it,
- And so I wish'd thy body might my heart.
- And even with this I lost fair England's view,
- And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart,
- And call'd them blind and dusky spectacles,
- For losing ken of Albion's wished coast.
- How often have I tempted Suffolk's tongue,
- The agent of thy foul inconstancy,
- To sit and witch me, as Ascanius did
- When he to madding Dido would unfold
- His father's acts commenc'd in burning Troy!
- Am I not witch'd like her? or thou not false like him?
- Ay me, I can no more! die, Margaret!
- For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
[Noise within. Enter WARWICK, SALISBURY, and many Commons.]
- It is reported, mighty sovereign,
- That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murther'd
- By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort's means.
- The commons, like an angry hive of bees
- That want their leader, scatter up and down
- And care not who they sting in his revenge.
- Myself have calm'd their spleenful mutiny
- Until they hear the order of his death.
- That he is dead, good Warwick, 't is too true;
- But how he died God knows, not Henry.
- Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse,
- And comment then upon his sudden death.
- That shall I do, my liege.—Stay, Salisbury,
- With the rude multitude till I return.
- O Thou that judgest all things, stay my thoughts,
- My thoughts, that labour to persuade my soul
- Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey's life!
- If my suspect be false, forgive me, God,
- For judgment only doth belong to thee.
- Fain would I go to chafe his paly lips
- With twenty thousand kisses, and to drain
- Upon his face an ocean of salt tears
- To tell my love unto his dumb deaf trunk,
- And with my fingers feel his hand unfeeling;
- But all in vain are these mean obsequies;
- And to survey his dead and earthy image,
- What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
[Re-enter WARWICK and others, bearing GLOSTER's body on a bed.]
- Come hither, gracious sovereign, view this body.
- That is to see how deep my grave is made;
- For with his soul fled all my worldly solace,
- For seeing him I see my life in death.
- As surely as my soul intends to live
- With that dread King that took our state upon him
- To free us from his father's wrathful curse,
- I do believe that violent hands were laid
- Upon the life of this thrice-famed duke.
- A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue!
- What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?
- See how the blood is settled in his face.
- Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,
- Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and bloodless,
- Being all descended to the labouring heart,
- Who, in the conflict that it holds with death,
- Attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy,
- Which with the heart there cools and ne'er returneth
- To blush and beautify the cheek again.
- But see, his face is black and full of blood,
- His eyeballs further out than when he liv'd,
- Staring full ghastly like a strangled man;
- His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretch'd with struggling,
- His hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd
- And tugg'd for life and was by strength subdu'd.
- Look, on the sheets his hair, you see, is sticking;
- His well-proportion'd beard made rough and rugged,
- Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodged.
- It cannot be but he was murther'd here;
- The least of all these signs were probable.
- Why, Warwick, who should do the duke to death?
- Myself and Beaufort had him in protection;
- And we, I hope, sir, are no murtherers.
- But both of you were vow'd Duke Humphrey's foes,
- And you, forsooth, had the good duke to keep;
- 'T is like you would not feast him like a friend,
- And 't is well seen he found an enemy.
- Then you, belike, suspect these noblemen
- As guilty of Duke Humphrey's timeless death.
- Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh
- And sees fast by a butcher with an axe
- But will suspect 't was he that made the slaughter?
- Who finds the partridge in the puttock's nest
- But may imagine how the bird was dead,
- Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
- Even so suspicious is this tragedy.
- Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where's your knife?
- Is Beaufort term'd a kite? Where are his talons?
- I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men;
- But here's a vengeful sword, rusted with ease,
- That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart
- That slanders me with murther's crimson badge.—
- Say, if thou dar'st, proud Lord of Warwickshire,
- That I am faulty in Duke Humphrey's death.
[Exeunt Cardinal, Somerset, and others.]
- What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?
- He dares not calm his contumelious spirit,
- Nor cease to be an arrogant controller,
- Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.
- Madam, be still,—with reverence may I say;
- For every word you speak in his behalf
- Is slander to your royal dignity.
- Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanour!
- If ever lady wrong'd her lord so much,
- Thy mother took into her blameful bed
- Some stern untutor'd churl, and noble stock
- Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art,
- And never of the Nevils' noble race.
- But that the guilt of murther bucklers thee
- And I should rob the deathsman of his fee,
- Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames,
- And that my sovereign's presence makes me mild,
- I would, false murtherous coward, on thy knee
- Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech
- And say it was thy mother that thou meant'st,
- That thou thyself was born in bastardy;
- And after all this fearful homage done,
- Give thee thy hire and send thy soul to hell,
- Pernicious blood-sucker of sleeping men!
- Thou shalt be waking while I shed thy blood,
- If from this presence thou dar'st go with me.
- Away even now, or I will drag thee hence.
- Unworthy though thou art, I'll cope with thee
- And do some service to Duke Humphrey's ghost.
[Exeunt Suffolk and Warwick.]
- What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
- Thrice is he arm'd that hath his quarrel just,
- And he but naked, though lock'd up in steel,
- Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
[A noise within.]
- What noise is this?
[Re-enter Suffolk and Warwick, with their weapons drawn.]
- Why, how now, lords! your wrathful weapons drawn
- Here in our presence! dare you be so bold?
- Why, what tumultuous clamour have we here?
- The traitorous Warwick with the men of Bury
- Set all upon me, mighty sovereign.
- [To the Commons, entering.] Sirs, stand apart;
- the king shall know your mind.—
- Dread lord, the commons send you word by me,
- Unless false Suffolk straight be done to death,
- Or banished fair England's territories,
- They will by violence tear him from your palace
- And torture him with grievous lingering death.
- They say, by him the good Duke Humphrey died;
- They say, in him they fear your highness' death;
- And mere instinct of love and loyalty,
- Free from a stubborn opposite intent,
- As being thought to contradict your liking,
- Makes them thus forward in his banishment.
- They say, in care of your most royal person,
- That if your highness should intend to sleep
- And charge that no man should disturb your rest
- In pain of your dislike or pain of death,
- Yet, notwithstanding such a strait edict,
- Were there a serpent seen, with forked tongue,
- That slily glided towards your majesty,
- It were but necessary you were wak'd,
- Lest, being suffer'd in that harmful slumber,
- The mortal worm might make the sleep eternal;
- And therefore do they cry, though you forbid,
- That they will guard you, whether you will or no,
- From such fell serpents as false Suffolk is,
- With whose envenomed and fatal sting,
- Your loving uncle, twenty times his worth,
- They say, is shamefully bereft of life.
- [Within.] An answer from the king, my Lord of Salisbury!
- 'T is like the commons, rude unpolish'd hinds,
- Could send such message to their sovereign;
- But you, my lord, were glad to be employ'd,
- To show how quaint an orator you are.
- But all the honour Salisbury hath won
- Is that he was the lord ambassador
- Sent from a sort of tinkers to the king.
- [Within.] An answer from the king, or we will all break in!
- Go, Salisbury, and tell them all from me,
- I thank them for their tender loving care,
- And had I not been cited so by them,
- Yet did I purpose as they do entreat,
- For, sure, my thoughts do hourly prophesy
- Mischance unto my state by Suffolk's means;
- And therefore, by His majesty I swear,
- Whose far unworthy deputy I am,
- He shall not breathe infection in this air
- But three days longer, on the pain of death.
- O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!
- Ungentle queen, to call him gentle Suffolk!
- No more, I say; if thou dost plead for him,
- Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath.
- Had I but said, I would have kept my word,
- But when I swear, it is irrevocable.—
- If, after three days' space, thou here be'st found
- On any ground that I am ruler of,
- The world shall not be ransom for thy life.—
- Come, Warwick, come, good Warwick, go with me;
- I have great matters to impart to thee.
[Exeunt all but Queen and Suffolk.]
- Mischance and sorrow go along with you!
- Heart's discontent and sour affliction
- Be playfellows to keep you company!
- There's two of you; the devil make a third!
- And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!
- Cease, gentle queen, these execrations,
- And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.
- Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch,
- Has thou not spirit to curse thine enemy?
- A plague upon them! wherefore should I curse them?
- Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake's groan,
- I would invent as bitter-searching terms,
- As curst, as harsh and horrible to hear,
- Deliver'd strongly through my fixed teeth,
- With full as many signs of deadly hate,
- As lean-fac'd Envy in her loathsome cave.
- My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words;
- Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint;
- Mine hair be fix'd an end, as one distract;
- Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban;
- And even now my burthen'd heart would break,
- Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink!
- Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste!
- Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress-trees!
- Their chiefest prospect murthering basilisks!
- Their softest touch as smart as lizards' stings!
- Their music frightful as the serpent's hiss,
- And boding screech-owls make the consort full!
- All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—
- Enough, sweet Suffolk; thou torment'st thyself;
- And these dread curses, like the sun 'gainst glass,
- Or like an overcharged gun, recoil
- And turns the force of them upon thyself.
- You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?
- Now, by the ground that I am banish'd from,
- Well could I curse away a winter's night,
- Though standing naked on a mountain top
- Where biting cold would never let grass grow,
- And think it but a minute spent in sport.
- O, let me entreat thee cease. Give me thy hand,
- That I may dew it with my mournful tears;
- Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place,
- To wash away my woeful monuments.
- O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
- That thou mightest think upon these by the seal,
- Through whom a thousand sighs are breath'd for thee!
- So, get thee gone, that I may know my grief;
- 'T is but surmis'd whiles thou art standing by,
- As one that surfeits thinking on a want.
- I will repeal thee, or, be well assur'd,
- Adventure to be banished myself;
- And banished I am, if but from thee.
- Go; speak not to me, even now be gone.—
- O, go not yet!—Even thus two friends condemn'd
- Embrace and kiss and take ten thousand leaves,
- Loather a hundred times to part than die.
- Yet now farewell; and farewell life with thee!
- Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished;
- Once by the king, and three times thrice by thee.
- 'T is not the land I care for, wert thou thence;
- A wilderness is populous enough,
- So Suffolk had thy heavenly company;
- For where thou art, there is the world itself,
- With every several pleasure in the world,
- And where thou art not, desolation.
- I can no more; live thou to joy thy life,
- Myself no joy in nought but that thou liv'st.
- Whither goes Vaux so fast? what news, I prithee?
- To signify unto his majesty
- That Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death;
- For suddenly a grievous sickness took him,
- That makes him gasp and stare and catch the air,
- Blaspheming God and cursing men on earth.
- Sometime he talks as if Duke Humphrey's ghost
- Were by his side, sometime he calls the king
- And whispers to his pillow as to him
- The secrets of his overcharged soul;
- And I am sent to tell his majesty
- That even now he cries aloud for him.
- Go tell this heavy message to the king.—
- Ay me! what is this world! what news are these!
- But wherefore grieve I at an hour's poor loss,
- Omitting Suffolk's exile, my soul's treasure?
- Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee,
- And with the southern clouds contend in tears,
- Theirs for the earth's increase, mine for my sorrows?
- Now get thee hence.
- The king, thou know'st, is coming;
- If thou be found by me; thou art but dead.
- If I depart from thee, I cannot live;
- And in thy sight to die, what were it else
- But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?
- Here could I breathe my soul into the air,
- As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe
- Dying with mother's dug between its lips;
- Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad
- And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes,
- To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth.
- So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul,
- Or I should breathe it so into thy body,
- And then it liv'd in sweet Elysium.
- To die by thee were but to die in jest;
- From thee to die were torture more than death.
- O, let me stay, befall what may befall!
- Away! though parting be a fretful corrosive,
- It is applied to a deathful wound.
- To France, sweet Suffolk; let me hear from thee,
- For whereso'er thou art in this world's globe
- I'll have an Iris that shall find thee out.
- I go.
- And take my heart with thee.
- A jewel, lock'd into the wofull'st cask
- That ever did contain a thing of worth.
- Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we;
- This way fall I to death.
- This way for me.
SCENE III. A Bedchamber.
[Enter the KING, SALISBURY, and WARWICK, to the CARDINAL in bed.]
- How fares my lord? speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign.
- If thou be'st Death, I'll give thee England's treasure,
- Enough to purchase such another island,
- So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
- Ah, what a sign it is of evil life
- Where death's approach is seen so terrible!
- Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
- Bring me unto my trial when you will.
- Died he not in his bed? where should he die?
- Can I make men live, whether they will or no?
- O, torture me no more! I will confess.—
- Alive again? then show me where he is;
- I'll give a thousand pound to look upon him.
- He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them.
- Comb down his hair; look, look! it stands upright,
- Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged soul.—
- Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary
- Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
- O Thou eternal Mover of the Heavens,
- Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch!
- O, beat away the busy meddling fiend
- That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul,
- And from his bosom purge this black despair!
- See how the pangs of death do make him grin!
- Disturb him not; let him pass peaceably.
- Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be!—
- Lord cardinal, if thou think'st on heaven's bliss,
- Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope.—
- He dies, and makes no sign.—O God, forgive him!
- So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
- Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all.—
- Close up his eyes and draw the curtain close;
- And let us all to meditation.
SCENE I. The Coast of Kent.
[Alarum. Fight at sea. Ordnance goes off. Enter a Captain, a Master, a Master's Mate, WALTER WHITMORE, and others; with them SUFFOLK, and others, prisoners.]
- The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day
- Is crept into the bosom of the sea;
- And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades
- That drag the tragic melancholy night,
- Who, with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings,
- Clip dead men's graves and from their misty jaws
- Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air.
- Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize;
- For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs,
- Here shall they make their ransom on the sand
- Or with their blood stain this discolour'd shore.—
- Master, this prisoner freely give I thee;—
- And thou that art his mate, make boot of this;—
- The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
- What is my ransom, master? let me know?
- A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
- And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
- What, think you much to pay two thousand crowns,
- And bear the name and port of gentlemen?—
- Cut both the villains' throats;—for die you shall.
- The lives of those which we have lost in fight
- Be counterpois'd with such a petty sum!
- I'll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life.
- And so will I, and write home for it straight.
- I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard,—
- [To Suffolk] And therefore, to revenge it, shalt thou die;—
- And so should these, if I might have my will.
- Be not so rash; take ransom, let him live.
- Look on my George; I am a gentleman.
- Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
- And so am I; my name is Walter Whitmore.
- How now! why start'st thou? What, doth death affright?
- Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death.
- A cunning man did calculate my birth
- And told me that by water I should die.
- Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded;
- Thy name is Gaultier, being rightly sounded.
- Gaultier or Walter, which it is, I care not.
- Never yet did base dishonour blur our name
- But with our sword we wip'd away the blot;
- Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge,
- Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defac'd,
- And I proclaim'd a coward through the world!
- Stay, Whitmore; for thy prisoner is a prince,
- The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
- The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags!
- Ay, but these rags are no part of the duke;
- Jove sometime went disguis'd, and why not I?
- But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.
- Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood,
- The honourable blood of Lancaster,
- Must not be shed by such a jaded groom.
- Hast thou not kiss'd thy hand and held my stirrup?
- Bare-headed plodded by my foot-cloth mule
- And thought thee happy when I shook my head?
- How often hast thou waited at my cup,
- Fed from my trencher, kneel'd down at the board,
- When I have feasted with Queen Margaret?
- Remember it and let it make thee crest-fallen,
- Ay, and allay thus thy abortive pride,
- How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood
- And duly waited for my coming forth.
- This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf,
- And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
- Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
- First let my words stab him, as he hath me.
- Base slave, thy words are blunt and so art thou.
- Convey him hence, and on our long-boat's side
- Strike off his head.
- Thou dar'st not, for thy own.
- Yes, Pole!
- Pool! Sir Pool! lord!
- Ay, kennel, puddle, sink, whose filth and dirt
- Troubles the silver spring where England drinks.
- Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth
- For swallowing the treasure of the realm;
- Thy lips that kiss'd the queen shall sweep the ground;
- And thou that smil'dst at good Duke Humphrey's death
- Against the senseless winds shalt grin in vain,
- Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again.
- And wedded be thou to the hags of hell,
- For daring to affy a mighty lord
- Unto the daughter of a worthless king,
- Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem.
- By devilish policy art thou grown great
- And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorg'd
- With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart.
- By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France,
- The false revolting Normans thorough thee
- Disdain to call us lord, and Picardy
- Hath slain their governors, surpris'd our forts,
- And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home.
- The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,
- Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,
- As hating thee are rising up in arms;
- And now the house of York, thrust from the crown
- By shameful murther of a guiltless king
- And lofty proud encroaching tyranny,
- Burns with revenging fire, whose hopeful colours
- Advance our half-fac'd sun, striving to shine,
- Under the which is writ 'Invitis nubibus.'
- The commons here in Kent are up in arms;
- And, to conclude, reproach and beggary
- Is crept into the palace of our king,
- And all by thee.—Away! convey him hence.
- O that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder
- Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges!
- Small things make base men proud; this villain here,
- Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more
- Than Bargulus the strong Illyrian pirate.—
- Drones suck not eagles' blood but rob bee-hives.
- It is impossible that I should die
- By such a lowly vassal as thyself.
- Thy words move rage and not remorse in me.
- I go of message from the queen to France;
- I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.
- Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
- Gelidus timor occupat artus; it is thee I fear.
- Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee.
- What, are ye daunted now? now will ye stoop?
- My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
- Suffolk's imperial tongue is stern and rough,
- Us'd to command, untaught to plead for favour.
- Far be it we should honour such as these
- With humble suit; no, rather let my head
- Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any
- Save to the God of heaven and to my king,
- And sooner dance upon a bloody pole
- Than stand uncover'd to the vulgar groom.
- True nobility is exempt from fear;
- More can I bear than you dare execute.
- Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
- Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can,
- That this my death may never be forgot!
- Great men oft die by vile bezonians:
- A Roman sworder and banditto slave
- Murther'd sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand
- Stabb'd Julius Caesar; savage islanders
- Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates.
[Exeunt Whitmore and others with Suffolk.]
- And as for these whose ransom we have set,
- It is our pleasure one of them depart,
- Therefore come you with us, and let him go.
[Exeunt all but the 1 Gentleman.]
[Re-enter WHITMORE with SUFFOLK'S body.]
- There let his head and lifeless body lie
- Until the queen his mistress bury it.
- O barbarous and bloody spectacle!
- His body will I bear unto the king.
- If he revenge it not, yet will his friends;
- So will the queen, that living held him dear.
[Exit with the body.]
SCENE II. Blackheath.
[Enter GEORGE BEVIS and JOHN HOLLAND.]
- Come, and get thee a sword, though made of
- a lath; they have been up these two days.
- They have the more need to sleep now, then.
- I tell thee, Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the
- commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
- So he had need, for 't is threadbare. Well, I say
- it was never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
- O miserable age! virtue is not regarded in
- The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
- Nay, more, the king's council are no good workmen.
- True; and yet it is said, labour in thy vocation,
- which is as much to say as, let the magistrates be labouring
- men; and therefore should we be magistrates.
- Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of a brave
- mind than a hard hand.
- I see them! I see them! There's Best's son, the
- tanner of Wingham,—
- He shall have the skin of our enemies, to make dog's-
- leather of.
- And Dick the butcher,—
- Then is sin struck down like an ox, and iniquity's
- throat cut like a calf.
- And Smith the weaver,—
- Argo, their thread of life is spun.
- Come, come, let's fall in with them.
[Drum. Enter CADE, DICK the Butcher, SMITH the Weaver, and a Sawyer, with infinite numbers.]
- We John Cade, so term'd of our supposed father,—
- [Aside.] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.
- For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with the
- spirit of putting down kings and princes,—Command silence.
- My father was a Mortimer,—
- [Aside.] He was an honest man and a good bricklayer.
- My mother a Plantagenet,—
- [Aside.] I knew her well; she was a midwife.
- My wife descended of the Lacies,—
- [Aside.] She was, indeed, a pedler's daughter, and sold
- many laces.
- [Aside.] But now of late, not able to travel with her
- furred pack, she washes bucks here at home.
- Therefore am I of an honourable house.
- [Aside.] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable; and
- there was he born, under a hedge, for his father had never a
- house but
- the cage.
- Valiant I am.
- [Aside.] A' must needs; for beggary is valiant.
- I am able to endure much.
- [Aside.] No question of that; for I have seen him whipped
- three market-days together.
- I fear neither sword nor fire.
- [Aside.] He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of
- [Aside.] But methinks he should stand in fear of fire,
- being burnt i' the hand for stealing of sheep.
- Be brave, then; for your captain is brave, and vows
- reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves
- sold for a penny; the three-hooped pot shall have ten hoops; and
- I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be
- in common; and in Cheapside shall my palfry go to grass; and
- when I am king, as king I will be,—
- God save your majesty!
- I thank you, good people;—there shall be no money; all shall
- eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one
- livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their
- The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
- Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that
- of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment, that
- parchment, being scribbl'd o'er, should undo a man? Some say the
- bee stings; but I say 't is the bee's wax, for I did but seal
- once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since.—How now!
- who's there?
[Enter some, bringing in the Clerk of Chatham.]
- The clerk of Chatham; he can write and read and cast
- O monstrous!
- We took him setting of boys' copies.
- Here's a villain!
- Has a book in his pocket with red letters in 't.
- Nay, then, he is a conjurer.
- Nay, he can make obligations and write court-hand.
- I am sorry for 't.
- The man is a proper man, of mine honour;
- unless I find him guilty, he shall not die.—Come hither, sirrah,
- I must examine thee; what is thy name?
- They use to write it on the top of letters.—'T will go
- hard with you.
- Let me alone.—Dost thou use to write thy name? or hast
- thou a mark to thyself, like a honest, plain-dealing man?
- Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I
- can write my name.
- He hath confess'd; away with him! he's a villain and a
- Away with him, I say! hang him with his pen and inkhorn
- about his neck.
[Exit one with the Clerk.]
- Where's our general?
- Here I am, thou particular fellow.
- Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother
- are hard by, with the king's forces.
- Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. He shall be
- encountered with a man as good as himself; he is but a knight,
- is a'?
- To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently.—
- [Kneels.] Rise up Sir John Mortimer.—[Rises.] Now have at him!
[Enter SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD and his Brother, with drum and soldiers.]
- Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent,
- Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down;
- Home to your cottages, forsake this groom.
- The king is merciful, if you revolt.
- But angry, wrathful, and inclin'd to blood,
- If you go forward; therefore yield, or die.
- As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not;
- It is to you, good people, that I speak,
- OVer whom, in time to come, I hope to reign,
- For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
- Villain, thy father was a plasterer;
- And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
- And Adam was a gardener.
- And what of that?
- Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March,
- Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?
- Ay, sir.
- By her he had two children at one birth.
- That's false.
- Ay, there's the question; but I say 't is true.
- The elder of them, being put to nurse,
- Was by a beggar-woman stolen away,
- And, ignorant of his birth and parentage,
- Became a bricklayer when he came to age.
- His son am I; deny it, if you can.
- Nay, 't is too true; therefore he shall be king.
- Sir, he made a chimney in my father's house, and the bricks
- are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
- And will you credit this base drudge's words,
- That speaks he knows not what?
- Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
- Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
- [Aside.] He lies, for I invented it myself.—Go to, sirrah,
- tell the king from me that, for his father's sake, Henry the
- Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns,
- I am content he shall reign; but I'll be protector over him.
- And furthermore, we'll have the Lord Say's head for
- selling the dukedom of Maine.
- And good reason; for thereby is England mained, and fain to go
- with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I
- tell you that that Lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth and made
- it an eunuch; and more than that, he can speak French, and
- therefore he is a traitor.
- O gross and miserable ignorance!
- Nay, answer if you can: the Frenchmen are our enemies;
- go to, then, I ask but this: can he that speaks with the tongue
- of an enemy be a good counsellor, or no?
- No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.
- Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail,
- Assail them with the army of the king.
- Herald, away; and throughout every town
- Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade;
- That those which fly before the battle ends
- May, even in their wives' and children's sight,
- Be hang'd up for example at their doors.—
- And you that be the king's friends, follow me.
[Exeunt the two Staffords, and soldiers.]
- And you that love the commons follow me.
- Now show yourselves men; 't is for liberty.
- We will not leave one lord, one gentleman;
- Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon,
- For they are thrifty honest men and such
- As would, but that they dare not, take our parts.
- They are all in order and march toward us.
- But then are we in order when we are most out of
- order.—Come, march forward.
SCENE III. Another part of Blackheath.
[Alarums to the fight, wherein both the STAFFORDS are slain. Enter CADE and the rest.]
- Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
- Here, sir.
- They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou
- behavedst thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own
- slaughter-house; therefore thus will I reward thee:
- the Lent shall be as long again as it is, and thou
- shalt have a licence to kill for a hundred lacking one.
- I desire no more.
- And, to speak truth, thou deservest no less.
- This monument of the victory will I bear
- [putting on Sir Humphrey's brigandine];
- and the bodies shall be dragged at my horse heels till I do come
- to London, where we will have the mayor's sword borne before us.
- If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the gaols and
- let out the prisoners.
- Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let's march towards
SCENE IV. London. The Palace.
[Enter the KING with a supplication, and the QUEEN with Suffolk's head, the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM and the LORD SAY.]
- Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind
- And makes it fearful and degenerate;
- Think therefore on revenge and cease to weep.
- But who can cease to weep and look on this?
- Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast;
- But where's the body that I should embrace?
- What answer makes your grace to the rebels'
- I'll send some holy bishop to entreat;
- For God forbid so many simple souls
- Should perish by the sword! And I myself,
- Rather than bloody war shall cut them short,
- Will parley with Jack Cade their general.—
- But stay, I'll read it over once again.
- Ah, barbarous villains! hath this lovely face
- Rul'd, like a wandering planet, over me,
- And could it not enforce them to relent
- That were unworthy to behold the same?
- Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
- Ay, but I hope your highness shall have his.
- How now, madam!
- Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk's death?
- I fear me, love, if that I had been dead,
- Thou wouldst not have mourn'd so much for me.
- No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- How now! what news? why com'st thou in such haste?
- The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord!
- Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer,
- Descended from the Duke of Clarence' house,
- And calls your grace usurper openly,
- And vows to crown himself in Westminster.
- His army is a ragged multitude
- Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless;
- Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother's death
- Hath given them heart and courage to proceed.
- All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen,
- They call false caterpillars, and intend their death.
- O graceless men! they know not what they do.
- My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth
- Until a power be rais'd to put them down.
- Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive,
- These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas'd!
- Lord Say, the traitors hate thee;
- Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
- So might your grace's person be in danger.
- The sight of me is odious in their eyes;
- And therefore in this city will I stay
- And live alone as secret as I may.
[Enter another Messenger.]
- Jack Cade hath gotten London bridge;
- The citizens fly and forsake their houses.
- The rascal people, thirsting after prey,
- Join with the traitor, and they jointly swear
- To spoil the city and your royal court.
- Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse.
- Come Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
- My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceas'd.
- Farewell, my lord; trust not the Kentish rebels.
- Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.
- The trust I have is in mine innocence,
- And therefore am I bold and resolute.
SCENE V. London. The Tower.
[Enter LORD SCALES upon the Tower, walking. Then enter two or three Citizens, below.]
- How now! Is Jack Cade slain?
- No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for they
- have won the bridge, killing all those that withstand them.
- The lord mayor craves aid of your honour from the Tower
- to defend the city from the rebels.
- Such aid as I can spare you shall command,
- But I am troubled here with them myself;
- The rebels have assay'd to win the Tower.
- But get you to Smithfield and gather head,
- And thither I will send you Matthew Goffe.
- Fight for your king, your country, and your lives;
- And so, farewell, for I must hence again.
SCENE VI. London. Cannon Street.
[Enter JACK CADE and the rest, and strikes his staff on London-stone.]
- Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting upon
- London-stone, I charge and command that, of the city's cost, the
- conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign.
- And now henceforward it shall be treason for any that calls me
- than Lord Mortimer.
[Enter a Soldier, running.]
- Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
- Knock him down there.
[They kill him.]
- If this fellow be wise, he'll never call ye Jack
- Cade more; I think he hath a very fair warning.
- My lord, there's an army gathered together in Smithfield.
- Come then, let's go fight with them. But first, go and set
- London bridge on fire; and, if you can, burn down the Tower too.
- Come, let's away.
SCENE VII. London. Smithfield.
[Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest. Then enter JACK CADE, with his company.]
- So, sirs.—Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others
- to the inns of court; down with them all.
- I have a suit unto your lordship.
- Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
- Only that the laws of England may come out of
- your mouth.
- [Aside.] Mass, 't will be sore law, then; for he
- was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 't is not whole yet.
- [Aside.] Nay, John, it will be stinking law, for his
- breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
- I have thought upon it, it shall be so. Away, burn
- all the records of the realm. My mouth shall be the parliament
- of England.
- [Aside.] Then we are like to have biting statutes,
- unless his teeth be pulled out.
- And henceforward all things shall be in common.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- My lord, a prize, a prize! here's the Lord
- Say, which sold the towns in France; he that made us pay
- one and twenty fifteens, and one shilling to the pound, the
- last subsidy.
[Enter GEOGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY.]
- Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times.—Ah, thou say,
- thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! now art thou within point-
- blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my
- majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu, the
- dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even
- the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must
- sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most
- traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a
- grammar school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other
- books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to
- be used, and, contrary to the king, his crown, and dignity, thou
- hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that thou
- hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and
- such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear.
- Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before
- them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou
- hast put them in prison, and because they could not read, thou
- hast hanged them; when, indeed, only for that cause they have
- been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost
- thou not?
- What of that?
- Marry, thou oughtest not to let thy horse wear a cloak
- when honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets.
- And work in their shirt too; as myself, for example, that
- am a butcher.
- You men of Kent,—
- What say you of Kent?
- Nothing but this; 't is 'bona terra, mala gens.'
- Away with him, away with him! he speaks Latin.
- Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will.
- Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ,
- Is term'd the civil'st place of all this isle.
- Sweet is the country, because full of riches;
- The people liberal, valiant, active, wealthy;
- Which makes me hope you are not void of pity.
- I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy,
- Yet, to recover them, would lose my life.
- Justice with favour have I always done;
- Prayers and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never.
- When have I aught exacted at your hands
- But to maintain the king, the realm, and you?
- Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks,
- Because my book preferr'd me to the king;
- And seeing ignorance is the curse of God,
- Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven,
- Unless you be possess'd with devilish spirits,
- You cannot but forbear to murther me.
- This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings
- For your behoof,—
- Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?
- Great men have reaching hands; oft have I struck
- Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
- O monstrous coward! what, to come behind folks?
- These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
- Give him a box o' the ear, and that will make 'em red
- Long sitting to determine poor men's causes
- Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
- Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of
- Why dost thou quiver, man?
- The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
- Nay, he nods at us, as who should say, I'll be even with
- you. I'll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole or
- no. Take him away, and behead him.
- Tell me wherein have I offended most?
- Have I affected wealth or honour? speak.
- Are my chests fill'd up with extorted gold?
- Is my apparel sumptuous to behold?
- Whom have I injur'd, that ye seek my death?
- These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding,
- This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts.
- O, let me live!
- [Aside.] I feel remorse in myself with his words, but I'll bridle
- it; he shall die, an it be but for pleading so well for his
- Away with him! he has a familiar under his tongue; he speaks not
- o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head
- presently; and then break into his son-in-law's house, Sir James
- Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them both upon two
- poles hither.
- It shall be done.
- Ah, countrymen! if when you make your prayers,
- God should be so obdurate as yourselves,
- How would it fare with your departed souls?
- And therefore yet relent, and save my life.
- Away with him! and do as I command ye.—[Exeunt some with
- Lord Say.] The proudest peer in the realm shall not
- wear a head on his shoulders unless he pay me tribute; there
- shall not a maid be married but she shall pay to me her
- maidenhead ere they have it. Men shall hold of me in capite;
- and we charge and command that their wives be as free as
- heart can wish or tongue can tell.
- My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up
- commodities upon our bills?
- Marry, presently.
- O, brave!
[Re-enter one with the heads.]
- But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another,
- for they loved well when they were alive. Now part them again,
- lest they consult about the giving up of some more towns in
- France.—Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night; for
- with these borne before us, instead of maces will we ride
- through the streets, and at every corner have them kiss.—Away!
SCENE VIII. Southwark.
[Alarum and retreat. Enter CADE and all his rabblement.]
- Up Fish Street! down Saint Magnus' Corner! kill
- and knock down! Throw them into Thames! [Sound a parley.]
- What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to sound retreat
- or parley when I command them kill?
[Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD, attended.]
- Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee.
- Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the king
- Unto the commons whom thou hast misled,
- And here pronounce free pardon to them all
- That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
- What say ye, countrymen? will ye relent
- And yield to mercy whilst 't is offer'd you,
- Or let a rebel lead you to your deaths?
- Who loves the king and will embrace his pardon,
- Fling up his cap, and say 'God save his Majesty!'
- Who hateth him and honours not his father,
- Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake,
- Shake he his weapon at us and pass by.
- God save the king! God save the king!
- What, Buckingham and Clifford, are ye so brave?—
- And you, base peasants, do ye believe him? will you needs be
- hang'd with your about your necks? Hath my sword therefore
- broke through London gates, that you should leave me at the
- White Hart in Southwark? I thought ye would never have given
- out these arms till you had recovered your ancient freedom;
- but you are all recreants and dastards, and delight to live in
- slavery to the nobility. Let them break your backs with burthens,
- take your houses over your heads, ravish your wives and daughters
- before your faces. For me, I will make shift for one; and so,
- God's curse light upon you all!
- We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade!
- Is Cade the son of Henry the Fifth,
- That thus you do exclaim you'll go with him?
- Will he conduct you through the heart of France,
- And make the meanest of you earls and dukes?
- Alas, he hath no home, no place to fly to;
- Nor knows he how to live but by the spoil,
- Unless by robbing of your friends and us.
- Were 't not a shame that whilst you live at jar
- The fearful French, whom you late vanquished,
- Should make a start o'er seas and vanquish you?
- Methinks already in this civil broil
- I see them lording it in London streets,
- Crying 'Villiaco!' unto all they meet.
- Better ten thousand base-born Cades miscarry
- Than you should stoop unto a Frenchman's mercy.
- To France, to France, and get what you have lost;
- Spare England, for it is your native coast.
- Henry hath money, you are strong and manly;
- God on our side, doubt not of victory.
- A Clifford! a Clifford! we'll follow the king and
- Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this
- multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to an hundred
- mischiefs and makes them leave me desolate. I see them lay their
- heads together to surprise me. My sword make way for me, for
- here is no staying.—In despite of the devils and hell, have
- through the very middest of you! and heavens and honour be
- that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers' base and
- ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels.
- What, is he fled?—Go some, and follow him;
- And he that brings his head unto the king
- Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward.—
[Exeunt some of them.]
- Follow me, soldiers; we'll devise a mean
- To reconcile you all unto the king.
SCENE IX. Kenilworth Castle.
[Sound trumpets. Enter KING, QUEEN, and SOMERSET, on the terrace.]
- Was ever king that joy'd an earthly throne,
- And could command no more content than I?
- No sooner was I crept out of my cradle
- But I was made a king at nine months old.
- Was never subject long'd to be a king
- As I do long and wish to be a subject.
[Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD.]
- Health and glad tidings to your majesty!
- Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surpris'd?
- Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?
[Enter, below, multitudes with halters about their necks.]
- He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield,
- And humbly thus, with halters on their necks,
- Expect your highness' doom, of life or death.
- Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates,
- To entertain my vows of thanks and praise!—
- Soldiers, this day have you redeem'd your lives
- And show'd how well you love your prince and country.
- Continue still in this so good a mind,
- And Henry, though he be infortunate,
- Assure yourselves, will never be unkind.
- And so, with thanks and pardon to you all,
- I do dismiss you to your several countries.
- God save the king! God save the king!
[Enter a Messenger.]
- Please it your grace to be advertised
- The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland,
- And with a puissant and a mighty power
- Of gallowglasses and stout kerns
- Is marching hitherward in proud array,
- And still proclaimeth, as he comes along,
- His arms are only to remove from thee
- The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
- Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York distress'd,
- Like to a ship that, having scap'd a tempest,
- Is straightway calm'd and boarded with a pirate;
- But now is Cade driven back, his men dispers'd,
- And now is York in arms to second him.—
- I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him,
- And ask him wha t's the reason of these arms.
- Tell him I'll send Duke Edmund to the Tower;—
- And, Somerset, we will commit thee thither,
- Until his army be dismiss'd from him.
- My lord,
- I'll yield myself to prison willingly,
- Or unto death, to do my country good.
- In any case, be not too rough in terms,
- For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
- I will, my lord, and doubt not so to deal
- As all things shall redound unto your good.
- Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better;
- For yet may England curse my wretched reign.
SCENE X. Kent. Iden's Garden.
- Fie on ambitions! fie on myself, that have a sword
- and yet am ready to famish! These five days have I hid me in
- these woods and durst not peep out, for all the country is laid
- for me; but now am I so hungry that if I might have a lease of
- my life for a thousand years I could stay no longer. Wherefore,
- on a brick wall have I climb'd into this garden, to see if I can
- eat grass, or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to
- a man's stomach this hot weather. And I think this word 'sallet'
- was born to do me good; for many a time, but for a sallet, my
- brain-pain had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time,
- when I have been dry and bravely marching, it hath served me
- instead of a quart pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet'
- must serve me to feed on.
- Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court,
- And may enjoy such quiet walks as these?
- This small inheritance my father left me
- Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy.
- I seek not to wax great by others' waning,
- Or gather wealth, I care not with what envy;
- Sufficeth that I have maintains my state
- And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.
- Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a
- stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave.—Ah, villain,
- thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the king
- by carrying my head to him; but I'll make thee eat iron like
- an ostrich, and swallow my sword like a great pin, ere thou
- and I part.
- Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be, I know
- thee not! why, then, should I betray thee?
- Is 't not enough to break into my garden,
- And, like a thief, to come to rob my grounds,
- Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner,
- But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
- Brave thee? ay, by the best blood that ever was
- broached, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat
- no meat these five days; yet, come thou and thy five men,
- and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray
- God I may never eat grass more.
- Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands,
- That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent,
- Took odds to combat a poor famish'd man.
- Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine,
- See if thou canst outface me with thy looks.
- Set limb to limb and thou art far the lesser;
- Thy hand is but a finger to my fist,
- Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon;
- My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast;
- And if mine arm be heaved in the air,
- Thy grave is digg'd already in the earth.
- As for words, whose greatness answers words,
- Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
- By my valour, the most complete champion that
- ever I heard!—Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out
- the burly-boned clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in
- thy sheath, I beseech God on my knees thou mayst be turn'd
- to hobnails.—[Here they fight. Cade falls.] O, I am slain!
- famine and no other hath slain me; let ten thousand devils
- come against me, and give me but the ten meals I have lost,
- and I'd defy them all.—Wither, garden; and be henceforth a
- burying place to all that do dwell in this house, because
- the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
- Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor?—
- Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed,
- And hang thee o'er my tomb when I am dead;
- Ne'er shall this blood be wiped from thy point,
- But thou shalt wear it as a herald's coat,
- To emblaze the honour that thy master got.
- Iden, farewell; and be proud of thy victory. Tell Kent from
- me, she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be
- cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine,
- not by valour.
- How much thou wrong'st me, heaven be my judge.
- Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee;
- And as I thrust thy body in with my sword,
- So wish I I might thrust thy soul to hell.
- Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels
- Unto a dunghill which shall be thy grave,
- And there cut off thy most ungracious head,
- Which I will bear in triumph to the king,
- Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon.
SCENE I. Fields between Dartford and Blackheath.
[Enter YORK, and his army of Irish, with drum and colours.]
- From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right,
- And pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head.
- Ring, bells, aloud; burn, bonfires, clear and bright,
- To entertain great England's lawful king.
- Ah! sancta majestas! who would not buy thee dear?
- Let them obey that knows not how to rule;
- This hand was made to handle nought but gold.
- I cannot give due action to my words
- Except a sword or sceptre balance it.
- A sceptre shall it have, have I a soul,
- On which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.—
- Whom have we here? Buckingham, to disturb me?
- The king hath sent him, sure: I must dissemble.
- York, if thou meanest well, I greet thee well.
- Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting.
- Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
- A messenger from Henry, our dread liege,
- To know the reason of these arms in peace;
- Or why thou, being a subject as I am,
- Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn,
- Should raise so great a power without his leave,
- Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.
- [Aside.] Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great:
- O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint,
- I am so angry at these abject terms;
- And now, like Ajax Telamonius,
- On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury.
- I am far better born than is the king,
- More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts;
- But I must make fair weather yet a while,
- Till Henry be more weak and I more strong.—
- Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me,
- That I have given no answer all this while;
- My mind was troubled with deep melancholy.
- The cause why I have brought this army hither
- Is to remove proud Somerset from the king,
- Seditious to his grace and to the state.
- That is too much presumption on thy part;
- But if thy arms be to no other end,
- The king hath yielded unto thy demand.
- The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
- Upon thine honour, is he prisoner?
- Upon mine honour, he is prisoner.
- Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my powers.—
- Soldiers, I thank you all; disperse yourselves;
- Meet me to-morrow in Saint George's field,
- You shall have pay and everything you wish.—
- And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry,
- Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons,
- As pledges of my fealty and love,
- I'll send them all as willing as I live;
- Lands, goods, horse, armour, anything I have,
- Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
- York, I commend this kind submission;
- We twain will go into his highness' tent.
[Enter KING and Attendants.]
- Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us,
- That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
- In all submission and humility
- York doth present himself unto your highness.
- Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
- To heave the traitor Somerset from hence,
- And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade,
- Who since I heard to be discomfited.
[Enter IDEN, with CADE's head.]
- If one so rude and of so mean condition
- May pass into the presence of a king,
- Lo, I present your grace a traitor's head,
- The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
- The head of Cade!—Great God, how just art Thou!—
- O, let me view his visage, being dead,
- That living wrought me such exceeding trouble.
- Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
- I was, an 't like your majesty.
- How art thou call'd? and what is thy degree?
- Alexander Iden, that's my name;
- A poor esquire of Kent, that loves his king.
- So please it you, my lord, 't were not amiss
- He were created knight for his good service.
- Iden, kneel down. [He kneels.] Rise up a knight.
- We give thee for reward a thousand marks,
- And will that thou thenceforth attend on us.
- May Iden live to merit such a bounty,
- And never live but true unto his liege!
[Enter QUEEN and SOMERSET.]
- See, Buckingham, Somerset comes with the queen.
- Go, bid her hide him quickly from the duke.
- For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head,
- But boldly stand and front him to his face.
- How now! is Somerset at liberty?
- Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts,
- And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart.
- Shall I endure the sight of Somerset?
- False king! why hast thou broken faith with me,
- Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse?
- King did I call thee? no, thou art not king,
- Not fit to govern and rule multitudes,
- Which dar'st not, no, nor canst not rule a traitor.
- That head of thine doth not become a crown;
- Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff,
- And not to grace an awful princely sceptre.
- That gold must round engirt these brows of mine,
- Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles' spear,
- Is able with the change to kill and cure.
- Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up
- And with the same to act controlling laws.
- Give place; by heaven, thou shalt rule no more
- O'er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
- O monstrous traitor!—I arrest thee, York,
- Of capital treason 'gainst the king and crown.
- Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace.
- Wouldst have me kneel? first let me ask of these
- If they can brook I bow a knee to man.—
- Sirrah, call in my sons to be my bail.—
- I know, ere thy will have me go to ward,
- They'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.
- Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain,
- To say if that the bastard boys of York
- Shall be the surety for their traitor father.
- O blood-bespotted Neapolitan,
- Outcast of Naples, England's bloody scourge!
- The sons of York, thy betters in their birth,
- Shall be their father's bail; and bane to those
- That for my surety will refuse the boys!
[Enter EDWARD and RICHARD.]
- See where they come; I'll warrant they'll make it good.
[Enter old CLIFFORD and his SON.]
- And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
- Health and all happiness to my lord the king!
- I thank thee, Clifford; say, what news with thee?
- Nay, do not fright us with an angry look.
- We are thy sovereign, Clifford, kneel again;
- For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
- This is my king, York, I do not mistake;
- But thou mistakes me much to think I do.—
- To Bedlam with him! is the man grown mad?
- Ay, Clifford; a bedlam and ambitious humour
- Makes him oppose himself against his king.
- He is a traitor; let him to the Tower,
- And chop away that factious pate of his.
- He is arrested, but will not obey;
- His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
- Will you not, sons?
- Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
- And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
- Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!
- Look in a glass, and call thy image so;
- I am thy king, and thou a false-heart traitor.—
- Call hither to the stake my two brave bears,
- That with the very shaking of their chains
- They may astonish these fell-lurking curs.
- Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.
[Enter the EARLS OF WARWICK and SALISBURY.]
- Are these thy bears? we'll bait thy bears to death,
- And manacle the bear-herd in their chains,
- If thou dar'st bring them to the baiting-place.
- Oft have I seen a hot o'erweening cur
- Run back and bite because he was withheld,
- Who, being suffer'd with the bear's fell paw,
- Hath clapp'd his tail between his legs and cried;
- And such a piece of service will you do
- If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
- Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump,
- As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
- Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
- Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
- Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?—
- Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair,
- Thou mad misleader of thy brainsick son!
- What, wilt thou on thy death-bed play the ruffian,
- And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles?
- O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty?
- If it be banish'd from the frosty head,
- Where shall it find a harbour in the earth?
- Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war,
- And shame thine honourable age with blood?
- Why art thou old, and want'st experience?
- Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it?
- For shame! in duty bend thy knee to me
- That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
- My lord, I have consider'd with myself
- The tide of this most renowned duke,
- And in my conscience do repute his grace
- The rightful heir to England's royal seat.
- Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
- I have.
- Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
- It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
- But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
- Who can be bound by any solemn vow
- To do a murtherous deed, to rob a man,
- To force a spotless virgin's chastity,
- To reave the orphan of his patrimony,
- To wring the widow from her custom'd right,
- And have no other reason for this wrong
- But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
- A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
- Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
- Call Buckingham, and all the friends thou hast,
- I am resolv'd for death or dignity.
- The first I warrant thee if dreams prove true.
- You were best to go to bed and dream again,
- To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
- I am resolv'd to bear a greater storm
- Than any thou canst conjure up to-day;
- And that I'll write upon thy burgonet,
- Might I but know thee by thy household badge.
- Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest,
- The rampant bear chain'd to the ragged staff,
- This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet,
- As on a mountain top the cedar shows
- That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm,
- Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
- And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bear
- And tread it under foot with all contempt,
- Despite the bear-herd that protects the bear.
- And so to arms, victorious father,
- To quell the rebels and their complices.
- Fie! charity, for shame! speak not in spite,
- For you shall sup with Jesu Christ to-night.
- Foul stigmatic, that's more than thou canst
- If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell.
SCENE II. Saint Alban's.
[Alarums to the battle. Enter WARWICK.]
- Clifford of Cumberland, 't is Warwick calls;
- And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear,
- Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum
- And dead men's cries do fill the empty air,
- Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me!
- Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
- Warwick is hoarse with calling thee to arms.—
- How now, my noble lord! what, all afoot?
- The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed,
- But match to match I have encount'red him,
- And made a prey for carrion kites and crows
- Even of the bonny beast he lov'd so well.
[Enter old CLIFFORD.]
- Of one or both of us the time is come.
- Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chase,
- For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
- Then, nobly, York; 't is for a crown thou fight'st.—
- As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day,
- It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail'd.
- What seest thou in me, York? why dost thou pause?
- With thy brave bearing should I be in love
- But that thou art so fast mine enemy.
- Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem
- But that 't is shown ignobly and in treason.
- So let it help me now against thy sword
- As I in justice and true right express it!
- My soul and body on the action both!
- A dreadful lay!—Address thee instantly.
[They fight, and Clifford falls.]
- La fin couronne les oeuvres.
- Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still.
- Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will!
[Enter young CLIFFORD.]
- Shame and confusion! all is on the rout;
- Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds
- Where it should guard.—O war, thou son of hell,
- Whom angry heavens do make their minister,
- Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part
- Hot coals of vengeance!—Let no soldier fly.
- He that is truly dedicate to war
- Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself
- Hath not essentially but by circumstance
- The name of valour.—[Seeing his dead father.]
- O, let the vile world end,
- And the premised flames of the last day
- Knit earth and heaven together!
- Now let the general trumpet blow his blast,
- Particularities and petty sounds
- To cease!—Wast thou ordain'd, dear father,
- To lose thy youth in peace, and to achieve
- The silver livery of advised age,
- And in thy reverence and thy chair-days, thus
- To die in ruffian battle?—Even at this sight
- My heart is turn'd to stone; and while 't is mine
- It shall be stony. York not our old men spares;
- No more will I their babes; tears virginal
- Shall be to me even as the dew to fire,
- And beauty that the tyrant oft reclaims
- Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax.
- Henceforth I will not have to do with pity;
- Meet I an infant of the house of York,
- Into as many gobbets will I cut it
- As wild Medea young Absyrtus did.
- In cruelty will I seek out my fame.—
- Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house:
- As did Aeneas old Anchises bear,
- So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders;
- But then Aeneas bare a living load,
- Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.
[Exit, bearing off his father. Enter RICHARD and SOMERSET to fight. SOMERSET is killed.]
- So, lie thou there;
- For underneath an alehouse' paltry sign,
- The Castle in Saint Alban's, Somerset
- Hath made the wizard famous in his death.
- Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still;
- Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill.
[Fight: excursions. Enter KING, QUEEN, and others.]
- Away, my lord! you are slow; for shame, away!
- Can we outrun the heavens? good Margaret, stay.
- What are you made of? you'll nor fight nor fly;
- Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defence,
- To give the enemy way, and to secure us
- By what we can, which can no more but fly.
[Alarum afar off.]
- If you be ta'en, we then should see the bottom
- Of all our fortunes; but if we haply scape,
- As well we may, if not through your neglect,
- We shall to London get, where you are lov'd,
- And where this breach now in our fortunes made
- May readily be stopp'd.
[Enter young CLIFFORD.]
- But that my heart's on future mischief set,
- I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly.
- But fly you must; uncurable discomfit
- Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts.
- Away, for your relief! and we will live
- To see their day and them our fortune give.
- Away, my lord, away!
SCENE III. Fields near Saint Alban's.
[Alarum. Retreat. Enter YORK, RICHARD, WARWICK, and Soldiers, with drum and colours.]
- Of Salisbury, who can report of him,
- That winter lion, who in rage forgets
- Aged contusions and all brush of time
- And, like a gallant in the brow of youth,
- Repairs him with occasion? This happy day
- Is not itself, nor have we won one foot,
- If Salisbury be lost.
- My noble father,
- Three times to-day I holp him to his horse,
- Three times bestrid him; thrice I led him off,
- Persuaded him from any further act;
- But still, where danger was, still there I met him;
- And like rich hangings in a homely house,
- So was his will in his old feeble body.
- But, noble as he is, look where he comes.
- Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought to-day;
- By the mass, so did we all.—I thank you, Richard;
- God knows how long it is I have to live,
- And it hath pleas'd him that three times to-day
- You have defended me from imminent death.—
- Well, lords, we have not got that which we have;
- 'T is not enough our foes are this time fled,
- Being opposites of such repairing nature.
- I know our safety is to follow them;
- For, as I hear, the king is fled to London,
- To call a present court of parliament.
- Let us pursue him ere the writs go forth.—
- What says Lord Warwick? shall we after them?
- After them! nay, before them, if we can.
- Now, by my hand, lords, 'twas a glorious day;
- Saint Alban's battle won by famous York
- Shall be eterniz'd in all age to come.—
- Sound drums and trumpets!—and to London all;
- And more such days as these to us befall!
|This work published before January 1, 1923 is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.|