Henry VI Part 2 (1923) Yale/Text/Act I

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Scene One

[London. A Room of State in the Palace]

Flourish of Trumpets: then hautboys. Enter King, Duke Humphrey, Salisbury, Warwick, and Beaufort, on the one side. The Queen, Suffolk, York, Somerset, and Buckingham on the other.

Suf. 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; 4
So, in the famous ancient city, Tours,
In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Britaine, and Alençon,
Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops, 8
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 12
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. 16

King. 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! 20
For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.

Queen. Great King of England and my gracious lord, 24
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 alderliefest sovereign, 28
Makes me the bolder to salute my king
With ruder terms, such as my wit affords,
And over-joy of heart doth minister.

King. Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech, 32
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. 36

All kneel [and say]. Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!

Queen. We thank you all. Flourish.

Suf. My Lord Protector, so it please your Grace,
Here are the articles of contracted peace 40
Between our sovereign and the French King Charles,
For eighteen months concluded by consent.

Glo. Reads. 'Imprimis, It is agreed between the
French king, Charles, and William De la Pole, 44
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 Jeru- 48
salem, 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 52
king her father—' [Lets the paper fall.]

King. Uncle, how now!

Glo.Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further. 56

King. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.

Win. 'Item, It is further agreed between
them, that the duchies of Anjou and Maine
shall be released and delivered over to the king 60
her father; and she sent over of the King of
England's own proper cost and charges, with
out having any dowry.'

King. They please us well. Lord Marquess, kneel down: 64
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 68
Be full expir'd. Thanks, uncle Winchester,
Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
Salisbury, and Warwick;
We thank you all for this great favour done, 72
In entertainment to my princely queen.

Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.

Exit King, [with] Queen, and Suffolk.
Mane[n]t the rest.

Glo. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state, 76
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? 80
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, 84
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? 88
Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
With all the learned council of the realm,
Studied so long, sat in the council-house
Early and late, debating to and fro 92
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
And hath his highness in his infancy
Been crown'd in Paris, in despite of foes?
And shall these labours and these honours die? 96
Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
Your deeds of war and all our counsel die?
Opeers of England! shameful is this league,
Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame, 100
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. 104

Car. Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
This peroration with such circumstance?
For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.

Glo. Ay, uncle; we will keep it, if we can; 108
But now it is impossible we should.
Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
Hath given the duchies of Anjou and Maine
Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style 112
Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.

Sal. Now, by the death of him who died for all,
These counties were the keys of Normandy.
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son? 116

War. 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; 120
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! 124

York. 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. 128
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. 132

Glo. A proper jest, and never heard before,
That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
For costs and charges in transporting her!
She should have stay'd in France, and starv'd in France, 136

Car. My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot:
It was the pleasure of my lord the king.

Glo. My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind: 140
'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 'tis my presence that doth trouble ye.
Rancour will out: proud prelate, in thy face
I see thy fury. If I longer stay, 144
We shall begin our ancient bickerings.
Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
I prophesied France will be lost ere long.

Exit Humphrey.

Car. So, there goes our protector in a rage. 148
'Tis 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, 152
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. 156
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 Gloucester;' 160
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, 164
He will be found a dangerous protector.

Buck. Why should he then protect our sovereign,
He being of age to govern of himself?
Cousin of Somerset, join you with me, 168
And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.

Car. This weighty business will not brook delay;
I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently. 172

Exit Cardinal.

Som. 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 176
Than all the princes in the land beside:
If Gloucester be displac'd, he'll be protector.

Buck. Or thou, or I, Somerset, will be protector,
Despite Duke Humphrey or the cardinal. 180

Exit Buckingham, and Somerset.

Sal. 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 Gloucester, 184
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, 188
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 192
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, 196
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, 200
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, 204
While they do tend the profit of the land.

War. So God help Warwick, as he loves the land,
And common profit of his country!

York. And so says York, [Aside.] for he hath greatest cause. 208

Sal. Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.

War. 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. 212
Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
Which I will win from France, or else be slain.

Exit Warwick, and Salisbury. Manet York.

York. Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
Paris is lost; the state of Normandy 216
Stands on a tickle point now they are gone.
Suffolk concluded on the articles,
The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleas'd
To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter. 220
I cannot blame them all: what is 't to them?
'Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage,
And purchase friends, and give to courtezans, 224
Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
While as the silly owner of the goods
Weeps over them, and wrings his hapless hands,
And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof, 228
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. 232
Methinks the realms of England, France, and Ireland
Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
As did the fatal brand Althæa burnt
Unto the prince's heart of Calydon. 236
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; 240
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. 244
Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right.
Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
Whose churchlike humours fit not for a crown. 248
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, 252
With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,
And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at jars:
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfum'd, 256
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. 260

Exit York.

Scene Two

[The Same. A Room in the Duke of Gloucester's House]

Enter Duke Humphrey and his wife Eleanor.

Elea. 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? 4
Why are thine eyes fix'd to the sullen earth,
Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
What seest thou there? King Henry's diadem,
Enchas'd with all the honours of the world? 8
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; 12
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. 16

Hum. 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, 20
Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
My troublous dream this night doth make me sad.

Elea. What dream'd my lord? tell me, and I'll requite it
With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream. 24

Hum. 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 28
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.

Elea. Tut! this was nothing but an argument 32
That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester'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 36
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. 40

Hum. 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? 44
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 48
From top of honour to disgrace's feet?
Away from me, and let me hear no more.

Elea. What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
With Eleanor, for telling but her dream? 52
Next time I'll keep my dreams unto myself,
And not be check'd.

Hum. Nay, be not angry; I am pleas'd again.

Enter Messenger.

Mess. My Lord Protector, 'tis his highness' pleasure
You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans, 57
Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk.

Hum. I go. Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?

Exit Humphrey [with Messenger].

Elea. Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently. 60
Follow I must; I cannot go before,
While Gloucester bears this base and humble mind.
Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks 64
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 youthere? Sir John! nay, fear not, man, 68
We are alone; here's none but thee and I.

Enter Hume.

Hume. Jesus preserve your royal majesty!

Elea. What sayst thou? majesty! I am but Grace.

Hume. But, by the grace of God, and Hume's advice, 72
Your Grace's title shall be multiplied.

Elea. What sayst thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd
With Margery Jordan, the cunning witch,
With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer? 76
And will they undertake to do me good?

Hume. This they have promised, to show your highness
A spirit rais'd from depth of under ground,
That shall make answer to such questions 80
As by your Grace shall be propounded him.

Elea. It is enough: I'll think upon the questions.
When from Saint Albans we do make return
We'll see these things effected to the full. 84
Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man,
With thy confederates in this weighty cause.

Exit Eleanor.

Hume. Hume must make merry with the duchess' gold!
Marry, and shall. But how now, Sir John Hume! 88
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. 92
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, 96
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;' 100
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 it stands; and thus, I fear, at last 104
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. Exit.

Scene Three

[The Same. A Room in the Palace]

Enter three or four Petitioners, the Armourer's man [Peter] being one.

1. Pet. 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. 4

2. Pet. Marry, the Lord protect him, for
he's a good man! Jesu bless him!

Enter Suffolk and Queen.

1. Pet. Here a' comes, methinks, and the
queen with him. I'll be the first, sure. 8

2. Pet. Come back, fool! this is the Duke
of Suffolk and not my Lord Protector.

Suf. How now, fellow! wouldst anything
with me? 12

1. Pet. I pray, my lord, pardon me: I took
ye for my Lord Protector.

Queen. [Glancing at the Superscriptions.]
'To my Lord Protector!' Are your supplications 16
to his lordship? Let me see them: what is thine?

1. Pet. Mine is, an 't please your Grace,
against John Goodman, my Lord Cardinal's
man, for keeping my house, and lands, my wife 20
and all, from me.

Suf. Thy wife too! that is some wrong indeed.
What's yours? What's here? 'Against the
Duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of 24
Melford!' How now, sir knave!

2. Pet. Alas! sir, I am but a poor peti-
tioner of our whole township.

Peter. [Presenting his petition.] Against my 28
master, Thomas Horner, for saying that the
Duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.

Queen. What sayst thou? Did the Duke of
York say he was rightful heir to the crown? 32

Peter. That my master was? No, forsooth: my
master said that he was; and that the king was
an usurper.

Suf. Who is there? 36

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].

Queen. And as for you, that love to be protected 40
Under the wings of our protector's grace,
Begin your suits anew and sue to him.

Tears the supplication.

Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go.

All. Come, let's be gone. 44

Exeunt [Petitioners].

Queen. 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? 48
What! shall King Henry be a pupil still
Under the surly Gloucester's governance?
Am I a queen in title and in style,
And must be made a subject to a duke? 52
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 56
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; 60
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 64
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.

Suf. Madam, be patient: as I was cause 68
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your Grace's full content.

Queen. Beside the haught protector, have we Beaufort
The imperious churchman, Somerset, Buckingham, 72
And grumbling York; and not the least of these
But can do more in England than the king.

Suf. And he of these that can do most of all
Cannot do more in England than the Nevils: 76
Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.

Queen. 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, 80
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. 84
Shall I not live to be aveng'd on her?
Contemptuous base-born callet as she is,
She vaunted 'mongst her minions t'other day
The very train of her worst wearing gown 88
Was better worth than all my father's lands,
Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.

Suf. Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her,
And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds 92
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. 96
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 100
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.

Sound a Sennet.

Enter the King, Duke Humphrey, Cardinal, Buckingham, York, [Somerset,] Salisbury, Warwick, and the Duchess.

King. For my part, noble lords, I care not which; 104
Or Somerset or York, all's one to me.

York. If York have ill demean'd himself in France,
Then let him be denay'd the regentship.

Som. If Somerset be unworthy of the place, 108
Let York be regent; I will yield to him.

War. Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no,
Dispute not that: York is the worthier.

Car. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak. 112

War. The cardinal's not my better in the field.

Buck. All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.

War. Warwick may live to be the best of all.

Sal. Peace, son! and show some reason, Buckingham, 116
Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.

Queen. Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.

Hum. Madam, the king is old enough himself
To give his censure: these are no women's matters. 120

Queen. If he be old enough, what needs your Grace
To be protector of his excellence?

Hum. Madam, I am protector of the realm;
And at his pleasure will resign my place. 124

Suf. 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; 128
And all the peers and nobles of the realm
Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.

Car. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags
Are lank and lean with thy extortions. 132

Som. Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire
Have cost a mass of public treasury.

Buck. Thy cruelty in execution
Upon offenders hath exceeded law, 136
And left thee to the mercy of the law.

Queen. 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. 140

Exit Humphrey. [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 you mercy, madam, was it you?

Duch. Was 't I? yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman:
Could I come near your beauty with my nails, 144
I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

King. Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.

Duch. Against her will! Good king, look to 't in time;
She'll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby: 148
Though in this place most master wear no breeches,
She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unreveng'd.

Exit Eleanor.

Buck. Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds: 152
She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.

Exit Buckingham.

Enter Humphrey.

Hum. Now, lords, my choler being over-blown
With walking once about the quadrangle, 156
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 160
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. 164

Suf. Before we make election, give me leave
To show some reason, of no little force,
That York is most unmeet of any man.

York. I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet: 168
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, 172
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.

War. That can I witness; and a fouler fact 176
Did never traitor in the land commit.

Suf. Peace, headstrong Warwick!

War. Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?

Enter Armourer [Horner] and his Man [Peter].

Suf. Because here is a man accus'd of treason: 180
Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!

York. Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?

King. What mean'st thou, Suffolk? tell me, what are these?

Suf. Please it your majesty, this is the man 184
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. 188

King. Say, man, were these thy words?

Arm. 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. 192

Pet. 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.

York. Base dunghill villain, and mechanical, 196
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.

Arm. Alas! my lord, hang me if ever I spake 200
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 204
I beseech your majesty, do not cast away an
honest man for a villain's accusation.

King. Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?

Hum. This doom, my lord, if I may judge. 208
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, 212
For he hath witness of his servant's malice.
This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.

[King. Then be it so. My Lord of Somerset,
We make your Grace lord regent o'er the French.] 216

Som. I humbly thank your royal majesty.

Arm. And I accept the combat willingly.

Pet. Alas! my lord, I cannot fight: for God's
sake, pity my case! the spite of man prevaileth 220
against me. O Lord, have mercy upon me! I
shall never be able to fight a blow. O Lord, my

Hum. Sirrah, or you must fight, or else be hang'd.

King. Away with them to prison; and the day 225
of combat shall be the last of the next month.
Come, Somerset, we'll see thee sent away.

Flourish. Exeunt.

Scene Four

[The Same. The Duke of Gloucester's Garden]

Enter the Witch [Margery Jordan], the two Priests [Hume and Southwell], and Bolingbroke.

Hume. Come, my masters; the duchess, I
tell you, expects performance of your promises.

Boling. Master Hume, we are therefore pro-
vided. Will her ladyship behold and hear our 4

Hume. Ay; what else? fear you not her

Boling. I have heard her reported to be a 8
woman of an invincible spirit: but it shall be con-
venient, 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 Jordan, be you prostrate, and grovel 13
on the earth; John Southwell, read you; and
let us to our work.

Enter Eleanor aloft.

Elea. Well said, my masters, and welcome all. 16
To this gear the sooner the better.

Boling. Patience, good lady; wizards know their times:
Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
The time of night when Troy was set on fire; 20
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 24
We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.

Here do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle; Bolingbroke or Southwell reads, Conjuro te, &c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth.

Spir. Adsum.

Witch. Asmath!
By the eternal God, whose name and power 28
Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask;
For till thou speak, thou shalt not pass from hence.

Spir. Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!

Boling. First, of the king: what shall of him become? 32

Spir. The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose;
But him outlive, and die a violent death.

[As the Spirit speaks, Southwell writes the answers.]

Boling. What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?

Spir. By water shall he die and take his end. 36

Boling. What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?

Spir. Let him shun castles:
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand. 40
Have done, for more I hardly can endure.

Boling. 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. 44
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, 48
See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts.

Elea. Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
Injurious duke, that threatest where's no cause. 51

Buck. True, madam, none at all. What call you this? [Showing her the papers.]
Away with them! let them be clapp'd up close
And kept asunder. You, madam, shall with us:
Stafford, take her to thee.—
We'll see your trinkets here all forthcoming. 56
All, away! Exit [Guard, with Duchess, etc.].

York. 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. 60
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, 64
'Aio te, Æacida, 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. 68
What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
Let him shun castles:
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand.' 72
Come, come, my lords; these oracles
Are hardly attain'd, and hardly understood.
The king is now in progress towards Saint Albans;
With him, the husband of this lovely lady: 76
Thither goes these news as fast as horse can carry them,
A sorry breakfast for my Lord Protector.

Buck. Your Grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York,
To be the post, in hope of his reward. 80

York. 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! 84


Footnotes to Act I

Scene One

The Second . . . Henry the Sixth; cf. n.
2 had in charge: was commissioned depart: departure
3 procurator: proxy
6 Sicil: Réné, Margaret's father, titular king of Sicily
18 kinder: more natural
25 mutual: intimate
27 beads: prayers
28 alderliefest: dearest of all
30 ruder: too rude
31 over-joy: excessive joy
33 yclad: garbed
43 Imprimis: in the first place
51 Item: likewise
57 Uncle of Winchester: Beaufort was the king's half-great-uncle
58-63 Cf. n.
62 proper: personal
65 Cf. n.
66 girt: gird
68, 69 till . . . expir'd; cf. n.
73 entertainment: service
75 S. d. Manent: remain on the stage
79 my brother Henry: Henry V
85 policy: administration
101 books of memory: chronicles of honor
102 Razing the characters: erasing the record
103 Defacing: effacing
106 This so detailed harangue
110 rules the roast: domineers
112 large style: inflated title
120 Cf. n.
125 For: as for; cf. n.
132 no vantages: nothing but herself
134 fifteenth; cf. n.
145 our . . . bickerings; cf. n.
153 heir apparent; cf. n.
155 Cf. n.
157 smoothing: ingratiating
164 flattering gloss: specious flattery
167 of age; cf. n.
170 hoise: hoist
177 all: that of all
179 Or: either
181 Pride . . . ambition; cf. n.
188 as: as if
189 demean: behave
192 housekeeping: hospitality
193 Hath; cf. n.
195 brother York; cf. n.
196 civil: orderly
204 cherish: foster, support
209 main: the most important thing at stake (from game of hazard)
217 tickle: slippery
218 concluded: decided
223 pennyworths: bargains
226 While as: while
silly: helpless
234 proportion: relation
235, 236 Cf. n.
236 prince's heart: heart of the prince
241 take the Nevils' parts; cf. n.
248 churchlike humours: pietistic temperament
254 at jars: into squabbles
259 force perforce: by violent compulsion

Scene Two

1 corn: wheat (or other cereal grain)
8 Enchas'd: adorned
9 grovel . . . face; cf. n.
18 canker: eating sore, ulcer
25 office-badge: mark of authority (as Protector)
32 argument: testimony, proof
38 that chair; cf. n.
42 ill-nurtur’d: ill-bred, rude
47 hammering: meditating
49 From highest honor to lowest disgrace
54 check'd: rebuked
61 go before: i.e. occupy the highest place
68 Sir John; cf. n.
71 but Grace; cf. n.
88 Marry . . . shall: indeed he shall
93 flies: which flies
coast: quarter
100 broker: agent, go-between
106 attainture: conviction

Scene Three

3, 4 in the quill: in a body
18-22 Cf. n.
24, 25 enclosing . . . Melford; cf. n.
38 pursuivant: herald's messenger
43 cullions: wretches
54 a-tilt: in tournament
57 courtship: courtliness
proportion: figure
63 canoniz'd; cf. n.
71 haught: proud
76 the Nevils; cf. n.
86 callet: lewd woman
88 worst wearing: most unfashionable
89 better worth: worth more
91 lim'd a bush: set a snare
92 quire: choir, chorus
birds: decoy birds
97 fancy: love
103 S. d. Sennet: trumpet call for march of processions
105 Cf. n.
107 denay’d: refused
122 protector; cf. n.
128 The Dauphin; cf. n.
133 sumptuous buildings; cf. n.
134 treasury: treasure
139 suspect: suspicion
142 cry you mercy: beg your pardon
145 my ten commandments: marks of my ten fingers; cf. n.
149 most master: the most masterful spirit
152 listen after: seek news of
153 fume: passion
169 for: because
172 discharge: formal license to proceed to France
furniture: equipment
174 Last time; cf. n.
176 fact: misdeed
193 bones: fingers
196 mechanical: plebeian
208 doom: judgment
210 in: in regard to
215, 216 Cf. n.

Scene Four

10 aloft: i.e. on the balcony of the stage
16 Well said: well done
17 gear: business
19 silent: silent part
21 ban-dogs: chained watch-dogs
22 break up: tear open
25 hallow'd verge: magic circle
S. d. belonging: appropriate
29 that: what
31 That: would that
done: had it over
45 Beldam: hag
watch'd: caught in the act
at an inch: precisely
51 Injurious: insulting
53 clapp'd up close: closely imprisoned
59 Cf. n.