Suf. Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here, [couch'd, With ignominious words, though clerkly As if she had suborned some to swear False allegations to o'erthrow his state?

Q. Mar. But I can give the loser leave to chide.

Glo. Far truer spoke than meant: I lose in-

Beshrew the winners, for they play'd me false!
And well such losers may have leave to speak.
Buck. He'll wrest the sense, and hold us
here all day :-

Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner.

Car. Sirs, take away the duke, and guard

him sure.

Glo. Ah, thus king Henry throws away his

Before his legs be firm to bear the body:
Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee

Ah, that my fear were false! ah, that it were!
For, good king Henry, thy decay I fear.

[Exeunt ATTENDANTS, with GLOSTER. K. Hen. My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best,

Do, or undo, as if ourself were here.

Q. Mar. What, will your highness leave the parliament?

K. Hen. Ay, Margaret; my heart is drown'd with grief,

[blocks in formation]

Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure of death.

Suf. Madam, 'tis true: And wer't not mad-
ness then,

To make the fox surveyor of the fold?
Who being accus'd a crafty murderer,
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:
it by gins, by snares, by subtilty,
Sleeping or waking, 'tis no matter how,
So he be dead; for that is good deceit [ceit.
Which matest him first, that first intends de-
Q. Mar. Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely

Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes;
My body round engirt with misery;
For what's more miserable than discontent?-Be
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 low'ring star now envies thy estate,
That these great lords, and Margaret our

Do seek subversion of thy harmless life?
Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man

And as the butcher takes away the calf,
And binds the wretch, and beats it when it

Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house;
Even so, remorseless, have they borne him

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


Look after him, and cannot do him good;
So mighty are his vowed enemies. [groan,
His fortunes I will weep; and 'twixt each
Say-Who's a traitor? Gloster he is none. [Exit.
Q. Mar. 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

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.

1. e. In the flowers growing on a bank. + Skin.


Suf. 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,

Car. 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.

Suf. Here is my hand, the deed is worthy doing.

Q. Mar. And so say I.

York. And I: and now we three have spoke


[blocks in formation]

Had been the regent there instead of me,
He never would have staid in France so long.
York. No, not to lose it all, as thou hast

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.
Q. Mar. 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. York. What, worse than naught? nay, then

a shame take all!

Som. And, in the number, thee, that wishest shame!

Car. My lord of York, try what your fortune is.

The uncivil Kernes 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?

York. I will, my lord, so please his majesty. Suf. Why, our authority is his consent; And, what we do establish, he confirms: Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand. York. I am content: Provide me soldiers, lords,

Whiles I take order for mine own affairs. Suf. A charge, lord York, that I will see perform'd. [rey. But now return we to the false duke HumphCar. No more of him; for I will deal with


[blocks in formation]

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, its politicly done,
To send me packing with a host of men:
I fear me, you but warm the starved snake,
Who, cherish'd in your breasts, will sting your

'Twas men I lack'd, and you will give them
I take it kindly; yet, be well assur'd [me:
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


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 head-strong Kentishman,
John Cade of Ashford,

To make commotion, as full well he can,
Under the title of John Mortimer.

In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade
Oppose himself against a troop of Kernes ;t
And fought so long, till that his thighs with

Were almost like a sharp-quill'd porcupine:
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 Kerne,
Hath he conversed with the enemy;
And undiscover'd come to me again,
And given me notice of their villanies.
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 'tis great like he will,)
Why, then from Ireland come I with my

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. [Exit. SCENE II.-Bury.—A Room in the Palace. Enter certain MURDERERS, hastily.

1 Mur. Run to my lord of Suffolk; let him know, [ed. We have despatch'd the duke, as he command2 Mur. O, that it were to do!-What have we done?

Didst ever hear a man so penitent ?


1 Mur. Here comes my lord. Suf. Now, Sirs, have you

Despatch'd this thing?

1 Mur. Ay, my good lord, he's dead. Suf. 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? are all thing well, According as I gave directions?

1 Mur. "Tis, my good lord.

Suf. Away, be gone! [Exeunt MURDERERS.

Enter King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, Cardinal BEAUFORT, SOMERSET, Lords, and others. K. Hen. Go, call our uncle to our presence straight:

Say, we intend to try his grace to-day,
If he be guilty, as 'tis published.

Suf. I'll call him presently, my noble lord.

[Exit. K. Hen. 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.

Q. Mar. God forbid any malice should prevail,

* A violent gust of wind.

+ Irish foot-soldiers, light-armed. A Moor in a morris dance.


[blocks in formation]

K. Hen. 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 murderous tyranny
Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world.
Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wound-

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.
Q. Mar. Why do you rate my lord of Suffolk


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
Look pale as primrose, with blood-drinking
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

And princes' courts be fill'd with my reproach.
This get I by his death: Ah me, unhappy!
To be a queen, and crown'd with infamy!

K. Hen. Ah, woe is me for Gloster, wretched


Q. Mar. Be woe for me,t 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.

* Just now.

+1. e. Let not woe be to thee for Gloster, but for me.

Is all thy comfort shut in Gloster's tomb?
Why, then dame Margaret was ne'er thy joy:
Erect his statue then, and worship it,
And make my image but an alehouse sign.
Was I, for this, nigh wreck'd upon the sea;
And twice by awkward wind from England's


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 from their brazen
And bid them blow towards England's blessed
Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
Yet olus would not be a murderer,
But left that hateful office unto thee:
The pretty vaulting sea refus'd to drown me;
Knowing, that thou would'st have me drown'd
on shore,
With tears as salt as sea through thy unkind-
The splitting rocks cow'rd in the sinking
And would not dash me with their ragged
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 the 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 re-
ceiv'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?

Ah me, I can no more! Die, Margaret!
For Henry weeps, that thou dost live so long.

[blocks in formation]

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.

K. Hen. That he is dead, good Warwick, 'tis too true;

But how he died, God knows, not Henry: Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse, And comment then upon his sudden death. War. That I shall do, my liege:-Stay, Salisbury,

With the rude multitude, till I return.

[WARWICK goes into an inner Room, and SALISBURY retires.

K. Hen. 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
If my suspect be false, forgive me, God; [life!
For judgement 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 earthly image,
What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
The folding Doors of an inner Chamber are thrown
open, and GLOSTER is discovered dead in his
Bed: WARWICK and others standing by it.
War. Come hither, gracious sovereign, view
this body.

K. Hen. That is to see how deep my grave is

For, with his soul, fled all my worldly solace;
For seeing him, I see my life in death.*

War. 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, do believe that violent hands were laid Upon the life of this thrice-famed duke.

Suf. A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn

What instance gives lord Warwick for his vow?
War. See, how the blood is settled in his face!
Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, [less,
Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and blood-
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 re-

To blush and beautify the cheek again.
But, see, his face is black, and full of blood;
His eye-balls farther out than when he liv'd,'
Staring full ghastly like a strangled man:
His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretch'd with

His hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd
And tugg'd for life, and was by strength sub-
Look on the sheets, his hair, you see, is stick-
His well-proportioned beard made rough and


Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodg'd.
It cannot be, but he was murder'd here;
The least of all these signs were probable.
Suf. Why, Warwick, who should do the
duke to death?

Myself, and Beaufort, had him in protection;
And we, I hope, Sir, are no murderers.

War. But both of you were vow'd duke

Humphrey's foes;

And you, forsooth, had the good duke to keep: "Tis like, you would not feast him like a friend; And 'tis well seen he found an enemy.

Q. Mar. Then you, belike, suspect these no-

As guilty of duke Humphrey's timeless death.
War. Who finds the heifer dead, and bleed-

ing fresh,

And sees fast by a butcher with an axe, [ter?
But will suspect, 'twas he that made the slaugh-
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.

I.e. I see my life destroyed or endangered by his death. A body become inanimate in the common course of nature; to which violence has not brought a timeless end.

Q. Mar. Are you the butcher, Suffolk; where's your knife?

Is Beaufort term'd a kite? where are his talons?
Suf. I wear no knife, to slaughter sleeping

But here's a vengeful sword, rusted with ease,
That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart,
That slanders me with murder's crimson badge:
Say, if thou dar'st, proud lord of Warwickshire,
That I am faulty in duke Humphrey's death.
[Exeunt CARDINAL, SOM: and others.
War. What dares not Warwick, if false Suf-
folk dare him?

Q. Mar. He dares not calm his contumelious
Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand
Nor cease to be an arrogant controller, [spirit,


War. Madam, be still; with reverence may I
For every word, you speak in his behalf,
Is slander to your royal dignity.

If ever lady wrong'd her lord so much,
Suf. Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanour!
Thy mother took into her blameful bed
Some stern untutor'd churl, and noble stock
Was graft with crab-tree slip; whose fruit thou
And never of the Nevils' noble race.


War. But that the guilt of murder bucklers


And I should rob the deathsman of his fee,
Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames,
And that my sovereign's presence makes me
I would, false murderous coward, on thy knee,
And say-it was thy mother that thou mean'st,
Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech,
That thou thyself wast born in bastardy:
And, after all this fearful homage done,
Give thee thy hire, and send thy soul to hell,
Pernicious bloodsucker of sleeping men!

Suf. Thou shalt be waking, while I shed thy
If from this presence thou dar'st go with me.
War. Away even now, or I will drag thee

Unworthy though thou art, I'll cope with thee,
And do some service to duke Humphrey'

[Exeunt SUFFOLK and WARWICK. K. Hen. What stronger breast-plate 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.

Q. Mar. What noise is this?
Re-enter SUFFOLK und WARWICK, with their
Weapons drawn.

K. Hen. Why, how now, lords? your wrath

ful weapons drawn

Here in our presence? dare you be so bold?—
Why, what tumultuous clamour have we here?
Suf. The traitorous Warwick, with the men

of Bury,

Set all upon me, mighty sovereign

Noise of a Crowd within. Re-enter SALISBURY.
Sal. Sirs, stand apart; the king shall know
your mind.
[Speaking to those within.
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 ling ring 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

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 etér-

And therefore do they cry, though you forbid,
That they will guard you, whe'r you will, or


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.

Commons. [Within.] An answer from the
king, my lord of Salisbury.

Suf. 'Tis like, the commons, rude unpolish'd

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.
Commons. [Within.] An answer from the
king, or we'll all break in.

K. Hen. 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 airs
But three days longer, on the pain of death.
Q. Mar. O Henry, let me plead for gentle

K. Hen. Ungentle queen, to call him gentle

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 K. HENRY, WARWICK, Lords, &c. Q. Mar. 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

Suf. Cease, gentle queen, these execrations, And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave. Deadly serpent. + Dexterous.

A company.

I. e. He shall not contaminate this air with his infected breath,

Q. Mar. Fie, coward woman, and softhearted wretch !

Hast thou not spirit to curse thine enemies?
Suf. A plague upon them! wherefore should
I curse them?
Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake's
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

Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint;
My hair be fix'd on end, as one distract;
Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban:
And even now my burden'd heart would break,
Should I not curse them. Poison be their


Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they Their sweetest shade, a grove of cypress trees! Their chiefest prospect, murdering basilisks! Their softest touch, as smart as lizards' stings! Their music, frightful as the serpent's hiss; And boding screech-owls make the concert full!

All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell

Q. Mar. Enough, sweet Suffolk; thou torment'st thyself;

And these dread curses-like the sun 'gainst
Or like an overcharged gun,-recoil, [glass,
And turn the force of them upon thyself.
Suf. 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.

Q. Mar. 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;
[Kisses his hand.
That thou might'st 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;
'Tis but surmis'd whilst 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 con-
Embrace, and kiss, and take ten thousand
Loather a hundred times to part than die.
Yet now farewell; and farewell life with thee!
Suf. Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banish-

[thee. Once by the king, and three times thrice by "Tis not the land I care for; wert thou hence; 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 naught, but that thou livest. Enter VAUX.

Q. Mar. Whither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I pry'thee?

* Curse.

« VorigeDoorgaan »