Page images

K. Hen. Uncle, how now?

Pardon me, gracious ford;

Glo. Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart, And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further. K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on. Win. Item,—It is further agreed between them, that the dutchies 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 dowry.

K. Hen. 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 in the parts of France,
Till term of eighteen months be full expir'd.-
Thanks, uncle Winchester, Gloster, York, and Buck-

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 Sur.
Glo. 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 my uncle, Beaufort, and myself,

it. This kind of inaccuracy is, I believe, peculiar to our poet; for I have never met with any thing similar in any other writer. He has again fallen into the same impropriety in All's Well that Ends Well. Malone.

With all the learned council 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 hath his highness in his infancy

'Been crown'd3 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;

[ocr errors]

'Defacing monuments of conquer'd France; Undoing all, as all had never been!

'Car. Nephew, what means this passionate discourse? This peroration with such circumstance? 9 For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.

* Glo. 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 dutchies of Anjou and Maine
* Unto the poor king Reignier, whose large style
* Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.1

[ocr errors]

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

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; Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer: And are the cities, that I got with wounds,

• Been crown'd-] The word Been was supplied by Mr. Steevens. Malone.

9 This peroration with such circumstance?] This speech crowded with so many instances of aggravation. Johnson.


whose large style

Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.] So, Holinshed: "King Reigner hir father, for all his long stile, had too short a purse to send his daughter honourably to the king hir spowse



2 And are the cities, &c.] The indignation of Warwick is natu

Deliver'd up again with peaceful words? 'Mort Dieu!

[ocr errors]

*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.

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.
*Glo. A proper jest, and never heard before,
*That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth,
*For cost and charges in transporting her!

*She should have staid in France, and starv'd in France, * Before

*Car. My lord of Gloster, now you grow too hot; *It was the pleasure of my lord the king.

*Glo. My lord of Winchester, I know your mind; 'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike, 'But 'tis my presence that doth trouble you. 'Rancour will out: Proud prelate, in thy face I see thy fury: if I longer stay,

We shall begin our ancient bickerings. 3

ral, and I wish it had been better expressed; there is a kind of jingle intended in wounds and words. Johnson.

In the old play the jingle is more striking. "And must that then which we won with our swords, be given away with words ?” Malone.

3 bickerings.] To bicker is to skirmish. In the ancient metrical romance of Guy Earl of Warwick, bl. 1. no date, the heroes consult whether they should bicker on the walls, or descend to battle on the plain. Again, in the genuine ballad of Chevy Chace: "Bomen bickarte upon the bent "With their browd aras cleare."

Again, in Drayton's Polyolbion, Song 9:

"From bickering with his folk to keep us Britains back." Again, in The Spanish Masquerado, by Greene, 1589: “— sundry times bickered with our men, and gave them the foyle." Again, in Holinshed, p. 537: "At another bickering also it chanced that the Englishmen had the upper hand." Again, p. 572: "At first there was a sharp bickering betwixt them, but in the end victorie remained with the Englishmen." Levi pugna congredior, is the expression by which Barrett in his Alvearie, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, explains the verb to bicker. Steevens.

Bickering, as here used, is quarrelling, contention-Mr. Steevens misconceives our author-to skirnrish, or to fight is not the

Lordings, farewel; and say, when I am gone,
I prophesy'd-France will be lost ere long.
Car. So, there goes our protector in a rage.
'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,
* And heir apparent to the English crown;
* Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
* And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,4
*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.

* Buck. 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. *Car. This weighty business will not brook delay;

* I'll to the duke of Suffolk presently.

[Exit. Som. Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's


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.

Buck. Or thou, or I, Somerset will be protector,

meaning intended to be conveyed, but merely the war of words, which Gloster and Winchester waged whenever and wherever they met. Am. Edit.

4 And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,] Certainly Shakspeare wrote-east. Warburton.

There are wealthy kingdoms in the west as well as in the east, and the western kingdoms were more likely to be in the thought of the speaker. Johnson.

* Despight duke Humphrey, or the cardinal.

[Exeunt Buck. and Soм. Sal. Pride went before, ambition follows him.5 '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 common-weal.-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age!

Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy house-keeping,
'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 ;7

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,

5 Pride went before, ambition follows him.] Perhaps in this line there is somewhat of proverbiality. Thus, in A. of Wyntown's Cronykil, B. VIII, ch. xxvii, v. 177:

"Awld men in thare prowerbe sayis,

"Pryde gays befor, and schame alwayis
"Followys" &c. Steevens.

So, in Proverbs, xvi, 18: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Harris.

6 And, brother York,] Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, married Cicely, the daughter of Ralf Nevil, Earl of Westmoreland. Richard Nevil, Earl of Salisbury, was son to the Earl of Westmoreland by a second wife. He married Alice, the only daughter of Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, who was killed at the siege of Orleans [See this play, Part I, Act I, sc. iii,]; and in consequence of that alliance obtained the title of Salisbury in 1428. His eldest son Richard, having married the sister and heir of Henry Beauchamp Earl of Warwick, was created Earl of Warwick, in 1449. Malone.

7 to civil discipline;] This is an anachronism. The present scene is in 1445, but Richard Duke of York was not viceroy of Ireland till 1449. Malone.

« PreviousContinue »