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Scene I.—The Abbey at Bury.

'T is to be feared they all will follow him.
Now'tis 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, call it a woman's fear:
Which fear if better reasons can supplant,
I will subscribe, and say I wronged the duke.
My lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
Reprove my allegation, if you can;
Or else conclude my words effectual.

Suf. Well hath your highness seen into this


Enter to the Parliament, King Henry, Queen

Margaret, Cardinal BEAUFORT, SUFFOLK,
York, BUCKINGHAM, and others.

K. Hen. 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.
Q. Mar. Can you not see, or will you not

observe, The strangeness of his altered countenance ? With what a majesty he bears himself; How insolent of late he is become: How proud, 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 admired 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 shews an angry eye, And passeth by with stiff unbowéd 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,

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.

Car. Did he not, contrary to form of law, Devise strange deaths for small offences done!

York. 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.


Buck. Tut! these are petty faults to faults

unknown, Which time will bring too light in smooth Duke

K. Hen. My lords, at once :—The care you

have of us,
To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot,
Isworthy praise: but shall I speak my conscience?
Our kinsman Gloster is as innocent
From meaning treason to our royal person
As is the suckling lamb or harmless dove.
The duke is virtuous, mild, and too well given
To dream on evil, or to work my downfall.
Q. Mar. Ah, what's more dangerous than

this fond affiance !
Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrowed,
For he's disposed as the hateful raven.
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
For he's inclined as are the ravenous wolves.
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.

Som. All health unto my gracious sovereign !
K. Hen. Welcome, Lord Somerset. What

news from France ?
Som. That all your interest in those territories
Is utterly bereft you: all is lost.
K. Hen. Cold news, Lord Somerset : but

God's will be done!
York. Cold news for me! for I had hope of

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. [Aside.

Enter Gloster. Glo. All happiness unto my lord the King ! Pardon, my liege, that I have stayed so long. Suf. 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. Glo. Well, Suffolk's duke, 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? York. 'Tis thought, my lord, that you took

bribes of France, And, being protector, stayed the soldiers' pay: By means whereof his highness hath lost France.

Glo. Is it but thought so? What are they that

think it? I never robbed the soldiers of their pay, Nor ever had one penny bribe from France. So help me God as I have watched 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 disperséd to the garrisons, And never asked for restitution.

Car. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
Glo. I say no more than truth, so help me God!

York. In your protectorship you did devise
Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of;
That England was defamed by tyranny.
Glo. 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 murderer, Or foul felonious thief that fleeced poor passengers, I never gave them condign punishment. Murder, indeed, that bloody sin, I tortured Above the felon or what trespass else. Suf. My lord, these faults are easy; quickly

answered: 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.

K. Hen. My lord of Gloster, 't is my special hope That you will clear yourself from all suspects : My conscience tells me you are innocent.

Glo. Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous. Virtue is choked with foul ambition, And charity chased hence by rancour's hand; Foul subornation is predominant, And equity exiled 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 unburdens with his tongue The envious load that lies upon his heart; And doggéd York, that reaches at the moon (Whose overweening arm I have plucked 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 stirred 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."

Car. My liege, his railing is intolerable. If those that care to keep your royal person From treason's secret knife and traitors' 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.

Suf. Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here With ignominious words, though clerkly couched, As if she had subornéd 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 indeed : Beshrew the winners, for they played 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

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 dimmed 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.

[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, rolled in a flowering bank With shining chequered 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 my own wit good), This Gloster should be quickly rid the world, To rid us from the fear we have of him.

Car. That he should die is worthy policy: But yet we want a colour for his death : 'T is meet he be condemned by course of law.

Suf. 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 shews him worthy death.

York. So that by this you would not have him die.
Suf. Ah York, no man alive so fain as I.
York. 'Tis 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 froin your souls,
Wer '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?
Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure

of death. Suf. Madam, 't is true. And wer 't not mad

ness, then, To make the fox surveyor of the fold: Who being accused 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 proved an enemy to the flock, Before his chaps be stained with crimson blood : As Humphrey, proved by reasons, to my liege. And do not stand on quillets how to slay him :

him sure.

Glo. Ah, thus King Henry throws away bis

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.

[Exeunt Attendants, with GLOSTER. K. Hen. My lords, what to your wisdoms

seemeth best, Do or undo, as if ourselves were here. Q. Mar. What, will your highness leave the

parliament ? K. Hen. Ay, Margaret: my heart is drowned

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 proved thee false, or feared thy faith. What low'ring 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:



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Be it by gins, by snares, by subtilty,
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.
Q. Mar. Thrice noble Suffolk, 't is resolutely

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

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 it, It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.

Enter a Messenger. Mess. 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 incurable : For, being green, there is great hope of help. Car. A breach that craves a quick expedient

stop! What counsel give you in this weighty cause?

York. That Somerset be sent as regent thither. 'T is meet that lucky ruler be employed: Witness the fortune he hath had in France.

Som. If York, with all his far-fet policy, Had been the regent there instead of me, He never would have stayed in France so long.

York. 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. Shew me one scar charáctered on thy skin: Men's flesh preserved 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 proved 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

performed. But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.

Car. No more of him; for I wiil 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.

York. My lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days At Bristol I expect my soldiers : For there I 'll ship them all for Ireland. Suf. I 'll see it truly done, my lord of York.

[Exeunt all but York. 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-faced fear keep within 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 a host of men! I fear me you but warm the starvéd snake, Wh: cherished in your breasts, will sting your

hearts. 'T was men I lacked, and you will give them me! I take it kindly: yet be well assured 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 seduced a headstrong 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


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Oppose himself against a troop of kernes,
And fought so long till that his thighs with darts
Were almost like a sharp-quilled porcupine:
And, in the end being rescued, I have seen him
Caper upright like a wild Mórisco,
Shaking the bloody darts as he his bells.
Full often, like a shag-haired crafty kerne,
Hath he converséd with the enemy;
And undiscovered 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 moved him to those arms.
Say that he thrive (as 't is great like he will),
Why then from Ireland come I with my strength,

the harvest which that rascal sowed: For, Humphrey being dead, as he shall be, And Henry put apart, the next for me. [Exit.

Re-enter SUFFOLK. How now: why look’st thou pale? why tremblest

thou? Where is our uncle? what is the matter, Suffolk ? Suf. Dead in his bed, my lord: Gloster is

dead! Q. Mar. Marry, God forefend ! Car. God's secret judgment!- .I did dream

to-night The duke was dumb and could not speak a word.

[The KING swoons. Q. Mar. How fares my lord ?—Help, lords !

the King is dead ! Som. Rear up his body; wring him by the


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Enter SUFFOLK. 1st Mur. Here comes my lord. Suf. Now, sirs, have you despatched this thing? 1st Mur. Ah, 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 things well, According as

gave directions ? 1st Mur. 'T is, my good lord. Suf. Away, be gone! [Exeunt Murderers.

Q. Mar. Run, go, help, help!-0 Henry, ope

thine eyes !
Suf. He doth revive again :- Madam, be

K. Hen. O heavenly God!
Q. Mar. How fares my gracious lord ?
Suf. Comfort, my sovereign! gracious Henry,

K. Hen. What, doth my lord of Suffolk com-

fort 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 sugared 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 eyeballs murd'rous 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.
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 fog as he was to me,

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 't is published. Suf. I'll call him presently, my noble lord.


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