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Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she
And him to Pomfret; where, as all you know,
Harmless Richard was murder'd traitorously.
War. Father, the duke hath told the truth;
Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
York. Which now they hold by force and not
For Richard, the first son's heir, being dead,
The issue of the next son should have reign'd,
Sul. But William of Hatfield died without an
York. The third son, Duke of Clarence, from
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.
Sal. 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.
My mother, being heir unto the crown,
Married Richard, Earl of Cambridge, who was
SCENE III.-The Same. A Hall of Justice.
Sound trumpets. Enter King HENRY, Queen
MARGARET, GLOUCESTER, YORK, SUFFOLK,
and SALISBURY; the Duchess of GLOU
CESTER, MARGERY JOURDAIN, SOUTHWELL,
HUME, and BOLINGBROKE, under guard.
K. Hen. Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham,
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
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.
Duch. Welcome is banishment; welcome were
Glou. Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged
To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son. I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
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: 50
So, if the issue of the elder son
Exeunt the 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; 20 War. What plain proceeding is more plain Sorrow would solace and mine age would ease. than this?
Succeed before the younger, I am king.
York. 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:
'Tis that they seek; and they in seeking that
Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.
Sal. My lord, break we off; we know your
mind at full.
War. My heart assures me that the Earl of
Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
York. And, Nevil, this I do assure myself: 80
Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
The greatest man in England but the king.
K. Hen. Stay, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester:
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.
Q. Mar. 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.
Glou. My staff? here, noble Henry, is my
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. Exit.
Q. Mar. Why, now is Henry king, and Mar-
garet queen ;
And Humphrey Duke of Gloucester scarce him-
Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord; for purposely | Which he had thought to have murder'd wrong
Left I the court to see this quarrel tried.
K. Hen. O' God's name, see the lists and all things fit:
Here let them end it; and God defend the
York. I never saw a fellow worse bested,
Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant,
The servant of this armourer, my lords.
Enter, on one side, HORNER, and his Neighbours
drinking to him so much that he is drunk; and
he enters bearing his stay with a sand-bag fastened
to it; a drum before him: at the other side, PETER,
with a drum and sand-bag; and Prentices drink-
ing to him.
First Neigh. Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of sack: and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.
Second Pren. Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master: fight for credit of the prentices.
Peter. I thank you all: drink, and pray for me, I pray you; for I think 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.
Sal. Come, leave your drinking and fall to blows. Sirrah, what's thy name?
Peter. Peter, forsooth.
Sal. Peter! what more?
Sal. Thump! then see thou thump thy master well.
Hor. 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 downright blow. 94
York. Dispatch: this knave's tongue begins to double. Sound, trumpets, alarum to the combatants. Alarum. They fight, and PETER strikes down his Master. Hor. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason. Dies. York. Take away his weapon. Fellow, thank God, and the good wine in thy master's 103 Peter. O God! have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O Peter! thou hast prevailed in right.
Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward.
Sound a flourish.
SCENE IV.-The Same. A Strect.
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! Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful
And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine.
Glou. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
Duch. Ah! Gloucester, teach me to forget
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.
Sometime I'll say, I am Duke Humphrey's wife,
And he a prince and ruler of the land:
K. Hen. Go, take hence that traitor from our Yet so he rul'd and such a prince he was
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,
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
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.
Glou. 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. Would'st 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.
Iler. I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament, holden at Bury the first of this next month. 72
Glou. And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before!
This is close dealing. Well, I will be there. Exit Herald. My Nell, I take my leave: and, Master sheriff, Let not her penance exceed the king's commission.
Sher. 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.
Glou. Must you, Sir John, protect my lady
Stan. So am I given in charge, may 't please your grace.
Glou. 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. Duch. What gone, my lord, and bid me not farewell.
Glou. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
Exeunt GLOUCESTER and Servingmen.
Duch. Art thou gone too? All comfort go
For none abides with me: my joy is death;
Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard, 90
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.
Stan. Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man :
There to be us'd according to your state.
Duch. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach:
And shall I then be us'd reproachfully?
Stan. Like to a duchess, and Duke Humphrey's lady:
"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 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,
An 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,
'Tis to be fear'd they all will follow him.
Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-
Suf. 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,
50 | And, being protector, stay'd the soldiers' pay; By means whereof his highess hath lost France. Glou. Is it but thought so? What are they that think it?
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; Gloucester 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 to light in smooth Duke Humphrey.
K. Hen. 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 Gloucester 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.
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. 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.
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, no
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.
Car. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much. Glou. I say no more than truth, so help me God! York. In your protectorship you did devise 12 Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of, That England was defam'd by tyranny.
Glou. Why, 'tis 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 fleec'd poor pas
I never gave them condign punishment:
Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortur'd
Above the felon or what trespass else.
Suf. My lord, these faults are easy, quickly
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. Ilen. My Lord of Gloucester, 'tis my special hope
That you will clear yourself from all suspect: 10 My conscience tells me you are innocent.
Glou. 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
And Suffolk's cloudy brow his stormy hate;
Sharp Buckingham unburdens 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.'
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,
"Twill make them cool in zeal unto your grace.
Suf. 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?
Q. Mar. But I can give the loser leave to chide. Glou. 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. 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
Glou. 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 guaw thee first.
Ah! that my fear were false; ah! that it were;
For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.
Exeunt Attendants with GLOUCESTER. 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,
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 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;
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 Gloucester'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? Gloucester he is none.'
Q. Mar. Fair lords, cold snow melts with the sun's hot beams.
Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,
Too full of foolish pity; and Gloucester'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 Gloucester 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.
'Tis meet he be condemn'd 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 shows him worthy death.
York. So that, by this, you would not have
Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
Suf. Madam, 'tis true; and were 't not madness 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:
Be it by gins, by snares, by subtilty,
Sleeping or waking, 'tis 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, 'tis 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. 281 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;