KING HENRY THE SIXTH
by William Shakespeare
THE FIRST PART OF HENRY THE SIXTH Dramatis Personae
KING HENRY THE SIXTH
DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, uncle to the King, and Protector
DUKE OF BEDFORD, uncle to the King, and Regent of France
THOMAS BEAUFORT, DUKE OF EXETER, great-uncle to the king
HENRY BEAUFORT, great-uncle to the King, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, and afterwards CARDINAL
JOHN BEAUFORT, EARL OF SOMERSET, afterwards Duke
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, son of Richard late Earl of Cambridge, afterwards DUKE OF YORK
EARL OF WARWICK
EARL OF SALISBURY
EARL OF SUFFOLK
LORD TALBOT, afterwards EARL OF SHREWSBURY
JOHN TALBOT, his son
EDMUND MORTIMER, EARL OF MARCH
SIR JOHN FASTOLFE
SIR WILLIAM LUCY
SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE
SIR THOMAS GARGRAVE
MAYOR of LONDON
WOODVILLE, Lieutenant of the Tower
VERNON, of the White Rose or York faction
BASSET, of the Red Rose or Lancaster faction
GAOLERS, to Mortimer
CHARLES, Dauphin, and afterwards King of France
REIGNIER, DUKE OF ANJOU, and titular King of Naples
DUKE OF BURGUNDY
DUKE OF ALENCON
BASTARD OF ORLEANS
GOVERNOR OF PARIS
MASTER-GUNNER OF ORLEANS, and his SON
GENERAL OF THE FRENCH FORCES in Bordeaux
A FRENCH SERGEANT
AN OLD SHEPHERD, father to Joan la Pucelle
MARGARET, daughter to Reignier, afterwards married to King Henry
COUNTESS OF AUVERGNE
JOAN LA PUCELLE, Commonly called JOAN OF ARC
Lords, Warders of the Tower, Heralds, Officers, Soldiers,
Messengers, English and French Attendants. Fiends appearing to La Pucelle
SCENE: England and France
The First Part of King Henry the Sixth
ACT I. SCENE 1.
Dead March. Enter the funeral of KING HENRY THE FIFTH, attended on by the DUKE OF BEDFORD, Regent of France, the DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, Protector, the DUKE OF EXETER, the EARL OF WARWICK, the BISHOP OF WINCHESTER
BEDFORD. Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night! Comets, importing change of times and states, Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky And with them scourge the bad revolting stars That have consented unto Henry's death! King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long! England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
GLOUCESTER. England ne'er had a king until his time. Virtue he had, deserving to command; His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams; His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings; His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire, More dazzled and drove back his enemies Than mid-day sun fierce bent against their faces. What should I say? His deeds exceed all speech: He ne'er lift up his hand but conquered.
EXETER. We mourn in black; why mourn we not in blood? Henry is dead and never shall revive. Upon a wooden coffin we attend; And death's dishonourable victory We with our stately presence glorify, Like captives bound to a triumphant car. What! shall we curse the planets of mishap That plotted thus our glory's overthrow? Or shall we think the subtle-witted French Conjurers and sorcerers, that, afraid of him, By magic verses have contriv'd his end?
WINCHESTER. He was a king bless'd of the King of kings; Unto the French the dreadful judgment-day So dreadful will not be as was his sight. The battles of the Lord of Hosts he fought; The Church's prayers made him so prosperous.
GLOUCESTER. The Church! Where is it? Had not churchmen pray'd, His thread of life had not so soon decay'd. None do you like but an effeminate prince, Whom like a school-boy you may overawe.
WINCHESTER. Gloucester, whate'er we like, thou art Protector And lookest to command the Prince and realm. Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe More than God or religious churchmen may.
GLOUCESTER. Name not religion, for thou lov'st the flesh; And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st, Except it be to pray against thy foes.
BEDFORD. Cease, cease these jars and rest your minds in peace; Let's to the altar. Heralds, wait on us. Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms, Since arms avail not, now that Henry's dead. Posterity, await for wretched years, When at their mothers' moist'ned eyes babes shall suck, Our isle be made a nourish of salt tears, And none but women left to wail the dead.
HENRY the Fifth, thy ghost I invocate: Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils, Combat with adverse planets in the heavens. A far more glorious star thy soul will make Than Julius Caesar or bright
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. My honourable lords, health to you all! Sad tidings bring I to you out of France, Of loss, of slaughter, and discomfiture: Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Orleans, Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.
BEDFORD. What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse? Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns Will make him burst his lead and rise from death.
GLOUCESTER. Is Paris lost? Is Rouen yielded up? If Henry were recall'd to life again, These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
EXETER. How were they lost? What treachery was us'd?
MESSENGER. No treachery, but want of men and money. Amongst the soldiers this is muttered That here you maintain several factions; And whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought, You are disputing of your generals: One would have ling'ring wars, with little cost; Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings; A third thinks, without expense at all, By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd. Awake, awake, English nobility! Let not sloth dim your honours, new-begot. Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms; Of England's coat one half is cut away.
EXETER. Were our tears wanting to this funeral, These tidings would call forth their flowing tides.
BEDFORD. Me they concern; Regent I am of France. Give me my steeled coat; I'll fight for France. Away with these disgraceful wailing robes! Wounds will I lend the French instead of eyes, To weep their intermissive miseries.
Enter a second MESSENGER
SECOND MESSENGER. Lords, view these letters full of bad mischance. France is revolted from the English quite, Except some petty towns of no import. The Dauphin Charles is crowned king in Rheims; The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd; Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part; The Duke of Alencon flieth to his side.
EXETER. The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him! O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
GLOUCESTER. We will not fly but to our enemies' throats. Bedford, if thou be slack I'll fight it out.
BEDFORD. Gloucester, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness? An army have I muster'd in my thoughts, Wherewith already France is overrun.
Enter a third MESSENGER
THIRD MESSENGER. My gracious lords, to add to your laments, Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's hearse, I must inform you of a dismal fight Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
WINCHESTER. What! Wherein Talbot overcame? Is't so?
THIRD MESSENGER. O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown. The circumstance I'll tell you more at large. The tenth of August last this dreadful lord, Retiring from the siege of Orleans, Having full scarce six thousand in his troop, By three and twenty thousand of the French Was round encompassed and set upon. No leisure had he to enrank his men; He wanted pikes to set before his archers; Instead whereof sharp stakes pluck'd out of hedges They pitched in the ground confusedly To keep the horsemen off from breaking in. More than three hours the fight continued; Where valiant Talbot, above human thought, Enacted wonders with his sword and lance: Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him; Here, there, and everywhere, enrag'd he slew The French exclaim'd the devil was in arms; All the whole army stood agaz'd on him. His soldiers, spying his undaunted spirit, 'A Talbot! a Talbot!' cried out amain, And rush'd into the bowels of the battle. Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up If Sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward. He, being in the vaward plac'd behind With purpose to relieve and follow them- Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke; Hence grew the general wreck and massacre. Enclosed were they with their enemies. A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace, Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back; Whom all France, with their chief assembled strength, Durst not presume to look once in the face.
BEDFORD. Is Talbot slain? Then I will slay myself, For living idly here in pomp and ease, Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid, Unto his dastard foemen is betray'd.
THIRD MESSENGER. O no, he lives, but is took prisoner, And Lord Scales with him, and Lord Hungerford; Most of the rest slaughter'd or took likewise.
BEDFORD. His ransom there is none but I shall pay. I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne; His crown shall be the ransom of my friend; Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours. Farewell, my masters; to my task will I; Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make To keep our great Saint George's feast withal. Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take, Whose bloody deeds shall make an Europe quake.
THIRD MESSENGER. So you had need; for Orleans is besieg'd; The English army is grown weak and faint; The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply And hardly keeps his men from mutiny, Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.
EXETER. Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn, Either to quell the Dauphin utterly, Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.
BEDFORD. I do remember it, and here take my leave To go about my preparation. Exit
GLOUCESTER. I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can To view th' artillery and munition; And then I will proclaim young Henry king. Exit
EXETER. To Eltham will I, where the young King is, Being ordain'd his special governor; And for his safety there I'll best devise. Exit
WINCHESTER. [Aside] Each hath his place and function to attend: I am left out; for me nothing remains. But long I will not be Jack out of office. The King from Eltham I intend to steal, And sit at chiefest stern of public weal. Exeunt
France. Before Orleans
Sound a flourish. Enter CHARLES THE DAUPHIN, ALENCON,
and REIGNIER, marching with drum and soldiers
CHARLES. Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens So in the earth, to this day is not known. Late did he shine upon the English side; Now we are victors, upon us he smiles. What towns of any moment but we have? At pleasure here we lie near Orleans; Otherwhiles the famish'd English, like pale ghosts, Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.
ALENCON. They want their porridge and their fat bull beeves. Either they must be dieted like mules And have their provender tied to their mouths, Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.
REIGNIER. Let's raise the siege. Why live we idly here? Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear; Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury, And he may well in fretting spend his gall Nor men nor money hath he to make war.
CHARLES. Sound, sound alarum; we will rush on them. Now for the honour of the forlorn French! Him I forgive my death that killeth me, When he sees me go back one foot or flee. Exeunt
Here alarum. They are beaten hack by the English, with great loss. Re-enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and REIGNIER
CHARLES. Who ever saw the like? What men have I! Dogs! cowards! dastards! I would ne'er have fled But that they left me midst my enemies.
REIGNIER. Salisbury is a desperate homicide; He fighteth as one weary of his life. The other lords, like lions wanting food, Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.
ALENCON. Froissart, a countryman of ours, records England all Olivers and Rowlands bred During the time Edward the Third did reign. More truly now may this be verified; For none but Samsons and Goliases It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten! Lean raw-bon'd rascals! Who would e'er suppose They had such courage and audacity?
CHARLES. Let's leave this town; for they are hare-brain'd slaves, And hunger will enforce them to be more eager. Of old I know them; rather with their teeth The walls they'll tear down than forsake the siege.
REIGNIER. I think by some odd gimmers or device Their arms are set, like clocks, still to strike on; Else ne'er could they hold out so as they do. By my consent, we'll even let them alone.
ALENCON. Be it so.
Enter the BASTARD OF ORLEANS
BASTARD. Where's the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him.
CHARLES. Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.
BASTARD. Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd. Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence? Be not dismay'd, for succour is at hand. A holy maid hither with me I bring, Which, by a vision sent to her from heaven, Ordained is to raise this tedious siege And drive the English forth the bounds of France. The spirit of deep prophecy she hath, Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome: What's past and what's to come she can descry. Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words, For they are certain and unfallible.
CHARLES. Go, call her in. [Exit BASTARD] But first, to try her skill, Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place; Question her proudly; let thy looks be stern; By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.
Re-enter the BASTARD OF ORLEANS with
JOAN LA PUCELLE
REIGNIER. Fair maid, is 't thou wilt do these wondrous feats?
PUCELLE. Reignier, is 't thou that thinkest to beguile me? Where is the Dauphin? Come, come from behind; I know thee well, though never seen before. Be not amaz'd, there's nothing hid from me. In private will I talk with thee apart. Stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.
REIGNIER. She takes upon her bravely at first dash.
PUCELLE. Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter, My wit untrain'd in any kind of art. Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleas'd To shine on my contemptible estate. Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks, God's Mother deigned to appear to me, And in a vision full of majesty Will'd me to leave my base vocation And free my country from calamity Her aid she promis'd and assur'd success. In complete glory she reveal'd herself; And whereas I was black and swart before, With those clear rays which she infus'd on me That beauty am I bless'd with which you may see. Ask me what question thou canst possible, And I will answer unpremeditated. My courage try by combat if thou dar'st, And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex. Resolve on this: thou shalt be fortunate If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.
CHARLES. Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high terms. Only this proof I'll of thy valour make In single combat thou shalt buckle with me; And if thou vanquishest, thy words are true; Otherwise I renounce all confidence.
PUCELLE. I am prepar'd; here is my keen-edg'd sword, Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side, The which at Touraine, in Saint Katherine's churchyard, Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.
CHARLES. Then come, o' God's name; I fear no woman.
PUCELLE. And while I live I'll ne'er fly from a man. [Here they fight and JOAN LA PUCELLE overcomes]
CHARLES. Stay, stay thy hands; thou art an Amazon, And fightest with the sword of Deborah.
PUCELLE. Christ's Mother helps me, else I were too weak.
CHARLES. Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me. Impatiently I burn with thy desire; My heart and hands thou hast at once subdu'd. Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so, Let me thy servant and not sovereign be. 'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.
PUCELLE. I must not yield to any rites of love, For my profession's sacred from above. When I have chased all thy foes from hence, Then will I think upon a recompense.
CHARLES. Meantime look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.
REIGNIER. My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.
ALENCON. Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock; Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.
REIGNIER. Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?
ALENCON. He may mean more than we poor men do know; These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.
REIGNIER. My lord, where are you? What devise you on? Shall we give o'er Orleans, or no?
PUCELLE. Why, no, I say; distrustful recreants! Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.
CHARLES. What she says I'll confirm; we'll fight it out.
PUCELLE. Assign'd am I to be the English scourge. This night the siege assuredly I'll raise. Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days, Since I have entered into these wars. Glory is like a circle in the water, Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought. With Henry's death the English circle ends; Dispersed are the glories it included. Now am I like that proud insulting ship Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.
CHARLES. Was Mahomet inspired with a dove? Thou with an eagle art inspired then. Helen, the mother of great Constantine, Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters were like thee. Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth, How may I reverently worship thee enough?
ALENCON. Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.
REIGNIER. Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours; Drive them from Orleans, and be immortaliz'd.
CHARLES. Presently we'll try. Come, let's away about it. No prophet will I trust if she prove false. Exeunt
London. Before the Tower gates
Enter the DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, with his serving-men
in blue coats
GLOUCESTER. I am come to survey the Tower this day; Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance. Where be these warders that they wait not here? Open the gates; 'tis Gloucester that calls.
FIRST WARDER. [Within] Who's there that knocks so imperiously?
FIRST SERVING-MAN. It is the noble Duke of Gloucester.
SECOND WARDER. [Within] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let in.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Villains, answer you so the Lord Protector?
FIRST WARDER. [Within] The Lord protect him! so we answer him. We do no otherwise than we are will'd.
GLOUCESTER. Who willed you, or whose will stands but mine? There's none Protector of the realm but I. Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize. Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms?
[GLOUCESTER'S men rush at the Tower gates, and WOODVILLE the Lieutenant speaks within]
WOODVILLE. [Within] What noise is this? What traitors have we here?
GLOUCESTER. Lieutenant, is it you whose voice I hear? Open the gates; here's Gloucester that would enter.
WOODVILLE. [Within] Have patience, noble Duke, I may not open; The Cardinal of Winchester forbids. From him I have express commandment That thou nor none of thine shall be let in.
GLOUCESTER. Faint-hearted Woodville, prizest him fore me? Arrogant Winchester, that haughty prelate Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could brook! Thou art no friend to God or to the King. Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly.
SERVING-MEN. Open the gates unto the Lord Protector, Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.
Enter to the PROTECTOR at the Tower gates WINCHESTER
and his men in tawny coats
WINCHESTER. How now, ambitious Humphry! What means this?
GLOUCESTER. Peel'd priest, dost thou command me to be shut out?
WINCHESTER. I do, thou most usurping proditor, And not Protector of the King or realm.
GLOUCESTER. Stand back, thou manifest conspirator, Thou that contrived'st to murder our dead lord; Thou that giv'st whores indulgences to sin. I'll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal's hat, If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
WINCHESTER. Nay, stand thou back; I will not budge a foot. This be Damascus; be thou cursed Cain, To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt.
GLOUCESTER. I will not slay thee, but I'll drive thee back. Thy scarlet robes as a child's bearing-cloth I'll use to carry thee out of this place.
WINCHESTER. Do what thou dar'st; I beard thee to thy face.
GLOUCESTER. What! am I dar'd and bearded to my face? Draw, men, for all this privileged place Blue-coats to tawny-coats. Priest, beware your beard; I mean to tug it, and to cuff you soundly; Under my feet I stamp thy cardinal's hat; In spite of Pope or dignities of church, Here by the cheeks I'll drag thee up and down.
WINCHESTER. Gloucester, thou wilt answer this before the Pope.
GLOUCESTER. Winchester goose! I cry 'A rope, a rope!' Now beat them hence; why do you let them stay? Thee I'll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep's array. Out, tawny-coats! Out, scarlet hypocrite!
Here GLOUCESTER'S men beat out the CARDINAL'S men; and enter in the hurly burly the MAYOR OF
LONDON and his OFFICERS
MAYOR. Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates, Thus contumeliously should break the peace!
GLOUCESTER. Peace, Mayor! thou know'st little of my wrongs: Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor King, Hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use.
WINCHESTER. Here's Gloucester, a foe to citizens; One that still motions war and never peace, O'ercharging your free purses with large fines; That seeks to overthrow religion, Because he is Protector of the realm, And would have armour here out of the Tower, To crown himself King and suppress the Prince.
GLOUCESTER. I Will not answer thee with words, but blows.
[Here they skirmish again]
MAYOR. Nought rests for me in this tumultuous strife But to make open proclamation. Come, officer, as loud as e'er thou canst, Cry.
OFFICER. [Cries] All manner of men assembled here in arms this day against God's peace and the King's, we charge and command you, in his Highness' name, to repair to your several dwelling-places; and not to wear, handle, or use, any sword, weapon, or dagger, henceforward, upon pain of death.
GLOUCESTER. Cardinal, I'll be no breaker of the law; But we shall meet and break our minds at large.
WINCHESTER. Gloucester, we'll meet to thy cost, be sure; Thy heart-blood I will have for this day's work.
MAYOR. I'll call for clubs if you will not away. This Cardinal's more haughty than the devil.
GLOUCESTER. Mayor, farewell; thou dost but what thou mayst.
WINCHESTER. Abominable Gloucester, guard thy head, For I intend to have it ere long. Exeunt, severally, GLOUCESTER and WINCHESTER with their servants
MAYOR. See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart. Good God, these nobles should such stomachs bear! I myself fight not once in forty year.Exeunt
France. Before Orleans
Enter, on the walls, the MASTER-GUNNER
OF ORLEANS and his BOY
MASTER-GUNNER. Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is besieg'd, And how the English have the suburbs won.
BOY. Father, I know; and oft have shot at them, Howe'er unfortunate I miss'd my aim.
MASTER-GUNNER. But now thou shalt not. Be thou rul'd by me. Chief master-gunner am I of this town; Something I must do to procure me grace. The Prince's espials have informed me How the English, in the suburbs close intrench'd, Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars In yonder tower, to overpeer the city, And thence discover how with most advantage They may vex us with shot or with assault. To intercept this inconvenience, A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have plac'd; And even these three days have I watch'd If I could see them. Now do thou watch, For I can stay no longer. If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word; And thou shalt find me at the Governor's. Exit
BOY. Father, I warrant you; take you no care; I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them. Exit
Enter SALISBURY and TALBOT on the turrets, with SIR WILLIAM GLANSDALE, SIR THOMAS GARGRAVE, and others
SALISBURY. Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd! How wert thou handled being prisoner? Or by what means got'st thou to be releas'd? Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.
TALBOT. The Earl of Bedford had a prisoner Call'd the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles; For him was I exchang'd and ransomed. But with a baser man of arms by far Once, in contempt, they would have barter'd me; Which I disdaining scorn'd, and craved death Rather than I would be so vile esteem'd. In fine, redeem'd I was as I desir'd. But, O! the treacherous Fastolfe wounds my heart Whom with my bare fists I would execute, If I now had him brought into my power.
SALISBURY. Yet tell'st thou not how thou wert entertain'd.
TALBOT. With scoffs, and scorns, and contumelious taunts, In open market-place produc'd they me To be a public spectacle to all; Here, said they, is the terror of the French, The scarecrow that affrights our children so. Then broke I from the officers that led me, And with my nails digg'd stones out of the ground To hurl at the beholders of my shame; My grisly countenance made others fly; None durst come near for fear of sudden death. In iron walls they deem'd me not secure; So great fear of my name 'mongst them was spread That they suppos'd I could rend bars of steel And spurn in pieces posts of adamant; Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had That walk'd about me every minute-while; And if I did but stir out of my bed, Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.
Enter the BOY with a linstock
SALISBURY. I grieve to hear what torments you endur'd; But we will be reveng'd sufficiently. Now it is supper-time in Orleans: Here, through this grate, I count each one And view the Frenchmen how they fortify. Let us look in; the sight will much delight thee. Sir Thomas Gargrave and Sir William Glansdale, Let me have your express opinions Where is best place to make our batt'ry next.
GARGRAVE. I think at the North Gate; for there stand lords.
GLANSDALE. And I here, at the bulwark of the bridge.
TALBOT. For aught I see, this city must be famish'd, Or with light skirmishes enfeebled. [Here they shoot and SALISBURY and GARGRAVE
SALISBURY. O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners!
GARGRAVE. O Lord, have mercy on me, woeful man!
TALBOT. What chance is this that suddenly hath cross'd us? Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst speak. How far'st thou, mirror of all martial men? One of thy eyes and thy cheek's side struck off! Accursed tower! accursed fatal hand That hath contriv'd this woeful tragedy! In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame; Henry the Fifth he first train'd to the wars; Whilst any trump did sound or drum struck up, His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field. Yet liv'st thou, Salisbury? Though thy speech doth fail, One eye thou hast to look to heaven for grace; The sun with one eye vieweth all the world. Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands! Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it. Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life? Speak unto Talbot; nay, look up to him. Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort, Thou shalt not die whiles He beckons with his hand and smiles on me, As who should say 'When I am dead and gone, Remember to avenge me on the French.' Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero, Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn. Wretched shall France be only in my name.
[Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens] What stir is this? What tumult's in the heavens? Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. My lord, my lord, the French have gather'd head The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle join'd, A holy prophetess new risen up, Is come with a great power to raise the siege.
[Here SALISBURY lifteth himself up and groans]
TALBOT. Hear, hear how dying Salisbury doth groan. It irks his heart he cannot be reveng'd. Frenchmen, I'll be a Salisbury to you. Pucelle or puzzel, dolphin or dogfish, Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels And make a quagmire of your mingled brains. Convey me Salisbury into his tent, And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.
Here an alarum again, and TALBOT pursueth the
DAUPHIN and driveth him. Then enter JOAN LA PUCELLE
driving Englishmen before her. Then enter TALBOT
TALBOT. Where is my strength, my valour, and my force? Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them; A woman clad in armour chaseth them.
Enter LA PUCELLE
Here, here she comes. I'll have a bout with thee. Devil or devil's dam, I'll conjure thee; Blood will I draw on thee-thou art a witch And straightway give thy soul to him thou serv'st.
PUCELLE. Come, come, 'tis only I that must disgrace thee.
[Here they fight]
TALBOT. Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail? My breast I'll burst with straining of my courage. And from my shoulders crack my arms asunder, But I will chastise this high minded strumpet.
[They fight again]
PUCELLE. Talbot, farewell; thy hour is not yet come. I must go victual Orleans forthwith. [A short alarum; then enter the town with soldiers] O'ertake me if thou canst; I scorn thy strength. Go, go, cheer up thy hungry starved men; Help Salisbury to make his testament. This day is ours, as many more shall be.Exit
TALBOT. My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel; I know not where I am nor what I do. A witch by fear, not force, like Hannibal, Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists. So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench Are from their hives and houses driven away. They call'd us, for our fierceness, English dogs; Now like to whelps we crying run away. [A short alarum] Hark, countrymen! Either renew the fight Or tear the lions out of England's coat; Renounce your soil, give sheep in lions' stead: Sheep run not half so treacherous from the wolf, Or horse or oxen from the leopard, As you fly from your oft subdued slaves. [Alarum. Here another skirmish] It will not be-retire into your trenches. You all consented unto Salisbury's death, For none would strike a stroke in his revenge. Pucelle is ent'red into Orleans In spite of us or aught that we could do. O, would I were to die with Salisbury! The shame hereof will make me hide my head. Exit TALBOT. Alarum; retreat
Flourish. Enter on the walls, LA PUCELLE, CHARLES, REIGNIER, ALENCON, and soldiers
PUCELLE. Advance our waving colours on the walls; Rescu'd is Orleans from the English. Thus Joan la Pucelle hath perform'd her word.
CHARLES. Divinest creature, Astraea's daughter, How shall I honour thee for this success? Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens, That one day bloom'd and fruitful were the next. France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess. Recover'd is the town of Orleans. More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state.
REIGNIER. Why ring not out the bells aloud throughout the town? Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires And feast and banquet in the open streets To celebrate the joy that God hath given us.
ALENCON. All France will be replete with mirth and joy When they shall hear how we have play'd the men.
CHARLES. 'Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won; For which I will divide my crown with her; And all the priests and friars in my realm Shall in procession sing her endless praise. A statelier pyramis to her I'll rear Than Rhodope's of Memphis ever was. In memory of her, when she is dead, Her ashes, in an urn more precious Than the rich jewel'd coffer of Darius, Transported shall be at high festivals Before the kings and queens of France. No longer on Saint Denis will we cry, But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint. Come in, and let us banquet royally After this golden day of victory. Flourish. Exeunt
ACT II. SCENE 1.
Enter a FRENCH SERGEANT and two SENTINELS
SERGEANT. Sirs, take your places and be vigilant. If any noise or soldier you perceive Near to the walls, by some apparent sign Let us have knowledge at the court of guard.
FIRST SENTINEL. Sergeant, you shall. [Exit SERGEANT] Thus are poor servitors, When others sleep upon their quiet beds, Constrain'd to watch in darkness, rain, and cold.
Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, and forces,
with scaling-ladders; their drums beating a dead
TALBOT. Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy, By whose approach the regions of Artois, Wallon, and Picardy, are friends to us, This happy night the Frenchmen are secure, Having all day carous'd and banqueted; Embrace we then this opportunity, As fitting best to quittance their deceit, Contriv'd by art and baleful sorcery.
BEDFORD. Coward of France, how much he wrongs his fame, Despairing of his own arm's fortitude, To join with witches and the help of hell!
BURGUNDY. Traitors have never other company. But what's that Pucelle whom they term so pure?
TALBOT. A maid, they say.
BEDFORD. A maid! and be so martial!
BURGUNDY. Pray God she prove not masculine ere long, If underneath the standard of the French She carry armour as she hath begun.
TALBOT. Well, let them practise and converse with spirits: God is our fortress, in whose conquering name Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.
BEDFORD. Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.
TALBOT. Not all together; better far, I guess, That we do make our entrance several ways; That if it chance the one of us do fail The other yet may rise against their force.
BEDFORD. Agreed; I'll to yond corner.
BURGUNDY. And I to this.
TALBOT. And here will Talbot mount or make his grave. Now, Salisbury, for thee, and for the right Of English Henry, shall this night appear How much in duty I am bound to both. [The English scale the walls and cry 'Saint George! a Talbot!'] SENTINEL. Arm! arm! The enemy doth make assault.
The French leap o'er the walls in their shirts.
Enter, several ways, BASTARD, ALENCON, REIGNIER, half ready and half unready
ALENCON. How now, my lords? What, all unready so?
BASTARD. Unready! Ay, and glad we 'scap'd so well.
REIGNIER. 'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds, Hearing alarums at our chamber doors.
ALENCON. Of all exploits since first I follow'd arms Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise More venturous or desperate than this.
BASTARD. I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.
REIGNIER. If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favour him
ALENCON. Here cometh Charles; I marvel how he sped.
Enter CHARLES and LA PUCELLE
BASTARD. Tut! holy Joan was his defensive guard.
CHARLES. Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame? Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal, Make us partakers of a little gain That now our loss might be ten times so much?
PUCELLE. Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend? At all times will you have my power alike? Sleeping or waking, must I still prevail Or will you blame and lay the fault on me? Improvident soldiers! Had your watch been good This sudden mischief never could have fall'n.
CHARLES. Duke of Alencon, this was your default That, being captain of the watch to-night, Did look no better to that weighty charge.
ALENCON. Had all your quarters been as safely kept As that whereof I had the government, We had not been thus shamefully surpris'd.
BASTARD. Mine was secure.
REIGNIER. And so was mine, my lord.
CHARLES. And, for myself, most part of all this night, Within her quarter and mine own precinct I was employ'd in passing to and fro About relieving of the sentinels. Then how or which way should they first break in?
PUCELLE. Question, my lords, no further of the case, How or which way; 'tis sure they found some place But weakly guarded, where the breach was made. And now there rests no other shift but this To gather our soldiers, scatter'd and dispers'd, And lay new platforms to endamage them.
Alarum. Enter an ENGLISH SOLDIER, crying 'A Talbot! A Talbot!' They fly, leaving their
SOLDIER. I'll be so bold to take what they have left. The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword; For I have loaden me with many spoils, Using no other weapon but his name. Exit
ORLEANS. Within the town
Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a CAPTAIN,
BEDFORD. The day begins to break, and night is fled Whose pitchy mantle over-veil'd the earth. Here sound retreat and cease our hot pursuit.
TALBOT. Bring forth the body of old Salisbury And here advance it in the market-place, The middle centre of this cursed town. Now have I paid my vow unto his soul; For every drop of blood was drawn from him There hath at least five Frenchmen died to-night. And that hereafter ages may behold What ruin happened in revenge of him, Within their chiefest temple I'll erect A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interr'd; Upon the which, that every one may read, Shall be engrav'd the sack of Orleans, The treacherous manner of his mournful death, And what a terror he had been to France. But, lords, in all our bloody massacre, I muse we met not with the Dauphin's grace, His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc, Nor any of his false confederates.
BEDFORD. 'Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began, Rous'd on the sudden from their drowsy beds, They did amongst the troops of armed men Leap o'er the walls for refuge in the field.
BURGUNDY. Myself, as far as I could well discern For smoke and dusky vapours of the night, Am sure I scar'd the Dauphin and his trull, When arm in arm they both came swiftly running, Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves That could not live asunder day or night. After that things are set in order here, We'll follow them with all the power we have.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. All hail, my lords! Which of this princely train Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts So much applauded through the realm of France?
TALBOT. Here is the Talbot; who would speak with him?
MESSENGER. The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne, With modesty admiring thy renown, By me entreats, great lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe To visit her poor castle where she lies, That she may boast she hath beheld the man Whose glory fills the world with loud report.
BURGUNDY. Is it even so? Nay, then I see our wars Will turn into a peaceful comic sport, When ladies crave to be encount'red with. You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.
TALBOT. Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men Could not prevail with all their oratory, Yet hath a woman's kindness overrul'd; And therefore tell her I return great thanks And in submission will attend on her. Will not your honours bear me company?
BEDFORD. No, truly; 'tis more than manners will; And I have heard it said unbidden guests Are often welcomest when they are gone.
TALBOT. Well then, alone, since there's no remedy, I mean to prove this lady's courtesy. Come hither, Captain. [Whispers] You perceive my mind?
CAPTAIN. I do, my lord, and mean accordingly. Exeunt
AUVERGNE. The Castle
Enter the COUNTESS and her PORTER
COUNTESS. Porter, remember what I gave in charge; And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.
PORTER. Madam, I will.
COUNTESS. The plot is laid; if all things fall out right, I shall as famous be by this exploit. As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death. Great is the rumour of this dreadful knight, And his achievements of no less account. Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears To give their censure of these rare reports.
Enter MESSENGER and TALBOT.
MESSENGER. Madam, according as your ladyship desir'd, By message crav'd, so is Lord Talbot come.
COUNTESS. And he is welcome. What! is this the man?
MESSENGER. Madam, it is.
COUNTESS. Is this the scourge of France? Is this Talbot, so much fear'd abroad That with his name the mothers still their babes? I see report is fabulous and false. I thought I should have seen some Hercules, A second Hector, for his grim aspect And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs. Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf! It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp Should strike such terror to his enemies.
TALBOT. Madam, I have been bold to trouble you; But since your ladyship is not at leisure, I'll sort some other time to visit you. [Going]
COUNTESS. What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.
MESSENGER. Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves To know the cause of your abrupt departure.
TALBOT. Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief, I go to certify her Talbot's here.
Re-enter PORTER With keys
COUNTESS. If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.
TALBOT. Prisoner! To whom?
COUNTESS. To me, blood-thirsty lord And for that cause I train'd thee to my house. Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me, For in my gallery thy picture hangs; But now the substance shall endure the like And I will chain these legs and arms of thine That hast by tyranny these many years Wasted our country, slain our citizens, And sent our sons and husbands captivate.
TALBOT. Ha, ha, ha!
COUNTESS. Laughest thou, wretch? Thy mirth shall turn to moan.
TALBOT. I laugh to see your ladyship so fond To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow Whereon to practise your severity.
COUNTESS. Why, art not thou the man?
TALBOT. I am indeed.
COUNTESS. Then have I substance too.
TALBOT. No, no, I am but shadow of myself. You are deceiv'd, my substance is not here; For what you see is but the smallest part And least proportion of humanity. I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here, It is of such a spacious lofty pitch Your roof were not sufficient to contain 't.
COUNTESS. This is a riddling merchant for the nonce; He will be here, and yet he is not here. How can these contrarieties agree?
TALBOT. That will I show you presently.
Winds his horn; drums strike up;
a peal of ordnance. Enter soldiers
How say you, madam? Are you now persuaded That Talbot is but shadow of himself? These are his substance, sinews, arms, and strength, With which he yoketh your rebellious necks, Razeth your cities, and subverts your towns, And in a moment makes them desolate.
COUNTESS. Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse. I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited, And more than may be gathered by thy shape. Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath, For I am sorry that with reverence I did not entertain thee as thou art.
TALBOT. Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconster The mind of Talbot as you did mistake The outward composition of his body. What you have done hath not offended me. Nor other satisfaction do I crave But only, with your patience, that we may Taste of your wine and see what cates you have, For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
COUNTESS. With all my heart, and think me honoured To feast so great a warrior in my house. Exeunt
London. The Temple garden
Enter the EARLS OF SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK;
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another LAWYER
PLANTAGENET. Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence? Dare no man answer in a case of truth?
SUFFOLK. Within the Temple Hall we were too loud; The garden here is more convenient.
PLANTAGENET. Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth; Or else was wrangling Somerset in th' error?
SUFFOLK. Faith, I have been a truant in the law And never yet could frame my will to it; And therefore frame the law unto my will.
SOMERSET. Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.
WARWICK. Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch; Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth; Between two blades, which bears the better temper; Between two horses, which doth bear him best; Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgment; But in these nice sharp quillets of the law, Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
PLANTAGENET. Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance: The truth appears so naked on my side That any purblind eye may find it out.
SOMERSET. And on my side it is so well apparell'd, So clear, so shining, and so evident, That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.
PLANTAGENET. Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak, In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts. Let him that is a true-born gentleman And stands upon the honour of his birth, If he suppose that I have pleaded truth, From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.
SOMERSET. Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer, But dare maintain the party of the truth, Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.
WARWICK. I love no colours; and, without all colour Of base insinuating flattery, I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.
SUFFOLK. I pluck this red rose with young Somerset, And say withal I think he held the right.
VERNON. Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more Till you conclude that he upon whose side The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree Shall yield the other in the right opinion.
SOMERSET. Good Master Vernon, it is well objected; If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
PLANTAGENET. And I.
VERNON. Then, for the truth and plainness of the case, I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here, Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
SOMERSET. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off, Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red, And fall on my side so, against your will.
VERNON. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed, Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt And keep me on the side where still I am.
SOMERSET. Well, well, come on; who else?
LAWYER. [To Somerset] Unless my study and my books be false, The argument you held was wrong in you; In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.
PLANTAGENET. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?
SOMERSET. Here in my scabbard, meditating that Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
PLANTAGENET. Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses; For pale they look with fear, as witnessing The truth on our side.
SOMERSET. No, Plantagenet, 'Tis not for fear but anger that thy cheeks Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses, And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.
PLANTAGENET. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?
SOMERSET. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?
PLANTAGENET. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth; Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.
SOMERSET. Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses, That shall maintain what I have said is true, Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.
PLANTAGENET. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand, I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.
SUFFOLK. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
PLANTAGENET. Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.
SUFFOLK. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
SOMERSET. Away, away, good William de la Pole! We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.
WARWICK. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset; His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence, Third son to the third Edward, King of England. Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
PLANTAGENET. He bears him on the place's privilege, Or durst not for his craven heart say thus.
SOMERSET. By Him that made me, I'll maintain my words On any plot of ground in Christendom. Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge, For treason executed in our late king's days? And by his treason stand'st not thou attainted, Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry? His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood; And till thou be restor'd thou art a yeoman.
PLANTAGENET. My father was attached, not attainted; Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor; And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset, Were growing time once ripened to my will. For your partaker Pole, and you yourself, I'll note you in my book of memory To scourge you for this apprehension. Look to it well, and say you are well warn'd.
SOMERSET. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still; And know us by these colours for thy foes For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
PLANTAGENET. And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose, As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate, Will I for ever, and my faction, wear, Until it wither with me to my grave, Or flourish to the height of my degree.
SUFFOLK. Go forward, and be chok'd with thy ambition! And so farewell until I meet thee next. Exit
SOMERSET. Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.Exit
PLANTAGENET. How I am brav'd, and must perforce endure it!
WARWICK. This blot that they object against your house Shall be wip'd out in the next Parliament, Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester; And if thou be not then created York, I will not live to be accounted Warwick. Meantime, in signal of my love to thee, Against proud Somerset and William Pole, Will I upon thy party wear this rose; And here I prophesy: this brawl to-day, Grown to this faction in the Temple Garden, Shall send between the Red Rose and the White A thousand souls to death and deadly night.
PLANTAGENET. Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.
VERNON. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
LAWYER. And so will I.
PLANTAGENET. Thanks, gentle sir. Come, let us four to dinner. I dare say This quarrel will drink blood another day.Exeunt
The Tower of London
Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair, and GAOLERS
MORTIMER. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age, Let dying Mortimer here rest himself. Even like a man new haled from the rack, So fare my limbs with long imprisonment; And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death, Nestor-like aged in an age of care, Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer. These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent, Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent; Weak shoulders, overborne with burdening grief, And pithless arms, like to a withered vine That droops his sapless branches to the ground. Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb, Unable to support this lump of clay, Swift-winged with desire to get a grave, As witting I no other comfort have. But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?
FIRST KEEPER. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come. We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber; And answer was return'd that he will come.
MORTIMER. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied. Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine. Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign, Before whose glory I was great in arms, This loathsome sequestration have I had; And even since then hath Richard been obscur'd, Depriv'd of honour and inheritance. But now the arbitrator of despairs, Just Death, kind umpire of men's miseries, With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence. I would his troubles likewise were expir'd, That so he might recover what was lost.
Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET
FIRST KEEPER. My lord, your loving nephew now is come.
MORTIMER. Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?
PLANTAGENET. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us'd, Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.
MORTIMER. Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck And in his bosom spend my latter gasp. O, tell me when my lips do touch his cheeks, That I may kindly give one fainting kiss. And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock, Why didst thou say of late thou wert despis'd?
PLANTAGENET. First, lean thine aged back against mine arm; And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease. This day, in argument upon a case, Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me; Among which terms he us'd his lavish tongue And did upbraid me with my father's death; Which obloquy set bars before my tongue, Else with the like I had requited him. Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake, In honour of a true Plantagenet, And for alliance sake, declare the cause My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.
MORTIMER. That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me And hath detain'd me all my flow'ring youth Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine, Was cursed instrument of his decease.
PLANTAGENET. Discover more at large what cause that was, For I am ignorant and cannot guess.
MORTIMER. I will, if that my fading breath permit And death approach not ere my tale be done. Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king, Depos'd his nephew Richard, Edward's son, The first-begotten and the lawful heir Of Edward king, the third of that descent; During whose reign the Percies of the north, Finding his usurpation most unjust, Endeavour'd my advancement to the throne. The reason mov'd these warlike lords to this Was, for that-young Richard thus remov'd, Leaving no heir begotten of his body- I was the next by birth and parentage; For by my mother I derived am From Lionel Duke of Clarence, third son To King Edward the Third; whereas he From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree, Being but fourth of that heroic line. But mark: as in this haughty great attempt They laboured to plant the rightful heir, I lost my liberty, and they their lives. Long after this, when Henry the Fifth, Succeeding his father Bolingbroke, did reign, Thy father, Earl of Cambridge, then deriv'd From famous Edmund Langley, Duke of York, Marrying my sister, that thy mother was, Again, in pity of my hard distress, Levied an army, weening to redeem And have install'd me in the diadem; But, as the rest, so fell that noble earl, And was beheaded. Thus the Mortimers, In whom the title rested, were suppress'd.
PLANTAGENET. Of Which, my lord, your honour is the last.
MORTIMER. True; and thou seest that I no issue have, And that my fainting words do warrant death. Thou art my heir; the rest I wish thee gather; But yet be wary in thy studious care.
PLANTAGENET. Thy grave admonishments prevail with me. But yet methinks my father's execution Was nothing less than bloody tyranny.
MORTIMER. With silence, nephew, be thou politic; Strong fixed is the house of Lancaster And like a mountain not to be remov'd. But now thy uncle is removing hence, As princes do their courts when they are cloy'd With long continuance in a settled place.
PLANTAGENET. O uncle, would some part of my young years Might but redeem the passage of your age!
MORTIMER. Thou dost then wrong me, as that slaughterer doth Which giveth many wounds when one will kill. Mourn not, except thou sorrow for my good; Only give order for my funeral. And so, farewell; and fair be all thy hopes, And prosperous be thy life in peace and war! [Dies]
PLANTAGENET. And peace, no war, befall thy parting soul! In prison hast thou spent a pilgrimage, And like a hermit overpass'd thy days. Well, I will lock his counsel in my breast; And what I do imagine, let that rest. Keepers, convey him hence; and I myself Will see his burial better than his life. Exeunt GAOLERS, hearing out the body of MORTIMER Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer, Chok'd with ambition of the meaner sort; And for those wrongs, those bitter injuries, Which Somerset hath offer'd to my house, I doubt not but with honour to redress; And therefore haste I to the Parliament, Either to be restored to my blood, Or make my ill th' advantage of my good.Exit
ACT III. SCENE 1.
London. The Parliament House
Flourish. Enter the KING, EXETER, GLOUCESTER, WARWICK, SOMERSET, and SUFFOLK; the BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, RICHARD PLANTAGENET, and others.
GLOUCESTER offers to put up a bill; WINCHESTER snatches it, and tears it
WINCHESTER. Com'st thou with deep premeditated lines, With written pamphlets studiously devis'd? Humphrey of Gloucester, if thou canst accuse Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge, Do it without invention, suddenly; I with sudden and extemporal speech Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
GLOUCESTER. Presumptuous priest, this place commands my patience, Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonour'd me. Think not, although in writing I preferr'd The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes, That therefore I have forg'd, or am not able Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen. No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness, Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious pranks, As very infants prattle of thy pride. Thou art a most pernicious usurer; Froward by nature, enemy to peace; Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems A man of thy profession and degree; And for thy treachery, what's more manifest In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life, As well at London Bridge as at the Tower? Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted, The King, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
WINCHESTER. Gloucester, I do defy thee. Lords, vouchsafe To give me hearing what I shall reply. If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse, As he will have me, how am I so poor? Or how haps it I seek not to advance Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling? And for dissension, who preferreth peace More than I do, except I be provok'd? No, my good lords, it is not that offends; It is not that that incens'd hath incens'd the Duke: It is because no one should sway but he; No one but he should be about the King; And that engenders thunder in his breast And makes him roar these accusations forth. But he shall know I am as good
GLOUCESTER. As good! Thou bastard of my grandfather!
WINCHESTER. Ay, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray, But one imperious in another's throne?
GLOUCESTER. Am I not Protector, saucy priest?
WINCHESTER. And am not I a prelate of the church?
GLOUCESTER. Yes, as an outlaw in a castle keeps, And useth it to patronage his theft.
WINCHESTER. Unreverent Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER. Thou art reverend Touching thy spiritual function, not thy life.
WINCHESTER. Rome shall remedy this.
WARWICK. Roam thither then.
SOMERSET. My lord, it were your duty to forbear.
WARWICK. Ay, see the bishop be not overborne.
SOMERSET. Methinks my lord should be religious, And know the office that belongs to such.
WARWICK. Methinks his lordship should be humbler; It fitteth not a prelate so to plead.
SOMERSET. Yes, when his holy state is touch'd so near.
WARWICK. State holy or unhallow'd, what of that? Is not his Grace Protector to the King?
PLANTAGENET. [Aside] Plantagenet, I see, must hold his tongue, Lest it be said 'Speak, sirrah, when you should; Must your bold verdict enter talk with lords?' Else would I have a fling at Winchester.
KING HENRY. Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester, The special watchmen of our English weal, I would prevail, if prayers might prevail To join your hearts in love and amity. O, what a scandal is it to our crown That two such noble peers as ye should jar! Believe me, lords, my tender years can tell Civil dissension is a viperous worm That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.
[A noise within: 'Down with the tawny coats!'] What tumult's this?
WARWICK. An uproar, I dare warrant, Begun through malice of the Bishop's men.
[A noise again: 'Stones! Stones!']
Enter the MAYOR OF LONDON, attended
MAYOR. O, my good lords, and virtuous Henry, Pity the city of London, pity us! The Bishop and the Duke of Gloucester's men, Forbidden late to carry any weapon, Have fill'd their pockets full of pebble stones And, banding themselves in contrary parts, Do pelt so fast at one another's pate That many have their giddy brains knock'd out. Our windows are broke down in every street, And we for fear compell'd to shut our shops.
Enter in skirmish, the retainers of GLOUCESTER and
WINCHESTER, with bloody pates
KING HENRY. We charge you, on allegiance to ourself, To hold your slaught'ring hands and keep the peace. Pray, uncle Gloucester, mitigate this strife.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Nay, if we be forbidden stones, we'll fall to it with our teeth.
SECOND SERVING-MAN. Do what ye dare, we are as resolute. [Skirmish again]
GLOUCESTER. You of my household, leave this peevish broil, And set this unaccustom'd fight aside.
THIRD SERVING-MAN. My lord, we know your Grace to be a man Just and upright, and for your royal birth Inferior to none but to his Majesty; And ere that we will suffer such a prince, So kind a father of the commonweal, To be disgraced by an inkhorn mate, We and our wives and children all will fight And have our bodies slaught'red by thy foes.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Ay, and the very parings of our nails Shall pitch a field when we are dead. [Begin again]
GLOUCESTER. Stay, stay, I say! And if you love me, as you say you do, Let me persuade you to forbear awhile.
KING HENRY. O, how this discord doth afflict my soul! Can you, my Lord of Winchester, behold My sighs and tears and will not once relent? Who should be pitiful, if you be not? Or who should study to prefer a peace, If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
WARWICK. Yield, my Lord Protector; yield, Winchester; Except you mean with obstinate repulse To slay your sovereign and destroy the realm. You see what mischief, and what murder too, Hath been enacted through your enmity; Then be at peace, except ye thirst for blood.
WINCHESTER. He shall submit, or I will never yield.
GLOUCESTER. Compassion on the King commands me stoop, Or I would see his heart out ere the priest Should ever get that privilege of me.
WARWICK. Behold, my Lord of Winchester, the Duke Hath banish'd moody discontented fury, As by his smoothed brows it doth appear; Why look you still so stem and tragical?
GLOUCESTER. Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
KING HENRY. Fie, uncle Beaufort! I have heard you preach That malice was a great and grievous sin; And will not you maintain the thing you teach, But prove a chief offender in the same?
WARWICK. Sweet King! The Bishop hath a kindly gird. For shame, my Lord of Winchester, relent; What, shall a child instruct you what to do?
WINCHESTER. Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee; Love for thy love and hand for hand I give.
GLOUCESTER [Aside] Ay, but, I fear me, with a hollow heart. See here, my friends and loving countrymen: This token serveth for a flag of truce Betwixt ourselves and all our followers. So help me God, as I dissemble not!
WINCHESTER [Aside] So help me God, as I intend it not!
KING HENRY. O loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester, How joyful am I made by this contract! Away, my masters! trouble us no more; But join in friendship, as your lords have done.
FIRST SERVING-MAN. Content: I'll to the surgeon's.
SECOND SERVING-MAN. And so will I.
THIRD SERVING-MAN. And I will see what physic the tavern affords. Exeunt servants, MAYOR, &C.
WARWICK. Accept this scroll, most gracious sovereign; Which in the right of Richard Plantagenet We do exhibit to your Majesty.
GLOUCESTER. Well urg'd, my Lord of Warwick; for, sweet prince, An if your Grace mark every circumstance, You have great reason to do Richard right; Especially for those occasions At Eltham Place I told your Majesty.
KING HENRY. And those occasions, uncle, were of force; Therefore, my loving lords, our pleasure is That Richard be restored to his blood.
WARWICK. Let Richard be restored to his blood; So shall his father's wrongs be recompens'd.
WINCHESTER. As will the rest, so willeth Winchester.
KING HENRY. If Richard will be true, not that alone But all the whole inheritance I give That doth belong unto the house of York, From whence you spring by lineal descent.
PLANTAGENET. Thy humble servant vows obedience And humble service till the point of death.
KING HENRY. Stoop then and set your knee against my foot; And in reguerdon of that duty done I girt thee with the valiant sword of York. Rise, Richard, like a true Plantagenet, And rise created princely Duke of York.
PLANTAGENET. And so thrive Richard as thy foes may fall! And as my duty springs, so perish they That grudge one thought against your Majesty!
ALL. Welcome, high Prince, the mighty Duke of York!
SOMERSET. [Aside] Perish, base Prince, ignoble Duke of York!
GLOUCESTER. Now will it best avail your Majesty To cross the seas and to be crown'd in France: The presence of a king engenders love Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends, As it disanimates his enemies.
KING HENRY. When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes; For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
GLOUCESTER. Your ships already are in readiness. Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but EXETER
EXETER. Ay, we may march in England or in France, Not seeing what is likely to ensue. This late dissension grown betwixt the peers Burns under feigned ashes of forg'd love And will at last break out into a flame; As fest'red members rot but by degree Till bones and flesh and sinews fall away, So will this base and envious discord breed. And now I fear that fatal prophecy. Which in the time of Henry nam'd the Fifth Was in the mouth of every sucking babe: That Henry born at Monmouth should win all, And Henry born at Windsor should lose all. Which is so plain that Exeter doth wish His days may finish ere that hapless time. Exit
France. Before Rouen
Enter LA PUCELLE disguis'd, with four soldiers dressed like countrymen, with sacks upon their backs
PUCELLE. These are the city gates, the gates of Rouen, Through which our policy must make a breach. Take heed, be wary how you place your words; Talk like the vulgar sort of market-men That come to gather money for their corn. If we have entrance, as I hope we shall, And that we find the slothful watch but weak, I'll by a sign give notice to our friends, That Charles the Dauphin may encounter them.
FIRST SOLDIER. Our sacks shall be a mean to sack the city, And we be lords and rulers over Rouen; Therefore we'll knock. [Knocks]
WATCH. [Within] Qui est la?
PUCELLE. Paysans, pauvres gens de France Poor market-folks that come to sell their corn.
WATCH. Enter, go in; the market-bell is rung.
PUCELLE. Now, Rouen, I'll shake thy bulwarks to the ground.
[LA PUCELLE, &c., enter the town]
Enter CHARLES, BASTARD, ALENCON, REIGNIER, and forces
CHARLES. Saint Denis bless this happy stratagem! And once again we'll sleep secure in Rouen.
BASTARD. Here ent'red Pucelle and her practisants; Now she is there, how will she specify Here is the best and safest passage in?
ALENCON. By thrusting out a torch from yonder tower; Which once discern'd shows that her meaning is No way to that, for weakness, which she ent'red.
Enter LA PUCELLE, on the top, thrusting out a torch burning
PUCELLE. Behold, this is the happy wedding torch That joineth Rouen unto her countrymen, But burning fatal to the Talbotites.Exit
BASTARD. See, noble Charles, the beacon of our friend; The burning torch in yonder turret stands.
CHARLES. Now shine it like a comet of revenge, A prophet to the fall of all our foes!
ALENCON. Defer no time, delays have dangerous ends; Enter, and cry 'The Dauphin!' presently, And then do execution on the watch. Alarum. Exeunt
An alarum. Enter TALBOT in an excursion
TALBOT. France, thou shalt rue this treason with thy tears, If Talbot but survive thy treachery.
PUCELLE, that witch, that damned sorceress, Hath wrought this hellish mischief unawares, That hardly we escap'd the pride of France. Exit
An alarum; excursions. BEDFORD brought in sick in
a chair. Enter TALBOT and BURGUNDY without; within, LA PUCELLE, CHARLES, BASTARD, ALENCON, and REIGNIER, on the walls
PUCELLE. Good morrow, gallants! Want ye corn for bread? I think the Duke of Burgundy will fast Before he'll buy again at such a rate. 'Twas full of darnel-do you like the taste?
BURGUNDY. Scoff on, vile fiend and shameless courtezan. I trust ere long to choke thee with thine own, And make thee curse the harvest of that corn.
CHARLES. Your Grace may starve, perhaps, before that time.
BEDFORD. O, let no words, but deeds, revenge this treason!
PUCELLE. What you do, good grey beard? Break a lance, And run a tilt at death within a chair?
TALBOT. Foul fiend of France and hag of all despite, Encompass'd with thy lustful paramours, Becomes it thee to taunt his valiant age And twit with cowardice a man half dead? Damsel, I'll have a bout with you again, Or else let Talbot perish with this shame.
PUCELLE. Are ye so hot, sir? Yet, Pucelle, hold thy peace; If Talbot do but thunder, rain will follow. [The English party whisper together in council] God speed the parliament! Who shall be the Speaker?
TALBOT. Dare ye come forth and meet us in the field?
PUCELLE. Belike your lordship takes us then for fools, To try if that our own be ours or no.
TALBOT. I speak not to that railing Hecate, But unto thee, Alencon, and the rest. Will ye, like soldiers, come and fight it out?
ALENCON. Signior, no.
TALBOT. Signior, hang! Base muleteers of France! Like peasant foot-boys do they keep the walls, And dare not take up arms like gentlemen.
PUCELLE. Away, captains! Let's get us from the walls; For Talbot means no goodness by his looks. God b'uy, my lord; we came but to tell you That we are here. Exeunt from the walls
TALBOT. And there will we be too, ere it be long, Or else reproach be Talbot's greatest fame! Vow, Burgundy, by honour of thy house, Prick'd on by public wrongs sustain'd in France, Either to get the town again or die; And I, as sure as English Henry lives And as his father here was conqueror, As sure as in this late betrayed town Great Coeur-de-lion's heart was buried So sure I swear to get the town or die.
BURGUNDY. My vows are equal partners with thy vows.
TALBOT. But ere we go, regard this dying prince, The valiant Duke of Bedford. Come, my lord, We will bestow you in some better place, Fitter for sickness and for crazy age.
BEDFORD. Lord Talbot, do not so dishonour me; Here will I sit before the walls of Rouen, And will be partner of your weal or woe.
BURGUNDY. Courageous Bedford, let us now persuade you.
BEDFORD. Not to be gone from hence; for once I read That stout Pendragon in his litter sick Came to the field, and vanquished his foes. Methinks I should revive the soldiers' hearts, Because I ever found them as myself.
TALBOT. Undaunted spirit in a dying breast! Then be it so. Heavens keep old Bedford safe! And now no more ado, brave Burgundy, But gather we our forces out of hand And set upon our boasting enemy.
Exeunt against the town all but BEDFORD and attendants
An alarum; excursions. Enter SIR JOHN FASTOLFE,
and a CAPTAIN
CAPTAIN. Whither away, Sir John Fastolfe, in such haste?
FASTOLFE. Whither away? To save myself by flight: We are like to have the overthrow again.
CAPTAIN. What! Will you and leave Lord Talbot?
FASTOLFE. Ay, All the Talbots in the world, to save my life. Exit
CAPTAIN. Cowardly knight! ill fortune follow thee!
Exit into the town
Retreat; excursions. LA PUCELLE, ALENCON,
and CHARLES fly
BEDFORD. Now, quiet soul, depart when heaven please, For I have seen our enemies' overthrow. What is the trust or strength of foolish man? They that of late were daring with their scoffs Are glad and fain by flight to save themselves. [BEDFORD dies and is carried in by two in his chair]
An alarum. Re-enter TALBOT, BURGUNDY, and the rest
TALBOT. Lost and recovered in a day again! This is a double honour, Burgundy. Yet heavens have glory for this victory!
BURGUNDY. Warlike and martial Talbot, Burgundy Enshrines thee in his heart, and there erects Thy noble deeds as valour's monuments.
TALBOT. Thanks, gentle Duke. But where is Pucelle now? I think her old familiar is asleep. Now where's the Bastard's braves, and Charles his gleeks? What, all amort? Rouen hangs her head for grief That such a valiant company are fled. Now will we take some order in the town, Placing therein some expert officers; And then depart to Paris to the King, For there young Henry with his nobles lie.
BURGUNDY. What Lord Talbot pleaseth Burgundy.
TALBOT. But yet, before we go, let's not forget The noble Duke of Bedford, late deceas'd, But see his exequies fulfill'd in Rouen. A braver soldier never couched lance, A gentler heart did never sway in court; But kings and mightiest potentates must die, For that's the end of human misery. Exeunt
The plains near Rouen
Enter CHARLES, the BASTARD, ALENCON, LA PUCELLE,
PUCELLE. Dismay not, Princes, at this accident, Nor grieve that Rouen is so recovered. Care is no cure, but rather corrosive, For things that are not to be remedied. Let frantic Talbot triumph for a while And like a peacock sweep along his tail; We'll pull his plumes and take away his train, If Dauphin and the rest will be but rul'd.
CHARLES. We have guided by thee hitherto, And of thy cunning had no diffidence; One sudden foil shall never breed distrust
BASTARD. Search out thy wit for secret policies, And we will make thee famous through the world. ALENCON. We'll set thy statue in some holy place, And have thee reverenc'd like a blessed saint. Employ thee, then, sweet virgin, for our good.
PUCELLE. Then thus it must be; this doth Joan devise: By fair persuasions, mix'd with sug'red words, We will entice the Duke of Burgundy To leave the Talbot and to follow us.
CHARLES. Ay, marry, sweeting, if we could do that, France were no place for Henry's warriors; Nor should that nation boast it so with us, But be extirped from our provinces.
ALENCON. For ever should they be expuls'd from France, And not have tide of an earldom here.
PUCELLE. Your honours shall perceive how I will work To bring this matter to the wished end.
[Drum sounds afar off] Hark! by the sound of drum you may perceive Their powers are marching unto Paris-ward.
Here sound an English march. Enter, and pass over at a distance, TALBOT and his forces
There goes the Talbot, with his colours spread, And all the troops of English after him.
French march. Enter the DUKE OF BURGUNDY and his forces
Now in the rearward comes the Duke and his. Fortune in favour makes him lag behind. Summon a parley; we will talk with him.
[Trumpets sound a parley]
CHARLES. A parley with the Duke of Burgundy!
BURGUNDY. Who craves a parley with the Burgundy?
PUCELLE. The princely Charles of France, thy countryman.
BURGUNDY. What say'st thou, Charles? for I am marching hence.
CHARLES. Speak, Pucelle, and enchant him with thy words.
PUCELLE. Brave Burgundy, undoubted hope of France! Stay, let thy humble handmaid speak to thee.
BURGUNDY. Speak on; but be not over-tedious.
PUCELLE. Look on thy country, look on fertile France, And see the cities and the towns defac'd By wasting ruin of the cruel foe; As looks the mother on her lowly babe When death doth close his tender dying eyes, See, see the pining malady of France; Behold the wounds, the most unnatural wounds, Which thou thyself hast given her woeful breast. O, turn thy edged sword another way; Strike those that hurt, and hurt not those that help! One drop of blood drawn from thy country's bosom Should grieve thee more than streams of foreign gore. Return thee therefore with a flood of tears, And wash away thy country's stained spots.
BURGUNDY. Either she hath bewitch'd me with her words, Or nature makes me suddenly relent.
PUCELLE. Besides, all French and France exclaims on thee, Doubting thy birth and lawful progeny. Who join'st thou with but with a lordly nation That will not trust thee but for profit's sake? When Talbot hath set footing once in France, And fashion'd thee that instrument of ill, Who then but English Henry will be lord, And thou be thrust out like a fugitive? Call we to mind-and mark but this for proof: Was not the Duke of Orleans thy foe? And was he not in England prisoner? But when they heard he was thine enemy They set him free without his ransom paid, In spite of Burgundy and all his friends. See then, thou fight'st against thy countrymen, And join'st with them will be thy slaughtermen. Come, come, return; return, thou wandering lord; Charles and the rest will take thee in their arms.
BURGUNDY. I am vanquished; these haughty words of hers Have batt'red me like roaring cannon-shot And made me almost yield upon my knees. Forgive me, country, and sweet countrymen And, lords, accept this hearty kind embrace. My forces and my power of men are yours; So, farewell, Talbot; I'll no longer trust thee.
PUCELLE. Done like a Frenchman- [Aside] turn and turn again.
CHARLES. Welcome, brave Duke! Thy friendship makes us fresh.
BASTARD. And doth beget new courage in our breasts.
ALENCON. Pucelle hath bravely play'd her part in this, And doth deserve a coronet of gold.
CHARLES. Now let us on, my lords, and join our powers, And seek how we may prejudice the foe.Exeunt
Paris. The palace
Enter the KING, GLOUCESTER, WINCHESTER, YORK, SUFFOLK, SOMERSET, WARWICK, EXETER,
VERNON, BASSET, and others. To them, with his soldiers, TALBOT
TALBOT. My gracious Prince, and honourable peers, Hearing of your arrival in this realm, I have awhile given truce unto my wars To do my duty to my sovereign; In sign whereof, this arm that hath reclaim'd To your obedience fifty fortresses, Twelve cities, and seven walled towns of strength, Beside five hundred prisoners of esteem, Lets fall his sword before your Highness' feet, And with submissive loyalty of heart Ascribes the glory of his conquest got First to my God and next unto your Grace. [Kneels]
KING HENRY. Is this the Lord Talbot, uncle Gloucester, That hath so long been resident in France?
GLOUCESTER. Yes, if it please your Majesty, my liege.
KING HENRY. Welcome, brave captain and victorious lord! When I was young, as yet I am not old, I do remember how my father said A stouter champion never handled sword. Long since we were resolved of your truth, Your faithful service, and your toil in war; Yet never have you tasted our reward, Or been reguerdon'd with so much as thanks, Because till now we never saw your face. Therefore stand up; and for these good deserts We here create you Earl of Shrewsbury; And in our coronation take your place.
Sennet. Flourish. Exeunt all but VERNON and BASSET
VERNON. Now, sir, to you, that were so hot at sea, Disgracing of these colours that I wear In honour of my noble Lord of York Dar'st thou maintain the former words thou spak'st?
BASSET. Yes, sir; as well as you dare patronage The envious barking of your saucy tongue Against my lord the Duke of Somerset.
VERNON. Sirrah, thy lord I honour as he is.
BASSET. Why, what is he? As good a man as York!
VERNON. Hark ye: not so. In witness, take ye that.
BASSET. Villain, thou knowest the law of arms is such That whoso draws a sword 'tis present death, Or else this blow should broach thy dearest blood. But I'll unto his Majesty and crave I may have liberty to venge this wrong; When thou shalt see I'll meet thee to thy cost.
VERNON. Well, miscreant, I'll be there as soon as you; And, after, meet you sooner than you would. Exeunt
ACT IV. SCENE 1.
Park. The palace
Enter the KING, GLOUCESTER, WINCHESTER, YORK,
SUFFOLK, SOMERSET, WARWICK, TALBOT, EXETER, the GOVERNOR OF PARIS, and others
GLOUCESTER. Lord Bishop, set the crown upon his head.
WINCHESTER. God save King Henry, of that name the Sixth!
GLOUCESTER. Now, Governor of Paris, take your oath
[GOVERNOR kneels] That you elect no other king but him, Esteem none friends but such as are his friends, And none your foes but such as shall pretend Malicious practices against his state. This shall ye do, so help you righteous God!
Exeunt GOVERNOR and his train
Enter SIR JOHN FASTOLFE
FASTOLFE. My gracious sovereign, as I rode from Calais, To haste unto your coronation, A letter was deliver'd to my hands, Writ to your Grace from th' Duke of Burgundy.
TALBOT. Shame to the Duke of Burgundy and thee! I vow'd, base knight, when I did meet thee next To tear the Garter from thy craven's leg, [Plucking it off] Which I have done, because unworthily Thou wast installed in that high degree. Pardon me, princely Henry, and the rest: This dastard, at the battle of Patay, When but in all I was six thousand strong, And that the French were almost ten to one, Before we met or that a stroke was given, Like to a trusty squire did run away; In which assault we lost twelve hundred men; Myself and divers gentlemen beside Were there surpris'd and taken prisoners. Then judge, great lords, if I have done amiss, Or whether that such cowards ought to wear This ornament of knighthood-yea or no.
GLOUCESTER. To say the truth, this fact was infamous And ill beseeming any common man, Much more a knight, a captain, and a leader.
TALBOT. When first this order was ordain'd, my lords, Knights of the Garter were of noble birth, Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage, Such as were grown to credit by the wars; Not fearing death nor shrinking for distress, But always resolute in most extremes. He then that is not furnish'd in this sort Doth but usurp the sacred name of knight, Profaning this most honourable order, And should, if I were worthy to be judge, Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain That doth presume to boast of gentle blood.
KING HENRY. Stain to thy countrymen, thou hear'st thy doom. Be packing, therefore, thou that wast a knight; Henceforth we banish thee on pain of death.
Exit FASTOLFE And now, my Lord Protector, view the letter Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy.
GLOUCESTER. [Viewing the superscription] What means his Grace, that he hath chang'd his style? No more but plain and bluntly 'To the King!' Hath he forgot he is his sovereign? Or doth this churlish superscription Pretend some alteration in good-will? What's here? [Reads] 'I have, upon especial cause, Mov'd with compassion of my country's wreck, Together with the pitiful complaints Of such as your oppression feeds upon, Forsaken your pernicious faction, And join'd with Charles, the rightful King of France.' O monstrous treachery! Can this be so That in alliance, amity, and oaths, There should be found such false dissembling guile?
KING HENRY. What! Doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
GLOUCESTER. He doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
KING HENRY. Is that the worst this letter doth contain?
GLOUCESTER. It is the worst, and all, my lord, he writes.
KING HENRY. Why then Lord Talbot there shall talk with him And give him chastisement for this abuse. How say you, my lord, are you not content?
TALBOT. Content, my liege! Yes; but that I am prevented, I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.
KING HENRY. Then gather strength and march unto him straight; Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason. And what offence it is to flout his friends.
TALBOT. I go, my lord, in heart desiring still You may behold confusion of your foes. Exit
Enter VERNON and BASSET
VERNON. Grant me the combat, gracious sovereign.
BASSET. And me, my lord, grant me the combat too.
YORK. This is my servant: hear him, noble Prince.
SOMERSET. And this is mine: sweet Henry, favour him.
KING HENRY. Be patient, lords, and give them leave to speak. Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim, And wherefore crave you combat, or with whom?
VERNON. With him, my lord; for he hath done me wrong.
BASSET. And I with him; for he hath done me wrong.
KING HENRY. What is that wrong whereof you both complain? First let me know, and then I'll answer you.
BASSET. Crossing the sea from England into France, This fellow here, with envious carping tongue, Upbraided me about the rose I wear, Saying the sanguine colour of the leaves Did represent my master's blushing cheeks When stubbornly he did repugn the truth About a certain question in the law Argu'd betwixt the Duke of York and him; With other vile and ignominious terms In confutation of which rude reproach And in defence of my lord's worthiness, I crave the benefit of law of arms.
VERNON. And that is my petition, noble lord; For though he seem with forged quaint conceit To set a gloss upon his bold intent, Yet know, my lord, I was provok'd by him, And he first took exceptions at this badge, Pronouncing that the paleness of this flower Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.
YORK. Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?
SOMERSET. Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out, Though ne'er so cunningly you smother it.
KING HENRY. Good Lord, what madness rules in brainsick men, When for so slight and frivolous a cause Such factious emulations shall arise! Good cousins both, of York and Somerset, Quiet yourselves, I pray, and be at peace.
YORK. Let this dissension first be tried by fight, And then your Highness shall command a peace.
SOMERSET. The quarrel toucheth none but us alone; Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.
YORK. There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset.
VERNON. Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
BASSET. Confirm it so, mine honourable lord.
GLOUCESTER. Confirm it so? Confounded be your strife; And perish ye, with your audacious prate! Presumptuous vassals, are you not asham'd With this immodest clamorous outrage To trouble and disturb the King and us? And you, my lords- methinks you do not well To bear with their perverse objections, Much less to take occasion from their mouths To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves. Let me persuade you take a better course.
EXETER. It grieves his Highness. Good my lords, be friends.
KING HENRY. Come hither, you that would be combatants: Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour, Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause. And you, my lords, remember where we are: In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation; If they perceive dissension in our looks And that within ourselves we disagree, How will their grudging stomachs be provok'd To wilful disobedience, and rebel! Beside, what infamy will there arise When foreign princes shall be certified That for a toy, a thing of no regard, King Henry's peers and chief nobility Destroy'd themselves and lost the realm of France! O, think upon the conquest of my father, My tender years; and let us not forgo That for a trifle that was bought with blood! Let me be umpire in this doubtful strife. I see no reason, if I wear this rose, [Putting on a red rose] That any one should therefore be suspicious I more incline to Somerset than York: Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both. As well they may upbraid me with my crown, Because, forsooth, the King of Scots is crown'd. But your discretions better can persuade Than I am able to instruct or teach; And, therefore, as we hither came in peace, So let us still continue peace and love. Cousin of York, we institute your Grace To be our Regent in these parts of France. And, good my Lord of Somerset, unite Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot; And like true subjects, sons of your progenitors, Go cheerfully together and digest Your angry choler on your enemies. Ourself, my Lord Protector, and the rest, After some respite will return to Calais; From thence to England, where I hope ere long To be presented by your victories With Charles, Alencon, and that traitorous rout. Flourish. Exeunt all but YORK, WARWICK,
WARWICK. My Lord of York, I promise you, the King Prettily, methought, did play the orator.
YORK. And so he did; but yet I like it not, In that he wears the badge of Somerset.
WARWICK. Tush, that was but his fancy; blame him not; I dare presume, sweet prince, he thought no harm.
YORK. An if I wist he did-but let it rest; Other affairs must now be managed.
Exeunt all but EXETER
EXETER. Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice; For had the passions of thy heart burst out, I fear we should have seen decipher'd there More rancorous spite, more furious raging broils, Than yet can be imagin'd or suppos'd. But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees This jarring discord of nobility, This shouldering of each other in the court, This factious bandying of their favourites, But that it doth presage some ill event. 'Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands; But more when envy breeds unkind division: There comes the ruin, there begins confusion. Exit
France. Before Bordeaux
Enter TALBOT, with trump and drum
TALBOT. Go to the gates of Bordeaux, trumpeter; Summon their general unto the wall.
Trumpet sounds a parley. Enter, aloft, the GENERAL OF THE FRENCH, and others
English John Talbot, Captains, calls you forth, Servant in arms to Harry King of England; And thus he would open your city gates, Be humble to us, call my sovereignvours And do him homage as obedient subjects, And I'll withdraw me and my bloody power; But if you frown upon this proffer'd peace, You tempt the fury of my three attendants, Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire; Who in a moment even with the earth Shall lay your stately and air braving towers, If you forsake the offer of their love.
GENERAL OF THE FRENCH. Thou ominous and fearful owl of death, Our nation's terror and their bloody scourge! The period of thy tyranny approacheth. On us thou canst not enter but by death; For, I protest, we are well fortified, And strong enough to issue out and fight. If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed, Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee. On either hand thee there are squadrons pitch'd To wall thee from the liberty of flight, And no way canst thou turn thee for redress But death doth front thee with apparent spoil And pale destruction meets thee in the face. Ten thousand French have ta'en the sacrament To rive their dangerous artillery Upon no Christian soul but English Talbot. Lo, there thou stand'st, a breathing valiant man, Of an invincible unconquer'd spirit! This is the latest glory of thy praise That I, thy enemy, due thee withal; For ere the glass that now begins to run Finish the process of his sandy hour, These eyes that see thee now well coloured Shall see thee withered, bloody, pale, and dead. [Drum afar off] Hark! hark! The Dauphin's drum, a warning bell, Sings heavy music to thy timorous soul; And mine shall ring thy dire departure out. Exit
TALBOT. He fables not; I hear the enemy. Out, some light horsemen, and peruse their wings. O, negligent and heedless discipline! How are we park'd and bounded in a pale A little herd of England's timorous deer, Maz'd with a yelping kennel of French curs! If we be English deer, be then in blood; Not rascal-like to fall down with a pinch, But rather, moody-mad and desperate stags, Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel And make the cowards stand aloof at bay. Sell every man his life as dear as mine, And they shall find dear deer of us, my friends. God and Saint George, Talbot and England's right, Prosper our colours in this dangerous fight! Exeunt
Plains in Gascony
Enter YORK, with trumpet and many soldiers. A
MESSENGER meets him
YORK. Are not the speedy scouts return'd again That dogg'd the mighty army of the Dauphin?
MESSENGER. They are return'd, my lord, and give it out That he is march'd to Bordeaux with his power To fight with Talbot; as he march'd along, By your espials were discovered Two mightier troops than that the Dauphin led, Which join'd with him and made their march for Bordeaux.
YORK. A plague upon that villain Somerset That thus delays my promised supply Of horsemen that were levied for this siege! Renowned Talbot doth expect my aid, And I am louted by a traitor villain And cannot help the noble chevalier. God comfort him in this necessity! If he miscarry, farewell wars in France.
Enter SIR WILLIAM LUCY
LUCY. Thou princely leader of our English strength, Never so needful on the earth of France, Spur to the rescue of the noble Talbot, Who now is girdled with a waist of iron And hemm'd about with grim destruction. To Bordeaux, warlike Duke! to Bordeaux, York! Else, farewell Talbot, France, and England's honour.
YORK. O God, that Somerset, who in proud heart Doth stop my cornets, were in Talbot's place! So should we save a valiant gentleman By forfeiting a traitor and a coward. Mad ire and wrathful fury makes me weep That thus we die while remiss traitors sleep.
LUCY. O, send some succour to the distress'd lord!
YORK. He dies; we lose; I break my warlike word. We mourn: France smiles. We lose: they daily get- All long of this vile traitor Somerset.
LUCY. Then God take mercy on brave Talbot's soul, And on his son, young John, who two hours since I met in travel toward his warlike father. This seven years did not Talbot see his son; And now they meet where both their lives are done.
YORK. Alas, what joy shall noble Talbot have To bid his young son welcome to his grave? Away! vexation almost stops my breath, That sund'red friends greet in the hour of death. Lucy, farewell; no more my fortune can But curse the cause I cannot aid the man. Maine, Blois, Poictiers, and Tours, are won away Long all of Somerset and his delay. Exit with forces
LUCY. Thus, while the vulture of sedition Feeds in the bosom of such great commanders, Sleeping neglection doth betray to loss The conquest of our scarce cold conqueror, That ever-living man of memory, Henry the Fifth. Whiles they each other cross, Lives, honours, lands, and all, hurry to loss. Exit
Other plains of Gascony
Enter SOMERSET, With his forces; an OFFICER of TALBOT'S with him
SOMERSET. It is too late; I cannot send them now. This expedition was by York and Talbot Too rashly plotted; all our general force Might with a sally of the very town Be buckled with. The over daring Talbot Hath sullied all his gloss of former honour By this unheedful, desperate, wild adventure. York set him on to fight and die in shame. That, Talbot dead, great York might bear the name.
OFFICER. Here is Sir William Lucy, who with me Set from our o'er-match'd forces forth for aid.
Enter SIR WILLIAM LUCY
SOMERSET. How now, Sir William! Whither were you sent?
LUCY. Whither, my lord! From bought and sold Lord Talbot, Who, ring'd about with bold adversity, Cries out for noble York and Somerset To beat assailing death from his weak legions; And whiles the honourable captain there Drops bloody sweat from his war-wearied limbs And, in advantage ling'ring, looks for rescue, You, his false hopes, the trust of England's honour, Keep off aloof with worthless emulation. Let not your private discord keep away The levied succours that should lend him aid, While he, renowned noble gentleman, Yield up his life unto a world of odds. Orleans the Bastard, Charles, Burgundy, Alencon, Reignier, compass him about, And Talbot perisheth by your default.
SOMERSET. York set him on; York should have sent him aid.
LUCY. And York as fast upon your Grace exclaims, Swearing that you withhold his levied host, Collected for this expedition.
SOMERSET. York lies; he might have sent and had the horse. I owe him little duty and less love, And take foul scorn to fawn on him by sending.
LUCY. The fraud of England, not the force of France, Hath now entrapp'd the noble minded Talbot. Never to England shall he bear his life, But dies betray'd to fortune by your strife.
SOMERSET. Come, go; I will dispatch the horsemen straight; Within six hours they will be at his aid.
LUCY. Too late comes rescue; he is ta'en or slain, For fly he could not if he would have fled; And fly would Talbot never, though he might.
SOMERSET. If he be dead, brave Talbot, then, adieu!
LUCY. His fame lives in the world, his shame in you. Exeunt
The English camp near Bordeaux
Enter TALBOT and JOHN his son
TALBOT. O young John Talbot! I did send for thee To tutor thee in stratagems of war, That Talbot's name might be in thee reviv'd When sapless age and weak unable limbs Should bring thy father to his drooping chair. But, O malignant and ill-boding stars! Now thou art come unto a feast of death, A terrible and unavoided danger; Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse, And I'll direct thee how thou shalt escape By sudden flight. Come, dally not, be gone.
JOHN. Is my name Talbot, and am I your son? And shall I fly? O, if you love my mother, Dishonour not her honourable name, To make a bastard and a slave of me! The world will say he is not Talbot's blood That basely fled when noble Talbot stood.
TALBOT. Fly to revenge my death, if I be slain.
JOHN. He that flies so will ne'er return again.
TALBOT. If we both stay, we both are sure to die.
JOHN. Then let me stay; and, father, do you fly. Your loss is great, so your regard should be; My worth unknown, no loss is known in me; Upon my death the French can little boast; In yours they will, in you all hopes are lost. Flight cannot stain the honour you have won; But mine it will, that no exploit have done; You fled for vantage, every one will swear; But if I bow, they'll say it was for fear. There is no hope that ever I will stay If the first hour I shrink and run away. Here, on my knee, I beg mortality, Rather than life preserv'd with infamy.
TALBOT. Shall all thy mother's hopes lie in one tomb?
JOHN. Ay, rather than I'll shame my mother's womb.
TALBOT. Upon my blessing I command thee go.
JOHN. To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.
TALBOT. Part of thy father may be sav'd in thee.
JOHN. No part of him but will be shame in me.
TALBOT. Thou never hadst renown, nor canst not lose it.
JOHN. Yes, your renowned name; shall flight abuse it?
TALBOT. Thy father's charge shall clear thee from that stain.
JOHN. You cannot witness for me, being slain. If death be so apparent, then both fly.
TALBOT. And leave my followers here to fight and die? My age was never tainted with such shame.
JOHN. And shall my youth be guilty of such blame? No more can I be severed from your side Than can yourself yourself yourself in twain divide. Stay, go, do what you will, the like do I; For live I will not if my father die.
TALBOT. Then here I take my leave of thee, fair son, Born to eclipse thy life this afternoon. Come, side by side together live and die; And soul with soul from France to heaven fly. Exeunt
A field of battle
Alarum: excursions wherein JOHN TALBOT is hemm'd
about, and TALBOT rescues him
TALBOT. Saint George and victory! Fight, soldiers, fight. The Regent hath with Talbot broke his word And left us to the rage of France his sword. Where is John Talbot? Pause and take thy breath; I gave thee life and rescu'd thee from death.
JOHN. O, twice my father, twice am I thy son! The life thou gav'st me first was lost and done Till with thy warlike sword, despite of fate, To my determin'd time thou gav'st new date.
TALBOT. When from the Dauphin's crest thy sword struck fire, It warm'd thy father's heart with proud desire Of bold-fac'd victory. Then leaden age, Quicken'd with youthful spleen and warlike rage, Beat down Alencon, Orleans, Burgundy, And from the pride of Gallia rescued thee. The ireful bastard Orleans, that drew blood From thee, my boy, and had the maidenhood Of thy first fight, I soon encountered And, interchanging blows, I quickly shed Some of his bastard blood; and in disgrace Bespoke him thus: 'Contaminated, base, And misbegotten blood I spill of thine, Mean and right poor, for that pure blood of mine Which thou didst force from Talbot, my brave boy.' Here purposing the Bastard to destroy, Came in strong rescue. Speak, thy father's care; Art thou not weary, John? How dost thou fare? Wilt thou yet leave the battle, boy, and fly, Now thou art seal'd the son of chivalry? Fly, to revenge my death when I am dead: The help of one stands me in little stead. O, too much folly is it, well I wot, To hazard all our lives in one small boat! If I to-day die not with Frenchmen's rage, To-morrow I shall die with mickle age. By me they nothing gain an if I stay: 'Tis but the short'ning of my life one day. In thee thy mother dies, our household's name, My death's revenge, thy youth, and England's fame. All these and more we hazard by thy stay; All these are sav'd if thou wilt fly away.
JOHN. The sword of Orleans hath not made me smart; These words of yours draw life-blood from my heart. On that advantage, bought with such a shame, To save a paltry life and slay bright fame, Before young Talbot from old Talbot fly, The coward horse that bears me fall and die! And like me to the peasant boys of France, To be shame's scorn and subject of mischance! Surely, by all the glory you have won, An if I fly, I am not Talbot's son; Then talk no more of flight, it is no boot; If son to Talbot, die at Talbot's foot.
TALBOT. Then follow thou thy desp'rate sire of Crete, Thou Icarus; thy life to me is sweet. If thou wilt fight, fight by thy father's side; And, commendable prov'd, let's die in pride. Exeunt
Another part of the field
Alarum; excursions. Enter old TALBOT led by a SERVANT
TALBOT. Where is my other life? Mine own is gone. O, where's young Talbot? Where is valiant John? Triumphant death, smear'd with captivity, Young Talbot's valour makes me smile at thee. When he perceiv'd me shrink and on my knee, His bloody sword he brandish'd over me, And like a hungry lion did commence Rough deeds of rage and stern impatience; But when my angry guardant stood alone, Tend'ring my ruin and assail'd of none, Dizzy-ey'd fury and great rage of heart Suddenly made him from my side to start Into the clust'ring battle of the French; And in that sea of blood my boy did drench His overmounting spirit; and there died, My Icarus, my blossom, in his pride.
Enter soldiers, bearing the body of JOHN TALBOT
SERVANT. O my dear lord, lo where your son is borne!
TALBOT. Thou antic Death, which laugh'st us here to scorn, Anon, from thy insulting tyranny, Coupled in bonds of perpetuity, Two Talbots, winged through the lither sky, In thy despite shall scape mortality. O thou whose wounds become hard-favoured Death, Speak to thy father ere thou yield thy breath! Brave Death by speaking, whether he will or no; Imagine him a Frenchman and thy foe. Poor boy! he smiles, methinks, as who should say, Had Death been French, then Death had died to-day. Come, come, and lay him in his father's arms. My spirit can no longer bear these harms. Soldiers, adieu! I have what I would have, Now my old arms are young John Talbot's grave.[Dies]
Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, BURGUNDY, BASTARD, LA PUCELLE, and forces
CHARLES. Had York and Somerset brought rescue in, We should have found a bloody day of this.
BASTARD. How the young whelp of Talbot's, raging wood, Did flesh his puny sword in Frenchmen's blood!
PUCELLE. Once I encount'red him, and thus I said: 'Thou maiden youth, be vanquish'd by a maid.' But with a proud majestical high scorn He answer'd thus: 'Young Talbot was not born To be the pillage of a giglot wench.' So, rushing in the bowels of the French, He left me proudly, as unworthy fight.
BURGUNDY. Doubtless he would have made a noble knight. See where he lies inhearsed in the arms Of the most bloody nurser of his harms!
BASTARD. Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder, Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
CHARLES. O, no; forbear! For that which we have fled During the life, let us not wrong it dead.
Enter SIR WILLIAM Lucy, attended; a FRENCH HERALD preceding
LUCY. Herald, conduct me to the Dauphin's tent, To know who hath obtain'd the glory of the day.
CHARLES. On what submissive message art thou sent?
LUCY. Submission, Dauphin! 'Tis a mere French word: We English warriors wot not what it means. I come to know what prisoners thou hast ta'en, And to survey the bodies of the dead.
CHARLES. For prisoners ask'st thou? Hell our prison is. But tell me whom thou seek'st.
LUCY. But where's the great Alcides of the field, Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, Created for his rare success in arms Great Earl of Washford, Waterford, and Valence, Lord Talbot of Goodrig and Urchinfield, Lord Strange of Blackmere, Lord Verdun of Alton, Lord Cromwell of Wingfield, Lord Furnival of Sheffield, The thrice victorious Lord of Falconbridge, Knight of the noble order of Saint George, Worthy Saint Michael, and the Golden Fleece, Great Marshal to Henry the Sixth Of all his wars within the realm of France?
PUCELLE. Here's a silly-stately style indeed! The Turk, that two and fifty kingdoms hath, Writes not so tedious a style as this. Him that thou magnifi'st with all these tides, Stinking and fly-blown lies here at our feet.
LUCY. Is Talbot slain-the Frenchmen's only scourge, Your kingdom's terror and black Nemesis? O, were mine eye-bans into bullets turn'd, That I in rage might shoot them at your faces! O that I could but can these dead to life! It were enough to fright the realm of France. Were but his picture left amongst you here, It would amaze the proudest of you all. Give me their bodies, that I may bear them hence And give them burial as beseems their worth.
PUCELLE. I think this upstart is old Talbot's ghost, He speaks with such a proud commanding spirit. For God's sake, let him have them; to keep them here, They would but stink, and putrefy the air.
CHARLES. Go, take their bodies hence.
LUCY. I'll bear them hence; but from their ashes shall be rear'd A phoenix that shall make all France afeard.
CHARLES. So we be rid of them, do with them what thou wilt. And now to Paris in this conquering vein! All will be ours, now bloody Talbot's slain. Exeunt
ACT V. SCENE 1.
London. The palace
Sennet. Enter the KING, GLOUCESTER, and EXETER
KING HENRY. Have you perus'd the letters from the Pope, The Emperor, and the Earl of Armagnac?
GLOUCESTER. I have, my lord; and their intent is this: They humbly sue unto your Excellence To have a godly peace concluded of Between the realms of England and of France.
KING HENRY. How doth your Grace affect their motion?
GLOUCESTER. Well, my good lord, and as the only means To stop effusion of our Christian blood And stablish quietness on every side.
KING HENRY. Ay, marry, uncle; for I always thought It was both impious and unnatural That such immanity and bloody strife Should reign among professors of one faith.
GLOUCESTER. Beside, my lord, the sooner to effect And surer bind this knot of amity, The Earl of Armagnac, near knit to Charles, A man of great authority in France, Proffers his only daughter to your Grace In marriage, with a large and sumptuous dowry.
KING HENRY. Marriage, uncle! Alas, my years are young And fitter is my study and my books Than wanton dalliance with a paramour. Yet call th' ambassadors, and, as you please, So let them have their answers every one. I shall be well content with any choice Tends to God's glory and my country's weal.
Enter in Cardinal's habit BEAUFORT, the PAPAL LEGATE, and two AMBASSADORS
EXETER. What! Is my Lord of Winchester install'd And call'd unto a cardinal's degree? Then I perceive that will be verified Henry the Fifth did sometime prophesy: 'If once he come to be a cardinal, He'll make his cap co-equal with the crown.'
KING HENRY. My Lords Ambassadors, your several suits Have been consider'd and debated on. Your purpose is both good and reasonable, And therefore are we certainly resolv'd To draw conditions of a friendly peace, Which by my Lord of Winchester we mean Shall be transported presently to France.
GLOUCESTER. And for the proffer of my lord your master, I have inform'd his Highness so at large, As, liking of the lady's virtuous gifts, Her beauty, and the value of her dower, He doth intend she shall be England's Queen.
KING HENRY. [To AMBASSADOR] In argument and proof of which contract, Bear her this jewel, pledge of my affection. And so, my Lord Protector, see them guarded And safely brought to Dover; where inshipp'd, Commit them to the fortune of the sea.
Exeunt all but WINCHESTER and the LEGATE
WINCHESTER. Stay, my Lord Legate; you shall first receive The sum of money which I promised Should be delivered to his Holiness For clothing me in these grave ornaments.
LEGATE. I will attend upon your lordship's leisure.
WINCHESTER. [Aside] Now Winchester will not submit, I trow, Or be inferior to the proudest peer. Humphrey of Gloucester, thou shalt well perceive That neither in birth or for authority The Bishop will be overborne by thee. I'll either make thee stoop and bend thy knee, Or sack this country with a mutiny. Exeunt
France. Plains in Anjou
Enter CHARLES, BURGUNDY, ALENCON, BASTARD,
REIGNIER, LA PUCELLE, and forces
CHARLES. These news, my lords, may cheer our drooping spirits: 'Tis said the stout Parisians do revolt And turn again unto the warlike French.
ALENCON. Then march to Paris, royal Charles of France, And keep not back your powers in dalliance.
PUCELLE. Peace be amongst them, if they turn to us; Else ruin combat with their palaces!
Enter a SCOUT
SCOUT. Success unto our valiant general, And happiness to his accomplices!
CHARLES. What tidings send our scouts? I prithee speak.
SCOUT. The English army, that divided was Into two parties, is now conjoin'd in one, And means to give you battle presently.
CHARLES. Somewhat too sudden, sirs, the warning is; But we will presently provide for them.
BURGUNDY. I trust the ghost of Talbot is not there. Now he is gone, my lord, you need not fear.
PUCELLE. Of all base passions fear is most accurs'd. Command the conquest, Charles, it shall be thine, Let Henry fret and all the world repine.
CHARLES. Then on, my lords; and France be fortunate!
Alarum, excursions. Enter LA PUCELLE
PUCELLE. The Regent conquers and the Frenchmen fly. Now help, ye charming spells and periapts; And ye choice spirits that admonish me And give me signs of future accidents; [Thunder] You speedy helpers that are substitutes Under the lordly monarch of the north, Appear and aid me in this enterprise!
This speedy and quick appearance argues proof Of your accustom'd diligence to me. Now, ye familiar spirits that are cull'd Out of the powerful regions under earth, Help me this once, that France may get the field.
[They walk and speak not] O, hold me not with silence over-long! Where I was wont to feed you with my blood, I'll lop a member off and give it you In earnest of a further benefit, So you do condescend to help me now. [They hang their heads] No hope to have redress? My body shall Pay recompense, if you will grant my suit. [They shake their heads] Cannot my body nor blood sacrifice Entreat you to your wonted furtherance? Then take my soul-my body, soul, and all, Before that England give the French the foil.
[They depart] See! they forsake me. Now the time is come That France must vail her lofty-plumed crest And let her head fall into England's lap. My ancient incantations are too weak, And hell too strong for me to buckle with. Now, France, thy glory droopeth to the dust.Exit
Excursions. Enter French and English, fighting. LA PUCELLE and YORK fight hand to hand; LA PUCELLE is taken. The French fly
YORK. Damsel of France, I think I have you fast. Unchain your spirits now with spelling charms, And try if they can gain your liberty. A goodly prize, fit for the devil's grace! See how the ugly witch doth bend her brows As if, with Circe, she would change my shape!
PUCELLE. Chang'd to a worser shape thou canst not be.
YORK. O, Charles the Dauphin is a proper man: No shape but his can please your dainty eye.
PUCELLE. A plaguing mischief fight on Charles and thee! And may ye both be suddenly surpris'd By bloody hands, in sleeping on your beds!
YORK. Fell banning hag; enchantress, hold thy tongue.
PUCELLE. I prithee give me leave to curse awhile.
YORK. Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.
Alarum. Enter SUFFOLK, with MARGARET in his hand
SUFFOLK. Be what thou wilt, thou art my prisoner.
[Gazes on her] O fairest beauty, do not fear nor fly! For I will touch thee but with reverent hands; I kiss these fingers for eternal peace, And lay them gently on thy tender side. Who art thou? Say, that I may honour thee.
MARGARET. Margaret my name, and daughter to a king, The King of Naples-whosoe'er thou art.
SUFFOLK. An earl I am, and Suffolk am I call'd. Be not offended, nature's miracle, Thou art allotted to be ta'en by me. So doth the swan her downy cygnets save, Keeping them prisoner underneath her wings. Yet, if this servile usage once offend, Go and be free again as Suffolk's friend. [She is going] O, stay! [Aside] I have no power to let her pass; My hand would free her, but my heart says no. As plays the sun upon the glassy streams, Twinkling another counterfeited beam, So seems this gorgeous beauty to mine eyes. Fain would I woo her, yet I dare not speak. I'll call for pen and ink, and write my mind. Fie, de la Pole! disable not thyself; Hast not a tongue? Is she not here thy prisoner? Wilt thou be daunted at a woman's sight? Ay, beauty's princely majesty is such Confounds the tongue and makes the senses rough.
MARGARET. Say, Earl of Suffolk, if thy name be so, What ransom must I pay before I pass? For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] How canst thou tell she will deny thy suit, Before thou make a trial of her love?
MARGARET. Why speak'st thou not? What ransom must I pay?
SUFFOLK. [Aside] She's beautiful, and therefore to be woo'd; She is a woman, therefore to be won.
MARGARET. Wilt thou accept of ransom-yea or no?
SUFFOLK. [Aside] Fond man, remember that thou hast a wife; Then how can Margaret be thy paramour?
MARGARET. I were best leave him, for he will not hear.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] There all is marr'd; there lies a cooling card.
MARGARET. He talks at random; sure, the man is mad.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] And yet a dispensation may be had.
MARGARET. And yet I would that you would answer me.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] I'll win this Lady Margaret. For whom? Why, for my King! Tush, that's a wooden thing!
MARGARET. He talks of wood. It is some carpenter.
SUFFOLK. [Aside] Yet so my fancy may be satisfied, And peace established between these realms. But there remains a scruple in that too; For though her father be the King of Naples, Duke of Anjou and Maine, yet is he poor, And our nobility will scorn the match.
MARGARET. Hear ye, Captain-are you not at leisure?
SUFFOLK. [Aside] It shall be so, disdain they ne'er so much. Henry is youthful, and will quickly yield. Madam, I have a secret to reveal.
MARGARET. [Aside] What though I be enthrall'd? He seems a knight, And will not any way dishonour me.
SUFFOLK. Lady, vouchsafe to listen what I say.
MARGARET. [Aside] Perhaps I shall be rescu'd by the French; And then I need not crave his courtesy.
SUFFOLK. Sweet madam, give me hearing in a cause
MARGARET. [Aside] Tush! women have been captivate ere now.
SUFFOLK. Lady, wherefore talk you so?
MARGARET. I cry you mercy, 'tis but quid for quo.
SUFFOLK. Say, gentle Princess, would you not suppose Your bondage happy, to be made a queen?
MARGARET. To be a queen in bondage is more vile Than is a slave in base servility; For princes should be free.
SUFFOLK. And so shall you, If happy England's royal king be free.
MARGARET. Why, what concerns his freedom unto me?
SUFFOLK. I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen, To put a golden sceptre in thy hand And set a precious crown upon thy head, If thou wilt condescend to be my-
SUFFOLK. His love.
MARGARET. I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.
SUFFOLK. No, gentle madam; I unworthy am To woo so fair a dame to be his wife And have no portion in the choice myself. How say you, madam? Are ye so content?
MARGARET. An if my father please, I am content.
SUFFOLK. Then call our captains and our colours forth! And, madam, at your father's castle walls We'll crave a parley to confer with him.
Sound a parley. Enter REIGNIER on the walls
See, Reignier, see, thy daughter prisoner!
REIGNIER. To whom?
SUFFOLK. To me.
REIGNIER. Suffolk, what remedy? I am a soldier and unapt to weep Or to exclaim on fortune's fickleness.
SUFFOLK. Yes, there is remedy enough, my lord. Consent, and for thy honour give consent, Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king, Whom I with pain have woo'd and won thereto; And this her easy-held imprisonment Hath gain'd thy daughter princely liberty.
REIGNIER. Speaks Suffolk as he thinks?
SUFFOLK. Fair Margaret knows That Suffolk doth not flatter, face, or feign.
REIGNIER. Upon thy princely warrant I descend To give thee answer of thy just demand. Exit REIGNIER from the walls
SUFFOLK. And here I will expect thy coming.
Trumpets sound. Enter REIGNIER below
REIGNIER. Welcome, brave Earl, into our territories; Command in Anjou what your Honour pleases.
SUFFOLK. Thanks, Reignier, happy for so sweet a child, Fit to be made companion with a king. What answer makes your Grace unto my suit?
REIGNIER. Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth To be the princely bride of such a lord, Upon condition I may quietly Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou, Free from oppression or the stroke of war, My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.
SUFFOLK. That is her ransom; I deliver her. And those two counties I will undertake Your Grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
REIGNIER. And I again, in Henry's royal name, As deputy unto that gracious king, Give thee her hand for sign of plighted faith.
SUFFOLK. Reignier of France, I give thee kingly thanks, Because this is in traffic of a king. [Aside] And yet, methinks, I could be well content To be mine own attorney in this case. I'll over then to England with this news, And make this marriage to be solemniz'd. So, farewell, Reignier. Set this diamond safe In golden palaces, as it becomes.
REIGNIER. I do embrace thee as I would embrace The Christian prince, King Henry, were he here.
MARGARET. Farewell, my lord. Good wishes, praise, and prayers, Shall Suffolk ever have of Margaret. [She is going]
SUFFOLK. Farewell, sweet madam. But hark you, Margaret No princely commendations to my king?
MARGARET. Such commendations as becomes a maid, A virgin, and his servant, say to him.
SUFFOLK. Words sweetly plac'd and modestly directed. But, madam, I must trouble you again No loving token to his Majesty?
MARGARET. Yes, my good lord: a pure unspotted heart, Never yet taint with love, I send the King.
SUFFOLK. And this withal. [Kisses her]
MARGARET. That for thyself, I will not so presume To send such peevish tokens to a king. Exeunt REIGNIER and MARGARET
SUFFOLK. O, wert thou for myself! But, Suffolk, stay; Thou mayst not wander in that labyrinth: There Minotaurs and ugly treasons lurk. Solicit Henry with her wondrous praise. Bethink thee on her virtues that surmount, And natural graces that extinguish art; Repeat their semblance often on the seas, That, when thou com'st to kneel at Henry's feet, Thou mayst bereave him of his wits with wonder. Exit
Camp of the DUKE OF YORK in Anjou
Enter YORK, WARWICK, and others
YORK. Bring forth that sorceress, condemn'd to burn.
Enter LA PUCELLE, guarded, and a SHEPHERD
SHEPHERD. Ah, Joan, this kills thy father's heart outright! Have I sought every country far and near, And, now it is my chance to find thee out, Must I behold thy timeless cruel death? Ah, Joan, sweet daughter Joan, I'll die with thee!
PUCELLE. Decrepit miser! base ignoble wretch! I am descended of a gentler blood; Thou art no father nor no friend of mine.
SHEPHERD. Out, out! My lords, an please you, 'tis not so; I did beget her, all the parish knows. Her mother liveth yet, can testify She was the first fruit of my bach'lorship.
WARWICK. Graceless, wilt thou deny thy parentage?
YORK. This argues what her kind of life hath been- Wicked and vile; and so her death concludes.
SHEPHERD. Fie, Joan, that thou wilt be so obstacle! God knows thou art a collop of my flesh; And for thy sake have I shed many a tear. Deny me not, I prithee, gentle Joan.
PUCELLE. Peasant, avaunt! You have suborn'd this man Of purpose to obscure my noble birth.
SHEPHERD. 'Tis true, I gave a noble to the priest The morn that I was wedded to her mother. Kneel down and take my blessing, good my girl. Wilt thou not stoop? Now cursed be the time Of thy nativity. I would the milk Thy mother gave thee when thou suck'dst her breast Had been a little ratsbane for thy sake. Or else, when thou didst keep my lambs afield, I wish some ravenous wolf had eaten thee. Dost thou deny thy father, cursed drab? O, burn her, burn her! Hanging is too good. Exit
YORK. Take her away; for she hath liv'd too long, To fill the world with vicious qualities.
PUCELLE. First let me tell you whom you have condemn'd: Not me begotten of a shepherd swain, But issued from the progeny of kings; Virtuous and holy, chosen from above By inspiration of celestial grace, To work exceeding miracles on earth. I never had to do with wicked spirits. But you, that are polluted with your lusts, Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents, Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices, Because you want the grace that others have, You judge it straight a thing impossible To compass wonders but by help of devils. No, misconceived! Joan of Arc hath been A virgin from her tender infancy, Chaste and immaculate in very thought; Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously effus'd, Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
YORK. Ay, ay. Away with her to execution!
WARWICK. And hark ye, sirs; because she is a maid, Spare for no fagots, let there be enow. Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake, That so her torture may be shortened.
PUCELLE. Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts? Then, Joan, discover thine infirmity That warranteth by law to be thy privilege: I am with child, ye bloody homicides; Murder not then the fruit within my womb, Although ye hale me to a violent death.
YORK. Now heaven forfend! The holy maid with child!
WARWICK. The greatest miracle that e'er ye wrought: Is all your strict preciseness come to this?
YORK. She and the Dauphin have been juggling. I did imagine what would be her refuge.
WARWICK. Well, go to; we'll have no bastards live; Especially since Charles must father it.
PUCELLE. You are deceiv'd; my child is none of his: It was Alencon that enjoy'd my love.
YORK. Alencon, that notorious Machiavel! It dies, an if it had a thousand lives.
PUCELLE. O, give me leave, I have deluded you. 'Twas neither Charles nor yet the Duke I nam'd, But Reignier, King of Naples, that prevail'd.
WARWICK. A married man! That's most intolerable.
YORK. Why, here's a girl! I think she knows not well There were so many-whom she may accuse.
WARWICK. It's sign she hath been liberal and free.
YORK. And yet, forsooth, she is a virgin pure. Strumpet, thy words condemn thy brat and thee. Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
PUCELLE. Then lead me hence-with whom I leave my curse: May never glorious sun reflex his beams Upon the country where you make abode; But darkness and the gloomy shade of death Environ you, till mischief and despair Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!
YORK. Break thou in pieces and consume to ashes, Thou foul accursed minister of hell!
Enter CARDINAL BEAUFORT, attended
CARDINAL. Lord Regent, I do greet your Excellence With letters of commission from the King. For know, my lords, the states of Christendom, Mov'd with remorse of these outrageous broils, Have earnestly implor'd a general peace Betwixt our nation and the aspiring French; And here at hand the Dauphin and his train Approacheth, to confer about some matter.
YORK. Is all our travail turn'd to this effect? After the slaughter of so many peers, So many captains, gentlemen, and soldiers, That in this quarrel have been overthrown And sold their bodies for their country's benefit, Shall we at last conclude effeminate peace? Have we not lost most part of all the towns, By treason, falsehood, and by treachery, Our great progenitors had conquered? O Warwick, Warwick! I foresee with grief The utter loss of all the realm of France.
WARWICK. Be patient, York. If we conclude a peace, It shall be with such strict and severe covenants As little shall the Frenchmen gain thereby.
Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, BASTARD, REIGNIER, and others
CHARLES. Since, lords of England, it is thus agreed That peaceful truce shall be proclaim'd in France, We come to be informed by yourselves What the conditions of that league must be.
YORK. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler chokes The hollow passage of my poison'd voice, By sight of these our baleful enemies.
CARDINAL. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus: That, in regard King Henry gives consent, Of mere compassion and of lenity, To ease your country of distressful war, An suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace, You shall become true liegemen to his crown; And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear To pay him tribute and submit thyself, Thou shalt be plac'd as viceroy under him, And still enjoy thy regal dignity.
ALENCON. Must he be then as shadow of himself? Adorn his temples with a coronet And yet, in substance and authority, Retain but privilege of a private man? This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
CHARLES. 'Tis known already that I am possess'd With more than half the Gallian territories, And therein reverenc'd for their lawful king. Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd, Detract so much from that prerogative As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole? No, Lord Ambassador; I'll rather keep That which I have than, coveting for more, Be cast from possibility of all.
YORK. Insulting Charles! Hast thou by secret means Us'd intercession to obtain a league, And now the matter grows to compromise Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison? Either accept the title thou usurp'st, Of benefit proceeding from our king And not of any challenge of desert, Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
REIGNIER. [To CHARLES] My lord, you do not well in obstinacy To cavil in the course of this contract. If once it be neglected, ten to one We shall not find like opportunity.
ALENCON. [To CHARLES] To say the truth, it is your policy To save your subjects from such massacre And ruthless slaughters as are daily seen By our proceeding in hostility; And therefore take this compact of a truce, Although you break it when your pleasure serves.
WARWICK. How say'st thou, Charles? Shall our condition stand?
CHARLES. It shall; Only reserv'd, you claim no interest In any of our towns of garrison.
YORK. Then swear allegiance to his Majesty: As thou art knight, never to disobey Nor be rebellious to the crown of England Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England. [CHARLES and the rest give tokens of fealty] So, now dismiss your army when ye please; Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still, For here we entertain a solemn peace. Exeunt
London. The palace
Enter SUFFOLK, in conference with the KING, GLOUCESTER and EXETER
KING HENRY. Your wondrous rare description, noble Earl, Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me. Her virtues, graced with external gifts, Do breed love's settled passions in my heart; And like as rigour of tempestuous gusts Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide, So am I driven by breath of her renown Either to suffer shipwreck or arrive Where I may have fruition of her love.
SUFFOLK. Tush, my good lord! This superficial tale Is but a preface of her worthy praise. The chief perfections of that lovely dame, Had I sufficient skill to utter them, Would make a volume of enticing lines, Able to ravish any dull conceit; And, which is more, she is not so divine, So full-replete with choice of all delights, But with as humble lowliness of mind She is content to be at your command Command, I mean, of virtuous intents, To love and honour Henry as her lord.
KING HENRY. And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume. Therefore, my Lord Protector, give consent That Margaret may be England's royal Queen.
GLOUCESTER. So should I give consent to flatter sin. You know, my lord, your Highness is betroth'd Unto another lady of esteem. How shall we then dispense with that contract, And not deface your honour with reproach?
SUFFOLK. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths; Or one that at a triumph, having vow'd To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists By reason of his adversary's odds: A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds, And therefore may be broke without offence.
GLOUCESTER. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that? Her father is no better than an earl, Although in glorious titles he excel.
SUFFOLK. Yes, my lord, her father is a king, The King of Naples and Jerusalem; And of such great authority in France As his alliance will confirm our peace, And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
GLOUCESTER. And so the Earl of Armagnac may do, Because he is near kinsman unto Charles.
EXETER. Beside, his wealth doth warrant a liberal dower; Where Reignier sooner will receive than give.
SUFFOLK. A dow'r, my lords! Disgrace not so your king, That he should be so abject, base, and poor, To choose for wealth and not for perfect love. Henry is able to enrich his queen, And not to seek a queen to make him rich. So worthless peasants bargain for their wives, As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse. Marriage is a matter of more worth Than to be dealt in by attorneyship; Not whom we will, but whom his Grace affects, Must be companion of his nuptial bed. And therefore, lords, since he affects her most, It most of all these reasons bindeth us In our opinions she should be preferr'd; For what is wedlock forced but a hell, An age of discord and continual strife? Whereas the contrary bringeth bliss, And is a pattern of celestial peace. Whom should we match with Henry, being a king, But Margaret, that is daughter to a king? Her peerless feature, joined with her birth, Approves her fit for none but for a king; Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit, More than in women commonly is seen, Will answer our hope in issue of a king; For Henry, son unto a conqueror, Is likely to beget more conquerors, If with a lady of so high resolve As is fair Margaret he be link'd in love. Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me That Margaret shall be Queen, and none but she.
KING HENRY. Whether it be through force of your report, My noble Lord of Suffolk, or for that My tender youth was never yet attaint With any passion of inflaming love, I cannot tell; but this I am assur'd, I feel such sharp dissension in my breast, Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear, As I am sick with working of my thoughts. Take therefore shipping; post, my lord, to France; Agree to any covenants; and procure That Lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come To cross the seas to England, and be crown'd King Henry's faithful and anointed queen. For your expenses and sufficient charge, Among the people gather up a tenth. Be gone, I say; for till you do return I rest perplexed with a thousand cares. And you, good uncle, banish all offence: If you do censure me by what you were, Not what you are, I know it will excuse This sudden execution of my will. And so conduct me where, from company, I may revolve and ruminate my grief.Exit
GLOUCESTER. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last. Exeunt GLOUCESTER and EXETER
SUFFOLK. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd; and thus he goes, As did the youthful Paris once to Greece, With hope to find the like event in love But prosper better than the Troyan did. Margaret shall now be Queen, and rule the King; But I will rule both her, the King, and realm. Exit
1591 THE SECOND PART
KING HENRY THE SIXTH
KING HENRY THE SIXTH
HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, his uncle
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, great-uncle to the King
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, DUKE OF YORK
EDWARD and RICHARD, his sons
DUKE OF SOMERSET
DUKE OF SUFFOLK
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
YOUNG CLIFFORD, his son
EARL OF SALISBURY
EARL OF WARWICK
SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD
WILLIAM STAFFORD, his brother
SIR JOHN STANLEY
A LIEUTENANT, a SHIPMASTER, a MASTER'S MATE, and WALTER WHITMORE
TWO GENTLEMEN, prisoners with Suffolk
JOHN HUME and JOHN SOUTHWELL, two priests
ROGER BOLINGBROKE, a conjurer
A SPIRIT raised by him
THOMAS HORNER, an armourer
PETER, his man
CLERK OF CHATHAM
MAYOR OF SAINT ALBANS
SAUNDER SIMPCOX, an impostor
ALEXANDER IDEN, a Kentish gentleman
JACK CADE, a rebel
GEORGE BEVIS, JOHN HOLLAND, DICK THE BUTCHER, SMITH THE WEAVER, MICHAEL, &c., followers of Cade
MARGARET, Queen to King Henry
ELEANOR, Duchess of Gloucester
MARGERY JOURDAIN, a witch
WIFE to SIMPCOX
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Petitioners, Aldermen, a Herald, a Beadle, a Sheriff, Officers, Citizens, Prentices, Falconers, Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.
SCENE: England ACT I. SCENE I.
London. The palace
Flourish of trumpets; then hautboys. Enter the KING,
DUKE HUMPHREY OF GLOUCESTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, on the one side; the QUEEN, SUFFOLK,
YORK, SOMERSET, and BUCKINGHAM, on the other
SUFFOLK. 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; So, in the famous ancient city Tours, In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil, The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne, and Alencon, Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops, 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 To your most gracious hands, that are the substance Of that great shadow I did represent: The happiest gift that ever marquis gave, The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.
KING HENRY. 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! 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, 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 alder-liefest sovereign, Makes me the bolder to salute my king With ruder terms, such as my wit affords And over-joy of heart doth minister.
KING HENRY. Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech, Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty, Makes me from wond'ring fall to weeping joys, Such is the fulness of my heart's content. Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
ALL. [Kneeling] Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!
QUEEN. We thank you all.[Flourish]
SUFFOLK. My Lord Protector, so it please your Grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace Between our sovereign and the French King Charles, For eighteen months concluded by consent.
GLOUCESTER. [Reads] 'Imprimis: It is agreed between the French King Charles and William de la Pole, 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 Jerusalem, 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 King her father'-
[Lets the paper fall]
KING HENRY. Uncle, how now!
GLOUCESTER. Pardon me, gracious lord; Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart, And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
KING HENRY. Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
CARDINAL. [Reads] 'Item: It is further agreed between them that the duchies 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 any dowry.'
KING HENRY. 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 I' th' parts of France, till term of eighteen months Be full expir'd. Thanks, uncle Winchester, Gloucester, York, Buckingham, 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 SUFFOLK
GLOUCESTER. 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 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 How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe? And had his Highness in his infancy Crowned 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, Defacing monuments of conquer'd France, Undoing all, as all had never been!
CARDINAL. Nephew, what means this passionate discourse, This peroration with such circumstance? For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
GLOUCESTER. 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 duchy of Anjou and Maine Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
SALISBURY. Now, by the death of Him that died for all, These counties were the keys of Normandy! But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
WARWICK. 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 Deliver'd up again with peaceful words? Mort Dieu!
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.
GLOUCESTER. 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, Before-
CARDINAL. My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot: It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
GLOUCESTER. My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind; '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 We shall begin our ancient bickerings. Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone, I prophesied France will be lost ere long. Exit
CARDINAL. 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, 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 Gloucester,' 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.
BUCKINGHAM. 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.
CARDINAL. This weighty business will not brook delay; I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently. Exit
SOMERSET. 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 Than all the princes in the land beside; If Gloucester be displac'd, he'll be Protector.
BUCKINGHAM. Or thou or I, Somerset, will be Protector, Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and SOMERSET
SALISBURY. 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 Did bear him like a noble gentleman. Oft have I seen the haughty Cardinal- More like a soldier than a man o' th' church, As stout and proud as he were lord of all- 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, 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, 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, With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition; And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds While they do tend the profit of the land.
WARWICK. 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.
SALISBURY. Then let's make haste away and look unto the main.
WARWICK. 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. Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine, Which I will win from France, or else be slain. Exeunt WARWICK and SALISBURY
YORK. Anjou and Maine are given to the French; Paris is lost; the state of Normandy Stands on a tickle point now they are gone. Suffolk concluded on the articles; The peers agreed; and Henry was well pleas'd To changes two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter. 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, 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, 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. Methinks the realms of England, France, and Ireland, Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood As did the fatal brand Althaea burnt Unto the prince's heart of Calydon. 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; 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. Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right, Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist, Nor wear the diadem upon his head, Whose church-like humours fits not for a crown. 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 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, 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. Exit SCENE II.
The DUKE OF GLOUCESTER'S house
Enter DUKE and his wife ELEANOR
DUCHESS. 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? Why are thine eyes fix'd to the sullen earth, Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight? What see'st thou there? King Henry's diadem, Enchas'd with all the honours of the world? 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; 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.
GLOUCESTER. 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, Be my last breathing in this mortal world! My troublous dreams this night doth make me sad.
DUCHESS. What dream'd my lord? Tell me, and I'll requite it With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
GLOUCESTER. Methought this staff, mine office-badge in court, Was broke in twain; by whom I have forgot, But, as I think, it was by th' Cardinal; And on the pieces of the broken wand 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.
DUCHESS. Tut, this was nothing but an argument 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 In the cathedral church of Westminster, And in that chair where kings and queens were crown'd; Where Henry and Dame Margaret kneel'd to me, And on my head did set the diadem.
GLOUCESTER. 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? 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 From top of honour to disgrace's feet? Away from me, and let me hear no more!
DUCHESS. What, what, my lord! Are you so choleric With Eleanor for telling but her dream? Next time I'll keep my dreams unto myself And not be check'd.
GLOUCESTER. Nay, be not angry; I am pleas'd again.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. My Lord Protector, 'tis his Highness' pleasure You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans, Where as the King and Queen do mean to hawk.
GLOUCESTER. I go. Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?
DUCHESS. Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently. Exeunt GLOUCESTER and MESSENGER 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 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 you there, Sir John? Nay, fear not, man, We are alone; here's none but thee and I.
HUME. Jesus preserve your royal Majesty!
DUCHESS. What say'st thou? Majesty! I am but Grace.
HUME. But, by the grace of God and Hume's advice, Your Grace's title shall be multiplied.
DUCHESS. What say'st thou, man? Hast thou as yet conferr'd With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch of Eie, With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer? And will they undertake to do me good?
HUME. This they have promised, to show your Highness A spirit rais'd from depth of underground That shall make answer to such questions As by your Grace shall be propounded him
DUCHESS. 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. Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man, With thy confederates in this weighty cause.Exit
HUME. Hume must make merry with the Duchess' gold; Marry, and shall. But, how now, Sir John Hume! 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. 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, 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'; 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 its stands; and thus, I fear, at last Hume's knavery will be the Duchess' wreck, And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall Sort how it will, I shall have gold for all.Exit
SCENE III. London. The palace
Enter three or four PETITIONERS, PETER, the Armourer's man, being one
FIRST PETITIONER. 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.
SECOND PETITIONER. Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good man, Jesu bless him!
Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN
FIRST PETITIONER. Here 'a comes, methinks, and the Queen with him. I'll be the first, sure.
SECOND PETITIONER. Come back, fool; this is the Duke of Suffolk and not my Lord Protector.
SUFFOLK. How now, fellow! Wouldst anything with me?
FIRST PETITIONER. I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye for my Lord Protector.
QUEEN. [Reads] 'To my Lord Protector!' Are your supplications to his lordship? Let me see them. What is thine?
FIRST PETITIONER. Mine is, an't please your Grace, against John Goodman, my Lord Cardinal's man, for keeping my house and lands, and wife and all, from me.
SUFFOLK. Thy wife too! That's some wrong indeed. What's yours? What's here! [Reads] 'Against the Duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of Melford.' How now, sir knave!
SECOND PETITIONER. Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole township.
PETER. [Presenting his petition] Against my master, Thomas Horner, for saying that the Duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.
QUEEN. What say'st thou? Did the Duke of York say he was rightful heir to the crown?
PETER. That my master was? No, forsooth. My master said that he was, and that the King was an usurper.
SUFFOLK. Who is there? [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 Under the wings of our Protector's grace, Begin your suits anew, and sue to him.
[Tears the supplications] Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go.
ALL. Come, let's be gone. Exeunt
QUEEN. My Lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise, Is this the fashions in the court of England? Is this the government of Britain's isle, And this the royalty of Albion's king? 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? 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 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; His weapons, holy saws of sacred writ; His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves Are brazen images of canonized saints. I would the college of the Cardinals 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.
SUFFOLK. Madam, be patient. As I was cause Your Highness came to England, so will I In England work your Grace's full content.
QUEEN. Beside the haughty Protector, have we Beaufort The imperious churchman; Somerset, Buckingham, And grumbling York; and not the least of these But can do more in England than the King.
SUFFOLK. And he of these that can do most of all Cannot do more in England than the Nevils; 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, 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; 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 Was better worth than all my father's lands, Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
SUFFOLK. Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her, And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds 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: 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 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 BEAUFORT, BUCKINGHAM, YORK, SOMERSET, SALISBURY,
WARWICK, and the DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER
KING HENRY. For my part, noble lords, I care not which: 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.
SOMERSET. If Somerset be unworthy of the place, Let York be Regent; I will yield to him.
WARWICK. Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no, Dispute not that; York is the worthier.
CARDINAL. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
WARWICK. The Cardinal's not my better in the field.
BUCKINGHAM. All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
WARWICK. Warwick may live to be the best of all.
SALISBURY. Peace, son! And show some reason, Buckingham, Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.
QUEEN. Because the King, forsooth, will have it so.
GLOUCESTER. Madam, the King is old enough himself To give his censure. These are no women's matters.
QUEEN. If he be old enough, what needs your Grace To be Protector of his Excellence?
GLOUCESTER. Madam, I am Protector of the realm; And at his pleasure will resign my place.
SUFFOLK. 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, And all the peers and nobles of the realm Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty.
CARDINAL. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
SOMERSET. Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire Have cost a mass of public treasury.
BUCKINGHAM. Thy cruelty in execution Upon offenders hath exceeded law, 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.
Exit GLOUCESTER. The QUEEN drops QUEEN her fan Give me my fan. What, minion, can ye not? [She gives the DUCHESS a box on the ear] I cry your mercy, madam; was it you?
DUCHESS. Was't I? Yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman. Could I come near your beauty with my nails, I could set my ten commandments in your face.
KING HENRY. Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.
DUCHESS. Against her will, good King? Look to 't in time; She'll hamper thee and dandle thee like a baby. Though in this place most master wear no breeches, She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unreveng'd. Exit
BUCKINGHAM. Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor, And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds. She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs, She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.Exit
GLOUCESTER. Now, lords, my choler being overblown With walking once about the quadrangle, 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 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.
SUFFOLK. 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: 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, 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.
WARWICK. That can I witness; and a fouler fact Did never traitor in the land commit.
SUFFOLK. Peace, headstrong Warwick!
WARWICK. Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?
Enter HORNER, the Armourer, and his man PETER, guarded
SUFFOLK. Because here is a man accus'd of treason: Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!
YORK. Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?
KING HENRY. What mean'st thou, Suffolk? Tell me, what are these?
SUFFOLK. Please it your Majesty, this is the man 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.
KING HENRY. Say, man, were these thy words?
HORNER. An't shall please your Majesty, I never said nor thought any such matter. God is my witness, I am falsely accus'd by the villain.
PETER. [Holding up his hands] 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, 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.
HORNER`. Alas, my lord, hang me if ever I spake 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 I beseech your Majesty, do not cast away an honest man for a villain's accusation.
KING HENRY. Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?
GLOUCESTER. This doom, my lord, if I may judge: 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, For he hath witness of his servant's malice. This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.
SOMERSET. I humbly thank your royal Majesty.
HORNER. And I accept the combat willingly.
PETER. Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake, pity my case! The spite of man prevaileth against me. O Lord, have mercy upon me, I shall never be able to fight a blow! O Lord, my heart!
GLOUCESTER. Sirrah, or you must fight or else be hang'd.
KING HENRY. Away with them to prison; and the day of combat shall be the last of the next month. Come, Somerset, we'll see thee sent away. Flourish. Exeunt SCENE IV. London. The DUKE OF GLOUCESTER'S garden
Enter MARGERY JOURDAIN, the witch; the two
priests, HUME and SOUTHWELL; and BOLINGBROKE
HUME. Come, my masters; the Duchess, I tell you, expects performance of your promises.
BOLINGBROKE. Master Hume, we are therefore provided; will her ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?
HUME. Ay, what else? Fear you not her courage.
BOLINGBROKE. I have heard her reported to be a woman of an invincible spirit; but it shall be convenient, 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 Jourdain, be you prostrate and grovel on the earth; John Southwell, read you; and let us to our work.
Enter DUCHESS aloft, followed by HUME
DUCHESS. Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this gear, the sooner the better.
BOLINGBROKE. 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; 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 We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.
[Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle;
BOLINGBROKE or SOUTHWELL reads: 'Conjuro te,' &c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the SPIRIT riseth]
MARGERY JOURDAIN. Asmath, By the eternal God, whose name and power Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask; For till thou speak thou shalt not pass from hence.
SPIRIT. Ask what thou wilt; that I had said and done.
BOLINGBROKE. [Reads] 'First of the king: what shall of him become?'
SPIRIT. The Duke yet lives that Henry shall depose; But him outlive, and die a violent death. [As the SPIRIT speaks, SOUTHWELL writes the answer]
BOLINGBROKE. 'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'
SPIRIT. By water shall he die and take his end.
BOLINGBROKE. 'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'
SPIRIT. Let him shun castles: Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains Than where castles mounted stand. Have done, for more I hardly can endure.
BOLINGBROKE. 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 guard, and break in
YORK. Lay hands upon these traitors and their trash. 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, See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts.
DUCHESS. Not half so bad as thine to England's king, Injurious Duke, that threatest where's no cause.
BUCKINGHAM. True, madam, none at all. What can you this? 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. All, away! Exeunt, above, DUCHESS and HUME, guarded; below,
WITCH, SOUTHWELL and BOLINGBROKE, guarded
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. 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 'Aio te, Aeacida, 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.' 'What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?' 'Let him shun castles; Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains Than where castles mounted stand.' 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; Thither go these news as fast as horse can carry them- A sorry breakfast for my Lord Protector.
BUCKINGHAM. Your Grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York, To be the post, in hope of his reward.
YORK. At your pleasure, my good lord. Who's within there, ho?
Enter a serving-man
Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick To sup with me to-morrow night. Away! Exeunt ACT II. SCENE I.
Enter the KING, QUEEN, GLOUCESTER, CARDINAL, and SUFFOLK, with Falconers halloing
QUEEN. Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook, I saw not better sport these seven years' day; Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high, And ten to one old Joan had not gone out.
KING HENRY. But what a point, my lord, your falcon made, And what a pitch she flew above the rest! To see how God in all His creatures works! Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.
SUFFOLK. No marvel, an it like your Majesty, My Lord Protector's hawks do tow'r so well; They know their master loves to be aloft, And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.
GLOUCESTER. My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
CARDINAL. I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.
GLOUCESTER. Ay, my lord Cardinal, how think you by that? Were it not good your Grace could fly to heaven?
KING HENRY. The treasury of everlasting joy!
CARDINAL. Thy heaven is on earth; thine eyes and thoughts Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart; Pernicious Protector, dangerous peer, That smooth'st it so with King and commonweal.
GLOUCESTER. What, Cardinal, is your priesthood grown peremptory? Tantaene animis coelestibus irae? Churchmen so hot? Good uncle, hide such malice; With such holiness can you do it?
SUFFOLK. No malice, sir; no more than well becomes So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.
GLOUCESTER. As who, my lord?
SUFFOLK. Why, as you, my lord, An't like your lordly Lord's Protectorship.
GLOUCESTER. Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
QUEEN. And thy ambition, Gloucester.
KING HENRY. I prithee, peace, Good Queen, and whet not on these furious peers; For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.
CARDINAL. Let me be blessed for the peace I make Against this proud Protector with my sword!
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CARDINAL] Faith, holy uncle, would 'twere come to that!
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Marry, when thou dar'st.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CARDINAL] Make up no factious numbers for the
matter; In thine own person answer thy abuse.
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Ay, where thou dar'st not peep; an
if thou dar'st, This evening on the east side of the grove.
KING HENRY. How now, my lords!
CARDINAL. Believe me, cousin Gloucester, Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly, We had had more sport. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Come with thy
GLOUCESTER. True, uncle.
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Are ye advis'd? The east side of the grove?
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CARDINAL] Cardinal, I am with you.
KING HENRY. Why, how now, uncle Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER. Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord. [Aside to CARDINAL] Now, by God's Mother, priest, I'll shave your crown for this, Or all my fence shall fail.
CARDINAL. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Medice, teipsum; Protector, see to't well; protect yourself.
KING HENRY. The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords. How irksome is this music to my heart! When such strings jar, what hope of harmony? I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.
Enter a TOWNSMAN of Saint Albans, crying 'A miracle!'
GLOUCESTER. What means this noise? Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
TOWNSMAN. A miracle! A miracle!
SUFFOLK. Come to the King, and tell him what miracle.
TOWNSMAN. Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Albans shrine Within this half hour hath receiv'd his sight; A man that ne'er saw in his life before.
KING HENRY. Now God be prais'd that to believing souls Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
Enter the MAYOR OF SAINT ALBANS and his brethren,
bearing Simpcox between two in a chair; his WIFE and a multitude following
CARDINAL. Here comes the townsmen on procession To present your Highness with the man.
KING HENRY. Great is his comfort in this earthly vale, Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
GLOUCESTER. Stand by, my masters; bring him near the King; His Highness' pleasure is to talk with him.
KING HENRY. Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance, That we for thee may glorify the Lord. What, hast thou been long blind and now restor'd?
SIMPCOX. Born blind, an't please your Grace.
WIFE. Ay indeed was he.
SUFFOLK. What woman is this?
WIFE. His wife, an't like your worship.
GLOUCESTER. Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst have better told.
KING HENRY. Where wert thou born?
SIMPCOX. At Berwick in the north, an't like your Grace.
KING HENRY. Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee. Let never day nor night unhallowed pass, But still remember what the Lord hath done.
QUEEN. Tell me, good fellow, cam'st thou here by chance, Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?
SIMPCOX. God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd A hundred times and oft'ner, in my sleep, By good Saint Alban, who said 'Simpcox, come, Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'
WIFE. Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
CARDINAL. What, art thou lame?
SIMPCOX. Ay, God Almighty help me!
SUFFOLK. How cam'st thou so?
SIMPCOX. A fall off of a tree.
WIFE. A plum tree, master.
GLOUCESTER. How long hast thou been blind?
SIMPCOX. O, born so, master!
GLOUCESTER. What, and wouldst climb a tree?
SIMPCOX. But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
WIFE. Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.
GLOUCESTER. Mass, thou lov'dst plums well, that wouldst venture so.
SIMPCOX. Alas, good master, my wife desir'd some damsons And made me climb, With danger of my life.
GLOUCESTER. A subtle knave! But yet it shall not serve: Let me see thine eyes; wink now; now open them; In my opinion yet thou seest not well.
SIMPCOX. Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and Saint Alban.
GLOUCESTER. Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?
SIMPCOX. Red, master; red as blood.
GLOUCESTER. Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?
SIMPCOX. Black, forsooth; coal-black as jet.
KING HENRY. Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?
SUFFOLK. And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
GLOUCESTER. But cloaks and gowns before this day a many.
WIFE. Never before this day in all his life.
GLOUCESTER. Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?
SIMPCOX. Alas, master, I know not.
GLOUCESTER. What's his name?
SIMPCOX. I know not.
GLOUCESTER. Nor his?
SIMPCOX. No, indeed, master.
GLOUCESTER. What's thine own name?
SIMPCOX. Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
GLOUCESTER. Then, Saunder, sit there, the lying'st knave in Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou mightst as well have known all our names as thus to name the several colours we do wear. Sight may distinguish of colours; but suddenly to nominate them all, it is impossible. My lords, Saint Alban here hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his cunning to be great that could restore this cripple to his legs again?
SIMPCOX. O master, that you could!
GLOUCESTER. My masters of Saint Albans, have you not beadles in your town, and things call'd whips?
MAYOR. Yes, my lord, if it please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER. Then send for one presently.
MAYOR. Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
Exit an attendant
GLOUCESTER. Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. [A stool brought] Now, sirrah, if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this stool and run away.
SIMPCOX. Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone! You go about to torture me in vain.
Enter a BEADLE with whips
GLOUCESTER. Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
BEADLE. I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet quickly.
SIMPCOX. Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.
After the BEADLE hath hit him once, he leaps over
the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry 'A miracle!'
KING HENRY. O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?
QUEEN. It made me laugh to see the villain run.
GLOUCESTER. Follow the knave, and take this drab away.
WIFE. Alas, sir, we did it for pure need!
GLOUCESTER. Let them be whipp'd through every market town till they come to Berwick, from whence they came. Exeunt MAYOR, BEADLE, WIFE, &c.
CARDINAL. Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.
SUFFOLK. True; made the lame to leap and fly away.
GLOUCESTER. But you have done more miracles than I: You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.
KING HENRY. What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
BUCKINGHAM. Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold: A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent, Under the countenance and confederacy Of Lady Eleanor, the Protector's wife, The ringleader and head of all this rout, Have practis'd dangerously against your state, Dealing with witches and with conjurers, Whom we have apprehended in the fact, Raising up wicked spirits from under ground, Demanding of King Henry's life and death And other of your Highness' Privy Council, As more at large your Grace shall understand.
CARDINAL. And so, my Lord Protector, by this means Your lady is forthcoming yet at London. This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge; 'Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.
GLOUCESTER. Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart. Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers; And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to the Or to the meanest groom.
KING HENRY. O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones, Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
QUEEN. Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest; And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
GLOUCESTER. Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal How I have lov'd my King and commonweal; And for my wife I know not how it stands. Sorry I am to hear what I have heard. Noble she is; but if she have forgot Honour and virtue, and convers'd with such As, like to pitch, defile nobility, I banish her my bed and company And give her as a prey to law and shame, That hath dishonoured Gloucester's honest name.
KING HENRY. Well, for this night we will repose us here. To-morrow toward London back again To look into this business thoroughly And call these foul offenders to their answers, And poise the cause in justice' equal scales, Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails. Flourish. Exeunt SCENE II. London. The DUKE OF YORK'S garden
Enter YORK, SALISBURY, and WARWICK
YORK. Now, my good Lords of Salisbury and Warwick, Our simple supper ended, give me leave In this close walk to satisfy myself In craving your opinion of my tide, Which is infallible, to England's crown.
SALISBURY. My lord, I long to hear it at full.
WARWICK. Sweet York, begin; and if thy claim be good, The Nevils are thy subjects to command.
YORK. Then thus: Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons; The first, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales; The second, William of Hatfield; and the third, Lionel Duke of Clarence; next to whom Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster; The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York; The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester; William of Windsor was the seventh and last. Edward the Black Prince died before his father And left behind him Richard, his only son, Who, after Edward the Third's death, reign'd as king Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt, Crown'd by the name of Henry the Fourth, Seiz'd on the realm, depos'd the rightful king, Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she came. And him to Pomfret, where, as all you know, Harmless Richard was murdered traitorously.
WARWICK. Father, the Duke hath told the truth; Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
YORK. Which now they hold by force, and not by right; For Richard, the first son's heir, being dead, The issue of the next son should have reign'd.
SALISBURY. But William of Hatfield died without an heir.
YORK. The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line 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.
SALISBURY. 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.
YORK. His eldest sister, Anne, My mother, being heir unto the crown, Married Richard Earl of Cambridge, who was To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son, son. 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; So, if the issue of the elder son Succeed before the younger, I am King.
WARWICK. What plain proceedings is more plain than this? Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt, The fourth son: York claims it from the third. Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign. It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock. Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together, And in this private plot be we the first That shall salute our rightful sovereign With honour of his birthright to the crown.
BOTH. Long live our sovereign Richard, England's 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.
SALISBURY. My lord, break we off; we know your mind at full.
WARWICK. My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
YORK. And, Nevil, this I do assure myself, Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick The greatest man in England but the King. Exeunt SCENE III.
London. A hall of justice
Sound trumpets. Enter the KING and State: the
QUEEN, GLOUCESTER, YORK, SUFFOLK, and SALISBURY,
with guard, to banish the DUCHESS. Enter, guarded,
the DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER, MARGERY JOURDAIN, HUME, SOUTHWELL, and BOLINGBROKE
KING HENRY. Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester's wife: 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 burnt to ashes, 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.
DUCHESS. Welcome is banishment; welcome were my death.
GLOUCESTER. Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee. I cannot justify whom the law condemns. 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; Sorrow would solace, and mine age would ease.
KING HENRY. 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.
QUEEN. 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.
GLOUCESTER. My staff! Here, noble Henry, is my staff. As willingly do I the same resign As ere 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
QUEEN. Why, now is Henry King, and Margaret Queen, And Humphrey Duke of Gloucester scarce himself, That bears so shrewd a maim: two pulls at once- His lady banish'd and a limb lopp'd off. This staff of honour raught, there let it stand Where it best fits to be, in Henry's hand.
SUFFOLK. Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays; Thus Eleanor's pride dies in her youngest days.
YORK. Lords, let him go. Please it your Majesty, This is the day appointed for the combat; And ready are the appellant and defendant, The armourer and his man, to enter the lists, So please your Highness to behold the fight.
QUEEN. Ay, good my lord; for purposely therefore Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.
KING HENRY. A God's name, see the lists and all things fit; Here let them end it, and God defend the right!
YORK. I never saw a fellow worse bested, Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant, The servant of his armourer, my lords.
Enter at one door, HORNER, the Armourer, and his NEIGHBOURS, drinking to him so much that he is drunk; and he enters with a drum before him and
his staff with a sand-bag fastened to it; and at the other door PETER, his man, with a drum and sandbag,
and PRENTICES drinking to him
FIRST NEIGHBOUR. Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of sack; and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.
SECOND NEIGHBOUR. And here, neighbour, here's a cup of charneco.
THIRD NEIGHBOUR. And here's a pot of good double beer, neighbour; drink, and fear not your man.
HORNER. Let it come, i' faith, and I'll pledge you all; and a fig for Peter!
FIRST PRENTICE. Here, Peter, I drink to thee; and be not afraid.
SECOND PRENTICE. 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 I 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.
SALISBURY. Come, leave your drinking and fall to blows. Sirrah, what's thy name?
PETER. Peter, forsooth.
SALISBURY. Peter? What more?
SALISBURY. Thump? Then see thou thump thy master well.
HORNER. 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 down right blow!
YORK. Dispatch- this knave's tongue begins to double. Sound, trumpets, alarum to the combatants! [Alarum. They fight and PETER strikes him down]
HORNER. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.
YORK. Take away his weapon. Fellow, thank God, and the good wine in thy master's way.
PETER. O God, have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O Peter, thou hast prevail'd in right!
KING HENRY. Go, take hence that traitor from our sight, 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, Which he had thought to have murder'd wrongfully. Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward. Sound a flourish. Exeunt
London. A street
Enter DUKE HUMPHREY and his men, in mourning cloaks
GLOUCESTER. Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a cloud, And after summer evermore succeeds Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold; So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet. Sirs, what's o'clock?
SERVING-MAN. Ten, my lord.
GLOUCESTER. Ten is the hour that was appointed me To watch the coming of my punish'd duchess. Uneath may she endure the flinty streets To tread them with her tender-feeling feet. Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook The abject people gazing on thy face, With envious looks, laughing at thy shame, That erst did follow thy proud chariot wheels When thou didst ride in triumph through the streets. But, soft! I think she comes, and I'll prepare My tear-stain'd eyes to see her miseries.
Enter the DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER in a white sheet, and a taper burning in her hand, with SIR JOHN
STANLEY, the SHERIFF, and OFFICERS
SERVING-MAN. So please your Grace, we'll take her from the sheriff.
GLOUCESTER. No, stir not for your lives; let her pass by.
DUCHESS. Come you, my lord, to see my open shame? 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 looks, And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!
GLOUCESTER. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
DUCHESS. Ah, Gloucester, teach me to forget myself! 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? Trowest 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. Sometimes I'll say I am Duke Humphrey's wife, And he a prince, and ruler of the land; Yet so he rul'd, and such a prince he was, 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 shame, 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.
GLOUCESTER. 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 scathe So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless. Wouldst 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
HERALD. I summon your Grace to his Majesty's Parliament, Holden at Bury the first of this next month.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
SHERIFF. 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.
GLOUCESTER. Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
STANLEY. So am I given in charge, may't please your Grace.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
DUCHESS. What, gone, my lord, and bid me not farewell!
GLOUCESTER. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
Exeunt GLOUCESTER and servants
DUCHESS. Art thou gone too? All comfort go with thee! For none abides with me. My joy is death- Death, at whose name I oft have been afeard, 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.
STANLEY. Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man, There to be us'd according to your state.
DUCHESS. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach- And shall I then be us'd reproachfully?
STANLEY. Like to a duchess and Duke Humphrey's lady; According to that state you shall be us'd.
DUCHESS. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare, Although thou hast been conduct of my shame.
SHERIFF. It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
DUCHESS. Ay, ay, farewell; thy office is discharg'd. Come, Stanley, shall we go?
STANLEY. Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet, And go we to attire you for our journey.
DUCHESS. My shame will not be shifted with my sheet. No, it will hang upon my richest robes And show itself, attire me how I can. Go, lead the way; I long to see my prison.Exeunt
ACT III. SCENE I. The Abbey at Bury St. Edmunds
Sound a sennet. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, CARDINAL, SUFFOLK,
YORK, BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY, and WARWICK, to the Parliament
KING HENRY. I muse my Lord of Gloucester is not come. 'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man, Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.
QUEEN. 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, And 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-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, can it a woman's fear; Which fear if better reasons can supplant, I will subscribe, and say I wrong'd the Duke. My Lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York, Reprove my allegation if you can, Or else conclude my words effectual.
SUFFOLK. 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- And such high vaunts of his nobility, Did instigate the bedlam brainsick 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.
CARDINAL. 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.
BUCKINGHAM. Tut, these are petty faults to faults unknown Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke Humphrey.
KING HENRY. 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.
QUEEN. Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond affiance? Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrow'd, For he's disposed as the hateful raven. Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him, For he's inclin'd as is the ravenous wolf. 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.
SOMERSET. All health unto my gracious sovereign!
KING HENRY. Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news from France?
SOMERSET. That all your interest in those territories Is utterly bereft you; all is lost.
KING HENRY. 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.
GLOUCESTER. All happiness unto my lord the King! Pardon, my liege, that I have stay'd so long.
SUFFOLK. Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too soon, Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art. I do arrest thee of high treason here.
GLOUCESTER. Well, Suffolk, 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, stay'd the soldiers' pay; By means whereof his Highness hath lost France.
GLOUCESTER. Is it but thought so? What are they that think it? 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- 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.
CARDINAL. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
GLOUCESTER. 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 defam'd by tyranny.
GLOUCESTER. 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 passengers, I never gave them condign punishment. Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortur'd Above the felon or what trespass else.
SUFFOLK. My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answer'd; 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.
KING HENRY. My Lord of Gloucester, 'tis my special hope That you will clear yourself from all suspense. My conscience tells me you are innocent.
GLOUCESTER. 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 malice, 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.'
CARDINAL. My liege, his railing is intolerable. If those that care to keep your royal person From treason's secret knife and traitor's rage Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at, And the offender granted scope of speech, 'Twill make them cool in zeal unto your Grace.
SUFFOLK. 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?
QUEEN. But I can give the loser leave to chide.
GLOUCESTER. 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.
BUCKINGHAM. He'll wrest the sense, and hold us here all day. Lord Cardinal, he is your prisoner.
CARDINAL. Sirs, take away the Duke, and guard him sure.
GLOUCESTER. 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 gnaw thee first. Ah, that my fear were false! ah, that it were! For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.Exit, guarded
KING HENRY. My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best Do or undo, as if ourself were here.
QUEEN. What, will your Highness leave the Parliament?
KING HENRY. 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 louring 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.' Exit
QUEEN. 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 Gloucester's show Beguiles him as the mournful crocodile With sorrow snares relenting passengers; Or as the snake, roll'd in a flow'ring 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.
CARDINAL. 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.
SUFFOLK. 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 him die.
SUFFOLK. 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 from your souls: Were'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?
QUEEN. So the poor chicken should be sure of death.
SUFFOLK. 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 subtlety, Sleeping or waking, 'tis no matter how, So he be dead; for that is good deceit Which mates him first that first intends deceit.
QUEEN. Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely spoke.
SUFFOLK. 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.
CARDINAL. 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.
SUFFOLK. Here is my hand the deed is worthy doing.
QUEEN. And so say I.
YORK. And I. And now we three have spoke it, It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
Enter a POST
POST. 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 uncurable; For, being green, there is great hope of help.
CARDINAL. A breach that craves a quick expedient stop! What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
YORK. That Somerset be sent as Regent thither; 'Tis meet that lucky ruler be employ'd, Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
SOMERSET. If York, with all his far-fet policy, Had been the Regent there instead of me, He never would have stay'd 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. Show me one scar character'd on thy skin: Men's flesh preserv'd so whole do seldom win.
QUEEN. 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 nought? Nay, then a shame take all!
SOMERSET. And in the number, thee that wishest shame!
CARDINAL. My Lord of York, try what your fortune is. Th' uncivil kerns 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.
SUFFOLK. 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.
SUFFOLK. A charge, Lord York, that I will see perform'd. But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.
CARDINAL. No more of him; for I will 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.
SUFFOLK. 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 th' enjoying. Let pale-fac'd fear keep with the mean-born man And find no harbour in a royal heart. Faster than spring-time show'rs 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, 'tis politicly done To send me packing with an host of men. I fear me you but warm the starved snake, Who, cherish'd in your breasts, will sting your hearts. 'Twas men I lack'd, and you will give them me; I take it kindly. Yet be well assur'd 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 seduc'd a headstrong Kentishman, John Cade of Ashford, To make commotion, as full well he can, Under the tide of John Mortimer. In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade Oppose himself against a troop of kerns, And fought so long tiff that his thighs with darts Were almost like a sharp-quill'd porpentine; 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 kern, Hath he conversed with the enemy, And undiscover'd come to me again And given me notice of their villainies. 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 strength, 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 St. Edmunds. A room of state
Enter two or three MURDERERS running over
the stage, from the murder of DUKE HUMPHREY
FIRST MURDERER. Run to my Lord of Suffolk; let him know We have dispatch'd the Duke, as he commanded.
SECOND MURDERER. O that it were to do! What have we done? Didst ever hear a man so penitent?
FIRST MURDERER. Here comes my lord.
SUFFOLK. Now, sirs, have you dispatch'd this thing?
FIRST MURDERER. Ay, my good lord, he's dead.
SUFFOLK. 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? Is all things well, According as I gave directions?
FIRST MURDERER. 'Tis, my good lord.
SUFFOLK. Away! be gone. Exeunt MURDERERS
Sound trumpets. Enter the KING, the QUEEN, CARDINAL, SOMERSET, with attendants
KING HENRY. Go call our uncle to our presence straight; Say we intend to try his Grace to-day, If he be guilty, as 'tis published.
SUFFOLK. I'll call him presently, my noble lord. Exit
KING HENRY. Lords, take your places; and, I pray you all, Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloucester Than from true evidence, of good esteem, He be approv'd in practice culpable.
QUEEN. God forbid any malice should prevail That faultless may condemn a nobleman! Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
KING HENRY. I thank thee, Meg; these words content me much.
How now! Why look'st thou pale? Why tremblest thou? Where is our uncle? What's the matter, Suffolk?
SUFFOLK. Dead in his bed, my lord; Gloucester is dead.
QUEEN. Marry, God forfend!
CARDINAL. God's secret judgment! I did dream to-night The Duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
[The KING swoons]
QUEEN. How fares my lord? Help, lords! The King is dead.
SOMERSET. Rear up his body; wring him by the nose.
QUEEN. Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope thine eyes!
SUFFOLK. He doth revive again; madam, be patient.
KING. O heavenly God!
QUEEN. How fares my gracious lord?
SUFFOLK. Comfort, my sovereign! Gracious Henry, comfort!
KING HENRY. What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me? Came he right now to sing a raven's note, Whose dismal tune bereft my vital pow'rs; 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 sug'red 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 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 Gloucester's dead.
QUEEN. Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolk thus? 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 groans, Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs, 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 wounded, And princes' courts be fill'd with my reproach. This get I by his death. Ay me, unhappy! To be a queen and crown'd with infamy!
KING HENRY. Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched man!
QUEEN. Be woe for me, 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. Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester's tomb? Why, then Dame Margaret was ne'er thy joy. Erect his statue 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 bank 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 forth their brazen caves; And bid them blow towards England's blessed shore, Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock? Yet Aeolus would not be a murderer, But left that hateful office unto thee. The pretty-vaulting sea refus'd to drown me, Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown'd on shore With tears as salt as sea through thy unkindness; The splitting rocks cow'r'd in the sinking sands And would not dash me with their ragged sides, 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 thy 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 receiv'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? Ay me, I can no more! Die, Margaret, For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
Noise within. Enter WARWICK, SALISBURY,
and many commons
WARWICK. It is reported, mighty sovereign, That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murd'red 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.
KING HENRY. 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.
WARWICK. That shall I do, my liege. Stay, Salisbury, With the rude multitude till I return. Exit
Exit SALISBURY with the commons
KING HENRY. 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 life! If my suspect be false, forgive me, God; For judgment 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 un-feeling; But all in vain are these mean obsequies; And to survey his dead and earthy image, What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
Bed put forth with the body. Enter WARWICK
WARWICK. Come hither, gracious sovereign, view this body.
KING HENRY. That is to see how deep my grave is made; For with his soul fled all my worldly solace, For, seeing him, I see my life in death.
WARWICK. 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, I do believe that violent hands were laid Upon the life of this thrice-famed Duke.
SUFFOLK. A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue! What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?
WARWICK. See how the blood is settled in his face. Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and bloodless, 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 returneth To blush and beautify the cheek again. But see, his face is black and full of blood; His eye-balls further out than when he liv'd, Staring full ghastly like a strangled man; His hair uprear'd, his nostrils stretch'd with struggling; His hands abroad display'd, as one that grasp'd And tugg'd for life, and was by strength subdu'd. Look, on the sheets his hair, you see, is sticking; His well-proportion'd beard made rough and rugged, Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodged. It cannot be but he was murd'red here: The least of all these signs were probable.
SUFFOLK. Why, Warwick, who should do the Duke to death? Myself and Beaufort had him in protection; And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.
WARWICK. 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.
QUEEN. Then you, belike, suspect these noblemen As guilty of Duke Humphrey's timeless death.
WARWICK. Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh, And sees fast by a butcher with an axe, But will suspect 'twas he that made the slaughter? 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.
QUEEN. Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where's your knife? Is Beaufort term'd a kite? Where are his talons?
SUFFOLK. I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men; 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, SOMERSET, and others
WARWICK. What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?
QUEEN. He dares not calm his contumelious spirit, Nor cease to be an arrogant controller, Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.
WARWICK. Madam, be still- with reverence may I say; For every word you speak in his behalf Is slander to your royal dignity.
SUFFOLK. Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanour, If ever lady wrong'd her lord so much, Thy mother took into her blameful bed Some stern untutor'd churl, and noble stock Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art, And never of the Nevils' noble race.
WARWICK. But that the guilt of murder bucklers thee, And I should rob the deathsman of his fee, Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames, And that my sovereign's presence makes me mild, I would, false murd'rous coward, on thy knee Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech And say it was thy mother that thou meant'st, That thou thyself was born in bastardy; And, after all this fearful homage done, Give thee thy hire and send thy soul to hell, Pernicious blood-sucker of sleeping men.
SUFFOLK. Thou shalt be waking while I shed thy blood, If from this presence thou dar'st go with me.
WARWICK. Away even now, or I will drag thee hence. Unworthy though thou art, I'll cope with thee, And do some service to Duke Humphrey's ghost.
Exeunt SUFFOLK and WARWICK
KING HENRY. What stronger breastplate 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]
QUEEN. What noise is this?
Re-enter SUFFOLK and WARWICK, with their weapons drawn
KING. Why, how now, lords, your wrathful weapons drawn Here in our presence! Dare you be so bold? Why, what tumultuous clamour have we here?
SUFFOLK. The trait'rous Warwick, with the men of Bury, Set all upon me, mighty sovereign.
SALISBURY. [To the Commons within] Sirs, stand apart, the King
shall know your mind. Dread lord, the commons send you word by me Unless Lord 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 rest, 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 eternal. And therefore do they cry, though you forbid, That they will guard you, whe'er you will or no, 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!
SUFFOLK. 'Tis like the commons, rude unpolish'd hinds, 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 will all break in!
KING HENRY. 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 air But three days longer, on the pain of death.
QUEEN. O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!
KING HENRY. Ungentle Queen, to call him gentle Suffolk! 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 all but QUEEN and SUFFOLK
QUEEN. 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 steps!
SUFFOLK. Cease, gentle Queen, these execrations, And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.
QUEEN. Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch, Has thou not spirit to curse thine enemy?
SUFFOLK. A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse them? Would curses kill as doth the mandrake's groan, 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 words, Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint, Mine hair be fix'd an 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 drink! Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste! Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress trees! Their chiefest prospect murd'ring basilisks! Their softest touch as smart as lizards' stings! Their music frightful as the serpent's hiss, And boding screech-owls make the consort full! all the foul terrors in dark-seated hell-
QUEEN. Enough, sweet Suffolk, thou torment'st thyself; And these dread curses, like the sun 'gainst glass, Or like an overcharged gun, recoil, And turns the force of them upon thyself.
SUFFOLK. 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.
QUEEN. 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, 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 whiles 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 condemn'd Embrace, and kiss, and take ten thousand leaves, Loather a hundred times to part than die. Yet now, farewell; and farewell life with thee!
SUFFOLK. Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished, Once by the King and three times thrice by thee, 'Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence; 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 nought but that thou liv'st.
QUEEN. Whither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I prithee?
VAUX. To signify unto his Majesty That Cardinal Beaufort is at point of death; For suddenly a grievous sickness took him That makes him gasp, and stare, and catch the air, Blaspheming God, and cursing men on earth. Sometime he talks as if Duke Humphrey's ghost Were by his side; sometime he calls the King And whispers to his pillow, as to him, The secrets of his overcharged soul; And I am sent to tell his Majesty That even now he cries aloud for him.
QUEEN. Go tell this heavy message to the King. Exit VAUX Ay me! What is this world! What news are these! But wherefore grieve I at an hour's poor loss, Omitting Suffolk's exile, my soul's treasure? Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee, And with the southern clouds contend in tears- Theirs for the earth's increase, mine for my sorrows? Now get thee hence: the King, thou know'st, is coming; If thou be found by me; thou art but dead.
SUFFOLK. If I depart from thee I cannot live; And in thy sight to die, what were it else But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap? Here could I breathe my soul into the air, As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe Dying with mother's dug between its lips; Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes, To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth; So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul, Or I should breathe it so into thy body, And then it liv'd in sweet Elysium. To die by thee were but to die in jest: From thee to die were torture more than death. O, let me stay, befall what may befall!
QUEEN. Away! Though parting be a fretful corrosive, It is applied to a deathful wound. To France, sweet Suffolk. Let me hear from thee; For whereso'er thou art in this world's globe I'll have an Iris that shall find thee out.
SUFFOLK. I go.
QUEEN. And take my heart with thee. [She kisses him]
SUFFOLK. A jewel, lock'd into the woefull'st cask That ever did contain a thing of worth. Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we: This way fall I to death.
QUEEN. This way for me. Exeunt severally
London. CARDINAL BEAUFORT'S bedchamber
Enter the KING, SALISBURY, and WARWICK, to the CARDINAL in bed
KING HENRY. How fares my lord? Speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign.
CARDINAL. If thou be'st Death I'll give thee England's treasure, Enough to purchase such another island, So thou wilt let me live and feel no pain.
KING HENRY. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life Where death's approach is seen so terrible!
WARWICK. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee.
CARDINAL. Bring me unto my trial when you will. Died he not in his bed? Where should he die? Can I make men live, whe'er they will or no? O, torture me no more! I will confess. Alive again? Then show me where he is; I'll give a thousand pound to look upon him. He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them. Comb down his hair; look, look! it stands upright, Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged soul! Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary Bring the strong poison that I bought of him.
KING HENRY. O Thou eternal Mover of the heavens, Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch! O, beat away the busy meddling fiend That lays strong siege unto this wretch's soul, And from his bosom purge this black despair!
WARWICK. See how the pangs of death do make him grin
SALISBURY. Disturb him not, let him pass peaceably.
KING HENRY. Peace to his soul, if God's good pleasure be! Lord Card'nal, if thou think'st on heaven's bliss, Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope. He dies, and makes no sign: O God, forgive him!
WARWICK. So bad a death argues a monstrous life.
KING HENRY. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners all. Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close; And let us all to meditation. Exeunt ACT IV. SCENE I. The coast of Kent
Alarum. Fight at sea. Ordnance goes off. Enter a LIEUTENANT, a SHIPMASTER and his MATE, and WALTER WHITMORE, with sailors; SUFFOLK and
other GENTLEMEN, as prisoners
LIEUTENANT. The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day Is crept into the bosom of the sea; And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades That drag the tragic melancholy night; Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings Clip dead men's graves, and from their misty jaws Breathe foul contagious darkness in the air. Therefore bring forth the soldiers of our prize; For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs, Here shall they make their ransom on the sand, Or with their blood stain this discoloured shore. Master, this prisoner freely give I thee; And thou that art his mate make boot of this; The other, Walter Whitmore, is thy share.
FIRST GENTLEMAN. What is my ransom, master, let me know?
MASTER. A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head.
MATE. And so much shall you give, or off goes yours.
LIEUTENANT. What, think you much to pay two thousand crowns, And bear the name and port of gentlemen? Cut both the villains' throats- for die you shall; The lives of those which we have lost in fight Be counterpois'd with such a petty sum!
FIRST GENTLEMAN. I'll give it, sir: and therefore spare my life.
SECOND GENTLEMAN. And so will I, and write home for it straight.
WHITMORE. I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard, [To SUFFOLK] And therefore, to revenge it, shalt thou die; And so should these, if I might have my will.
LIEUTENANT. Be not so rash; take ransom, let him live.
SUFFOLK. Look on my George, I am a gentleman: Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid.
WHITMORE. And so am I: my name is Walter Whitmore. How now! Why start'st thou? What, doth death affright?
SUFFOLK. Thy name affrights me, in whose sound is death. A cunning man did calculate my birth And told me that by water I should die; Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded; Thy name is Gualtier, being rightly sounded.
WHITMORE. Gualtier or Walter, which it is I care not: Never yet did base dishonour blur our name But with our sword we wip'd away the blot; Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge, Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defac'd, And I proclaim'd a coward through the world.
SUFFOLK. Stay, Whitmore, for thy prisoner is a prince, The Duke of Suffolk, William de la Pole.
WHITMORE. The Duke of Suffolk muffled up in rags?
SUFFOLK. Ay, but these rags are no part of the Duke: Jove sometime went disguis'd, and why not I?
LIEUTENANT. But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be.
SUFFOLK. Obscure and lowly swain, King Henry's blood, The honourable blood of Lancaster, Must not be shed by such a jaded groom. Hast thou not kiss'd thy hand and held my stirrup, Bareheaded plodded by my foot-cloth mule, And thought thee happy when I shook my head? How often hast thou waited at my cup, Fed from my trencher, kneel'd down at the board, When I have feasted with Queen Margaret? Remember it, and let it make thee crestfall'n, Ay, and allay thus thy abortive pride, How in our voiding-lobby hast thou stood And duly waited for my coming forth. This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf, And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue.
WHITMORE. Speak, Captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain?
LIEUTENANT. First let my words stab him, as he hath me.
SUFFOLK. Base slave, thy words are blunt, and so art thou.
LIEUTENANT. Convey him hence, and on our longboat's side Strike off his head.
SUFFOLK. Thou dar'st not, for thy own.
LIEUTENANT. Ay, kennel, puddle, sink, whose filth and dirt Troubles the silver spring where England drinks; Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth For swallowing the treasure of the realm. Thy lips, that kiss'd the Queen, shall sweep the ground; And thou that smil'dst at good Duke Humphrey's death Against the senseless winds shalt grin in vain, Who in contempt shall hiss at thee again; And wedded be thou to the hags of hell For daring to affy a mighty lord Unto the daughter of a worthless king, Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem. By devilish policy art thou grown great, And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorg'd With gobbets of thy mother's bleeding heart. By thee Anjou and Maine were sold to France; The false revolting Normans thorough thee Disdain to call us lord; and Picardy Hath slain their governors, surpris'd our forts, And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home. The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all, Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain, As hating thee, are rising up in arms; And now the house of York- thrust from the crown By shameful murder of a guiltless king And lofty proud encroaching tyranny- Burns with revenging fire, whose hopeful colours Advance our half-fac'd sun, striving to shine, Under the which is writ 'Invitis nubibus.' The commons here in Kent are up in arms; And to conclude, reproach and beggary Is crept into the palace of our King, And all by thee. Away! convey him hence.
SUFFOLK. O that I were a god, to shoot forth thunder Upon these paltry, servile, abject drudges! Small things make base men proud: this villain here, Being captain of a pinnace, threatens more Than Bargulus, the strong Illyrian pirate. Drones suck not eagles' blood but rob beehives. It is impossible that I should die By such a lowly vassal as thyself. Thy words move rage and not remorse in me. I go of message from the Queen to France: I charge thee waft me safely cross the Channel.
WHITMORE. Come, Suffolk, I must waft thee to thy death.
SUFFOLK. Gelidus timor occupat artus: it is thee I fear.
WHITMORE. Thou shalt have cause to fear before I leave thee. What, are ye daunted now? Now will ye stoop?
FIRST GENTLEMAN. My gracious lord, entreat him, speak him fair.
SUFFOLK. Suffolk's imperial tongue is stem and rough, Us'd to command, untaught to plead for favour. Far be it we should honour such as these With humble suit: no, rather let my head Stoop to the block than these knees bow to any Save to the God of heaven and to my king; And sooner dance upon a bloody pole Than stand uncover'd to the vulgar groom. True nobility is exempt from fear: More can I bear than you dare execute.
LIEUTENANT. Hale him away, and let him talk no more.
SUFFOLK. Come, soldiers, show what cruelty ye can, That this my death may never be forgot- Great men oft die by vile bezonians: A Roman sworder and banditto slave Murder'd sweet Tully; Brutus' bastard hand Stabb'd Julius Caesar; savage islanders Pompey the Great; and Suffolk dies by pirates. Exit WALTER with SUFFOLK
LIEUTENANT. And as for these, whose ransom we have set, It is our pleasure one of them depart; Therefore come you with us, and let him go.
Exeunt all but the FIRST GENTLEMAN
Re-enter WHITMORE with SUFFOLK'S body
WHITMORE. There let his head and lifeless body lie, Until the Queen his mistress bury it. Exit
FIRST GENTLEMAN. O barbarous and bloody spectacle! His body will I bear unto the King. If he revenge it not, yet will his friends; So will the Queen, that living held him dear.
Exit with the body SCENE II. Blackheath
Enter GEORGE BEVIS and JOHN HOLLAND
GEORGE. Come and get thee a sword, though made of a lath; they have been up these two days.
JOHN. They have the more need to sleep now, then.
GEORGE. I tell thee Jack Cade the clothier means to dress the commonwealth, and turn it, and set a new nap upon it.
JOHN. So he had need, for 'tis threadbare. Well, I say it was never merry world in England since gentlemen came up.
GEORGE. O miserable age! Virtue is not regarded in handicraftsmen.
JOHN. The nobility think scorn to go in leather aprons.
GEORGE. Nay, more, the King's Council are no good workmen.
JOHN. True; and yet it is said 'Labour in thy vocation'; which is as much to say as 'Let the magistrates be labouring men'; and therefore should we be magistrates.
GEORGE. Thou hast hit it; for there's no better sign of a brave mind than a hard hand.
JOHN. I see them! I see them! There's Best's son, the tanner of Wingham-
GEORGE. He shall have the skins of our enemies to make dog's leather of.
JOHN. And Dick the butcher-
GEORGE. Then is sin struck down, like an ox, and iniquity's throat cut like a calf.
JOHN. And Smith the weaver-
GEORGE. Argo, their thread of life is spun.
JOHN. Come, come, let's fall in with them.
Drum. Enter CADE, DICK THE BUTCHER, SMITH THE WEAVER, and a SAWYER, with infinite numbers
CADE. We John Cade, so term'd of our supposed father-
DICK. [Aside] Or rather, of stealing a cade of herrings.
CADE. For our enemies shall fall before us, inspired with the spirit of putting down kings and princes- command silence.
CADE. My father was a Mortimer-
DICK. [Aside] He was an honest man and a good bricklayer.
CADE. My mother a Plantagenet-
DICK. [Aside] I knew her well; she was a midwife.
CADE. My wife descended of the Lacies-
DICK. [Aside] She was, indeed, a pedlar's daughter, and sold many laces.
SMITH. [Aside] But now of late, not able to travel with her furr'd pack, she washes bucks here at home.
CADE. Therefore am I of an honourable house.
DICK. [Aside] Ay, by my faith, the field is honourable, and there was he born, under a hedge, for his father had never a house but the cage.
CADE. Valiant I am.
SMITH. [Aside] 'A must needs; for beggary is valiant.
CADE. I am able to endure much.
DICK. [Aside] No question of that; for I have seen him whipt three market days together.
CADE. I fear neither sword nor fire.
SMITH. [Aside] He need not fear the sword, for his coat is of proof.
DICK. [Aside] But methinks he should stand in fear of fire, being burnt i' th' hand for stealing of sheep.
CADE. Be brave, then, for your captain is brave, and vows reformation. There shall be in England seven halfpenny loaves sold for a penny; the three-hoop'd pot shall have ten hoops; and I will make it felony to drink small beer. All the realm shall be in common, and in Cheapside shall my palfrey go to grass. And when I am king- as king I will be
ALL. God save your Majesty!
CADE. I thank you, good people- there shall be no money; all shall eat and drink on my score, and I will apparel them all in one livery, that they may agree like brothers and worship me their lord.
DICK. The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers.
CADE. Nay, that I mean to do. Is not this a lamentable thing, that of the skin of an innocent lamb should be made parchment? That parchment, being scribbl'd o'er, should undo a man? Some say the bee stings; but I say 'tis the bee's wax; for I did but seal once to a thing, and I was never mine own man since. How now! Who's there?
Enter some, bringing in the CLERK OF CHATHAM
SMITH. The clerk of Chatham. He can write and read and cast accompt.
CADE. O monstrous!
SMITH. We took him setting of boys' copies.
CADE. Here's a villain!
SMITH. Has a book in his pocket with red letters in't.
CADE. Nay, then he is a conjurer.
DICK. Nay, he can make obligations and write court-hand.
CADE. I am sorry for't; the man is a proper man, of mine honour; unless I find him guilty, he shall not die. Come hither, sirrah, I must examine thee. What is thy name?
DICK. They use to write it on the top of letters; 'twill go hard with you.
CADE. Let me alone. Dost thou use to write thy name, or hast thou a mark to thyself, like a honest plain-dealing man?
CLERK. Sir, I thank God, I have been so well brought up that I can write my name.
ALL. He hath confess'd. Away with him! He's a villain and a
CADE. Away with him, I say! Hang him with his pen and inkhorn about his neck.Exit one with the CLERK
MICHAEL. Where's our General?
CADE. Here I am, thou particular fellow.
MICHAEL. Fly, fly, fly! Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother are hard by, with the King's forces.
CADE. Stand, villain, stand, or I'll fell thee down. He shall be encount'red with a man as good as himself. He is but a knight, is 'a?
CADE. To equal him, I will make myself a knight presently. [Kneels] Rise up, Sir John Mortimer. [Rises] Now have at him!
Enter SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD and WILLIAM
his brother, with drum and soldiers
STAFFORD. Rebellious hinds, the filth and scum of Kent, Mark'd for the gallows, lay your weapons down; Home to your cottages, forsake this groom; The King is merciful if you revolt.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. But angry, wrathful, and inclin'd to blood, If you go forward; therefore yield or die.
CADE. As for these silken-coated slaves, I pass not; It is to you, good people, that I speak, O'er whom, in time to come, I hope to reign; For I am rightful heir unto the crown.
STAFFORD. Villain, thy father was a plasterer; And thou thyself a shearman, art thou not?
CADE. And Adam was a gardener.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. And what of that?
CADE. Marry, this: Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, Married the Duke of Clarence' daughter, did he not?
STAFFORD. Ay, sir.
CADE. By her he had two children at one birth.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. That's false.
CADE. Ay, there's the question; but I say 'tis true. The elder of them being put to nurse, Was by a beggar-woman stol'n away, And, ignorant of his birth and parentage, Became a bricklayer when he came to age. His son am I; deny it if you can.
DICK. Nay, 'tis too true; therefore he shall be king.
SMITH. Sir, he made a chimney in my father's house, and the bricks are alive at this day to testify it; therefore deny it not.
STAFFORD. And will you credit this base drudge's words That speaks he knows not what?
ALL. Ay, marry, will we; therefore get ye gone.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. Jack Cade, the Duke of York hath taught you this.
CADE. [Aside] He lies, for I invented it myself- Go to, sirrah, tell the King from me that for his father's sake, Henry the Fifth, in whose time boys went to span-counter for French crowns, I am content he shall reign; but I'll be Protector over him.
DICK. And furthermore, we'll have the Lord Say's head for selling the dukedom of Maine.
CADE. And good reason; for thereby is England main'd and fain to go with a staff, but that my puissance holds it up. Fellow kings, I tell you that that Lord Say hath gelded the commonwealth and made it an eunuch; and more than that, he can speak French, and therefore he is a traitor.
STAFFORD. O gross and miserable ignorance!
CADE. Nay, answer if you can; the Frenchmen are our enemies. Go to, then, I ask but this: can he that speaks with the tongue of an enemy be a good counsellor, or no?
ALL. No, no; and therefore we'll have his head.
WILLIAM STAFFORD. Well, seeing gentle words will not prevail, Assail them with the army of the King.
STAFFORD. Herald, away; and throughout every town Proclaim them traitors that are up with Cade; That those which fly before the battle ends May, even in their wives'and children's sight, Be hang'd up for example at their doors. And you that be the King's friends, follow me.
Exeunt the TWO STAFFORDS and soldiers
CADE. And you that love the commons follow me. Now show yourselves men; 'tis for liberty. We will not leave one lord, one gentleman; Spare none but such as go in clouted shoon, For they are thrifty honest men and such As would- but that they dare not- take our parts.
DICK. They are all in order, and march toward us.
CADE. But then are we in order when we are most out of order. Come, march forward.Exeunt
SCENE III. Another part of Blackheath
Alarums to the fight, wherein both the STAFFORDS are slain. Enter CADE and the rest
CADE. Where's Dick, the butcher of Ashford?
DICK. Here, sir.
CADE. They fell before thee like sheep and oxen, and thou behavedst thyself as if thou hadst been in thine own slaughter-house; therefore thus will I reward thee- the Lent shall be as long again as it is, and thou shalt have a licence to kill for a hundred lacking one.
DICK. I desire no more.
CADE. And, to speak truth, thou deserv'st no less. [Putting on SIR HUMPHREY'S brigandine] This monument of the victory will I bear, and the bodies shall be dragged at my horse heels till I do come to London, where we will have the mayor's sword borne before us.
DICK. If we mean to thrive and do good, break open the gaols and let out the prisoners.
CADE. Fear not that, I warrant thee. Come, let's march towards London. Exeunt SCENE IV.
London. The palace
Enter the KING with a supplication, and the QUEEN
with SUFFOLK'S head; the DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM,
and the LORD SAY
QUEEN. Oft have I heard that grief softens the mind And makes it fearful and degenerate; Think therefore on revenge and cease to weep. But who can cease to weep, and look on this? Here may his head lie on my throbbing breast; But where's the body that I should embrace?
BUCKINGHAM. What answer makes your Grace to the rebels' supplication?
KING HENRY. I'll send some holy bishop to entreat; For God forbid so many simple souls Should perish by the sword! And I myself, Rather than bloody war shall cut them short, Will parley with Jack Cade their general. But stay, I'll read it over once again.
QUEEN. Ah, barbarous villains! Hath this lovely face Rul'd like a wandering planet over me, And could it not enforce them to relent That were unworthy to behold the same?
KING HENRY. Lord Say, Jack Cade hath sworn to have thy head.
SAY. Ay, but I hope your Highness shall have his.
KING HENRY. How now, madam! Still lamenting and mourning for Suffolk's death? I fear me, love, if that I had been dead, Thou wouldst not have mourn'd so much for me.
QUEEN. No, my love, I should not mourn, but die for thee.
Enter A MESSENGER
KING HENRY. How now! What news? Why com'st thou in such haste?
MESSENGER. The rebels are in Southwark; fly, my lord! Jack Cade proclaims himself Lord Mortimer, Descended from the Duke of Clarence' house, And calls your Grace usurper, openly, And vows to crown himself in Westminster. His army is a ragged multitude Of hinds and peasants, rude and merciless; Sir Humphrey Stafford and his brother's death Hath given them heart and courage to proceed. All scholars, lawyers, courtiers, gentlemen, They call false caterpillars and intend their death.
KING HENRY. O graceless men! they know not what they do.
BUCKINGHAM. My gracious lord, retire to Killingworth Until a power be rais'd to put them down.
QUEEN. Ah, were the Duke of Suffolk now alive, These Kentish rebels would be soon appeas'd!
KING HENRY. Lord Say, the traitors hate thee; Therefore away with us to Killingworth.
SAY. So might your Grace's person be in danger. The sight of me is odious in their eyes; And therefore in this city will I stay And live alone as secret as I may.
Enter another MESSENGER
SECOND MESSENGER. Jack Cade hath gotten London Bridge. The citizens fly and forsake their houses; The rascal people, thirsting after prey, Join with the traitor; and they jointly swear To spoil the city and your royal court.
BUCKINGHAM. Then linger not, my lord; away, take horse.
KING HENRY. Come Margaret; God, our hope, will succour us.
QUEEN. My hope is gone, now Suffolk is deceas'd.
KING HENRY. [To LORD SAY] Farewell, my lord, trust not the Kentish rebels.
BUCKINGHAM. Trust nobody, for fear you be betray'd.
SAY. The trust I have is in mine innocence, And therefore am I bold and resolute. Exeunt
SCENE V. London. The Tower
Enter LORD SCALES Upon the Tower, walking. Then
enter two or three CITIZENS, below
SCALES. How now! Is Jack Cade slain?
FIRST CITIZEN. No, my lord, nor likely to be slain; for they have won the bridge, killing all those that withstand them. The Lord Mayor craves aid of your honour from the Tower, to defend the city from the rebels.
SCALES. Such aid as I can spare you shall command, But I am troubled here with them myself; The rebels have assay'd to win the Tower. But get you to Smithfield, and gather head, And thither I will send you Matthew Goffe; Fight for your King, your country, and your lives; And so, farewell, for I must hence again. Exeunt
London. Cannon street
Enter JACK CADE and the rest, and strikes his staff
on London Stone
CADE. Now is Mortimer lord of this city. And here, sitting upon London Stone, I charge and command that, of the city's cost, the pissing conduit run nothing but claret wine this first year of our reign. And now henceforward it shall be treason for any that calls me other than Lord Mortimer.
Enter a SOLDIER, running
SOLDIER. Jack Cade! Jack Cade!
CADE. Knock him down there.[They kill him]
SMITH. If this fellow be wise, he'll never call ye Jack Cade more; I think he hath a very fair warning.
DICK. My lord, there's an army gathered together in Smithfield.
CADE. Come then, let's go fight with them. But first go and set London Bridge on fire; and, if you can, burn down the Tower too. Come, let's away. Exeunt SCENE VII. London. Smithfield
Alarums. MATTHEW GOFFE is slain, and all the rest. Then enter JACK CADE, with his company
CADE. So, sirs. Now go some and pull down the Savoy; others to th' Inns of Court; down with them all.
DICK. I have a suit unto your lordship.
CADE. Be it a lordship, thou shalt have it for that word.
DICK. Only that the laws of England may come out of your mouth.
JOHN. [Aside] Mass, 'twill be sore law then; for he was thrust in the mouth with a spear, and 'tis not whole yet.
SMITH. [Aside] Nay, John, it will be stinking law; for his breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.
CADE. I have thought upon it; it shall be so. Away, burn all the records of the realm. My mouth shall be the Parliament of England.
JOHN. [Aside] Then we are like to have biting statutes, unless his teeth be pull'd out.
CADE. And henceforward all things shall be in common.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. My lord, a prize, a prize! Here's the Lord Say, which sold the towns in France; he that made us pay one and twenty fifteens, and one shining to the pound, the last subsidy.
Enter GEORGE BEVIS, with the LORD SAY
CADE. Well, he shall be beheaded for it ten times. Ah, thou say, thou serge, nay, thou buckram lord! Now art thou within point blank of our jurisdiction regal. What canst thou answer to my Majesty for giving up of Normandy unto Mounsieur Basimecu the Dauphin of France? Be it known unto thee by these presence, even the presence of Lord Mortimer, that I am the besom that must sweep the court clean of such filth as thou art. Thou hast most traitorously corrupted the youth of the realm in erecting a grammar school; and whereas, before, our forefathers had no other books but the score and the tally, thou hast caused printing to be us'd, and, contrary to the King, his crown, and dignity, thou hast built a paper-mill. It will be proved to thy face that thou hast men about thee that usually talk of a noun and a verb, and such abominable words as no Christian ear can endure to hear. Thou hast appointed justices of peace, to call poor men before them about matters they were not able to answer. Moreover, thou hast put them in prison, and because they could not read, thou hast hang'd them, when, indeed, only for that cause they have been most worthy to live. Thou dost ride in a foot-cloth, dost thou not?
SAY. What of that?
CADE. Marry, thou ought'st not to let thy horse wear a cloak, when honester men than thou go in their hose and doublets.
DICK. And work in their shirt too, as myself, for example, that am a butcher.
SAY. You men of Kent-
DICK. What say you of Kent?
SAY. Nothing but this: 'tis 'bona terra, mala gens.'
CADE. Away with him, away with him! He speaks Latin.
SAY. Hear me but speak, and bear me where you will. Kent, in the Commentaries Caesar writ, Is term'd the civil'st place of all this isle. Sweet is the country, because full of riches; The people liberal valiant, active, wealthy; Which makes me hope you are not void of pity. I sold not Maine, I lost not Normandy; Yet, to recover them, would lose my life. Justice with favour have I always done; Pray'rs and tears have mov'd me, gifts could never. When have I aught exacted at your hands, But to maintain the King, the realm, and you? Large gifts have I bestow'd on learned clerks, Because my book preferr'd me to the King, And seeing ignorance is the curse of God, Knowledge the wing wherewith we fly to heaven, Unless you be possess'd with devilish spirits You cannot but forbear to murder me. This tongue hath parley'd unto foreign kings For your behoof.
CADE. Tut, when struck'st thou one blow in the field?
SAY. Great men have reaching hands. Oft have I struck Those that I never saw, and struck them dead.
GEORGE. O monstrous coward! What, to come behind folks?
SAY. These cheeks are pale for watching for your good.
CADE. Give him a box o' th' ear, and that will make 'em red again.
SAY. Long sitting to determine poor men's causes Hath made me full of sickness and diseases.
CADE. Ye shall have a hempen caudle then, and the help of hatchet.
DICK. Why dost thou quiver, man?
SAY. The palsy, and not fear, provokes me.
CADE. Nay, he nods at us, as who should say 'I'll be even with you'; I'll see if his head will stand steadier on a pole, or no. Take him away, and behead him.
SAY. Tell me: wherein have I offended most? Have I affected wealth or honour? Speak. Are my chests fill'd up with extorted gold? Is my apparel sumptuous to behold? Whom have I injur'd, that ye seek my death? These hands are free from guiltless bloodshedding, This breast from harbouring foul deceitful thoughts. O, let me live!
CADE. [Aside] I feel remorse in myself with his words; but I'll bridle it. He shall die, an it be but for pleading so well for his life.- Away with him! He has a familiar under his tongue; he speaks not o' God's name. Go, take him away, I say, and strike off his head presently, and then break into his son-in-law's house, Sir James Cromer, and strike off his head, and bring them both upon two poles hither.
ALL. It shall be done.
SAY. Ah, countrymen! if when you make your pray'rs, God should be so obdurate as yourselves, How would it fare with your departed souls? And therefore yet relent and save my life.
CADE. Away with him, and do as I command ye. [Exeunt some with LORD SAY] The proudest peer in the realm shall not wear a head on his shoulders, unless he pay me tribute; there shall not a maid be married, but she shall pay to me her maidenhead ere they have it. Men shall hold of me in capite; and we charge and command that their wives be as free as heart can wish or tongue can tell.
DICK. My lord, when shall we go to Cheapside, and take up commodities upon our bills?
CADE. Marry, presently.
ALL. O, brave!
Re-enter one with the heads
CADE. But is not this braver? Let them kiss one another, for they lov'd well when they were alive. Now part them again, lest they consult about the giving up of some more towns in France. Soldiers, defer the spoil of the city until night; for with these borne before us instead of maces will we ride through the streets, and at every corner have them kiss. Away! Exeunt SCENE VIII.
Alarum and retreat. Enter again CADE and all his rabblement
CADE. Up Fish Street! down Saint Magnus' Corner! Kill and knock down! Throw them into Thames! [Sound a parley] What noise is this I hear? Dare any be so bold to sound retreat or parley when I command them kill?
Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD, attended
BUCKINGHAM. Ay, here they be that dare and will disturb thee. And therefore yet relent, and save my life. Know, Cade, we come ambassadors from the King Unto the commons whom thou hast misled; And here pronounce free pardon to them all That will forsake thee and go home in peace.
CLIFFORD. What say ye, countrymen? Will ye relent And yield to mercy whilst 'tis offer'd you, Or let a rebel lead you to your deaths? Who loves the King, and will embrace his pardon, Fling up his cap and say 'God save his Majesty!' Who hateth him and honours not his father, Henry the Fifth, that made all France to quake, Shake he his weapon at us and pass by.
ALL. God save the King! God save the King!
CADE. What, Buckingham and Clifford, are ye so brave? And you, base peasants, do ye believe him? Will you needs be hang'd with your about your necks? Hath my sword therefore broke through London gates, that you should leave me at the White Hart in Southwark? I thought ye would never have given out these arms till you had recovered your ancient freedom. But you are all recreants and dastards, and delight to live in slavery to the nobility. Let them break your backs with burdens, take your houses over your heads, ravish your wives and daughters before your faces. For me, I will make shift for one; and so God's curse light upon you all!
ALL. We'll follow Cade, we'll follow Cade!
CLIFFORD. Is Cade the son of Henry the Fifth, That thus you do exclaim you'll go with him? Will he conduct you through the heart of France, And make the meanest of you earls and dukes? Alas, he hath no home, no place to fly to; Nor knows he how to live but by the spoil, Unless by robbing of your friends and us. Were't not a shame that whilst you live at jar The fearful French, whom you late vanquished, Should make a start o'er seas and vanquish you? Methinks already in this civil broil I see them lording it in London streets, Crying 'Villiago!' unto all they meet. Better ten thousand base-born Cades miscarry Than you should stoop unto a Frenchman's mercy. To France, to France, and get what you have lost; Spare England, for it is your native coast. Henry hath money; you are strong and manly. God on our side, doubt not of victory.
ALL. A Clifford! a Clifford! We'll follow the King and Clifford.
CADE. Was ever feather so lightly blown to and fro as this multitude? The name of Henry the Fifth hales them to an hundred mischiefs, and makes them leave me desolate. I see them lay their heads together to surprise me. My sword make way for me for here is no staying. In despite of the devils and hell, have through the very middest of you! and heavens and honour be witness that no want of resolution in me, but only my followers' base and ignominious treasons, makes me betake me to my heels. Exit
BUCKINGHAM. What, is he fled? Go some, and follow him; And he that brings his head unto the King Shall have a thousand crowns for his reward. Exeunt some of them Follow me, soldiers; we'll devise a mean To reconcile you all unto the King. Exeunt SCENE IX.
Killing, worth Castle
Sound trumpets. Enter KING, QUEEN, and SOMERSET,
on the terrace
KING HENRY. Was ever king that joy'd an earthly throne And could command no more content than I? No sooner was I crept out of my cradle But I was made a king, at nine months old. Was never subject long'd to be a King As I do long and wish to be a subject.
Enter BUCKINGHAM and old CLIFFORD
BUCKINGHAM. Health and glad tidings to your Majesty!
KING HENRY. Why, Buckingham, is the traitor Cade surpris'd? Or is he but retir'd to make him strong?
Enter, below, multitudes, with halters about their necks
CLIFFORD. He is fled, my lord, and all his powers do yield, And humbly thus, with halters on their necks, Expect your Highness' doom of life or death.
KING HENRY. Then, heaven, set ope thy everlasting gates, To entertain my vows of thanks and praise! Soldiers, this day have you redeem'd your lives, And show'd how well you love your Prince and country. Continue still in this so good a mind, And Henry, though he be infortunate, Assure yourselves, will never be unkind. And so, with thanks and pardon to you all, I do dismiss you to your several countries.
ALL. God save the King! God save the King!
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. Please it your Grace to be advertised The Duke of York is newly come from Ireland And with a puissant and a mighty power Of gallowglasses and stout kerns Is marching hitherward in proud array, And still proclaimeth, as he comes along, His arms are only to remove from thee The Duke of Somerset, whom he terms a traitor.
KING HENRY. Thus stands my state, 'twixt Cade and York distress'd; Like to a ship that, having scap'd a tempest, Is straightway calm'd, and boarded with a pirate; But now is Cade driven back, his men dispers'd, And now is York in arms to second him. I pray thee, Buckingham, go and meet him And ask him what's the reason of these arms. Tell him I'll send Duke Edmund to the Tower- And Somerset, we will commit thee thither Until his army be dismiss'd from him.
SOMERSET. My lord, I'll yield myself to prison willingly, Or unto death, to do my country good.
KING HENRY. In any case be not too rough in terms, For he is fierce and cannot brook hard language.
BUCKINGHAM. I will, my lord, and doubt not so to deal As all things shall redound unto your good.
KING HENRY. Come, wife, let's in, and learn to govern better; For yet may England curse my wretched reign. Flourish. Exeunt SCENE X.
Kent. Iden's garden
CADE. Fie on ambitions! Fie on myself, that have a sword and yet am ready to famish! These five days have I hid me in these woods and durst not peep out, for all the country is laid for me; but now am I so hungry that, if I might have a lease of my life for a thousand years, I could stay no longer. Wherefore, on a brick wall have I climb'd into this garden, to see if I can eat grass or pick a sallet another while, which is not amiss to cool a man's stomach this hot weather. And I think this word 'sallet' was born to do me good; for many a time, but for a sallet, my brain-pain had been cleft with a brown bill; and many a time, when I have been dry, and bravely marching, it hath serv'd me instead of a quart-pot to drink in; and now the word 'sallet' must serve me to feed on.
IDEN. Lord, who would live turmoiled in the court And may enjoy such quiet walks as these? This small inheritance my father left me Contenteth me, and worth a monarchy. I seek not to wax great by others' waning Or gather wealth I care not with what envy; Sufficeth that I have maintains my state, And sends the poor well pleased from my gate.
CADE. Here's the lord of the soil come to seize me for a stray, for entering his fee-simple without leave. Ah, villain, thou wilt betray me, and get a thousand crowns of the King by carrying my head to him; but I'll make thee eat iron like an ostrich and swallow my sword like a great pin ere thou and I part.
IDEN. Why, rude companion, whatsoe'er thou be, I know thee not; why then should I betray thee? Is't not enough to break into my garden And like a thief to come to rob my grounds, Climbing my walls in spite of me the owner, But thou wilt brave me with these saucy terms?
CADE. Brave thee? Ay, by the best blood that ever was broach'd, and beard thee too. Look on me well: I have eat no meat these five days, yet come thou and thy five men and if I do not leave you all as dead as a door-nail, I pray God I may never eat grass more.
IDEN. Nay, it shall ne'er be said, while England stands, That Alexander Iden, an esquire of Kent, Took odds to combat a poor famish'd man. Oppose thy steadfast-gazing eyes to mine; See if thou canst outface me with thy looks; Set limb to limb, and thou art far the lesser; Thy hand is but a finger to my fist, Thy leg a stick compared with this truncheon; My foot shall fight with all the strength thou hast, And if mine arm be heaved in the air, Thy grave is digg'd already in the earth. As for words, whose greatness answers words, Let this my sword report what speech forbears.
CADE. By my valour, the most complete champion that ever I heard! Steel, if thou turn the edge, or cut not out the burly bon'd clown in chines of beef ere thou sleep in thy sheath, I beseech God on my knees thou mayst be turn'd to hobnails. [Here they fight; CADE falls] O, I am slain! famine and no other hath slain me. Let ten thousand devils come against me, and give me but the ten meals I have lost, and I'd defy them all. Wither, garden, and be henceforth a burying place to all that do dwell in this house, because the unconquered soul of Cade is fled.
IDEN. Is't Cade that I have slain, that monstrous traitor? Sword, I will hallow thee for this thy deed And hang thee o'er my tomb when I am dead. Ne'er shall this blood be wiped from thy point, But thou shalt wear it as a herald's coat To emblaze the honour that thy master got.
CADE. Iden, farewell; and be proud of thy victory. Tell Kent from me she hath lost her best man, and exhort all the world to be cowards; for I, that never feared any, am vanquished by famine, not by valour.[Dies]
IDEN. How much thou wrong'st me, heaven be my judge. Die, damned wretch, the curse of her that bare thee! And as I thrust thy body in with my sword, So wish I, I might thrust thy soul to hell. Hence will I drag thee headlong by the heels Unto a dunghill, which shall be thy grave, And there cut off thy most ungracious head, Which I will bear in triumph to the King, Leaving thy trunk for crows to feed upon. Exit
ACT V. SCENE I.
Fields between Dartford and Blackheath
Enter YORK, and his army of Irish, with drum and colours
YORK. From Ireland thus comes York to claim his right And pluck the crown from feeble Henry's head: Ring bells aloud, burn bonfires clear and bright, To entertain great England's lawful king. Ah, sancta majestas! who would not buy thee dear? Let them obey that knows not how to rule; This hand was made to handle nought but gold. I cannot give due action to my words Except a sword or sceptre balance it. A sceptre shall it have, have I a soul On which I'll toss the flower-de-luce of France.
[Aside] Whom have we here? Buckingham, to disturb me? The King hath sent him, sure: I must dissemble.
BUCKINGHAM. York, if thou meanest well I greet thee well.
YORK. Humphrey of Buckingham, I accept thy greeting. Art thou a messenger, or come of pleasure?
BUCKINGHAM. A messenger from Henry, our dread liege, To know the reason of these arms in peace; Or why thou, being a subject as I am, Against thy oath and true allegiance sworn, Should raise so great a power without his leave, Or dare to bring thy force so near the court.
YORK. [Aside] Scarce can I speak, my choler is so great. O, I could hew up rocks and fight with flint, I am so angry at these abject terms; And now, like Ajax Telamonius, On sheep or oxen could I spend my fury. I am far better born than is the King, More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts; But I must make fair weather yet awhile, Till Henry be more weak and I more strong.- Buckingham, I prithee, pardon me That I have given no answer all this while; My mind was troubled with deep melancholy. The cause why I have brought this army hither Is to remove proud Somerset from the King, Seditious to his Grace and to the state.
BUCKINGHAM. That is too much presumption on thy part; But if thy arms be to no other end, The King hath yielded unto thy demand: The Duke of Somerset is in the Tower.
YORK. Upon thine honour, is he prisoner?
BUCKINGHAM. Upon mine honour, he is prisoner.
YORK. Then, Buckingham, I do dismiss my pow'rs. Soldiers, I thank you all; disperse yourselves; Meet me to-morrow in Saint George's field, You shall have pay and everything you wish. And let my sovereign, virtuous Henry, Command my eldest son, nay, all my sons, As pledges of my fealty and love. I'll send them all as willing as I live: Lands, goods, horse, armour, anything I have, Is his to use, so Somerset may die.
BUCKINGHAM. York, I commend this kind submission. We twain will go into his Highness' tent.
Enter the KING, and attendants
KING HENRY. Buckingham, doth York intend no harm to us, That thus he marcheth with thee arm in arm?
YORK. In all submission and humility York doth present himself unto your Highness.
KING HENRY. Then what intends these forces thou dost bring?
YORK. To heave the traitor Somerset from hence, And fight against that monstrous rebel Cade, Who since I heard to be discomfited.
Enter IDEN, with CADE's head
IDEN. If one so rude and of so mean condition May pass into the presence of a king, Lo, I present your Grace a traitor's head, The head of Cade, whom I in combat slew.
KING HENRY. The head of Cade! Great God, how just art Thou! O, let me view his visage, being dead, That living wrought me such exceeding trouble. Tell me, my friend, art thou the man that slew him?
IDEN. I was, an't like your Majesty.
KING HENRY. How art thou call'd? And what is thy degree?
IDEN. Alexander Iden, that's my name; A poor esquire of Kent that loves his king.
BUCKINGHAM. So please it you, my lord, 'twere not amiss He were created knight for his good service.
KING HENRY. Iden, kneel down. [He kneels] Rise up a knight. We give thee for reward a thousand marks, And will that thou thenceforth attend on us.
IDEN. May Iden live to merit such a bounty, And never live but true unto his liege!
Enter the QUEEN and SOMERSET
KING HENRY. See, Buckingham! Somerset comes with th' Queen: Go, bid her hide him quickly from the Duke.
QUEEN. For thousand Yorks he shall not hide his head, But boldly stand and front him to his face.
YORK. How now! Is Somerset at liberty? Then, York, unloose thy long-imprisoned thoughts And let thy tongue be equal with thy heart. Shall I endure the sight of Somerset? False king, why hast thou broken faith with me, Knowing how hardly I can brook abuse? King did I call thee? No, thou art not king; Not fit to govern and rule multitudes, Which dar'st not, no, nor canst not rule a traitor. That head of thine doth not become a crown; Thy hand is made to grasp a palmer's staff, And not to grace an awful princely sceptre. That gold must round engirt these brows of mine, Whose smile and frown, like to Achilles' spear, Is able with the change to kill and cure. Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up, And with the same to act controlling laws. Give place. By heaven, thou shalt rule no more O'er him whom heaven created for thy ruler.
SOMERSET. O monstrous traitor! I arrest thee, York, Of capital treason 'gainst the King and crown. Obey, audacious traitor; kneel for grace.
YORK. Wouldst have me kneel? First let me ask of these, If they can brook I bow a knee to man. Sirrah, call in my sons to be my bail:Exit attendant I know, ere thy will have me go to ward, They'll pawn their swords for my enfranchisement.
QUEEN. Call hither Clifford; bid him come amain, To say if that the bastard boys of York Shall be the surety for their traitor father. Exit BUCKINGHAM
YORK. O blood-bespotted Neapolitan, Outcast of Naples, England's bloody scourge! The sons of York, thy betters in their birth, Shall be their father's bail; and bane to those That for my surety will refuse the boys!
Enter EDWARD and RICHARD PLANTAGENET
See where they come: I'll warrant they'll make it good.
Enter CLIFFORD and his SON
QUEEN. And here comes Clifford to deny their bail.
CLIFFORD. Health and all happiness to my lord the King! [Kneels]
YORK. I thank thee, Clifford. Say, what news with thee? Nay, do not fright us with an angry look. We are thy sovereign, Clifford, kneel again; For thy mistaking so, we pardon thee.
CLIFFORD. This is my King, York, I do not mistake; But thou mistakes me much to think I do. To Bedlam with him! Is the man grown mad?
KING HENRY. Ay, Clifford; a bedlam and ambitious humour Makes him oppose himself against his king.
CLIFFORD. He is a traitor; let him to the Tower, And chop away that factious pate of his.
QUEEN. He is arrested, but will not obey; His sons, he says, shall give their words for him.
YORK. Will you not, sons?
EDWARD. Ay, noble father, if our words will serve.
RICHARD. And if words will not, then our weapons shall.
CLIFFORD. Why, what a brood of traitors have we here!
YORK. Look in a glass, and call thy image so: I am thy king, and thou a false-heart traitor. Call hither to the stake my two brave bears, That with the very shaking of their chains They may astonish these fell-lurking curs. Bid Salisbury and Warwick come to me.
Enter the EARLS OF WARWICK and SALISBURY
CLIFFORD. Are these thy bears? We'll bait thy bears to death, And manacle the berard in their chains, If thou dar'st bring them to the baiting-place.
RICHARD. Oft have I seen a hot o'er weening cur Run back and bite, because he was withheld; Who, being suffer'd, with the bear's fell paw, Hath clapp'd his tail between his legs and cried; And such a piece of service will you do, If you oppose yourselves to match Lord Warwick.
CLIFFORD. Hence, heap of wrath, foul indigested lump, As crooked in thy manners as thy shape!
YORK. Nay, we shall heat you thoroughly anon.
CLIFFORD. Take heed, lest by your heat you burn yourselves.
KING HENRY. Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow? Old Salisbury, shame to thy silver hair, Thou mad misleader of thy brainsick son! What, wilt thou on thy death-bed play the ruffian And seek for sorrow with thy spectacles? O, where is faith? O, where is loyalty? If it be banish'd from the frosty head, Where shall it find a harbour in the earth? Wilt thou go dig a grave to find out war And shame thine honourable age with blood? Why art thou old, and want'st experience? Or wherefore dost abuse it, if thou hast it? For shame! In duty bend thy knee to me, That bows unto the grave with mickle age.
SALISBURY. My lord, I have considered with myself The tide of this most renowned duke, And in my conscience do repute his Grace The rightful heir to England's royal seat.
KING HENRY. Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
SALISBURY. I have.
KING HENRY. Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an oath?
SALISBURY. It is great sin to swear unto a sin; But greater sin to keep a sinful oath. Who can be bound by any solemn vow To do a murd'rous deed, to rob a man, To force a spotless virgin's chastity, To reave the orphan of his patrimony, To wring the widow from her custom'd right, And have no other reason for this wrong But that he was bound by a solemn oath?
QUEEN. A subtle traitor needs no sophister.
KING HENRY. Call Buckingham, and bid him arm himself.
YORK. Call Buckingham, and all the friends thou hast, I am resolv'd for death or dignity.
CLIFFORD. The first I warrant thee, if dreams prove true.
WARWICK. You were best to go to bed and dream again To keep thee from the tempest of the field.
CLIFFORD. I am resolv'd to bear a greater storm Than any thou canst conjure up to-day; And that I'll write upon thy burgonet, Might I but know thee by thy household badge.
WARWICK. Now, by my father's badge, old Nevil's crest, The rampant bear chain'd to the ragged staff, This day I'll wear aloft my burgonet, As on a mountain-top the cedar shows, That keeps his leaves in spite of any storm, Even to affright thee with the view thereof.
CLIFFORD. And from thy burgonet I'll rend thy bear And tread it under foot with all contempt, Despite the berard that protects the bear.
YOUNG CLIFFORD. And so to arms, victorious father, To quell the rebels and their complices.
RICHARD. Fie! charity, for shame! Speak not in spite, For you shall sup with Jesu Christ to-night.
YOUNG CLIFFORD. Foul stigmatic, that's more than thou canst tell.
RICHARD. If not in heaven, you'll surely sup in hell. Exeunt severally
SCENE II. Saint Albans
Alarums to the battle. Enter WARWICK
WARWICK. Clifford of Cumberland, 'tis Warwick calls; And if thou dost not hide thee from the bear, Now, when the angry trumpet sounds alarum And dead men's cries do fill the empty air, Clifford, I say, come forth and fight with me. Proud northern lord, Clifford of Cumberland,
WARWICK is hoarse with calling thee to arms.
How now, my noble lord! what, all a-foot?
YORK. The deadly-handed Clifford slew my steed; But match to match I have encount'red him, And made a prey for carrion kites and crows Even of the bonny beast he lov'd so well.
Enter OLD CLIFFORD
WARWICK. Of one or both of us the time is come.
YORK. Hold, Warwick, seek thee out some other chase, For I myself must hunt this deer to death.
WARWICK. Then, nobly, York; 'tis for a crown thou fight'st. As I intend, Clifford, to thrive to-day, It grieves my soul to leave thee unassail'd.Exit
CLIFFORD. What seest thou in me, York? Why dost thou pause?
YORK. With thy brave bearing should I be in love But that thou art so fast mine enemy.
CLIFFORD. Nor should thy prowess want praise and esteem But that 'tis shown ignobly and in treason.
YORK. So let it help me now against thy sword, As I in justice and true right express it!
CLIFFORD. My soul and body on the action both!
YORK. A dreadful lay! Address thee instantly. [They fight and CLIFFORD falls]
CLIFFORD. La fin couronne les oeuvres. [Dies]
YORK. Thus war hath given thee peace, for thou art still. Peace with his soul, heaven, if it be thy will! Exit
Enter YOUNG CLIFFORD
YOUNG CLIFFORD. Shame and confusion! All is on the rout; Fear frames disorder, and disorder wounds Where it should guard. O war, thou son of hell, Whom angry heavens do make their minister, Throw in the frozen bosoms of our part Hot coals of vengeance! Let no soldier fly. He that is truly dedicate to war Hath no self-love; nor he that loves himself Hath not essentially, but by circumstance, The name of valour. [Sees his father's body] O, let the vile world end And the premised flames of the last day Knit earth and heaven together! Now let the general trumpet blow his blast, Particularities and petty sounds To cease! Wast thou ordain'd, dear father, To lose thy youth in peace and to achieve The silver livery of advised age, And in thy reverence and thy chair-days thus To die in ruffian battle? Even at this sight My heart is turn'd to stone; and while 'tis mine It shall be stony. York not our old men spares; No more will I their babes. Tears virginal Shall be to me even as the dew to fire; And beauty, that the tyrant oft reclaims, Shall to my flaming wrath be oil and flax. Henceforth I will not have to do with pity: Meet I an infant of the house of York, Into as many gobbets will I cut it As wild Medea young Absyrtus did; In cruelty will I seek out my fame. Come, thou new ruin of old Clifford's house; As did Aeneas old Anchises bear, So bear I thee upon my manly shoulders; But then Aeneas bare a living load, Nothing so heavy as these woes of mine.
Exit with the body
Enter RICHARD and SOMERSET to fight. SOMERSET is killed
RICHARD. So, lie thou there; For underneath an alehouse' paltry sign, The Castle in Saint Albans, Somerset Hath made the wizard famous in his death. Sword, hold thy temper; heart, be wrathful still: Priests pray for enemies, but princes kill. Exit
Fight. Excursions. Enter KING, QUEEN, and others
QUEEN. Away, my lord! You are slow; for shame, away!
KING HENRY. Can we outrun the heavens? Good Margaret, stay.
QUEEN. What are you made of? You'll nor fight nor fly. Now is it manhood, wisdom, and defence, To give the enemy way, and to secure us By what we can, which can no more but fly.
[Alarum afar off] If you be ta'en, we then should see the bottom Of all our fortunes; but if we haply scape- As well we may, if not through your neglect- We shall to London get, where you are lov'd, And where this breach now in our fortunes made May readily be stopp'd.
Re-enter YOUNG CLIFFORD
YOUNG CLIFFORD. But that my heart's on future mischief set, I would speak blasphemy ere bid you fly; But fly you must; uncurable discomfit Reigns in the hearts of all our present parts. Away, for your relief! and we will live To see their day and them our fortune give. Away, my lord, away! Exeunt SCENE III.
Fields near Saint Albans
Alarum. Retreat. Enter YORK, RICHARD, WARWICK, and soldiers, with drum and colours
YORK. Of Salisbury, who can report of him, That winter lion, who in rage forgets Aged contusions and all brush of time And, like a gallant in the brow of youth, Repairs him with occasion? This happy day Is not itself, nor have we won one foot, If Salisbury be lost.
RICHARD. My noble father, Three times to-day I holp him to his horse, Three times bestrid him, thrice I led him off, Persuaded him from any further act; But still where danger was, still there I met him; And like rich hangings in a homely house, So was his will in his old feeble body. But, noble as he is, look where he comes.
SALISBURY. Now, by my sword, well hast thou fought to-day! By th' mass, so did we all. I thank you, Richard: God knows how long it is I have to live, And it hath pleas'd Him that three times to-day You have defended me from imminent death. Well, lords, we have not got that which we have; 'Tis not enough our foes are this time fled, Being opposites of such repairing nature.
YORK. I know our safety is to follow them; For, as I hear, the King is fled to London To call a present court of Parliament. Let us pursue him ere the writs go forth. What says Lord Warwick? Shall we after them?
WARWICK. After them? Nay, before them, if we can. Now, by my faith, lords, 'twas a glorious day: Saint Albans' battle, won by famous York, Shall be eterniz'd in all age to come. Sound drum and trumpets and to London all; And more such days as these to us befall! Exeunt
THE THIRD PART OF
KING HENRY THE SIXTH
KING HENRY THE SIXTH
EDWARD, PRINCE OF WALES, his son
LEWIS XI, King of France DUKE OF SOMERSET
DUKE OF EXETER EARL OF OXFORD
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND EARL OF WESTMORELAND
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, DUKE OF YORK
EDWARD, EARL OF MARCH, afterwards KING EDWARD IV, his son
EDMUND, EARL OF RUTLAND, his son
GEORGE, afterwards DUKE OF CLARENCE, his son
RICHARD, afterwards DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, his son
DUKE OF NORFOLKMARQUIS OF MONTAGUE
EARL OF WARWICKEARL OF PEMBROKE
LORD HASTINGS LORD STAFFORD
SIR JOHN MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York
SIR HUGH MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York
HENRY, EARL OF RICHMOND, a youth
LORD RIVERS, brother to Lady Grey
SIR WILLIAM STANLEYSIR JOHN MONTGOMERY
SIR JOHN SOMERVILLETUTOR, to Rutland
MAYOR OF YORK LIEUTENANT OF THE TOWER
A NOBLEMAN TWO KEEPERS
A SON that has killed his father
A FATHER that has killed his son
LADY GREY, afterwards QUEEN to Edward IV
BONA, sister to the French Queen
Soldiers, Attendants, Messengers, Watchmen, etc.
England and France ACT I. SCENE I. London. The Parliament House
Alarum. Enter DUKE OF YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD,
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and soldiers, with white roses in their hats
WARWICK. I wonder how the King escap'd our hands.
YORK. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north, He slily stole away and left his men; Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland, Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, Cheer'd up the drooping army, and himself, Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast, Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in, Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
EDWARD. Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham, Is either slain or wounded dangerous; I cleft his beaver with a downright blow. That this is true, father, behold his blood.
MONTAGUE. And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood, Whom I encount'red as the battles join'd.
RICHARD. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did. [Throwing down SOMERSET'S head]
YORK. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons. But is your Grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
NORFOLK. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
RICHARD. Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.
WARWICK. And so do I. Victorious Prince of York, Before I see thee seated in that throne Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close. This is the palace of the fearful King, And this the regal seat. Possess it, York; For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.
YORK. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will; For hither we have broken in by force.
NORFOLK. We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
YORK. Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, my lords; And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night. [They go up]
WARWICK. And when the King comes, offer him no violence. Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
YORK. The Queen this day here holds her parliament, But little thinks we shall be of her council. By words or blows here let us win our right.
RICHARD. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
WARWICK. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd, Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be King, And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
YORK. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute: I mean to take possession of my right.
WARWICK. Neither the King, nor he that loves him best, The proudest he that holds up Lancaster, Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells. I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares. Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
[YORK occupies the throne]
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red roses in their hats
KING HENRY. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits, Even in the chair of state! Belike he means, Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer, To aspire unto the crown and reign as king. Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father; And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
NORTHUMBERLAND. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!
CLIFFORD. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
WESTMORELAND. What, shall we suffer this? Let's pluck him down; My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.
KING HENRY. Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.
CLIFFORD. Patience is for poltroons such as he; He durst not sit there had your father liv'd. My gracious lord, here in the parliament Let us assail the family of York.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
KING HENRY. Ah, know you not the city favours them, And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
EXETER. But when the Duke is slain they'll quickly fly.
KING HENRY. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart, To make a shambles of the parliament house! Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats, Shall be the war that Henry means to use. Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet; I am thy sovereign.
YORK. I am thine.
EXETER. For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.
YORK. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
EXETER. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
WARWICK. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown In following this usurping Henry.
CLIFFORD. Whom should he follow but his natural king?
WARWICK. True, Clifford; and that's Richard Duke of York.
KING HENRY. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
YORK. It must and shall be so; content thyself.
WARWICK. Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be King.
WESTMORELAND. He is both King and Duke of Lancaster; And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
WARWICK. And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget That we are those which chas'd you from the field, And slew your fathers, and with colours spread March'd through the city to the palace gates.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief; And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
WESTMORELAND. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons, Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
CLIFFORD. Urge it no more; lest that instead of words I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger As shall revenge his death before I stir.
WARWICK. Poor Clifford, how I scorn his worthless threats!
YORK. Will you we show our title to the crown? If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
KING HENRY. What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown? Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York; Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March: I am the son of Henry the Fifth, Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop, And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
WARWICK. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
KING HENRY. The Lord Protector lost it, and not I: When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old.
RICHARD. You are old enough now, and yet methinks you lose. Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
EDWARD. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
MONTAGUE. Good brother, as thou lov'st and honourest arms, Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
RICHARD. Sound drums and trumpets, and the King will fly.
YORK. Sons, peace!
KING HENRY. Peace thou! and give King Henry leave to speak.
WARWICK. Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him, lords; And be you silent and attentive too, For he that interrupts him shall not live.
KING HENRY. Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne, Wherein my grandsire and my father sat? No; first shall war unpeople this my realm; Ay, and their colours, often borne in France, And now in England to our heart's great sorrow, Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords? My title's good, and better far than his.
WARWICK. Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be King.
KING HENRY. Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
YORK. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.
KING HENRY. [Aside] I know not what to say; my title's weak.- Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
YORK. What then?
KING HENRY. An if he may, then am I lawful King; For Richard, in the view of many lords, Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth, Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
YORK. He rose against him, being his sovereign, And made him to resign his crown perforce.
WARWICK. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd, Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
EXETER. No; for he could not so resign his crown But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
KING HENRY. Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
EXETER. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
YORK. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
EXETER. My conscience tells me he is lawful King.
KING HENRY. [Aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st, Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.
WARWICK. Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Thou art deceiv'd. 'Tis not thy southern power Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent, Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud, Can set the Duke up in despite of me.
CLIFFORD. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong, Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence. May that ground gape, and swallow me alive, Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
KING HENRY. O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
YORK. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown. What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
WARWICK. Do right unto this princely Duke of York; Or I will fill the house with armed men, And over the chair of state, where now he sits, Write up his title with usurping blood. [He stamps with his foot and the
soldiers show themselves]
KING HENRY. My Lord of Warwick, hear but one word: Let me for this my life-time reign as king.
YORK. Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs, And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.
KING HENRY. I am content. Richard Plantagenet, Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
CLIFFORD. What wrong is this unto the Prince your son!
WARWICK. What good is this to England and himself!
WESTMORELAND. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
CLIFFORD. How hast thou injur'd both thyself and or us!
WESTMORELAND. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Nor I.
CLIFFORD. Come, cousin, let us tell the Queen these news.
WESTMORELAND. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king, In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Be thou a prey unto the house of York And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
CLIFFORD. In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome, Or live in peace abandon'd and despis'd! Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND
WARWICK. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
EXETER. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.
KING HENRY. Ah, Exeter!
WARWICK. Why should you sigh, my lord?
KING HENRY. Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son, Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit. But be it as it may. [To YORK] I here entail The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever; Conditionally, that here thou take an oath To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live, To honour me as thy king and sovereign, And neither by treason nor hostility To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
YORK. This oath I willingly take, and will perform. [Coming from the throne]
WARWICK. Long live King Henry! Plantagenet, embrace him.
KING HENRY. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!
YORK. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
EXETER. Accurs'd be he that seeks to make them foes!
[Sennet. Here they come down]
YORK. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.
WARWICK. And I'll keep London with my soldiers.
NORFOLK. And I to Norfolk with my followers.
MONTAGUE. And I unto the sea, from whence I came. Exeunt the YORKISTS
KING HENRY. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.
Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE OF WALES
EXETER. Here comes the Queen, whose looks bewray her anger. I'll steal away.
KING HENRY. Exeter, so will I.
QUEEN MARGARET. Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.
KING HENRY. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
QUEEN MARGARET. Who can be patient in such extremes? Ah, wretched man! Would I had died a maid, And never seen thee, never borne thee son, Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus? Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I, Or felt that pain which I did for him once, Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood, Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir, And disinherited thine only son.
PRINCE OF WALES. Father, you cannot disinherit me. If you be King, why should not I succeed?
KING HENRY. Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son. The Earl of Warwick and the Duke enforc'd me.
QUEEN MARGARET. Enforc'd thee! Art thou King and wilt be
forc'd? I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch! Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me; And giv'n unto the house of York such head As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance. To entail him and his heirs unto the crown, What is it but to make thy sepulchre And creep into it far before thy time? Warwick is Chancellor and the lord of Calais; Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas; The Duke is made Protector of the realm; And yet shalt thou be safe? Such safety finds The trembling lamb environed with wolves. Had I been there, which am a silly woman, The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes Before I would have granted to that act. But thou prefer'st thy life before thine honour; And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself, Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed, Until that act of parliament be repeal'd Whereby my son is disinherited. The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours Will follow mine, if once they see them spread; And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace And utter ruin of the house of York. Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away; Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.
KING HENRY. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
QUEEN MARGARET. Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
KING HENRY. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.
PRINCE OF WALES. When I return with victory from the field I'll see your Grace; till then I'll follow her.
QUEEN MARGARET. Come, son, away; we may not linger thus. Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE
KING HENRY. Poor queen! How love to me and to her son Hath made her break out into terms of rage! Reveng'd may she be on that hateful Duke, Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire, Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle Tire on the flesh of me and of my son! The loss of those three lords torments my heart. I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair; Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
EXETER. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.Exeunt SCENE II.
Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire
Flourish. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE
RICHARD. Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
EDWARD. No, I can better play the orator.
MONTAGUE. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Enter the DUKE OF YORK
YORK. Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife? What is your quarrel? How began it first?
EDWARD. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
YORK. About what?
RICHARD. About that which concerns your Grace and us- The crown of England, father, which is yours.
YORK. Mine, boy? Not till King Henry be dead.
RICHARD. Your right depends not on his life or death.
EDWARD. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now. By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe, It will outrun you, father, in the end.
YORK. I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
EDWARD. But for a kingdom any oath may be broken: I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
RICHARD. No; God forbid your Grace should be forsworn.
YORK. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
RICHARD. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
YORK. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
RICHARD. An oath is of no moment, being not took Before a true and lawful magistrate That hath authority over him that swears. Henry had none, but did usurp the place; Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose, Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous. Therefore, to arms. And, father, do but think How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown, Within whose circuit is Elysium And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest Until the white rose that I wear be dy'd Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
YORK. Richard, enough; I will be King, or die. Brother, thou shalt to London presently And whet on Warwick to this enterprise. Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk And tell him privily of our intent. You, Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham, With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise; In them I trust, for they are soldiers, Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit. While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more But that I seek occasion how to rise, And yet the King not privy to my drift, Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
Enter a MESSENGER
But, stay. What news? Why com'st thou in such post?
MESSENGER. The Queen with all the northern earls and lords Intend here to besiege you in your castle. She is hard by with twenty thousand men; And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
YORK. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear them? Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me; My brother Montague shall post to London. Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest, Whom we have left protectors of the King, With pow'rful policy strengthen themselves And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
MONTAGUE. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not. And thus most humbly I do take my leave.Exit
Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER
YORK. Sir john and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles! You are come to Sandal in a happy hour; The army of the Queen mean to besiege us.
SIR JOHN. She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.
YORK. What, with five thousand men?
RICHARD. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need. A woman's general; what should we fear?
[A march afar off]
EDWARD. I hear their drums. Let's set our men in order, And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
YORK. Five men to twenty! Though the odds be great, I doubt not, uncle, of our victory. Many a battle have I won in France, When as the enemy hath been ten to one; Why should I not now have the like success? Exeunt SCENE III.
Field of battle between Sandal Castle and Wakefield
Alarum. Enter RUTLAND and his TUTOR
RUTLAND. Ah, whither shall I fly to scape their hands? Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes!
Enter CLIFFORD and soldiers
CLIFFORD. Chaplain, away! Thy priesthood saves thy life. As for the brat of this accursed duke, Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
TUTOR. And I, my lord, will bear him company.
CLIFFORD. Soldiers, away with him!
TUTOR. Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child, Lest thou be hated both of God and man. Exit, forced off by soldiers
CLIFFORD. How now, is he dead already? Or is it fear That makes him close his eyes? I'll open them.
RUTLAND. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch That trembles under his devouring paws; And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey, And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder. Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword, And not with such a cruel threat'ning look! Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die. I am too mean a subject for thy wrath; Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.
CLIFFORD. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.
RUTLAND. Then let my father's blood open it again: He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
CLIFFORD. Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine Were not revenge sufficient for me; No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves And hung their rotten coffins up in chains, It could not slake mine ire nor ease my heart. The sight of any of the house of York Is as a fury to torment my soul; And till I root out their accursed line And leave not one alive, I live in hell. Therefore-
RUTLAND. O, let me pray before I take my death! To thee I pray: sweet Clifford, pity me.
CLIFFORD. Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
RUTLAND. I never did thee harm; why wilt thou slay me?
CLIFFORD. Thy father hath.
RUTLAND. But 'twas ere I was born. Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me, Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just, He be as miserably slain as I. Ah, let me live in prison all my days; And when I give occasion of offence Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
CLIFFORD. No cause! Thy father slew my father; therefore, die. [Stabs him]
RUTLAND. Di faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae! [Dies]
CLIFFORD. Plantagenet, I come, Plantagenet; And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood, Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both. Exit
SCENE IV. Another part of the field
Alarum. Enter the DUKE OF YORK
YORK. The army of the Queen hath got the field. My uncles both are slain in rescuing me; And all my followers to the eager foe Turn back and fly, like ships before the wind, Or lambs pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves. My sons- God knows what hath bechanced them; But this I know- they have demean'd themselves Like men born to renown by life or death. Three times did Richard make a lane to me, And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out.' And full as oft came Edward to my side With purple falchion, painted to the hilt In blood of those that had encount'red him. And when the hardiest warriors did retire, Richard cried 'Charge, and give no foot of ground!' And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb! A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!' With this we charg'd again; but out alas! We bodg'd again; as I have seen a swan With bootless labour swim against the tide And spend her strength with over-matching waves. [A short alarum within] Ah, hark! The fatal followers do pursue, And I am faint and cannot fly their fury; And were I strong, I would not shun their fury. The sands are numb'red that make up my life; Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND,
the PRINCE OF WALES, and soldiers
Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland, I dare your quenchless fury to more rage; I am your butt, and I abide your shot.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
CLIFFORD. Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm With downright payment show'd unto my father. Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car, And made an evening at the noontide prick.
YORK. My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth A bird that will revenge upon you all; And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven, Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with. Why come you not? What! multitudes, and fear?
CLIFFORD. So cowards fight when they can fly no further; So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons; So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives, Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
YORK. O Clifford, but bethink thee once again, And in thy thought o'errun my former time; And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face, And bite thy tongue that slanders him with cowardice Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this!
CLIFFORD. I will not bandy with thee word for word, But buckler with thee blows, twice two for one.
QUEEN MARGARET. Hold, valiant Clifford; for a thousand causes I would prolong awhile the traitor's life. Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Hold, Clifford! do not honour him so much To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart. What valour were it, when a cur doth grin, For one to thrust his hand between his teeth, When he might spurn him with his foot away? It is war's prize to take all vantages; And ten to one is no impeach of valour. [They lay hands on YORK, who struggles]
CLIFFORD. Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin.
NORTHUMBERLAND. So doth the cony struggle in the net.
YORK. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty; So true men yield, with robbers so o'er-match'd.
NORTHUMBERLAND. What would your Grace have done unto him now?
QUEEN MARGARET. Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland, Come, make him stand upon this molehill here That raught at mountains with outstretched arms, Yet parted but the shadow with his hand. What, was it you that would be England's king? Was't you that revell'd in our parliament And made a preachment of your high descent? Where are your mess of sons to back you now? The wanton Edward and the lusty George? And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy, Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies? Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland? Look, York: I stain'd this napkin with the blood That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point Made issue from the bosom of the boy; And if thine eyes can water for his death, I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal. Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly, I should lament thy miserable state. I prithee grieve to make me merry, York. What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death? Why art thou patient, man? Thou shouldst be mad; And I to make thee mad do mock thee thus. Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance. Thou wouldst be fee'd, I see, to make me sport; York cannot speak unless he wear a crown. A crown for York!-and, lords, bow low to him. Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on. [Putting a paper crown on his head] Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king! Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair, And this is he was his adopted heir. But how is it that great Plantagenet Is crown'd so soon and broke his solemn oath? As I bethink me, you should not be King Till our King Henry had shook hands with death. And will you pale your head in Henry's glory, And rob his temples of the diadem, Now in his life, against your holy oath? O, 'tis a fault too too Off with the crown and with the crown his head; And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.
CLIFFORD. That is my office, for my father's sake.
QUEEN MARGARET. Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.
YORK. She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France, Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth! How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex To triumph like an Amazonian trull Upon their woes whom fortune captivates! But that thy face is visard-like, unchanging, Made impudent with use of evil deeds, I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush. To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd, Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless. Thy father bears the type of King of Naples, Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem, Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman. Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult? It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen; Unless the adage must be verified, That beggars mounted run their horse to death. 'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud; But, God He knows, thy share thereof is small. 'Tis virtue that doth make them most admir'd; The contrary doth make thee wond'red at. 'Tis government that makes them seem divine; The want thereof makes thee abominable. Thou art as opposite to every good As the Antipodes are unto us, Or as the south to the septentrion. O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide! How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child, To bid the father wipe his eyes withal, And yet be seen to bear a woman's face? Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible: Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless. Bid'st thou me rage? Why, now thou hast thy wish; Wouldst have me weep? Why, now thou hast thy will; For raging wind blows up incessant showers, And when the rage allays, the rain begins. These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies; And every drop cries vengeance for his death 'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false Frenchwoman.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Beshrew me, but his passions move me so That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.
YORK. That face of his the hungry cannibals Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood; But you are more inhuman, more inexorable- O, ten times more- than tigers of Hyrcania. See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears. This cloth thou dipp'dst in blood of my sweet boy, And I with tears do wash the blood away. Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this; And if thou tell'st the heavy story right, Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears; Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears And say 'Alas, it was a piteous deed!' There, take the crown, and with the crown my curse; And in thy need such comfort come to thee As now I reap at thy too cruel hand! Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world; My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
NORTHUMBERLAND. Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin, I should not for my life but weep with him, To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
QUEEN MARGARET. What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland? Think but upon the wrong he did us all, And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
CLIFFORD. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.
QUEEN MARGARET. And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.
YORK. Open Thy gate of mercy, gracious God! My soul flies through these wounds to seek out Thee.
QUEEN MARGARET. Off with his head, and set it on York gates; So York may overlook the town of York. Flourish. Exeunt
ACT II. SCENE I.
A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire
A march. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and their power
EDWARD. I wonder how our princely father scap'd, Or whether he be scap'd away or no From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit. Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news; Had he been slain, we should have heard the news; Or had he scap'd, methinks we should have heard The happy tidings of his good escape. How fares my brother? Why is he so sad?
RICHARD. I cannot joy until I be resolv'd Where our right valiant father is become. I saw him in the battle range about, And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth. Methought he bore him in the thickest troop As doth a lion in a herd of neat; Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs, Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry, The rest stand all aloof and bark at him. So far'd our father with his enemies; So fled his enemies my warlike father. Methinks 'tis prize enough to be his son. See how the morning opes her golden gates And takes her farewell of the glorious sun. How well resembles it the prime of youth, Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!
EDWARD. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
RICHARD. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun; Not separated with the racking clouds, But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky. See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss, As if they vow'd some league inviolable. Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun. In this the heaven figures some event.
EDWARD. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of. I think it cites us, brother, to the field, That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet, Each one already blazing by our meeds, Should notwithstanding join our lights together And overshine the earth, as this the world. Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear Upon my target three fair shining suns.
RICHARD. Nay, bear three daughters- by your leave I speak it, You love the breeder better than the male.
Enter a MESSENGER, blowing
But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
MESSENGER. Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on When as the noble Duke of York was slain, Your princely father and my loving lord!
EDWARD. O, speak no more! for I have heard too much.
RICHARD. Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
MESSENGER. Environed he was with many foes, And stood against them as the hope of Troy Against the Greeks that would have ent'red Troy. But Hercules himself must yield to odds; And many strokes, though with a little axe, Hews down and fells the hardest-timber'd oak. By many hands your father was subdu'd; But only slaught'red by the ireful arm Of unrelenting Clifford and the Queen, Who crown'd the gracious Duke in high despite, Laugh'd in his face; and when with grief he wept, The ruthless Queen gave him to dry his cheeks A napkin steeped in the harmless blood Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain; And after many scorns, many foul taunts, They took his head, and on the gates of York They set the same; and there it doth remain, The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.
EDWARD. Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon, Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay. O Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain The flow'r of Europe for his chivalry; And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him, For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee. Now my soul's palace is become a prison. Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body Might in the ground be closed up in rest! For never henceforth shall I joy again; Never, O never, shall I see more joy.
RICHARD. I cannot weep, for all my body's moisture Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart; Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden, For self-same wind that I should speak withal Is kindling coals that fires all my breast, And burns me up with flames that tears would quench. To weep is to make less the depth of grief. Tears then for babes; blows and revenge for me! Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death, Or die renowned by attempting it.
EDWARD. His name that valiant duke hath left with thee; His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
RICHARD. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird, Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun; For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom, say: Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
March. Enter WARWICK, MONTAGUE, and their army
WARWICK. How now, fair lords! What fare? What news abroad?
RICHARD. Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount Our baleful news and at each word's deliverance Stab poinards in our flesh till all were told, The words would add more anguish than the wounds. O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!
EDWARD. O Warwick, Warwick! that Plantagenet Which held thee dearly as his soul's redemption Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
WARWICK. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears; And now, to add more measure to your woes, I come to tell you things sith then befall'n. After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought, Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp, Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run, Were brought me of your loss and his depart. I, then in London, keeper of the King, Muster'd my soldiers, gathered flocks of friends, And very well appointed, as I thought, March'd toward Saint Albans to intercept the Queen, Bearing the King in my behalf along; For by my scouts I was advertised That she was coming with a full intent To dash our late decree in parliament Touching King Henry's oath and your succession. Short tale to make- we at Saint Albans met, Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought; But whether 'twas the coldness of the King, Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen, That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen, Or whether 'twas report of her success, Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour, Who thunders to his captives blood and death, I cannot judge; but, to conclude with truth, Their weapons like to lightning came and went: Our soldiers', like the night-owl's lazy flight Or like an idle thresher with a flail, Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends. I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause, With promise of high pay and great rewards, But all in vain; they had no heart to fight, And we in them no hope to win the day; So that we fled: the King unto the Queen; Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself, In haste post-haste are come to join with you; For in the marches here we heard you were Making another head to fight again.
EDWARD. Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick? And when came George from Burgundy to England?
WARWICK. Some six miles off the Duke is with the soldiers; And for your brother, he was lately sent From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy, With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
RICHARD. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled. Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit, But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.
WARWICK. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear; For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head And wring the awful sceptre from his fist, Were he as famous and as bold in war As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.
RICHARD. I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not. 'Tis love I bear thy glories makes me speak. But in this troublous time what's to be done? Shall we go throw away our coats of steel And wrap our bodies in black mourning-gowns, Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads? Or shall we on the helmets of our foes Tell our devotion with revengeful arms? If for the last, say 'Ay,' and to it, lords.
WARWICK. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out; And therefore comes my brother Montague. Attend me, lords. The proud insulting Queen, With Clifford and the haught Northumberland, And of their feather many moe proud birds, Have wrought the easy-melting King like wax. He swore consent to your succession, His oath enrolled in the parliament; And now to London all the crew are gone To frustrate both his oath and what beside May make against the house of Lancaster. Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong. Now if the help of Norfolk and myself, With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March, Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure, Will but amount to five and twenty thousand, Why, Via! to London will we march amain, And once again bestride our foaming steeds, And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!' But never once again turn back and fly.
RICHARD. Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak. Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day That cries 'Retire!' if Warwick bid him stay.
EDWARD. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean; And when thou fail'st- as God forbid the hour!- Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend.
WARWICK. No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York; The next degree is England's royal throne, For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd In every borough as we pass along; And he that throws not up his cap for joy Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head. King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague, Stay we no longer, dreaming of renown, But sound the trumpets and about our task.
RICHARD. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel, As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds, I come to pierce it or to give thee mine.
EDWARD. Then strike up drums. God and Saint George for us!
Enter a MESSENGER
WARWICK. How now! what news?
MESSENGER. The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me The Queen is coming with a puissant host, And craves your company for speedy counsel.
WARWICK. Why, then it sorts; brave warriors, let's away.
Exeunt SCENE II.
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, the
PRINCE OF WALES, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND,
with drum and trumpets
QUEEN MARGARET. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York. Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy That sought to be encompass'd with your crown. Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
KING HENRY. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck- To see this sight, it irks my very soul. Withhold revenge, dear God; 'tis not my fault, Nor wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
CLIFFORD. My gracious liege, this too much lenity And harmful pity must be laid aside. To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick? Not his that spoils her young before her face. Who scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting? Not he that sets his foot upon her back, The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on, And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood. Ambitious York did level at thy crown, Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows. He, but a Duke, would have his son a king, And raise his issue like a loving sire: Thou, being a king, bless'd with a goodly son, Didst yield consent to disinherit him, Which argued thee a most unloving father. Unreasonable creatures feed their young; And though man's face be fearful to their eyes, Yet, in protection of their tender ones, Who hath not seen them- even with those wings Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight- Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest, Offering their own lives in their young's defence For shame, my liege, make them your precedent! Were it not pity that this goodly boy Should lose his birthright by his father's fault, And long hereafter say unto his child 'What my great-grandfather and grandsire got My careless father fondly gave away'? Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy; And let his manly face, which promiseth Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.
KING HENRY. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator, Inferring arguments of mighty force. But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear That things ill got had ever bad success? And happy always was it for that son Whose father for his hoarding went to hell? I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind; And would my father had left me no more! For all the rest is held at such a rate As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep Than in possession any jot of pleasure. Ah, cousin York! would thy best friends did know How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
QUEEN MARGARET. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are nigh, And this soft courage makes your followers faint. You promis'd knighthood to our forward son: Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently. Edward, kneel down.
KING HENRY. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight; And learn this lesson: Draw thy sword in right.
PRINCE OF WALES. My gracious father, by your kingly leave, I'll draw it as apparent to the crown, And in that quarrel use it to the death.
CLIFFORD. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. Royal commanders, be in readiness; For with a band of thirty thousand men Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York, And in the towns, as they do march along, Proclaims him king, and many fly to him. Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
CLIFFORD. I would your Highness would depart the field: The Queen hath best success when you are absent.
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.
KING HENRY. Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.
NORTHUMBERLAND. Be it with resolution, then, to fight.
PRINCE OF WALES. My royal father, cheer these noble lords, And hearten those that fight in your defence. Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry 'Saint George!'
March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and soldiers
EDWARD. Now, perjur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace And set thy diadem upon my head, Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
QUEEN MARGARET. Go rate thy minions, proud insulting boy. Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?
EDWARD. I am his king, and he should bow his knee. I was adopted heir by his consent: Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear, You that are King, though he do wear the crown, Have caus'd him by new act of parliament To blot out me and put his own son in.
CLIFFORD. And reason too: Who should succeed the father but the son?
RICHARD. Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!
CLIFFORD. Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee, Or any he, the proudest of thy sort.
RICHARD. 'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?
CLIFFORD. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
RICHARD. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
WARWICK. What say'st thou, Henry? Wilt thou yield the crown?
QUEEN MARGARET. Why, how now, long-tongu'd Warwick! Dare you speak? When you and I met at Saint Albans last Your legs did better service than your hands.
WARWICK. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.
CLIFFORD. You said so much before, and yet you fled.
WARWICK. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.
NORTHUMBERLAND. No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
RICHARD. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently. Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain The execution of my big-swol'n heart Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
CLIFFORD. I slew thy father; call'st thou him a child?
RICHARD. Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward, As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland; But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.
KING HENRY. Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.
QUEEN MARGARET. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
KING HENRY. I prithee give no limits to my tongue: I am a king, and privileg'd to speak.
CLIFFORD. My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
RICHARD. Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword. By Him that made us all, I am resolv'd That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
EDWARD. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no? A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.
WARWICK. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head; For York in justice puts his armour on.
PRINCE OF WALES. If that be right which Warwick says is right, There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
RICHARD. Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands; For well I wot thou hast thy mother's tongue.
QUEEN MARGARET. But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam; But like a foul misshapen stigmatic, Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided, As venom toads or lizards' dreadful stings.
RICHARD. Iron of Naples hid with English gilt, Whose father bears the title of a king- As if a channel should be call'd the sea- Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught, To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
EDWARD. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns To make this shameless callet know herself. Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou, Although thy husband may be Menelaus; And ne'er was Agamemmon's brother wrong'd By that false woman as this king by thee. His father revell'd in the heart of France, And tam'd the King, and made the Dauphin stoop; And had he match'd according to his state, He might have kept that glory to this day; But when he took a beggar to his bed And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day, Even then that sunshine brew'd a show'r for him That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France And heap'd sedition on his crown at home. For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy pride? Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept; And we, in pity of the gentle King, Had slipp'd our claim until another age.
GEORGE. But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring, And that thy summer bred us no increase, We set the axe to thy usurping root; And though the edge hath something hit ourselves, Yet know thou, since we have begun to strike, We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down, Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.
EDWARD. And in this resolution I defy thee; Not willing any longer conference, Since thou deniest the gentle King to speak. Sound trumpets; let our bloody colours wave, And either victory or else a grave!
QUEEN MARGARET. Stay, Edward.
EDWARD. No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay; These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
A field of battle between Towton and Saxton,
Alarum; excursions. Enter WARWICK
WARWICK. Forspent with toil, as runners with a race, I lay me down a little while to breathe; For strokes receiv'd and many blows repaid Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength, And spite of spite needs must I rest awhile.
Enter EDWARD, running
EDWARD. Smile, gentle heaven, or strike, ungentle death; For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded.
WARWICK. How now, my lord. What hap? What hope of good?
GEORGE. Our hap is lost, our hope but sad despair; Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us. What counsel give you? Whither shall we fly?
EDWARD. Bootless is flight: they follow us with wings; And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit.
RICHARD. Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself? Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk, Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance; And in the very pangs of death he cried, Like to a dismal clangor heard from far, 'Warwick, revenge! Brother, revenge my death.' So, underneath the belly of their steeds, That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood, The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
WARWICK. Then let the earth be drunken with our blood. I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly. Why stand we like soft-hearted women here, Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage, And look upon, as if the tragedy Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors? Here on my knee I vow to God above I'll never pause again, never stand still, Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
EDWARD. O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine, And in this vow do chain my soul to thine! And ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to Thee, Thou setter-up and plucker-down of kings, Beseeching Thee, if with Thy will it stands That to my foes this body must be prey, Yet that Thy brazen gates of heaven may ope And give sweet passage to my sinful soul. Now, lords, take leave until we meet again, Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.
RICHARD. Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle Warwick, Let me embrace thee in my weary arms. I that did never weep now melt with woe That winter should cut off our spring-time so.
WARWICK. Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.
GEORGE. Yet let us all together to our troops, And give them leave to fly that will not stay, And call them pillars that will stand to us; And if we thrive, promise them such rewards As victors wear at the Olympian games. This may plant courage in their quailing breasts, For yet is hope of life and victory. Forslow no longer; make we hence amain. Exeunt
Another part of the field
Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD
RICHARD. Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone. Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York, And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge, Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.
CLIFFORD. Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone. This is the hand that stabbed thy father York; And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland; And here's the heart that triumphs in their death And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and brother To execute the like upon thyself; And so, have at thee! [They fight]
Enter WARWICK; CLIFFORD flies
RICHARD. Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase; For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.Exeunt
Another part of the field
Alarum. Enter KING HENRY alone
KING HENRY. This battle fares like to the morning's war, When dying clouds contend with growing light, What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails, Can neither call it perfect day nor night. Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind; Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind. Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind; Now one the better, then another best; Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast, Yet neither conqueror nor conquered. So is the equal poise of this fell war. Here on this molehill will I sit me down. To whom God will, there be the victory! For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too, Have chid me from the battle, swearing both They prosper best of all when I am thence. Would I were dead, if God's good will were so! For what is in this world but grief and woe? O God! methinks it were a happy life To be no better than a homely swain; To sit upon a hill, as I do now, To carve out dials quaintly, point by point, Thereby to see the minutes how they run- How many makes the hour full complete, How many hours brings about the day, How many days will finish up the year, How many years a mortal man may live. When this is known, then to divide the times- So many hours must I tend my flock; So many hours must I take my rest; So many hours must I contemplate; So many hours must I sport myself; So many days my ewes have been with young; So many weeks ere the poor fools will can; So many years ere I shall shear the fleece: So minutes, hours, days, months, and years, Pass'd over to the end they were created, Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave. Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely! Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade To shepherds looking on their silly sheep, Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy To kings that fear their subjects' treachery? O yes, it doth; a thousand-fold it doth. And to conclude: the shepherd's homely curds, His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle, His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade, All which secure and sweetly he enjoys, Is far beyond a prince's delicates- His viands sparkling in a golden cup, His body couched in a curious bed, When care, mistrust, and treason waits on him.
Alarum. Enter a son that hath kill'd his Father, at
one door; and a FATHER that hath kill'd his Son, at another door
SON. Ill blows the wind that profits nobody. This man whom hand to hand I slew in fight May be possessed with some store of crowns; And I, that haply take them from him now, May yet ere night yield both my life and them To some man else, as this dead man doth me. Who's this? O God! It is my father's face, Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd. O heavy times, begetting such events! From London by the King was I press'd forth; My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man, Came on the part of York, press'd by his master; And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life, Have by my hands of life bereaved him. Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did. And pardon, father, for I knew not thee. My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks; And no more words till they have flow'd their fill.
KING HENRY. O piteous spectacle! O bloody times! Whiles lions war and battle for their dens, Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity. Weep, wretched man; I'll aid thee tear for tear; And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war, Be blind with tears and break o'ercharg'd with grief.
Enter FATHER, bearing of his SON
FATHER. Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me, Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold; For I have bought it with an hundred blows. But let me see. Is this our foeman's face? Ah, no, no, no, no, it is mine only son! Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee, Throw up thine eye! See, see what show'rs arise, Blown with the windy tempest of my heart Upon thy wounds, that kills mine eye and heart! O, pity, God, this miserable age! What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly, Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural, This deadly quarrel daily doth beget! O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon, And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!
KING HENRY. Woe above woe! grief more than common grief! O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds! O pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity! The red rose and the white are on his face, The fatal colours of our striving houses: The one his purple blood right well resembles; The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth. Wither one rose, and let the other flourish! If you contend, a thousand lives must perish.
SON. How will my mother for a father's death Take on with me, and ne'er be satisfied!
FATHER. How will my wife for slaughter of my son Shed seas of tears, and ne'er be satisfied!
KING HENRY. How will the country for these woeful chances Misthink the King, and not be satisfied!
SON. Was ever son so rued a father's death?
FATHER. Was ever father so bemoan'd his son?
KING HENRY. Was ever king so griev'd for subjects' woe? Much is your sorrow; mine ten times so much.
SON. I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill.
Exit with the body
FATHER. These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet; My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre, For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go; My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell; And so obsequious will thy father be, Even for the loss of thee, having no more, As Priam was for all his valiant sons. I'll bear thee hence; and let them fight that will, For I have murdered where I should not kill.
Exit with the body
KING HENRY. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care, Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
Alarums, excursions. Enter QUEEN MARGARET,
PRINCE OF WALES, and EXETER
PRINCE OF WALES. Fly, father, fly; for all your friends are fled, And Warwick rages like a chafed bull. Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit.
QUEEN MARGARET. Mount you, my lord; towards Berwick post amain. Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds Having the fearful flying hare in sight, With fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath, And bloody steel grasp'd in their ireful hands, Are at our backs; and therefore hence amain.
EXETER. Away! for vengeance comes along with them. Nay, stay not to expostulate; make speed; Or else come after. I'll away before.
KING HENRY. Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Exeter. Not that I fear to stay, but love to go Whither the Queen intends. Forward; away! Exeunt
Another part of the field
A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded
CLIFFORD. Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies, Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light. O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow More than my body's parting with my soul! My love and fear glu'd many friends to thee; And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts, Impairing Henry, strength'ning misproud York. The common people swarm like summer flies; And whither fly the gnats but to the sun? And who shines now but Henry's enemies? O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds, Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth! And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do, Or as thy father and his father did, Giving no ground unto the house of York, They never then had sprung like summer flies; I and ten thousand in this luckless realm Had left no mourning widows for our death; And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace. For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air? And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity? Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds. No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight. The foe is merciless and will not pity; For at their hands I have deserv'd no pity. The air hath got into my deadly wounds, And much effuse of blood doth make me faint. Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest; I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms: split my breast. [He faints]
Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and soldiers
EDWARD. Now breathe we, lords. Good fortune bids us pause And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks. Some troops pursue the bloody-minded Queen That led calm Henry, though he were a king, As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust, Command an argosy to stern the waves. But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
WARWICK. No, 'tis impossible he should escape; For, though before his face I speak the words, Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave; And, whereso'er he is, he's surely dead. [CLIFFORD groans, and dies]
RICHARD. Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave? A deadly groan, like life and death's departing. See who it is.
EDWARD. And now the battle's ended, If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
RICHARD. Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis Clifford; Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth, But set his murd'ring knife unto the root From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring- I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
WARWICK. From off the gates of York fetch down the head, Your father's head, which Clifford placed there; Instead whereof let this supply the room. Measure for measure must be answered.
EDWARD. Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house, That nothing sung but death to us and ours. Now death shall stop his dismal threat'ning sound, And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
WARWICK. I think his understanding is bereft. Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee? Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life, And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
RICHARD. O, would he did! and so, perhaps, he doth. 'Tis but his policy to counterfeit, Because he would avoid such bitter taunts Which in the time of death he gave our father.
GEORGE. If so thou think'st, vex him with eager words.
RICHARD. Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.
EDWARD. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
WARWICK. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
GEORGE. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
RICHARD. Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
EDWARD. Thou pitied'st Rutland, I will pity thee.
GEORGE. Where's Captain Margaret, to fence you now?
WARWICK. They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
RICHARD. What, not an oath? Nay, then the world goes hard When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath. I know by that he's dead; and by my soul, If this right hand would buy two hours' life, That I in all despite might rail at him, This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing blood Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
WARWICK. Ay, but he's dead. Off with the traitor's head, And rear it in the place your father's stands. And now to London with triumphant march, There to be crowned England's royal King; From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France, And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen. So shalt thou sinew both these lands together; And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread The scatt'red foe that hopes to rise again; For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt, Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears. First will I see the coronation; And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
EDWARD. Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be; For in thy shoulder do I build my seat, And never will I undertake the thing Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting. Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester; And George, of Clarence; Warwick, as ourself, Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
RICHARD. Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester; For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominous.
WARWICK. Tut, that's a foolish observation. Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London To see these honours in possession. Exeunt
ACT III. SCENE I.
A chase in the north of England
Enter two KEEPERS, with cross-bows in their hands
FIRST KEEPER. Under this thick-grown brake we'll shroud ourselves, For through this laund anon the deer will come; And in this covert will we make our stand, Culling the principal of all the deer.
SECOND KEEPER. I'll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.
FIRST KEEPER. That cannot be; the noise of thy cross-bow Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost. Here stand we both, and aim we at the best; And, for the time shall not seem tedious, I'll tell thee what befell me on a day In this self-place where now we mean to stand.
SECOND KEEPER. Here comes a man; let's stay till he be past.
Enter KING HENRY, disguised, with a prayer-book
KING HENRY. From Scotland am I stol'n, even of pure love, To greet mine own land with my wishful sight. No, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine; Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from thee, Thy balm wash'd off wherewith thou wast anointed. No bending knee will call thee Caesar now, No humble suitors press to speak for right, No, not a man comes for redress of thee; For how can I help them and not myself?
FIRST KEEPER. Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a keeper's fee. This is the quondam King; let's seize upon him.
KING HENRY. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, For wise men say it is the wisest course.
SECOND KEEPER. Why linger we? let us lay hands upon him.
FIRST KEEPER. Forbear awhile; we'll hear a little more.
KING HENRY. My Queen and son are gone to France for aid; And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick Is thither gone to crave the French King's sister To wife for Edward. If this news be true, Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost; For Warwick is a subtle orator, And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words. By this account, then, Margaret may win him; For she's a woman to be pitied much. Her sighs will make a batt'ry in his breast; Her tears will pierce into a marble heart; The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn; And Nero will be tainted with remorse To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears. Ay, but she's come to beg: Warwick, to give. She, on his left side, craving aid for Henry: He, on his right, asking a wife for Edward. She weeps, and says her Henry is depos'd: He smiles, and says his Edward is install'd; That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more; Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong, Inferreth arguments of mighty strength, And in conclusion wins the King from her With promise of his sister, and what else, To strengthen and support King Edward's place. O Margaret, thus 'twill be; and thou, poor soul, Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn!
SECOND KEEPER. Say, what art thou that talk'st of kings and queens?
KING HENRY. More than I seem, and less than I was born to: A man at least, for less I should not be; And men may talk of kings, and why not I?
SECOND KEEPER. Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king.
KING HENRY. Why, so I am- in mind; and that's enough.
SECOND KEEPER. But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?
KING HENRY. My crown is in my heart, not on my head; Not deck'd with diamonds and Indian stones, Not to be seen. My crown is call'd content; A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
SECOND KEEPER. Well, if you be a king crown'd with content, Your crown content and you must be contented To go along with us; for as we think, You are the king King Edward hath depos'd; And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance, Will apprehend you as his enemy.
KING HENRY. But did you never swear, and break an oath?
SECOND KEEPER. No, never such an oath; nor will not now.
KING HENRY. Where did you dwell when I was King of England?
SECOND KEEPER. Here in this country, where we now remain.
KING HENRY. I was anointed king at nine months old; My father and my grandfather were kings; And you were sworn true subjects unto me; And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?
FIRST KEEPER. No; For we were subjects but while you were king.
KING HENRY. Why, am I dead? Do I not breathe a man? Ah, simple men, you know not what you swear! Look, as I blow this feather from my face, And as the air blows it to me again, Obeying with my wind when I do blow, And yielding to another when it blows, Commanded always by the greater gust, Such is the lightness of you common men. But do not break your oaths; for of that sin My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty. Go where you will, the King shall be commanded; And be you kings: command, and I'll obey.
FIRST KEEPER. We are true subjects to the King, King Edward.
KING HENRY. So would you be again to Henry, If he were seated as King Edward is.
FIRST KEEPER. We charge you, in God's name and the King's, To go with us unto the officers.
KING HENRY. In God's name, lead; your King's name be obey'd; And what God will, that let your King perform; And what he will, I humbly yield unto.Exeunt SCENE II. London. The palace
Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and LADY GREY
KING EDWARD. Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Albans' field This lady's husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain, His land then seiz'd on by the conqueror. Her suit is now to repossess those lands; Which we in justice cannot well deny, Because in quarrel of the house of York The worthy gentleman did lose his life.
GLOUCESTER. Your Highness shall do well to grant her suit; It were dishonour to deny it her.
KING EDWARD. It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CLARENCE] Yea, is it so? I see the lady hath a thing to grant, Before the King will grant her humble suit.
CLARENCE. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] He knows the game; how true he keeps the wind!
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CLARENCE] Silence!
KING EDWARD. Widow, we will consider of your suit; And come some other time to know our mind.
LADY GREY. Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay. May it please your Highness to resolve me now; And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] Ay, widow? Then I'll warrant you all your
lands, An if what pleases him shall pleasure you. Fight closer or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.
CLARENCE. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] I fear her not, unless she chance to fall.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CLARENCE] God forbid that, for he'll take vantages.
KING EDWARD. How many children hast thou, widow, tell me.
CLARENCE. [Aside to GLOUCESTER] I think he means to beg a child of her.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside to CLARENCE] Nay, then whip me; he'll rather give her two.
LADY GREY. Three, my most gracious lord.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] You shall have four if you'll be rul'd by him.
KING EDWARD. 'Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.
LADY GREY. Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it, then.
KING EDWARD. Lords, give us leave; I'll try this widow's wit.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] Ay, good leave have you; for you will have
leave Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
[GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE withdraw]
KING EDWARD. Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?
LADY GREY. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
KING EDWARD. And would you not do much to do them good?
LADY GREY. To do them good I would sustain some harm.
KING EDWARD. Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.
LADY GREY. Therefore I came unto your Majesty.
KING EDWARD. I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.
LADY GREY. So shall you bind me to your Highness' service.
KING EDWARD. What service wilt thou do me if I give them?
LADY GREY. What you command that rests in me to do.
KING EDWARD. But you will take exceptions to my boon.
LADY GREY. No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
KING EDWARD. Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
LADY GREY. Why, then I will do what your Grace commands.
GLOUCESTER. He plies her hard; and much rain wears the marble.
CLARENCE. As red as fire! Nay, then her wax must melt.
LADY GREY. Why stops my lord? Shall I not hear my task?
KING EDWARD. An easy task; 'tis but to love a king.
LADY GREY. That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.
KING EDWARD. Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.
LADY GREY. I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
GLOUCESTER. The match is made; she seals it with a curtsy.
KING EDWARD. But stay thee- 'tis the fruits of love I mean.
LADY GREY. The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
KING EDWARD. Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense. What love, thinkst thou, I sue so much to get?
LADY GREY. My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers; That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.
KING EDWARD. No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
LADY GREY. Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.
KING EDWARD. But now you partly may perceive my mind.
LADY GREY. My mind will never grant what I perceive Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.
KING EDWARD. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
LADY GREY. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
KING EDWARD. Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.
LADY GREY. Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower; For by that loss I will not purchase them.
KING EDWARD. Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.
LADY GREY. Herein your Highness wrongs both them and me. But, mighty lord, this merry inclination Accords not with the sadness of my suit. Please you dismiss me, either with ay or no.
KING EDWARD. Ay, if thou wilt say ay to my request; No, if thou dost say no to my demand.
LADY GREY. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end.
GLOUCESTER. The widow likes him not; she knits her brows.
CLARENCE. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.
KING EDWARD. [Aside] Her looks doth argue her replete with modesty; Her words doth show her wit incomparable; All her perfections challenge sovereignty. One way or other, she is for a king; And she shall be my love, or else my queen. Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
LADY GREY. 'Tis better said than done, my gracious lord. I am a subject fit to jest withal, But far unfit to be a sovereign.
KING EDWARD. Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee I speak no more than what my soul intends; And that is to enjoy thee for my love.
LADY GREY. And that is more than I will yield unto. I know I am too mean to be your queen, And yet too good to be your concubine.
KING EDWARD. You cavil, widow; I did mean my queen.
LADY GREY. 'Twill grieve your Grace my sons should call you father.
KING EDWARD.No more than when my daughters call thee mother. Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children; And, by God's Mother, I, being but a bachelor, Have other some. Why, 'tis a happy thing To be the father unto many sons. Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
GLOUCESTER. The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.
CLARENCE. When he was made a shriver, 'twas for shrift.
KING EDWARD. Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
GLOUCESTER. The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
KING EDWARD. You'd think it strange if I should marry her.
CLARENCE. To who, my lord?
KING EDWARD. Why, Clarence, to myself.
GLOUCESTER. That would be ten days' wonder at the least.
CLARENCE. That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
GLOUCESTER. By so much is the wonder in extremes.
KING EDWARD. Well, jest on, brothers; I can tell you both Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.
Enter a NOBLEMAN
NOBLEMAN. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
KING EDWARD. See that he be convey'd unto the Tower. And go we, brothers, to the man that took him To question of his apprehension. Widow, go you along. Lords, use her honourably.
Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER
GLOUCESTER. Ay, Edward will use women honourably. Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all, That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring To cross me from the golden time I look for! And yet, between my soul's desire and me- The lustful Edward's title buried- Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward, And all the unlook'd for issue of their bodies, To take their rooms ere I can place myself. A cold premeditation for my purpose! Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty; Like one that stands upon a promontory And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, Wishing his foot were equal with his eye; And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, Saying he'll lade it dry to have his way- So do I wish the crown, being so far off; And so I chide the means that keeps me from it; And so I say I'll cut the causes off, Flattering me with impossibilities. My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much, Unless my hand and strength could equal them. Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; What other pleasure can the world afford? I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap, And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. O miserable thought! and more unlikely Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns. Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb; And, for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size; To disproportion me in every part, Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp That carries no impression like the dam. And am I, then, a man to be belov'd? O monstrous fault to harbour such a thought! Then, since this earth affords no joy to me But to command, to check, to o'erbear such As are of better person than myself, I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown, And whiles I live t' account this world but hell, Until my misshap'd trunk that bear this head Be round impaled with a glorious crown. And yet I know not how to get the crown, For many lives stand between me and home; And I- like one lost in a thorny wood That rents the thorns and is rent with the thorns, Seeking a way and straying from the way Not knowing how to find the open air, But toiling desperately to find it out- Torment myself to catch the English crown; And from that torment I will free myself Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile, And cry 'Content!' to that which grieves my heart, And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, And frame my face to all occasions. I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall; I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk; I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, And, like a Sinon, take another Troy. I can add colours to the chameleon, Change shapes with Protheus for advantages, And set the murderous Machiavel to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down. Exit
France. The KING'S palace
Flourish. Enter LEWIS the French King, his sister BONA, his Admiral call'd BOURBON; PRINCE EDWARD, QUEEN MARGARET, and the EARL of OXFORD. LEWIS
sits, and riseth up again
LEWIS. Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret, Sit down with us. It ill befits thy state And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.
QUEEN MARGARET. No, mighty King of France. Now Margaret Must strike her sail and learn a while to serve Where kings command. I was, I must confess, Great Albion's Queen in former golden days; But now mischance hath trod my title down And with dishonour laid me on the ground, Where I must take like seat unto my fortune, And to my humble seat conform myself.
LEWIS. Why, say, fair Queen, whence springs this deep despair?
QUEEN MARGARET. From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in cares.
LEWIS. Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself, And sit thee by our side. [Seats her by him] Yield not thy neck To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind Still ride in triumph over all mischance. Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief; It shall be eas'd, if France can yield relief.
QUEEN MARGARET. Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak. Now therefore be it known to noble Lewis That Henry, sole possessor of my love, Is, of a king, become a banish'd man, And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn; While proud ambitious Edward Duke of York Usurps the regal title and the seat Of England's true-anointed lawful King. This is the cause that I, poor Margaret, With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir, Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid; And if thou fail us, all our hope is done. Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help; Our people and our peers are both misled, Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight, And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
LEWIS. Renowned Queen, with patience calm the storm, While we bethink a means to break it off.
QUEEN MARGARET. The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
LEWIS. The more I stay, the more I'll succour thee.
QUEEN MARGARET. O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow. And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow!
LEWIS. What's he approacheth boldly to our presence?
QUEEN MARGARET. Our Earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest friend.
LEWIS. Welcome, brave Warwick! What brings thee to France?
[He descends. She ariseth]
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, now begins a second storm to rise; For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
WARWICK. From worthy Edward, King of Albion, My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend, I come, in kindness and unfeigned love, First to do greetings to thy royal person, And then to crave a league of amity, And lastly to confirm that amity With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister, To England's King in lawful marriage.
QUEEN MARGARET. [Aside] If that go forward, Henry's hope is done.
WARWICK. [To BONA] And, gracious madam, in our king's behalf, I am commanded, with your leave and favour, Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart; Where fame, late ent'ring at his heedful ears, Hath plac'd thy beauty's image and thy virtue.
QUEEN MARGARET. King Lewis and Lady Bona, hear me speak Before you answer Warwick. His demand Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love, But from deceit bred by necessity; For how can tyrants safely govern home Unless abroad they purchase great alliance? To prove him tyrant this reason may suffice, That Henry liveth still; but were he dead, Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry's son. Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour; For though usurpers sway the rule a while Yet heav'ns are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
WARWICK. Injurious Margaret!
PRINCE OF WALES. And why not Queen?
WARWICK. Because thy father Henry did usurp; And thou no more art prince than she is queen.
OXFORD. Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt, Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain; And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth, Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest; And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth, Who by his prowess conquered all France. From these our Henry lineally descends.
WARWICK. Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten? Methinks these peers of France should smile at that. But for the rest: you tell a pedigree Of threescore and two years- a silly time To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
OXFORD. Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege, Whom thou obeyed'st thirty and six years, And not betray thy treason with a blush?
WARWICK. Can Oxford that did ever fence the right Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree? For shame! Leave Henry, and call Edward king.
OXFORD. Call him my king by whose injurious doom My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere, Was done to death; and more than so, my father, Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years, When nature brought him to the door of death? No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm, This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
WARWICK. And I the house of York.
LEWIS. Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford, Vouchsafe at our request to stand aside While I use further conference with Warwick.
[They stand aloof]
QUEEN MARGARET. Heavens grant that Warwick's words bewitch him not!
LEWIS. Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience, Is Edward your true king? for I were loath To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
WARWICK. Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honour.
LEWIS. But is he gracious in the people's eye?
WARWICK. The more that Henry was unfortunate.
LEWIS. Then further: all dissembling set aside, Tell me for truth the measure of his love Unto our sister Bona.
WARWICK. Such it seems As may beseem a monarch like himself. Myself have often heard him say and swear That this his love was an eternal plant Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground, The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun, Exempt from envy, but not from disdain, Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
LEWIS. Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
BONA. Your grant or your denial shall be mine. [To WARWICK] Yet I confess that often ere this day, When I have heard your king's desert recounted, Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
LEWIS. Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward's. And now forthwith shall articles be drawn Touching the jointure that your king must make, Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd. Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
PRINCE OF WALES. To Edward, but not to the English king.
QUEEN MARGARET. Deceitful Warwick, it was thy device By this alliance to make void my suit. Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry's friend.
LEWIS. And still is friend to him and Margaret. But if your title to the crown be weak, As may appear by Edward's good success, Then 'tis but reason that I be releas'd From giving aid which late I promised. Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand That your estate requires and mine can yield.
WARWICK. Henry now lives in Scotland at his case, Where having nothing, nothing can he lose. And as for you yourself, our quondam queen, You have a father able to maintain you, And better 'twere you troubled him than France.
QUEEN MARGARET. Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick, Proud setter up and puller down of kings! I will not hence till with my talk and tears, Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold Thy sly conveyance and thy lord's false love; For both of you are birds of self-same feather. [POST blowing a horn within]
LEWIS. Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.
Enter the POST
POST. My lord ambassador, these letters are for you, Sent from your brother, Marquis Montague. These from our King unto your Majesty. And, madam, these for you; from whom I know not.
[They all read their letters]
OXFORD. I like it well that our fair Queen and mistress Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.
PRINCE OF WALES. Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled. I hope all's for the best.
LEWIS. Warwick, what are thy news? And yours, fair Queen?
QUEEN MARGARET. Mine such as fill my heart with unhop'd joys.
WARWICK. Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent.
LEWIS. What, has your king married the Lady Grey? And now, to soothe your forgery and his, Sends me a paper to persuade me patience? Is this th' alliance that he seeks with France? Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
QUEEN MARGARET. I told your Majesty as much before. This proveth Edward's love and Warwick's honesty.
WARWICK. King Lewis, I here protest in sight of heaven, And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss, That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's- No more my king, for he dishonours me, But most himself, if he could see his shame. Did I forget that by the house of York My father came untimely to his death? Did I let pass th' abuse done to my niece? Did I impale him with the regal crown? Did I put Henry from his native right? And am I guerdon'd at the last with shame? Shame on himself! for my desert is honour; And to repair my honour lost for him I here renounce him and return to Henry. My noble Queen, let former grudges pass, And henceforth I am thy true servitor. I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona, And replant Henry in his former state.
QUEEN MARGARET. Warwick, these words have turn'd my hate to love; And I forgive and quite forget old faults, And joy that thou becom'st King Henry's friend.
WARWICK. So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend, That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us With some few bands of chosen soldiers, I'll undertake to land them on our coast And force the tyrant from his seat by war. 'Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him; And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me, He's very likely now to fall from him For matching more for wanton lust than honour Or than for strength and safety of our country.
BONA. Dear brother, how shall Bona be reveng'd But by thy help to this distressed queen?
QUEEN MARGARET. Renowned Prince, how shall poor Henry live Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
BONA. My quarrel and this English queen's are one.
WARWICK. And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.
LEWIS. And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's. Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolv'd You shall have aid.
QUEEN MARGARET. Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
LEWIS. Then, England's messenger, return in post And tell false Edward, thy supposed king, That Lewis of France is sending over masquers To revel it with him and his new bride. Thou seest what's past; go fear thy king withal.
BONA. Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly, I'll wear the willow-garland for his sake.
QUEEN MARGARET. Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside, And I am ready to put armour on.
WARWICK. Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong, And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long. There's thy reward; be gone. Exit POST
LEWIS. But, Warwick, Thou and Oxford, with five thousand men, Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle: And, as occasion serves, this noble Queen And Prince shall follow with a fresh supply. Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt: What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
WARWICK. This shall assure my constant loyalty: That if our Queen and this young Prince agree, I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
QUEEN MARGARET. Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion. Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous, Therefore delay not- give thy hand to Warwick; And with thy hand thy faith irrevocable That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.
PRINCE OF WALES. Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it; And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
[He gives his hand to WARWICK]
LEWIS. stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied; And thou, Lord Bourbon, our High Admiral, Shall waft them over with our royal fleet. I long till Edward fall by war's mischance For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
Exeunt all but WARWICK
WARWICK. I came from Edward as ambassador, But I return his sworn and mortal foe. Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me, But dreadful war shall answer his demand. Had he none else to make a stale but me? Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow. I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown, And I'll be chief to bring him down again; Not that I pity Henry's misery, But seek revenge on Edward's mockery. Exit ACT IV. SCENE I.
London. The palace
Enter GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, SOMERSET, and MONTAGUE
GLOUCESTER. Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey? Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
CLARENCE. Alas, you know 'tis far from hence to France! How could he stay till Warwick made return?
SOMERSET. My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the King.
Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, attended; LADY
GREY, as Queen; PEMBROKE, STAFFORD, HASTINGS,
and others. Four stand on one side, and four on the other
GLOUCESTER. And his well-chosen bride.
CLARENCE. I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
KING EDWARD. Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice That you stand pensive as half malcontent?
CLARENCE. As well as Lewis of France or the Earl of Warwick, Which are so weak of courage and in judgment That they'll take no offence at our abuse.
KING EDWARD. Suppose they take offence without a cause; They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward, Your King and Warwick's and must have my will.
GLOUCESTER. And shall have your will, because our King. Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
KING EDWARD. Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
GLOUCESTER. Not I. No, God forbid that I should wish them sever'd Whom God hath join'd together; ay, and 'twere pity To sunder them that yoke so well together.
KING EDWARD. Setting your scorns and your mislike aside, Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey Should not become my wife and England's Queen. And you too, Somerset and Montague, Speak freely what you think.
CLARENCE. Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis Becomes your enemy for mocking him About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
GLOUCESTER. And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge, Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.
KING EDWARD. What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeas'd By such invention as I can devise?
MONTAGUE. Yet to have join'd with France in such alliance Would more have strength'ned this our commonwealth 'Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
HASTINGS. Why, knows not Montague that of itself England is safe, if true within itself?
MONTAGUE. But the safer when 'tis back'd with France.
HASTINGS. 'Tis better using France than trusting France. Let us be back'd with God, and with the seas Which He hath giv'n for fence impregnable, And with their helps only defend ourselves. In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
CLARENCE. For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
KING EDWARD. Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant; And for this once my will shall stand for law.
GLOUCESTER. And yet methinks your Grace hath not done well To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales Unto the brother of your loving bride. She better would have fitted me or Clarence; But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
CLARENCE. Or else you would not have bestow'd the heir Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife's son, And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
KING EDWARD. Alas, poor Clarence! Is it for a wife That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
CLARENCE. In choosing for yourself you show'd your judgment, Which being shallow, you shall give me leave To play the broker in mine own behalf; And to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
KING EDWARD. Leave me or tarry, Edward will be King, And not be tied unto his brother's will.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. My lords, before it pleas'd his Majesty To raise my state to title of a queen, Do me but right, and you must all confess That I was not ignoble of descent: And meaner than myself have had like fortune. But as this title honours me and mine, So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing, Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
KING EDWARD. My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns. What danger or what sorrow can befall thee, So long as Edward is thy constant friend And their true sovereign whom they must obey? Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too, Unless they seek for hatred at my hands; Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe, And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
Enter a POST
KING EDWARD. Now, messenger, what letters or what news From France?
MESSENGER. My sovereign liege, no letters, and few words, But such as I, without your special pardon, Dare not relate.
KING EDWARD. Go to, we pardon thee; therefore, in brief, Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them. What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
MESSENGER. At my depart, these were his very words: 'Go tell false Edward, the supposed king, That Lewis of France is sending over masquers To revel it with him and his new bride.'
KING EDWARD. IS Lewis so brave? Belike he thinks me Henry. But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
MESSENGER. These were her words, utt'red with mild disdain: 'Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly, I'll wear the willow-garland for his sake.'
KING EDWARD. I blame not her: she could say little less; She had the wrong. But what said Henry's queen? For I have heard that she was there in place.
MESSENGER. 'Tell him' quoth she 'my mourning weeds are done, And I am ready to put armour on.'
KING EDWARD. Belike she minds to play the Amazon. But what said Warwick to these injuries?
MESSENGER. He, more incens'd against your Majesty Than all the rest, discharg'd me with these words: 'Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong; And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.'
KING EDWARD. Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words? Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn'd. They shall have wars and pay for their presumption. But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
MESSENGER. Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so link'd in friendship That young Prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.
CLARENCE. Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger. Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast, For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter; That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage I may not prove inferior to yourself. You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
Exit, and SOMERSET follows
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] Not I. My thoughts aim at a further matter; I Stay not for the love of Edward but the crown.
KING EDWARD. Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick! Yet am I arm'd against the worst can happen; And haste is needful in this desp'rate case. Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf Go levy men and make prepare for war; They are already, or quickly will be landed. Myself in person will straight follow you. Exeunt PEMBROKE and STAFFORD But ere I go, Hastings and Montague, Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest, Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance. Tell me if you love Warwick more than me? If it be so, then both depart to him: I rather wish you foes than hollow friends. But if you mind to hold your true obedience, Give me assurance with some friendly vow, That I may never have you in suspect.
MONTAGUE. So God help Montague as he proves true!
HASTINGS. And Hastings as he favours Edward's cause!
KING EDWARD. Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
GLOUCESTER. Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
KING EDWARD. Why, so! then am I sure of victory. Now therefore let us hence, and lose no hour Till we meet Warwick with his foreign pow'r. Exeunt SCENE II. A plain in Warwickshire
Enter WARWICK and OXFORD, with French soldiers
WARWICK. Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well; The common people by numbers swarm to us.
Enter CLARENCE and SOMERSET
But see where Somerset and Clarence comes. Speak suddenly, my lords- are we all friends?
CLARENCE. Fear not that, my lord.
WARWICK. Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick; And welcome, Somerset. I hold it cowardice To rest mistrustful where a noble heart Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love; Else might I think that Clarence, Edward's brother, Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings. But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine. And now what rests but, in night's coverture, Thy brother being carelessly encamp'd, His soldiers lurking in the towns about, And but attended by a simple guard, We may surprise and take him at our pleasure? Our scouts have found the adventure very easy; That as Ulysses and stout Diomede With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents, And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds, So we, well cover'd with the night's black mantle, At unawares may beat down Edward's guard And seize himself- I say not 'slaughter him,' For I intend but only to surprise him. You that will follow me to this attempt, Applaud the name of Henry with your leader. [They all cry 'Henry!'] Why then, let's on our way in silent sort. For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!Exeunt
Edward's camp, near Warwick
Enter three WATCHMEN, to guard the KING'S tent
FIRST WATCHMAN. Come on, my masters, each man take his stand; The King by this is set him down to sleep.
SECOND WATCHMAN. What, will he not to bed?
FIRST WATCHMAN. Why, no; for he hath made a solemn vow Never to lie and take his natural rest Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress'd.
SECOND WATCHMAN. To-morrow then, belike, shall be the day, If Warwick be so near as men report.
THIRD WATCHMAN. But say, I pray, what nobleman is that That with the King here resteth in his tent?
FIRST WATCHMAN. 'Tis the Lord Hastings, the King's chiefest friend.
THIRD WATCHMAN. O, is it So? But why commands the King That his chief followers lodge in towns about him, While he himself keeps in the cold field?
SECOND WATCHMAN. 'Tis the more honour, because more dangerous.
THIRD WATCHMAN. Ay, but give me worship and quietness; I like it better than dangerous honour. If Warwick knew in what estate he stands, 'Tis to be doubted he would waken him.
FIRST WATCHMAN. Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
SECOND WATCHMAN. Ay, wherefore else guard we his royal tent But to defend his person from night-foes?
Enter WARWICK, CLARENCE, OXFORD, SOMERSET,
and French soldiers, silent all
WARWICK. This is his tent; and see where stand his guard. Courage, my masters! Honour now or never! But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
FIRST WATCHMAN. Who goes there?
SECOND WATCHMAN. Stay, or thou diest.
WARWICK and the rest cry all 'Warwick! Warwick!' and
set upon the guard, who fly, crying 'Arm! Arm!' WARWICK
and the rest following them
The drum playing and trumpet sounding, re-enter WARWICK and the rest, bringing the KING out in his gown,
sitting in a chair. GLOUCESTER and HASTINGS fly over the stage
SOMERSET. What are they that fly there?
WARWICK. Richard and Hastings. Let them go; here is the Duke.
KING EDWARD. The Duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted, Thou call'dst me King?
WARWICK. Ay, but the case is alter'd. When you disgrac'd me in my embassade, Then I degraded you from being King, And come now to create you Duke of York. Alas, how should you govern any kingdom That know not how to use ambassadors, Nor how to be contented with one wife, Nor how to use your brothers brotherly, Nor how to study for the people's welfare, Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
KING EDWARD. Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too? Nay, then I see that Edward needs must down. Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance, Of thee thyself and all thy complices, Edward will always bear himself as King. Though fortune's malice overthrow my state, My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
WARWICK. Then, for his mind, be Edward England's king;
[Takes off his crown] But Henry now shall wear the English crown And be true King indeed; thou but the shadow. My Lord of Somerset, at my request, See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey'd Unto my brother, Archbishop of York. When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows, I'll follow you and tell what answer Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him. Now for a while farewell, good Duke of York.
KING EDWARD. What fates impose, that men must needs abide; It boots not to resist both wind and tide. [They lead him out forcibly]
OXFORD. What now remains, my lords, for us to do But march to London with our soldiers?
WARWICK. Ay, that's the first thing that we have to do; To free King Henry from imprisonment, And see him seated in the regal throne. Exeunt
London. The palace
Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH and RIVERS
RIVERS. Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn What late misfortune is befall'n King Edward?
RIVERS. What, loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. No, but the loss of his own royal person.
RIVERS. Then is my sovereign slain?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner; Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard Or by his foe surpris'd at unawares; And, as I further have to understand, Is new committed to the Bishop of York, Fell Warwick's brother, and by that our foe.
RIVERS. These news, I must confess, are full of grief; Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may: Warwick may lose that now hath won the day.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Till then, fair hope must hinder life's decay. And I the rather wean me from despair For love of Edward's offspring in my womb. This is it that makes me bridle passion And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross; Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs, Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown King Edward's fruit, true heir to th' English crown.
RIVERS. But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. I am inform'd that he comes towards London To set the crown once more on Henry's head. Guess thou the rest: King Edward's friends must down. But to prevent the tyrant's violence- For trust not him that hath once broken faith- I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary To save at least the heir of Edward's right. There shall I rest secure from force and fraud. Come, therefore, let us fly while we may fly: If Warwick take us, we are sure to die. Exeunt SCENE V.
A park near Middleham Castle in Yorkshire
Enter GLOUCESTER, LORD HASTINGS, SIR WILLIAM
STANLEY, and others
GLOUCESTER. Now, my Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley, Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither Into this chiefest thicket of the park. Thus stands the case: you know our King, my brother, Is prisoner to the Bishop here, at whose hands He hath good usage and great liberty; And often but attended with weak guard Comes hunting this way to disport himself. I have advertis'd him by secret means That if about this hour he make this way, Under the colour of his usual game, He shall here find his friends, with horse and men, To set him free from his captivity.
Enter KING EDWARD and a HUNTSMAN with him
HUNTSMAN. This way, my lord; for this way lies the game.
KING EDWARD. Nay, this way, man. See where the huntsmen stand. Now, brother of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and the rest, Stand you thus close to steal the Bishop's deer?
GLOUCESTER. Brother, the time and case requireth haste; Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
KING EDWARD. But whither shall we then?
HASTINGS. To Lynn, my lord; and shipt from thence to Flanders.
GLOUCESTER. Well guess'd, believe me; for that was my meaning.
KING EDWARD. Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
GLOUCESTER. But wherefore stay we? 'Tis no time to talk.
KING EDWARD. Huntsman, what say'st thou? Wilt thou go along?
HUNTSMAN. Better do so than tarry and be hang'd.
GLOUCESTER. Come then, away; let's ha' no more ado.
KING EDWARD. Bishop, farewell. Shield thee from Warwick's frown, And pray that I may repossess the crown. Exeunt SCENE VI.
London. The Tower
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLARENCE, WARWICK, SOMERSET,
young HENRY, EARL OF RICHMOND, OXFORD, MONTAGUE, LIEUTENANT OF THE TOWER, and attendants
KING HENRY. Master Lieutenant, now that God and friends Have shaken Edward from the regal seat And turn'd my captive state to liberty, My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys, At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
LIEUTENANT. Subjects may challenge nothing of their sov'reigns; But if an humble prayer may prevail, I then crave pardon of your Majesty.
KING HENRY. For what, Lieutenant? For well using me? Nay, be thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness, For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure; Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds Conceive when, after many moody thoughts, At last by notes of household harmony They quite forget their loss of liberty. But, Warwick, after God, thou set'st me free, And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee; He was the author, thou the instrument. Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite By living low where fortune cannot hurt me, And that the people of this blessed land May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars, Warwick, although my head still wear the crown, I here resign my government to thee, For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
WARWICK. Your Grace hath still been fam'd for virtuous, And now may seem as wise as virtuous By spying and avoiding fortune's malice, For few men rightly temper with the stars; Yet in this one thing let me blame your Grace, For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
CLARENCE. No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway, To whom the heav'ns in thy nativity Adjudg'd an olive branch and laurel crown, As likely to be blest in peace and war; And therefore I yield thee my free consent.
WARWICK. And I choose Clarence only for Protector.
KING HENRY. Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands. Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts, That no dissension hinder government. I make you both Protectors of this land, While I myself will lead a private life And in devotion spend my latter days, To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.
WARWICK. What answers Clarence to his sovereign's will?
CLARENCE. That he consents, if Warwick yield consent, For on thy fortune I repose myself.
WARWICK. Why, then, though loath, yet must I be content. We'll yoke together, like a double shadow To Henry's body, and supply his place; I mean, in bearing weight of government, While he enjoys the honour and his ease. And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful Forthwith that Edward be pronounc'd a traitor, And all his lands and goods confiscated.
CLARENCE. What else? And that succession be determin'd.
WARWICK. Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
KING HENRY. But, with the first of all your chief affairs, Let me entreat- for I command no more- That Margaret your Queen and my son Edward Be sent for to return from France with speed; For till I see them here, by doubtful fear My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
CLARENCE. It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
KING HENRY. My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that, Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
SOMERSET. My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
KING HENRY. Come hither, England's hope. [Lays his hand on his head] If secret powers Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts, This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss. His looks are full of peaceful majesty; His head by nature fram'd to wear a crown, His hand to wield a sceptre; and himself Likely in time to bless a regal throne. Make much of him, my lords; for this is he Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
Enter a POST
WARWICK. What news, my friend?
POST. That Edward is escaped from your brother And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
WARWICK. Unsavoury news! But how made he escape?
POST. He was convey'd by Richard Duke of Gloucester And the Lord Hastings, who attended him In secret ambush on the forest side And from the Bishop's huntsmen rescu'd him; For hunting was his daily exercise.
WARWICK. My brother was too careless of his charge. But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide A salve for any sore that may betide.
Exeunt all but SOMERSET, RICHMOND, and OXFORD
SOMERSET. My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward's; For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help, And we shall have more wars befor't be long. As Henry's late presaging prophecy Did glad my heart with hope of this young Richmond, So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts, What may befall him to his harm and ours. Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst, Forthwith we'll send him hence to Brittany, Till storms be past of civil enmity.
OXFORD. Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown, 'Tis like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
SOMERSET. It shall be so; he shall to Brittany. Come therefore, let's about it speedily. Exeunt SCENE VII.
Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS,
KING EDWARD. Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest, Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends, And says that once more I shall interchange My waned state for Henry's regal crown. Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas, And brought desired help from Burgundy; What then remains, we being thus arriv'd From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York, But that we enter, as into our dukedom?
GLOUCESTER. The gates made fast! Brother, I like not this; For many men that stumble at the threshold Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
KING EDWARD. Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us. By fair or foul means we must enter in, For hither will our friends repair to us.
HASTINGS. My liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.
Enter, on the walls, the MAYOR OF YORK and
MAYOR. My lords, we were forewarned of your coming And shut the gates for safety of ourselves, For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
KING EDWARD. But, Master Mayor, if Henry be your King, Yet Edward at the least is Duke of York.
MAYOR. True, my good lord; I know you for no less.
KING EDWARD. Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom, As being well content with that alone.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] But when the fox hath once got in his nose, He'll soon find means to make the body follow.
HASTINGS. Why, Master Mayor, why stand you in a doubt? Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.
MAYOR. Ay, say you so? The gates shall then be open'd.
GLOUCESTER. A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!
HASTINGS. The good old man would fain that all were well, So 'twere not long of him; but being ent'red, I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
Enter, below, the MAYOR and two ALDERMEN
KING EDWARD. So, Master Mayor. These gates must not be shut But in the night or in the time of war. What! fear not, man, but yield me up the keys; [Takes his keys] For Edward will defend the town and thee, And all those friends that deign to follow me.
March. Enter MONTGOMERY with drum and soldiers
GLOUCESTER. Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery, Our trusty friend, unless I be deceiv'd.
KING EDWARD. Welcome, Sir john! But why come you in arms?
MONTGOMERY. To help King Edward in his time of storm, As every loyal subject ought to do.
KING EDWARD. Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget Our title to the crown, and only claim Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.
MONTGOMERY. Then fare you well, for I will hence again. I came to serve a king and not a duke. Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.
[The drum begins to march]
KING EDWARD. Nay, stay, Sir John, a while, and we'll debate By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.
MONTGOMERY. What talk you of debating? In few words: If you'll not here proclaim yourself our King, I'll leave you to your fortune and be gone To keep them back that come to succour you. Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?
GLOUCESTER. Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
KING EDWARD. When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim; Till then 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.
HASTINGS. Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule.
GLOUCESTER. And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns. Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand; The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
KING EDWARD. Then be it as you will; for 'tis my right, And Henry but usurps the diadem.
MONTGOMERY. Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself; And now will I be Edward's champion.
HASTINGS. Sound trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd. Come, fellow soldier, make thou proclamation.
[Gives him a paper. Flourish]
SOLDIER. [Reads] 'Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God, King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, &c.'
MONTGOMERY. And whoso'er gainsays King Edward's right, By this I challenge him to single fight.
[Throws down gauntlet]
ALL. Long live Edward the Fourth!
KING EDWARD. Thanks, brave Montgomery, and thanks unto you all; If fortune serve me, I'll requite this kindness. Now for this night let's harbour here in York; And when the morning sun shall raise his car Above the border of this horizon, We'll forward towards Warwick and his mates; For well I wot that Henry is no soldier. Ah, froward Clarence, how evil it beseems the To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother! Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and Warwick. Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day, And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.Exeunt SCENE VIII. London. The palace
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, WARWICK, MONTAGUE,
CLARENCE, OXFORD, and EXETER
WARWICK. What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia, With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders, Hath pass'd in safety through the narrow seas And with his troops doth march amain to London; And many giddy people flock to him.
KING HENRY. Let's levy men and beat him back again.
CLARENCE. A little fire is quickly trodden out, Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench.
WARWICK. In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends, Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war; Those will I muster up, and thou, son Clarence, Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent, The knights and gentlemen to come with thee. Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham, Northampton, and in Leicestershire, shalt find Men well inclin'd to hear what thou command'st. And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well belov'd, In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends. My sovereign, with the loving citizens, Like to his island girt in with the ocean Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs, Shall rest in London till we come to him. Fair lords, take leave and stand not to reply. Farewell, my sovereign.
KING HENRY. Farewell, my Hector and my Troy's true hope.
CLARENCE. In sign of truth, I kiss your Highness' hand.
KING HENRY. Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
MONTAGUE. Comfort, my lord; and so I take my leave.
OXFORD. [Kissing the KING'S band] And thus I seal my truth and bid adieu.
KING HENRY. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague, And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
WARWICK. Farewell, sweet lords; let's meet at Coventry.
Exeunt all but the KING and EXETER
KING HENRY. Here at the palace will I rest a while. Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship? Methinks the power that Edward hath in field Should not be able to encounter mine.
EXETER. The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.
KING HENRY. That's not my fear; my meed hath got me fame: I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands, Nor posted off their suits with slow delays; My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds, My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs, My mercy dried their water-flowing tears; I have not been desirous of their wealth, Nor much oppress'd them with great subsidies, Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd. Then why should they love Edward more than me? No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace; And, when the lion fawns upon the lamb, The lamb will never cease to follow him.
[Shout within 'A Lancaster! A Lancaster!']
EXETER. Hark, hark, my lord! What shouts are these?
Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers
KING EDWARD. Seize on the shame-fac'd Henry, bear him hence; And once again proclaim us King of England. You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow. Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry, And swell so much the higher by their ebb. Hence with him to the Tower: let him not speak. Exeunt some with KING HENRY And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course, Where peremptory Warwick now remains. The sun shines hot; and, if we use delay, Cold biting winter mars our hop'd-for hay.
GLOUCESTER. Away betimes, before his forces join, And take the great-grown traitor unawares. Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry. Exeunt
ACT V. SCENE I.
Enter WARWICK, the MAYOR OF COVENTRY, two MESSENGERS,
and others upon the walls
WARWICK. Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford? How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?
FIRST MESSENGER. By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.
WARWICK. How far off is our brother Montague? Where is the post that came from Montague?
SECOND MESSENGER. By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.
Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE
WARWICK. Say, Somerville, what says my loving son? And by thy guess how nigh is Clarence now?
SOMERVILLE. At Southam I did leave him with his forces, And do expect him here some two hours hence. [Drum heard]
WARWICK. Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.
SOMERVILLE. It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies. The drum your Honour hears marcheth from Warwick.
WARWICK. Who should that be? Belike unlook'd for friends.
SOMERVILLE. They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.
March. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers
KING EDWARD. Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.
GLOUCESTER. See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
WARWICK. O unbid spite! Is sportful Edward come? Where slept our scouts or how are they seduc'd That we could hear no news of his repair?
KING EDWARD. Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates, Speak gentle words, and humbly bend thy knee, Call Edward King, and at his hands beg mercy? And he shall pardon thee these outrages.
WARWICK. Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence, Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down, Call Warwick patron, and be penitent? And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.
GLOUCESTER. I thought, at least, he would have said the King; Or did he make the jest against his will?
WARWICK. Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?
GLOUCESTER. Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give. I'll do thee service for so good a gift.
WARWICK. 'Twas I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
KING EDWARD. Why then 'tis mine, if but by Warwick's gift.
WARWICK. Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight; And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again; And Henry is my King, Warwick his subject.
KING EDWARD. But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner. And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this: What is the body when the head is off?
GLOUCESTER. Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast, But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten, The king was slily finger'd from the deck! You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace, And ten to one you'll meet him in the Tower.
KING EDWARD. 'Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.
GLOUCESTER. Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down. Nay, when? Strike now, or else the iron cools.
WARWICK. I had rather chop this hand off at a blow, And with the other fling it at thy face, Than bear so low a sail to strike to thee.
KING EDWARD. Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend, This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair, Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off, Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood: 'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'
Enter OXFORD, with drum and colours
WARWICK. O cheerful colours! See where Oxford comes.
OXFORD. Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city]
GLOUCESTER. The gates are open, let us enter too.
KING EDWARD. So other foes may set upon our backs. Stand we in good array, for they no doubt Will issue out again and bid us battle; If not, the city being but of small defence, We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.
WARWICK. O, welcome, Oxford! for we want thy help.
Enter MONTAGUE, with drum and colours
MONTAGUE. Montague, Montague, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city]
GLOUCESTER. Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.
KING EDWARD. The harder match'd, the greater victory. My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.
Enter SOMERSET, with drum and colours
SOMERSET. Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city]
GLOUCESTER. Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset, Have sold their lives unto the house of York; And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold.
Enter CLARENCE, with drum and colours
WARWICK. And lo where George of Clarence sweeps along, Of force enough to bid his brother battle; With whom an upright zeal to right prevails More than the nature of a brother's love.
CLARENCE. Clarence, Clarence, for Lancaster!
KING EDWARD. Et tu Brute- wilt thou stab Caesar too? A parley, sirrah, to George of Clarence.
[Sound a parley. RICHARD and CLARENCE whisper]
WARWICK. Come, Clarence, come. Thou wilt if Warwick call.
CLARENCE. [Taking the red rose from his hat and throwing
it at WARWICK] Father of Warwick, know you what this means? Look here, I throw my infamy at thee. I will not ruinate my father's house, Who gave his blood to lime the stones together, And set up Lancaster. Why, trowest thou, Warwick, That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural, To bend the fatal instruments of war Against his brother and his lawful King? Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath. To keep that oath were more impiety Than Jephtha when he sacrific'd his daughter. I am so sorry for my trespass made That, to deserve well at my brother's hands, I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe; With resolution whereso'er I meet thee- As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad- To plague thee for thy foul misleading me. And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee, And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks. Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends; And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults, For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
KING EDWARD. Now welcome more, and ten times more belov'd, Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate.
GLOUCESTER. Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.
WARWICK. O passing traitor, perjur'd and unjust!
KING EDWARD. What, Warwick, wilt thou leave die town and fight? Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
WARWICK. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence! I will away towards Barnet presently And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st.
KING EDWARD. Yes, Warwick, Edward dares and leads the way. Lords, to the field; Saint George and victory! Exeunt YORKISTS [March. WARWICK and his company follow]
SCENE II. A field of battle near Barnet
Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARD, bringing
forth WARWICK, wounded
KING EDWARD. So, lie thou there. Die thou, and die our fear; For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all. Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee, That Warwick's bones may keep thine company.Exit
WARWICK. Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend or foe, And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick? Why ask I that? My mangled body shows, My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows, That I must yield my body to the earth And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe. Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge, Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle, Under whose shade the ramping lion slept, Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree And kept low shrubs from winter's pow'rful wind. These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black veil, Have been as piercing as the mid-day sun To search the secret treasons of the world; The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood, Were lik'ned oft to kingly sepulchres; For who liv'd King, but I could dig his grave? And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow? Lo now my glory smear'd in dust and blood! My parks, my walks, my manors, that I had, Even now forsake me; and of all my lands Is nothing left me but my body's length. what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust? And live we how we can, yet die we must.
Enter OXFORD and SOMERSET
SOMERSET. Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as we are, We might recover all our loss again. The Queen from France hath brought a puissant power; Even now we heard the news. Ah, couldst thou fly!
WARWICK. Why then, I would not fly. Ah, Montague, If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand, And with thy lips keep in my soul a while! Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou didst, Thy tears would wash this cold congealed blood That glues my lips and will not let me speak. Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
SOMERSET. Ah, Warwick! Montague hath breath'd his last; And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick, And said 'Commend me to my valiant brother.' And more he would have said; and more he spoke, Which sounded like a clamour in a vault, That mought not be distinguish'd; but at last, I well might hear, delivered with a groan, 'O farewell, Warwick!'
WARWICK. Sweet rest his soul! Fly, lords, and save yourselves: For Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
OXFORD. Away, away, to meet the Queen's great power!
[Here they bear away his body]
SCENE III. Another part of the field
Flourish. Enter KING in triumph; with GLOUCESTER,
CLARENCE, and the rest
KING EDWARD. Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course, And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory. But in the midst of this bright-shining day I spy a black, suspicious, threat'ning cloud That will encounter with our glorious sun Ere he attain his easeful western bed- I mean, my lords, those powers that the Queen Hath rais'd in Gallia have arriv'd our coast And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
CLARENCE. A little gale will soon disperse that cloud And blow it to the source from whence it came; Thy very beams will dry those vapours up, For every cloud engenders not a storm.
GLOUCESTER. The Queen is valued thirty thousand strong, And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her. If she have time to breathe, be well assur'd Her faction will be full as strong as ours.
KING EDWARD. are advertis'd by our loving friends That they do hold their course toward Tewksbury; We, having now the best at Barnet field, Will thither straight, for willingness rids way; And as we march our strength will be augmented In every county as we go along. Strike up the drum; cry 'Courage!' and away. Exeunt
SCENE IV. Plains wear Tewksbury
Flourish. March. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, SOMERSET, OXFORD, and SOLDIERS
QUEEN MARGARET. Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their
loss, But cheerly seek how to redress their harms. What though the mast be now blown overboard, The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost, And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood; Yet lives our pilot still. Is't meet that he Should leave the helm and, like a fearful lad, With tearful eyes add water to the sea And give more strength to that which hath too much; Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock, Which industry and courage might have sav'd? Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this! Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that? And Montague our top-mast; what of him? Our slaught'red friends the tackles; what of these? Why, is not Oxford here another anchor? And Somerset another goodly mast? The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings? And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge? We will not from the helm to sit and weep, But keep our course, though the rough wind say no, From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck, As good to chide the waves as speak them fair. And what is Edward but a ruthless sea? What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit? And Richard but a ragged fatal rock? All these the enemies to our poor bark. Say you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while! Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink. Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off, Or else you famish- that's a threefold death. This speak I, lords, to let you understand, If case some one of you would fly from us, That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks. Why, courage then! What cannot be avoided 'Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
PRINCE OF WALES. Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit Should, if a coward hear her speak these words, Infuse his breast with magnanimity And make him naked foil a man-at-arms. I speak not this as doubting any here; For did I but suspect a fearful man, He should have leave to go away betimes, Lest in our need he might infect another And make him of the like spirit to himself. If any such be here- as God forbid!- Let him depart before we need his help.
OXFORD. Women and children of so high a courage, And warriors faint! Why, 'twere perpetual shame. O brave young Prince! thy famous grandfather Doth live again in thee. Long mayst thou Eve To bear his image and renew his glories!
SOMERSET. And he that will not fight for such a hope, Go home to bed and, like the owl by day, If he arise, be mock'd and wond'red at.
QUEEN MARGARET. Thanks, gentle Somerset; sweet Oxford, thanks.
PRINCE OF WALES. And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
Enter a MESSENGER
MESSENGER. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
OXFORD. I thought no less. It is his policy To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
SOMERSET. But he's deceiv'd; we are in readiness.
QUEEN MARGARET. This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.
OXFORD. Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
Flourish and march. Enter, at a distance, KING EDWARD,
GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and soldiers
KING EDWARD. Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood Which, by the heavens' assistance and your strength, Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night. I need not add more fuel to your fire, For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out. Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.
QUEEN MARGARET. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say My tears gainsay; for every word I speak, Ye see, I drink the water of my eye. Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign, Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd, His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain, His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent; And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil. You fight in justice. Then, in God's name, lords, Be valiant, and give signal to the fight. Alarum, retreat, excursions. Exeunt SCENE V.
Another part of the field
Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and forces, With QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD, and SOMERSET, prisoners
KING EDWARD. Now here a period of tumultuous broils. Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight; For Somerset, off with his guilty head. Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
OXFORD. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.
SOMERSET. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune. Exeunt OXFORD and SOMERSET, guarded
QUEEN MARGARET. So part we sadly in this troublous world, To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
KING EDWARD. Is proclamation made that who finds Edward Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
GLOUCESTER. It is; and lo where youthful Edward comes.
Enter soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD
KING EDWARD. Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak. What, can so young a man begin to prick? Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
PRINCE OF WALES. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious York. Suppose that I am now my father's mouth; Resign thy chair, and where I stand kneel thou, Whilst I propose the self-same words to the Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
QUEEN MARGARET. Ah, that thy father had been so resolv'd!
GLOUCESTER. That you might still have worn the petticoat And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.
PRINCE OF WALES. Let Aesop fable in a winter's night; His currish riddle sorts not with this place.
GLOUCESTER. By heaven, brat, I'll plague ye for that word.
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
GLOUCESTER. For God's sake, take away this captive scold.
PRINCE OF WALES. Nay, take away this scolding crookback rather.
KING EDWARD. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
CLARENCE. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
PRINCE OF WALES. I know my duty; you are all undutiful. Lascivious Edward, and thou perjur'd George, And thou misshapen Dick, I tell ye all I am your better, traitors as ye are; And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
KING EDWARD. Take that, the likeness of this railer here. [Stabs him]
GLOUCESTER. Sprawl'st thou? Take that, to end thy agony. [Stabs him]
CLARENCE. And there's for twitting me with perjury. [Stabs him]
QUEEN MARGARET. O, kill me too!
GLOUCESTER. Marry, and shall. [Offers to kill her]
KING EDWARD. Hold, Richard, hold; for we have done to much.
GLOUCESTER. Why should she live to fill the world with words?
KING EDWARD. What, doth she swoon? Use means for her recovery.
GLOUCESTER. Clarence, excuse me to the King my brother. I'll hence to London on a serious matter; Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
CLARENCE. What? what?
GLOUCESTER. The Tower! the Tower! Exit
QUEEN MARGARET. O Ned, sweet Ned, speak to thy mother, boy! Canst thou not speak? O traitors! murderers! They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all, Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame, If this foul deed were by to equal it. He was a man: this, in respect, a child; And men ne'er spend their fury on a child. What's worse than murderer, that I may name it? No, no, my heart will burst, an if I speak- And I will speak, that so my heart may burst. Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals! How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd! You have no children, butchers, if you had, The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse. But if you ever chance to have a child, Look in his youth to have him so cut off As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!
KING EDWARD. Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
QUEEN MARGARET. Nay, never bear me hence; dispatch me here. Here sheathe thy sword; I'll pardon thee my death. What, wilt thou not? Then, Clarence, do it thou.
CLARENCE. By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
QUEEN MARGARET. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do it.
CLARENCE. Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself. 'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity. What! wilt thou not? Where is that devil's butcher, Hard-favour'd Richard? Richard, where art thou? Thou art not here. Murder is thy alms-deed; Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back.
KING EDWARD. Away, I say; I charge ye bear her hence.
QUEEN MARGARET. So come to you and yours as to this prince.
Exit, led out forcibly
KING EDWARD. Where's Richard gone?
CLARENCE. To London, all in post; and, as I guess, To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
KING EDWARD. He's sudden, if a thing comes in his head. Now march we hence. Discharge the common sort With pay and thanks; and let's away to London And see our gentle queen how well she fares. By this, I hope, she hath a son for me. Exeunt
London. The Tower
Enter KING HENRY and GLOUCESTER with the LIEUTENANT, on the walls
GLOUCESTER. Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?
KING HENRY. Ay, my good lord- my lord, I should say rather. 'Tis sin to flatter; 'good' was little better. 'Good Gloucester' and 'good devil' were alike, And both preposterous; therefore, not 'good lord.'
GLOUCESTER. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer. Exit LIEUTENANT
KING HENRY. So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf; So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece, And next his throat unto the butcher's knife. What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
GLOUCESTER. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind: The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
KING HENRY. The bird that hath been limed in a bush With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush; And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird, Have now the fatal object in my eye Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and kill'd.
GLOUCESTER. Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete That taught his son the office of a fowl! And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
KING HENRY. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus; Thy father, Minos, that denied our course; The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy, Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life. Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words! My breast can better brook thy dagger's point Than can my ears that tragic history. But wherefore dost thou come? Is't for my life?
GLOUCESTER. Think'st thou I am an executioner?
KING HENRY. A persecutor I am sure thou art. If murdering innocents be executing, Why, then thou are an executioner.
GLOUCESTER. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
KING HENRY. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume, Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine. And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear, And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's, And many an orphan's water-standing eye- Men for their sons, wives for their husbands, Orphans for their parents' timeless death- Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born. The owl shriek'd at thy birth- an evil sign; The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time; Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees; The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top, And chatt'ring pies in dismal discords sung; Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain, And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope, To wit, an indigest deformed lump, Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree. Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born, To signify thou cam'st to bite the world; And if the rest be true which I have heard, Thou cam'st-
GLOUCESTER. I'll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech. [Stabs him] For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
KING HENRY. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this. O, God forgive my sins and pardon thee! [Dies]
GLOUCESTER. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted. See how my sword weeps for the poor King's death. O, may such purple tears be always shed From those that wish the downfall of our house! If any spark of life be yet remaining, Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither-
[Stabs him again] I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear. Indeed, 'tis true that Henry told me of; For I have often heard my mother say I came into the world with my legs forward. Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right? The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried 'O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!' And so I was, which plainly signified That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog. Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so, Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it. I have no brother, I am like no brother; And this word 'love,' which greybeards call divine, Be resident in men like one another, And not in me! I am myself alone. Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light, But I will sort a pitchy day for thee; For I will buzz abroad such prophecies That Edward shall be fearful of his life; And then to purge his fear, I'll be thy death. King Henry and the Prince his son are gone. Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest; Counting myself but bad till I be best. I'll throw thy body in another room, And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
Exit with the body SCENE VII.
London. The palace
Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, QUEEN ELIZABETH, CLARENCE,
GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, NURSE, with the Young PRINCE, and attendants
KING EDWARD. Once more we sit in England's royal throne, Repurchas'd with the blood of enemies. What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn, Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride! Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd For hardy and undoubted champions; Two Cliffords, as the father and the son; And two Northumberlands- two braver men Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound; With them the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague, That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion And made the forest tremble when they roar'd. Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat And made our footstool of security. Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy. Young Ned, for thee thine uncles and myself Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night, Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat, That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace; And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] I'll blast his harvest if your head were laid; For yet I am not look'd on in the world. This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave; And heave it shall some weight or break my back. Work thou the way- and that shall execute.
KING EDWARD. Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen; And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
CLARENCE. The duty that I owe unto your Majesty I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
KING EDWARD. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.
GLOUCESTER. And that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st, Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit. [Aside] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master And cried 'All hail!' when as he meant all harm.
KING EDWARD. Now am I seated as my soul delights, Having my country's peace and brothers' loves.
CLARENCE. What will your Grace have done with Margaret? Reignier, her father, to the King of France Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem, And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
KING EDWARD. Away with her, and waft her hence to France. And now what rests but that we spend the time With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows, Such as befits the pleasure of the court? Sound drums and trumpets. Farewell, sour annoy!