Page images
PDF
EPUB

ter, Thomas Horner, for saying, That the duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.

Q. Mar. 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.

Suf. Who is there? [Enter Servants.] — Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a pursuivant presently:-we'll hear more of your matter before the king. [Exeunt Servants, with PETER. Q. Mar. 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 petition. Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go. All. Come, let's be gone. [Exeunt Petitioners. Q. Mar. My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise, Is this the fashion 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 Gloster's governance? Am I a queen in title and in style, And must be made a subject to a duke? I tell thee, Poole, 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,

[ocr errors]

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 canoniz'd saints.
I would, the college of 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.

Suf. Madam, be patient: as I was cause Your highness came to England, so will I In England work your grace's full content.

Q. Mar. Beside the haught 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.

Suf. 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.

Q. Mar. 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 callat 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 give two dukedoms for his daughter.
Suf. 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 counse. 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.
Enter KING HENRY, YORK, and SOMERSET, con-
versing with him; Duke and Duchess of GLOSTER,
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY,
and WARWICK.

[blocks in formation]

grace To be protector of his excellence ?

Glo. Madam, I am protector of the realm; And, at bis pleasure, will resign my place.

Suf. Resign it then, and leave thine insolence. Since thou wert king, (as who is king, but thou?) The commonwealth hath daily run to wreck : The Dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the scas; And all the peers and nobles of the realm Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty,

Car. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags

Are lank and lean with thy extortions.

Som. Thy sumptuous buildings, and thy wife's attire, Have cost a mass of publick treasury. Buck. Thy cruelty in execution, Upon offenders, hath exceeded law, And left thee to the mercy of the law.

Q. Mar. 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 GLOSTER. The QUEEN drops her fan. Give me my fan: What, minion! can you not? [Gives the DUCHESS a box on the ear. I cry you mercy, madam; Was it you?

Duch. Was't I? yea, I it was, proud French

woman:

[ocr errors]

Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

K. Hen. Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her
will.
Duch. 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.
[Erit DUCHESS.
Buck. Lord cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds:
She's tickled now: her fume can need no spurs,
She'll gallop fast enough to her destruction.
[Exit BUCKINGHAM.
Re-enter GLOSTER.

Glo. Now, lords, my choler being over-blown, 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.

Suf. 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.

War. That I can witness; and a fouler fact Did never traitor in the land commit.

Suf. Peace, head-strong Warwick!

War. Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?

Enter Servants of SUFFOLK, bringing in HORNER and PETER.

Suf. 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? K. Hen. What mean'st thou, Suffolk? tell me : What are these?

Suf. 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.

K. Hen. Say, man, were these thy words?

Hor. An't shall please your majesty, I never said nor thought any such matter: God is my witness, I am falsely accused by the villain.

Pet. By these ten bones, my lords, [holding up his hands.] 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.

Hor. 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.

K. Hen. Uncle, what shall we say to this in law? Glo. This doom, my lord, if I may judge.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Hume. Ay; What else? fear you not her courage. Boling. 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. [Erit HUME.] Mother Jourdain, be you prostrate, and grovel on the earth: John Southwell, read you; and let us to our work.

Enter DUCHESS, above.

Duch. Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this geer; the sooner the better.

Boling. 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 perform the ceremonies appertaining,

and make the circle; BOLINGBROKE, or SOUTHWELL, reads, Conjuro te, &c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth.] Spir. Adsum.

M. Jourd. 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.
Spir. Ask what thou wilt: That I had said and
done!

Boling. First, of the king. What shall of him become? [Reading out of a paper. Spir. The duke yet lives, that Henry shall depose; But him outlive, and die a violent death.

[As the Spirit speaks, SOUTHWELL writes the

answer.

Boling. What firit awaits the duke of Suffolk? Spir. By water shall be die, and take his end.

Boling. What shall befall the duke of Somerset ?
Spir. 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.

Boling. Descend to darkness, and the burning lake: False fiend, avoid!

[Thunder and lightning. Spirit descends. Enter YORK and BUCKINGHAM, hastily with their Guards, and others.

York. Lay hands upon these traitors, and their

trash.

Beldame, 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.

Duch. Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
Injurious duke; that threat'st where is no cause.
Buck. True, madam, none at all. What call you
this?
[Shewing her the papers.
Away with them; let them be clapp'd up close,
And kept asunder: - You, madam, shall with us :-
Stafford, take her to thee.

[ocr errors][merged small]

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Q. Mar. 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.

K. Hen. 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.

Suf. No marvel, an it like your majesty,
My lord protector's hawks do tower so well;
They know, their master loves to be aloft,
And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.

A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon : Now, pray, my lord, let's see the devil's writ. What have we here?

Were it not good, your grace could fly to heaven?
K. Hen. The treasury of everlasting joy!
Car. 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 !
Glo. What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown
peremptory?

The duke yet lives, that Henry shall depose;
But him outlive, and die a violent death.
Why, this is just,

Aio te, Eacida, 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 hardily attain'd,

ACT II.

And hardly understood.

The king is now in progress toward Saint Alban's,
With him the husband of this lovely lady:
Thither go these news, as fast as horse can carry

[Reads.

[blocks in formation]

Glo. My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind That mounts no bigher than a bird can soar.

Car. I thought as much; he'd be above the In thine own person answer thy abuse.

clouds.

Glo. Ay, my lord cardinal; How think you by that?

Tantæne animis cœlestibus iræ?

Churchmen so hot? good uncle, hide such malice; With such holiness can you do it?

Suf. No malice, sir; no more than well becomes So good a quarrel, and so bad a peer. Glo. As who, my lord?

Suf. Why, as you, my lord; An't like your lordly lord-protectorship. Glo. Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence. Q. Mar. And thy ambition, Gloster. K. Hen. I pr'ythee, peace, Good queen; and whet not on these furious peers, For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.

Car. Let me be blessed for the peace I make, Against this proud protector, with my sword! Glo. 'Faith, holy uncle, 'would 'twere come to that! [Aside to the CARDINAL. Car. Marry, when thou dar'st. [Aside. Glo. Make up no factious numbers for the inatter,

[Aside.

[Exeunt.

[ocr errors]

Car. Ay, where thou dar'st not peep: an if thou

dar'st, This evening, on the east side of the grove. [Aside. K. Hen. How now, my lords? Car. Believe me, cousin Gloster, Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly, We had had more sport. Come with thy two-hand sword. [Aside to GLO. Glo. True, uncle.

Car. Are you advis'd?-the east side of the grove?
Glo. Cardinal, I am with you.
[Aside.
K. Hen.
Why, how now, uncle Gloster!

Glo. Talking of nawking; nothing else, my lord.— Now, by God's mother, priest, I'll shave your crown for this, [Aside.

Or all my fence shall fail.

Car. Medice

Protector, see to't well, protect yourself. } [Aside.

K. Hen. The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.

How irksome is this musick to my heart
When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.

Enter an Inhabitant of Saint Alban's, crying,
A Miracle!

Glo. What means this noise?

Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?

Inhab. A miracle! a miracle!

Suf. Come to the king, and tell him what miracle.
Inhab. Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's
shrine,
Within this half hour, hath receiv'd his sight;
A man, that ne'er saw in his life before.

K. Hen. Now, God be prais'd! that to believing
souls
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
Enter the Mayor of Saint Alban's, and his brethren ;
and SIMPCOX, borne between two persons in a chair;
his wife and a great multitude following.

Car. Here come the townsmen on procession, To present your highness with the man.

K. Hen. Great is his comfort in this earthly vale, Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.

Glo. Stand by, my masters, bring him near the king,

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

In Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind,
Thou might'st as well have known our names, as thus
To name the several colours we do wear.
Sight may distinguish of colours; but suddenly
To nominate them all, 's impossible.

My lords, Saint Alban here hath done a miracle ;
And would ye not think that cunning to be great,
That could restore this cripple to his legs again?
Simp. O, master, that you could!

Glo. My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not
beadles in your town, and things called whips?
May. Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.
Glo. Then send for one presently.

May. Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
[Erit an Attendant

[ocr errors]

Glo. Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. [A stool brought out.] Now, sirrah, if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this stool, and

run away.

Simp. Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone; You go about to torture me in vain.

Re-enter Attendant, with the Beadle.

Simp. God knows, of pure devotion: being call'd
A hundred times, and oftner, 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.

Glo. Well, sir, we must have you find your legs.
Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same
stool.
Car. What, art thou lame?
Bead. I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off
Simp.
Ay, God Almighty help me! with your doublet quickly.
Suf. How cam'st thou so?
Simp.
Wife. A plum-tree, master.
Glo.
How long hast thou been blind?
Simp. O, born so, master.
Glo.

A fall off of a tree.

What, and would'st climb a tree?

[ocr errors]

Simp. 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 the people follow, and cry, A Miracle!

K. Hen. O God, see'st thou this, and bear'st so long?

Q. Mar. It made me laugh, to see the villain run. Glo. Follow the knave; and take this drab away. Wife. Alas, sir, we did it for pure need. Glo. Let them be whipped through every market town, till they come to Berwick, whence they came. [Exeunt Mayor, Beadle, Wife, &c. Car. Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day. Suf. True; made the lame to leap, and fly away. Glo. But you have done more miracles than I; You made, in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly. Enter BUCKINGHAM.

K. Hen. What tidings with our cousin Buckingham ?

Buck. 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.

Car. 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. [Aside to GLOSTER. Glo. Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart!

[ocr errors]

Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers:
And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee,
Or to the meanest groom.

K. Hen. O God, what mischiefs work the wicked

War. Sweet York, begin: and if thy claim be good,

ones;

Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby !

Q. Mar. Gloster, see here the tainture of thy nest. And, look, thyself be faultless, thou wert best.

Glo. 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 dishonour'd Gloster's honest name.

K. Hen. 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. Ereunt. SCENE II. - London. The Duke of York's

Garden.

Enter YORK, SALISBURY, and WARWICK.

York. Now, my goo 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 title,
Which is infallible, to England's crown.

Sal. My lord, I long to hear it at full.

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 Edmond Langley, duke of York;
The sixth, was Thomas of Woodstock, duke of
Gloster;

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 murder'd traitorously.
War. Father, the duke hath told the truth
Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.
York. Which now they hold by force, and not by
right;

For Richard, the first son's heir being dead."
The issue of the next son should have reign'd.
Sal. But William of Hatfield died without an
heir.

York. The third son, duke of Clarence, (from whose line

-

I elaim the crown,) had issue-Philippe, a daughter:
Who married Edmund Mortimer, earl of March,
Edmund had issue Roger, earl of March:
Roger had issue Edmund, Anne, and Eleanor.
Sal. This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,
As I have read, laid claim unto the crown;
And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
Who kept him in captivity, till he died.
But, to the rest.

-

York. His eldest sister, Anne, My mother, being heir unto the crown, Married Richard, earl of Cambridge; who was son To Edmond Langley, Edward the Third's fifth 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.

War. What plain proceedings are 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 both 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!

[ocr errors]

York. We thank you, lords. But I am not your

king

« PreviousContinue »