William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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[Exeunt Mayor, Beadle, Wife, &c.
Car. Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.
Suff. True ; made the lame to leap, and fly away.
c Glo. But you have done more miracles than I ;
You made, in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.


K. Hen. What tidings with our cousin Bucking

6 Buck. Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold.
A sort 1 of naughty persons, lewdly 2 bent,
Under the countenance and confederacy,
< Of lady Eleanor, the protector s wife,
4 The ringleader and head of all this rout,
c Have practised dangerously against your state,

i A sort is a company. 2 i. e. wickedly, knavishly.


< Dealing with witches, and with conjurers ;
Whom we have apprehended in the fact ;
1 Raising up wicked spirits from under ground,
6 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 J yet at London.
6 This news, I think, hath turned your weapon s edge.
6 Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.

[Aside to GLOSTER.

Glo. Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart!

* Sorrow and grief have vanquished all my powers ;

* And, vanquished as I am, I yield to thee,

* Or to the meanest groom.

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

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.

6 Glo. Madam, for myself, to Heaven I do appeal,
How I have loved my king, and common-weal :
And, for my wife, I know not how it stands ;
1 Sorry I am to hear what I have heard :
Noble she is ; but if she have forgot
1 Honor and virtue, and conversed with such
c As, like to pitch, defile nobility,
4 I banish her my bed and company ;
4 And give her, as a prey, to law and shame,
That hath dishonored Gloster s honest name.

4 K. Hen. Well, for this night, we will repose us


1 To-morrow, toward London, back again,
6 To look into this business thoroughly,
4 And call these foul offenders to their answers ;
And poise the cause in justice equal scales,
Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause pre
vails. [Flourish. Exeunt.

1 i. e. your lady is in custody.
VOL. iv. 45


SCENE II. London. The Duke of York s Garden.


York. Now, my good lords of Salisbury and War

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.

War. Sweet York, begin ; and if thy claim be good,
The Nevils are thy subjects to command.

York. Then thus :
4 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,
6 Lionel, duke of Clarence ; next to whom,

4 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, reigned as king ;
c Till Henry Bolingbroke, duke of Lancaster,
i The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
i Crowned by the name of Henry the Fourth,
i Seized on the realm ; deposed the rightful king ;
Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she came,
i And him to Pomfret ; where, as you all know,
4 Harmless Richard was murdered 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 reigned.


* Sal. 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.

4 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. 1
*But, to the rest.

York. His eldest sister, Anne,

My mother, being heir unto the crown,
6 Married Richard, earl of Cambridge ; who was son
To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third s fifth son.
1 By her I claim the kingdom : she was heir
4 To Roger, earl of March ; who was the son

1 Some of the mistakes of the historians and the drama concerning Ed
mund Mortimer, earl of March, are noticed in a note to the former play :
where he is introduced as an aged and gray-haired prisoner in the Tower,
and represented as having been confined " since Harry Monmouth first
began to reign." Yet here we are told he was kept in captivity by Owen
Glendower till he died. The fact is, that Hall having said Owen Glen-
dower kept his son-in-law, lord Grey of Ruthvin, in captivity till he died,
and this lord March having been said by some historians to have married
Owen s daughter, the author of this play has confounded them with each
other. This Edmund being only six years of age at the death of his father,
in 1398, he was delivered by king Henry IV. in ward to his son Henry
prince of Wales, and during the whole of that reign, being a minor, and
related to the family on the throne, he was under the particular care of the
king. At the age of ten years, in 1402, he headed a body of Herefordshire
men against Owen Glendower, and was taken prisoner by him. The
Percies, in the manifesto they published before the battle of Shrewsbury,
speak of him as rightful heir to the crown, whom Owen had confined, and
whom, finding for political reasons that the king would not ransom him,
they at their own charges had ransomed. If he was at the battle of
Shrewsbury, he was probably brought there against his will, to grace their
cause, and was under the care of the king soon after. Great trust was
reposed in this earl of March during the whole reign of king Henry V. In
the sixth year of that king he was at the siege of Fresnes, with the earl of
Salisbury ; and soon afterwards with the king himself at the siege of
Melun. In the seme year he was made lieutenant of Normandy ; was at
Melun with Henry to treat of his marriage with Catharine ; and accom
panied that queen when she returned from France with the corpse of her
husband, in 1422, and died two years afterwards at his castle of Trim, in


4 Of Edmund Mortimer ; who married Philippe,
4 Sole daughter unto Lionel, duke of Clarence :
4 So, if the issue of the elder son
6 Succeed before the younger, I am king.

4 War. What plain proceedings are more plain than


4 Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
4 The fourth son ; York claims it from the third.
4 Till Lionel s issue fails, his should not reign ;
4 It fails not yet ; but flourishes in thee,
4 And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.
4 Then, father Salisbury, kneel we both together ;
4 And, in this private plot, 1 be we the first
4 That shall salute our rightful sovereign
4 With honor of his birthright to the crown.

Both. Long live our sovereign Richard, England s

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


4 Till I be crowned ; and that my sword be stained
4 With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster.

* And that s not suddenly to be performed ;
*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 snared the shepherd of the flock,

* That virtuous prince, the good duke Humphrey.
Tis that they seek : and they, in seeking that,

* Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.

* Sal. My lord, break we off; we know your mind
at full.

4 War. My heart assures me, that the earl of War
4 Shall one day make the duke of York a king.

4 York. And, Nevil, this I do assure myself,

Sequestered spot.


1 Richard shall live to make the earl of Warwick
; The greatest man in England, but the king.


SCENE III. The same. A Hall of Justice.

Trumpets sounded. Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN

6 K. Hen. Stand forth, dame Eleanor Cobham,

Gloster s wife :

< In sight of God, and us, your guilt is great;
Receive the sentence of the law, for sins
6 Such as by God s book are adjudged to death.

* You four, from hence to prison back again ;

[To JOURD., &c.

* From thence unto the place of execution ;

* The witch in Smithfield shall be burned to ashes,

* And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.
4 You, madam, for you are more nobly born,

4 Despoiled of your honor in your life,

4 Shall after three days open penance done,

* Live in your country here, in banishment,

4 With sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man.

Duch. Welcome is banishment ; welcome were my

* Glo. Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged thee ;

* I cannot justify whom the law condemns.

[Exeunt the Duchess, and the other Prisoners,


i Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
c Ah, Humphrey, this dishonor in thine age
4 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.
K. Hen. Stay, Humphrey duke of Gloster : ere
thou go,


4 Give up thy staff; Henry will to himself
4 Protector be ; and God shall be my hope,
4 My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet ;
4 And go in peace, Humphrey; no less beloved,
Than when thou wert protector to thy king.

* Q. Mar. I see no reason why a king of years
* Should be to be protected like a child.

4 God and king Henry govern England s helm ;
4 Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm.

4 Glo. My staff? Here, noble Henry, is my staff;
4 As willingly do I the same resign,
4 As e er thy father Henry made it mine ;
And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it,
As others would ambitiously receive it.
4 Farewell, good king. When I am dead and gone,
May honorable peace attend thy throne ! [Exit.

* Q. Mar. Why, now is Henry king, and Margaret

queen ;

* And Humphrey, duke of Gloster, scarce himself,

* That bears so shrewd a maim ; two pulls at once,

* His lady banished, and a limb lopped off.

* This staff of honor raught, 1 there let it stand,

* Where it best fits to be, in Henry s hand.

* Sujf. Thus droops this lofty pine, and hangs his

sprays ;

* Thus Eleanor s pride dies in her youngest days. 2

4 York. Lords, let him go. 3 Please it your majesty,
4 This is the day appointed for the combat ;
4 And ready are the appellant and defendant,
4 The armorer and his man, to enter the lists,
4 So please your highness to behold the fight.

* Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord ; for purposely therefore

* Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.

4 K. Hen. O God s name, see the lists and all

things fit ;
4 Here let them end it, and God defend the right !

1 Raught is the ancient preterit of the verb reach.

2 .Her in this line relates to pride, and not to Eleanor. " The pride of
Eleanor dies before it has reached maturity."

3 i. e. let him pass out of your thoughts.


* York. I never saw a fellow worse bested, 1

* Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant,

* The servant of this armorer, my lords.

Enter, on one side, HORNER, and his neighbors, drink
ing to him so much that he is drunk ; and he enters
bearing his staff with a sand-bag fastened to it ; 2 a
drum before him ; at the other side, PETER, with a
drum and a similar staff; accompanied by Prentices
drinking to him.

1 Neigh. Here, neighbor Homer, I drink to you in
a cup of sack ; and fear not, neighbor, you shall do
well enough.

2 Neigh. And here, neighbor, here s a cup of
charneco. 3

3 Neigh. And here s a pot of good double beer,
neighbor : drink, and fear not your man.

Hor. Let it come, i faith, and I ll pledge you all ;
and a fig for Peter !

1 Pren. Here, Peter, I drink to thee ; and be not

2 Pren. Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master ;
fight for credit of the prentices.

Peter. I thank you all: * drink, and pray for me,

* I pray you ; for, I think, 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.

Sal. Come, leave your drinking, and fall to blows.
Sirrah, what s thy name ?

1 In a worse plight.

2 As, according to the old law of duels, knights were to fight with the
lance and the sword, so those of inferior rank fought with an ebon staff, or
baton, to the further end of which was fixed a bag crammed hard with

3 Charneco appears to have been a kind of sweet wine. Steevens says
Charneco is the name of a village in Portugal where this wine was made.


Peter. Peter, forsooth.

Sal. Peter ! what more ?

Peter. Thump.

Sal. Thump ! then see thou thump thy master well.

HOT. Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon
my man s instigation, to prove him a knave, and
myself an honest man ; * touching the duke of York,
* will take my death, I never meant him any ill, nor
the king, nor the queen. *And, therefore, Peter,
*have at thee with a downright blow, as Bevis of
Southampton fell upon Ascapart. 1

* York. Despatch ; this knave s tongue begins to

double. 2

* Sound trumpets, alarum to the combatants.

[Alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes

down his Master.

Hor. 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 prevailed in

< right !

K. Hen. Go, take hence that traitor from our sight;
For, by his death, we do perceive his guilt. 3
And God, in justice, hath revealed to us
The truth and innocence of this poor fellow,
Which he had thought to have murdered wrongfully.
Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward. [Exeunt.

1 Warburton added this allusion to Bevis and Ascapart from the old
quarto. The story of this knight and giant was familiar to our ancestors ;
their effigies are still preserved on the gates of Southampton.

~ This is from Holinshed, whose narrative Shakspeare has deserted
in making the armorer confess treason : " His neighbors gave him wine
and strong drinke in such excessive sort, that he was therewith distem
pered, and reeled as he went, and so was slaine without guilt. As for the
false servant, he lived not long unpunished ; for being convict of felonie
in court of assise, he was judged to be hanged, and so was at Tiburne."
Fo. G2G.

3 The real name of the combatants were John Daveys and William
Catour. The death of the vanquished person was always regarded as cer
tain evidence of his guilt.


SCENE IV. The same. A Street.

Enter GLOSTER and Servants, in mourning cloaks.

* Glo. 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 ?

Serv. Ten, my lord.

4 Glo. Ten is the hour that was appointed me,
4 To watch the coming of my punished duchess.
4 Uneath 1 may she endure the flinty streets,
4 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, still 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-stained eyes to see her miseries.

Enter the DUCHESS of GLOSTER, in a white sheet, with
papers pinned upon her back, her feet bare, and a
taper burning in her hand ; SIR JOHN STANLEY, a
Sheriff, and Officers.

Serv. So please your grace, we ll take her from the

4 Glo. No, stir not, for your lives ; let her pass by.

Duch. Come you, my lord, to see my open shame ?
Now thou dost penance too. Look, how they gaze !
4 See how the giddy multitude do point,
4 And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on thee !
4 Ah, Gloster, hide thee from their hateful looks ;
4 And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine.

1 Not easily.
VOL. iv. 46


Glo. Be patient, gentle Nell ; forget this grief.

Duch. Ah, Gloster, teach me to forget myself;
For, whilst I think I am thy married wife,
And thou a prince, protector of this land,
Methinks 1 should not thus be led along,
Mailed up in shame, 1 with papers on my back;

* And followed with a rabble, that rejoice

* To sec my tears, and hear my deep-fet 2 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.

4 All, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke ?

* Trow st thou, that e er I ll look upon the world;

* Or count them happy that enjoy the sun ?
*No ; dark shall be my light, and night my day ;
To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.

Sometime I ll say, I am duke Humphrey s wife ;

And he a prince, and ruler of the land :

Yet so he ruled, 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 limed bushes to betray thy wings ;

And, fly thou how thou canst, they ll tangle thee.

* But fear not thou, until thy foot be snared,

* Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.

* Glo. 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,

1 Wrapped or bundled up in disgrace ; alluding 1 to the sheet of penance
Mailed, from a mail or male, a little budget.

2 Deep-fetched.


* So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.

4 Wouldst have me rescue thee from this reproach ?

4 Why, yet thy scandal were not wiped away,

4 But I in danger for the breach of law.

4 Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell.

4 I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience ;

4 These few days wonder will be quickly worn.

Enter a Herald.

Her. I summon your grace to his majesty s parlia
ment, holden at Bury the first of this next month.

Glo. And my consent ne er asked 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.
4 Sher. An t please your grace, here my commission

stays ;

4 And sir John Stanley is appointed now
4 To take her with him to the Isle of Man.

4 Glo. Must you, sir John, protect my lady here ?
4 Stan. So am I given in charge, may t please your


Glo. 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.

Duck. What, gone, my lord ; and bid me not fare
well ?
4 Glo. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.

[Exeunt GLOSTER and Servants.
4 Duck. 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 afeared,

* Because I wished this world s eternity.

4 Stanley, I pr ythee, go, and take me hence ;

1 i. e. the world may again look favorably on me.


I care not whither, for I beg no favor,

i Only convey me where thou art commanded.

* Stan. Why, madam, that is to the Isle of Man ;

* There to be used according to your state.

* Duch. That s bad enough, for I am but reproach;

* And shall I then be used reproachfully ?

* Stan. Like to a duchess, and duke Humphrey s


* According to that state you shall be used.

Duch. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare ;
4 Although thou hast been conduct l of my shame !

c Sher. It is my orifice ; and, madam, pardon me.

Duch. Ay, ay, farewell ; thy office is discharged.
c Come, Stanley, shall we go ?

6 Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this

6 And go we to attire you for our journey.

4 Duck. 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.



SCENE I. The Abbey at Bury.

Enter, to the parliament, KING HENRY, QUEEN MAR
BUCKINGHAM, and others.

4 K. Hen. I muse my lord of Gloster is not come.
Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
1 Whate er occasion keeps him from us now.

1 For conductor.


4 Q. Mar. Can you not see? or will you not ob

4 The strangeness of his altered countenance ?
4 With what a majesty he bears himself!
4 How insolent of late he is become,
4 How proud, how peremptory, and unlike himself?
4 We know the time, since he was mild and affable ;
4 And, if we did but glance a far-off look,
4 Immediately he was upon his knee,
i That all the court admired him for submission;
4 But meet him now, and, be it in the morn,
4 When every one will give the time of day,
4 He knits his brow, and shows an angry eye,
4 And passeth by with stiff, unbowed knee,
4 Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
4 Small curs are not regarded when they grin ;
4 But great men tremble when the lion roars ;
4 And Humphrey is no little man in England.
4 First, note, that he is near you in descent ;
4 And should you fall, he is the next will mount.
4 Me seemeth, then, it is no policy,
4 Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears,
4 And his advantage following your decease,
4 That he should come about your royal person,
4 Or be admitted to your highness council.
4 By flattery hath he won the commons hearts ;
4 And, when he please to make commotion,
4 Tis to be feared, they all will follow him.
4 Now tis the spring, and weeds are shallow rooted ;
4 Suffer them now, and they ll o ergrow the garden,
4 And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
4 The reverent care, I bear unto my lord,
4 Made me collect l these dangers in the duke.
4 If it be fond, call it a woman s fear ;
4 Which fear if better reasons can supplant,
4 I will subscribe and say I wronged the duke.
4 My lord of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
4 Reprove my allegation, if you can ;
* Or else conclude my words effectual.

1 i. e. assemble by observation.


4 Suff. 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 1 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, 2

* (As next the king he was successive heir,)

* And such high vaunts of his nobility,

* Did instigate the bedlam, brain-sick duchess,

* By wicked means, to frame our sovereign s fall.
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep ;

* And in his simple show he harbors treason.
The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
No, no, my sovereign; Gloster is a man
Unsounded yet, and full of deep deceit.

* Car. Did he not, contrary to form of law,

* Devise strange deaths for small offences done ?

York. And did he not, in his protectorship,

* Levy great sums of money through the realm,

* For soldiers pay in France, and never sent it ?

* By means whereof, the towns each day revolted.

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 26 of 38)