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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* Buck. Tut! these are petty faults to faults un

known,

* Which time will brins; to liHit in smooth duke

O O

Humphrey.

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

of us,

* To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot,

* Is worthy praise ; but shall I speak my conscience ?

* Our kinsman Gloster is as innocent

* From meaning treason to our royal person,

1 Suffolk uses highness and grace promiscuously to the queen. Camden
says that majesty came into use in the reign of king Henry the Eighth, as
sacred majesty lately, in our memory. Selden says that this must be un
derstood so far as it relates to the title being " commonly in use, and
properly to the king applied," because he adduces an instance of the use
of majesty, so early as the reign of Henry the Second. The reader will
see more on the subject in Mr. Douce s Illustrations of Shakspeare,
vol. ii. p. 11.

2 i. e. valuing himself on his high descent.



SC. I.] KING HENRY VI. 367

* 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.

* Q. Mar. Ah, what s more dangerous than this

fond affiance !

* Seems he a dove ? his feathers are but borrowed,
*For he s disposed as the hateful raven.

* Is he a lamb ? his skin is surely lent him,

* For he s inclined as are the ravenous wolves.

* Who cannot steal a shape, that means deceit ?

* Take heed, my lord ; the welfare of us all

* Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.

Enter SOMERSET.

* Som. All health unto my gracious sovereign!

K. Hen. Welcome, lord Somerset. What news

from France ?

4 Som. That all your interest in those territories
Is utterly bereft you ; all is lost.
K. Hen. Cold news, lord Somerset ; but God s

will be done !

York. Cold news for me ; for I had hope of 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. [Exit.

Enter GLOSTER.

* Glo. All happiness unto my lord the king !
Pardon, my liege, that I have staid so long.

Suff. Nay, Gloster, know, that thou art come too

soon,

< Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art.
I do arrest thee of high treason here.

Glo. Well, Suffolk, yet ] thou shalt not see me blush,
Nor change my countenance for this arrest ;

i This is the reading of the second folio. The first folio reads, "Well,
Suffolk, thou," &c. Mr. Malone reads, Well, Suffolk s duke," &c., from
the old play.



368 SECOND PART OF [ACT III.

* A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.

* The purest spring is not so free from mud,

* As I am clear from treason to my sovereign :
Who can accuse me ? wherein am I guilty ?

York. Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of

France,

And, being protector, stayed the soldiers pay ;
By means whereof, his highness hath lost France.

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

think it ?

4 I never robbed the soldiers of their pay,
4 Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
4 So help me God, as I have watched the night,
4 Ay, night by night, in studying good for England !
4 That doit that e er I wrested from the king,
4 Or any groat I hoarded to my use,
4 Be brought against me at my trial day !
4 No ! many a pound of* mine own proper store,
4 Because I would not tax the needy commons,
4 Have I dispursed to the garrisons,
4 And never asked for restitution.

* Car. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.

* Glo. I say no more than truth, so help me God !
York. In your protectorship, you did devise

Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of,
That England was defamed by tyranny.

Glo. Why, tis well known, that whiles I was pro
tector,
Pity was all the fault that was in me ;

* For I should melt at an offender s tears,

f And lowly words were ransom for their fault.

4 Unless it were a bloody murderer,

4 Or foul, felonious thief that fleeced poor passengers,

4 I never gave them condign punishment :

4 Murder, indeed, that bloody sin, I tortured

4 Above the felon, or what trespass else.

4 Suff. My lord, these faults are easy, 1 quickly an
swered :

1 i. e. slight.



SC. I.] KING HENRY VI. 369

6 But mightier crimes are laid unto jour charge,
4 Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
1 I do arrest you in his highness name ;
4 And here commit you to my lord cardinal
4 To keep, until your further time of trial.

4 K. Hen. My lord of Gloster, tis my special hope,
4 That you will clear yourself from all suspects ;
My conscience tells me you are innocent.

Glo. Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous !

* Virtue is choked with foul ambition,

* And charity chased hence by rancor s hand ;

* Foul subornation is predominant,

* And equity exiled your highness land.

* I know their complot is to have my life ;

4 And, if my death might make this island happy,

6 And prove the period of their tyranny,

4 I would expend it with all willingness ;

4 But mine is made the prologue to their play;

4 For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril,

4 Will not conclude their plotted tragedy.

4 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 ;

4 And dogged York, that reaches at the moon,
4 Whose overweening arm I have plucked back,

* By false accuse doth level at my life ;

4 And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
4 Causeless have laid disgraces on my head ;

* And, with your best endeavor, have stirred up

* My liefest * liege to be mine enemy :

* Ay, all of you have laid your heads together ;

* Myself had notice of your conventicles ;

4 I shall not want false witness to condemn me,
4 Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt :
4 The ancient proverb will be well affected,
A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.

* Car. My liege, his railing is intolerable :



1 Liefest is dearest.
VOL. iv. 47



370 SECOND PART OF [ACT III.

* If those that care to keep your royal person

* From treason s secret knife, and traitors rage,
*Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at,

* And the offender granted scope of speech,

Twill make them cool in zeal unto your grace.

Suff. Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here,
With ignominious words, though clerkly couched,

* As if she had suborned some to swear

* False allegations to o erthrow his state ?

Q. Mar. But I can give the loser leave to chide.
Glo. Far truer spoke than meant : I lose indeed ;
Beshrew the winners, for they played me false !
*And well such losers may have leave to speak.

Buck. He ll wrest the sense, and hold us here all

day.
4 Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner.

Car. Sirs, take away the duke, and guard him

sure.

Glo. Ah, thus king Henry throws away his crutch,
Before his legs be firm to bear his body ;
4 Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
1 And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee first.
Ah, that my fear were false ! ah, that it were !
For, good king Henry, thy decay I fear.

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

best,
Do, or undo, as if ourself were here.

Q. Mar. What, will your highness leave the parlia

ment ?

K. Hen. Ay, Margaret ; my heart is drowned with
grief,

* Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes ;

* My body round engirt with misery ;

* For what s more miserable than discontent ?
Ah, uncle Humphrey ! in thy face I see

The map of honor, truth, and loyalty!

* And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come,

* That e er I proved thee false, or feared thy faith.

* What lowering star now envies thy estate,



*



SC. I.] KING HENRY VI. 371

* 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 Gloster s case,

* With sad, unhelpful tears ; and with dimmed eyes

* Look after him, and cannot do him good ;

* So mighty are his vowed enemies.

4 His fortunes I will weep ; and, twixt each groan,
c Say Wlio^s a traitor , Gloster he is none. [Exit.

Q. Mar. Free lords ; * cold snow melts with the
sun s hot beams.

* Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,

* Too full of foolish pity ; and Gloster s show

* Beguiles him, as the mournful crocodile

* With sorrow snares relenting passengers ;

* Or as the snake, rolled in a flowering bank,

* With shining, checkered 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 Gloster should be quickly rid the world,

To rid us from the fear we have of him.

* Car. That he should die, is worthy policy ;

* But yet we want a color for his death :

* Tis meet he be condemned by course of law.

* Suff. But, in my mind, that were no policy ;

* The king will labor still to save his life ;

* The commons haply rise to save his life ;

1 Warburton thinks that by "free lords " Margaret means " you who are
not bound up to such precise regards of religion as is the king ; but aro
men of the world, and know how to live." It has been shown that free
meant pure, chaste, and consequently virtuous. This may be the meaning
here; unless the reader would rather believe that it means free-born, noble,
which was the sense of its Saxon original.



372 SECOND PART OF [ACT III.

* 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.

* Suff. Ah, York, no man alive so fain as I.

* York. Tis York that hath more reason for his

death. 1
*But, my lord cardinal, and you, my lord of Suffolk,

* Say as you think, and speak it from your souls,

* Wer t not all one, an empty eagle were set

* To guard the chicken from a hungry kite,

*As place duke Humphrey for the king s protector?

Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure of
death.

Suff. Madam, tis true ; and wer t not madness,

then,

4 To make the fox surveyor of the fold ?
Who being accused a crafty murderer,
f His guilt should be but idly posted over,
4 Because his purpose is not executed.
No ; let him die, in that he is a fox,
1 By nature proved an enemy to the flock,
Before his chaps be stained with crimson blood ;
As Humphrey, proved by reasons, to my liege.
And do not stand on quillets, how to slay him :
< Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
4 Sleeping or waking, tis no matter how,
So he be dead ; for that is good deceit
1 Which mates 2 him first, that first intends deceit.

* Q. Mar. Thrice-noble Suffolk, tis resolutely spoke.

* Suff. 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. 3

1 York had more reason for desiring Humphrey s death, because he
stood between him and the crown, which he had proposed to himself in
nis ambitious views.

2 i. e. confounds, overcomes.

3 That is, " I will be the attendant on his last scene ; I will be the last
man whom he shall see."



SC. I.] KING HENRY VI. 373

* Car. But I would have him dead, my lord of

Suffolk,

* Ere you can take due orders for a priest :

* Say you consent, and censure 1 well the deed,
*And I ll provide his executioner,

* I tender so the safety of my liege.

* Suff. Here is my hand ; the deed is worthy doing.

* Q. Mar. And so say I.

* York. And I ; and now we three have spoke it,
*It skills not greatly 2 who impugns our doom.

Enter a Messenger.

< Mess. Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain,

* To signify that rebels there are up,

And put the Englishmen unto the sword :

* Send succors, lords, and stop the rage betime,

* Before the wound do grow incurable ;

* For, being green, there is great hope of help.

* Car. A breach, that craves a quick, expedient 3

stop !
What counsel give you in this weighty cause ?

York. That Somerset be sent as regent thither :
Tis meet, that lucky ruler be employed ;
Witness the fortune he hath had in France.

< Som. If York, with all his far-fet 4 policy,
Had been the regent there instead of me,

4 He never would have staid in France so long.

York. No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done.
4 I rather would have lost my life betimes,

* Than bring a burden of dishonor home,

* By staying there so long, till all were lost.

* Show me one scar charactered on thy skin ;

* Men s flesh preserved so whole, do seldom win.

* Q. Mar. Nay, then, this spark will prove a raging

fire,

* If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with :



1 i. e. judge or think well of it. u " It matters not greatly."

3 Expeditious. 4 Far-fetched.



374 SECOND PART OF [ACT III.

*No more, good York: sweet Somerset, be still:

* Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there,

* Might happily have proved far worse than his.

York. What, worse than naught ? nay, then a shame

take all !

t Som. And in the number, thee, that wishest shame !
Car. My lord of York, try what your fortune is.
4 The uncivil kernes of Ireland are in arms,

* And temper clay with blood of Englishmen ;
1 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.

* Suff. Why, our authority is his consent ;

* And what we do establish, he confirms :

* Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.

i York. I am content. Provide me soldiers, lords,
4 Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.

Suff. A charge, lord York, that I will see performed.
1 But now return we to the false duke Humphrey.

1 Car. 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 ;
4 For there I ll ship them all for Ireland.

Suff. I ll see it truly done, my lord of York.

[Exeunt all but YORK.

York. Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful
thoughts,

* And change misdoubt to resolution.

* Be that thou hop st to be ; or what thou art

* Resign to death ; it is not worth the enjoying.

* Let pale-faced fear keep with the mean-born man,

* And find no harbor in a royal heart.

* Faster than spring-time showers, comes thought on

thought ;

* And not a thought, but thinks on dignity.
*My brain, more busy than the laboring spider,



SC. I.] KING HENRY VI. 375

* Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
*Well, nobles, well, tis politicly done,

* To send me packing with a host of men ;

* I fear me, you but warm the starved snake,

* Who, cherished in your breasts, will sting your hearts.
Twas men I lacked, and you will give them me ;

< I take it kindly ; yet, be well assured

4 You put sharp weapons in a madman s hands.

4 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.
i And, for a minister of my intent,

4 I have seduced a headstrong Kentishman,
i John Cade of Ashford,
6 To make commotion, as full well he can,
i Under the title of John Mortimer.

* In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade

* Oppose himself against a troop of kernes ; l

* And fought so long, till that his thighs with darts

* Were almost like a sharp-quilled porcupine ;

* And, in the end being rescued, I have seen him

* Caper upright like a wild Morisco, 2

* Shaking the bloody darts, as he his bells.

* Full often, like a shag-haired crafty kerne,

* Hath he conversed with the enemy ;

* And undiscovered come to me again,

* And given me notice of their villanies.

* This devil here shall be my su bstitute ;

* For that John Mortimer, which now is dead,

* In face, in gait, in speech, he doth resemble ;
1 By this I shall perceive the commons mind,

1 Kernes were Irish peasantry, who served as light-armed foot-soldiers.

2 A dancer in a morris-dance ; originally, perhaps, meant to imitate a
Moorish dance, and thence named. The bells sufficiently indicate that
the English morris-dancer is intended. It appears from Blount s Glos-
Bography, and some of our old writers, that the dance itself was called a



376 SECOND PART OF [ACT III.

< How they affect the house and claim of York.

4 Say, he be taken, racked, and tortured ;

4 I know no pain they can inflict upon him,

6 Will make him say I moved 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 sowed ;
For Humphrey being dead, as he shall be,
And Henry put apart, the next for me. [Exit*



SCENE II. 1 Bury. A Room in the Palace.

Enter certain Murderers, hastily.

1 Mur. Run to my lord of Suffolk ; let him know,

* We have despatched the duke, as he commanded.

* 2 Mur. O, that it were to do ! What have we
done ?

* Didst ever hear a man so penitent ?

Enter SUFFOLK.

4 1 Mur. Here comes my lord.

4 Suff. Now, sirs, have you

4 Despatched this thing ?

4 1 Mur. Ay, my good lord ; he s dead.

4 Suff. Why, that s well said. Go, get you to my

house ;

4 I will reward you for this venturous deed.
4 The king and all the peers are here at hand.
4 Have you laid fair the bed ? Are all things well,
4 According as I gave directions ?

4 1 Mur. Tis, my good lord.

4 Suff. Away, be gone ! [Exeunt Murderers.

1 The directions concerning this scene stand thus in the quarto copy :
" Then the curtains being drawne, duke Humphrey is discovered in his bed,
and two men lying on his breast, and smothering him in his bed. And then
enter the duke of Suffolk to them."



SO. II.] KING HENRY VI. 377

Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, CARDINAL
BEAUFORT, SOMERSET, Lords, and others.

6 K. Hen. Go, call our uncle to our presence

straight.

; Say, we intend to try his grace to-day,
If he be guilty, as tis published.

6 Suff. I ll call him presently, my noble lord. [Exit.
4 K. Hen. Lords, take your places ; and, I pray

you all,
; Proceed no straiter gainst our uncle Gloster,

* Than from true evidence, of good esteem,
4 He be approved in practice culpable.

* Q. Mar. God forbid any malice should prevail,

* That faultless may condemn a nobleman !

* Pray God, he may acquit him of suspicion !

* K. Hen. I thank thee, Margaret ; these words con

tent me much.



Re-enter SUFFOLK.

4 How now? why look s! thou pale? why tremblest

thou ?

Where is our uncle ? what is the matter, Suffolk ?
Suff. Dead in his bed, my lord ; Gloster is dead.

* Q. Mar. Marry, God forefend !

* Car. God s secret judgment ; I did dream to

night,
* The duke was dumb, and could not speak a word.

[The King swoons.

1 Q. Mar. How fares my lord ? Help, lords ! the
king is dead.

* Som. Rear up his body; wring him by the nose.

* Q. Mar. Run, go, help, help ! O Henry, ope thine

eyes !

* Suff. He doth revive again ; madam, be patient.

* K. Hen. O heavenly God !

* Q. Mar. How fares my gracious lord ?

Suff. Comfort, my sovereign ! gracious Henry

comfort !
VOL. iv. 48



378 SECOND PART OF [ACT III.

K. Hen. What, doth my lord of Suffolk comfort

me ?
Came he right now * to sing a raven s note,

* Whose dismal time bereft my vital powers ;
And thinks he, that the chirping of a wren,

By crying comfort from a hollow breast,

* Can chase away the first-conceived sound ?

* Hide not thy poison with such sugared words ;

* Lay not thy hands on me ; forbear, I say ;

* Their touch affrights me, as a serpent s sting.
Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight !

Upon thy eyeballs murderous tyranny

4 Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world.

Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding ;

6 Yet do not go away. Come, basilisk,

And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight ;

"For in the shade of dcatli I shall find joy;

* In life, but double death, now Gloster s dead !

Q. Mar. Why do you rate my lord of Suffolk thus ?

* Although the duke was enemy to him,
*Yct he, most Christianlikc, 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 ?
4 For it is known we were but hollow friends.
i It may be judged I made the duke away ;

* So shall my name with slander s tongue be wounded,

* And princes courts be filled with my reproach.
*This get I by his death. Ah me, unhappy!

* To be a queen, and crowned with infamy !

i K. Hen. Ah, woe is me for Gloster, wretched man !

Q. Mar. 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.

1 Just now.



SC. II.] KING HENRY VI. 379

*What, art thou, like the adder, waxen deaf?
*Be poisonous too, and kill thy forlorn queen.

* Is all thy comfort shut in Gloster s tomb ?

* Why, then dame Margaret was ne er thy joy;

* Erect his statue then, and worship it,

* And make my image but an alehouse sign.
Was I, for this, nigh wrecked upon the sea ;

i And twice by awkward wind from England s bank
4 Drove back again unto my native clime ?
What boded this, but well forewarning wind
Did seern to say, Seek not a scorpion s nest,

* Nor set no footing on this unkind shore ?
*What did I then, but cursed the gentle gusts,

* And he that loosed them from their brazen caves ;

* Arid bid them blow towards England s blessed shore,

* Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock ?

* Yet ^Eolus would not be a murderer,

* But left that hateful office unto thee.

* The pretty, vaulting sea refused to drown me ;

* Knowing that thou wouldst have me drowned on

shore,

* With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness.

* The splitting rocks cowered 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 l Margaret.

* As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,

* When from the 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 received it ;

* And so, I wished, thy body might my heart :

* And even with this, 1 lost fair England s view,

1 The verb perish is hero used actively. Thus in Beaumont and
Fletcher s Maid s Tragedy :

let not my sins

Perish your noble youth."



380 SECOND PART OF [ACT III

* And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart ;

* And called 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 L me, as Ascanius did,

* When he to madding Dido would unfold

* His father s acts, commenced in burning Troy ?

* Am I not witched like her ? or thou not false like

him ? 2

* Ah me, I can no more ! Die, Margaret !

* For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.



Noise within. Enter WARWICK and SALISBURY. The
Commons press to the door.

4 War. It is reported, mighty sovereign,
4 That good duke Humphrey traitorously is murdered
4 By Suffolk and the cardinal Beaufort s means.
4 The commons, like an angry hive of bees,
4 That want their leader, scatter up and down,
4 And care not who they sting in his revenge.
4 Myself have calmed their spleenful mutiny,
4 Until they hear the order of his death.

K. Hen. That he is dead, good Warwick, tis too

true ;

But how he died, God knows, not Henry.
4 Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse,
4 And comment then upon his sudden death.



Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 27 of 38)