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. 80
Sal. Come, leave your drinking, and fall to
blows. Sirrah, what 's thy name?
Peter. Peter, forsooth.
Sal. Peter! what more?
Sal. Thump! then see thou thump thy master
Hor. Masters, I am come hither, as it were,
upon my man's instigation, to prove him a
knave and myself an honest man: and 90
KING HENRY VI Act II. Sc. iii.
touching the Duke of York, I will take my
death, I never meant him any ill, nor the
king, nor the queen: and therefore, Peter,
have at thee with a downright hlow !
York. Dispatch: this knave's tongue begins to
double. Sound, trumpets, alarum to the
^Alarum. They fights and Peter strikes him
11 or. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess
York. Take away his weapon. Fellow, thank 100
God, and the good wine in the master's way.
Peter. O God, have I overcome mine enemy in
this presence ? O Peter, thou hast prevailed
King. Go, take hence that traitor from our
94. "blow"; Warburton adds, from Qq., "as Bevis of Southampton
fell xtpon Ascapart." — I. G.
99. This odd affair of Peter and Horner is founded on an inci-
dent told by Holinshed. It will be seen that Shakespeare inno-
vated upon the story, in making Horner "confess treason." "In
the same yeare also," (lt46) "a certaine armourer was appeached
of treason by a servant of his owne. For proofe whereof a daie
was given them to fight in Smithficld, insomuch that in conflict the
said armourer was overcome and slaine; but yet by misgoverning
of himselfe. For on the morrow, when he should come to the field
fresh and fasting, his neighbours came to him, and gave him wine
and strong drink in such excessive sort, that he was therewith dis-
tempered, 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." — H. N. H.
105. "Oo, take hence that traitor from our sight"; Hanmer, "Go,
and take hence," &c. ; perhaps "traitor" should be read as a tri-
syllable.— I. G.
Act II. Sc. iv. THE SECOND PART OF
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 wrong-
Come, fellow, follow us for thy reward. HO
ISound a flourish. Exeunt.
Enter Gloucester and his Serving-men, in mourn-
Glou. Thus sometimes hath the brightest day a
And after summer evermore succeeds
Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold:
106. The real names of the combatants were John Daveys and
William Catour. The names of the sheriffs were Godfrey Bologne
and Robert Home; the latter, which occurs in the pages of Fabian's
Chronicle, may have suggested the name of Horner. The precept
to the sheriffs, commanding them to prepare the barriers in Smith-
field, with the account of expenses incurred, is among the records
of the exchequer, and has been printed in Mr. Nicholls's Illustrations
of the Manners and Expenses of Antient Times in England, quarto,
1797. It appears that the erection of the barriers, the combat itself,
and the subsequent execution of the armourer, occupied the space
of six or seven days; that a large quantity of sand and gravel was
consumed on the occasion, and that the place of battle was strewed
with rushes. — H. N. H.
3. "Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold"; Pope, "The
barren winter, with his nipping cold"; Capell, "Bare winter with his
wrathful nipping cold"; Mitford, "The barren winter with his wrath-
ful cold."— I. G.
KING HENRY VI Act li. Sc. iv.
So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.
Sirs, what 's o'clock ?
Serv. Ten, my lord.
Glou. 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 10
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
But, soft ! I think she comes ; and I '11 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.
Serv. So please your grace, we '11 take her from
Glou. 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 ! 20
See liow the giddy multitude do point.
And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on
5. "ten"; Steevens, " 'Tis len o'clock"; Lettsom, from Qq., "Ti*
almost ten." — I. G.
12. "laughbKf; so F. 1; Ff. 2, 3, 4, "still laughing"; Hudson (Lett-
som conj.) "and laughing." — I. G.
Act II. Sc. iv. THE SECOND PART OF
All, Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful
And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!
GIou. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief.
Duch. All, 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, 30
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.
All, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke?
Trow'st thou that e'er I '11 look upon the world.
Or count them happy that enjoy the sun?
No; dark shall be my Hght and night my day; 40
To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.
Sometime I '11 say, I am Duke Humphrey's
And he a prince and ruler of the land:
25. "thine enemies"; F. 4, "their enemies"; Rowe, "our enemies"
31. "Mail'd up in shame" that is wrapped or bundled up in dis-
grace, referring, of course, to the sheet of penance. Thus Randell
Holme: "Mail a hawk is to wrap her up in a handkerchief or other
cloath, that she may not be able to stir her wings or struggle."
And in Drayton's Epistle of Eleanor Cobham to Duke Humphrey :
"Should after see me mayld up in a sheet,
Doe shameful penance three times in tlie street." — H. N. H.
31. "toith papers on my back"; "criminals undergoing punishment
usually wore papers on their backs containing their oifence." — I. G.
KING HENRY VI Act li. Sc. iv.
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.
Not stir at nothing till the axe of death
Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will; 50
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
Have all limed bushes to betray thy wings,
And, fly thou how thou canst, they '11 tangle
But fear not thou, until thy foot be snared,
Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.
57. The thirty-one lines of this speech are an expansion, but scarce
an improvement of twenty -three in the quarto:
"Ah, Gloster! teach me to forget myself;
For, whilst I think I am thy wedded wife,
'Jlie thought of this doth kill my woful heart.
The ruthless flints do cut my tender feet,
And when I start the cruel people laugh.
And bid me be advised how I tread;
And thus, with burning taper in my hand,
Mail'd up in shame, with papers on my back.
Ah, Gloster! can I endure this and live?
Sometime I'll say I am Duke Hunii)hrey's wife.
And he a prince, protector of the land;
But so he rul'd, and such a prince he was.
As he stood by, whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
Was led with shame, and made a laughing-stock
To every idle rascal follower. —
Be thou mild, and stir not at ray disgrace.
Until the axe of death hang o'er thy head.
As, sure, it shortly will. For Suffolk, he, —
The new-made duke, that may do all in all
Act II. Sc. iv. THE SECOND PART OE
Gloii. Ah Nell, forbear! thou aimest all awry;
I must offend before I be attainted;
And had I twenty times so many foes, 60
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 re-
Why, yet thy scandal were not wiped 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,
Her. I summon your grace to his majesty's parlia-
riolden at Bury the first of this next month.
Glou. And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before!
This is close dealing. Well, I will be there.
My Nell, I take my leave: and, master sheriff.
Let not her penance exceed the king's commis-
Sher. An 't please your grace, here my commission
And Sir John Stanley is appointed now
To take her with him to the Isle of Man.
V.'ith her that loves him so, and hates us all,
And impious York, and Beaufort, that false priest,
Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings.
And, fly thou how thou canst, they will entangle thee."
— H. N. H,
KING HENRY VI Act ii. Sc. iv.
Glou. Must you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
Stan. So am I given in charge, may 't please your
Glou. Entreat her not the worse in that I pray
You use her well: the world may laugh again;
And I may live to do you kindness if
You do it her: and so, Sir John, farewell!
Duch. What, gone, my lord, and bid me not fare-
Glou. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
[Exeunt Gloucester and Serving-men.
Duch. 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 afear'd.
Because I wish'd this world's eternity. 90
Stanley, I prithee, go, and take me hence;
I care not whither, for I beg no favor,
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, 100
Although thou hast been conduct of my shame.
Sher. It is my office; and, madam, pardon me.
Duch. Aye, aye, farewell; thy office is discharged.
Come, Stanley, shall we go?
87. "ffone too?"; so Ff. 2, 3, 4; F. 1, "gone to?"; Collier MS.,
"ffonc so?"— I. G.
Act II. Sc. iv. THE SECOND PART OF
Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this
And go we to attire you for our journey.
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. HO
110. This impatience of a high spirit is very natural. It is not so
dreadful to be imprisoned as it is desirable in a state of disgrace
to be sheltered from the scorn of gazers. — H. N. H.
KING HENRY VI Act III. Sc. i.
The Abbey at Bury St. Edmund's.
Sound a Sennet. Enter King, Queen, Cardinal
Beaufort, Suffolk, York, Buckingham, Salis-
bury and Warwick to the Parliament.
Kinsc. I muse mv 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 him-
We know the time since he was mild and affable,
And if we did but glance a far-off look, 10
Immediately he was upon his knee,
That all the court admired 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 thev grin;
Act III. Sc. i. THE SECOND PART OF
But great men tremble when the Hon roars ;
And Humphrey is no Httle man in England. 20
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. 30
Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-
Suffer them now, and they '11 o'er grow the
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, call 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; 40
Or else conclude my words effectual.
Suf. Well hath your highness seen into this duke ;
And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
I think I should have told your grace's tale.
The duchess by his subornation.
Upon my life, began her devilish practices:
Or, if he were not privy to those faults,
KING HENRY VI Act ill. Sc. i.
Yet, by reputing of liis high descent,
As next the king he was successive heir,
As such high vaunts of his nobihty, 50
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 s'.ow he harbors treason.
The fox barks not when he would steal the
No, no, mj'' sovereign; Gloucester is a man
Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.
Car. Did he not, contrary to form of law,
Devise strange deaths for small offences done?
York. And did he not, in his protectorship, 60
Levy great sums of money through the realm
For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it?
By means whereof the towns each day revolted.
Buck. Tut, these are petty faults to faults
Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke
King. IMy lords, at once: the care you have of us,
To mow down thorns that would annoy our
Is worthy praise: but, shall I speak my con-
Our kinsman Gloucester is as innocent
From meaning treason to our royal person, '^0
As is the sucking lamb or harmless dove :
The duke is virtuous, mild and too well given
48. "reputin(j of his high descent," valuing himself on his high
descent.— H. N. H.
Act III. Sc. i. THE SECOND PAKT OF
To dream on evil or to work my downfall.
Queen. Ah, what 's more dangerous than this fond
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 inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot steal a shape that means deceit?
Take heed, my lord ; the welfare of us all 80
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
Som. All health unto my gracious sovereign!
King. Welcome, Lord Somerset. What news
So7n. That all your interest in those territories
Is utterly bereft you ; all is lost.
King. Cold news. Lord Somerset: but God's will
York. [Aside'l Cold news for me; for I had hope
As firmly as I hope for fertile England.
Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud.
And caterpillars eat my leaves away; 90
But I will remedy this gear ere long,
Or sell my title for a glorious grave.
78. "as is the ravenous wolf"; Rowe's correction of Ff., "as is
. . . Wolues"; Malone, "as are wolves"; Vaughan, "as
the ravenous wolves." — I. G.
83. Here, again, the Poet anticipates. The parliament at Bury
was opened February 10, 1447. On the 28th of the same month
Gioster was found dead. Somerset's return from France was not
till September, 1450; in fact, he did not enter upon the regency
till after this parliament. — H. N. H.
KING HENRY VI Act ill. Sc. i.
Glou. All happiness unto my lord the king!
Pardon, my liege, that I have stay'd so long.
Suf. Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too
Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art:
I do arrest thee of high treason here.
Glou. Well, Suffolk, thou shalt not see me blush,
Nor change my countenance for this arrest:
A heart unspotted is not easily daunted. 1^0
The purest spring is not so free from mud
As I am clear from treason to mj^ sovereign:
Who can accuse me? wherein am I guilty?
York. 'Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes
And, being protector, stay'd the soldiers' pay;
By means whereof his highness hath lost
Glou. Is it but thought so? what are tliey that
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,110
Aye, night by night, in studying good for
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!
98. "WeU, Suf oik, thou shalt not see me blush"; the reading of
F. 1; Ff. 2, 3, 4, "Well, Suf oik, yet thou," Sec; Malone, from Qq.,
"Well, Suf oik's duke, thou," &c.; Dyce (Walker conj.), "Well,
Suf oik, well, thou," &c.— I. G.
Act III. Sc. i. THE SECOND PART OF
'No; man}^ a pound of mine own proper store,
Because I would not tax the needy commons.
Have I dispursed to the garrisons,
And never ask'd for restitution.
Car. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
Glou. I say no more than truth, so help me God! 120
York. In your protectorship you did devise
Strange tortures for offenders never heard of,
That England was defamed by tyranny.
Glou. Why, 'tis well known that, whiles I was
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 fleeced poor passen-
I never gave them condign punishment: 130
Murder indeed, that bloody sin, I tortured
Above the felon or what trespass else.
Suf. My lord, these faults are easy, quickly
But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge,
Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
I do arrest you in his highness' name ;
And here commit you to my lord cardinal
To keep, until your further time of trial.
King. My Lord of Gloucester, 'tis my special hope
That you will clear yourself from all suspect:
133. "easy"; Collier MS., "easily"; Walker, "very"; omitted by
Wordsworth. — I. G.
140. The original has suspence here, which Steevens changed t©
suspect. — H. N. H.
Glo. " Be oatient, gentle Nell ; forget tms gnef.
Duch. "Ah, Gloucester, teach me to forget myself! "
Henry VI. Part 2. Act 2, Scene 4.
KING HENRY VI Act in. Sc. i.
My conscience tells me you are innocent. 141
Glou. All, 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 ;
And if my death might make this island happy,
And prove the period of their tyranny,
I would expend it with all willingness : 150
But mine is made the prologue to their play;
For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril,
Will not conclude their plotted tragedy.
Beaufort's red sparkling eyes blab his heart's
And Suffolk's cloudy brow his stormy hate;
Sharp Buckingham unburthens 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: 160
And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
Causeless have laid disgraces on my head.
And with your best endeavor have stirr'd up
My liefest liege to be mine enemy:
Aye, all of you have laid your heads together — ■
Myself had notice of your conventicles —
And all to make away my guiltless life.
151, "But mine is," &c.; Hudson (Lettsom conj.), from Qq., reads,
"But I am," &c.; "mine"="my death."— I. G.
167. This line was omitted, accidentally no douht, in Malone's
Shake.ipi'drc by Boswcll. From thence the omission has been de-
rived into many modern editions, and, among others, into Singer's
Act III. Sc. i. THE SECOND PART OF
I shall not want false witness to condemn me,
Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt ;
The ancient proverb will be well effected: 170
'A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.'
Car. JNIy liege, his railing is intolerable:
If those that care to keep your royal person
From treason's secret knife and traitors' rage
Be thus upbraided, chid and rated at,
And the offender granted scope of speech,
'Twill make them cool in zeal unto your grace.
Suf. Hath he not twit our sovereign lady here
With ignominious words, though clerkly
and Knight's. The merit of the restoration belongs to Mr. Collier.
— H. N. H.
170. That is, well carried into effect, or, as it is in the quarto, fer-
forvi'd. Modern editors generally have changed efected into af-
fected, out of which it seems not easy to gather any congruent
meaning. — Perhaps this speech as it stands in the quarto will fur-
ther a right judgment as to the original authorship of the play:
"Ah, gracious Henry! these days are dangerous:
And would my death might end these miseries,
And stay their moods for good King Henry's sake.
But I am made the prologue to their play.
And thousands more must follow after me,
That dread not yet their lives' destruction.
Suffolk's hateful tongue blahs his heart's malice;
Beaufort's fiery eyes show his envious mind;
Buckingham's proud looks bewray his cruel thoughts;
And dogged York, that levels at the moon.
Whose. overweening arm I have held back;
All you have joined to betray me thus:
And you, my gracious lady and sovereign mistress,
Causeless have laid complaints upon my head.
I shall not want false witnesses enough.
That so, amongst you, you may have my life.
The proverb no doubt will be perform'd, —
A staff is quickly found to beat a dog." — H. N. H.
KING HENRY VI Act iii. Sc. i.
As if she had suborned some to swear 1^0
False allegations to o'erthrow his state?
Queen. But I can give the loser leave to chide.
Glou. Far truer spoke than meant: I lose, indeed;
Beshrew the winners, for they play'd me false !
And well such losers may have leave to speak.
Buck. He '11 wrest the sense and hold us here all
Lord cardinal, he is your prisoner.
Car. Sirs, take away the duke, and guard him sure.
Glou. Ah ! thus King Henry throws away his
Before his legs be firm to bear his body. 190
Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side.
And wolves are gnarling who shall gnaw thee
Ah, that mv fear were false ! ah, that it were !
For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.
King. My lords, what to your wisdom seemeth best,
Do or undo, as if ourself were here.
Queen. What, will your highness leave the Parlia-
King. Aye, Margaret; my heart is drown'd with
194.. This was most likely sugpested by the followiiisr from Holin-
shed: "Ofttimcs it hapneth that a man, in quenching of smoke,
burneth his fingers in the fire: so the queene, in casting how to
keepe hir husband in honor, and hirselfe in authoritie, in making
awaie of this nolile man brought that to passe which she had most
cause to have feared; which was the deposing of hir husband, and
the decaie of the house of Lancaster, which of likelihood had not
chanced, if Ihis duke had lived."— H. N. H.
Act III. Sc. i. THE SECOND PART OE
Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes,
My body round engirt with misery, 200
For what 's more miserable than discontent?