Page images

Enter King JAMES and HUNTLEY.

K. Ja. Do not

Argue against our will; we have descended
Somewhat (as we may term it) too familiarly
From justice of our birthright, to examine
The force of your allegiance,—sir, we have ;
But find it short of duty!

Hunt. Break my heart,

Do, do, king! Have my services, my loyalty,
(Heaven knows untainted ever) drawn upon me
Contempt now in mine age, when I but wanted
A minute of a peace not to be troubled,
My last, my long one? Let me be a dotard,
A bedlam, a poor sot, or what you please
To have me, so you will not stain your blood,
Your own blood, royal sir, though mixt with


By marriage of this girl to a straggler !—

Take, take my head, sir; whilst my tongue can wag, It cannot name him other.

K. Ja. Kings are counterfeits

In your repute, grave oracle, not presently
Set on their thrones, with sceptres in their fists!
But use your own detraction; 'tis our pleasure

8 By marriage of this girl.] See vol. i. p. 19. The circumstance is thus briefly noticed by Lord Bacon.-" To put it out of doubt that he took (Perkin) to be a great prince, and not a representation only, King James gave consent that this duke should take to wife the Lady Catherine Gordon, daughter of the Earl of Huntley, being a near kinswoman to the king himself, and a young virgin of excellent beauty and virtue."

To give our cousin York for wife our kinswoman, The lady Katherine: Instinct of sovereignty Designs the honour, though her peevish father Usurps our resolution.

Hunt. Oh, 'tis well,

Exceeding well! I never was ambitious
Of using congées to my daughter queen-
A queen! perhaps, a quean! Forgive me, Dalyell,
Thou honourable gentleman;-none here
Dare speak one word of comfort?

Dal. Cruel misery!

Craw. The lady, gracious prince, may be hath settled

Affection on some former choice.

Dal. Enforcement

Would prove but tyranny.

Hunt. I thank thee heartily.

Let any yeoman of our nation challenge
An interest in the girl, then the king
May add a jointure of ascent in titles,
Worthy a free consent; now he pulls down
What old desert hath builded.

• A queen! perhaps, a quean!] I cannot reconcile myself to this reading, though I have adopted it. The noble Huntley would scarcely use such language of his daughter, however lightly he might be disposed to treat the young pretender to royalty. The passage stands thus in the old copy :—

"I never was ambitious

Of using congeys to my Daughter Queene :
A Queene, perhaps a Queene?"

If the last line be read

A queen, perhaps! a queen!

it may seem to express his affected surprize at her advancement; but let the reader decide.

K. Ja. Cease persuasions.

I violate no pawns of faiths, intrude not

On private loves; that I have play'd the orator For kingly York to virtuous Kate, her grant Can justify, referring her contents

To our provision: the Welsh Harry, henceforth, Shall therefore know, and tremble to acknowledge,

That not the painted idol of his policy
Shall fright the lawful owner from a kingdom.-
We are resolv'd.

Hunt. Some of thy subjects' hearts,

King James, will bleed for this!

K. Ja. Then shall their bloods

Be nobly spent: no more disputes; he is not
Our friend who contradicts us.

Hunt. Farewell, daughter!

My care by one is lessen'd, thank the king for't! I and my griefs will dance now.

[ocr errors]


Look, lords, look;

Here's hand in hand already!..

K. Ja. Peace, old frenzy.

How like a king he looks! Lords, but observe The confidence of his aspéct; dross cannot Cleave to so pure a metal-royal youth! Plantagenet undoubted!

[blocks in formation]

Hunt. (Aside.) Ho, brave!-Youth ;'
But no Plantagenet, by'r lady, yet,
By red rose or by white.

War. An union this way,

Settles possession in a monarchy

Establish'd rightly, as is my


Acknowledge me but sovereign of this kingdom, Your heart, fair princess, and the hand of provi


Shall crown you queen of me, and my best fortunes. Kath. Where my obedience is, my lord, a duty,

Love owes true service.

War. Shall I ?—

K. Ja. Cousin, yes,

Enjoy her; from my hand accept your bride;

[He joins their hands.

And may they live at enmity with comfort,

Who grieve at such an equal pledge of troths!
You are the prince's wife now.

Kath. By your gift, sir.

War. Thus, I take seizure of mine own.
Kath. I miss yet

A father's blessing. Let me find it;-humbly
Upon my knees I seek it.

Hunt. I am Huntley,


Old Alexander Gordon, a plain subject,


Ho, brave!-Youth.] The old copy has lady. The earl evidently meant to repeat the king's last words; the mistake probably arose from the printer's eye having been caught by the word immediately below it.

2 Hunt. I am Huntley,

Old Alexander Gordon.] This appears to be a mistake. The

Nor more nor less; and, lady, if you wish for
A blessing, you must bend your knees to heaven;
For heaven did give me you. Alas, alas!
What would you have me say? may all the hap-

My prayers ever sued to fall upon you,

Preserve you in your virtues!-Prithee, Dalyell,
Come with me; for I feel thy griefs as full
As mine; let's steal away, and cry together.
Dal. My hopes are in their ruins.

[Exeunt HUNT. and DAL.

K. Ja. Good, kind Huntley

Is overjoy'd: a fit solemnity

Shall perfect these delights; Crawford, attend

Our order for the preparation.

[Exeunt all but FRION, HER. SKET.

J. A-WAT. and AST.

Fri. Now, worthy gentlemen, have I not follow'd My undertakings with success? Here's entrance Into a certainty above a hope.

Her. Hopes are but hopes; I was ever confident, when I traded but in remnants, that my stars had reserv'd me to the title of a Viscount at least: honour is honour, though cut out of any stuffs.3

father of Katherine, as is said above, was George Gordon. His father, indeed, was named Alexander, and so was his son and successor; but the latter did not obtain the title till many years after this period.

3 Her. Honour is honour, though cut out of any stuffs.] Ford has made the speakers express themselves characteristically. Heron, or Herne, as Lord Bacon calls him, was a mercer; Sketon, or rather Skelton, was a taylor, and Astley a scrivener: they were all men of broken fortunes, a circumstance to which the poet frequently alludes.

« PreviousContinue »