Page images

We come to be informed by yourselves
What the conditions of that league must be.
York. Speak, Winchester; for boiling choler

The hollow passage of my poison'd voice,
By sight of these our baleful enemies.

Win. Charles, and the rest, it is enacted thus:
That-in regard king Henry gives consent,
Of mere compassion, and of lenity,

To ease your country of distressful war,
And suffer you to breathe in fruitful peace,-
You shall become true liegemen to his crown:
And, Charles, upon condition thou wilt swear
To pay him tribute, and submit thyself,
Thou shalt be plac'd as viceroy under him,
And still enjoy thy regal dignity.

Alen. Must he be then as shadow of himself?
Adorn his temples with a coronet:+
And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurd and reasonless.
Chr. "Tis known, already that I am pos-

With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenc'd for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be call'd but viceroy of the whole?
No, lord ambassador; I'll rather keep
That which I have, than, coveting for more,
Be cast from possibility of all.

York. Insulting Charles! hast thou by secret
Used intercession to obtain a league; [means
And, now the matter grows to compromise,
Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefitt proceeding from our king,
And not of any challenge of desert,
Or we will plague thee with incessant wars.
Reig. My lord, you do not well in obstinacy
To cavil in the course of this contract:
If once it be neglected, ten to one,
We shall not find like opportunity.

Alen. To say the truth, it is your policy, To save your subjects from such massacre, And ruthless slaughters, as are daily seen By our proceeding in hostility:

And therefore take this compact of a truce, Although you break it when your pleasure [Aside, to CHARLES. War. How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?


Char. It shall:

Only reserv'd, you claim no interest
In any of our towns of garrison.

York. Then swear allegiance to his majesty;
As thou art knight, never to disobey,
Nor be rebellious to the crown of England,
Thou, nor thy nobles, to the crown of England.
[CHARLES, and the rest, give Tokens of fealty.
So, now dismiss your army when ye please;
Hang up your ensigns, let your drums be still,
For here we entertain a solemn peace. [Exeunt.
SCENE V.-London.-A Room in the Palace.
Enter King HENRY, in conference with SUF-
FOLK; GLOSTER and EXETER following.
K. Hen. Your wondrous rare description,
noble earl,

Of beauteous Margaret hath astonish'd me: Her virtues, graced with external gifts, Do breed love's settled passions in my heart: And like as rigour in tempestuous gusts Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide; + Coronet is here used for crown. "Be content to live as the beneficiary of our king."

* Baneful.

So am I driven, by breath of her renown,
Either to suffer shipwreck, or arrive
Where I may have fruition of her love.
Suff. Tush! my good lord! this superficial
Is but a preface of her worthy praise: [tale
The chief perfections of that lovely dame,
(Had I sufficient skill to utter them,)
Would make a volume of enticing lines,
Able to ravish any dull conceit.

And, which is more, she is not so divine,
So full replete with choice of all delights,
But, with as humble lowliness of mind,
She is content to be at your command;
Command, I mean, of virtuous chaste intents,
To love and honour Henry as her lord.

K. Hen. And otherwise will Henry ne'er

Therefore, my lord protector, give consent, That Margaret may be England's royal queen.

Glo. So should I give consent to flatter sin. You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd Unto another lady of esteem;

How shall we then dispense with that contract, And not deface your honour with reproach?

Suff. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one, that, at a triumph having vow'd
To try his strength, forsaketh yet the lists
By reason of his adversary's odds:

A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
And therefore may be broke without offence.
Glo. Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more
than that?

Her father is no better than an earl,
Although in glorious titles he excel.

Suff. Yes, my good lord, her father is a king,
The king of Naples, and Jerusalem;
And of such great authority in France,
As his alliance will confirm our peace,
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.

Glo. And so the earl of Armagnac may do, Because he is near kinsman unto Charles. Exe. Beside, his wealth doth warrant liberal dower;

While Reignier sooner will receive, than give. Suff. A dower, my lords! disgrace not so your king,

That he should be so abject, base, and poor,
To choose for wealth, and not for perfect love.
Henry is able to enrich his queen,
And not to seek a queen to make him rich:
So worthless peasants bargain for their wives,
As market-men for oxen, sheep, or horse.
Marriage is a matter of more worth,
Than to be dealt in by attorneyship;t
Not whom we will, but whom his grace affects,
Must be companion of his nuptial bed:
And therefore, lords, since he affects her most,
It most of all these reasons bindeth us,
In our opinions she should be preferr'd.
For what is wedlock forced, but a hell,
An age of discord and continual strife?
Whereas the contrary bringeth forth bliss,
And is a pattern of celestial peace.
Whom should we match, with Henry, being a
But Margaret, that is daughter to a king?
Her peerless feature, joined with her birth,
Approves her fit for none, but for a king:
Her valiant courage, and undaunted spirit,
(More than in women commonly is seen,)
Will answer our hope in issue of a king;
For Henry, son unto a conqueror,
Is likely to beget more conquerors,
If with a lady of so high resolve,
As is fair Margaret, he be link'd in love.


A triumph then signified a public exhibition; such as a mask, or revel.

+ By the discretional agency of another.

[ocr errors]


[she. That Margaret shall be queen, and none but K. Hen. Whether it be through force of your report,

Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with | Be gone, I say; for, till you do return,
I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.-
And you, good uncle, banish all offence:
If you do censure me by what you were,
Not what you are, I know it will excuse
This sudden execution of my will.
And so conduct me, where from company,
I may revolve and ruminate my grief. [Exit.
Glo. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and
last. [Exeunt GLOSTER and EXETER.
Suff. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd: and thus
he goes,

My noble lord of Suffolk; or for what
My tender youth was never yet attaint
With any passion of inflaming love,
I cannot tell; but this I am assur'd,
I feel such sharp dissention in my breast,
Such fierce alarums both of hope and fear,
As I am sick with working of my thoughts.
Take, therefore, shipping; post, my lord to

Agree to any covenants: and procure
That lady Margaret do vouchsafe to come
To cross the seas to England, and be crown'd
King Henry's faithful and anointed queen :
For your expenses and sufficient charge,
Among the people gather up a tenth.

As did the youthful Paris once to Greece;
With hope to find the like event in love,
But prosper better than the Trojan did.
Margaret shall now be queen, and rule the

But I will rule both her, the king, and realm.

* Judge.

[blocks in formation]



SCENE 1.—London.—A Room of State in the Than this kind kiss.—O Lord, that lends me


Flourish of Trumpets: then Hautboys. Enter, on one side, King HENRY, Duke of GLOSTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and Cardinal BEAUFORT; on the other, Queen MARGARET, led in by SUFFOLK; YORK, SOMERSET, BUCKINGHAM, and others, following.

Suf. As by your high imperial majesty,
I had in charge at my depart for France,
As procurator to your excellence,

To marry princess Margaret for your grace;
So, in the famous ancient city, Tours,-
In presence of the kings of France and Sicil,
The dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretaigne, and


Seven earls, twelve barons, twenty reverend
I have perform'd my task, and was espous'd:
And humbly now upon my bended knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
Deliver up my title in the queen
To your most gracious hands, that are the sub-
Of that great shadow I did represent;
The happiest gift that ever marquis gave,
The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.
K. Hen. Suffolk, arise.-Welcome, queen

I can express no kinder sign of love,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
For thou hast given me, in this beauteous face,
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.

Q. Mar. Great king of England, and my

gracious lord; [had The mutual conference that my mind hath By day, by night; waking, and in my dreams; In courtly company, or at my beads,With you mine alder-liefest+ sovereign, Makes me the bolder to salute my king With ruder terms; such as my wit affords, And over-joy of heart doth minister.

K. Hen. Her sight did ravish: but her grace

in speech,

Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty, Makes me, from wondering fall to weeping joys,

Such is the fulness of my heart's content.Lords, with one cheerful voice, welcome my love.

All. Long live queen Margaret, England's happiness!

Q. Mar. We thank you all.


I am the bolder to address you, having already failliarized you to my imagination. + Beloved above all things.

Suf. My lord protector, so it please your grace, Here are the articles of contracted peace, Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,

For eighteen months concluded by consent.
Glo. [Reads.] Imprimis, It is agreed between
the French King, Charles, and William de la
Poole, marquis of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry
king of England,-that the said Henry shall es-
pouse the lady Margaret, daughter unto Reignier
king of Naples, Sicilia, and Jerusalem; and crown
her queen of England, ere the thirtieth of May
next ensuing.Item,-That the dutchy of An-
jou and the county of Maine, shall be released
and delivered to the king her father-

K. Hen. Uncle, how now?
Glo. Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the


And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.

K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read


Win. Item,-It is further agreed between them, that the dutchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered over to the king her father; and she sent over of the king of England's own proper cost and charges, without having dowry.

K. Hen. They please us well.-Lord mar-
quis, kneel down;

We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
And girt thee with the sword.—
Cousin of York, we here discharge your grace
From being regent in the parts of France,
Till term of eighteen months be full,expir'd.
Thanks, uncle Winchester, Gloster, York, and

Somerset, Salisbury, and Warwick;
We thank you all for this great favour done,
In entertainment to my princely queen.
Come, let us in; and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.

[Exeunt KING, QUEEN, and SUFFOLK. Glo. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,

To you duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
What! did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars?
Did he so often lodge in open field,

In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat,
To conquer France, his true inheritance?
And did my brother Bedford toil his wits,
To keep by policy what Henry got?
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious War-

Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy?
Or hath my uncle Beaufort, and myself,
With all the learned council of the realm,
Studied so long, sat in the council-house,
Early and late, debating to and fro
How France and Frenchmen might be kept
in awe?

And hath his highness in his infancy
Been crown'd in Paris, in despite of foes?
And shall these labours, and these honours,

Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
Your deeds of war, and all our counsel, die?
O peers of England, shameful is this league!
Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame:
Blotting your names from books of memory:
Razing the characters of your renown;
Defacing monuments of conquer'd France;
Undoing all, as all had never been!

Car. Nephew, what means this passionate

This peroration with such circumstance?*
For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
Glo. Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can;
But now it is impossible we should:
Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the

Hath given the dutchies of Anjou and Maine
Unto the poor king Reignier, whose large style
Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.

Sal. Now, by the death of him that died for
These counties were the keys of Normandy :-
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant


War. For grief, that they are past recovery: For, were there hope to conquer them again, My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes

no tears.

Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
Those provinces these arms of mine did con-
And are the cities, that I got with wounds,
Deliver'd up again with peaceful words?
Mort Dieu!

York. For Suffolk's duke-may he be suffo


That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
France should have torn and rent my very

Before I would have yielded to this league.
I never read but England's kings have had
Large sums of gold, and dowries, with their


And our king Henry gives away his own,
To match with her that brings no vantages.

Glo. A proper jest, and never heard before,
That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth,
For costs and charges in transporting her!
She should have staid in France, and starv'd
in France,


Car. My lord of Gloster, now you grow too

It was the pleasure of my lord the king.
Glo. My lord of Winchester, I know your


'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 'tis my presence that doth trouble you.
Rancour will out: Proud prelate, in thy face
I see thy fury: if I longer stay,

We shall begin our ancient bickerings.t-
Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
I prophesied-France will be lost ere long.


Car. So, there goes our protector in a rage.
"Tis known to you he is mine enemy:
Nay, more, an enemy unto you all;
And no great friend, I fear me, to the king.
Consider, lords, he is the next of blood,
And heir apparent to the English crown;
Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,
There's reason he should be displeas'd at it.
Look to it, lords; let not his smoothing words
Bewitch your hearts; be wise, and circum-


What though the common people favour him,
Calling him-Humphrey, the good duke of Glos-


Clapping their hands, and crying with loud
Jesu maintain your royal excellence!
With-God preserve the good duke Humphrey!

This speech crowded with so many circumstances of + Skirmishings. aggravation. 3 R

I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
He will be found a dangerous protector.

Buck. Why should he then protect our sovereign,

He being of age to govern of himself?—
Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
And all together-with the duke of Suffolk,-
We'll quickly hoise duke Humphrey from his


Cur. This weighty business will not brook delay;

I'll to the duke of Suffolk presently.

[Exit. Som. Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride,

And greatness of his place be grief to us,
Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal;
His insolence is more intolerable

Than all the princes in the land beside;
If Gloster be displac'd, he'll be protector.
Buck. Or thou, or I, Somerset, will be pro-

Despight duke Humphrey, or the cardinal.
Sal. Pride went before, ambition follows
While these do labour for their own prefer-
Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
I never saw but Humphrey duke of Gloster
Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal-
More like a soldier, than a man o'the church,
As stout, and proud, as he were lord of all,-
Swear like a ruffian, and demean himself
Unlike the ruler of a common-weal.-
Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age!
Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy house-keep-

Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,
Excepting none but good duke Humphrey.-
And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
In bringing them to civil discipline;
Thy late exploits, done in the heart of France,
When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
Have made thee fear'd, and honour'd, of the
people :-

Join we together for the public good;
In what we can to bridle and suppress
The pride of Suffolk, and the cardinal,
With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition;
And, as we may, cherish duke Humphrey's

While they do tend the profit of the land.
War. So God help Warwick, as he loves
the land,

And common profit of his country!

York And so says York, for he hath greatest

[blocks in formation]

unto the main.

War. Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost;

That Maine, which by main force Warwick
did win,
And would have kept, so long as breath did
Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant
Which I will win from France, or else be slain.
York. Anjou and Maine are given to the

Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
Stands on a tickle point, now they are gone:
Suffolk concluded on the articles;
The peers agreed; and Henry was well pleas'd,
To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair

For ticklish.

I cannot blame them all; what is't to them?
'Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their

And purchase frienas, ana give to courtezans,
Still revelling, like lords, till all be gone:
While as the silly owner of the goods
Weeps over them, and wrings his hapless
And shakes his head, and trembling stands
While all is shar'd, and all is borne away;
Ready to starve, and dare not touch his own.
So York must sit, and fret, and bite his tongue,
While his own lands are bargain'd for, and
Methinks, the realms of England, France, and
Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood,
As did the fatal brand Althea burn'd,
Unto the prince's heart of Calydon.*
Anjou and Maine, both given unto the French'
Cold news for me; for I had hope of France,
Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
A day will come, when York shall claim his


And therefore I will take the Nevil's parts,
And make a show of love to proud duke

And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
For that's the golden mark I seek to hit:
Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
Whose church-like humours fit not for a crown.
Then, York, be still awhile, till time do serve:
Watch thou, and wake, when others be asleep,
To pry into the secrets of the state;
Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
With his new bride, and England's dear-
bought queen,
And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be per-

[blocks in formation]


Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
Why doth the great duke Humphrey knit his
As frowning at the favours of the world?
Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
Why are thine eyes fix'd to the sullen earth,
What see'st thou there? king Henry's diadem,
Enchas'd with all the honours of the world?
If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,
Until thy head be circled with the same.
Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious
What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with
And, having both together heav'd it up,
And never more abase our sight so low,
We'll both together lift our heads to heaven;
As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.

* Meleager; whose life was to continue only so long as a certain firebrand should last. His mother Althea having thrown it into the fire, he expired in torment.

« PreviousContinue »