Page images

And yet, in substance and authority,
Retain but privilege of a private man?
This proffer is absurb and reasonless..

Char. 'Tis known, already, that I am possess'd
With more than half the Gallian territories,
And therein reverenced for their lawful king:
Shall I, for lucre of the rest unvanquish'd,
Detract so much from that prerogative,
As to be called 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 means
Used intercession to obtain a league;

And, now the matter grows to compromise,
Stand'st thou aloof upon comparison?
Either accept the title thou usurp'st,
Of benefit 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 serves. [Aside to CHARLES. War. How say'st thou, Charles? shall our condition stand?

[blocks in formation]

SCENE V.-London. A Room in the Palace. Enter KING HENRY in conference with SUFFOLK; GLOSTER, and EXETER, following.

K. Hen. Your wond'rous rare description, noble

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 rigor in tempestuous gusts
Provokes the mightiest hulk against the tide;
So am I driven, by breath of her renown,
Either to suffer shipwreck, or arrive
Where I may have fruition of her love.

Suf. Tush! my good lord! this superficial tale
Is but a preface of her worthy praise:
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 honor Henry as her lord.

K. Hen. And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume.
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 honor with reproach?
Suf. As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths;
Or one, that, at a triumph1 having vow'd

"Be content to live as the beneficiary of our king.' A triumph then signified a public exhibition; such as a mask, or revel.

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

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

Suf. 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

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


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;
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 king,
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.
Then yield, my lords; and here conclude with me,
That Margaret shall be queen, and none but she.
K. Hen. Whether it be through force of your


My noble lord of Suffolk; or for that
My tender youth was never yet attaint
With any passion of inflaming love,
I cannot tell; but this I am assured,

I feel such sharp dissension 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 France;
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 annointed queen;
For your expenses and sufficient charge,
Among the people gather up a tenth.
Begone, I say; for, till you do return,
I rest perplexed with a thousand cares.-
And you, good uncie, 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 resolve and ruminate my grief.
Glo. Ay, grief, I fear me, both at first and last.
[Exeunt GLOSTER, and EXETER.
Suf. Thus Suffolk hath prevail'd: and thus he



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

2 Judge.






HUME and SOUTHWELL, two Priests. BOLINGBROKE, a Conjurer.

HUMPHREY, Duke of Gloster, his Uncle.

CARDINAL BEAUFORT, Bishop of Winchester, great A Spirit raised by him.

Uncle to the King.


EDWARD and RICHARD, his Sons.



[blocks in formation]

THOMAS HORNER, an Armorer. PETER, his Man.

Clerk of Chatham.

Mayor of Saint Alban's.

SIMPCOX, an Impostor.

of the King's Party.

Two Murderers.

EARL OF SALISBURY, of the York Faction.

LORD SCALES, Governor of the Tower.



[blocks in formation]

JACK CADE, a Rebel.


CHAEL, &c., his Followers.

ALEXANDER IDEN, a Kentish Gentleman.

MARGARET, Queen to King Henry.

ELEANOR, Duchess of Gloster.

Wife to Simpcox.

Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Petitioners, Aldermen, a Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers; Citizens, Prentices, Falconers, "Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.

SCENE, dispersedly in various Parts of England.


SCENE I.-London. A Room of State in the | I can express no kinder sign of love,


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, fullowing.

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, Alençon,
Seven earls, twelve barons, twenty reverend bi-

[blocks in formation]

Than this kind kiss.-O Lord, that lends me life,
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;

The mutual conference that my mind hath had-
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 hap-

Q. Mar. We thank you all.

[blocks in formation]

Glo. [Reads.] Imprimis, It is agreed, between the French king, Charles, and William de la Poole, marquess of Suffolk, ambassador for Henry, king of England,-that the said Henry shall espouse 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 duchy of Anjou, and the county of Maine, shall be released and delivered to the king, her father

K. Hen. Uncle, how now?
Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart,
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
Car. Item,-It is further agreed between them,-
that the duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be re-
leased 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 marquess,
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 favor done,
In entertainment to my princely queen.
Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.

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 valor, coin, and people in the wars?
Did he so often lodge in open field,

In winter's cold, and suminer'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 Warwick,
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

That dims the honor of this warlike isle!
France should have torn and rent my very heart,
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 wives:
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 cost and charges in transporting her!
She should have staid in France, and starv'd in


Car. My lord of Gloster, now you grow too hot:
It was the pleasure of my lord the king.

Glo. My lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 'tis my presence that doth trouble you.
Rancor will out: Proud prelate, in thy face
I see thy fury: if I longer stay,


We shall begin our ancient bickerings."-
Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
prophesied-France will be lost ere long. [Exit.
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 circumspect.
What though the common people favor him,
Calling him-Humphrey, the good duke of Gloster;
Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice-
Jesu maintain your royal excellence!
With-God preserve the good duke Humphrey!
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 seat.
Car. This weighty business will not brook delay;
I'll to the duke of Suffolk presently.


Som. Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's

And greatness of his place, be grief to us,
Yet let us waten the haughty cardinal;

How France and Frenchmen might be kept in His insolence is more intolerable awe?

And hath his highness in his infancy
Been crown'd in Paris, in despite of foes?

And shall these labors, and these honors, die?
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!

Than all the princes in the land beside;
If Gloster be displaced, he'll be protector.
Buck. Or thou, or I, Somerset, will be protector,
Despite duke Humphrey, or the cardinal.

Sal. Pride went before, ambition follows him.
While these do labor for their own preferment,
Behoves it us to labor 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,

Cur. Nephew, what means this passionate dis- As stout, and proud, as he were lord of all,— course?

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 roast,
Hath given the duchies 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 all,
These counties were the keys of Normandy:-
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
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


Anjou and Maine, myself did win them both;
Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer:
And are the cities that I got with wounds,

Mort Dien again with peaceful words?

York. For Suffolk's duke-may he be suffocate 2This speech, crowded with so many circumstances of aggravation.

Swear like a ruffian, and demean himself
Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.—
Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age!
Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy house-keeping,
Hath won the greatest favor 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 honor'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 deeds,
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 cause. Sal. Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.

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


That Maine, which by main force Warwick did


And would have kept, so long as breath did last: Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine; Which I will win from France, or else be slain.

[Exeunt WARWICK and SALISBURY. York. Anjou and Maine are given to the French; 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 air daughter.
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 friends, and 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 hands,
And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof,
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 sold.
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.5
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 own;
And therefore I will take the Nevil's part,
And make a show of love to proud duke Humphrey,
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 his sceptre in his childish fist,
Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
Whose church-like humors 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


And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at jars:
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed;
And in my standard bear the arms of York,
To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
And, force perforce, I'll make him yield the crown,
Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.

SCENE II-A Room in the Duke of Gloster's House.

Enter GLOSTER and the DUCHESS.

Duch. Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd corn,
Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
Why doth the great duke Humphrey knit his brows,
As frowning at the favors of the world?
Why are thine eyes fix'd to the sullen earth,
Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
What seest thou there? king Henry's diadem,
Enchas'd with all the honors 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 gold:
What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with mine:
And, having both together heav'd it up,
We'll both together lift our heads to heaven;
And never more abase our sight so low,
As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.
Glo. O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,

Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts:
And may that thought, when I imagine ill
Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
Be my last breathing in this mortal world!

[ocr errors]

My troublous dream this night doth make me sad.

For ticklish.

Meleager: whose life was to continue only so long as a

Duch. What dream'd my lord? tell me, and I'll requite it

With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
Glo. Methought, this staff, mine office-badge in


Was broke in twain, by whom, I have forgot,
But, as I think, it was by the cardinal;
And on the pieces of the broken wand
Were placed the heads of Edmond duke of Somerset,
And William de la Poole first duke of Suffolk.
This was my dream; what it doth bode, God knows.
Duch. Tut, this was nothing but an argument
That he that breaks a stick of Gloster's grove,
Shall lose his head for his presumption.
But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke,
Methought, I sat in seat of majesty,

In the cathedral church of Westminster,
And in that chair where kings and queens are

Where Henry, and dame Margaret, kneel'd to me, And on my head did set the diadem.

Glo. Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright: Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtur'd Eleanor! Art thou not second woman in the realm; And the protector's wife, belov'd of him? Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command, Above the reach or compass of thy thought? And wilt thou still be hammering treachery, To tumble down thy husband, and thyself, From top of honor to disgrace's feet?" Away from me, and let me hear no more.

Duch. What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
With Eleanor for telling but her dream?
Next time, I'll keep my dreams unto myself,
And not be check'd.

Glo. Nay, be not angry, I am pleas'd again.
Enter a Messenger.

Mess. My lord protector, 'tis his highness' plea


You do prepare to ride unto Saint Alban's,
Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk.
Glo. I go.-Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?
Duch. Yes, good my lord, I'll follow presently.
Exeunt GLOSTER and Messenger.
Follow I must, I cannot go before,
While Gloster bears this base and humble mind.
Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,

I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks,
And smooth my way upon their headless necks:
And, being a woman, I would not be slack
To play my part in fortune's pageant.
Where are you there! sir John! nay, fear not, man,
We are alone; here's none but thee, and I.

Enter HUME.

Hume. Jesu preserve your royal majesty!
Duch. What say'st thou, majesty! I am but grace.
Hume. But, by the grace of God, and Hume's


Your grace's title shall be multiplied.

Duch. What say'st thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd

And Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch;
And will they undertake to do me good?
Hume. This they have promised,-to show your

A spirit rais'd from depth of under ground,
That shall make answer to such questions,
As by your grace shall be propounded him.
Duch. It is enough; I'll think upon the questions:
When from Saint Alban's we do make return,
We'll see these things effected to the full.
Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man,
With thy confederates in this weighty cause.

Hume. Hume must make merry with the duchess'

Marry, and shall. But how now, sir John Hume?
Seal up your lips, and give no words but-mum!
The business asketh silent secrecy.

Dame Eleanor gives gold, to bring the witch:
Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.
Yet have I gold, flies from another coast:

I dare not say from the rich cardinal,
And from the great and new-made duke of Suffolk;
Yet I do find it so: for, to be plain,

certain firebrand should last. His mother Al hea having They, knowing dame Eleanor's aspiring humor,

thrown it into the fire, he expired in torment.

Where. A title frequently bestowed on the clergy.

Have hired me to undermine the duchess,
And buz these conjurations in her brain.
They say, a crafty knave does need no broker;
Yet am I Suffolk and the cardinal's broker;
Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
To call them both a pair of crafty knaves.
Well, so it stands; And thus, I fear, at last,
Hume's knavery will be the duchess' wreck;
And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall:
Sorts how it will, I shall have gold for all.


SCENE III.-A Room in the Palace. Enter PETER, and others, with Petitions. 1 Pet. My masters, let's stand close; my lord protector will come this way by-and-by, and then we may deliver our supplications in the quill.9 2 Pet. Marry, the lord protect him, for he's a good man! Jesu bless him!

Enter SUFFOLK, and QUEEN MARGARET. 1 Pet. Here 'a comes, methinks, and the queen 2 Pet. Come back, fool; this is the duke of Suffolk, and not my lord protector. Suf. How now, fellow wouldst any thing with me?

with him I'll be the first, sure.

1 Pet. I pray my lord, pardon me! I took ye for my lord protector.

Q. Mar. [Reading the superscription.] To my lord protector! are your supplications to his lordship? Let me see them: What is thine?

1Pet. Mine is, an't please your grace, against John Goodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keeping my house, and lands, and wife, and all, from me. Suf. Thy wife too? that is some wrong, indeed.What's yours-What's here! [Reads.] Against the Duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of Melford.-How now, sir knave?

2 Pet. Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole township.

Peter. Presenting his Petition.] Against my master, Thomas Horner, for saying, That the duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.

Q. Mar. What say'st thou? Did the duke of York say, he was rightful heir to the crown?

Peter. That my master was? No, forsooth: my master said, That he was; and that the king was

an usurper.

Suf. Who is there? [Enter Servants.]-Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a pursuivant presently:-we'll hear more of your matter before the king. [Exeunt Servants with PETER. Q. Mar. And as for you, that love to be protected Under the wings of our protector's grace, Begin your suits anew, and sue to him. [Tears the Petition. Away, base cullions!! Suffolk, let them go.

All. Come, let's be gone. [Exeunt Petitioners.
Q. Mar. My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
Is this the fashion in the court of England?
Is this the government of Britian's isle,
And this the royalty of Albion's king?
What, shall king Henry be a pupil still,
Under the surly Gloster's governance?
Am I a queen in title and in style,
And must be made a subject to a duke?
I tell thee. Poole, when in the city Tours
Thou ran'st a tilt in honor of my love,

And stol'st away the ladies' hearts of France;
I thought king Henry had resembled thee,
In courage, courtship, and proportion:
But all his mind is bent to holiness,
To number Ave-Maries on his beads;

His champions are-the prophets and apostles:
His weapons, holy saws of sacred writ;
His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
Are brazen images of canonized saints.

I would, the college of cardinals

Would choose him pope, and carry him to Rome,
And set the triple crown upon his head;
That were a state fit for his holiness.

Suf. Madam, be patient: as I was cause
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your grace's full content.

Q. Mar. Beside the haught protector, have we Beaufort,

[blocks in formation]

The imperious churchman; Somerset,Buckingham, And grumbling York: and not the least of these, But can do more in England than the king.

Suf. And he of these that can do most of all, Cannot do more in England than the Nevils: Salisbury, and Warwick, are no simple peers.

Q. Mur. Not all these lords do vex me half o much,

As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife.
She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies,
More like an empress than duke Humphrey's wife;
Strangers in court do take her for the queen:
She bears a duke's revenues on her back,
And in her heart she scorns her poverty:
Shall I not live to be avenged on her?
Contemptuous base-born callat as she is,
She vaunted 'mongst her minions t'other day,
The very train of her worst wearing-gown
Was better worth than all my father's lands,
Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
And placed a quire of such enticing birds,
Suf. Madam, myself have limed a bush for her;
That she will light to listen to the lays,
And never mount to trouble you again.
So, let her rest: and, madam, list to me;
For I am bold to counsel you in this.
Although we fancy not the cardinal,
Yet must we join with him, and with the lords,
Till we have brought duke Humphrey in disgrace.
As for the duke of York, this late complaint
Will make but little for his benefit:

So, one by one, we'll weed them all at last,
And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.
versing with him; DUKE and DUCHESS OF

K. Hen. For my part, noble lords, I care not which; Or Somerset, or York, all's one to me. York. If York have ill demean'd himself in France, Then let him be denay'd' the regentship.

Som. If Somerset be unworthy of the place, Let York be regent, I will yield to him. War. Whether your grace be worthy, yea, or no, Dispute not that: York is the worthier.

Car. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak. War. The cardinal's not my better in the field. Buck. All in this presence, are thy betters, Warwick.

War. Warwick may live to be the best of all. Sal. Peace, son; and show some reason,


Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.

Q. Mar. Because the king, forsooth, will have it so. Glo. Madam, the king is old enough himself To give his censure; these are no women's matters. Q. Mar. If he be old enough, what needs your grace

To be protector of his excellence?

Glo. Madam, I am protector of the realm; And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.

Suf. Resign it then, and leave thine insolence. Since thou wert king, (as who is king but thou?) The commonwealth hath daily run to wreck: The dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the seas; And all the peers and nobles of the realm Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty. Car. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags

Are lank and lean with thy extortions.

Som. Thy sumptuous buildings, and thy wife's attire,

Have cost a mass of public treasury.
Buck. Thy cruelty in execution,
Upon offenders, hath exceeded law,
And left thee to the mercy of the law.

Q. Mar. Thy sale of offices, and towns in France,― If they were known, as the suspect is great.— Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.

[Exit GLOSTER. The QUEEN drops her fan. Give me my fan: what, minion! can you not? [Gives the DUCHESS a box on the ear. I cry you mercy, madam; Was it you? Duch. Wast 1 yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman!

3 Drab, trull.

4. e. The complaint of Peter, the armorer's man, against his master. • Denied. Censure here means simple judgment or opinion.

« PreviousContinue »