« PreviousContinue »
Urs. They have'; Which, as if life and health had reign'd among them, With open hearts they joyfully received.
K. Hen. Young Buckingham is a fair-natured prince, Lovely in hopes, and worthy of his father; Attended by a hundred knights and squires Of special name, he tender'd humble service, Which we must ne'er forget; and Devonshire's
wounds, Though slight, shall find sound cure in our respect. Enter DAWBENEY, with a guard, leading in. WARBECK,
HERON, JOHN A-WATER, ASTLEY, and SKETON, chained.
Daw. Life to the king, and safety fix his throne !
I here present you, royal sir, a shadow
Of majesty, but, in effect, a substance
Of pity, a young man, in nothing grown
To ripeness, but the ambition of your mercy:
Perkin, the Christian world's strange wonder.
K. Hen. Dawbeney,
We observe no wonder; I behold, 't is true,
An ornament of nature, fine and polish’d,
A handsome youth indeed, but not admire him.
How came he to thy hands ?
Daw. From sanctuary
At Bewley, near Southampton ; register'd
With these few followers, for persons privileged.
K. Hen. I must not thank you, sir! you were to
To infringe the liberty of houses sacred:
Dare we be irreligious ?
Daw. Gracious lord,
They voluntarily resign’d themselves,
K. Hen. So? 't was very well;
'Twas very, very well !-turn now thine eyes,
Young man, upon thyself and thy past actions.
What revels in combustion through our kingdom,
A phrensy of aspiring youth hạth danced,
Till, wanting breath, thy feet of pride have slipp'd
To break thy neck!
War. But not my heart! my heart
Will mount, till every drop of blood be frozen
By death's perpetual winter: if the sun
Of majesty be darken'd, let the sun
of life be hid from me, in an eclipse
Lasting and universal! Sir, remember
There was a shooting in of light, when Richmond,
Not aiming at a crown, retired, and gladly,
For comfort, to the duke of Bretaine's court.
Richard, who sway'd the sceptre, was reputed
A tyrant then : yet then, a dawning glimmer'd
To some few wand'ring remnants, promising day
When first they ventur'd on a frightful shore,
At Milford Haven-
Daw. Whither speeds his boldness?
Check his rude tongue, great sir.
K. Hen. O, let him range :
The player's on the stage still, 't is his part;
He does but act. What follow'd ?
War. Bosworth Field!
Where, at an instant, to the world's amazement,
A morn to Richmond, and a night to Richard,
Appear'd at once: the tale is soon applied ;
Fate which crown' these attempts when least assured,
Might have befriended others, like resolv'd.
K. Hen. A pretty gallant ! thus your aunt of Bur-
Your dutchess aunt, inform'd her nephew; so.
The lesson prompted, and well conn'd, was moulded
Into familiar dialogue, oft rehearsed,
Till, learn'd by heart, 't is now received for truth.
War. Truth, in her pure simplicity, wants art
To put a feigned blush on: scorn wears only
Such fashion as commends to gazers' eyes
Sad ulcerated novelty; far beneath
The sphere of majesty; in such a court
Wisdom and gravity are proper robes,
By which the sovereign is best distinguish'd
From zanies to his greatness.
K. Hen. Sirrah, shift
Your antic pageantry, and now appear
In your own nature, or you'll taste the danger
fooling out of season.
War. I expect
No less than what severity calls justice,
And politicians safety; let such beg
As feed on alms : but, if there can be mercy
In a protested enemy, then may it
Descend to these poor creatures, whose engage-
To the bettering of their fortunes, have incurr'd
A loss of all; to them, if any charity
Flow from some noble orator, in death,
I owe the fee of thankfulness.
K. Hen. So brave!
What a bold knave is this! Which of these rebels
Has been the mayor of Cork ?
Daw. This wise formality :
Kneel to the king, ye rascals ! [They kneel.
K. Hen. Canst thou hope
A pardon, where thy guilt is so apparent ?
I. a-Wat. Under your good favours, as men are men, they may err; for I confess, respectively, in taking great parts, the one side prevailing, the other side must go down: herein the point is clear, if the proverb hold, that hanging goes by destiny, that it is to little purpose to say, this thing, or that, shall be thus, or thus; for, as the fates will have it, so it must be; and who can help it?
Daw. O blockhead! thou a privy-counsellor ? Beg life, and cry aloud, “Heaven save king Henry !"
J. a-Wat. Every man knows what is best, as it happens ; for my own part, I believe it is true, if I be not deceived, that kings must be kings, and subjects subjects : but which is which, you shall pardon me
for that ;—whether we speak or hold our peace, all are mortal, no man knows his end.
K. Hen. We trifle time with follies.
All. Mercy, mercy!
K. Hen. Urswick, commend the dukeling and these
To Digby, the lieutenant of the Tower:
With safety let them be convey'd to London.
It is our pleasure no uncivil outrage,
Taunts, or abuse be suffered to their persons;
They shall meet fairer law than they deserve.
Time may restore their wits, whom vain ambition
Hath many years distracted.
War. Noble thoughts
Meet freedom in captivity: the Tower!
Our childhood's dreadful nursery.
K. Hen. No more!
Urs. Come, come, you shall have leisure to be-
[Éxit Urs. with PERKIN and his followers,
guarded. K. Hen. Was ever so much impudence in forgery? The custom sure of being styled a king, Hath fastened in his thought that he is such; But we shall teach the lad another language : 'Tis good we have him fast.
Daw. The hangman's physic Will purge this saucy humour.
K. Hen. Very likely:
Yet we could temper mercy with extremity,
Being not too far provoked.
Enter OXFORD, KATHERINE in her richest attire, Dal-
YELL, JANE, and Attendants.
Oxf. Great sir, be pleased,
With your accustomed grace, to entertain
The princess Katherine Gordon.
K. Hen. Oxford, herein
We must beshrew thy knowledge of our nature.
Spi. What friend have I left in your absence ?
Aur. Many: Thy virtues are such friends they cannot fai]
Faith, purity of thoughts, and such a meekness
As would force scandal to a blush.
Spi. Admit, sir,
The patent of your life should be call'd in:
How am I then left to account with griefs,
More slav'd to pity than a broken heart?
Auria! soul of my comforts, I let fall
No eye on breach of fortune; I contemn
No entertainment to divided hopes,
I urge no pressures by the scorn of change;
And yet, my Auria, when I but conceive
How easy 't is (without impossibility)
Never to see thee more, forgive me then,
If I conclude I may be miserable,
Cast. And such conclusion, sister,
Argues effects of a distrust more voluntary,
Than cause by likelihood.
Aur. 'Tis truth, Castanna.
Spi. I grant it truth; yet, Auria, I'm a woman, And therefore apt to fear: to show my duty, And not to take heart from you, I'll walk from
Åt your command, and not so much as trouble
Your thought with one poor looking back.
Aur. I thank thee,
My worthy wife! Before we kiss, receive
This caution from thine Auria: first-Castanna,
Let us bid farewell.
(Cast. walks aside. Spi. Speak, good, speak.
Aur. The steps
Young ladies tread, left to their own discretion,
However wisely printed, are observed,
And construed as the lookers-on presume:
Point out thy ways then in such even paths,