« PreviousContinue »
Enter on the walls the Bishop of DURHAM, armed, a trun
cheon in his hand, with Soldiers. War.
See, the jolly clerk
Appears, trimmed like a ruffian!
Set ope the ports, and to your lawful sovereign,
Richard of York, surrender up this castle,
And he will take thee to his grace; else Tweed
Shall overflow his banks with English blood,
And wash the sand that cements those hard stones
From their foundation.
Warlike King of Scotland,
Vouchsafe a few words from a man enforced
To lay his book aside, and clap on arms
Unsuitable to my age or my profession.
Courageous prince, consider on what grounds
You rend the face of peace, and break a league
With a confederate king that courts your amity;
For whom too? for a vagabond, a straggler,
Not noted in the world by birth or name,
An obscure peasant, by the rage of hell
Loosed from his chains to set great kings at strife.
What nobleman, what common man of note,
What ordinary subject hath come in,
Since first you footed on our territories,
To only feign a welcome? Children laugh at
Your proclamations, and the wiser pity
So great a potentate's abuse by one
Who juggles merely with the fawns and youth
Of an instructed compliment: such spoils,
Such slaughters as the rapine of your soldiers
Already have committed, is enough.
To show your zeal in a conceited justice.
Yet, great king, wake not yet my master's vengeance
But shake that viper off which gnaws your entrails.
I and my fellow-subjects are resolved,
If you persist, to stand your utmost fury,
Till our last blood drop from us.
O, sir, lend
No ear to this traducer of my honour !-
What shall I call thee, thou gray-bearded scandal,
That kick'st against the sovereignty to which
Thou ow'st allegiance?—Treason is bold-faced
And eloquent in mischief: sacred king,
Be deaf to his known malice.
Unto those holy motions which inspire
The sacred heart of an anointed body.
It is the surest policy in princes
To govern well their own than seek encroachment
Upon another's right.
The king is serious,
Deep in his meditations.
Lift them up
To Heaven, his better genius!
Can you study
While such a devil raves ? O, sir !
You'll not be drawn to mercy ?
In like case by a subject of your own:
My resolution's fixed: King James, be counselled,
A greater fate waits on thee.
[Exeunt Bishop of DURHAM and Soldiers
from the walls. K. Ja.
The country; spare no prey of life or goods.
War. O, sir, then give me leave to yield to nature;
I am most miserable: had I been
Born what this clergyman would by defame
Baffle belief with, I had never sought
The truth of mine inheritance with rapes
Of women or of infants murdered, virgins
Deflowered, old men butchered, dwellings fired,
My land depopulated, and my people
Afflicted with a kingdom's devastation :
Show more remorse, great king, or I shall never
Endure to see such havoc with dry eyes;
Spare, spare, my dear, dear England !
You fool your piety
Ridiculously careful of an interest
Another man possesseth. Where's your faction?
Shrewdly the bishop guessed of your adherents,
When not a petty burgess of some town,
No, not a villager hath yet appeared
In your assistance: that should make ye whine,
And not your country's sufferance, as you term it.
Dal. The king is angry.
And the passionate duke
In former trials, sir, both of mine own
Or other princes cast out of their thrones,
Have so acquainted me how misery
Is destitute of friends or of relief,
That I can easily submit to taste
Lowest reproof without contempt or words.
K. Ja. An humble-minded man !
Now, what intelligence
Speaks Master Secretary Frion ?
Of England hath in open field o’erthrown
The armies who opposed him in the right
Of this young prince.
His subsidies, you mean :-
More, if you have it ?
Howard, Earl of Surrey, Backed by twelve earls and barons of the north,
An hundred knights and gentlemen of name,
And twenty thousand soldiers, is at hand
To raise your siege. Brooke, with a goodly navy,
Is admiral at sea ; and Dawbeney follows
With an unbroken army for a second.
War. 'Tis false ! they come to side with us.
We shall not find them stones and walls to cope with.-
Yet, Duke of York, for such thou sayst thou art,
I'll try thy fortune to the height: to Surrey,
By Marchmont, I will send a brave defiance
For single combat ; once a king will venture
His person to an earl, with condition
Of spilling lesser blood : Surrey is bold,
And James resolved.
O, rather, gracious sir,
Create me to this glory, since my cause
Doth interest this fair quarrel ; valued least,
I am his equal.
K. Ja. I will be the man.-
March softly off : where victory can reap
A harvest crowned with triumph, toil is cheap. (Exeunt.
ACT THE FOURTH.
SCENE I.-The English Camp near Ayton, on the
Enter Earl of Surrey, Bishop of DURHAM, Soldiers, with
drums and colours. PUR. Are all our braving enemies shrunk
back, Hid in the fogs of their distempered
climate, Not daring to behold our colours wave
In spite of this infected air? Can they
Look on the strength of Cundrestine defaced ?
The glory of Hedon-hall devasted ? that
Of Edington cast dows ? the pile of Fulden
O’erthrown ? and this the strongest of their forts,
Old Ayton-castle, yielded and demolished ?
And yet not peep abroad? The Scots are bold,
Hardy in battle ; but it seems the cause
They undertake, considered, appears
Unjointed in the frame on't.
Our royal master's wisdom is at all times
His fortune's harbinger; for when he draws
His sword to threaten war, his providence
Settles on peace, the crowning of an empire.
[A trumpet within. 1 At that tiine considered one of the strongest places between Berwick and Edinburgh,