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And that's not suddenly to be perform'd;
But with advice, and silent secresy.

Do you, as I do, in these dangerous days,
Wink at the duke of Suffolk's insolence,
At Beaufort's pride, at Somerset's ambition,
At Buckingham, and all the crew of them,
Till they have snar'd the shepherd of the flock,
That virtuous prince, the good duke Humphrey:
'Tis that they seek; and they, in seeking that,
Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.

Sal. My lord, break we off; we know your mind at full.

[Warwick War. My heart assures me, that the earl of Shall one day make the duke of York a king.

York. And, Nevil, this I do assure myself,— Richard shall live to make the earl of Warwick The greatest man in England, but the king. [ex.

SCENE III. THE SAME. A HALL OF JUSTICE.

Trumpets sounded. Enter King Henry, Queen Margaret, Gloster, York, Suffolk, and Salisbury; the Duchess of Gloster, Margery Jourdain, Southwell, Hume, and Bolingbroke, under guard.

K. Hen. Stand forth, dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloster's wife:

In sight of God, and us, your guilt is great; Receive the sentence of the law, for sins Such as by God's book are adjudg'd to death.— You four, from hence to prison back again; [to Jourdain, &c. From thence, unto the place of execution : The witch in Smithfield shall be burn'd to ashes, And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.You, madam, for you are more nobly born, [to the Duchess. Despoiled of your honour in your life, Shall, after three days' open penance done, Live in your country here, in banishment, With sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man. Duch. Welcome is banishment, welcome were my death. [thee; Glo. Eleanor, the law, thou seest, hath judged I cannot justify whom the law condemns.— [exeunt the Duchess, and the other prisoners, guarded.

Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
Ah, Humphrey, this dishonour in thine age
Will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground!
I beseech your majesty, give me leave to go;
Sorrow would solace, and mine age would ease.
K. Hen. Stay, Humphrey, duke of Gloster:
ere thou go,

Give up thy staff; Henry will to himself
Protector be: and God shall be my hope,
My stay, my guide, and lantern to my feet;
And go in peace, Humphrey; no less belov'd,
Than when thou wert protector to thy king.

Q. Mar. I see no reason, why a king of years
Should be to be protected like a child.—
God and king Henry govern England's helm:
Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm.
Glo. My staff?-here, noble Henry, is my staff:
As willingly do I the same resign,
As e'er thy father Henry made it mine;
And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it,
As others would ambitiously receive it.

Farewell, good king: when I am dead and gone, May honourable peace attend thy throne! erit.

Q. Mar. Why, now is Henry king, and Margaret queen;

And Humphrey duke of Gloster, scarce himself,
That bears so shrewd a maim; two pulls at once,-
His lady banish'd, and a limb lopp'd off;
This staff of honour raught: there let it stand,
Where it best fits to be, in Henry's hand.

Suff. Thus droops this lofty pine, and hangs his sprays;

|—

Thus Eleanor's pride dies in her youngest days.
York. Lords, let him go.- Please it your ma-
This is the day appointed for the combat; [jesty,
And ready are the appellant and defendant,
The armourer and his man, to enter the lists,
So please your highness to behold the fight. [fore

Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord; for purposely thereLeft I the court, to see this quarrel tried.

K. Hen. O' God's name, see the lists and all things fit:

Here let them end it, and God defend the right! York. I never saw a fellow worse bested, Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant, The servant of this armourer, my lords. Enter, on one side, Horner and his Neighbours, drinking to him so much that he is drunk; and he enters bearing his staff with a sand-bag fastened to it; a drum before him; at the other side, Peter, with a drum, and a similar staff; accompanied by Prentices drinking to him.

1 Neigh. Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of sack; and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.

2 Neigh. And here, neighbour, here's a cur of charneco.

3 Neigh. And here's a pot of good double beer, neighbour drink, and fear not your man.

Hor. Let it come, i'faith, and I'll pledge you all; and a fig for Peter!

1 Pren. Here, Peter, I drink to thee; and be not afraid.

2 Pren. Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master; fight for credit of the prentices.

Pet. I thank you all: drink, and pray for me, I pray you; for, I think, I have taken my last draught in this world. Here, Robin, an if I die, I give thee my apron; and, Will, thou shalt have my hammer :-and here, Tom, take all the money that I have. O Lord, bless me, I pray God! for I am never able to deal with my master, he hath learnt so much fence already.

Sal. Come, leave your drinking, and fall to blows. Sirrah, what's thy name?

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to double.

York. Despatch :-t
-this knave's tongue begins | No; dark shall be my light, and night my day:
To think upon my pomp, shall be my hell.
Sometime I'll say, I am duke Humphrey's wife;
And he a prince, and ruler of the land:
Yet so he rul'd, and such a prince he was,
As he stood by, whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
Was made a wonder, and a pointing-stock,
To every idle rascal follower.

Sound trumpets, alarum to the combatants. [alarum. They fight, and Peter strikes

down his master.

Hor. Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess,

treason.

[dies.

York. Take away his weapon :-fellow, thank God, and the good wine in thy master's way.

Pet. O God! have I overcome mine enemies in this presence? O Peter, thou hast prevail'd in right.

[sight;

K. Hen. Go, take hence that traitor from our For, by his death, we do perceive his guilt: And God, in justice, hath reveal'd to us The truth and innocence of this poor fellow, [fully. Which he had thought to have murder'd wrongCome, fellow, follow us for thy reward. [ea cunt.

SCENE IV. THE SAME. A STREET.

Enter Gloster and Servants, in mourning cloaks.

Glo. Thus, sometimes, hath the brightest day a And, after summer, evermore succeeds [cloud; Barren winter, with his wrathful nipping cold: So cares and joys abound, as seasons fleet.Sirs, what's o'clock?

Serv. Ten, my lord.

Glo. Ten is the hour that was appointed me, To watch the coming of my punish'd duchess : Uneath may she endure the flinty streets, To tread them with her tender-feeling feet. Sweet Nell, ill can thy noble mind abrook The abject people, gazing on thy face, With envious looks still laughing at thy shame; That erst did follow thy proud chariot-wheels, When thou didst ride in triumph through the

streets.

But, soft! I think, she comes; and I'll prepare
My tear-stain'd eyes to see her miseries.
Enter the Duchess of Gloster, in a white sheet,
with papers pinned upon her back, her feet bare,
and a taper burning in her hand; Sir John
Stanley, a Sheriff, and Officers. [the sheriff.
Serv. So please your grace, we'll take her from
Glo. No, stir not, for your lives; let her pass by.
Duch. Come you, my lord, to see my open
shame?
[gaze!
Now thou dost penance too Look, how they
See how the gidly multitude do point, [thee!
And nod their heads, and throw their eyes on
Ah, Gloster, hide thee from their hateful looks;
And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine.

Glo. Be patient, gentle Nell; forget this grief. Duch. Ah, Gloster, teach me to forget myself: For, whilst I think I am thy married wife, And thou a prince, protector of this land, Methinks, I should not thus be led along, 'Mail'd up in shame, with papers on my back; And follow'd with a rabble, that rejoice To see my tears, and hear my deep-fet groans. The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet: And, when I start, the envious people laugh, And bid me be advised how I tread. Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke? Trow'st thou, that e'er I'll look upon the world Or count them happy, that enjoy the sun?

But be thou mild, and blush not at my shame;
Nor stir at nothing till the axe of death
Hang over thee, as, sure, it shortly will.
For Suffolk, he that can do all in all
With her, that hateth thee, and hates us all,-
And York, and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings,
And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle thee:
But fear not thou, until thy foot be snar'd,
Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.

Glo. Ah, Nell, forbear! thou aimest all awry;
I must offend, before I be attainted:
And had I twenty times so many foes,
And each of them had twenty times their power,
All these could not procure me any scathe,
So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
Would'st have me rescue thee from this reproach?
Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away,
But I in danger for the breach of law,
Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell:
I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience;
These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.
Enter a Herald.

Her. I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament, holden at Bury the first of this next month.

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SCENE I. THE ABBEY AT BURY.

Enter, to the Parliament, King Henry,
Margaret, Cardinal Beaufort, Suffolk,
Buckingham, and others.

K. Hen. I muse, my lord of Gloster is not come: 'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man, Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.

Q. Mar. Can you not see? or will you not
observe

The strangeness of his alter'd countenance?
With what a majesty he bears himself?
How insolent of late he is become,
How proud, peremptory, and unlike himself?
We know the time, since he was mild and affable;
And, if we did but glance a far-off look,
Immediately he was upon his knee,
That all the court admir'd him for submission:
But meet him now, and, be it in the morn,
When every one will give the time of day,
He knits his brow, and shows an angry eye,
And passeth by with stiff unbowed knee,
Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
Small curs are not regarded when they grin ;
But great men tremble when the lion roars;
And Humphrey is no little man in England.
First, note, that he is near you in descent;
And should you fall, he is the next will mount.
Me seemeth then, it is no policy,-

Queen York,

Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears,
And his advantage following your decease,-
That he should come about your royal person,
Or be admitted to your highness' council.
By flattery hath he won the commons' hearts;
And, when he please to make commotion,
'Tis to be fear'd, they all will follow him.
Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted;
Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden,
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
The reverent care, I bear unto my lord,
Made me collect these dangers in the duke.
If it be fond, call it a woman's fear;
Which fear if better reasons can supplant,
I will subscribe, and say-I wrong'd the duke.
My lord of Suffolk,—Buckingham,—and York,-
Reprove my allegation, if you can ;
Or else conclude my words effectual.

[duke;

Suff. Well hath your highness seen into this And, had I first been put to speak my mind, I think, I should have told your grace's tale. The duchess, by his subornation, Upon my life, began her devilish practices: Or if he were not privy to those faults, Yet, by reputing of his high descent (As next the king, he was successive heir), And such high vaunts of his nobility, Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess, By wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall.

Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet,

And go we to attire you for our journey,

Duch. My shame will not be shifted with my No, it will hang upon my richest robes, [sheet: And show itself, attire me how I can.

Go, lead the way; I long to see my prison. [er III.

Smooth runs the water, where the brook is deep:
And in his simple show he harbours treason.
The fox barks not, when he would steal the lamb
No, no, my sovereign; Gloster is a man
Unsounded yet, and full of deep deceit.

Car. Did he not, contrary to form of law,
Devise strange deaths for small offences done?

York. And did he not, in his protectorship, Levy great sums of money through the realm, For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it? By means whereof, the towns each day revolted. Buck. Tut! these are petty faults to faults unknown, [Humphrey. Which time will bring to light in smooth duke K. Hen. My lords, at once: the care you have of us,

To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot,
Is worthy praise: but shall I speak my conscience?
Our kinsman Gloster is as innocent
From meaning treason to our royal person,
As is the sucking lamb, or harmless dove:
The duke is virtuous, mild; and too well given,
To dream on evil, or to work my downfall.

Q. Mar. Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond affiance !

Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrow'd,
For he's disposed as the hateful raven,
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,

For he's inclin'd as are the ravenous wolves.
Who cannot steal a shape, that means deceit ?
Take heed, iny lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
Enter Somerset.
Som. All health unto my gracious sovereign!
K. Hen. Welcome, lord Somerset.
What news
from France?

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As I am clear from treason to my sovereign: Who can accuse me? wherein am I guilty? York. 'Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France,

And, being protector, stay'd the soldiers' pay;
By means whereof, his highness hath lost France.
Glo. It is but thought so? What are they
that think it?

I never robb'd the soldiers of their pay,
Nor never had one penny bribe from France.
So help me God, as I have watch'd the night,
Ay, night by night,-in studying good for
England!

That doit, that e'er I wrested from the king,
Or any groat I hoarded to my use,

Be brought against me at my trial day!
No! many a pound of mine own proper store,
Because I would not tax the needy Commons,
Have I disbursed to the garrisons,
And never ask'd for restitution.

Cur. It serves you well, my lord, to say so much. [God! Glo. I say no more than truth, so help me York. In your protectorship, you did devise Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of, That England was defam'd by tyranny.

Glo. Why, 'tis well known, that, whiles I was protector,

And, with your best endeavour, have stirr'd up
My liefest liege to be mine enemy:-
Ay, all of you have laid your heads together.
Myself had notice of your conventicles,
And all to make away my guiltless life:
I shall not want false witness to condemn me,
Nor store of treasons to augment my guilt:
The antient proverb will be well effected,—
A staff is quickly found to beat a dog.

Car. My liege, his railing is intolerable:
If those, that care to keep your royal person
From treason's secret knife, and traitor's rage.
Be thus upbraided, chid, and rated at,
And the offender granted scope of speech,
'Twill make them cool in zeal unto your grace.

Pity was all the fault that was in me;
For I should melt at an offender's tears,
And lowly words were ransom for their fault.
Unless it were a bloody murderer,
Or foul felonious thief, that fleec'd poor passengers,
I never gave them cóndign punishment:
Murder, indeed, that bloody sin, I tortur'd
Above the felon, or what trespass else? [answer'd:

Suff My lord, these faults are easy, quickly
But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge,
Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
I do arrest you in his highness' name;
And here commit you to my lord cardinal
To keep, until your further time of trial.

K. Hen. My lord of Gloster, 'tis my special hope, That you will clear yourself from all suspects; My conscience tells me, you are innocent.

Glo. Ah, gracious lord, these days are danVirtue is chok'd with foul ambition, [gerous! And charity chas'd hence by rancour's hand? Foul subornation is predominant, And equity exil'd your highness' land. I know, their complot is to have my life; And, if my death might make this island happy, And prove the period of their tyranny, I would expend it with all willingness: But mine is made the prologue to their play; For thousands more, that yet suspect no peril, Will not conclude their plotted tragedy. [malice, Beaufort's red sparkling eyes blab his heart's And Suffolk's cloudy brow his stormy hate; Sharp Buckingham unburdens with his tongue The envious load that lies upon his heart; And dogged York, that reaches at the moon, Whose overweening arm I have pluck'd back, By false accuse doth level at my life: And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest, Causeless have laid disgraces on my head;

:

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parliament?

Glo. Ah, thus king Henry throws a Before his legs be firm to bear his body: Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side, [first. And wolves are gnarling who shall knaw thee Ah, that my fear were false! ah, that it were! For, good king Henry, thy decay I fear. [exeunt Attendants, with Gloster. K. Hen. My lords, what to your wisdom seemDo, or undo, as if ourself were here. [eth best, Q. Mar. What, will your highness leave the [with grief, K. Hen. Ay, Margaret; my heart is drown'd Whose flood begins to flow within mine eyes; My body round engirt with misery; For what's more miserable than discontent?— Ah, uncle Humphrey! in thy face I see The map of honour, truth, and loyalty; And yet, good Humphrey, is the hour to come, That e'er I prov'd thee false, or fear'd thy faith. What low'ring star now envies thy estate, That these great lords, and Margaret our queen, Do seek subversion of thy harmless life? Thou never didst them wrong, nor no man wrong: And as the butcher takes away the calf, And binds the wretch, and beats it when it strays, Bearing it to the bloody slaughter-house; Even so, remorseless, have they borne him hence. And as the dam runs lowing up and down, Looking the way her harmless young one went, And can do nought but wail her darling's loss; Even so myself bewails good Gloster's case, With sad unhelpful tears; and with dimm'd eyes Look after him, and cannot do him good; So mighty are his vowed enemies. His fortune's I will weep; and 'twixt each groan, Say-Who's a traitor? Gloster he is none. [exit. Q. Mar. Free lords, cold snow melts with the sun's hot beams.

Henry, my lord, is cold in great affairs,
Too full of foolish pity: and Gloster's show
Beguiles him, as the mournful crocodile
With sorrow snares relenting passengers;
Or as the snake, roll'd in a flowering bank,
With shining chequer'd slough, doth sting a
That, for the beauty, thinks it excellent. [child,
Believe me, lords, were none more wise than I,
(And yet, herein, I judge mine own wit good),
This Gloster should be quickly rid the world,
To rid us from the fear we have of him.

Car. That he should die; is worthy policy; But yet we want a colour for his death: 'Tis meet, he be condemn'd by course of law.

Suff. But, in my mind, that were no policy: The king will labour still to save his life, The commons haply rise to save his life; And yet, we have but trivial argument, More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death. York. So that, by this, you would not have

him die.

Suff. Ah, York, no man alive so fain as Ì. York. 'Tis York that hath more reason for his death,[Suffolk, But, my lord cardinal, and, you, my lord of Say as you think, and speak it from your souls,— Wer't not all one, an empty eagle were set To guard the chicken from a hungry kite, As place duke Humphrey for the king's protector? Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure of death. [then,

Suff. Madam, 'tis true: and wer't not madness To make the fox surveyor of the fold? Who being accus'd a crafty murderer, His guilt should be but idly posted over, Because his purpose is not executed. No; let him die, in that he is a fox, By nature prov'd an enemy to the flock, Before his chaps be stain'd with crimson blood; As Humphrey, prov'd by reasons, to my liege. And do not stand on quillets, how to slay him: Be it by gins, by snares, by subtilty, Sleeping, or waking, 'tis no matter how, So he be dead; for that is good deceit Which mates him first, the first intends deceit. Q. Mar. Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely spoke.

Suff. Not resolute, except so much were done; For things are often spoke, and seldom meant: But, that my heart accordeth with my tongue,Seeing the deed is meritorious,

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Send succours, lords, and stop the rage betime, Before the wound do grow incurable;

For, being green, there is great hope of help. Car. A breach, that craves a quick expedient stop!

What counsel give you in this weighty cause?

York. That Somerset be sent as regent thither: 'Tis meet, that lucky ruler be employ'd; Witness the fortune he hath had in France.

Som. If York, with all his far-fet policy,
Had been the regent there instead of me,
He never would have staid in France so long.

York. No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done
I rather would have lost my life betimes,
Than bring a burden of dishonour home,
By staying there so long, till all were lost.
Show me one scar charácter'd on thy skin:
Men's flesh preserv'd so whole, do seldom win.

Q. Mar. Nay then, this spark will prove a
raging fire,

If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with:-
No more, good York;-sweet Somerset, be still;-
Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there,
Might haply have prov'd far worse than his.
York. What, worse than naught? nay, then a
shame take all!'
[shame!
Som. And, in the number, thee, that wishest
Car. My lord of York, try what your fortune
The uncivil Kernes of Ireland are in arms, [is.
And temper clay with blood of Englishmen :
To Ireland will you lead a band of men,
Collected choicely, from each county some,
And try your hap against the Irishmen?

York. I will, my lord, so please his majesty. Suff. Why, our authority is his consent; And, what we do establish, he confirms: Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand. York. I am content: provide me soldiers, lords, Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.

Suff. A charge, lord York, that I will see per

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But now return we to the false duke Humphrey.
Car. No more of him; for I will deal with him,
That, henceforth, he shall trouble us no more.
And so break off; this day is almost spent:
Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.

York. My lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days, At Bristol I expect my soldiers; For there I'll ship them all for Ireland. Suff. I'll see it truly done, my lord of York. [exeunt all but York. York. Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful thoughts,

And change misdoubt to resolution:
Be that thou hop'st to be; or what thou art
Resign to death, it is not worth the enjoying;
Let pale-fac'd fear keep with the mean-born man,
And find no harbour in a royal heart.
Faster than spring-time showers, comes thought
on thought:

And not a thought, but thinks on dignity.
My brain, more busy than the labouring spider,
Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies.
Well, nobles, well, 'tis politicly done,
To send me packing with an host of mon:
I fear me, you but warm the starved snake,

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