Page images
PDF
EPUB

Surrey shall follow soon, with such an army
As may relieve the bishop, and encounter
On all occasions the death-daring Scots.
You know your charges all; ’tis now a time
To execute, not talk : Heaven is our guard still.
War must breed peace; such is the fate of kings.

[Exeunt.

SCENE III.- Edinburgh. An Apartment in the

Palace.

Enter Earl of CRAWFORD and Lord DALYELL.
Craw. 'Tis more than strange; my reason cannot

answer
Such argument of fine imposture, couched
In witchcraft of persuasion, that it fashions
Impossibilities, as if appearance
Could cozen truth itself: this dukeling mushroom
Hath doubtless charmed the king.
Dal.

He courts the ladies,
As if his strength of language chained attention
By power of prerogative.
Craw.

It madded
My very soul to hear our master's motion :
What surety both of amity and honour
Must of necessity ensue upon
A match betwixt some noble of our nation
And this brave prince, forsooth !
Dal.

'Twill prove too fatal ;
Wise Huntley fears the threatening. Bless the lady
From such a ruin !
Craw.

How the counsel privy Of this young Phaëthon do screw their faces Into a gravity their trades, good people, Were never guilty of! the meanest of 'em Dreams of at least an office in the state.

ay

Dal. Sure, not the hangman's; 'tis bespoke already For service to their rogueships--Silence !

Enter King James and Earl of HUNTLEY.
K. Ja.

Do not
Argue against our will ; we have descended
Somewhat—as we may term it—too familiarly
From justice of our birthright, to examine
The force of your allegiance,-sir, we have,--
But find it short of duty.
Hunt.

Break my heart,
Do, do, king! Have my services, my loyalty,–
Heaven knows untainted ever,-,-drawn upon me
Contempt now in mine age, when I but wanted
A minute of a peace not to be troubled,
My last, my long one? Let me be a dotard,
A bedlam, a poor sot, or what you please
To have me, so you will not stain your blood,
Your own blood, royal sir, though mixed with mine,
By marriage of this girl' to a straggler ::
Take, take my head, sir ; whilst my tongue can wag,
It cannot name him other.
K. Ja.

Kings are counterfeits
In your repute, grave oracle, not presently
Set on their thrones with sceptres in their fists.
But use your own detraction ; 'tis our pleasure
To give our cousin York for wife our kinswoman,
The Lady Katherine : instinct of sovereignty
Designs the honour, though her peevish father
Usurps our resolution.
Hunt.

O, 'tis well,
Exceeding well ! I never was ambitious
Of using congees to my daughter-queen-

1 « To put it out of doubt that he took him (Perkin) to be a great prince, and not a representation only, he (King James) gave consent that this duke should take to wife the Lady Kaiherine Gordon, daughter to the Earl of Huntley, being a near kinswoman to the king himself, and a young virgin of excellent beauty and virtue."-Bacon.

A queen! perhaps a quean !Forgive me, Dalyell,
Thou honourable gentleman ;-none here
Dare speak one work of comfort?
Dal.

Cruel misery!
Craw. The lady, gracious prince, may-be hath settled
Affection on some former choice.
Dal.

Enforcement
Would prove but tyranny.
Hunt.

I thank ye heartily.
Let any yeoman of our nation challenge
An interest in the girl, then the king
May add a jointure of ascent in titles,
Worthy a free consent; now he pulls down
What old desert hath builded.
K. Ja.

Cease persuasions.
I violate no pawns of faith, intrude not
On private loves: that I have played the orator
For kingly York to virtuous Kate, her grant
Can justify, referring her contents
To our provision. The Welsh Harry henceforth
Shall therefore know, and tremble to acknowledge,
That not the painted idol of his policy
Shall fright the lawful owner from a kingdom.
We are resolved.
Hunt.

Some of thy subjects' hearts,
King James, will bleed for this.
K. Ja.

Then shall their bloods
Be nobly spent. No more disputes; he is not
Our friend who contradicts us.
Hunt.

Farewell, daughter !
My care by one is lessened, thank the king for’t:
I and my griefs will dance now.

Enter PERKIN WARBECK, leading, and complimenting with,

Lady KATHERINE; Countess of CRAWFORD, JANE Douglas, Frion, JOHN A-WATER, Astley, HERON, and SKELTON.

Look, lords, look;
Here's hand in hand already!
K. Ja.

Peace, old frenzy!--
How like a king he looks! Lords, but observe
The confidence of his aspect; dross cannot
Cleave to so pure a metal-royal youth !
Plantagenet undoubted!

Hunt. [Aside] Ho, brave !-Youth,
But no Plantagenet, by'r lady, yet,
By red rose or by white.
War.

An union this way
Settles possession in a monarchy
Established rightly, as is my inheritance:
Acknowledge me but sovereign of this kingdom,
Your heart, fair princess, and the hand of providence
Shall crown you queen of me and my best fortunes.

Kath. Where my obedience is, my lord, a duty
Love owes true service.
War.

Shall I?-
K. Ja.

Cousin, yes,
Enjoy her; from my hand accept your bride;

[He joins their hands,
And may they live at enmity with comfort
Who grieve at such an equal pledge of troths !-
You are the prince's wife now.
Kath.

By your gift, sir.
War. Thus I take seizure of mine own.
Kath.

I miss yet
A father's blessing. Let me find it ;-humbly
Upon my knees I seek it.
Hunt.

I'am Huntley,
Old Alexander Gordon, a plain subject,
Nor more nor less; and, lady, if you wish for
A blessing, you must bend your knees to Heaven ;
For Heaven did give me you. Alas, alas,
What would you have me say? May all the happiness
My prayers ever sued to fall upon you

Preserve you in your virtues !—Prithee, Dalyell,
Come with me; for I feel thy griefs as full
As mine; let's steal away, and cry together.
Dal. My hopes are in their ruins.

[Exeunt Earl of HUNTLEY and Lord DALYELL. K. Ja.

Good, kind Huntley
· Is overjoyed: a fit solemnity
Shall perfect these delights.-Crawford, attend
Our order for the preparation.

[Exeunt all but Frion, HERON, SKELTON,

JOHN A-WATER, and ASTLEY.
Fri. Now, worthy gentlemen, have I not followed
My undertakings with success? Here's entrance
Into a certainty above a hope.

Her. Hopes are but hopes; I was ever confident, when I traded but in remnants, that my stars had reserved me to the title of a viscount at least: honour is honour, though cut out of any stuffs.'

Skel. My brother Heron hath right wisely delivered his opinion; for he that threads his needle with the sharp eyes of industry shall in time go through-stitch with the new suit of preferment.

Ast. Spoken to the purpose, my fine-witted brother Skelton; for as no indenture but has its counterpane, no noverint but his condition or defeasance; so no right but may have claim, no claim but may have possession, any act of parliament to the contrary notwithstanding.

Fri. You are all read in mysteries of state,
And quick of apprehension, deep in judgment,
Active in resolution; and tis pity
Such counsel should lie buried in obscurity.
But why, in such a time and cause of triumph,
Stands the judicious Mayor of Cork so silent?
Believe it, sir, as English Richard prospers,
You must not miss employment of high nature.

Heron, or Herne, as Bacon calls him, was a mercer ; Skelton was a tailor ; and Astley a scrivener : they were all men of broken fortunes.-Gifford.

« PreviousContinue »