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The heavens themselves, the planets and this earth
Observe degree, priority and place,
Office and custom, in all line of order
Take but degree away, untune that string,
And, hark, what discord follows!
King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!
England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.
England ne'er had a king until his time.
His sparkling eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
More dazzled and drove back his enemies
Than mid-day sun fierce bent against their faces.
Henry the Fifth, thy ghost I invocate:
Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils,
Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
A far more glorious star thy soul will make
Than Julius Caesar or bright...
My honourable lords,
Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
Of loss, of slaughter and discomfiture:
Paris, Guysors, Poitiers, are all quite lost.
What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?
Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns
Will make him burst his lead and rise from death.
Is Paris lost? Is Guysors yielded up?
If Henry were recall'd to life again,
These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.
How were they lost? What treachery was used?
No treachery; but want of men and money.
Of England's coat one half is cut away.
Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
These tidings would call forth their flowing tides.
Give me my steeled coat. I'll fight for France.
Wounds will I lend the French instead of eyes,
-To weep their intermissive miseries.
-O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?
We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats.
Exeter, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.
Gloucester, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?
An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
Wherewith already France is overrun.
My gracious lord, to add to your laments,
Wherewith you now be due King Henry's hearse.
'I must inform you of a fight for Orleans...
'Betwixt the stout lords Talbot and Salisbury...
'..and the French.'
'The camp, by night was overrun.'
No, Talbot lives
but forced to flee Orleans.
-Farewell, my masters.
Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
To warm our great Saint George's feast.
I'll either quell the Dauphin utterly,
Or bring him in obedience to our yoke. Come.
I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can,
And there, I will proclaim young Henry king.
BANGING ON DOOR
DOOR HINGES GROAN
My lord, your loving nephew.
Richard Plantagenet, is he come?
Aye, noble uncle.
Your nephew, Richard, comes.
Direct mine arms.
I may embrace his neck.
Your wrong doth equal mine.
Deprived of honour and inheritance.
But now the arbitrator of despairs.
Kind umpire of men's miseries,
With sweet enlargements doth dismiss me hence:
I would his troubles were expired,
That you might recover what is lost.
for my father's sake, In honour of a true Plantagenet,
For alliance sake, declare the cause.
Henry the Fourth, grandfather to the young king,
Deposed his true king Richard,
I should have been the rightful next by birth.
When my friends opposed this usurpment
And worked to instate me the rightful heir
I lost my liberty and they their lives.
Are you the rightful king?
And I thy heir?
With silence, nephew, be thou politic:
Strong-fixed is the house of Lancaster,
And like a mountain,
not to be removed.
And fair be all thy hopes
And prosperous be thy life
in peace and...
Here dies the dusky torch of Mortimer.
And now, for all those wrongs,
those bitter injuries,
Which too long Fate hath offer'd to my house:
I silently swear with honour to redress.
My great uncle was Edmund Mortimer.
Who married Philippa, sole daughter unto Lionel, Duke of Clarence.
Therefore, so if the issue of the elder son succeed the younger...
..I am king.
The truth appears so naked on my side
that any poor, blind eye could seek it out.
CHURCH BELLS TOLL
Since you are tongue-tied and so loathe to speak,
Let him that is a true-born gentleman,
Does he suppose that I have pleaded truth?
From off this briar pluck...
..a white rose with me.
Let him that is no coward...
..nor no flatterer,
Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.
I love no colours, and without all colour
Of base insinuating flattery
I pluck this...
white rose with my lord.
I pluck this red rose with brave Somerset
And say withal I think he held the right.
Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more,
Till you conclude that he upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.
Good Lord of Warwick, it is well objected:
If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
for the truth
and plainness of the case.
I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
Giving my verdict on the white rose side.
Come on! Who else?
Now, Somerset, where is your argument?
Here in my scabbard, meditating that
Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
your cheeks do counterfeit our roses,
-For pale they look with fear.
-Not for fear
but anger that thy tongue will not confess thy error.
Proud fool, begone!
I scorn both him and thee.
Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
I'll turn my dagger here into thy throat.
Let us away, good Suffolk
We grace this yeoman by conversing with him.
Now, by God's will!
Thou wrong'st him, Somerset.
Was not thy father for treason executed?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.
My father was no traitor!
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
and scourge you for this apprehension:
Look to it well,
say you were well warn'd.
Thou shalt find us ready for thee still,
And know us by these colours for thy foes,
For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
A symbol, white, of my blood-drinking hate,
Shall I for ever..
..and my faction wear.
Go forward and be choked with thy ambition.
Comest thou with deep premeditated lines,
With written pamphlets studiously devised? Humphrey of Gloucester,
If thou canst accuse,
Do it without invention, suddenly,
As I with sudden and extemporal speech
Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
This place commands my patience,
Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonour'd me.
-Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
-Forward by nature, enemy to peace...
Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
A man of thy profession and degree.
Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts were sifted,
The King, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
Gloucester, I do defy thee.
If I were
covetous, ambitious or perverse,
As he would have me, how am I so poor?
It is not that that hath incensed the duke:
It is because no-one should sway but he,
No-one but he should be about the King,
And that engenders thunder in his breast
And makes him roar these accusations forth.
-Am I not Protector, saucy priest?
Thou art reverent Touching thy spiritual function,
not thy life.
-Rome shall remedy this!
-Roam thither, then.
LAUGHTER AND CLAMOUR
Uncles of Gloucester and of Winchester,
I would prevail, if prayers might prevail,
To join your hearts in love and amity.
O, what a scandal is it to our crown,
That two such noble peers as ye should jar!
Believe me, lords,
my tender years can tell
Civil dissension is a viperous worm
That gnaws the bowels of the commonwealth.
How this discord doth afflict my soul!
Can you, my Lord of Winchester, behold
My sighs and tears and will not once relent?
Who should study to prefer a peace?
If holy churchmen take delight in broils?
Yield, my Lord Protector, yield, Winchester.
He shall submit, or I will never yield.
Compassion on the King commands me stoop.
Behold, my Lord of Winchester,
the Duke hath banish'd moody, discontented fury.
Why look you still so stern and tragical?
Here, Winchester, I offer thee my hand.
Fie, holy uncle!
I have heard you preach
That malice is a great and grievous sin.
And will not you maintain the thing you teach?
Well, Duke of Gloucester, I will yield to thee.
O, loving uncle, kind Duke of Gloucester,
How joyful am I made by this contract!
Accept this appeal, Gracious Sovereign,
And hear the right of Richard Plantagenet.
Well urged, my Lord of Warwick: for, sweet prince,
You have great reason to do Richard right.
My loving lords, our pleasure is
That Richard be restored to his blood.
Thy humble servant vows obedience
And humble service till the point of death.
Stoop then and set thy knee against my foot.
And, in return of that duty done,
I gird thee with the valiant sword of York.
Rise Richard, like a true Plantagenet,
And rise created princely Duke of York.
And so thrive Richard...
And so perish they
That grudge one thought against Your Majesty.
Welcome, high prince,
mighty Duke of York!
Perish, base prince, ignoble Duke of York(!)
Now will it best avail Your Majesty
To cross the seas and to be crown'd in France:
The presence of a king engenders love
Amongst his subjects and his loyal friends,
As it disanimates his enemies.
When Gloucester says the word, King Henry goes,
For friendly counsel cuts off many foes.
Your ships already are in readiness!
God save King Henry of England and of France.
Of that name, the sixth.
-God save the King.
My gracious sovereign,
as we rode from Calais,
in haste unto your coronation,
A letter was deliver'd to my hands,
Writ to Your Grace from the Dauphin of France.
My Lord Protector...
..view the letter.
"To the King"...!
Hath he forgot he is his sovereign?
"I have, upon especial cause,
"Moved with compassion of my country's wrack,
"Led by one Joan La Pucelle
"taken back the town of Rouen lost.
"Thrown out your lordships occupying there
"and am hailed by my people..."
-"..Charles, the rightful King of France."
O monstrous treachery!
It doth, my lord, and is become your foe.
Now then, Lord Talbot, you must return to Charles
And give him chastisement for this abuse.
How say you, my lord? Are you content?
Content, my liege.
I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.
Then gather strength from these assembled here. Somerset!
-You have scores of horsemen, have you not?
-I have, my lord.
Will you help good Talbot curb the French?
I swear I shall supply him what he needs.
with full power, march unto Charles, straight.
Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason
-and what offence it is to flout a friend.
-I go, my lord.
In heart desiring still
You may behold confusion
of your foes.
-Lord Somerset and York.
I pray, come hither.
I see no reason, if I wear this rose,
That any one should therefore be suspicious
I more incline to Somerset than York:
Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both.
As we hither came in peace,
So let us still continue peace...
Cousin of York...
..we institute Your Grace
To be our regent in these parts of France.
And, good my Lord of Somerset,
Unite your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot,
And, like true subjects,
Both follow Talbot and our valiant uncle Exeter
Back to Rouen and to this traitor, Charles.
Go cheerfully together...
..and digest Your angry choler on your enemies.
Prettily, the King did play the orator.
And so he did, but yet I like it not,
he wears the badge of Somerset.
Shush, but his fancy, blame him not.
I dare presume, sweet prince,
he thought no harm.
But let it rest.
Other affairs must now be managed.
Well didst Richard of York suppress his voice.
For, had the passions of his heart burst out,
I fear we should have seen decipher'd there
More rancorous spite,
more furious raging broils,
Than yet can be imagined or supposed.
'Tis much when sceptres are in children's hands,
But more when envy...
..breeds unkind division.
There comes the rain.
There begins confusion.
FLAGS FLUTTER, CROWS CAW
WHISPERING VOICES, BELLS TOLL
Look on thy country,
Look on fertile France,
And see the cities
and the towns defaced
By wasting ruin of the cruel foe!
Wee little herd of England's timorous deer,
Mazed with a yelping kennel of French curs!
If we be English deer,
be then in blood,
Not rascal-like, to fall down with a pinch,
But rather, moody-mad, desperate stags!
Good men! I am, by birth, a shepherd's daughter
My wit untrained in any kind of art.
Turn on the bloody hounds with heads of steel
And make the cowards stand aloof at bay.
Whilst I prayed unto the holy lamp,
God's mother deigned to appear to me
And in a vision full of majesty
Will'd me to leave my base vocation
And free my country from calamity!
God and Saint George, Talbot and England's right,
Prosper our colours in this dangerous fight!
ALL SHOUT, CRASHING
MEN CHATTER QUIETLY
CHATTERING AND LAUGHTER
CLASHING SWORDS, SHOUTING
SWORDS CLASHING, SHOUTING
How now, Sir William! Whither were you sent?
from bought and sold Lord Talbot,
Who, ring'd about with bold adversity,
Cries out for noble Somerset's promised horse.
Say, will you send your troops?
It's too late. I cannot send them now.
This expedition was, by York and Talbot, too rashly plotted.
The over-daring Talbot
Hath sullied all his gloss of former glory
By this unheedful, desperate, wild adventure.
York set him on. York should provide him aid.
And York as fast upon Your Grace exclaims,
-Swearing that you withhold your promised aid.
He might have sent and had the horse.
I owe him little duty, and less love.
The fraud of England, not the force of France,
Hath now entrapp'd the noble-minded Talbot:
He dies, betray'd to fortune by your strife.
'And on his son, young John,
'Of whom, two hours since, news did arrive
'That he is speeding to his warlike father.'
I will dispatch the horsemen straight.
Within six hours, they will be at his aid.
Too late comes rescue: he is ta'en or slain.
If he be dead...
..brave Talbot, then adieu!
His fame lives in the world,
his shame in you.
SWORDS CLASH, SHOUTING
WET SLICING, SCREAMING
WET SLICING Father!
John, I did send for thee.
That Talbot's name might be in thee revived
Now thou art come unto a feast of death,
A terrible and unavoided danger.
Therefore, dear boy, mount on my swiftest horse,
And I'll direct thee how thou shalt escape
By sudden flight. Come, dally not, be gone.
Is my name Talbot? And am I your son?
And shall I fly?
O, if you love my mother, Dishonour not her name,
To make a bastard and a slave of me!
You fly, to revenge my death, if I be slain!
He that flies so will ne'er return again.
If we both stay...
..we both are sure to die.
Then let me stay, and, Father, do you fly.
Here on my knee I beg mortality,
Rather than life preserved with infamy.
Upon my blessing, I command thee, GO!
To fight I will, but not to fly the foe.
Stay, go, do what you will, the like do I,
For live I will not, if my father die.
Come, side by side...
..together live and die.
And soul with soul from France to heaven fly.
Where is young Talbot?
Where is valiant John?
Where is my other life?
..and great rage of heart
Suddenly made thou from my side
To start into the clustering battle of the French.
..in that sea of blood...
..my boy did drench His over-mounting spirit.
And there died my Icarus,
..in his pride.
CHAIN MAIL JINGLES
WET SLICING, SHE GRUNTS
Had York and Somerset brought rescue in,
We should have found a bloody day of this.
Hew them to pieces, hack their bones asunder
Whose life was England's glory, Gallia's wonder.
O, no, forbear! For that which we have fled
During the life, let us not wrong it dead.
< Where is the dauphin?
The day is ours, base wretches.
Thy forces are overwhelm'd by God and France.
Who art thou, devil?
Where's the great Alcides of the field,
Valiant Lord Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury?
O, were mine eyeballs into bullets turn'd,
That I in rage might shoot them in your faces!
Go, take their bodies hence.
We will bear them hence.
O, that we could call the dead to life!
It would enough to fright the realm of France.
The English army, that divided was into two parties,
Must now conjoin...
From Talbot's sacred ashes shall be rear'd
A phoenix that will make all France afeared.
ALL SHOUT, THUDDING
WOOD SPLINTERS, CRASHING
Ave Maria, gratia plena...
SCREAMING, MEN SHOUT
Ave Maria, gratia plena...
SWORDS CLANG, WET SQUELCHING
SHOUTING, SWORDS CLASH
Do not fear...
For I will touch thee but with reverent hands.
I kiss these fingers
for eternal peace,
And lay them gently at thy tender side.
Who art thou?
Say, that I may honour thee.
Margaret my name
And daughter to a duke,
The Duke of Anjou, whosoe'er thou art.
An earl I am,
And Somerset am call'd.
Say, Somerset, if thy name be so...
What ransom must I pay before I pass?
For I perceive I am thy prisoner.
Why speak'st thou not?
-What ransom must I pay?
Gentle princess, would you not suppose
To be made a queen?
To be a queen in bondage is more vile
Than is a slave in base servility,
For princes should be free.
And so shall you,
If happy England's royal king be free.
What concerns his freedom unto me?
I'll undertake to make thee Henry's queen,
To put a precious crown upon thy head,
-If thou wilt condescend to be my...
I am unworthy to be Henry's wife.
No, gentle madam, I unworthy am
To woo so fair a dame...
..to be his wife.
How say you, madam, are ye so content?
If my father please...
..I am content.
At your father's castle walls
We'll crave a parley...
..to confer with him.
RICHARD: 'Where art thou, witch?'
DISTANT SCREAMS OUTSIDE
Damsel of France.
I think I have you first.
A plaguing mischief light on thee!
And may ye be suddenly surprised
By bloody hands, in sleeping on your bed!
Fell banning hag, enchantress, hold thy tongue!
I prithee, give me leave to curse awhile!
Curse, miscreant, when thou comest to the stake.
See, thy daughter prisoner!
I am a soldier, and unapt to weep,
Or to exclaim on Fortune's fickleness.
There is remedy enough, my lord.
Consent, and for thy honour give consent,
Thy daughter shall be wedded to my king.
Her I with pain have woo'd and won thereto,
And this her easy-held imprisonment
Hath gained thy daughter princely liberty.
Speaks he as he thinks?
Fair Margaret knows the Earl of Somerset
Doth not flatter nor feign.
Welcome, brave earl, into our territories.
Command to Anjou what your honour pleases.
Happy for so sweet a child,
For to be made companion to a king.
What answer makes Your Grace unto my suit?
Since thou dost deign to woo her little worth
To be the princely bride of such a lord,
Upon condition I may quietly
Enjoy mine own, the country Maine and Anjou,
My daughter shall be Henry's, if he please.
That is her ransom.
I deliver her,
And those two counties I will undertake
Your Grace shall well and quietly enjoy.
And I again, in Henry's royal name,
Give thee her hand,
for sign of plighted faith.
Anjou of France, I give thee kingly thanks,
For this is in traffic of a king.
I'll over then to England with this news,
And make this marriage to be solemnised.
So farewell, Anjou.
I'll set this diamond safe
In golden palaces, as it becomes.
I do embrace thee, as I would embrace
The Christian Prince, King Henry,
were he here.
Farewell, my lord...
..good wishes, praise and prayers
Shall Somerset ever have of Margaret.
Farewell, sweet madam...
but hark you, Margaret,
No princely commendations to my king?
Such commendations as becomes a maid,
A virgin and his servant, say to him.
And this withal.
That for thyself...
..I will not so presume
To send such peevish tokens to a king.
Bring forth the sorceress.
Tie her to the stake!
For she has lived too long,
To fill the world with vicious qualities.
First, let me tell you who you have condemn'd...
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issued from the progeny of kings,
chosen from above,
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits!
But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd by guiltless blood of innocents,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders but by help of devils.
Joan of Arc hath been
Chaste and immaculate in very thought,
Whose maiden blood, thus rigorously abused,
Will cry for vengeance at the gates of heaven.
Place barrels of pitch upon the fatal stake,
That so her torture may be shortened.
Dispatch her straight.
Will nothing turn your unrelenting hearts?
Use no entreaty, for it is in vain.
May never glorious sun reflex his beams
Upon the country where you make abode,
But darkness and the gloomy shade of death
Environ you, till mischief and despair
Drive you to break your necks or hang yourselves!
Break thou in pieces and consume to ashes,
Thou foul accursed minister of hell!
JOAN SCREAMS WILDLY
Your wondrous rare description, noble earl,
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 of 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.
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,
And, which is more, she is not so divine,
But with as humble lowliness of mind
She is content to be at your command,
To love and honour Henry as her lord.
And otherwise will Henry ne'er presume.
Therefore, my Lord Protector, give consent
That Margaret of Anjou be England's queen.
So should I give consent to flatter sin.
You know, my lord, your highness is betroth'd
Unto another lady of esteem:
The daughter of the Earl of Armagnac.
How shall we then dispense with that contract,
And not deface your honour with reproach?
As doth a ruler with unlawful oaths.
A poor earl's daughter is unequal odds,
And therefore may be broke without offence.
Why, what, I pray, is Margaret more than that?
Her father is no better than an earl...
Her father is of authority so great
As his alliance will confirm our peace
And keep the Frenchmen in allegiance.
And so the Earl of Armagnac may do.
Beside, his wealth does warrant a liberal dower,
Where Anjou sooner will receive than give.
A dower, my lord! Disgrace not so your king,
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
Not 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.
Who should we match with Henry, being a king,
Her valiant courage and undaunted spirit,
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.
Take 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 anointed queen.
And you, good uncle, 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.
As by your high imperial majesty
I had in charge at my depart for France,
To secure Princess Margaret for Your Grace,
I have perform'd my task.
And humbly now upon my knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
The fairest queen that ever king received.
Welcome, Queen Margaret.
I can express no kinder sign of love
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.
Great King of England and my gracious lord,
The mutual conference my mind hath made,
By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
With you, my sovereign,
Makes me the bolder to salute my king.
Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
-Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!
We thank you all.
My Lord Protector, so it please your grace,
Here are details of the contracted peace
Between our sovereign and the French king Charles.
"It is agreed between the French king Charles,
"and William Duke of Somerset,
"ambassador for Henry King of England,
"that the said Henry shall espouse the Lady Margaret,
"and crown her Queen of England.
"That the duchy of Anjou, the cities of Rouen and of Paris
"and the county of Maine
"shall be released and delivered to the French king..."
Uncle, how now!
Pardon me, gracious lord,
A sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.
"And she be sent over at the King of England's own cost
"without having any dowry."
They please us well.
Thanks, Uncle Winchester.
Come, let us in.
Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief.
What! Did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin and people, in the wars?
Did he so often lodge in open field,
In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,
To conquer France, his true inheritance?
And did the noble Salisbury and Talbot give up their lives
To keep what Henry got?
Have you yourselves,
Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
And shall these labours and these honours die?
O peers of England, shameful is this league!
Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
Defacing monuments in conquer'd France,
Undoing all, as if all had never been!
Gloucester, what means this passionate discourse?
For France, 'tis ours, and we will keep it still.
Ay, we will keep it, if we can,
But now it is impossible we should.
Somerset hath given Anjou and Maine
Unto the dauphin, who now we must call King.
Anjou and Maine, I fought to win them both.
And are the cities, that I got with wounds,
Delivered up again with peaceful words?
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
Great sums of gold and dowries with their wives.
And our King Henry gives away his own,
To match with her that brings no vantages.
She should have stayed in France and starved in France!
My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot.
My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind,
'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 'tis my presence that doth trouble ye.
Lordings, farewell, and say, when I am gone,
I prophesied France will be lost ere long.
So, there goes our Protector in a rage.
'Tis known to you he is mine enemy,
Nay, more, an enemy unto us all,
And no great friend, I fear me, to the King.
Consider, sir, he is the next of blood,
And heir apparent to the English crown.
I fear me that for all this flattering gloss,
He will be found a dangerous protector.
Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
He being of age to govern of himself?
My Lord of Winchester, join you with me,
And together with the Duke of Somerset,
We'll quickly hoist Duke Humphrey from his seat.
The day will come when York shall claim his own,
And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown.
Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
Whose church-like humours fits not for a king.
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,
And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at jars.
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
And, force perforce, I'll make him yield the crown,
Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.
Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd corn?
Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows?
Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
What seest thou there?
King Henry's crown?
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 heaved it up,
We'll both together lift our heads to heaven.
O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts.
And may that hour, when I imagine ill
Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
My troublous dream this night has made me sad.
What dream'd my lord? Tell me, and I'll requite it
With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
Methought this staff...
..mine office-badge in court,
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 Somerset and Suffolk.
This was my dream.
What it doth bode, God knows.
This was nothing but an argument
That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester'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 crown'd,
Where Henry and dame Margaret kneel'd to me
And on my head did set the diadem.
Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright:
Art thou not second woman in the realm,
And the Protector's wife, beloved of him?
And wilt thou still be hammering treachery,
To tumble down thy husband and thyself
From top of honour to disgrace's feet?
Away from me, and let me hear no more!
What! What, 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.
My Lord Protector, 'tis his highness' pleasure
You do prepare to join the assembly that lately gathers at Westminster.
Nell, thou wilt come with us?
Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently.
What, shall King Henry be a pupil still
Under the surly Gloucester's governance?
Am I a queen in title and in style,
And must be made a subject to a duke?
I tell thee, sir, when we first met
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.
I would the college of the cardinals
Would choose him Pope, and carry him to Rome:
That were a state fit for his holiness.
Madam, be patient: as I was cause
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your grace's full content.
Beside the Lord Protector, have we Winchester,
The imperious churchman, Suffolk, Exeter,
And grumbling York: and not the least of these
But can do more in England than the King.
Not all these lords do vex me half so 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 our poverty.
Shall I not live to be avenged on her?
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 Somerset gave two dukedoms for his daughter.
Madam, myself have limed a bush for her,
And placed a quire of such enticing birds,
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.
Then, one by one...
we'll weed them all at last,
And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.
If York have ill demean'd himself in France,
Then let him be denied the regentship.
If Suffolk be unworthy of the place,
Let York be regent. I will yield to him.
Whether your grace be worthy, yea or no,
Dispute not that York is the worthier.
MURMURS OF AGREEMENT
Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
The cardinal's not my better in the field.
All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.
Warwick may live to be the best of all.
Show some reason, Somerset,
Why Suffolk should be preferred in this.
Because the King, forsooth, would have it so.
Madam, the King is old enough himself
To give his censure: these are no women's matters.
If he be old enough, what needs your grace
To be protector of his excellence?
MURMURS FROM CROWD
Madam, I am protector of the realm,
And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.
Resign it then and leave thine insolence.
Since thou wert king - and 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 bondsmen to thy sovereignty.
The commons hast thou rack'd, the clergy's bags
Are lank and lean with thy extortions.
Thy sumptuous buildings and thy wife's attire
Have cost a mass of public treasury.
They sale of offices and towns in France,
If they were known, as the suspect is great,
Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
The King knows what he knows.
Give me my fan.
What, minion! Can ye not?
Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
I'd set my ten commandments in your face.
Sweet aunt, be quiet, 'twas against her will.
Against her will!
Good King, look to it in time,
She shall not strike Dame Eleanor unrevenged.
What a point, my lord, your falcon made,
And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
No marvel, an it like Your Majesty,
My Lord Protector's hawks do tower so well.
They know their master loves to be aloft,
And bears his thoughts above a falcon's pitch.
My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind
That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
I thought as much, he would be above the clouds.
Why, Somerset, England knows thine insolence.
And thy ambition, Gloucester.
I prithee, peace, good Queen,
And whet not on these furious peers,
For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.
The winds grow high, and so do your stomachs, lords.
I pray, let me compound this strife.
What tidings with our holy uncle?
Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold.
Lady Eleanor, the Protector's wife,
Hath practised dangerously against your state,
Raising up wicked spirits from under ground,
Demanding of King Henry's life and death,
And other of your highness' privy-council,
As more at large your grace shall understand.
SHE GASPS IN HORROR
And so, my Lord Protector, by this means
Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge.
Ambitious lord, leave to afflict my heart.
Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers,
And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee.
O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest.
And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal,
How I have loved my king and commonweal.
And, for my wife, I know not how it stands.
Sorry I am to hear what I have heard:
Noble she is, but if she have forgot
Honour and virtue and conversed with such
I banish her my bed and company
And give her as a prey to law and shame,
That hath dishonour'd Gloucester's honest name.
Well, for this night we will repose us here.
To-morrow toward London back again,
To look into this business thoroughly.
COURT MURMURS AND GASPS
Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham.
In sight of God and us, your guilt is great:
Receive the sentence of the law for sin
Such as by God's book are adjudged to death.
You, madam, for you are so nobly born,
Shall, after three days' open penance done,
Live in your country here in banishment,
With Sir John Gladsdale, in the Isle of Man.
Welcome is my banishment.
Welcome is my death.
Eleanor, the law, thou see'st, hath judged thee:
I cannot justify whom the law condemns.
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!
ELEANOR'S CRIES ECHO
I do beseech Your Majesty, give me leave to go.
Sorrow would solace and mine age would ease.
Stay, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester: ere thou go,
Give up thy staff. Henry will to himself
Protector be, and God shall be my guide.
But go in peace, Humphrey, no less beloved
Than when thou wert Protector to thy King.
I see no reason why a king of years
Should be protected like a child.
God and King Henry govern England's realm.
Give up your staff, sir, and the King his realm.
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!
This staff of honour raught, there let it stand
Where it best fits to be, in Henry's hand.
CROWD SHOUTS ANGRILY
Come you, my lord, to see my open shame?
Now thou dost penance too.
Hear how they mock.
Ah, Gloucester, hide thee from their hateful taunts,
And, in thy closet pent up, rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies, both mine and thine!
Be patient, gentle Nell, forget this grief.
Ah, Gloucester, teach me to forget myself!
For whilst I think I am thy married wife
Methinks I should not thus be led along,
Mail'd up in shame, with papers on my back,
The ruthless flint doth cut my tender feet,
And when I start, the envious people laugh.
Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke?
No, dark shall be my light and night my day.
To think upon my pomp shall be my hell.
Please you, Sir John, protect my lady here?
Entreat her not the worse in that I pray
You use her well.
Sometime I'll say, I am Duke Humphrey's wife,
And he a prince and ruler of the land:
Yet so he ruled and such a prince he was
As he stood by whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
Was made a wonder and a pointing-stock.
For Somerset, and York, and that false priest,
Have all limed bushes to betray thy wings,
And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle thee.
Gentle Nell, forbear! thou aimest all awry.
I must offend before I be attainted,
And had I twenty times so many foes,
All these could not procure me any scathe,
So long as I am loyal, true and crimeless.
Thy greatest help is quiet, gentle Nell:
I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience.
These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.
Your Grace is summoned to a meeting at the palace.
A meeting, now?
And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before!
This is close dealing.
Well, I will be there.
My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.
And, my friend this I do assure myself:
that Richard shall live to one day make the Earl of Warwick
The greatest man in England but the King.
I muse my Lord of Gloucester is not here:
'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man.
Can you not see? or will ye 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, how peremptory, and unlike himself?
We know the time since he was mild and affable,
And all the court admired 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,
Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
Humphrey is no little man in England.
And should you fall, he as the next will mount.
Me seemeth then it is no policy,
Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears
That he should come about your royal person
Or be admitted to Your Highness' council.
The reverent care I bear unto my lord
Made me collect these dangers in the duke.
My Lord Somerset and Winchester
Reprove my allegation, if you can, Or else conclude my words effectual.
Well hath Your Highness seen into this duke.
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 practises:
Smooth runs the water where the brook is deep,
The fox barks not when he would steal the lamb.
No, my sovereign, Gloucester is a man
Unsounded yet and full of deep deceit.
Our kinsman Gloucester 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.
Seems he a dove? His feathers are but borrowed,
For he's disposed as the hateful raven.
Is he a lamb? His skin is surely lent him,
For he's inclined as is the ravenous wolf.
Take heed, my lord, the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
All health unto my gracious sovereign!
Welcome, Sir William. What news from France?
That Charles the dauphin breaks his foresworn oath
and raises his flag over every, all town.
He is proclaimed king by every mouth
and all your interest in those territories is utterly bereft you.
All is lost.
Cold news, my lord, from France:
But God's will be done!
All happiness unto my lord the King!
Pardon, my liege, that I have stay'd so long.
Nay, Gloucester, know that thou art come too soon.
I do arrest thee of high treason here.
Well, Somerset, thou shalt not see me blush
Nor change my countenance for this arrest:
The purest spring is not so free from mud
As I am clear from treason to my sovereign.
Who can accuse me? Wherein am I guilty?
'Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of France,
And, being Protector, stayed the soldiers' pay,
By means whereof His Highness hath lost France.
Is it but thought so? What are they that think it?
I never robb'd the soldiers of their pay,
So help me God, as I have watch'd the night,
Ay, night by night, in studying good for England.
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.
It serves you well, my lord, to say so much.
I say no more than truth, so help me God!
In your protectorship you did devise
Strange tortures for offenders never heard of,
That England was defamed by tyranny.
Why, 'tis well known that, whiles I was Protector,
Pity was all the fault that was in me,
For I should melt at an offender's tears.
My lord, these faults are easy, quickly answered:
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.
Oh, Uncle Gloucester, 'tis my special hope
That you will clear yourself from all suspect.
My conscience tells me he is innocent.
Ah, gracious lord, these days are dangerous:
Virtue is choked with foul ambition.
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.
Somerset's red eyes blab his heart's malice,
Thou Winchester, that reaches at the moon,
Whose overweening arm I have pluck'd back,
By false accuse does level at my life.
And you, my sovereign lady, with the rest,
Causeless have laid disgraces on my head,
And with your best endeavour have stirr'd up
My beloved liege to be mine enemy.
Ay, all you have laid your heads together
And all to make away my blameless life.
I shall not want false witness to condemn me,
Nor stores of treasons to augment my guilt.
The ancient proverb will be well effected:
"A staff is quickly found to beat a dog."
My liege, his railing is intolerable.
He'll wrest the sense and hold us here all day.
-Cardinal, he is your prisoner.
-Take away the duke.
Ah! Thus King Henry throws away his crutch
Before his legs be firm to bear his body.
Thus is the shepherd beaten from thy side,
And wolves are gnarling who will gnaw thee first.
Ah, that my fear were false! Ah, that it were!
For, good King Henry, thy decay I fear.
Your Majesty needs o'erlook this bill.
My lords, what to your wisdoms seemeth best,
Do or undo, as if ourself were here.
What, will your highness leave?
my heart is drown'd with grief.
In thy face I see
The map of honour, truth and loyalty.
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 strains,
Bearing it to the bloody slaughterhouse,
Even so remorseless have they borne him hence.
His fortunes I will weep, and,
'twixt each groan
Say "Who's a traitor? Gloucester he is none."
Henry my lord is cold in great affairs,
Too full of foolish pity, and Gloucester's show
This Gloucester should be quickly rid the world,
To rid us of the fear we have of him.
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.
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 a trivial argument,
More than mistrust, that shows him worthy death.
So that, by this, you would not have him die.
Would not a fool alone appoint a fox
To guard a chicken from a hungry kite?
So the chicken should be sure of death.
Madam, 'tis true. That Gloucester die, and that he is a fox.
By nature proved an enemy to the flock,
Before his chaps be stain'd with crimson blood.
And us not stand debating how to slay him:
Be it by gins, by snares, by subtlety,
Sleeping or waking, 'tis no matter how,
So he be dead.
Thrice-noble Somerset, 'tis briefly spoke.
Not bravely yet.
Say but the word, my lords,
I'll be his priest.
Here is my hand.
The deed is worthy doing.
And so say I.
And now we three have spoke it,
It skills not greatly who impugns our doom.
Farewell, my lords.
SCREAMS INTENSIFY AND SUBSIDE
Now, sirs, have you dispatch'd this thing?
Ay, my good lord, 'tis done.
Why, that's well said.
Go, get your hands away, I will reward you for this venturous deed.
Have you laid fair the body?
Are all things well, according as I gave directions?
'Tis, my good lord.
Away! Be gone.
Go, call our uncle to our presence straight,
Say we intend to try his grace today.
I'll call him presently, my noble lord.
My lords, prepare the trial, and, I pray you
Proceed no straiter 'gainst our uncle Gloucester
Than from true evidence of good esteem
He be approved in practise culpable.
God forbid any malice should prevail,
That faultless may condemn a nobleman!
Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
I thank thee, Meg, these words content me much.
Why look'st thou pale?
Why tremblest thou?
Where is our uncle?
Dead, my lord, Gloucester is dead.
Marry, God forfend!
God's secret judgment.
O Henry, ope thine eyes!
How fares my gracious lord?
Comfort, my sovereign!
Gracious Henry, comfort!
What, doth my Lord Somerset comfort me?
Lay not thy hands on me, forbear, I say.
Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
Good Warwick, come with me
into his chamber to view his breathless corpse.
O Thou that judgest all things,
stay my thoughts.
Come hither, gracious sovereign.
As surely as my soul intends to live
I do believe that violent hands were laid
Upon the life of this thrice-famed duke.
Why, Warwick, who would do the duke to death?
Myself had him in protection,
Charged his safety with Somerset and Suffolk.
And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.
But all of you are vow'd Duke Humphrey's foes,
And 'tis well seen he found an enemy.
Are you the butcher, Somerset?
Where's your knife?
I wear no knife to slaughter sleeping men,
But here's a vengeful sword, rusted with ease,
That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart
That slanders me with murder's crimson badge.
Madam, with reverence may I say,
For every word you speak in his behalf
Is slander to your royal dignity.
Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanour!
Thy mother took unto her blameful bed
Some stern untutor'd churl, and noble stock
Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art.
Why, how now, lords!
Your wrathful weapons drawn
Here in our presence! Dare you be so bold?
Why, what tumultuous clamour have we here?
The traitorous York Set all upon us, mighty sovereign.
If Somerset and Suffolk be not done to death,
Or banished fair England's territories,
The people will by violence tear them from you.
I say, by them the good Duke Humphrey died,
I say, in them I fear your highness' death.
I thank the York for thy tender loving care,
For, sure, my thoughts do hourly prophesy
Mischance unto my state by these lords:
And therefore, by His majesty I swear,
They shall not breathe infection in this air
But three days longer, on the pain of death.
Henry, let me plead for gentle Somerset!
Ungentle queen, that calls him gentle!
No more, I say: If thou dost plead for them,
Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath.
If, after three days' space, thou twoest be found
On any ground that I am ruler of,
The world shall not be ransom for thy life.
Banished are you both.
I will repeal thee, or, be well assured,
Adventure to be banished myself.
I thought thou lovest me,
but I see thee a puppet of these lords.
Putting down banishment on Somerset and Lord Suffolk's head.
Thou break'st my heart, my lord.
My love, I would not have you cry.
Then reverse thy doom.
I do, Meg.
I do for thee.
Suffolk and Somerset remain at liberty and live thee here in peace.
Suffolk at liberty.
Somerset a free man.
And Gloucester's bloody trunk accusing there.
That head of thine doth not become a crown,
That gold should round engirt these brows of mine.
Here is a hand to hold a sceptre up.
I am far better born than is the King.
More like a king, more kingly in my thoughts.
I cannot in silence stand to watch thee,
thus abuse His Majesty.
We are thy sovereign, Exeter.
Kneel to us.
This is my king, York, I do not mistake,
But thou mistakes me much to think I do.
Haul him at the Tower and chop away that factious pate of his.
He is a traitor!
Why, Warwick, hath thy knee forgot to bow?
I have consider'd with myself
The title of this most renowned duke,
And in my conscience do repute his grace
The rightful heir to England's royal seat.
Hast thou not sworn allegiance unto me?
Canst thou dispense with heaven for such an act?
It is great sin to swear unto a sin,
But greater sin to keep a sinful oath.
Call forth our troops and bid them arm themselves.
Away, my lord, and let us prepare.
We go but we'll return to wear our crown.
I will stir up in England some black storm
Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven or hell.
Cecily, where are they?