Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)



130
The second Part of Henry the Sixt.

Why yet thy scandall were not wipt away,
But I in danger for the breach of Law.
Thy greatest helpe is quiet, gentle Nell:
I pray thee sort thy heart to patience,
1245These few dayes wonder will be quickly worne.
Enter a Herald.
Her. I summon your Grace to his Maiesties Parliament,
Holden at Bury, the first of this next Moneth.
Glost. And my consent ne're ask'd herein before?
1250This is close dealing. Well, I will be there.
My Nell, I take my leaue: and Master Sherife,
Let not her Penance exceede the Kings Commission.
Sh. And't please your Grace, here my Commission stayes:
And Sir Iohn Stanly is appointed now,
1255To take her with him to the Ile of Man.
Glost. Must you, Sir Iohn, protect my Lady here?
Stanly. So am I giuen in charge, may't please your
Grace.
Glost. Entreat her not the worse, in that I pray
1260You vse her well: the World may laugh againe,
And I may liue to doe you kindnesse, if you doe it her.
And so Sir Iohn, farewell.
Elianor. What, gone my Lord, and bid me not fare-
well?
1265Glost. Witnesse my teares, I cannot stay to speake.
Exit Gloster.
Elianor. Art thou gone to? all comfort goe with thee,
For none abides with me: my Ioy, is Death;
Death, at whose Name I oft haue beene afear'd,
1270Because I wish'd this Worlds eternitie.
Stanley, I prethee goe, and take me hence,
I care not whither, for I begge no fauor;
Onely conuey me where thou art commanded.
Stanley. Why, Madame, that is to the Ile of Man,
1275There to be vs'd according to your State.
Elianor. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach:
And shall I then be vs'd reproachfully?
Stanley. Like to a Duchesse, and Duke Humfreyes Lady,
According to that State you shall be vs'd.
1280Elianor. Sherife farewell, and better then I fare,
Although thou hast beene Conduct of my shame.
Sherife. It is my Office, and Madame pardon me.
Elianor. I, I, farewell, thy Office is discharg'd:
Come Stanley, shall we goe?
1285Stanley. Madame, your Penance done,
Throw off this Sheet,
And goe we to attyre you for our Iourney.
Elianor. My shame will not be shifted with my Sheet:
No, it will hang vpon my richest Robes,
1290And shew it selfe, attyre me how I can.
Goe, leade the way, I long to see my Prison.
Exeunt

Sound a Senet. Enter King, Queene, Cardinall, Suffolke,
Yorke, Buckingham, Salisbury, and Warwicke,
to the Parliament.
1295King. I muse my Lord of Gloster is not come:
'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
What e're occasion keepes him from vs now.
Queene. Can you not see? or will ye not obserue
The strangenesse of his alter'd Countenance?
1300With what a Maiestie he beares himselfe,
How insolent of late he is become,
How prowd, how peremptorie, and vnlike himselfe.
We know the time since he was milde and affable,
And if we did but glance a farre-off Looke,
1305Immediately he was vpon his Knee,
That all the Court admir'd him for submission.
But meet him now, and be it in the Morne,
When euery one will giue the time of day,
He knits his Brow, and shewes an angry Eye,
1310And passeth by with stiffe vnbowed Knee,
Disdaining dutie that to vs belongs.
Small Curres are not regarded when they grynne,
But great men tremble when the Lyon rores,
And Humfrey is no little Man in England.
1315First note, that he is neere you in discent,
And should you fall, he is the next will mount.
Me seemeth then, it is no Pollicie,
Respecting what a rancorous minde he beares,
And his aduantage following your decease,
1320That he should come about your Royall Person,
Or be admitted to your Highnesse Councell.
By flatterie hath he wonne the Commons hearts:
And when he please to make Commotion,
'Tis to be fear'd they all will follow him.
1325Now 'tis the Spring, and Weeds are shallow-rooted,
Suffer them now, and they'le o're-grow the Garden,
And choake the Herbes for want of Husbandry.
The reuerent care I beare vnto my Lord,
Made me collect these dangers in the Duke.
1330If it be fond, call it a Womans feare:
Which feare, if better Reasons can supplant,
I will subscribe, and say I wrong'd the Duke.
My Lord of Suffolke, Buckingham, and Yorke,
Reproue my allegation, if you can,
1335Or else conclude my words effectuall.
Suff. Well hath your Highnesse seene into this Duke:
And had I first beene put to speake my minde,
I thinke I should haue told your Graces Tale.
The Duchesse, by his subornation,
1340Vpon my Life began her diuellish practises:
Or if he were not priuie to those Faults,
Yet by reputing of his high discent,
As next the King, he was successiue Heire,
And such high vaunts of his Nobilitie,
1345Did instigate the Bedlam braine-sick Duchesse,
By wicked meanes to frame our Soueraignes fall.
Smooth runnes the Water, where the Brooke is deepe,
And in his simple shew he harbours Treason.
The Fox barkes not, when he would steale the Lambe.
1350No, no, my Soueraigne, Glouster is a man
Vnsounded yet, and full of deepe deceit.
Card. Did he not, contrary to forme of Law,
Deuise strange deaths, for small offences done?
Yorke. And did he not, in his Protectorship,
1355Leuie great summes of Money through the Realme,
For Souldiers pay in France, and neuer sent it?
By meanes whereof, the Townes each day reuolted.
Buck. Tut, these are petty faults to faults vnknowne,
Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke Humfrey.
1360King. My Lords at once: the care you haue of vs,
To mowe downe Thornes that would annoy our Foot,
Is worthy prayse: but shall I speake my conscience,
Our Kinsman Gloster is as innocent,
From meaning Treason to our Royall Person,
1365As is the sucking Lambe, or harmelesse Doue:
The Duke is vertuous, milde, and too well giuen,
To dreame on euill, or to worke my downefall.
Qu. Ah what's more dangerous, then this fond affiance?
Seemes he a Doue? his feathers are but borrow'd,
1370For hee's disposed as the hatefull Rauen.
Is he a Lambe? his Skinne is surely lent him,
For