Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)



134
The second Part of Henry the Sixt.

I would be blinde with weeping, sicke with grones,
Looke pale as Prim-rose with blood-drinking sighes,
And all to haue the Noble Duke aliue.
1765What know I how the world may deeme of me?
For it is knowne we were but hollow Friends:
It may be iudg'd I made the Duke away,
So shall my name with Slanders tongue be wounded,
And Princes Courts be fill'd with my reproach:
1770This get I by his death: Aye me vnhappie,
To be a Queene, and Crown'd with infamie.
King. Ah woe is me for Gloster, wretched man.
Queen. Be woe for me, more wretched then he is.
What, Dost thou turne away, and hide thy face?
1775I am no loathsome Leaper, looke on me.
What? Art thou like the Adder waxen deafe?
Be poysonous too, and kill thy forlorne Queene.
Is all thy comfort shut in Glosters Tombe?
Why then Dame Elianor was neere thy ioy.
1780Erect his Statue, and worship it,
And make my Image but an Ale-house signe.
Was I for this nye wrack'd vpon the Sea,
And twice by aukward winde from Englands banke
Droue backe againe vnto my Natiue Clime.
1785What boaded this? but well fore-warning winde
Did seeme to say, seeke not a Scorpions Nest,
Nor set no footing on this vnkinde Shore.
What did I then? But curst the gentle gusts,
And he that loos'd them forth their Brazen Caues,
1790And bid them blow towards Englands blessed shore,
Or turne our Sterne vpon a dreadfull Rocke:
Yet Aeolus would not be a murtherer,
But left that hatefull office vnto thee.
The pretty vaulting Sea refus'd to drowne me,
1795Knowing that thou wouldst haue me drown'd on shore
With teares as salt as Sea, through thy vnkindnesse.
The splitting Rockes cowr'd in the sinking sands,
And would not dash me with their ragged sides,
Because thy flinty heart more hard then they,
1800Might in thy Pallace, perish Elianor.
As farre as I could ken thy Chalky Cliffes,
When from thy Shore, the Tempest beate vs backe,
I stood vpon the Hatches in the storme:
And when the duskie sky, began to rob
1805My earnest-gaping-sight of thy Lands view,
I tooke a costly Iewell from my necke,
A Hart it was bound in with Diamonds,
And threw it towards thy Land: The Sea receiu'd it,
And so I wish'd thy body might my Heart:
1810And euen with this, I lost faire Englands view,
And bid mine eyes be packing with my Heart,
And call'd them blinde and duskie Spectacles,
For loosing ken of Albions wished Coast.
How often haue I tempted Suffolkes tongue
1815(The agent of thy foule inconstancie)
To sit and watch me as Ascanius did,
When he to madding Dido would vnfold
His Fathers Acts, commenc'd in burning Troy.
Am I not witcht like her? Or thou not false like him?
1820Aye me, I can no more: Dye Elinor,
For Henry weepes, that thou dost liue so long.

Noyse within. Enter Warwicke, and many
Commons.

War. It is reported, mighty Soueraigne,
1825That good Duke Humfrey Traiterously is murdred
By Suffolke, and the Cardinall Beaufords meanes:
The Commons like an angry Hiue of Bees
That want their Leader, scatter vp and downe,
And care not who they sting in his reuenge.
1830My selfe haue calm'd their spleenfull mutinie,
Vntill they heare the order of his death.
King. That he is dead good Warwick, 'tis too true,
But how he dyed, God knowes, not Henry:
Enter his Chamber, view his breathlesse Corpes,
1835And comment then vpon his sodaine death.
War. That shall I do my Liege; Stay Salsburie
With the rude multitude, till I returne.
King. O thou that iudgest all things, stay my thoghts:
My thoughts, that labour to perswade my soule,
1840Some violent hands were laid on Humfries life:
If my suspect be false, forgiue me God,
For iudgement onely doth belong to thee:
Faine would I go to chafe his palie lips,
With twenty thousand kisses, and to draine
1845Vpon his face an Ocean of salt teares,
To tell my loue vnto his dumbe deafe trunke,
And with my fingers feele his hand, vnfeeling:
But all in vaine are these meane Obsequies,
Bed put forth.
1850And to suruey his dead and earthy Image:
What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
Warw. Come hither gracious Soueraigne, view this
body.
King. That is to see how deepe my graue is made,
1855For with his soule fled all my worldly solace:
For seeing him, I see my life in death.
War. As surely as my soule intends to liue
With that dread King that tooke our state vpon him,
To free vs from his Fathers wrathfull curse,
1860I do beleeue that violent hands were laid
Vpon the life of this thrice-famed Duke.
Suf. A dreadfull Oath, sworne with a solemn tongue:
What instance giues Lord Warwicke for his vow.
War. See how the blood is setled in his face.
1865Oft haue I seene a timely-parted Ghost,
Of ashy semblance, meager, pale, and bloodlesse,
Being all descended to the labouring heart,
Who in the Conflict that it holds with death,
Attracts the same for aydance 'gainst the enemy,
1870Which with the heart there cooles, and ne're returneth,
To blush and beautifie the Cheeke againe.
But see, his face is blacke, and full of blood:
His eye-balles further out, than when he liued,
Staring full gastly, like a strangled man:
1875His hayre vprear'd, his nostrils stretcht with strugling:
His hands abroad display'd, as one that graspt
And tugg'd for Life, and was by strength subdude.
Looke on the sheets his haire (you see) is sticking,
His well proportion'd Beard, made ruffe and rugged,
1880Like to the Summers Corne by Tempest lodged:
It cannot be but he was murdred heere,
The least of all these signes were probable.
Suf. Why Warwicke, who should do the D. to death?
My selfe and Beauford had him in protection,
1885And we I hope sir, are no murtherers.
War. But both of you were vowed D. Humfries foes,
And you (forsooth) had the good Duke to keepe:
Tis like you would not feast him like a friend,
And 'tis well seene, he found an enemy.
1890Queen. Than you belike suspect these Noblemen,
As guilty of Duke Humfries timelesse death.
War.