Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)



136
The second Part of Henry the Sixt.

Queen. Fye Coward woman, and soft harted wretch,
Hast thou not spirit to curse thine enemy.
Suf. A plague vpon them: wherefore should I cursse
them?
2025Would curses kill, as doth the Mandrakes grone,
I would inuent as bitter searching termes,
As curst, as harsh, and horrible to heare,
Deliuer'd strongly through my fixed teeth,
With full as many signes of deadly hate,
2030As leane-fac'd enuy in her loathsome caue.
My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words,
Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten Flint,
Mine haire be fixt an end, as one distract:
I, euery ioynt should seeme to curse and ban,
2035And euen now my burthen'd heart would breake
Should I not curse them. Poyson be their drinke.
Gall, worse then Gall, the daintiest that they taste:
Their sweetest shade, a groue of Cypresse Trees:
Their cheefest Prospect, murd'ring Basiliskes:
2040Their softest Touch, as smart as Lyzards stings:
Their Musicke, frightfull as the Serpents hisse,
And boading Screech-Owles, make the Consort full.
All the foule terrors in darke seated hell---
Q. Enough sweet Suffolke, thou torment'st thy selfe,
2045And these dread curses like the Sunne 'gainst glasse,
Or like an ouer-charged Gun, recoile,
And turnes the force of them vpon thy selfe.
Suf. You bad me ban, and will you bid me leaue?
Now by the ground that I am banish'd from,
2050Well could I curse away a Winters night,
Though standing naked on a Mountaine top,
Where byting cold would neuer let grasse grow,
And thinke it but a minute spent in sport.
Qu. Oh, let me intreat thee cease, giue me thy hand,
2055That I may dew it with my mournfull teares:
Nor let the raine of heauen wet this place,
To wash away my wofull Monuments.
Oh, could this kisse be printed in thy hand,
That thou might'st thinke vpon these by the Seale,
2060Through whom a thousand sighes are breath'd for thee.
So get thee gone, that I may know my greefe,
'Tis but surmiz'd, whiles thou art standing by,
As one that surfets, thinking on a want:
I will repeale thee, or be well assur'd,
2065Aduenture to be banished my selfe:
And banished I am, if but from thee.
Go, speake not to me; euen now be gone.
Oh go not yet. Euen thus, two Friends condemn'd,
Embrace, and kisse, and take ten thousand leaues,
2070Loather a hundred times to part then dye;
Yet now farewell, and farewell Life with thee.
Suf. Thus is poore Suffolke ten times banished,
Once by the King, and three times thrice by thee.
'Tis not the Land I care for, wer't thou thence,
2075A Wildernesse is populous enough,
So Suffolke had thy heauenly company:
For where thou art, there is the World it selfe,
With euery seuerall pleasure in the World:
And where thou art not, Desolation.
2080I can no more: Liue thou to ioy thy life;
My selfe no ioy in nought, but that thou liu'st.

Enter Vaux.

Queene. Whether goes Vaux so fast? What newes I
prethee?
2085Vaux. To signifie vnto his Maiesty,
That Cardinall Beauford is at point of death:
For sodainly a greeuous sicknesse tooke him,
That makes him gaspe, and stare, and catch the aire,
Blaspheming God, and cursing men on earth.
2090Sometime he talkes, as if Duke Humfries Ghost
Were by his side: Sometime, he calles the King,
And whispers to his pillow, as to him,
The secrets of his ouer-charged soule,
And I am sent to tell his Maiestie,
2095That euen now he cries alowd for him.
Qu. Go tell this heauy Message to the King.
Exit
Aye me! What is this World? What newes are these?
But wherefore greeue I at an houres poore losse,
Omitting Suffolkes exile, my soules Treasure?
2100Why onely Suffolke mourne I not for thee?
And with the Southerne clouds, contend in teares?
Theirs for the earths encrease, mine for my sorrowes.
Now get thee hence, the King thou know'st is comming,
If thou be found by me, thou art but dead.
2105Suf. If I depart from thee, I cannot liue,
And in thy sight to dye, what were it else,
But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?
Heere could I breath my soule into the ayre,
As milde and gentle as the Cradle-babe,
2110Dying with mothers dugge betweene it's lips.
Where from thy sight, I should be raging mad,
And cry out for thee to close vp mine eyes:
To haue thee with thy lippes to stop my mouth:
So should'st thou eyther turne my flying soule,
2115Or I should breathe it so into thy body,
And then it liu'd in sweete Elizium.
To dye by thee, were but to dye in iest,
From thee to dye, were torture more then death:
Oh let me stay, befall what may befall.
2120Queen. Away: Though parting be a fretfull corosiue,
It is applyed to a deathfull wound.
To France sweet Suffolke: Let me heare from thee:
For wheresoere thou art in this worlds Globe,
Ile haue an Iris that shall finde thee out.
2125Suf. I go.
Qu. And take my heart with thee.
Suf. A Iewell lockt into the wofulst Caske,
That euer did containe a thing of worth,
Euen as a splitted Barke, so sunder we:
2130This way fall I to death.
Qu. This way for me.
Exeunt

Enter the King, Salisbury, and Warwicke, to the
Cardinal in bed.

King. How fare's my Lord? Speake Beauford to thy
2135Soueraigne.
Ca. If thou beest death, Ile giue thee Englands Treasure,
Enough to purchase such another Island,
So thou wilt let me liue, and feele no paine.
King. Ah, what a signe it is of euill life,
2140Where death's approach is seene so terrible.
War. Beauford, it is thy Soueraigne speakes to thee.
Beau. Bring me vnto my Triall when you will.
Dy'de he not in his bed? Where should he dye?
Can I make men liue where they will or no?
2145Oh torture me no more, I will confesse.
Aliue againe? Then shew me where he is,
Ile giue a thousand pound to looke vpon him.
He hath no eyes, the dust hath blinded them.
Combe