Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)



124
The second Part of Henry the Sixt.

As for the Duke of Yorke, this late Complaint
Will make but little for his benefit:
485So one by one wee'le weed them all at last,
And you your selfe shall steere the happy Helme.
Exit.

Sound a Sennet.

Enter the King, Duke Humfrey, Cardinall, Bucking-
ham, Yorke, Salisbury, Warwicke,
490and the Duchesse.

King. For my part, Noble Lords, I care not which,
Or Somerset, or Yorke, all's one to me.
Yorke. If Yorke haue ill demean'd himselfe in France,
Then let him be denay'd the Regent-ship.
495Som. If Somerset be vnworthy of the Place,
Let Yorke be Regent, I will yeeld to him.
Warw. Whether your Grace be worthy, yea or no,
Dispute not that, Yorke is the worthyer.
Card. Ambitious Warwicke, let thy betters speake.
500Warw. The Cardinall's not my better in the field.
Buck. All in this presence are thy betters, Warwicke.
Warw. Warwicke may liue to be the best of all.
Salisb. Peace Sonne, and shew some reason Buckingham
Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this?
505Queene. Because the King forsooth will haue it so.
Humf. Madame, the King is old enough himselfe
To giue his Censure: These are no Womens matters.
Queene. If he be old enough, what needs your Grace
To be Protector of his Excellence?
510Humf. Madame, I am Protector of the Realme,
And at his pleasure will resigne my Place.
Suff. Resigne it then, and leaue thine insolence.
Since thou wert King; as who is King, but thou?
The Common-wealth hath dayly run to wrack,
515The Dolphin hath preuayl'd beyond the Seas,
And all the Peeres and Nobles of the Realme
Haue beene as Bond-men to thy Soueraigntie.
Card. The Commons hast thou rackt, the Clergies Bags
Are lanke and leane with thy Extortions.
520Som. Thy sumptuous Buildings, and thy Wiues Attyre
Haue cost a masse of publique Treasurie.
Buck. Thy Crueltie in execution
Vpon Offendors, hath exceeded Law,
And left thee to the mercy of the Law.
525Queene. Thy sale of Offices and Townes in France,
If they were knowne, as the suspect is great,
Would make thee quickly hop without thy Head.
Exit Humfrey.
Giue me my Fanne: what, Mynion, can ye not?
530
She giues the Duchesse a box on the eare.
I cry you mercy, Madame: was it you?
Duch. Was't I? yea, I it was, prowd French-woman:
Could I come neere your Beautie with my Nayles,
I could set my ten Commandements in your face.
535King. Sweet Aunt be quiet, 'twas against her will.
Duch. Against her will, good King? looke to't in time,
Shee'le hamper thee, and dandle thee like a Baby:
Though in this place most Master weare no Breeches,
She shall not strike Dame Elianor vnreueng'd.
540
Exit Elianor.
Buck. Lord Cardinall, I will follow Elianor,
And listen after Humfrey, how he proceedes:
Shee's tickled now, her Fume needs no spurres,
Shee'le gallop farre enough to her destruction.
545
Exit Buckingham.

Enter Humfrey.

Humf. Now Lords, my Choller being ouer-blowne,
With walking once about the Quadrangle,
I come to talke of Common-wealth Affayres.
550As for your spightfull false Obiections,
Proue them, and I lye open to the Law:
But God in mercie so deale with my Soule,
As I in dutie loue my King and Countrey.
But to the matter that we haue in hand:
555I say, my Soueraigne, Yorke is meetest man
To be your Regent in the Realme of France.
Suff. Before we make election, giue me leaue
To shew some reason, of no little force,
That Yorke is most vnmeet of any man.
560Yorke. Ile tell thee, Suffolke, why I am vnmeet.
First, for I cannot flatter thee in Pride:
Next, if I be appointed for the Place,
My Lord of Somerset will keepe me here,
Without Discharge, Money, or Furniture,
565Till France be wonne into the Dolphins hands:
Last time I danc't attendance on his will,
Till Paris was besieg'd, famisht, and lost.
Warw. That can I witnesse, and a fouler fact
Did neuer Traytor in the Land commit.
570Suff. Peace head-strong Warwicke.
Warw. Image of Pride, why should I hold my peace?

Enter Armorer and his Man.

Suff. Because here is a man accused of Treason,
Pray God the Duke of Yorke excuse himselfe.
575Yorke. Doth any one accuse Yorke for a Traytor?
King. What mean'st thou, Suffolke? tell me, what are
these?
Suff. Please it your Maiestie, this is the man
That doth accuse his Master of High Treason;
580His words were these: That Richard, Duke of Yorke,
Was rightfull Heire vnto the English Crowne,
And that your Maiestie was an Vsurper.
King. Say man, were these thy words?
Armorer. And't shall please your Maiestie, I neuer sayd
585nor thought any such matter: God is my witnesse, I am
falsely accus'd by the Villaine.
Peter. By these tenne bones, my Lords, hee did speake
them to me in the Garret one Night, as wee were scow-
ring my Lord of Yorkes Armor.
590Yorke. Base Dunghill Villaine, and Mechanicall,
Ile haue thy Head for this thy Traytors speech:
I doe beseech your Royall Maiestie,
Let him haue all the rigor of the Law.
Armorer. Alas, my Lord, hang me if euer I spake the
595words: my accuser is my Prentice, and when I did cor-
rect him for his fault the other day, he did vow vpon his
knees he would be euen with me: I haue good witnesse
of this; therefore I beseech your Maiestie, doe not cast
away an honest man for a Villaines accusation.
600King. Vnckle, what shall we say to this in law?
Humf. This doome, my Lord, if I may iudge:
Let Somerset be Regent o're the French,
Because in Yorke this breedes suspition;
And let these haue a day appointed them
605For single Combat, in conuenient place,
For he hath witnesse of his seruants malice:
This is the Law, and this Duke Humfreyes doome.
Som. I