Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
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Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)


1690
Enter two or three running ouer the Stage, from the
Murther of Duke Humfrey.
1. Runne to my Lord of Suffolke: let him know
We haue dispatcht the Duke, as he commanded.
2. Oh, that it were to doe: what haue we done?
1695Didst euer heare a man so penitent?
Enter Suffolke.
1. Here comes my Lord.
Suff. Now Sirs, haue you dispatcht this thing?
1. I, my good Lord, hee's dead.
Suff. Why that's well said. Goe, get you to my House,
1700I will reward you for this venturous deed:
The King and all the Peeres are here at hand.
Haue you layd faire the Bed? Is all things well,
According as I gaue directions?
1. 'Tis, my good Lord.
1705Suff. Away, be gone.
Exeunt.
Sound Trumpets. Enter the King, the Queene,
Cardinall, Suffolke, Somerset, with
Attendants.
King. Goe call our Vnckle to our presence straight:
1710Say, we intend to try his Grace to day,
If he be guiltie, as 'tis published.
Suff. Ile call him presently, my Noble Lord.
Exit.
King. Lords take your places: and I pray you all
Proceed no straiter 'gainst our Vnckle Gloster,
1715Then from true euidence, of good esteeme,
He be approu'd in practise culpable.
Queene. God forbid any Malice should preuayle,
That faultlesse may condemne a Noble man:
Pray God he may acquit him of suspition.
1720King. I thanke thee Nell, these wordes content mee
much.
Enter Suffolke.
How now? why look'st thou pale? why tremblest thou?
Where is our Vnckle? what's the matter, Suffolke?
1725Suff. Dead in his Bed, my Lord: Gloster is dead.
Queene. Marry God forfend.
Card. Gods secret Iudgement: I did dreame to Night,
The Duke was dumbe, and could not speake a word.
King sounds.
1730Qu. How fares my Lord? Helpe Lords, the King is
dead.
Som. Rere vp his Body, wring him by the Nose.
Qu. Runne, goe, helpe, helpe: Oh Henry ope thine eyes.
Suff. He doth reuiue againe, Madame be patient.
1735King. Oh Heauenly God.
Qu. How fares my gracious Lord?
Suff. Comfort my Soueraigne, gracious Henry com-
fort.
King. What, doth my Lord of Suffolke comfort me?
1740Came he right now to sing a Rauens Note,
Whose dismall tune bereft my Vitall powres:
And thinkes he, that the chirping of a Wren,
By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
Can chase away the first-conceiued sound?
1745Hide not thy poyson with such sugred words,
Lay not thy hands on me: forbeare I say,
Their touch affrights me as a Serpents sting.
Thou balefull Messenger, out of my sight:
Vpon thy eye-balls, murderous Tyrannie
1750Sits in grim Maiestie, to fright the World.
Looke not vpon me, for thine eyes are wounding;
Yet doe not goe away: come Basiliske,
And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight:
For in the shade of death, I shall finde ioy;
1755In life, but double death, now Gloster's dead.
Queene. Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolke thus?
Although the Duke was enemie to him,
Yet he most Christian-like laments his death:
And for my selfe, Foe as he was to me,
1760Might liquid teares, or heart-offending groanes,
Or blood-consuming sighes recall his Life;
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.
Warw. Who finds the Heyfer dead, and bleeding fresh,
And sees fast-by, a Butcher with an Axe,
But will suspect, 'twas he that made the slaughter?
1895Who finds the Partridge in the Puttocks Nest,
But may imagine how the Bird was dead,
Although the Kyte soare with vnbloudied Beake?
Euen so suspitious is this Tragedie.
Qu. Are you the Butcher, Suffolk? where's your Knife?
1900Is Beauford tearm'd a Kyte? where are his Tallons?
Suff. I weare no Knife, to slaughter sleeping men,
But here's a vengefull Sword, rusted with ease,
That shall be scowred in his rancorous heart,
That slanders me with Murthers Crimson Badge.
1905Say, if thou dar'st, prowd Lord of Warwickshire,
That I am faultie in Duke Humfreyes death.
Warw. What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolke dare
him?
Qu. He dares not calme his contumelious Spirit,
1910Nor cease to be an arrogant Controller,
Though Suffolke dare him twentie thousand times.
Warw. Madame be still: with reuerence may I say,
For euery word you speake in his behalfe,
Is slander to your Royall Dignitie.
1915Suff. Blunt-witted Lord, ignoble in demeanor,
If euer Lady wrong'd her Lord so much,
Thy Mother tooke into her blamefull Bed
Some sterne vntutur'd Churle; and Noble Stock
Was graft with Crab-tree slippe, whose Fruit thou art,
1920And neuer of the Neuils Noble Race.
Warw. But that the guilt of Murther bucklers thee,
And I should rob the Deaths-man of his Fee,
Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames,
And that my Soueraignes presence makes me milde,
1925I would, false murd'rous Coward, on thy Knee
Make thee begge pardon for thy passed speech,
And say, it was thy Mother that thou meant'st,
That thou thy selfe wast borne in Bastardie;
And after all this fearefull Homage done,
1930Giue thee thy hyre, and send thy Soule to Hell,
Pernicious blood-sucker of sleeping men.
Suff. Thou shalt be waking, while I shed thy blood,
If from this presence thou dar'st goe with me.
Warw. Away euen now, or I will drag thee hence:
1935Vnworthy though thou art, Ile cope with thee,
And doe some seruice to Duke Humfreyes Ghost.
Exeunt.
King. What stronger Brest-plate then a heart vntainted?
Thrice is he arm'd, that hath his Quarrell iust;
1940And he but naked, though lockt vp in Steele,
Whose Conscience with Iniustice is corrupted.
A noyse within.
Queene. What noyse is this?
Enter Suffolke and Warwicke, with their
1945Weapons drawne.
King. Why how now Lords?
Your wrathfull Weapons drawne,
Here in our presence? Dare you be so bold?
Why what tumultuous clamor haue we here?
1950Suff. The trayt'rous Warwick, with the men of Bury,
Set all vpon me, mightie Soueraigne.
Enter Salisbury.
Salisb. Sirs stand apart, the King shall know your
minde.
1955Dread Lord, the Commons send you word by me,
Vnlesse Lord Suffolke straight be done to death,
Or banished faire Englands Territories,
They will by violence teare him from your Pallace,
And torture him with grieuous lingring death.
1960They say, by him the good Duke Humfrey dy'de:
They say, in him they feare your Highnesse death;
And meere instinct of Loue and Loyaltie,
Free from a stubborne opposite intent,
As being thought to contradict your liking,
1965Makes them thus forward in his Banishment.
They say, in care of your most Royall Person,
That if your Highnesse should intend to sleepe,
And charge, that no man should disturbe your rest,
In paine of your dislike, or paine of death;
1970Yet notwithstanding such a strait Edict,
Were there a Serpent seene, with forked Tongue,
That slyly glyded towards your Maiestie,
It were but necessarie you were wak't:
Least being suffer'd in that harmefull slumber,
1975The mortall Worme might make the sleepe eternall.
And therefore doe they cry, though you forbid,
That they will guard you, where you will, or no,
From such fell Serpents as false Suffolke is;
With whose inuenomed and fatall sting,
1980Your louing Vnckle, twentie times his worth,
They say is shamefully bereft of life.
Commons within. An answer from the King, my Lord
of Salisbury.
Suff. 'Tis like the Commons, rude vnpolisht Hindes,
1985Could send such Message to their Soueraigne:
But you, my Lord, were glad to be imploy'd,
To shew how queint an Orator you are.
But all the Honor Salisbury hath wonne,
Is, that he was the Lord Embassador,
1990Sent from a sort of Tinkers to the King.
Within. An answer from the King, or wee will all
breake in.
King. Goe Salisbury, and tell them all from me,
I thanke them for their tender louing care;
1995And had I not beene cited so by them,
Yet did I purpose as they doe entreat:
For sure, my thoughts doe hourely prophecie,
Mischance vnto my State by Suffolkes meanes.
And therefore by his Maiestie I sweare,
2000Whose farre-vnworthie Deputie I am,
He shall not breathe infection in this ayre,
But three dayes longer, on the paine of death.
Qu. Oh Henry, let me pleade for gentle Suffolke.
King. Vngentle Queene, to call him gentle Suffolke.
2005No more I say: if thou do'st pleade for him,
Thou wilt but adde encrease vnto my Wrath.
Had I but sayd, I would haue kept my Word;
But when I sweare, it is irreuocable:
If after three dayes space thou here bee'st found,
2010On any ground that I am Ruler of,
The World shall not be Ransome for thy Life.
Come Warwicke, come good Warwicke, goe with mee,
I haue great matters to impart to thee.
Exit.
Qu. Mischance and Sorrow goe along with you,
2015Hearts Discontent, and sowre Affliction,
Be play-fellowes to keepe you companie:
There's two of you, the Deuill make a third,
And three-fold Vengeance tend vpon your steps.
Suff. Cease, gentle Queene, these Execrations,
2020And let thy Suffolke take his heauie leaue.
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