Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Quarto 1, 1594)


Enter Duke Humphrey and his men, in
1170
mourning cloakes.
1175Humph. Sirrha, whats a clocke?
Seruing. Almost ten my Lord.
Humph. Then is that wofull houre hard at hand,
That my poore Lady should come by this way,
In shamefull penance wandring in the streetes,
Sweete Nell, ill can thy noble minde abrooke,
The abiect people gazing on thy face,
With enuious lookes laughing at thy shame,
That earst did follow thy proud Chariot wheeles,
1185When thou didst ride in tryumph through the streetes.
Enter Dame Elnor Cobham bare-foote, and a white sheete about
her, with a waxe candle in her hand, and verses written on
1190her backe and pind on, and accompanied with the Sheriffes
1190.1of London, and Sir Iohn Standly, and Officers, with billes and
holbards.
Seruing. My gratious Lord, see where my Lady comes,
Please it your grace, weele take her from the Sheriffes?
Humph. I charge you for your liues stir not a foote,
1193.1Nor offer once to draw a weapon here,
But let them do their office as they should.
1195Elnor. Come you my Lord to see my open shame?
Ah Gloster, now thou doest penance too,
See how the giddie people looke at thee,
Shaking their heads, and pointing at thee heere,
Go get thee gone, and hide thee from their sights,
1200And in thy pent vp studie rue my shame,
And ban thine enemies. Ah mine and thine.
Hum. Ah Nell, sweet Nell, forget this extreme grief,
1202.1And beare it patiently to ease thy heart.
Elnor. Ah Gloster teach me to forget my selfe,
For whilst I thinke I am thy wedded wife,
Then thought of this, doth kill my wofull heart.
1210The ruthlesse flints do cut my tender feete,
And when I start the cruell people laugh,
And bids me be aduised how I tread,
1212.1And thus with burning Tapor in my hand,
Malde vp in shame with papers on my backe,
Ah, Gloster, can I endure this and liue.
Sometime ile say I am Duke Humphreys wife,
And he a Prince, Protector of the land,
1220But so he rulde, and such a Prince he was,
As he stood by, whilst I his forelorne Duches
Was led with shame, and made a laughing stocke,
To euery idle rascald follower.
1240Humphrey. My louely Nell, what wouldst thou haue me do?
1240.1Should I attempt to rescue thee from hence,
I should incurre the danger of the law,
And thy disgrace would not be shadowed so.
Elnor. Be thou milde, and stir not at my disgrace,
1225Vntill the axe of death hang ouer thy head,
As shortly sure it will. For Suffolke he,
The new made Duke, that may do all in all
With her that loues him so, and hates vs all,
And impious Yorke and Bewford that false Priest,
1230Haue all lymde bushes to betraie thy wings,
And flie thou how thou can they will intangle thee.
Enter a Herald of Armes.
Herald. I summon your Grace, vnto his highnesse Parlament
holden at saint Edmunds-Bury, the first of the next month.
Humphrey. A Parlament and our consent neuer craude
1250Therein before. This is sodeine.
1250.1Well, we will be there.
Exet. Herald.
Maister Sheriffe, I pray proceede no further against my
Lady, then the course of law extendes.
Sheriffe. Please it your grace, my office here doth end,
And I must deliuer her to sir Iohn Standly,
1255To be conducted into the Ile of Man.
Humphrey. Must you sir Iohn conduct my Lady?
Standly. I my gratious Lord, for so it is decreede,
And I am so commanded by the King.
Humph. I pray you sir Iohn, vse her neare the worse,
1260In that I intreat you to vse her well.
The world may smile againe and I may liue,
1261.1To do you fauour if you do it her,
And so sir Iohn farewell.
Elnor. What gone my Lord, and bid not me farwell.
1265Humph. Witnesse my bleeding heart, I cannot stay to speake.
Exet Humphrey and his men.
Elnor. Then is he gone, is noble Closter gone,
And doth Duke Humphrey now forsake me too?
1268.1Then let me haste from out faire Englands boundes,
Come Standly come, and let vs haste away.
1285Standly. Madam lets go vnto some house hereby,
Where you may shift your selfe before we go.
Elnor. Ah good sir Iohn, my shame cannot be hid,
Nor put away with casting off my sheete:
But come let vs go, maister Sheriffe farewell,
1291.1Thou hast but done thy office as thou shoulst.
Exet omnes.