Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: William Shakespeare
Not Peer Reviewed

Henry VI, Part 2 (Folio 1, 1623)

122The second Part of Henry the Sixt.
Main-chance father you meant, but I meant Maine,
Which I will win from France, or else be slaine.
225Exit Warwicke, and Salisbury. Manet Yorke.
Yorke. Aniou and Maine are giuen to the French,
Paris is lost, the state of Normandie
Stands on a tickle point, now they are gone:
Suffolke concluded on the Articles,
230The Peeres agreed, and Henry was well pleas'd,
To change two Dukedomes for a Dukes faire daughter.
I cannot blame them all, what is't to them?
'Tis thine they giue away, and not their owne.
Pirates may make cheape penyworths of their pillage,
235And purchase Friends, and giue to Curtezans,
Still reuelling like Lords till all be gone,
While as the silly Owner of the goods
Weepes ouer them, and wrings his haplesse hands,
And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloofe,
240While all is shar'd, and all is borne away,
Ready to sterue, and dare not touch his owne.
So Yorke must sit, and fret, and bite his tongue,
While his owne Lands are bargain'd for, and sold:
Me thinkes the Realmes of England, France, & Ireland,
245Beare that proportion to my flesh and blood,
As did the fatall brand Althaea burnt,
Vnto the Princes heart of Calidon:
Aniou and Maine both giuen vnto the French?
Cold newes for me: for I had hope of France,
250Euen as I haue of fertile Englands soile.
A day will come, when Yorke shall claime his owne,
And therefore I will take the Neuils parts,
And make a shew of loue to proud Duke Humfrey,
And when I spy aduantage, claime the Crowne,
255For that's the Golden marke I seeke to hit:
Nor shall proud Lancaster vsurpe my right,
Nor hold the Scepter in his childish Fist,
Nor weare the Diadem vpon his head,
Whose Church-like humors fits not for a Crowne.
260Then Yorke be still a-while, till time do serue:
Watch thou, and wake when others be asleepe,
To prie into the secrets of the State,
Till Henrie surfetting in ioyes of loue,
With his new Bride, & Englands deere bought Queen,
265And Humfrey with the Peeres be falne at iarres:
Then will I raise aloft the Milke-white-Rose,
With whose sweet smell the Ayre shall be perfum'd,
And in in my Standard beare the Armes of Yorke,
To grapple with the house of Lancaster,
270And force perforce Ile make him yeeld the Crowne,
Whose bookish Rule, hath pull'd faire England downe.
Exit Yorke.
Enter Duke Humfrey and his wife Elianor.
Elia. Why droopes my Lord like ouer-ripen'd Corn,
275Hanging the head at Ceres plenteous load?
Why doth the Great Duke Humfrey knit his browes,
As frowning at the Fauours of the world?
Why are thine eyes fixt to the sullen earth,
Gazing on that which seemes to dimme thy sight?
280What seest thou there? King Henries Diadem,
Inchac'd with all the Honors of the world?
If so, Gaze on, and grouell on thy face,
Vntill thy head be circled with the same.
Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious Gold.
285What, is't too short? Ile lengthen it with mine,
And hauing both together heau'd it vp,
Wee'l both together lift our heads to heauen,
And neuer more abase our sight so low,
As to vouchsafe one glance vnto the ground.
290Hum. O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost loue thy Lord,
Banish the Canker of ambitious thoughts:
And may that thought, when I imagine ill
Against my King and Nephew, vertuous Henry,
Be my last breathing in this mortall world.
295My troublous dreames this night, doth make me sad.
Eli. What dream'd my Lord, tell me, and Ile requite it
With sweet rehearsall of my mornings dreame?
Hum. Me thought this staffe mine Office-badge in
300Was broke in twaine: by whom, I haue forgot,
But as I thinke, it was by'th Cardinall,
And on the peeces of the broken Wand
Were plac'd the heads of Edmond Duke of Somerset,
And William de la Pole first Duke of Suffolke.
305This was my dreame, what it doth bode God knowes.
Eli. Tut, this was nothing but an argument,
That he that breakes a sticke of Glosters groue,
Shall loose his head for his presumption.
But list to me my Humfrey, my sweete Duke:
310Me thought I sate in Seate of Maiesty,
In the Cathedrall Church of Westminster,
And in that Chaire where Kings & Queens wer crownd,
Where Henrie and Dame Margaret kneel'd to me,
And on my head did set the Diadem.
315Hum. Nay Elinor, then must I chide outright:
Presumptuous Dame, ill-nurter'd Elianor,
Art thou not second Woman in the Realme?
And the Protectors wife belou'd of him?
Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
320Aboue the reach or compasse of thy thought?
And wilt thou still be hammering Treachery,
To tumble downe thy husband, and thy selfe,
From top of Honor, to Disgraces feete?
Away from me, and let me heare no more.
325Elia. What, what, my Lord? Are you so chollericke
With Elianor, for telling but her dreame?
Next time Ile keepe my dreames vnto my selfe,
And not be check'd.
Hum. Nay be not angry, I am pleas'd againe.
330Enter Messenger.
Mess. My Lord Protector, 'tis his Highnes pleasure,
You do prepare to ride vnto S. Albons,
Where as the King and Queene do meane to Hawke.
Hu. I go. Come Nel thou wilt ride with vs? Ex. Hum
335Eli. Yes my good Lord, Ile follow presently.
Follow I must, I cannot go before,
While Gloster beares this base and humble minde.
Were I a Man, a Duke, and next of blood,
I would remoue these tedious stumbling blockes,
340And smooth my way vpon their headlesse neckes.
And being a woman, I will not be slacke
To play my part in Fortunes Pageant.
Where are you there? Sir Iohn; nay feare not man,
We are alone, here's none but thee, & I. Enter Hume.
345Hume. Iesus preserue your Royall Maiesty.
Elia. What saist thou? Maiesty: I am but Grace.
Hume. But by the grace of God, and Humes aduice,
Your Graces Title shall be multiplied.
Elia. What saist thou man? Hast thou as yet confer'd
350With Margerie Iordane the cunning Witch,
With Roger Bollingbrooke the Coniurer?
And will they vndertake to do me good?
Hume. This they haue promised to shew your Highnes
A Spirit rais'd from depth of vnder ground,