Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors]

Hume. Hume must make merry with the duchess'

gold, Marry, and shall. But how now, Sir John Hume ! Seal up your lips, and give no words but mum: The business asketh silent secrecy. Dame Eleanor gives gold to bring the witch: Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil. Yet have I gold flies from another coast : I dare not say, from the rich cardinal, And from the great and new made duke of Suffolk; Yet I do find it so : for, to be plain, They, knowing dame Eleanor's aspiring humour, Have hired me to undermine the duchess, And buz these conjurations in her brain. They say, a crafty knave does need no broker; Yet am I Suffolk's, and the cardinal's broker. Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near To call them both a pair of crafty knaves. Well, so it stands; and thus, I fear, at last, Hume's knavery will be the duchess' wreck, And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall. Sort? how it will, I shall have gold for all. [Exit. SCENE III.-The Same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter PETER, and others, with Petitions. 1 Pet. My masters, let's stand close : my lord protector will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver our supplications in sequel?.

2 Pet. Marry, the lord protect him, for he's a good man, Jesu bless him!

Enter SUFFOLK and Queen MARGARET. 1 Pet. Here 'a comes, methinks, and the queen with him. I'll be the first, sure.

2 Pet. Come back, fool! this is the duke of Suffolk, and not my lord protector.

Suf. How now, fellow! wouldst any thing with me?

1 Pet. I pray my lord, pardon me : I took ye for my lord protector.

Q. Mar. “To my lord protector !" are your suppli. cations to his lordship? Let me see them. What is thine ?

1 Pet. Mine is, an 't please your grace, against John Goodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keeping my house, and lands, and wife, and all, from me.

1 Happen. ? in the quill: in f. e.

Suf. Thy wifé too ! that is some wrong indeed.What's yours ?-What's here ? [Reads.) “Against the duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of Melford.” -How now, sir knave ?

2 Pet. Alas! sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole township.

Peter. [Presenting his petition.] Against my master, Thomas Horner, for saying, that the duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.

Q. Mar. What say'st thou ? Did the duke of York say, he was rightful heir to the crown?

Peter. That my master was ? No, forsooth: my master said, that he was; and that the king was an usurper.

Suf. Who is there ? [Enter Servants.)-Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a pursuivant presently.-We'll hear more of your matter before the king.

[Exeunt Servants with PETER. Q. Mar. And as for you, that love to be protected Under the wings of our protector's grace, Begin your suits anew, and sue to him. (Tears the Petition. Away, base cullions !-Suffolk, let them go.

All. Come, let's be gone. [Exeunt Petitioners.

Q. Mar. My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise, Is this the fashion in the court of England ? Is this the government of Britain's isle, And this the royalty of Albion's king ? What! shall king Henry be a pupil still, Under the surly Gloster's governance ? Am I a queen in title and in style, And must be made a subject to a duke ? I tell thee, Poole, when in the city Tours Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love, And stol’st away the ladies' hearts of France, I thought king Henry had resembled thee, In courage, courtship, and proportion; But all his mind is bent to holiness, To number Ave-Marias on his beads: His champions are the prophets and apostles ; His weapons, holy saws of sacred writ; His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves Are brazen images of cano z'd ints. I would, the college of the cardinals

VOL. V.-9

[ocr errors]

Would choose him pope, and carry him to Rome.
And set the triple crown upon his head :
That were a state fit for his holiness.

Suf. Madam, be patient: as I was cause
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your grace's full content.
Q. Mar. Beside the haught protector, have we

Beaufort,
The imperious churchman; Somerset, Buckingham,
And grumbling York: and not the least of these,
But can do more in England than the king.

Suf. And he of these that can do most of all,
Cannot do more in England than the Nevils :
Salisbury and Warwick are no simple peers.

Q. Mar. Not all these lords do vex me half so much,
As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife:
She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies,
More like an empress than duke Humphrey's wife.
Strangers in court do take her for the queen :
She bears a duke's revenues on her back,
And in her heart she scorns our poverty.
Shall I not live to be aveng’d on her ?
Contemptuous base-born callat as she is,
She vaunted 'mongst her minions t' other day,
The very train of her worst wearing gown
Was better worth than all my father's lands,
Till Suffolk gave two dukedoms for his daughter.

Suf. Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her ;
And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds,
That she will light to listen to their lays,
And never mount to trouble you again.
So, let her rest; and, madam, list to me,
For I am bold to counsel you in this.
Although we fancy not the cardinal,
Yet must we join with him, and with the lords,
Till we have brought duke Humphrey in disgrace.
As for the duke of York, this late complaint
Will make but little for his benefit:
So, one by one, we will weed all the realm,
And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.

2

1 A common abusive epithet applied to women. them all at last: in f. e.

2 we'll weed * Denied.

Enter King HENRY, YORK, and SOMERSET ; Duke and

Duchess of GLOSTER, Cardinal BEAUFORT, BUCKINGHAM, SALISBURY, and WARWICK.

K. Hen. For my part, noble lords, I care not which; Or Somerset, or York, all's one to me.

York. If York have ill demean'd himself in France, Then let him be denay'd' the regentship.

Som. If Somerset be unworthy of the place, Let York be regent: I will yield to him.

War. Whether your grace be worthy, yea, or no, Dispute not that York is the worthier.

Car. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak. War. A cardinal 's not my better in the field. Buck. All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick. War. Warwick may live to be the best of all. Sal. Peace, son !-and show some reason, Buckingham, Why Somerset should be preferr'd in this.

Q. Mar. Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.

Glo. Madam, the king is old enough himself To give his censure. These are no women's matters.

Q. Mar. If he be old enough, what needs your grace To be protector of his excellence ?

Glo. Madam, I am protector of the realm, And, at his pleasure, will resign my place.

Suf. Resign it, then, and leave thine insolence. Since thou wert king, (as who is king but thou ?) The commonwealth hath daily run to wreck : The Dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the seas, And all the peers and nobles of the realm Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty. Car. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's

bags Are lank and lean with thy extortions.

Som. Thy sumptuous buildings, and thy wife's attire, Have cost a mass of public treasury.

Buck. Thy cruelty, in execution Upon offenders hath exceeded law, And left thee to the mercy of the law.

Q. Mar. Thy sale of offices, and towns in France, If they were known. as the suspect is great, Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.

[Exit GLOSTER. The Queen drops her Fan.

a

Give me my fan: what, minion ! can you not ?

[Giving the Duchess a box on the ear. I cry you mercy, madam : was it you ?

Duch. Was 't I ? yea, I it was, proud French-woman: Could I come near your beauty with my nails, I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

K. Hen. Sweet aunt, be quiet : 't was against her will.

Duch. Against her will. Good king, look to 't in time; She'll hamper thee, and dandle thee like a baby. Though in this place most master wear no breeches, She shall not strike dame Eleanor unreveng’d. (Aside.

(Exit Duchess. Buck. Lord Cardinal, I will follow Eleanor, And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds : She's tickled now; her fume can need no spurs, She'll gallop fast enough to her destruction.

[Exit BUCKINGHAM.
Re-enter GLOSTER.
Glo. Now, lords, my choler being over-blown
With walking once about the quadrangle,
I come to talk of commonwealth affairs.
As for your spiteful false objections,
Prove them, and I lie open to the law;
But God in mercy so deal with my soul,
As I in duty love my king and country.
But to the matter that we have in hand.-
I say, my sovereign, York is meetest man
To be your regent in the realm of France.

Suf. Before we make election, give me leave
To show some reason, of no little force,
That York is most unmeet of any man.

York. I'll tell thee, Suffolk, why I am unmeet.
First, for I cannot flatter thee in pride :
Next, if I be appointed for the place,
My lord of Somerset will keep me there,
Without discharge, money, or furniture,
Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands.
Last time I danc'd attendance on his will,
Till Paris was besieg'd, famish’d, and lost.

War. That can I witness : and a fouler fact
Did never traitor in the land commit.
Suf. Peace, headstrong Warwick !
Image of pride, why should I hold my peace ?

1 far : in f. e. Pope also reads fast.

a

:

« ÎnapoiContinuă »