Imagini ale paginilor



Enter King Henry, Queen, Cardinal, Suffolk, York, Buckingham, Salisbury and Warwick, to the Parliament.



Mufe, my Lord of Glo'fter is not come; 'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man, Whate'er occafion keeps him from us now.

Q. Mar. Can you not fee, or will you not obferve The strangeness of his alter'd countenance,

With what a majefty he bears himself,
How infolent of late he is become,
How peremptory and unlike himself?

We know the time, fince he was mild and affable;
And, if we did but glance a far-off look,
Immediately he was upon his knee;.

That all the court admir'd him for fubmiffion.
But meet him now, and be it in the morn,
When ev'ry one will give the time of day,
He knits his brow and fhews an angry eye,
And paffeth by with ftiff unbowed knee,
Difdaining duty that to us belongs.
Small curs are not regarded, when they grin,
But great men tremble when the lion roars,
And Humphry is no little man in England.
First note, that he is near you in descent,
And, fhould you fall, he is the next will mount.
Me feemeth then, it is no policy,

Me feemeth- -] That is, it feemeth to me, a word more grammatical than methinks, which

has, I know not how, intruded into its place.


[ocr errors]

Respecting what a ranc'rous mind he bears,
And his advantage following your decease,
That he fhould come about your royal perfon,

Or be admitted to your Highness' council.

By flatt'ry hath he won the common hearts:
And when he'll pleafe to make commotion,
Tis to be fear'd, they all will follow him.
-Now 'tis the fpring, and weeds are fhallow-rooted,
Suffer them now, and they'll o'er-grow the garden,.
And choak the herbs for want of husbandry.
The reverent care, I bear unto my Lord,
Made me collect thefe dangers in the Duke.
If it be fond, call it a woman's fear,
Which fear if better reafons can fupplant
I will fubfcribe, and fay, I wrong'd the Duke.
My Lords of Suffolk, Buckingham, and York,
Reprove my allegation, if you can,

Or elfe conclude my words effectual.

Suf. Well hath your Highness seen into this Duke.
And, had I first been put to speak my mind,
I think I fhould have told your Grace's tale. *
The Dutchefs, by his fubornation,

Upon my life, began her devilifh practices,
Or if he were not privy to thofe faults,
Yet, by repeating of his high defcent,
As next the King he was fucceffive heir,
And fuch high vaunts of his nobility,
Did inftigate the bedlam brain-fick Dutchefs
By wicked means to frame our fov'reign's fall.
Smooth runs the water, where the brook is deep;
And in his fimple fhew he harbours treason.
The fox barks not when he would fteal the lamb.
No, no, my fov'reign; Glofter is a man
Unfounded yet, and full of deep deceit.

your Grace's tale.] Suffolk ufes Highness and Grace promifcuously to the queen. "Ma

jefty was not the fettled title till the time of king James the first.


Car. Did he not, contrary to form of law, Devise strange deaths for small offences done? York. And did he not in his protectorship Levy great fums of money through the realm For foldiers' pay in France, and never fent it? By means whereof the towns each day revolted.

Buck. Tut, thefe are petty faults to faults unknown; Which time will bring to light in fimooth Duke Humphry.

The care you have

K. Henry. My Lords, at once. The care

of us,

To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot,
Is worthy praife; but fhall I fpeak my confcience?
Our kinfman Glo'fter is as innocent

From meaning treason to our royal perfon

As is the fucking lamb or harmless dove.
The Duke is virtuous, mild, and too well given
To dream on evil, or to work my downfal.

Q. Mar, Ah! what's more dang'rous than this fond affiance?

Seems he a dove his feathers are but borrow'd;
For he's difpofed as the hateful Raven.

Is he a lamb? his fkin is, furely, lent him;
For he's inclin'd as is the ravenous wolf.
Who cannot fteal a fhape that means deceit ?
Take heed, my Lord; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting fhort that fraudful man.
Enter Somerfet.

Som. All health unto my gracious Sovereign!
K. Henry. Welcome, Lord Somerfet; what news
from France?

Som. That all your int'reft in thofe territories

Is utterly, bereft you; all is loft.

K. Henry. Cold news, Lord Somerfet. But God's will be done!

York. Cold news for me; for I had hope of France, As firmly as I hope for fertile England.


Thus are, my bloffoms blafted in the bud,
And caterpillars eat my leaves away.
But I will remedy this gear ere long,
Or fell my title for a glorious grave.


Enter Gloucester.


Glo. All happiness unto my Lord the King! Pardon, my Liege, that I have ftaid fo long. Suf. Nay, Glo'fter, know that thou art come too foon, Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art.

I do arreft thee of high treafon here.

Glo. Well, Suffolk, yet thou shalt not see me blush, Nor change my countenance for this Arrest, A heart unfpotted is not easily daunted. The pureft spring is not fo free from mud As I am clear from treason to my Sovereign. Who can accufe me? Wherein am I guilty?

York. 'Tis thought, my Lord, that you took bribes of France,

And, being protector, ftaid the foldiers' pay;
By means whereof his Highness hath loft France.
Glo. Is it but thought fo? what are they that think it?
I never robb'd the foldiers of their pay,

Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
So help me God! as I have watch'd the night,
Ay, night by night, in ftudying good for England.
That doit that e'er I wrefted from the King,
Or any groat I hoarded to my use,

Be brought against me at my trial day!
No; many a pound of my own proper store,
Because I would not tax the needy commons,
Have I disbursed to the garrifons,

And never afk'd for restitution.

3 —this gear] Gear was a general word for thing or matters.


Car. It ferves you well, my Lord, to fay fo much. Glo. I fay no more than truth, fo help me God! York. In your protectorship you did devife Strange tortures for offenders, never heard of; That England was defam'd by tyranny.

Glo. Why, 'tis well known, that, while I was protector,

Pity was all the fault that was in me,

For I fhould melt at an offender's tears,

And lowly words were ransom for their fault;
Unless it were a bloody murderer,

Or foul felonious thief that fleec'd poor paffengers,
I never gave them condign punishment.

Murder, indeed, that bloody fin I tortur'd

Above the felon, or what trefpafs elfe.

Suf. My Lord, thefe faults are eafy, quickly ans fwer'd:+

But mightier crimes are laid unto your charge,
Whereof you cannot easily purge yourself.
I do arreft you in his Highness' name,
And here commit you to my Lord Cardinal
To keep, until your further time of trial.

K. Henry. My Lord of Glo'fter, 'tis my fpecial hope
That you will clear yourself from all fufpicion;
My confcience tells me you are innocent.

Gl. Ah, gracious Lord, thefe days are dangerous, Virtue is choak'd with foul ambition,

And charity chas'd hence by Rancour's hand,
Foul fubornation is predominant,

And equity exil'd your Highnefs' Land.
I know, their complot is to have my life,
And, if my death might make this island happy,
And prove the period of their tyranny,

I would expend it with all willingness.
But mine is made the prologue to their play;

thefe faults are easy,] Eafy is flight, inconfiderable, as in other paffages of this authour.




« ÎnapoiContinuă »