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Discussion in 'The Test Lab' started by Bubba Ray Boudreaux, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The First part of King Henry the Fourth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry IV, part 1 | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. London. The palace.

    Enter KING HENRY, LORD JOHN OF LANCASTER, the EARL of WESTMORELAND, SIR WALTER BLUNT, and others

    KING HENRY IV

    So shaken as we are, so wan with care,
    Find we a time for frighted peace to pant,
    And breathe short-winded accents of new broils
    To be commenced in strands afar remote.
    No more the thirsty entrance of this soil
    Shall daub her lips with her own children's blood;
    Nor more shall trenching war channel her fields,
    Nor bruise her flowerets with the armed hoofs
    Of hostile paces: those opposed eyes,
    Which, like the meteors of a troubled heaven,
    All of one nature, of one substance bred,
    Did lately meet in the intestine shock
    And furious close of civil butchery
    Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming ranks,
    March all one way and be no more opposed
    Against acquaintance, kindred and allies:
    The edge of war, like an ill-sheathed knife,
    No more shall cut his master. Therefore, friends,
    As far as to the sepulchre of Christ,
    Whose soldier now, under whose blessed cross
    We are impressed and engaged to fight,
    Forthwith a power of English shall we levy;
    Whose arms were moulded in their mothers' womb
    To chase these pagans in those holy fields
    Over whose acres walk'd those blessed feet
    Which fourteen hundred years ago were nail'd
    For our advantage on the bitter cross.
    But this our purpose now is twelve month old,
    And bootless 'tis to tell you we will go:
    Therefore we meet not now. Then let me hear
    Of you, my gentle cousin Westmoreland,
    What yesternight our council did decree
    In forwarding this dear expedience.

    WESTMORELAND

    My liege, this haste was hot in question,
    And many limits of the charge set down
    But yesternight: when all athwart there came
    A post from Wales loaden with heavy news;
    Whose worst was, that the noble Mortimer,
    Leading the men of Herefordshire to fight
    Against the irregular and wild Glendower,
    Was by the rude hands of that Welshman taken,
    A thousand of his people butchered;
    Upon whose dead corpse there was such misuse,
    Such beastly shameless transformation,
    By those Welshwomen done as may not be
    Without much shame retold or spoken of.

    KING HENRY IV

    It seems then that the tidings of this broil
    Brake off our business for the Holy Land.

    WESTMORELAND

    This match'd with other did, my gracious lord;
    For more uneven and unwelcome news
    Came from the north and thus it did import:
    On Holy-rood day, the gallant Hotspur there,
    Young Harry Percy and brave Archibald,
    That ever-valiant and approved Scot,
    At Holmedon met,
    Where they did spend a sad and bloody hour,
    As by discharge of their artillery,
    And shape of likelihood, the news was told;
    For he that brought them, in the very heat
    And pride of their contention did take horse,
    Uncertain of the issue any way.

    KING HENRY IV

    Here is a dear, a true industrious friend,
    Sir Walter Blunt, new lighted from his horse.
    Stain'd with the variation of each soil
    Betwixt that Holmedon and this seat of ours;
    And he hath brought us smooth and welcome news.
    The Earl of Douglas is discomfited:
    Ten thousand bold Scots, two and twenty knights,
    Balk'd in their own blood did Sir Walter see
    On Holmedon's plains. Of prisoners, Hotspur took
    Mordake the Earl of Fife, and eldest son
    To beaten Douglas; and the Earl of Athol,
    Of Murray, Angus, and Menteith:
    And is not this an honourable spoil?
    A gallant prize? ha, cousin, is it not?

    WESTMORELAND

    In faith,
    It is a conquest for a prince to boast of.

    KING HENRY IV

    Yea, there thou makest me sad and makest me sin
    In envy that my Lord Northumberland
    Should be the father to so blest a son,
    A son who is the theme of honour's tongue;
    Amongst a grove, the very straightest plant;
    Who is sweet Fortune's minion and her pride:
    Whilst I, by looking on the praise of him,
    See riot and dishonour stain the brow
    Of my young Harry. O that it could be proved
    That some night-tripping fairy had exchanged
    In cradle-clothes our children where they lay,
    And call'd mine Percy, his Plantagenet!
    Then would I have his Harry, and he mine.
    But let him from my thoughts. What think you, coz,
    Of this young Percy's pride? the prisoners,
    Which he in this adventure hath surprised,
    To his own use he keeps; and sends me word,
    I shall have none but Mordake Earl of Fife.

    WESTMORELAND

    This is his uncle's teaching; this is Worcester,
    Malevolent to you in all aspects;
    Which makes him prune himself, and bristle up
    The crest of youth against your dignity.

    KING HENRY IV

    But I have sent for him to answer this;
    And for this cause awhile we must neglect
    Our holy purpose to Jerusalem.
    Cousin, on Wednesday next our council we
    Will hold at Windsor; so inform the lords:
    But come yourself with speed to us again;
    For more is to be said and to be done
    Than out of anger can be uttered.

    WESTMORELAND

    I will, my liege.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. London. An apartment of the Prince's.

    Enter the PRINCE OF WALES and FALSTAFF

    FALSTAFF

    Now, Hal, what time of day is it, lad?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Thou art so fat-witted, with drinking of old sack
    and unbuttoning thee after supper and sleeping upon
    benches after noon, that thou hast forgotten to
    demand that truly which thou wouldst truly know.
    What a devil hast thou to do with the time of the
    day? Unless hours were cups of sack and minutes
    capons and clocks the tongues of bawds and dials the
    signs of leaping-houses and the blessed sun himself
    a fair hot wench in flame-coloured taffeta, I see no
    reason why thou shouldst be so superfluous to demand
    the time of the day.

    FALSTAFF

    Indeed, you come near me now, Hal; for we that take
    purses go by the moon and the seven stars, and not
    by Phoebus, he,'that wandering knight so fair.' And,
    I prithee, sweet wag, when thou art king, as, God
    save thy grace,--majesty I should say, for grace
    thou wilt have none,--

    PRINCE HENRY

    What, none?

    FALSTAFF

    No, by my troth, not so much as will serve to
    prologue to an egg and butter.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Well, how then? come, roundly, roundly.

    FALSTAFF

    Marry, then, sweet wag, when thou art king, let not
    us that are squires of the night's body be called
    thieves of the day's beauty: let us be Diana's
    foresters, gentlemen of the shade, minions of the
    moon; and let men say we be men of good government,
    being governed, as the sea is, by our noble and
    chaste mistress the moon, under whose countenance we steal.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Thou sayest well, and it holds well too; for the
    fortune of us that are the moon's men doth ebb and
    flow like the sea, being governed, as the sea is,
    by the moon. As, for proof, now: a purse of gold
    most resolutely snatched on Monday night and most
    dissolutely spent on Tuesday morning; got with
    swearing 'Lay by' and spent with crying 'Bring in;'
    now in as low an ebb as the foot of the ladder
    and by and by in as high a flow as the ridge of the gallows.

    FALSTAFF

    By the Lord, thou sayest true, lad. And is not my
    hostess of the tavern a most sweet wench?

    PRINCE HENRY

    As the honey of Hybla, my old lad of the castle. And
    is not a buff jerkin a most sweet robe of durance?

    FALSTAFF

    How now, how now, mad wag! what, in thy quips and
    thy quiddities? what a plague have I to do with a
    buff jerkin?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Why, what a pox have I to do with my hostess of the tavern?

    FALSTAFF

    Well, thou hast called her to a reckoning many a
    time and oft.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Did I ever call for thee to pay thy part?

    FALSTAFF

    No; I'll give thee thy due, thou hast paid all there.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Yea, and elsewhere, so far as my coin would stretch;
    and where it would not, I have used my credit.

    FALSTAFF

    Yea, and so used it that were it not here apparent
    that thou art heir apparent--But, I prithee, sweet
    wag, shall there be gallows standing in England when
    thou art king? and resolution thus fobbed as it is
    with the rusty curb of old father antic the law? Do
    not thou, when thou art king, hang a thief.

    PRINCE HENRY

    No; thou shalt.

    FALSTAFF

    Shall I? O rare! By the Lord, I'll be a brave judge.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Thou judgest false already: I mean, thou shalt have
    the hanging of the thieves and so become a rare hangman.

    FALSTAFF

    Well, Hal, well; and in some sort it jumps with my
    humour as well as waiting in the court, I can tell
    you.

    PRINCE HENRY

    For obtaining of suits?

    FALSTAFF

    Yea, for obtaining of suits, whereof the hangman
    hath no lean wardrobe. 'Sblood, I am as melancholy
    as a gib cat or a lugged bear.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Or an old lion, or a lover's lute.

    FALSTAFF

    Yea, or the drone of a Lincolnshire bagpipe.

    PRINCE HENRY

    What sayest thou to a hare, or the melancholy of
    Moor-ditch?

    FALSTAFF

    Thou hast the most unsavoury similes and art indeed
    the most comparative, rascalliest, sweet young
    prince. But, Hal, I prithee, trouble me no more
    with vanity. I would to God thou and I knew where a
    commodity of good names were to be bought. An old
    lord of the council rated me the other day in the
    street about you, sir, but I marked him not; and yet
    he talked very wisely, but I regarded him not; and
    yet he talked wisely, and in the street too.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Thou didst well; for wisdom cries out in the
    streets, and no man regards it.

    FALSTAFF

    O, thou hast damnable iteration and art indeed able
    to corrupt a saint. Thou hast done much harm upon
    me, Hal; God forgive thee for it! Before I knew
    thee, Hal, I knew nothing; and now am I, if a man
    should speak truly, little better than one of the
    wicked. I must give over this life, and I will give
    it over: by the Lord, and I do not, I am a villain:
    I'll be damned for never a king's son in
    Christendom.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Where shall we take a purse tomorrow, Jack?

    FALSTAFF

    'Zounds, where thou wilt, lad; I'll make one; an I
    do not, call me villain and baffle me.

    PRINCE HENRY

    I see a good amendment of life in thee; from praying
    to purse-taking.

    FALSTAFF

    Why, Hal, 'tis my vocation, Hal; 'tis no sin for a
    man to labour in his vocation.

    Enter POINS
    Poins! Now shall we know if Gadshill have set a
    match. O, if men were to be saved by merit, what
    hole in hell were hot enough for him? This is the
    most omnipotent villain that ever cried 'Stand' to
    a true man.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Good morrow, Ned.

    POINS

    Good morrow, sweet Hal. What says Monsieur Remorse?
    what says Sir John Sack and Sugar? Jack! how
    agrees the devil and thee about thy soul, that thou
    soldest him on Good-Friday last for a cup of Madeira
    and a cold capon's leg?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Sir John stands to his word, the devil shall have
    his bargain; for he was never yet a breaker of
    proverbs: he will give the devil his due.

    POINS

    Then art thou damned for keeping thy word with the devil.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Else he had been damned for cozening the devil.

    POINS

    But, my lads, my lads, to-morrow morning, by four
    o'clock, early at Gadshill! there are pilgrims going
    to Canterbury with rich offerings, and traders
    riding to London with fat purses: I have vizards
    for you all; you have horses for yourselves:
    Gadshill lies to-night in Rochester: I have bespoke
    supper to-morrow night in Eastcheap: we may do it
    as secure as sleep. If you will go, I will stuff
    your purses full of crowns; if you will not, tarry
    at home and be hanged.

    FALSTAFF

    Hear ye, Yedward; if I tarry at home and go not,
    I'll hang you for going.

    POINS

    You will, chops?

    FALSTAFF

    Hal, wilt thou make one?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Who, I rob? I a thief? not I, by my faith.

    FALSTAFF

    There's neither honesty, manhood, nor good
    fellowship in thee, nor thou camest not of the blood
    royal, if thou darest not stand for ten shillings.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Well then, once in my days I'll be a madcap.

    FALSTAFF

    Why, that's well said.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Well, come what will, I'll tarry at home.

    FALSTAFF

    By the Lord, I'll be a traitor then, when thou art king.

    PRINCE HENRY

    I care not.

    POINS

    Sir John, I prithee, leave the prince and me alone:
    I will lay him down such reasons for this adventure
    that he shall go.

    FALSTAFF

    Well, God give thee the spirit of persuasion and him
    the ears of profiting, that what thou speakest may
    move and what he hears may be believed, that the
    true prince may, for recreation sake, prove a false
    thief; for the poor abuses of the time want
    countenance. Farewell: you shall find me in Eastcheap.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Farewell, thou latter spring! farewell, All-hallown summer!

    Exit Falstaff

    POINS

    Now, my good sweet honey lord, ride with us
    to-morrow: I have a jest to execute that I cannot
    manage alone. Falstaff, Bardolph, Peto and Gadshill
    shall rob those men that we have already waylaid:
    yourself and I will not be there; and when they
    have the booty, if you and I do not rob them, cut
    this head off from my shoulders.

    PRINCE HENRY

    How shall we part with them in setting forth?

    POINS

    Why, we will set forth before or after them, and
    appoint them a place of meeting, wherein it is at
    our pleasure to fail, and then will they adventure
    upon the exploit themselves; which they shall have
    no sooner achieved, but we'll set upon them.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Yea, but 'tis like that they will know us by our
    horses, by our habits and by every other
    appointment, to be ourselves.

    POINS

    Tut! our horses they shall not see: I'll tie them
    in the wood; our vizards we will change after we
    leave them: and, sirrah, I have cases of buckram
    for the nonce, to immask our noted outward garments.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Yea, but I doubt they will be too hard for us.

    POINS

    Well, for two of them, I know them to be as
    true-bred cowards as ever turned back; and for the
    third, if he fight longer than he sees reason, I'll
    forswear arms. The virtue of this jest will be, the
    incomprehensible lies that this same fat rogue will
    tell us when we meet at supper: how thirty, at
    least, he fought with; what wards, what blows, what
    extremities he endured; and in the reproof of this
    lies the jest.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Well, I'll go with thee: provide us all things
    necessary and meet me to-morrow night in Eastcheap;
    there I'll sup. Farewell.

    POINS

    Farewell, my lord.

    Exit Poins

    PRINCE HENRY

    I know you all, and will awhile uphold
    The unyoked humour of your idleness:
    Yet herein will I imitate the sun,
    Who doth permit the base contagious clouds
    To smother up his beauty from the world,
    That, when he please again to be himself,
    Being wanted, he may be more wonder'd at,
    By breaking through the foul and ugly mists
    Of vapours that did seem to strangle him.
    If all the year were playing holidays,
    To sport would be as tedious as to work;
    But when they seldom come, they wish'd for come,
    And nothing pleaseth but rare accidents.
    So, when this loose behavior I throw off
    And pay the debt I never promised,
    By how much better than my word I am,
    By so much shall I falsify men's hopes;
    And like bright metal on a sullen ground,
    My reformation, glittering o'er my fault,
    Shall show more goodly and attract more eyes
    Than that which hath no foil to set it off.
    I'll so offend, to make offence a skill;
    Redeeming time when men think least I will.

    Exit

    SCENE III. London. The palace.

    Enter the KING, NORTHUMBERLAND, WORCESTER, HOTSPUR, SIR WALTER BLUNT, with others

    KING HENRY IV

    My blood hath been too cold and temperate,
    Unapt to stir at these indignities,
    And you have found me; for accordingly
    You tread upon my patience: but be sure
    I will from henceforth rather be myself,
    Mighty and to be fear'd, than my condition;
    Which hath been smooth as oil, soft as young down,
    And therefore lost that title of respect
    Which the proud soul ne'er pays but to the proud.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Our house, my sovereign liege, little deserves
    The scourge of greatness to be used on it;
    And that same greatness too which our own hands
    Have holp to make so portly.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    My lord.--

    KING HENRY IV

    Worcester, get thee gone; for I do see
    Danger and disobedience in thine eye:
    O, sir, your presence is too bold and peremptory,
    And majesty might never yet endure
    The moody frontier of a servant brow.
    You have good leave to leave us: when we need
    Your use and counsel, we shall send for you.

    Exit Worcester
    You were about to speak.

    To North

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Yea, my good lord.
    Those prisoners in your highness' name demanded,
    Which Harry Percy here at Holmedon took,
    Were, as he says, not with such strength denied
    As is deliver'd to your majesty:
    Either envy, therefore, or misprison
    Is guilty of this fault and not my son.

    HOTSPUR

    My liege, I did deny no prisoners.
    But I remember, when the fight was done,
    When I was dry with rage and extreme toil,
    Breathless and faint, leaning upon my sword,
    Came there a certain lord, neat, and trimly dress'd,
    Fresh as a bridegroom; and his chin new reap'd
    Show'd like a stubble-land at harvest-home;
    He was perfumed like a milliner;
    And 'twixt his finger and his thumb he held
    A pouncet-box, which ever and anon
    He gave his nose and took't away again;
    Who therewith angry, when it next came there,
    Took it in snuff; and still he smiled and talk'd,
    And as the soldiers bore dead bodies by,
    He call'd them untaught knaves, unmannerly,
    To bring a slovenly unhandsome corse
    Betwixt the wind and his nobility.
    With many holiday and lady terms
    He question'd me; amongst the rest, demanded
    My prisoners in your majesty's behalf.
    I then, all smarting with my wounds being cold,
    To be so pester'd with a popinjay,
    Out of my grief and my impatience,
    Answer'd neglectingly I know not what,
    He should or he should not; for he made me mad
    To see him shine so brisk and smell so sweet
    And talk so like a waiting-gentlewoman
    Of guns and drums and wounds,--God save the mark!--
    And telling me the sovereign'st thing on earth
    Was parmaceti for an inward bruise;
    And that it was great pity, so it was,
    This villanous salt-petre should be digg'd
    Out of the bowels of the harmless earth,
    Which many a good tall fellow had destroy'd
    So cowardly; and but for these vile guns,
    He would himself have been a soldier.
    This bald unjointed chat of his, my lord,
    I answer'd indirectly, as I said;
    And I beseech you, let not his report
    Come current for an accusation
    Betwixt my love and your high majesty.

    SIR WALTER BLUNT

    The circumstance consider'd, good my lord,
    Whate'er Lord Harry Percy then had said
    To such a person and in such a place,
    At such a time, with all the rest retold,
    May reasonably die and never rise
    To do him wrong or any way impeach
    What then he said, so he unsay it now.

    KING HENRY IV

    Why, yet he doth deny his prisoners,
    But with proviso and exception,
    That we at our own charge shall ransom straight
    His brother-in-law, the foolish Mortimer;
    Who, on my soul, hath wilfully betray'd
    The lives of those that he did lead to fight
    Against that great magician, damn'd Glendower,
    Whose daughter, as we hear, the Earl of March
    Hath lately married. Shall our coffers, then,
    Be emptied to redeem a traitor home?
    Shall we but treason? and indent with fears,
    When they have lost and forfeited themselves?
    No, on the barren mountains let him starve;
    For I shall never hold that man my friend
    Whose tongue shall ask me for one penny cost
    To ransom home revolted Mortimer.

    HOTSPUR

    Revolted Mortimer!
    He never did fall off, my sovereign liege,
    But by the chance of war; to prove that true
    Needs no more but one tongue for all those wounds,
    Those mouthed wounds, which valiantly he took
    When on the gentle Severn's sedgy bank,
    In single opposition, hand to hand,
    He did confound the best part of an hour
    In changing hardiment with great Glendower:
    Three times they breathed and three times did
    they drink,
    Upon agreement, of swift Severn's flood;
    Who then, affrighted with their bloody looks,
    Ran fearfully among the trembling reeds,
    And hid his crisp head in the hollow bank,
    Bloodstained with these valiant combatants.
    Never did base and rotten policy
    Colour her working with such deadly wounds;
    Nor could the noble Mortimer
    Receive so many, and all willingly:
    Then let not him be slander'd with revolt.

    KING HENRY IV

    Thou dost belie him, Percy, thou dost belie him;
    He never did encounter with Glendower:
    I tell thee,
    He durst as well have met the devil alone
    As Owen Glendower for an enemy.
    Art thou not ashamed? But, sirrah, henceforth
    Let me not hear you speak of Mortimer:
    Send me your prisoners with the speediest means,
    Or you shall hear in such a kind from me
    As will displease you. My Lord Northumberland,
    We licence your departure with your son.
    Send us your prisoners, or you will hear of it.

    Exeunt King Henry, Blunt, and train

    HOTSPUR

    An if the devil come and roar for them,
    I will not send them: I will after straight
    And tell him so; for I will ease my heart,
    Albeit I make a hazard of my head.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    What, drunk with choler? stay and pause awhile:
    Here comes your uncle.

    Re-enter WORCESTER

    HOTSPUR

    Speak of Mortimer!
    'Zounds, I will speak of him; and let my soul
    Want mercy, if I do not join with him:
    Yea, on his part I'll empty all these veins,
    And shed my dear blood drop by drop in the dust,
    But I will lift the down-trod Mortimer
    As high in the air as this unthankful king,
    As this ingrate and canker'd Bolingbroke.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Brother, the king hath made your nephew mad.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Who struck this heat up after I was gone?

    HOTSPUR

    He will, forsooth, have all my prisoners;
    And when I urged the ransom once again
    Of my wife's brother, then his cheek look'd pale,
    And on my face he turn'd an eye of death,
    Trembling even at the name of Mortimer.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    I cannot blame him: was not he proclaim'd
    By Richard that dead is the next of blood?

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    He was; I heard the proclamation:
    And then it was when the unhappy king,
    --Whose wrongs in us God pardon!--did set forth
    Upon his Irish expedition;
    From whence he intercepted did return
    To be deposed and shortly murdered.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    And for whose death we in the world's wide mouth
    Live scandalized and foully spoken of.

    HOTSPUR

    But soft, I pray you; did King Richard then
    Proclaim my brother Edmund Mortimer
    Heir to the crown?

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    He did; myself did hear it.

    HOTSPUR

    Nay, then I cannot blame his cousin king,
    That wished him on the barren mountains starve.
    But shall it be that you, that set the crown
    Upon the head of this forgetful man
    And for his sake wear the detested blot
    Of murderous subornation, shall it be,
    That you a world of curses undergo,
    Being the agents, or base second means,
    The cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?
    O, pardon me that I descend so low,
    To show the line and the predicament
    Wherein you range under this subtle king;
    Shall it for shame be spoken in these days,
    Or fill up chronicles in time to come,
    That men of your nobility and power
    Did gage them both in an unjust behalf,
    As both of you--God pardon it!--have done,
    To put down Richard, that sweet lovely rose,
    An plant this thorn, this canker, Bolingbroke?
    And shall it in more shame be further spoken,
    That you are fool'd, discarded and shook off
    By him for whom these shames ye underwent?
    No; yet time serves wherein you may redeem
    Your banish'd honours and restore yourselves
    Into the good thoughts of the world again,
    Revenge the jeering and disdain'd contempt
    Of this proud king, who studies day and night
    To answer all the debt he owes to you
    Even with the bloody payment of your deaths:
    Therefore, I say--

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Peace, cousin, say no more:
    And now I will unclasp a secret book,
    And to your quick-conceiving discontents
    I'll read you matter deep and dangerous,
    As full of peril and adventurous spirit
    As to o'er-walk a current roaring loud
    On the unsteadfast footing of a spear.

    HOTSPUR

    If he fall in, good night! or sink or swim:
    Send danger from the east unto the west,
    So honour cross it from the north to south,
    And let them grapple: O, the blood more stirs
    To rouse a lion than to start a hare!

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Imagination of some great exploit
    Drives him beyond the bounds of patience.

    HOTSPUR

    By heaven, methinks it were an easy leap,
    To pluck bright honour from the pale-faced moon,
    Or dive into the bottom of the deep,
    Where fathom-line could never touch the ground,
    And pluck up drowned honour by the locks;
    So he that doth redeem her thence might wear
    Without corrival, all her dignities:
    But out upon this half-faced fellowship!

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    He apprehends a world of figures here,
    But not the form of what he should attend.
    Good cousin, give me audience for a while.

    HOTSPUR

    I cry you mercy.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Those same noble Scots
    That are your prisoners,--

    HOTSPUR

    I'll keep them all;
    By God, he shall not have a Scot of them;
    No, if a Scot would save his soul, he shall not:
    I'll keep them, by this hand.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    You start away
    And lend no ear unto my purposes.
    Those prisoners you shall keep.

    HOTSPUR

    Nay, I will; that's flat:
    He said he would not ransom Mortimer;
    Forbad my tongue to speak of Mortimer;
    But I will find him when he lies asleep,
    And in his ear I'll holla 'Mortimer!'
    Nay,
    I'll have a starling shall be taught to speak
    Nothing but 'Mortimer,' and give it him
    To keep his anger still in motion.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Hear you, cousin; a word.

    HOTSPUR

    All studies here I solemnly defy,
    Save how to gall and pinch this Bolingbroke:
    And that same sword-and-buckler Prince of Wales,
    But that I think his father loves him not
    And would be glad he met with some mischance,
    I would have him poison'd with a pot of ale.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Farewell, kinsman: I'll talk to you
    When you are better temper'd to attend.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Why, what a wasp-stung and impatient fool
    Art thou to break into this woman's mood,
    Tying thine ear to no tongue but thine own!

    HOTSPUR

    Why, look you, I am whipp'd and scourged with rods,
    Nettled and stung with pismires, when I hear
    Of this vile politician, Bolingbroke.
    In Richard's time,--what do you call the place?--
    A plague upon it, it is in Gloucestershire;
    'Twas where the madcap duke his uncle kept,
    His uncle York; where I first bow'd my knee
    Unto this king of smiles, this Bolingbroke,--
    'Sblood!--
    When you and he came back from Ravenspurgh.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    At Berkley castle.

    HOTSPUR

    You say true:
    Why, what a candy deal of courtesy
    This fawning greyhound then did proffer me!
    Look,'when his infant fortune came to age,'
    And 'gentle Harry Percy,' and 'kind cousin;'
    O, the devil take such cozeners! God forgive me!
    Good uncle, tell your tale; I have done.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Nay, if you have not, to it again;
    We will stay your leisure.

    HOTSPUR

    I have done, i' faith.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Then once more to your Scottish prisoners.
    Deliver them up without their ransom straight,
    And make the Douglas' son your only mean
    For powers in Scotland; which, for divers reasons
    Which I shall send you written, be assured,
    Will easily be granted. You, my lord,

    To Northumberland
    Your son in Scotland being thus employ'd,
    Shall secretly into the bosom creep
    Of that same noble prelate, well beloved,
    The archbishop.

    HOTSPUR

    Of York, is it not?

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    True; who bears hard
    His brother's death at Bristol, the Lord Scroop.
    I speak not this in estimation,
    As what I think might be, but what I know
    Is ruminated, plotted and set down,
    And only stays but to behold the face
    Of that occasion that shall bring it on.

    HOTSPUR

    I smell it: upon my life, it will do well.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Before the game is afoot, thou still let'st slip.

    HOTSPUR

    Why, it cannot choose but be a noble plot;
    And then the power of Scotland and of York,
    To join with Mortimer, ha?

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    And so they shall.

    HOTSPUR

    In faith, it is exceedingly well aim'd.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    And 'tis no little reason bids us speed,
    To save our heads by raising of a head;
    For, bear ourselves as even as we can,
    The king will always think him in our debt,
    And think we think ourselves unsatisfied,
    Till he hath found a time to pay us home:
    And see already how he doth begin
    To make us strangers to his looks of love.

    HOTSPUR

    He does, he does: we'll be revenged on him.

    EARL OF WORCESTER

    Cousin, farewell: no further go in this
    Than I by letters shall direct your course.
    When time is ripe, which will be suddenly,
    I'll steal to Glendower and Lord Mortimer;
    Where you and Douglas and our powers at once,
    As I will fashion it, shall happily meet,
    To bear our fortunes in our own strong arms,
    Which now we hold at much uncertainty.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Farewell, good brother: we shall thrive, I trust.

    HOTSPUR

    Uncle, Adieu: O, let the hours be short
    Till fields and blows and groans applaud our sport!

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Rochester. An inn yard.

    Enter a Carrier with a lantern in his hand

    First Carrier

    Heigh-ho! an it be not four by the day, I'll be
    hanged: Charles' wain is over the new chimney, and
    yet our horse not packed. What, ostler!

    Ostler

    [Within] Anon, anon.

    First Carrier

    I prithee, Tom, beat Cut's saddle, put a few flocks
    in the point; poor jade, is wrung in the withers out
    of all cess.

    Enter another Carrier

    Second Carrier

    Peas and beans are as dank here as a dog, and that
    is the next way to give poor jades the bots: this
    house is turned upside down since Robin Ostler died.

    First Carrier

    Poor fellow, never joyed since the price of oats
    rose; it was the death of him.

    Second Carrier

    I think this be the most villanous house in all
    London road for fleas: I am stung like a tench.

    First Carrier

    Like a tench! by the mass, there is ne'er a king
    christen could be better bit than I have been since
    the first cock.

    Second Carrier

    Why, they will allow us ne'er a jordan, and then we
    leak in your chimney; and your chamber-lie breeds
    fleas like a loach.

    First Carrier

    What, ostler! come away and be hanged!

    Second Carrier

    I have a gammon of bacon and two razors of ginger,
    to be delivered as far as Charing-cross.

    First Carrier

    God's body! the turkeys in my pannier are quite
    starved. What, ostler! A plague on thee! hast thou
    never an eye in thy head? canst not hear? An
    'twere not as good deed as drink, to break the pate
    on thee, I am a very villain. Come, and be hanged!
    hast thou no faith in thee?

    Enter GADSHILL

    GADSHILL

    Good morrow, carriers. What's o'clock?

    First Carrier

    I think it be two o'clock.

    GADSHILL

    I pray thee lend me thy lantern, to see my gelding
    in the stable.

    First Carrier

    Nay, by God, soft; I know a trick worth two of that, i' faith.

    GADSHILL

    I pray thee, lend me thine.

    Second Carrier

    Ay, when? can'st tell? Lend me thy lantern, quoth
    he? marry, I'll see thee hanged first.

    GADSHILL

    Sirrah carrier, what time do you mean to come to London?

    Second Carrier

    Time enough to go to bed with a candle, I warrant
    thee. Come, neighbour Mugs, we'll call up the
    gentleman: they will along with company, for they
    have great charge.

    Exeunt carriers

    GADSHILL

    What, ho! chamberlain!

    Chamberlain

    [Within] At hand, quoth pick-purse.

    GADSHILL

    That's even as fair as--at hand, quoth the
    chamberlain; for thou variest no more from picking
    of purses than giving direction doth from labouring;
    thou layest the plot how.

    Enter Chamberlain

    Chamberlain

    Good morrow, Master Gadshill. It holds current that
    I told you yesternight: there's a franklin in the
    wild of Kent hath brought three hundred marks with
    him in gold: I heard him tell it to one of his
    company last night at supper; a kind of auditor; one
    that hath abundance of charge too, God knows what.
    They are up already, and call for eggs and butter;
    they will away presently.

    GADSHILL

    Sirrah, if they meet not with Saint Nicholas'
    clerks, I'll give thee this neck.

    Chamberlain

    No, I'll none of it: I pray thee keep that for the
    hangman; for I know thou worshippest St. Nicholas
    as truly as a man of falsehood may.

    GADSHILL

    What talkest thou to me of the hangman? if I hang,
    I'll make a fat pair of gallows; for if I hang, old
    Sir John hangs with me, and thou knowest he is no
    starveling. Tut! there are other Trojans that thou
    dreamest not of, the which for sport sake are
    content to do the profession some grace; that would,
    if matters should be looked into, for their own
    credit sake, make all whole. I am joined with no
    foot-land rakers, no long-staff sixpenny strikers,
    none of these mad mustachio purple-hued malt-worms;
    but with nobility and tranquillity, burgomasters and
    great oneyers, such as can hold in, such as will
    strike sooner than speak, and speak sooner than
    drink, and drink sooner than pray: and yet, zounds,
    I lie; for they pray continually to their saint, the
    commonwealth; or rather, not pray to her, but prey
    on her, for they ride up and down on her and make
    her their boots.

    Chamberlain

    What, the commonwealth their boots? will she hold
    out water in foul way?

    GADSHILL

    She will, she will; justice hath liquored her. We
    steal as in a castle, cocksure; we have the receipt
    of fern-seed, we walk invisible.

    Chamberlain

    Nay, by my faith, I think you are more beholding to
    the night than to fern-seed for your walking invisible.

    GADSHILL

    Give me thy hand: thou shalt have a share in our
    purchase, as I am a true man.

    Chamberlain

    Nay, rather let me have it, as you are a false thief.

    GADSHILL

    Go to; 'homo' is a common name to all men. Bid the
    ostler bring my gelding out of the stable. Farewell,
    you muddy knave.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. The highway, near Gadshill.

    Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    POINS

    Come, shelter, shelter: I have removed Falstaff's
    horse, and he frets like a gummed velvet.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Stand close.

    Enter FALSTAFF

    FALSTAFF

    Poins! Poins, and be hanged! Poins!

    PRINCE HENRY

    Peace, ye fat-kidneyed rascal! what a brawling dost
    thou keep!

    FALSTAFF

    Where's Poins, Hal?

    PRINCE HENRY

    He is walked up to the top of the hill: I'll go seek him.

    FALSTAFF

    I am accursed to rob in that thief's company: the
    rascal hath removed my horse, and tied him I know
    not where. If I travel but four foot by the squier
    further afoot, I shall break my wind. Well, I doubt
    not but to die a fair death for all this, if I
    'scape hanging for killing that rogue. I have
    forsworn his company hourly any time this two and
    twenty years, and yet I am bewitched with the
    rogue's company. If the rascal hath not given me
    medicines to make me love him, I'll be hanged; it
    could not be else: I have drunk medicines. Poins!
    Hal! a plague upon you both! Bardolph! Peto!
    I'll starve ere I'll rob a foot further. An 'twere
    not as good a deed as drink, to turn true man and to
    leave these rogues, I am the veriest varlet that
    ever chewed with a tooth. Eight yards of uneven
    ground is threescore and ten miles afoot with me;
    and the stony-hearted villains know it well enough:
    a plague upon it when thieves cannot be true one to another!

    They whistle
    Whew! A plague upon you all! Give me my horse, you
    rogues; give me my horse, and be hanged!

    PRINCE HENRY

    Peace, ye fat-guts! lie down; lay thine ear close
    to the ground and list if thou canst hear the tread
    of travellers.

    FALSTAFF

    Have you any levers to lift me up again, being down?
    'Sblood, I'll not bear mine own flesh so far afoot
    again for all the coin in thy father's exchequer.
    What a plague mean ye to colt me thus?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Thou liest; thou art not colted, thou art uncolted.

    FALSTAFF

    I prithee, good Prince Hal, help me to my horse,
    good king's son.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Out, ye rogue! shall I be your ostler?

    FALSTAFF

    Go, hang thyself in thine own heir-apparent
    garters! If I be ta'en, I'll peach for this. An I
    have not ballads made on you all and sung to filthy
    tunes, let a cup of sack be my poison: when a jest
    is so forward, and afoot too! I hate it.

    Enter GADSHILL, BARDOLPH and PETO

    GADSHILL

    Stand.

    FALSTAFF

    So I do, against my will.

    POINS

    O, 'tis our setter: I know his voice. Bardolph,
    what news?

    BARDOLPH

    Case ye, case ye; on with your vizards: there 's
    money of the king's coming down the hill; 'tis going
    to the king's exchequer.

    FALSTAFF

    You lie, ye rogue; 'tis going to the king's tavern.

    GADSHILL

    There's enough to make us all.

    FALSTAFF

    To be hanged.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Sirs, you four shall front them in the narrow lane;
    Ned Poins and I will walk lower: if they 'scape
    from your encounter, then they light on us.

    PETO

    How many be there of them?

    GADSHILL

    Some eight or ten.

    FALSTAFF

    'Zounds, will they not rob us?

    PRINCE HENRY

    What, a coward, Sir John Paunch?

    FALSTAFF

    Indeed, I am not John of Gaunt, your grandfather;
    but yet no coward, Hal.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Well, we leave that to the proof.

    POINS

    Sirrah Jack, thy horse stands behind the hedge:
    when thou needest him, there thou shalt find him.
    Farewell, and stand fast.

    FALSTAFF

    Now cannot I strike him, if I should be hanged.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Ned, where are our disguises?

    POINS

    Here, hard by: stand close.

    Exeunt PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    FALSTAFF

    Now, my masters, happy man be his dole, say I:
    every man to his business.

    Enter the Travellers

    First Traveller

    Come, neighbour: the boy shall lead our horses down
    the hill; we'll walk afoot awhile, and ease our legs.

    Thieves

    Stand!

    Travellers

    Jesus bless us!

    FALSTAFF

    Strike; down with them; cut the villains' throats:
    ah! whoreson caterpillars! bacon-fed knaves! they
    hate us youth: down with them: fleece them.

    Travellers

    O, we are undone, both we and ours for ever!

    FALSTAFF

    Hang ye, gorbellied knaves, are ye undone? No, ye
    fat chuffs: I would your store were here! On,
    bacons, on! What, ye knaves! young men must live.
    You are Grand-jurors, are ye? we'll jure ye, 'faith.

    Here they rob them and bind them. Exeunt

    Re-enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    PRINCE HENRY

    The thieves have bound the true men. Now could thou
    and I rob the thieves and go merrily to London, it
    would be argument for a week, laughter for a month
    and a good jest for ever.

    POINS

    Stand close; I hear them coming.

    Enter the Thieves again

    FALSTAFF

    Come, my masters, let us share, and then to horse
    before day. An the Prince and Poins be not two
    arrant cowards, there's no equity stirring: there's
    no more valour in that Poins than in a wild-duck.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Your money!

    POINS

    Villains!

    As they are sharing, the Prince and Poins set upon them; they all run away; and Falstaff, after a blow or two, runs away too, leaving the booty behind them

    PRINCE HENRY

    Got with much ease. Now merrily to horse:
    The thieves are all scatter'd and possess'd with fear
    So strongly that they dare not meet each other;
    Each takes his fellow for an officer.
    Away, good Ned. Falstaff sweats to death,
    And lards the lean earth as he walks along:
    Were 't not for laughing, I should pity him.

    POINS

    How the rogue roar'd!

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. Warkworth castle

    Enter HOTSPUR, solus, reading a letter

    HOTSPUR

    'But for mine own part, my lord, I could be well
    contented to be there, in respect of the love I bear
    your house.' He could be contented: why is he not,
    then? In respect of the love he bears our house:
    he shows in this, he loves his own barn better than
    he loves our house. Let me see some more. 'The
    purpose you undertake is dangerous;'--why, that's
    certain: 'tis dangerous to take a cold, to sleep, to
    drink; but I tell you, my lord fool, out of this
    nettle, danger, we pluck this flower, safety. 'The
    purpose you undertake is dangerous; the friends you
    have named uncertain; the time itself unsorted; and
    your whole plot too light for the counterpoise of so
    great an opposition.' Say you so, say you so? I say
    unto you again, you are a shallow cowardly hind, and
    you lie. What a lack-brain is this! By the Lord,
    our plot is a good plot as ever was laid; our
    friends true and constant: a good plot, good
    friends, and full of expectation; an excellent plot,
    very good friends. What a frosty-spirited rogue is
    this! Why, my lord of York commends the plot and the
    general course of action. 'Zounds, an I were now by
    this rascal, I could brain him with his lady's fan.
    Is there not my father, my uncle and myself? lord
    Edmund Mortimer, My lord of York and Owen Glendower?
    is there not besides the Douglas? have I not all
    their letters to meet me in arms by the ninth of the
    next month? and are they not some of them set
    forward already? What a pagan rascal is this! an
    infidel! Ha! you shall see now in very sincerity
    of fear and cold heart, will he to the king and lay
    open all our proceedings. O, I could divide myself
    and go to buffets, for moving such a dish of
    skim milk with so honourable an action! Hang him!
    let him tell the king: we are prepared. I will set
    forward to-night.

    Enter LADY PERCY
    How now, Kate! I must leave you within these two hours.

    LADY PERCY

    O, my good lord, why are you thus alone?
    For what offence have I this fortnight been
    A banish'd woman from my Harry's bed?
    Tell me, sweet lord, what is't that takes from thee
    Thy stomach, pleasure and thy golden sleep?
    Why dost thou bend thine eyes upon the earth,
    And start so often when thou sit'st alone?
    Why hast thou lost the fresh blood in thy cheeks;
    And given my treasures and my rights of thee
    To thick-eyed musing and cursed melancholy?
    In thy faint slumbers I by thee have watch'd,
    And heard thee murmur tales of iron wars;
    Speak terms of manage to thy bounding steed;
    Cry 'Courage! to the field!' And thou hast talk'd
    Of sallies and retires, of trenches, tents,
    Of palisadoes, frontiers, parapets,
    Of basilisks, of cannon, culverin,
    Of prisoners' ransom and of soldiers slain,
    And all the currents of a heady fight.
    Thy spirit within thee hath been so at war
    And thus hath so bestirr'd thee in thy sleep,
    That beads of sweat have stood upon thy brow
    Like bubbles in a late-disturbed stream;
    And in thy face strange motions have appear'd,
    Such as we see when men restrain their breath
    On some great sudden hest. O, what portents are these?
    Some heavy business hath my lord in hand,
    And I must know it, else he loves me not.

    HOTSPUR

    What, ho!

    Enter Servant
    Is Gilliams with the packet gone?

    Servant

    He is, my lord, an hour ago.

    HOTSPUR

    Hath Butler brought those horses from the sheriff?

    Servant

    One horse, my lord, he brought even now.

    HOTSPUR

    What horse? a roan, a crop-ear, is it not?

    Servant

    It is, my lord.

    HOTSPUR

    That roan shall by my throne.
    Well, I will back him straight: O esperance!
    Bid Butler lead him forth into the park.

    Exit Servant

    LADY PERCY

    But hear you, my lord.

    HOTSPUR

    What say'st thou, my lady?

    LADY PERCY

    What is it carries you away?

    HOTSPUR

    Why, my horse, my love, my horse.

    LADY PERCY

    Out, you mad-headed ape!
    A weasel hath not such a deal of spleen
    As you are toss'd with. In faith,
    I'll know your business, Harry, that I will.
    I fear my brother Mortimer doth stir
    About his title, and hath sent for you
    To line his enterprise: but if you go,--

    HOTSPUR

    So far afoot, I shall be weary, love.

    LADY PERCY

    Come, come, you paraquito, answer me
    Directly unto this question that I ask:
    In faith, I'll break thy little finger, Harry,
    An if thou wilt not tell me all things true.

    HOTSPUR

    Away,
    Away, you trifler! Love! I love thee not,
    I care not for thee, Kate: this is no world
    To play with mammets and to tilt with lips:
    We must have bloody noses and crack'd crowns,
    And pass them current too. God's me, my horse!
    What say'st thou, Kate? what would'st thou
    have with me?

    LADY PERCY

    Do you not love me? do you not, indeed?
    Well, do not then; for since you love me not,
    I will not love myself. Do you not love me?
    Nay, tell me if you speak in jest or no.

    HOTSPUR

    Come, wilt thou see me ride?
    And when I am on horseback, I will swear
    I love thee infinitely. But hark you, Kate;
    I must not have you henceforth question me
    Whither I go, nor reason whereabout:
    Whither I must, I must; and, to conclude,
    This evening must I leave you, gentle Kate.
    I know you wise, but yet no farther wise
    Than Harry Percy's wife: constant you are,
    But yet a woman: and for secrecy,
    No lady closer; for I well believe
    Thou wilt not utter what thou dost not know;
    And so far will I trust thee, gentle Kate.

    LADY PERCY

    How! so far?

    HOTSPUR

    Not an inch further. But hark you, Kate:
    Whither I go, thither shall you go too;
    To-day will I set forth, to-morrow you.
    Will this content you, Kate?

    LADY PERCY

    It must of force.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. The Boar's-Head Tavern, Eastcheap.

    Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    PRINCE HENRY

    Ned, prithee, come out of that fat room, and lend me
    thy hand to laugh a little.

    POINS

    Where hast been, Hal?

    PRINCE HENRY

    With three or four loggerheads amongst three or four
    score hogsheads. I have sounded the very
    base-string of humility. Sirrah, I am sworn brother
    to a leash of drawers; and can call them all by
    their christen names, as Tom, Dick, and Francis.
    They take it already upon their salvation, that
    though I be but the prince of Wales, yet I am king
    of courtesy; and tell me flatly I am no proud Jack,
    like Falstaff, but a Corinthian, a lad of mettle, a
    good boy, by the Lord, so they call me, and when I
    am king of England, I shall command all the good
    lads in Eastcheap. They call drinking deep, dyeing
    scarlet; and when you breathe in your watering, they
    cry 'hem!' and bid you play it off. To conclude, I
    am so good a proficient in one quarter of an hour,
    that I can drink with any tinker in his own language
    during my life. I tell thee, Ned, thou hast lost
    much honour, that thou wert not with me in this sweet
    action. But, sweet Ned,--to sweeten which name of
    Ned, I give thee this pennyworth of sugar, clapped
    even now into my hand by an under-skinker, one that
    never spake other English in his life than 'Eight
    shillings and sixpence' and 'You are welcome,' with
    this shrill addition, 'Anon, anon, sir! Score a pint
    of bastard in the Half-Moon,' or so. But, Ned, to
    drive away the time till Falstaff come, I prithee,
    do thou stand in some by-room, while I question my
    puny drawer to what end he gave me the sugar; and do
    thou never leave calling 'Francis,' that his tale
    to me may be nothing but 'Anon.' Step aside, and
    I'll show thee a precedent.

    POINS

    Francis!

    PRINCE HENRY

    Thou art perfect.

    POINS

    Francis!

    Exit POINS

    Enter FRANCIS

    FRANCIS

    Anon, anon, sir. Look down into the Pomgarnet, Ralph.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Come hither, Francis.

    FRANCIS

    My lord?

    PRINCE HENRY

    How long hast thou to serve, Francis?

    FRANCIS

    Forsooth, five years, and as much as to--

    POINS

    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS

    Anon, anon, sir.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Five year! by'r lady, a long lease for the clinking
    of pewter. But, Francis, darest thou be so valiant
    as to play the coward with thy indenture and show it
    a fair pair of heels and run from it?

    FRANCIS

    O Lord, sir, I'll be sworn upon all the books in
    England, I could find in my heart.

    POINS

    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS

    Anon, sir.

    PRINCE HENRY

    How old art thou, Francis?

    FRANCIS

    Let me see--about Michaelmas next I shall be--

    POINS

    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS

    Anon, sir. Pray stay a little, my lord.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Nay, but hark you, Francis: for the sugar thou
    gavest me,'twas a pennyworth, wast't not?

    FRANCIS

    O Lord, I would it had been two!

    PRINCE HENRY

    I will give thee for it a thousand pound: ask me
    when thou wilt, and thou shalt have it.

    POINS

    [Within] Francis!

    FRANCIS

    Anon, anon.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Anon, Francis? No, Francis; but to-morrow, Francis;
    or, Francis, o' Thursday; or indeed, Francis, when
    thou wilt. But, Francis!

    FRANCIS

    My lord?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Wilt thou rob this leathern jerkin, crystal-button,
    not-pated, agate-ring, puke-stocking, caddis-garter,
    smooth-tongue, Spanish-pouch,--

    FRANCIS

    O Lord, sir, who do you mean?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Why, then, your brown bastard is your only drink;
    for look you, Francis, your white canvas doublet
    will sully: in Barbary, sir, it cannot come to so much.

    FRANCIS

    What, sir?

    POINS

    [Within] Francis!

    PRINCE HENRY

    Away, you rogue! dost thou not hear them call?

    Here they both call him; the drawer stands amazed, not knowing which way to go

    Enter Vintner

    Vintner

    What, standest thou still, and hearest such a
    calling? Look to the guests within.

    Exit Francis
    My lord, old Sir John, with half-a-dozen more, are
    at the door: shall I let them in?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Let them alone awhile, and then open the door.

    Exit Vintner
    Poins!

    Re-enter POINS

    POINS

    Anon, anon, sir.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Sirrah, Falstaff and the rest of the thieves are at
    the door: shall we be merry?

    POINS

    As merry as crickets, my lad. But hark ye; what
    cunning match have you made with this jest of the
    drawer? come, what's the issue?

    PRINCE HENRY

    I am now of all humours that have showed themselves
    humours since the old days of goodman Adam to the
    pupil age of this present twelve o'clock at midnight.

    Re-enter FRANCIS
    What's o'clock, Francis?

    FRANCIS

    Anon, anon, sir.

    Exit

    PRINCE HENRY

    That ever this fellow should have fewer words than a
    parrot, and yet the son of a woman! His industry is
    upstairs and downstairs; his eloquence the parcel of
    a reckoning. I am not yet of Percy's mind, the
    Hotspur of the north; he that kills me some six or
    seven dozen of Scots at a breakfast, washes his
    hands, and says to his wife 'Fie upon this quiet
    life! I want work.' 'O my sweet Harry,' says she,
    'how many hast thou killed to-day?' 'Give my roan
    horse a drench,' says he; and answers 'Some
    fourteen,' an hour after; 'a trifle, a trifle.' I
    prithee, call in Falstaff: I'll play Percy, and
    that damned brawn shall play Dame Mortimer his
    wife. 'Rivo!' says the drunkard. Call in ribs, call in tallow.

    Enter FALSTAFF, GADSHILL, BARDOLPH, and PETO; FRANCIS following with wine

    POINS

    Welcome, Jack: where hast thou been?

    FALSTAFF

    A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too!
    marry, and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I
    lead this life long, I'll sew nether stocks and mend
    them and foot them too. A plague of all cowards!
    Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?

    He drinks

    PRINCE HENRY

    Didst thou never see Titan kiss a dish of butter?
    pitiful-hearted Titan, that melted at the sweet tale
    of the sun's! if thou didst, then behold that compound.

    FALSTAFF

    You rogue, here's lime in this sack too: there is
    nothing but roguery to be found in villanous man:
    yet a coward is worse than a cup of sack with lime
    in it. A villanous coward! Go thy ways, old Jack;
    die when thou wilt, if manhood, good manhood, be
    not forgot upon the face of the earth, then am I a
    shotten herring. There live not three good men
    unhanged in England; and one of them is fat and
    grows old: God help the while! a bad world, I say.
    I would I were a weaver; I could sing psalms or any
    thing. A plague of all cowards, I say still.

    PRINCE HENRY

    How now, wool-sack! what mutter you?

    FALSTAFF

    A king's son! If I do not beat thee out of thy
    kingdom with a dagger of lath, and drive all thy
    subjects afore thee like a flock of wild-geese,
    I'll never wear hair on my face more. You Prince of Wales!

    PRINCE HENRY

    Why, you whoreson round man, what's the matter?

    FALSTAFF

    Are not you a coward? answer me to that: and Poins there?

    POINS

    'Zounds, ye fat paunch, an ye call me coward, by the
    Lord, I'll stab thee.

    FALSTAFF

    I call thee coward! I'll see thee damned ere I call
    thee coward: but I would give a thousand pound I
    could run as fast as thou canst. You are straight
    enough in the shoulders, you ca
     
  2. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Second part of King Henry the Fourth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry IV, part 2 | Entire play
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    Warkworth. Before the castle

    Enter RUMOUR, painted full of tongues

    RUMOUR

    Open your ears; for which of you will stop
    The vent of hearing when loud Rumour speaks?
    I, from the orient to the drooping west,
    Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold
    The acts commenced on this ball of earth:
    Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
    The which in every language I pronounce,
    Stuffing the ears of men with false reports.
    I speak of peace, while covert enmity
    Under the smile of safety wounds the world:
    And who but Rumour, who but only I,
    Make fearful musters and prepared defence,
    Whiles the big year, swoln with some other grief,
    Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war,
    And no such matter? Rumour is a pipe
    Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures
    And of so easy and so plain a stop
    That the blunt monster with uncounted heads,
    The still-discordant wavering multitude,
    Can play upon it. But what need I thus
    My well-known body to anatomize
    Among my household? Why is Rumour here?
    I run before King Harry's victory;
    Who in a bloody field by Shrewsbury
    Hath beaten down young Hotspur and his troops,
    Quenching the flame of bold rebellion
    Even with the rebel's blood. But what mean I
    To speak so true at first? my office is
    To noise abroad that Harry Monmouth fell
    Under the wrath of noble Hotspur's sword,
    And that the king before the Douglas' rage
    Stoop'd his anointed head as low as death.
    This have I rumour'd through the peasant towns
    Between that royal field of Shrewsbury
    And this worm-eaten hold of ragged stone,
    Where Hotspur's father, old Northumberland,
    Lies crafty-sick: the posts come tiring on,
    And not a man of them brings other news
    Than they have learn'd of me: from Rumour's tongues
    They bring smooth comforts false, worse than
    true wrongs.

    Exit

    ACT I
    SCENE I. The same.

    Enter LORD BARDOLPH

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Who keeps the gate here, ho?

    The Porter opens the gate
    Where is the earl?

    Porter

    What shall I say you are?

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Tell thou the earl
    That the Lord Bardolph doth attend him here.

    Porter

    His lordship is walk'd forth into the orchard;
    Please it your honour, knock but at the gate,
    And he himself wilt answer.

    Enter NORTHUMBERLAND

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Here comes the earl.

    Exit Porter

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    What news, Lord Bardolph? every minute now
    Should be the father of some stratagem:
    The times are wild: contention, like a horse
    Full of high feeding, madly hath broke loose
    And bears down all before him.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Noble earl,
    I bring you certain news from Shrewsbury.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Good, an God will!

    LORD BARDOLPH

    As good as heart can wish:
    The king is almost wounded to the death;
    And, in the fortune of my lord your son,
    Prince Harry slain outright; and both the Blunts
    Kill'd by the hand of Douglas; young Prince John
    And Westmoreland and Stafford fled the field;
    And Harry Monmouth's brawn, the hulk Sir John,
    Is prisoner to your son: O, such a day,
    So fought, so follow'd and so fairly won,
    Came not till now to dignify the times,
    Since Caesar's fortunes!

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    How is this derived?
    Saw you the field? came you from Shrewsbury?

    LORD BARDOLPH

    I spake with one, my lord, that came from thence,
    A gentleman well bred and of good name,
    That freely render'd me these news for true.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Here comes my servant Travers, whom I sent
    On Tuesday last to listen after news.

    Enter TRAVERS

    LORD BARDOLPH

    My lord, I over-rode him on the way;
    And he is furnish'd with no certainties
    More than he haply may retail from me.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Now, Travers, what good tidings comes with you?

    TRAVERS

    My lord, Sir John Umfrevile turn'd me back
    With joyful tidings; and, being better horsed,
    Out-rode me. After him came spurring hard
    A gentleman, almost forspent with speed,
    That stopp'd by me to breathe his bloodied horse.
    He ask'd the way to Chester; and of him
    I did demand what news from Shrewsbury:
    He told me that rebellion had bad luck
    And that young Harry Percy's spur was cold.
    With that, he gave his able horse the head,
    And bending forward struck his armed heels
    Against the panting sides of his poor jade
    Up to the rowel-head, and starting so
    He seem'd in running to devour the way,
    Staying no longer question.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Ha! Again:
    Said he young Harry Percy's spur was cold?
    Of Hotspur Coldspur? that rebellion
    Had met ill luck?

    LORD BARDOLPH

    My lord, I'll tell you what;
    If my young lord your son have not the day,
    Upon mine honour, for a silken point
    I'll give my barony: never talk of it.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Why should that gentleman that rode by Travers
    Give then such instances of loss?

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Who, he?
    He was some hilding fellow that had stolen
    The horse he rode on, and, upon my life,
    Spoke at a venture. Look, here comes more news.

    Enter MORTON

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Yea, this man's brow, like to a title-leaf,
    Foretells the nature of a tragic volume:
    So looks the strand whereon the imperious flood
    Hath left a witness'd usurpation.
    Say, Morton, didst thou come from Shrewsbury?

    MORTON

    I ran from Shrewsbury, my noble lord;
    Where hateful death put on his ugliest mask
    To fright our party.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    How doth my son and brother?
    Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek
    Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.
    Even such a man, so faint, so spiritless,
    So dull, so dead in look, so woe-begone,
    Drew Priam's curtain in the dead of night,
    And would have told him half his Troy was burnt;
    But Priam found the fire ere he his tongue,
    And I my Percy's death ere thou report'st it.
    This thou wouldst say, 'Your son did thus and thus;
    Your brother thus: so fought the noble Douglas:'
    Stopping my greedy ear with their bold deeds:
    But in the end, to stop my ear indeed,
    Thou hast a sigh to blow away this praise,
    Ending with 'Brother, son, and all are dead.'

    MORTON

    Douglas is living, and your brother, yet;
    But, for my lord your son--

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Why, he is dead.
    See what a ready tongue suspicion hath!
    He that but fears the thing he would not know
    Hath by instinct knowledge from others' eyes
    That what he fear'd is chanced. Yet speak, Morton;
    Tell thou an earl his divination lies,
    And I will take it as a sweet disgrace
    And make thee rich for doing me such wrong.

    MORTON

    You are too great to be by me gainsaid:
    Your spirit is too true, your fears too certain.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Yet, for all this, say not that Percy's dead.
    I see a strange confession in thine eye:
    Thou shakest thy head and hold'st it fear or sin
    To speak a truth. If he be slain, say so;
    The tongue offends not that reports his death:
    And he doth sin that doth belie the dead,
    Not he which says the dead is not alive.
    Yet the first bringer of unwelcome news
    Hath but a losing office, and his tongue
    Sounds ever after as a sullen bell,
    Remember'd tolling a departing friend.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    I cannot think, my lord, your son is dead.

    MORTON

    I am sorry I should force you to believe
    That which I would to God I had not seen;
    But these mine eyes saw him in bloody state,
    Rendering faint quittance, wearied and out-breathed,
    To Harry Monmouth; whose swift wrath beat down
    The never-daunted Percy to the earth,
    From whence with life he never more sprung up.
    In few, his death, whose spirit lent a fire
    Even to the dullest peasant in his camp,
    Being bruited once, took fire and heat away
    From the best temper'd courage in his troops;
    For from his metal was his party steel'd;
    Which once in him abated, all the rest
    Turn'd on themselves, like dull and heavy lead:
    And as the thing that's heavy in itself,
    Upon enforcement flies with greatest speed,
    So did our men, heavy in Hotspur's loss,
    Lend to this weight such lightness with their fear
    That arrows fled not swifter toward their aim
    Than did our soldiers, aiming at their safety,
    Fly from the field. Then was the noble Worcester
    Too soon ta'en prisoner; and that furious Scot,
    The bloody Douglas, whose well-labouring sword
    Had three times slain the appearance of the king,
    'Gan vail his stomach and did grace the shame
    Of those that turn'd their backs, and in his flight,
    Stumbling in fear, was took. The sum of all
    Is that the king hath won, and hath sent out
    A speedy power to encounter you, my lord,
    Under the conduct of young Lancaster
    And Westmoreland. This is the news at full.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    For this I shall have time enough to mourn.
    In poison there is physic; and these news,
    Having been well, that would have made me sick,
    Being sick, have in some measure made me well:
    And as the wretch, whose fever-weaken'd joints,
    Like strengthless hinges, buckle under life,
    Impatient of his fit, breaks like a fire
    Out of his keeper's arms, even so my limbs,
    Weaken'd with grief, being now enraged with grief,
    Are thrice themselves. Hence, therefore, thou nice crutch!
    A scaly gauntlet now with joints of steel
    Must glove this hand: and hence, thou sickly quoif!
    Thou art a guard too wanton for the head
    Which princes, flesh'd with conquest, aim to hit.
    Now bind my brows with iron; and approach
    The ragged'st hour that time and spite dare bring
    To frown upon the enraged Northumberland!
    Let heaven kiss earth! now let not Nature's hand
    Keep the wild flood confined! let order die!
    And let this world no longer be a stage
    To feed contention in a lingering act;
    But let one spirit of the first-born Cain
    Reign in all bosoms, that, each heart being set
    On bloody courses, the rude scene may end,
    And darkness be the burier of the dead!

    TRAVERS

    This strained passion doth you wrong, my lord.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Sweet earl, divorce not wisdom from your honour.

    MORTON

    The lives of all your loving complices
    Lean on your health; the which, if you give o'er
    To stormy passion, must perforce decay.
    You cast the event of war, my noble lord,
    And summ'd the account of chance, before you said
    'Let us make head.' It was your presurmise,
    That, in the dole of blows, your son might drop:
    You knew he walk'd o'er perils, on an edge,
    More likely to fall in than to get o'er;
    You were advised his flesh was capable
    Of wounds and scars and that his forward spirit
    Would lift him where most trade of danger ranged:
    Yet did you say 'Go forth;' and none of this,
    Though strongly apprehended, could restrain
    The stiff-borne action: what hath then befallen,
    Or what hath this bold enterprise brought forth,
    More than that being which was like to be?

    LORD BARDOLPH

    We all that are engaged to this loss
    Knew that we ventured on such dangerous seas
    That if we wrought our life 'twas ten to one;
    And yet we ventured, for the gain proposed
    Choked the respect of likely peril fear'd;
    And since we are o'erset, venture again.
    Come, we will all put forth, body and goods.

    MORTON

    'Tis more than time: and, my most noble lord,
    I hear for certain, and do speak the truth,
    The gentle Archbishop of York is up
    With well-appointed powers: he is a man
    Who with a double surety binds his followers.
    My lord your son had only but the corpse,
    But shadows and the shows of men, to fight;
    For that same word, rebellion, did divide
    The action of their bodies from their souls;
    And they did fight with queasiness, constrain'd,
    As men drink potions, that their weapons only
    Seem'd on our side; but, for their spirits and souls,
    This word, rebellion, it had froze them up,
    As fish are in a pond. But now the bishop
    Turns insurrection to religion:
    Supposed sincere and holy in his thoughts,
    He's followed both with body and with mind;
    And doth enlarge his rising with the blood
    Of fair King Richard, scraped from Pomfret stones;
    Derives from heaven his quarrel and his cause;
    Tells them he doth bestride a bleeding land,
    Gasping for life under great Bolingbroke;
    And more and less do flock to follow him.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    I knew of this before; but, to speak truth,
    This present grief had wiped it from my mind.
    Go in with me; and counsel every man
    The aptest way for safety and revenge:
    Get posts and letters, and make friends with speed:
    Never so few, and never yet more need.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. London. A street.

    Enter FALSTAFF, with his Page bearing his sword and buckler

    FALSTAFF

    Sirrah, you giant, what says the doctor to my water?

    Page

    He said, sir, the water itself was a good healthy
    water; but, for the party that owed it, he might
    have more diseases than he knew for.

    FALSTAFF

    Men of all sorts take a pride to gird at me: the
    brain of this foolish-compounded clay, man, is not
    able to invent anything that tends to laughter, more
    than I invent or is invented on me: I am not only
    witty in myself, but the cause that wit is in other
    men. I do here walk before thee like a sow that
    hath overwhelmed all her litter but one. If the
    prince put thee into my service for any other reason
    than to set me off, why then I have no judgment.
    Thou whoreson mandrake, thou art fitter to be worn
    in my cap than to wait at my heels. I was never
    manned with an agate till now: but I will inset you
    neither in gold nor silver, but in vile apparel, and
    send you back again to your master, for a jewel,--
    the juvenal, the prince your master, whose chin is
    not yet fledged. I will sooner have a beard grow in
    the palm of my hand than he shall get one on his
    cheek; and yet he will not stick to say his face is
    a face-royal: God may finish it when he will, 'tis
    not a hair amiss yet: he may keep it still at a
    face-royal, for a barber shall never earn sixpence
    out of it; and yet he'll be crowing as if he had
    writ man ever since his father was a bachelor. He
    may keep his own grace, but he's almost out of mine,
    I can assure him. What said Master Dombledon about
    the satin for my short cloak and my slops?

    Page

    He said, sir, you should procure him better
    assurance than Bardolph: he would not take his
    band and yours; he liked not the security.

    FALSTAFF

    Let him be damned, like the glutton! pray God his
    tongue be hotter! A whoreson Achitophel! a rascally
    yea-forsooth knave! to bear a gentleman in hand,
    and then stand upon security! The whoreson
    smooth-pates do now wear nothing but high shoes, and
    bunches of keys at their girdles; and if a man is
    through with them in honest taking up, then they
    must stand upon security. I had as lief they would
    put ratsbane in my mouth as offer to stop it with
    security. I looked a' should have sent me two and
    twenty yards of satin, as I am a true knight, and he
    sends me security. Well, he may sleep in security;
    for he hath the horn of abundance, and the lightness
    of his wife shines through it: and yet cannot he
    see, though he have his own lanthorn to light him.
    Where's Bardolph?

    Page

    He's gone into Smithfield to buy your worship a horse.

    FALSTAFF

    I bought him in Paul's, and he'll buy me a horse in
    Smithfield: an I could get me but a wife in the
    stews, I were manned, horsed, and wived.

    Enter the Lord Chief-Justice and Servant

    Page

    Sir, here comes the nobleman that committed the
    Prince for striking him about Bardolph.

    FALSTAFF

    Wait, close; I will not see him.
    Lord Chief-Justice What's he that goes there?

    Servant

    Falstaff, an't please your lordship.
    Lord Chief-Justice He that was in question for the robbery?

    Servant

    He, my lord: but he hath since done good service at
    Shrewsbury; and, as I hear, is now going with some
    charge to the Lord John of Lancaster.
    Lord Chief-Justice What, to York? Call him back again.

    Servant

    Sir John Falstaff!

    FALSTAFF

    Boy, tell him I am deaf.

    Page

    You must speak louder; my master is deaf.
    Lord Chief-Justice I am sure he is, to the hearing of any thing good.
    Go, pluck him by the elbow; I must speak with him.

    Servant

    Sir John!

    FALSTAFF

    What! a young knave, and begging! Is there not
    wars? is there not employment? doth not the king
    lack subjects? do not the rebels need soldiers?
    Though it be a shame to be on any side but one, it
    is worse shame to beg than to be on the worst side,
    were it worse than the name of rebellion can tell
    how to make it.

    Servant

    You mistake me, sir.

    FALSTAFF

    Why, sir, did I say you were an honest man? setting
    my knighthood and my soldiership aside, I had lied
    in my throat, if I had said so.

    Servant

    I pray you, sir, then set your knighthood and our
    soldiership aside; and give me leave to tell you,
    you lie in your throat, if you say I am any other
    than an honest man.

    FALSTAFF

    I give thee leave to tell me so! I lay aside that
    which grows to me! if thou gettest any leave of me,
    hang me; if thou takest leave, thou wert better be
    hanged. You hunt counter: hence! avaunt!

    Servant

    Sir, my lord would speak with you.
    Lord Chief-Justice Sir John Falstaff, a word with you.

    FALSTAFF

    My good lord! God give your lordship good time of
    day. I am glad to see your lordship abroad: I heard
    say your lordship was sick: I hope your lordship
    goes abroad by advice. Your lordship, though not
    clean past your youth, hath yet some smack of age in
    you, some relish of the saltness of time; and I must
    humbly beseech your lordship to have a reverent care
    of your health.
    Lord Chief-Justice Sir John, I sent for you before your expedition to
    Shrewsbury.

    FALSTAFF

    An't please your lordship, I hear his majesty is
    returned with some discomfort from Wales.
    Lord Chief-Justice I talk not of his majesty: you would not come when
    I sent for you.

    FALSTAFF

    And I hear, moreover, his highness is fallen into
    this same whoreson apoplexy.
    Lord Chief-Justice Well, God mend him! I pray you, let me speak with
    you.

    FALSTAFF

    This apoplexy is, as I take it, a kind of lethargy,
    an't please your lordship; a kind of sleeping in the
    blood, a whoreson tingling.
    Lord Chief-Justice What tell you me of it? be it as it is.

    FALSTAFF

    It hath its original from much grief, from study and
    perturbation of the brain: I have read the cause of
    his effects in Galen: it is a kind of deafness.
    Lord Chief-Justice I think you are fallen into the disease; for you
    hear not what I say to you.

    FALSTAFF

    Very well, my lord, very well: rather, an't please
    you, it is the disease of not listening, the malady
    of not marking, that I am troubled withal.
    Lord Chief-Justice To punish you by the heels would amend the
    attention of your ears; and I care not if I do
    become your physician.

    FALSTAFF

    I am as poor as Job, my lord, but not so patient:
    your lordship may minister the potion of
    imprisonment to me in respect of poverty; but how
    should I be your patient to follow your
    prescriptions, the wise may make some dram of a
    scruple, or indeed a scruple itself.
    Lord Chief-Justice I sent for you, when there were matters against you
    for your life, to come speak with me.

    FALSTAFF

    As I was then advised by my learned counsel in the
    laws of this land-service, I did not come.
    Lord Chief-Justice Well, the truth is, Sir John, you live in great infamy.

    FALSTAFF

    He that buckles him in my belt cannot live in less.
    Lord Chief-Justice Your means are very slender, and your waste is great.

    FALSTAFF

    I would it were otherwise; I would my means were
    greater, and my waist slenderer.
    Lord Chief-Justice You have misled the youthful prince.

    FALSTAFF

    The young prince hath misled me: I am the fellow
    with the great belly, and he my dog.
    Lord Chief-Justice Well, I am loath to gall a new-healed wound: your
    day's service at Shrewsbury hath a little gilded
    over your night's exploit on Gad's-hill: you may
    thank the unquiet time for your quiet o'er-posting
    that action.

    FALSTAFF

    My lord?
    Lord Chief-Justice But since all is well, keep it so: wake not a
    sleeping wolf.

    FALSTAFF

    To wake a wolf is as bad as to smell a fox.
    Lord Chief-Justice What! you are as a candle, the better part burnt
    out.

    FALSTAFF

    A wassail candle, my lord, all tallow: if I did say
    of wax, my growth would approve the truth.
    Lord Chief-Justice There is not a white hair on your face but should
    have his effect of gravity.

    FALSTAFF

    His effect of gravy, gravy, gravy.
    Lord Chief-Justice You follow the young prince up and down, like his
    ill angel.

    FALSTAFF

    Not so, my lord; your ill angel is light; but I hope
    he that looks upon me will take me without weighing:
    and yet, in some respects, I grant, I cannot go: I
    cannot tell. Virtue is of so little regard in these
    costermonger times that true valour is turned
    bear-herd: pregnancy is made a tapster, and hath
    his quick wit wasted in giving reckonings: all the
    other gifts appertinent to man, as the malice of
    this age shapes them, are not worth a gooseberry.
    You that are old consider not the capacities of us
    that are young; you do measure the heat of our
    livers with the bitterness of your galls: and we
    that are in the vaward of our youth, I must confess,
    are wags too.
    Lord Chief-Justice Do you set down your name in the scroll of youth,
    that are written down old with all the characters of
    age? Have you not a moist eye? a dry hand? a
    yellow cheek? a white beard? a decreasing leg? an
    increasing belly? is not your voice broken? your
    wind short? your chin double? your wit single? and
    every part about you blasted with antiquity? and
    will you yet call yourself young? Fie, fie, fie, Sir John!

    FALSTAFF

    My lord, I was born about three of the clock in the
    afternoon, with a white head and something a round
    belly. For my voice, I have lost it with halloing
    and singing of anthems. To approve my youth
    further, I will not: the truth is, I am only old in
    judgment and understanding; and he that will caper
    with me for a thousand marks, let him lend me the
    money, and have at him! For the box of the ear that
    the prince gave you, he gave it like a rude prince,
    and you took it like a sensible lord. I have
    chequed him for it, and the young lion repents;
    marry, not in ashes and sackcloth, but in new silk
    and old sack.
    Lord Chief-Justice Well, God send the prince a better companion!

    FALSTAFF

    God send the companion a better prince! I cannot
    rid my hands of him.
    Lord Chief-Justice Well, the king hath severed you and Prince Harry: I
    hear you are going with Lord John of Lancaster
    against the Archbishop and the Earl of
    Northumberland.

    FALSTAFF

    Yea; I thank your pretty sweet wit for it. But look
    you pray, all you that kiss my lady Peace at home,
    that our armies join not in a hot day; for, by the
    Lord, I take but two shirts out with me, and I mean
    not to sweat extraordinarily: if it be a hot day,
    and I brandish any thing but a bottle, I would I
    might never spit white again. There is not a
    dangerous action can peep out his head but I am
    thrust upon it: well, I cannot last ever: but it
    was alway yet the trick of our English nation, if
    they have a good thing, to make it too common. If
    ye will needs say I am an old man, you should give
    me rest. I would to God my name were not so
    terrible to the enemy as it is: I were better to be
    eaten to death with a rust than to be scoured to
    nothing with perpetual motion.
    Lord Chief-Justice Well, be honest, be honest; and God bless your
    expedition!

    FALSTAFF

    Will your lordship lend me a thousand pound to
    furnish me forth?
    Lord Chief-Justice Not a penny, not a penny; you are too impatient to
    bear crosses. Fare you well: commend me to my
    cousin Westmoreland.

    Exeunt Chief-Justice and Servant

    FALSTAFF

    If I do, fillip me with a three-man beetle. A man
    can no more separate age and covetousness than a'
    can part young limbs and lechery: but the gout
    galls the one, and the pox pinches the other; and
    so both the degrees prevent my curses. Boy!

    Page

    Sir?

    FALSTAFF

    What money is in my purse?

    Page

    Seven groats and two pence.

    FALSTAFF

    I can get no remedy against this consumption of the
    purse: borrowing only lingers and lingers it out,
    but the disease is incurable. Go bear this letter
    to my Lord of Lancaster; this to the prince; this
    to the Earl of Westmoreland; and this to old
    Mistress Ursula, whom I have weekly sworn to marry
    since I perceived the first white hair on my chin.
    About it: you know where to find me.

    Exit Page
    A pox of this gout! or, a gout of this pox! for
    the one or the other plays the rogue with my great
    toe. 'Tis no matter if I do halt; I have the wars
    for my colour, and my pension shall seem the more
    reasonable. A good wit will make use of any thing:
    I will turn diseases to commodity.

    Exit

    SCENE III. York. The Archbishop's palace.

    Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, the Lords HASTINGS, MOWBRAY, and BARDOLPH

    ARCHBISHOP OF YORK

    Thus have you heard our cause and known our means;
    And, my most noble friends, I pray you all,
    Speak plainly your opinions of our hopes:
    And first, lord marshal, what say you to it?

    MOWBRAY

    I well allow the occasion of our arms;
    But gladly would be better satisfied
    How in our means we should advance ourselves
    To look with forehead bold and big enough
    Upon the power and puissance of the king.

    HASTINGS

    Our present musters grow upon the file
    To five and twenty thousand men of choice;
    And our supplies live largely in the hope
    Of great Northumberland, whose bosom burns
    With an incensed fire of injuries.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    The question then, Lord Hastings, standeth thus;
    Whether our present five and twenty thousand
    May hold up head without Northumberland?

    HASTINGS

    With him, we may.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Yea, marry, there's the point:
    But if without him we be thought too feeble,
    My judgment is, we should not step too far
    Till we had his assistance by the hand;
    For in a theme so bloody-faced as this
    Conjecture, expectation, and surmise
    Of aids incertain should not be admitted.

    ARCHBISHOP OF YORK

    'Tis very true, Lord Bardolph; for indeed
    It was young Hotspur's case at Shrewsbury.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    It was, my lord; who lined himself with hope,
    Eating the air on promise of supply,
    Flattering himself in project of a power
    Much smaller than the smallest of his thoughts:
    And so, with great imagination
    Proper to madmen, led his powers to death
    And winking leap'd into destruction.

    HASTINGS

    But, by your leave, it never yet did hurt
    To lay down likelihoods and forms of hope.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Yes, if this present quality of war,
    Indeed the instant action: a cause on foot
    Lives so in hope as in an early spring
    We see the appearing buds; which to prove fruit,
    Hope gives not so much warrant as despair
    That frosts will bite them. When we mean to build,
    We first survey the plot, then draw the model;
    And when we see the figure of the house,
    Then must we rate the cost of the erection;
    Which if we find outweighs ability,
    What do we then but draw anew the model
    In fewer offices, or at last desist
    To build at all? Much more, in this great work,
    Which is almost to pluck a kingdom down
    And set another up, should we survey
    The plot of situation and the model,
    Consent upon a sure foundation,
    Question surveyors, know our own estate,
    How able such a work to undergo,
    To weigh against his opposite; or else
    We fortify in paper and in figures,
    Using the names of men instead of men:
    Like one that draws the model of a house
    Beyond his power to build it; who, half through,
    Gives o'er and leaves his part-created cost
    A naked subject to the weeping clouds
    And waste for churlish winter's tyranny.

    HASTINGS

    Grant that our hopes, yet likely of fair birth,
    Should be still-born, and that we now possess'd
    The utmost man of expectation,
    I think we are a body strong enough,
    Even as we are, to equal with the king.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    What, is the king but five and twenty thousand?

    HASTINGS

    To us no more; nay, not so much, Lord Bardolph.
    For his divisions, as the times do brawl,
    Are in three heads: one power against the French,
    And one against Glendower; perforce a third
    Must take up us: so is the unfirm king
    In three divided; and his coffers sound
    With hollow poverty and emptiness.

    ARCHBISHOP OF YORK

    That he should draw his several strengths together
    And come against us in full puissance,
    Need not be dreaded.

    HASTINGS

    If he should do so,
    He leaves his back unarm'd, the French and Welsh
    Baying him at the heels: never fear that.

    LORD BARDOLPH

    Who is it like should lead his forces hither?

    HASTINGS

    The Duke of Lancaster and Westmoreland;
    Against the Welsh, himself and Harry Monmouth:
    But who is substituted 'gainst the French,
    I have no certain notice.

    ARCHBISHOP OF YORK

    Let us on,
    And publish the occasion of our arms.
    The commonwealth is sick of their own choice;
    Their over-greedy love hath surfeited:
    An habitation giddy and unsure
    Hath he that buildeth on the vulgar heart.
    O thou fond many, with what loud applause
    Didst thou beat heaven with blessing Bolingbroke,
    Before he was what thou wouldst have him be!
    And being now trimm'd in thine own desires,
    Thou, beastly feeder, art so full of him,
    That thou provokest thyself to cast him up.
    So, so, thou common dog, didst thou disgorge
    Thy glutton bosom of the royal Richard;
    And now thou wouldst eat thy dead vomit up,
    And howl'st to find it. What trust is in
    these times?
    They that, when Richard lived, would have him die,
    Are now become enamour'd on his grave:
    Thou, that threw'st dust upon his goodly head
    When through proud London he came sighing on
    After the admired heels of Bolingbroke,
    Criest now 'O earth, yield us that king again,
    And take thou this!' O thoughts of men accursed!
    Past and to come seems best; things present worst.

    MOWBRAY

    Shall we go draw our numbers and set on?

    HASTINGS

    We are time's subjects, and time bids be gone.

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. London. A street.

    Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY, FANG and his Boy with her, and SNARE following.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Master Fang, have you entered the action?

    FANG

    It is entered.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Where's your yeoman? Is't a lusty yeoman? will a'
    stand to 't?

    FANG

    Sirrah, where's Snare?

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    O Lord, ay! good Master Snare.

    SNARE

    Here, here.

    FANG

    Snare, we must arrest Sir John Falstaff.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Yea, good Master Snare; I have entered him and all.

    SNARE

    It may chance cost some of us our lives, for he will stab.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Alas the day! take heed of him; he stabbed me in
    mine own house, and that most beastly: in good
    faith, he cares not what mischief he does. If his
    weapon be out: he will foin like any devil; he will
    spare neither man, woman, nor child.

    FANG

    If I can close with him, I care not for his thrust.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    No, nor I neither: I'll be at your elbow.

    FANG

    An I but fist him once; an a' come but within my vice,--

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    I am undone by his going; I warrant you, he's an
    infinitive thing upon my score. Good Master Fang,
    hold him sure: good Master Snare, let him not
    'scape. A' comes continuantly to Pie-corner--saving
    your manhoods--to buy a saddle; and he is indited to
    dinner to the Lubber's-head in Lumbert street, to
    Master Smooth's the silkman: I pray ye, since my
    exion is entered and my case so openly known to the
    world, let him be brought in to his answer. A
    hundred mark is a long one for a poor lone woman to
    bear: and I have borne, and borne, and borne, and
    have been fubbed off, and fubbed off, and fubbed
    off, from this day to that day, that it is a shame
    to be thought on. There is no honesty in such
    dealing; unless a woman should be made an ass and a
    beast, to bear every knave's wrong. Yonder he
    comes; and that errant malmsey-nose knave, Bardolph,
    with him. Do your offices, do your offices: Master
    Fang and Master Snare, do me, do me, do me your offices.

    Enter FALSTAFF, Page, and BARDOLPH

    FALSTAFF

    How now! whose mare's dead? what's the matter?

    FANG

    Sir John, I arrest you at the suit of Mistress Quickly.

    FALSTAFF

    Away, varlets! Draw, Bardolph: cut me off the
    villain's head: throw the quean in the channel.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Throw me in the channel! I'll throw thee in the
    channel. Wilt thou? wilt thou? thou bastardly
    rogue! Murder, murder! Ah, thou honeysuckle
    villain! wilt thou kill God's officers and the
    king's? Ah, thou honey-seed rogue! thou art a
    honey-seed, a man-queller, and a woman-queller.

    FALSTAFF

    Keep them off, Bardolph.

    FANG

    A rescue! a rescue!

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Good people, bring a rescue or two. Thou wo't, wo't
    thou? Thou wo't, wo't ta? do, do, thou rogue! do,
    thou hemp-seed!

    FALSTAFF

    Away, you scullion! you rampallion! You
    fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe.

    Enter the Lord Chief-Justice, and his men
    Lord Chief-Justice What is the matter? keep the peace here, ho!

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Good my lord, be good to me. I beseech you, stand to me.
    Lord Chief-Justice How now, Sir John! what are you brawling here?
    Doth this become your place, your time and business?
    You should have been well on your way to York.
    Stand from him, fellow: wherefore hang'st upon him?

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    O most worshipful lord, an't please your grace, I am
    a poor widow of Eastcheap, and he is arrested at my suit.
    Lord Chief-Justice For what sum?

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    It is more than for some, my lord; it is for all,
    all I have. He hath eaten me out of house and home;
    he hath put all my substance into that fat belly of
    his: but I will have some of it out again, or I
    will ride thee o' nights like the mare.

    FALSTAFF

    I think I am as like to ride the mare, if I have
    any vantage of ground to get up.
    Lord Chief-Justice How comes this, Sir John? Fie! what man of good
    temper would endure this tempest of exclamation?
    Are you not ashamed to enforce a poor widow to so
    rough a course to come by her own?

    FALSTAFF

    What is the gross sum that I owe thee?

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Marry, if thou wert an honest man, thyself and the
    money too. Thou didst swear to me upon a
    parcel-gilt goblet, sitting in my Dolphin-chamber,
    at the round table, by a sea-coal fire, upon
    Wednesday in Wheeson week, when the prince broke
    thy head for liking his father to a singing-man of
    Windsor, thou didst swear to me then, as I was
    washing thy wound, to marry me and make me my lady
    thy wife. Canst thou deny it? Did not goodwife
    Keech, the butcher's wife, come in then and call me
    gossip Quickly? coming in to borrow a mess of
    vinegar; telling us she had a good dish of prawns;
    whereby thou didst desire to eat some; whereby I
    told thee they were ill for a green wound? And
    didst thou not, when she was gone down stairs,
    desire me to be no more so familiarity with such
    poor people; saying that ere long they should call
    me madam? And didst thou not kiss me and bid me
    fetch thee thirty shillings? I put thee now to thy
    book-oath: deny it, if thou canst.

    FALSTAFF

    My lord, this is a poor mad soul; and she says up
    and down the town that the eldest son is like you:
    she hath been in good case, and the truth is,
    poverty hath distracted her. But for these foolish
    officers, I beseech you I may have redress against them.
    Lord Chief-Justice Sir John, Sir John, I am well acquainted with your
    manner of wrenching the true cause the false way. It
    is not a confident brow, nor the throng of words
    that come with such more than impudent sauciness
    from you, can thrust me from a level consideration:
    you have, as it appears to me, practised upon the
    easy-yielding spirit of this woman, and made her
    serve your uses both in purse and in person.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Yea, in truth, my lord.
    Lord Chief-Justice Pray thee, peace. Pay her the debt you owe her, and
    unpay the villany you have done her: the one you
    may do with sterling money, and the other with
    current repentance.

    FALSTAFF

    My lord, I will not undergo this sneap without
    reply. You call honourable boldness impudent
    sauciness: if a man will make courtesy and say
    nothing, he is virtuous: no, my lord, my humble
    duty remembered, I will not be your suitor. I say
    to you, I do desire deliverance from these officers,
    being upon hasty employment in the king's affairs.
    Lord Chief-Justice You speak as having power to do wrong: but answer
    in the effect of your reputation, and satisfy this
    poor woman.

    FALSTAFF

    Come hither, hostess.

    Enter GOWER
    Lord Chief-Justice Now, Master Gower, what news?

    GOWER

    The king, my lord, and Harry Prince of Wales
    Are near at hand: the rest the paper tells.

    FALSTAFF

    As I am a gentleman.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Faith, you said so before.

    FALSTAFF

    As I am a gentleman. Come, no more words of it.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    By this heavenly ground I tread on, I must be fain
    to pawn both my plate and the tapestry of my
    dining-chambers.

    FALSTAFF

    Glasses, glasses is the only drinking: and for thy
    walls, a pretty slight drollery, or the story of
    the Prodigal, or the German hunting in water-work,
    is worth a thousand of these bed-hangings and these
    fly-bitten tapestries. Let it be ten pound, if thou
    canst. Come, an 'twere not for thy humours, there's
    not a better wench in England. Go, wash thy face,
    and draw the action. Come, thou must not be in
    this humour with me; dost not know me? come, come, I
    know thou wast set on to this.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Pray thee, Sir John, let it be but twenty nobles: i'
    faith, I am loath to pawn my plate, so God save me,
    la!

    FALSTAFF

    Let it alone; I'll make other shift: you'll be a
    fool still.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Well, you shall have it, though I pawn my gown. I
    hope you'll come to supper. You'll pay me all together?

    FALSTAFF

    Will I live?

    To BARDOLPH
    Go, with her, with her; hook on, hook on.

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Will you have Doll Tearsheet meet you at supper?

    FALSTAFF

    No more words; let's have her.

    Exeunt MISTRESS QUICKLY, BARDOLPH, Officers and Boy
    Lord Chief-Justice I have heard better news.

    FALSTAFF

    What's the news, my lord?
    Lord Chief-Justice Where lay the king last night?

    GOWER

    At Basingstoke, my lord.

    FALSTAFF

    I hope, my lord, all's well: what is the news, my lord?
    Lord Chief-Justice Come all his forces back?

    GOWER

    No; fifteen hundred foot, five hundred horse,
    Are marched up to my lord of Lancaster,
    Against Northumberland and the Archbishop.

    FALSTAFF

    Comes the king back from Wales, my noble lord?
    Lord Chief-Justice You shall have letters of me presently:
    Come, go along with me, good Master Gower.

    FALSTAFF

    My lord!
    Lord Chief-Justice What's the matter?

    FALSTAFF

    Master Gower, shall I entreat you with me to dinner?

    GOWER

    I must wait upon my good lord here; I thank you,
    good Sir John.
    Lord Chief-Justice Sir John, you loiter here too long, being you are to
    take soldiers up in counties as you go.

    FALSTAFF

    Will you sup with me, Master Gower?
    Lord Chief-Justice What foolish master taught you these manners, Sir John?

    FALSTAFF

    Master Gower, if they become me not, he was a fool
    that taught them me. This is the right fencing
    grace, my lord; tap for tap, and so part fair.
    Lord Chief-Justice Now the Lord lighten thee! thou art a great fool.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. London. Another street.

    Enter PRINCE HENRY and POINS

    PRINCE HENRY

    Before God, I am exceeding weary.

    POINS

    Is't come to that? I had thought weariness durst not
    have attached one of so high blood.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Faith, it does me; though it discolours the
    complexion of my greatness to acknowledge it. Doth
    it not show vilely in me to desire small beer?

    POINS

    Why, a prince should not be so loosely studied as
    to remember so weak a composition.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Belike then my appetite was not princely got; for,
    by my troth, I do now remember the poor creature,
    small beer. But, indeed, these humble
    considerations make me out of love with my
    greatness. What a disgrace is it to me to remember
    thy name! or to know thy face to-morrow! or to
    take note how many pair of silk stockings thou
    hast, viz. these, and those that were thy
    peach-coloured ones! or to bear the inventory of thy
    shirts, as, one for superfluity, and another for
    use! But that the tennis-court-keeper knows better
    than I; for it is a low ebb of linen with thee when
    thou keepest not racket there; as thou hast not done
    a great while, because the rest of thy low
    countries have made a shift to eat up thy holland:
    and God knows, whether those that bawl out the ruins
    of thy linen shall inherit his kingdom: but the
    midwives say the children are not in the fault;
    whereupon the world increases, and kindreds are
    mightily strengthened.

    POINS

    How ill it follows, after you have laboured so hard,
    you should talk so idly! Tell me, how many good
    young princes would do so, their fathers being so
    sick as yours at this time is?

    PRINCE HENRY

    Shall I tell thee one thing, Poins?

    POINS

    Yes, faith; and let it be an excellent good thing.

    PRINCE HENRY

    It shall serve among wits of no higher breeding than thine.

    POINS

    Go to; I stand the push of your one thing that you
    will tell.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Marry, I tell thee, it is not meet that I should be
    sad, now my father is sick: albeit I could tell
    thee, as to one it pleases me, for fault of a
    better, to call my friend, I could be sad, and sad
    indeed too.

    POINS

    Very hardly upon such a subject.

    PRINCE HENRY

    By this hand thou thinkest me as far in the devil's
    book as thou and Falstaff for obduracy and
    persistency: let the end try the man. But I tell
    thee, my heart bleeds inwardly that my father is so
    sick: and keeping such vile company as thou art
    hath in reason taken from me all ostentation of sorrow.

    POINS

    The reason?

    PRINCE HENRY

    What wouldst thou think of me, if I should weep?

    POINS

    I would think thee a most princely hypocrite.

    PRINCE HENRY

    It would be every man's thought; and thou art a
    blessed fellow to think as every man thinks: never
    a man's thought in the world keeps the road-way
    better than thine: every man would think me an
    hypocrite indeed. And what accites your most
    worshipful thought to think so?

    POINS

    Why, because you have been so lewd and so much
    engraffed to Falstaff.

    PRINCE HENRY

    And to thee.

    POINS

    By this light, I am well spoke on; I can hear it
    with my own ears: the worst that they can say of
    me is that I am a second brother and that I am a
    proper fellow of my hands; and those two things, I
    confess, I cannot help. By the mass, here comes Bardolph.

    Enter BARDOLPH and Page

    PRINCE HENRY

    And the boy that I gave Falstaff: a' had him from
    me Christian; and look, if the fat villain have not
    transformed him ape.

    BARDOLPH

    God save your grace!

    PRINCE HENRY

    And yours, most noble Bardolph!

    BARDOLPH

    Come, you virtuous ass, you bashful fool, must you
    be blushing? wherefore blush you now? What a
    maidenly man-at-arms are you become! Is't such a
    matter to get a pottle-pot's maidenhead?

    Page

    A' calls me e'en now, my lord, through a red
    lattice, and I could discern no part of his face
    from the window: at last I spied his eyes, and
    methought he had made two holes in the ale-wife's
    new petticoat and so peeped through.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Has not the boy profited?

    BARDOLPH

    Away, you whoreson upright rabbit, away!

    Page

    Away, you rascally Althaea's dream, away!

    PRINCE HENRY

    Instruct us, boy; what dream, boy?

    Page

    Marry, my lord, Althaea dreamed she was delivered
    of a fire-brand; and therefore I call him her dream.

    PRINCE HENRY

    A crown's worth of good interpretation: there 'tis,
    boy.

    POINS

    O, that this good blossom could be kept from
    cankers! Well, there is sixpence to preserve thee.

    BARDOLPH

    An you do not make him hanged among you, the
    gallows shall have wrong.

    PRINCE HENRY

    And how doth thy master, Bardolph?

    BARDOLPH

    Well, my lord. He heard of your grace's coming to
    town: there's a letter for you.

    POINS

    Delivered with good respect. And how doth the
    martlemas, your master?

    BARDOLPH

    In bodily health, sir.

    POINS

    Marry, the immortal part needs a physician; but
    that moves not him: though that be sick, it dies
    not.

    PRINCE HENRY

    I do allow this wen to be as familiar with me as my
    dog; and he holds his place; for look you how be writes.

    POINS

    [Reads] 'John Falstaff, knight,'--every man must
    know that, as oft as he has occasion to name
    himself: even like those that are kin to the king;
    for they never prick their finger but they say,
    'There's some of the king's blood spilt.' 'How
    comes that?' says he, that takes upon him not to
    conceive. The answer is as ready as a borrower's
    cap, 'I am the king's poor cousin, sir.'

    PRINCE HENRY

    Nay, they will be kin to us, or they will fetch it
    from Japhet. But to the letter.

    POINS

    [Reads] 'Sir John Falstaff, knight, to the son of
    the king, nearest his father, Harry Prince of
    Wales, greeting.' Why, this is a certificate.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Peace!

    POINS

    [Reads] 'I will imitate the honourable Romans in
    brevity:' he sure means brevity in breath,
    short-winded. 'I commend me to thee, I commend
    thee, and I leave thee. Be not too familiar with
    Poins; for he misuses thy favours so much, that he
    swears thou art to marry his sister Nell. Repent
    at idle times as thou mayest; and so, farewell.
    Thine, by yea and no, which is as much as to
    say, as thou usest him, JACK FALSTAFF with my
    familiars, JOHN with my brothers and sisters,
    and SIR JOHN with all Europe.'
    My lord, I'll steep this letter in sack and make him eat it.

    PRINCE HENRY

    That's to make him eat twenty of his words. But do
    you use me thus, Ned? must I marry your sister?

    POINS

    God send the wench no worse fortune! But I never said so.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Well, thus we play the fools with the time, and the
    spirits of the wise sit in the clouds and mock us.
    Is your master here in London?

    BARDOLPH

    Yea, my lord.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Where sups he? doth the old boar feed in the old frank?

    BARDOLPH

    At the old place, my lord, in Eastcheap.

    PRINCE HENRY

    What company?

    Page

    Ephesians, my lord, of the old church.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Sup any women with him?

    Page

    None, my lord, but old Mistress Quickly and
    Mistress Doll Tearsheet.

    PRINCE HENRY

    What pagan may that be?

    Page

    A proper gentlewoman, sir, and a kinswoman of my master's.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Even such kin as the parish heifers are to the town
    bull. Shall we steal upon them, Ned, at supper?

    POINS

    I am your shadow, my lord; I'll follow you.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Sirrah, you boy, and Bardolph, no word to your
    master that I am yet come to town: there's for
    your silence.

    BARDOLPH

    I have no tongue, sir.

    Page

    And for mine, sir, I will govern it.

    PRINCE HENRY

    Fare you well; go.

    Exeunt BARDOLPH and Page
    This Doll Tearsheet should be some road.

    POINS

    I warrant you, as common as the way between Saint
    Alban's and London.

    PRINCE HENRY

    How might we see Falstaff bestow himself to-night
    in his true colours, and not ourselves be seen?

    POINS

    Put on two leathern jerkins and aprons, and wait
    upon him at his table as drawers.

    PRINCE HENRY

    From a God to a bull? a heavy decension! it was
    Jove's case. From a prince to a prentice? a low
    transformation! that shall be mine; for in every
    thing the purpose must weigh with the folly.
    Follow me, Ned.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. Warkworth. Before the castle.

    Enter NORTHUMBERLAND, LADY NORTHUMBERLAND, and LADY PERCY

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    I pray thee, loving wife, and gentle daughter,
    Give even way unto my rough affairs:
    Put not you on the visage of the times
    And be like them to Percy troublesome.
    LADY

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    I have given over, I will speak no more:
    Do what you will; your wisdom be your guide.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Alas, sweet wife, my honour is at pawn;
    And, but my going, nothing can redeem it.

    LADY PERCY

    O yet, for God's sake, go not to these wars!
    The time was, father, that you broke your word,
    When you were more endeared to it than now;
    When your own Percy, when my heart's dear Harry,
    Threw many a northward look to see his father
    Bring up his powers; but he did long in vain.
    Who then persuaded you to stay at home?
    There were two honours lost, yours and your son's.
    For yours, the God of heaven brighten it!
    For his, it stuck upon him as the sun
    In the grey vault of heaven, and by his light
    Did all the chivalry of England move
    To do brave acts: he was indeed the glass
    Wherein the noble youth did dress themselves:
    He had no legs that practised not his gait;
    And speaking thick, which nature made his blemish,
    Became the accents of the valiant;
    For those that could speak low and tardily
    Would turn their own perfection to abuse,
    To seem like him: so that in speech, in gait,
    In diet, in affections of delight,
    In military rules, humours of blood,
    He was the mark and glass, copy and book,
    That fashion'd others. And him, O wondrous him!
    O miracle of men! him did you leave,
    Second to none, unseconded by you,
    To look upon the hideous god of war
    In disadvantage; to abide a field
    Where nothing but the sound of Hotspur's name
    Did seem defensible: so you left him.
    Never, O never, do his ghost the wrong
    To hold your honour more precise and nice
    With others than with him! let them alone:
    The marshal and the archbishop are strong:
    Had my sweet Harry had but half their numbers,
    To-day might I, hanging on Hotspur's neck,
    Have talk'd of Monmouth's grave.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Beshrew your heart,
    Fair daughter, you do draw my spirits from me
    With new lamenting ancient oversights.
    But I must go and meet with danger there,
    Or it will seek me in another place
    And find me worse provided.
    LADY

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    O, fly to Scotland,
    Till that the nobles and the armed commons
    Have of their puissance made a little taste.

    LADY PERCY

    If they get ground and vantage of the king,
    Then join you with them, like a rib of steel,
    To make strength stronger; but, for all our loves,
    First let them try themselves. So did your son;
    He was so suffer'd: so came I a widow;
    And never shall have length of life enough
    To rain upon remembrance with mine eyes,
    That it may grow and sprout as high as heaven,
    For recordation to my noble husband.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Come, come, go in with me. 'Tis with my mind
    As with the tide swell'd up unto his height,
    That makes a still-stand, running neither way:
    Fain would I go to meet the archbishop,
    But many thousand reasons hold me back.
    I will resolve for Scotland: there am I,
    Till time and vantage crave my company.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. London. The Boar's-head Tavern in Eastcheap.

    Enter two Drawers

    First Drawer

    What the devil hast thou brought there? apple-johns?
    thou knowest Sir John cannot endure an apple-john.

    Second Drawer

    Mass, thou sayest true. The prince once set a dish
    of apple-johns before him, and told him there were
    five more Sir Johns, and, putting off his hat, said
    'I will now take my leave of these six dry, round,
    old, withered knights.' It angered him to the
    heart: but he hath forgot that.

    First Drawer

    Why, then, cover, and set them down: and see if
    thou canst find out Sneak's noise; Mistress
    Tearsheet would fain hear some music. Dispatch: the
    room where they supped is too hot; they'll come in straight.

    Second Drawer

    Sirrah, here will be the prince and Master Poins
    anon; and they will put on two of our jerkins and
    aprons; and Sir John must not know of it: Bardolph
    hath brought word.

    First Drawer

    By the mass, here will be old Utis: it will be an
    excellent stratagem.

    Second Drawer

    I'll see if I can find out Sneak.

    Exit

    Enter MISTRESS QUICKLY and DOLL TEARSHEET

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    I' faith, sweetheart, methinks now you are in an
    excellent good temperality: your pulsidge beats as
    extraordinarily as heart would desire; and your
    colour, I warrant you, is as red as any rose, in good
    truth, la! But, i' faith, you have drunk too much
    canaries; and that's a marvellous searching wine,
    and it perfumes the blood ere one can say 'What's
    this?' How do you now?

    DOLL TEARSHEET

    Better than I was: hem!

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Why, that's well said; a good heart's worth gold.
    Lo, here comes Sir John.

    Enter FALSTAFF

    FALSTAFF

    [Singing] 'When Arthur first in court,'
    --Empty the jordan.

    Exit First Drawer

    Singing
    --'And was a worthy king.' How now, Mistress Doll!

    MISTRESS QUICKLY

    Sick of a calm; yea, good faith.

    FALSTAFF

    So is all her sect; an they be once in a calm, they are sick.

    DOLL TEARSHEET

    You muddy rascal, is that all the comfort you give me?

    FALSTAFF

    You make fat rascals, Mistress Doll.

    DOLL TEARSHEET

    I make them! gluttony and diseases make them; I
    make them not.

    FALSTAFF

    If the cook help to make the gluttony, you help to<br
     
  3. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Life of King Henry the Fifth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry V | Entire play
    ACT I
    PROLOGUE

    Enter Chorus

    Chorus

    O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
    The brightest heaven of invention,
    A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
    And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!
    Then should the warlike Harry, like himself,
    Assume the port of Mars; and at his heels,
    Leash'd in like hounds, should famine, sword and fire
    Crouch for employment. But pardon, and gentles all,
    The flat unraised spirits that have dared
    On this unworthy scaffold to bring forth
    So great an object: can this cockpit hold
    The vasty fields of France? or may we cram
    Within this wooden O the very casques
    That did affright the air at Agincourt?
    O, pardon! since a crooked figure may
    Attest in little place a million;
    And let us, ciphers to this great accompt,
    On your imaginary forces work.
    Suppose within the girdle of these walls
    Are now confined two mighty monarchies,
    Whose high upreared and abutting fronts
    The perilous narrow ocean parts asunder:
    Piece out our imperfections with your thoughts;
    Into a thousand parts divide on man,
    And make imaginary puissance;
    Think when we talk of horses, that you see them
    Printing their proud hoofs i' the receiving earth;
    For 'tis your thoughts that now must deck our kings,
    Carry them here and there; jumping o'er times,
    Turning the accomplishment of many years
    Into an hour-glass: for the which supply,
    Admit me Chorus to this history;
    Who prologue-like your humble patience pray,
    Gently to hear, kindly to judge, our play.

    Exit

    SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the KING'S palace.

    Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, and the BISHOP OF ELY

    CANTERBURY

    My lord, I'll tell you; that self bill is urged,
    Which in the eleventh year of the last king's reign
    Was like, and had indeed against us pass'd,
    But that the scambling and unquiet time
    Did push it out of farther question.

    ELY

    But how, my lord, shall we resist it now?

    CANTERBURY

    It must be thought on. If it pass against us,
    We lose the better half of our possession:
    For all the temporal lands which men devout
    By testament have given to the church
    Would they strip from us; being valued thus:
    As much as would maintain, to the king's honour,
    Full fifteen earls and fifteen hundred knights,
    Six thousand and two hundred good esquires;
    And, to relief of lazars and weak age,
    Of indigent faint souls past corporal toil.
    A hundred almshouses right well supplied;
    And to the coffers of the king beside,
    A thousand pounds by the year: thus runs the bill.

    ELY

    This would drink deep.

    CANTERBURY

    'Twould drink the cup and all.

    ELY

    But what prevention?

    CANTERBURY

    The king is full of grace and fair regard.

    ELY

    And a true lover of the holy church.

    CANTERBURY

    The courses of his youth promised it not.
    The breath no sooner left his father's body,
    But that his wildness, mortified in him,
    Seem'd to die too; yea, at that very moment
    Consideration, like an angel, came
    And whipp'd the offending Adam out of him,
    Leaving his body as a paradise,
    To envelop and contain celestial spirits.
    Never was such a sudden scholar made;
    Never came reformation in a flood,
    With such a heady currance, scouring faults
    Nor never Hydra-headed wilfulness
    So soon did lose his seat and all at once
    As in this king.

    ELY

    We are blessed in the change.

    CANTERBURY

    Hear him but reason in divinity,
    And all-admiring with an inward wish
    You would desire the king were made a prelate:
    Hear him debate of commonwealth affairs,
    You would say it hath been all in all his study:
    List his discourse of war, and you shall hear
    A fearful battle render'd you in music:
    Turn him to any cause of policy,
    The Gordian knot of it he will unloose,
    Familiar as his garter: that, when he speaks,
    The air, a charter'd libertine, is still,
    And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears,
    To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences;
    So that the art and practic part of life
    Must be the mistress to this theoric:
    Which is a wonder how his grace should glean it,
    Since his addiction was to courses vain,
    His companies unletter'd, rude and shallow,
    His hours fill'd up with riots, banquets, sports,
    And never noted in him any study,
    Any retirement, any sequestration
    From open haunts and popularity.

    ELY

    The strawberry grows underneath the nettle
    And wholesome berries thrive and ripen best
    Neighbour'd by fruit of baser quality:
    And so the prince obscured his contemplation
    Under the veil of wildness; which, no doubt,
    Grew like the summer grass, fastest by night,
    Unseen, yet crescive in his faculty.

    CANTERBURY

    It must be so; for miracles are ceased;
    And therefore we must needs admit the means
    How things are perfected.

    ELY

    But, my good lord,
    How now for mitigation of this bill
    Urged by the commons? Doth his majesty
    Incline to it, or no?

    CANTERBURY

    He seems indifferent,
    Or rather swaying more upon our part
    Than cherishing the exhibiters against us;
    For I have made an offer to his majesty,
    Upon our spiritual convocation
    And in regard of causes now in hand,
    Which I have open'd to his grace at large,
    As touching France, to give a greater sum
    Than ever at one time the clergy yet
    Did to his predecessors part withal.

    ELY

    How did this offer seem received, my lord?

    CANTERBURY

    With good acceptance of his majesty;
    Save that there was not time enough to hear,
    As I perceived his grace would fain have done,
    The severals and unhidden passages
    Of his true titles to some certain dukedoms
    And generally to the crown and seat of France
    Derived from Edward, his great-grandfather.

    ELY

    What was the impediment that broke this off?

    CANTERBURY

    The French ambassador upon that instant
    Craved audience; and the hour, I think, is come
    To give him hearing: is it four o'clock?

    ELY

    It is.

    CANTERBURY

    Then go we in, to know his embassy;
    Which I could with a ready guess declare,
    Before the Frenchman speak a word of it.

    ELY

    I'll wait upon you, and I long to hear it.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. The same. The Presence chamber.

    Enter KING HENRY V, GLOUCESTER, BEDFORD, EXETER, WARWICK, WESTMORELAND, and Attendants

    KING HENRY V

    Where is my gracious Lord of Canterbury?

    EXETER

    Not here in presence.

    KING HENRY V

    Send for him, good uncle.

    WESTMORELAND

    Shall we call in the ambassador, my liege?

    KING HENRY V

    Not yet, my cousin: we would be resolved,
    Before we hear him, of some things of weight
    That task our thoughts, concerning us and France.

    Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY, and the BISHOP of ELY

    CANTERBURY

    God and his angels guard your sacred throne
    And make you long become it!

    KING HENRY V

    Sure, we thank you.
    My learned lord, we pray you to proceed
    And justly and religiously unfold
    Why the law Salique that they have in France
    Or should, or should not, bar us in our claim:
    And God forbid, my dear and faithful lord,
    That you should fashion, wrest, or bow your reading,
    Or nicely charge your understanding soul
    With opening titles miscreate, whose right
    Suits not in native colours with the truth;
    For God doth know how many now in health
    Shall drop their blood in approbation
    Of what your reverence shall incite us to.
    Therefore take heed how you impawn our person,
    How you awake our sleeping sword of war:
    We charge you, in the name of God, take heed;
    For never two such kingdoms did contend
    Without much fall of blood; whose guiltless drops
    Are every one a woe, a sore complaint
    'Gainst him whose wrong gives edge unto the swords
    That make such waste in brief mortality.
    Under this conjuration, speak, my lord;
    For we will hear, note and believe in heart
    That what you speak is in your conscience wash'd
    As pure as sin with baptism.

    CANTERBURY

    Then hear me, gracious sovereign, and you peers,
    That owe yourselves, your lives and services
    To this imperial throne. There is no bar
    To make against your highness' claim to France
    But this, which they produce from Pharamond,
    'In terram Salicam mulieres ne succedant:'
    'No woman shall succeed in Salique land:'
    Which Salique land the French unjustly gloze
    To be the realm of France, and Pharamond
    The founder of this law and female bar.
    Yet their own authors faithfully affirm
    That the land Salique is in Germany,
    Between the floods of Sala and of Elbe;
    Where Charles the Great, having subdued the Saxons,
    There left behind and settled certain French;
    Who, holding in disdain the German women
    For some dishonest manners of their life,
    Establish'd then this law; to wit, no female
    Should be inheritrix in Salique land:
    Which Salique, as I said, 'twixt Elbe and Sala,
    Is at this day in Germany call'd Meisen.
    Then doth it well appear that Salique law
    Was not devised for the realm of France:
    Nor did the French possess the Salique land
    Until four hundred one and twenty years
    After defunction of King Pharamond,
    Idly supposed the founder of this law;
    Who died within the year of our redemption
    Four hundred twenty-six; and Charles the Great
    Subdued the Saxons, and did seat the French
    Beyond the river Sala, in the year
    Eight hundred five. Besides, their writers say,
    King Pepin, which deposed Childeric,
    Did, as heir general, being descended
    Of Blithild, which was daughter to King Clothair,
    Make claim and title to the crown of France.
    Hugh Capet also, who usurped the crown
    Of Charles the duke of Lorraine, sole heir male
    Of the true line and stock of Charles the Great,
    To find his title with some shows of truth,
    'Through, in pure truth, it was corrupt and naught,
    Convey'd himself as heir to the Lady Lingare,
    Daughter to Charlemain, who was the son
    To Lewis the emperor, and Lewis the son
    Of Charles the Great. Also King Lewis the Tenth,
    Who was sole heir to the usurper Capet,
    Could not keep quiet in his conscience,
    Wearing the crown of France, till satisfied
    That fair Queen Isabel, his grandmother,
    Was lineal of the Lady Ermengare,
    Daughter to Charles the foresaid duke of Lorraine:
    By the which marriage the line of Charles the Great
    Was re-united to the crown of France.
    So that, as clear as is the summer's sun.
    King Pepin's title and Hugh Capet's claim,
    King Lewis his satisfaction, all appear
    To hold in right and title of the female:
    So do the kings of France unto this day;
    Howbeit they would hold up this Salique law
    To bar your highness claiming from the female,
    And rather choose to hide them in a net
    Than amply to imbar their crooked titles
    Usurp'd from you and your progenitors.

    KING HENRY V

    May I with right and conscience make this claim?

    CANTERBURY

    The sin upon my head, dread sovereign!
    For in the book of Numbers is it writ,
    When the man dies, let the inheritance
    Descend unto the daughter. Gracious lord,
    Stand for your own; unwind your bloody flag;
    Look back into your mighty ancestors:
    Go, my dread lord, to your great-grandsire's tomb,
    From whom you claim; invoke his warlike spirit,
    And your great-uncle's, Edward the Black Prince,
    Who on the French ground play'd a tragedy,
    Making defeat on the full power of France,
    Whiles his most mighty father on a hill
    Stood smiling to behold his lion's whelp
    Forage in blood of French nobility.
    O noble English. that could entertain
    With half their forces the full Pride of France
    And let another half stand laughing by,
    All out of work and cold for action!

    ELY

    Awake remembrance of these valiant dead
    And with your puissant arm renew their feats:
    You are their heir; you sit upon their throne;
    The blood and courage that renowned them
    Runs in your veins; and my thrice-puissant liege
    Is in the very May-morn of his youth,
    Ripe for exploits and mighty enterprises.

    EXETER

    Your brother kings and monarchs of the earth
    Do all expect that you should rouse yourself,
    As did the former lions of your blood.

    WESTMORELAND

    They know your grace hath cause and means and might;
    So hath your highness; never king of England
    Had nobles richer and more loyal subjects,
    Whose hearts have left their bodies here in England
    And lie pavilion'd in the fields of France.

    CANTERBURY

    O, let their bodies follow, my dear liege,
    With blood and sword and fire to win your right;
    In aid whereof we of the spiritualty
    Will raise your highness such a mighty sum
    As never did the clergy at one time
    Bring in to any of your ancestors.

    KING HENRY V

    We must not only arm to invade the French,
    But lay down our proportions to defend
    Against the Scot, who will make road upon us
    With all advantages.

    CANTERBURY

    They of those marches, gracious sovereign,
    Shall be a wall sufficient to defend
    Our inland from the pilfering borderers.

    KING HENRY V

    We do not mean the coursing snatchers only,
    But fear the main intendment of the Scot,
    Who hath been still a giddy neighbour to us;
    For you shall read that my great-grandfather
    Never went with his forces into France
    But that the Scot on his unfurnish'd kingdom
    Came pouring, like the tide into a breach,
    With ample and brim fulness of his force,
    Galling the gleaned land with hot assays,
    Girding with grievous siege castles and towns;
    That England, being empty of defence,
    Hath shook and trembled at the ill neighbourhood.

    CANTERBURY

    She hath been then more fear'd than harm'd, my liege;
    For hear her but exampled by herself:
    When all her chivalry hath been in France
    And she a mourning widow of her nobles,
    She hath herself not only well defended
    But taken and impounded as a stray
    The King of Scots; whom she did send to France,
    To fill King Edward's fame with prisoner kings
    And make her chronicle as rich with praise
    As is the ooze and bottom of the sea
    With sunken wreck and sunless treasuries.

    WESTMORELAND

    But there's a saying very old and true,
    'If that you will France win,
    Then with Scotland first begin:'
    For once the eagle England being in prey,
    To her unguarded nest the weasel Scot
    Comes sneaking and so sucks her princely eggs,
    Playing the mouse in absence of the cat,
    To tear and havoc more than she can eat.

    EXETER

    It follows then the cat must stay at home:
    Yet that is but a crush'd necessity,
    Since we have locks to safeguard necessaries,
    And pretty traps to catch the petty thieves.
    While that the armed hand doth fight abroad,
    The advised head defends itself at home;
    For government, though high and low and lower,
    Put into parts, doth keep in one consent,
    Congreeing in a full and natural close,
    Like music.

    CANTERBURY

    Therefore doth heaven divide
    The state of man in divers functions,
    Setting endeavour in continual motion;
    To which is fixed, as an aim or butt,
    Obedience: for so work the honey-bees,
    Creatures that by a rule in nature teach
    The act of order to a peopled kingdom.
    They have a king and officers of sorts;
    Where some, like magistrates, correct at home,
    Others, like merchants, venture trade abroad,
    Others, like soldiers, armed in their stings,
    Make boot upon the summer's velvet buds,
    Which pillage they with merry march bring home
    To the tent-royal of their emperor;
    Who, busied in his majesty, surveys
    The singing masons building roofs of gold,
    The civil citizens kneading up the honey,
    The poor mechanic porters crowding in
    Their heavy burdens at his narrow gate,
    The sad-eyed justice, with his surly hum,
    Delivering o'er to executors pale
    The lazy yawning drone. I this infer,
    That many things, having full reference
    To one consent, may work contrariously:
    As many arrows, loosed several ways,
    Come to one mark; as many ways meet in one town;
    As many fresh streams meet in one salt sea;
    As many lines close in the dial's centre;
    So may a thousand actions, once afoot.
    End in one purpose, and be all well borne
    Without defeat. Therefore to France, my liege.
    Divide your happy England into four;
    Whereof take you one quarter into France,
    And you withal shall make all Gallia shake.
    If we, with thrice such powers left at home,
    Cannot defend our own doors from the dog,
    Let us be worried and our nation lose
    The name of hardiness and policy.

    KING HENRY V

    Call in the messengers sent from the Dauphin.

    Exeunt some Attendants
    Now are we well resolved; and, by God's help,
    And yours, the noble sinews of our power,
    France being ours, we'll bend it to our awe,
    Or break it all to pieces: or there we'll sit,
    Ruling in large and ample empery
    O'er France and all her almost kingly dukedoms,
    Or lay these bones in an unworthy urn,
    Tombless, with no remembrance over them:
    Either our history shall with full mouth
    Speak freely of our acts, or else our grave,
    Like Turkish mute, shall have a tongueless mouth,
    Not worshipp'd with a waxen epitaph.

    Enter Ambassadors of France
    Now are we well prepared to know the pleasure
    Of our fair cousin Dauphin; for we hear
    Your greeting is from him, not from the king.

    First Ambassador

    May't please your majesty to give us leave
    Freely to render what we have in charge;
    Or shall we sparingly show you far off
    The Dauphin's meaning and our embassy?

    KING HENRY V

    We are no tyrant, but a Christian king;
    Unto whose grace our passion is as subject
    As are our wretches fetter'd in our prisons:
    Therefore with frank and with uncurbed plainness
    Tell us the Dauphin's mind.

    First Ambassador

    Thus, then, in few.
    Your highness, lately sending into France,
    Did claim some certain dukedoms, in the right
    Of your great predecessor, King Edward the Third.
    In answer of which claim, the prince our master
    Says that you savour too much of your youth,
    And bids you be advised there's nought in France
    That can be with a nimble galliard won;
    You cannot revel into dukedoms there.
    He therefore sends you, meeter for your spirit,
    This tun of treasure; and, in lieu of this,
    Desires you let the dukedoms that you claim
    Hear no more of you. This the Dauphin speaks.

    KING HENRY V

    What treasure, uncle?

    EXETER

    Tennis-balls, my liege.

    KING HENRY V

    We are glad the Dauphin is so pleasant with us;
    His present and your pains we thank you for:
    When we have march'd our rackets to these balls,
    We will, in France, by God's grace, play a set
    Shall strike his father's crown into the hazard.
    Tell him he hath made a match with such a wrangler
    That all the courts of France will be disturb'd
    With chaces. And we understand him well,
    How he comes o'er us with our wilder days,
    Not measuring what use we made of them.
    We never valued this poor seat of England;
    And therefore, living hence, did give ourself
    To barbarous licence; as 'tis ever common
    That men are merriest when they are from home.
    But tell the Dauphin I will keep my state,
    Be like a king and show my sail of greatness
    When I do rouse me in my throne of France:
    For that I have laid by my majesty
    And plodded like a man for working-days,
    But I will rise there with so full a glory
    That I will dazzle all the eyes of France,
    Yea, strike the Dauphin blind to look on us.
    And tell the pleasant prince this mock of his
    Hath turn'd his balls to gun-stones; and his soul
    Shall stand sore charged for the wasteful vengeance
    That shall fly with them: for many a thousand widows
    Shall this his mock mock out of their dear husbands;
    Mock mothers from their sons, mock castles down;
    And some are yet ungotten and unborn
    That shall have cause to curse the Dauphin's scorn.
    But this lies all within the will of God,
    To whom I do appeal; and in whose name
    Tell you the Dauphin I am coming on,
    To venge me as I may and to put forth
    My rightful hand in a well-hallow'd cause.
    So get you hence in peace; and tell the Dauphin
    His jest will savour but of shallow wit,
    When thousands weep more than did laugh at it.
    Convey them with safe conduct. Fare you well.

    Exeunt Ambassadors

    EXETER

    This was a merry message.

    KING HENRY V

    We hope to make the sender blush at it.
    Therefore, my lords, omit no happy hour
    That may give furtherance to our expedition;
    For we have now no thought in us but France,
    Save those to God, that run before our business.
    Therefore let our proportions for these wars
    Be soon collected and all things thought upon
    That may with reasonable swiftness add
    More feathers to our wings; for, God before,
    We'll chide this Dauphin at his father's door.
    Therefore let every man now task his thought,
    That this fair action may on foot be brought.

    Exeunt. Flourish

    ACT II
    PROLOGUE

    Enter Chorus

    Chorus

    Now all the youth of England are on fire,
    And silken dalliance in the wardrobe lies:
    Now thrive the armourers, and honour's thought
    Reigns solely in the breast of every man:
    They sell the pasture now to buy the horse,
    Following the mirror of all Christian kings,
    With winged heels, as English Mercuries.
    For now sits Expectation in the air,
    And hides a sword from hilts unto the point
    With crowns imperial, crowns and coronets,
    Promised to Harry and his followers.
    The French, advised by good intelligence
    Of this most dreadful preparation,
    Shake in their fear and with pale policy
    Seek to divert the English purposes.
    O England! model to thy inward greatness,
    Like little body with a mighty heart,
    What mightst thou do, that honour would thee do,
    Were all thy children kind and natural!
    But see thy fault! France hath in thee found out
    A nest of hollow bosoms, which he fills
    With treacherous crowns; and three corrupted men,
    One, Richard Earl of Cambridge, and the second,
    Henry Lord Scroop of Masham, and the third,
    Sir Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland,
    Have, for the gilt of France,--O guilt indeed!
    Confirm'd conspiracy with fearful France;
    And by their hands this grace of kings must die,
    If hell and treason hold their promises,
    Ere he take ship for France, and in Southampton.
    Linger your patience on; and we'll digest
    The abuse of distance; force a play:
    The sum is paid; the traitors are agreed;
    The king is set from London; and the scene
    Is now transported, gentles, to Southampton;
    There is the playhouse now, there must you sit:
    And thence to France shall we convey you safe,
    And bring you back, charming the narrow seas
    To give you gentle pass; for, if we may,
    We'll not offend one stomach with our play.
    But, till the king come forth, and not till then,
    Unto Southampton do we shift our scene.

    Exit

    SCENE I. London. A street.

    Enter Corporal NYM and Lieutenant BARDOLPH

    BARDOLPH

    Well met, Corporal Nym.

    NYM

    Good morrow, Lieutenant Bardolph.

    BARDOLPH

    What, are Ancient Pistol and you friends yet?

    NYM

    For my part, I care not: I say little; but when
    time shall serve, there shall be smiles; but that
    shall be as it may. I dare not fight; but I will
    wink and hold out mine iron: it is a simple one; but
    what though? it will toast cheese, and it will
    endure cold as another man's sword will: and
    there's an end.

    BARDOLPH

    I will bestow a breakfast to make you friends; and
    we'll be all three sworn brothers to France: let it
    be so, good Corporal Nym.

    NYM

    Faith, I will live so long as I may, that's the
    certain of it; and when I cannot live any longer, I
    will do as I may: that is my rest, that is the
    rendezvous of it.

    BARDOLPH

    It is certain, corporal, that he is married to Nell
    Quickly: and certainly she did you wrong; for you
    were troth-plight to her.

    NYM

    I cannot tell: things must be as they may: men may
    sleep, and they may have their throats about them at
    that time; and some say knives have edges. It must
    be as it may: though patience be a tired mare, yet
    she will plod. There must be conclusions. Well, I
    cannot tell.

    Enter PISTOL and Hostess

    BARDOLPH

    Here comes Ancient Pistol and his wife: good
    corporal, be patient here. How now, mine host Pistol!

    PISTOL

    Base tike, call'st thou me host? Now, by this hand,
    I swear, I scorn the term; Nor shall my Nell keep lodgers.

    Hostess

    No, by my troth, not long; for we cannot lodge and
    board a dozen or fourteen gentlewomen that live
    honestly by the prick of their needles, but it will
    be thought we keep a bawdy house straight.

    NYM and PISTOL draw
    O well a day, Lady, if he be not drawn now! we
    shall see wilful adultery and murder committed.

    BARDOLPH

    Good lieutenant! good corporal! offer nothing here.

    NYM

    Pish!

    PISTOL

    Pish for thee, Iceland dog! thou prick-ear'd cur of Iceland!

    Hostess

    Good Corporal Nym, show thy valour, and put up your sword.

    NYM

    Will you shog off? I would have you solus.

    PISTOL

    'Solus,' egregious dog? O viper vile!
    The 'solus' in thy most mervailous face;
    The 'solus' in thy teeth, and in thy throat,
    And in thy hateful lungs, yea, in thy maw, perdy,
    And, which is worse, within thy nasty mouth!
    I do retort the 'solus' in thy bowels;
    For I can take, and Pistol's cock is up,
    And flashing fire will follow.

    NYM

    I am not Barbason; you cannot conjure me. I have an
    humour to knock you indifferently well. If you grow
    foul with me, Pistol, I will scour you with my
    rapier, as I may, in fair terms: if you would walk
    off, I would prick your guts a little, in good
    terms, as I may: and that's the humour of it.

    PISTOL

    O braggart vile and damned furious wight!
    The grave doth gape, and doting death is near;
    Therefore exhale.

    BARDOLPH

    Hear me, hear me what I say: he that strikes the
    first stroke, I'll run him up to the hilts, as I am a soldier.

    Draws

    PISTOL

    An oath of mickle might; and fury shall abate.
    Give me thy fist, thy fore-foot to me give:
    Thy spirits are most tall.

    NYM

    I will cut thy throat, one time or other, in fair
    terms: that is the humour of it.

    PISTOL

    'Couple a gorge!'
    That is the word. I thee defy again.
    O hound of Crete, think'st thou my spouse to get?
    No; to the spital go,
    And from the powdering tub of infamy
    Fetch forth the lazar kite of Cressid's kind,
    Doll Tearsheet she by name, and her espouse:
    I have, and I will hold, the quondam Quickly
    For the only she; and--pauca, there's enough. Go to.

    Enter the Boy

    Boy

    Mine host Pistol, you must come to my master, and
    you, hostess: he is very sick, and would to bed.
    Good Bardolph, put thy face between his sheets, and
    do the office of a warming-pan. Faith, he's very ill.

    BARDOLPH

    Away, you rogue!

    Hostess

    By my troth, he'll yield the crow a pudding one of
    these days. The king has killed his heart. Good
    husband, come home presently.

    Exeunt Hostess and Boy

    BARDOLPH

    Come, shall I make you two friends? We must to
    France together: why the devil should we keep
    knives to cut one another's throats?

    PISTOL

    Let floods o'erswell, and fiends for food howl on!

    NYM

    You'll pay me the eight shillings I won of you at betting?

    PISTOL

    Base is the slave that pays.

    NYM

    That now I will have: that's the humour of it.

    PISTOL

    As manhood shall compound: push home.

    They draw

    BARDOLPH

    By this sword, he that makes the first thrust, I'll
    kill him; by this sword, I will.

    PISTOL

    Sword is an oath, and oaths must have their course.

    BARDOLPH

    Corporal Nym, an thou wilt be friends, be friends:
    an thou wilt not, why, then, be enemies with me too.
    Prithee, put up.

    NYM

    I shall have my eight shillings I won of you at betting?

    PISTOL

    A noble shalt thou have, and present pay;
    And liquor likewise will I give to thee,
    And friendship shall combine, and brotherhood:
    I'll live by Nym, and Nym shall live by me;
    Is not this just? for I shall sutler be
    Unto the camp, and profits will accrue.
    Give me thy hand.

    NYM

    I shall have my noble?

    PISTOL

    In cash most justly paid.

    NYM

    Well, then, that's the humour of't.

    Re-enter Hostess

    Hostess

    As ever you came of women, come in quickly to Sir
    John. Ah, poor heart! he is so shaked of a burning
    quotidian tertian, that it is most lamentable to
    behold. Sweet men, come to him.

    NYM

    The king hath run bad humours on the knight; that's
    the even of it.

    PISTOL

    Nym, thou hast spoke the right;
    His heart is fracted and corroborate.

    NYM

    The king is a good king: but it must be as it may;
    he passes some humours and careers.

    PISTOL

    Let us condole the knight; for, lambkins we will live.

    SCENE II. Southampton. A council-chamber.

    Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND

    BEDFORD

    'Fore God, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.

    EXETER

    They shall be apprehended by and by.

    WESTMORELAND

    How smooth and even they do bear themselves!
    As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,
    Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

    BEDFORD

    The king hath note of all that they intend,
    By interception which they dream not of.

    EXETER

    Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow,
    Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours,
    That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
    His sovereign's life to death and treachery.

    Trumpets sound. Enter KING HENRY V, SCROOP, CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and Attendants

    KING HENRY V

    Now sits the wind fair, and we will aboard.
    My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of Masham,
    And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts:
    Think you not that the powers we bear with us
    Will cut their passage through the force of France,
    Doing the execution and the act
    For which we have in head assembled them?

    SCROOP

    No doubt, my liege, if each man do his best.

    KING HENRY V

    I doubt not that; since we are well persuaded
    We carry not a heart with us from hence
    That grows not in a fair consent with ours,
    Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish
    Success and conquest to attend on us.

    CAMBRIDGE

    Never was monarch better fear'd and loved
    Than is your majesty: there's not, I think, a subject
    That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness
    Under the sweet shade of your government.

    GREY

    True: those that were your father's enemies
    Have steep'd their galls in honey and do serve you
    With hearts create of duty and of zeal.

    KING HENRY V

    We therefore have great cause of thankfulness;
    And shall forget the office of our hand,
    Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
    According to the weight and worthiness.

    SCROOP

    So service shall with steeled sinews toil,
    And labour shall refresh itself with hope,
    To do your grace incessant services.

    KING HENRY V

    We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,
    Enlarge the man committed yesterday,
    That rail'd against our person: we consider
    it was excess of wine that set him on;
    And on his more advice we pardon him.

    SCROOP

    That's mercy, but too much security:
    Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example
    Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.

    KING HENRY V

    O, let us yet be merciful.

    CAMBRIDGE

    So may your highness, and yet punish too.

    GREY

    Sir,
    You show great mercy, if you give him life,
    After the taste of much correction.

    KING HENRY V

    Alas, your too much love and care of me
    Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!
    If little faults, proceeding on distemper,
    Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our eye
    When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested,
    Appear before us? We'll yet enlarge that man,
    Though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, in their dear care
    And tender preservation of our person,
    Would have him punished. And now to our French causes:
    Who are the late commissioners?

    CAMBRIDGE

    I one, my lord:
    Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

    SCROOP

    So did you me, my liege.

    GREY

    And I, my royal sovereign.

    KING HENRY V

    Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;
    There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir knight,
    Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:
    Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.
    My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
    We will aboard to night. Why, how now, gentlemen!
    What see you in those papers that you lose
    So much complexion? Look ye, how they change!
    Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you there
    That hath so cowarded and chased your blood
    Out of appearance?

    CAMBRIDGE

    I do confess my fault;
    And do submit me to your highness' mercy.

    GREY SCROOP

    To which we all appeal.

    KING HENRY V

    The mercy that was quick in us but late,
    By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd:
    You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
    For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
    As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
    See you, my princes, and my noble peers,
    These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge here,
    You know how apt our love was to accord
    To furnish him with all appertinents
    Belonging to his honour; and this man
    Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,
    And sworn unto the practises of France,
    To kill us here in Hampton: to the which
    This knight, no less for bounty bound to us
    Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn. But, O,
    What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,
    Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature!
    Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
    That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,
    That almost mightst have coin'd me into gold,
    Wouldst thou have practised on me for thy use,
    May it be possible, that foreign hire
    Could out of thee extract one spark of evil
    That might annoy my finger? 'tis so strange,
    That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
    As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
    Treason and murder ever kept together,
    As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,
    Working so grossly in a natural cause,
    That admiration did not whoop at them:
    But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in
    Wonder to wait on treason and on murder:
    And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
    That wrought upon thee so preposterously
    Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:
    All other devils that suggest by treasons
    Do botch and bungle up damnation
    With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd
    From glistering semblances of piety;
    But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up,
    Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do treason,
    Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.
    If that same demon that hath gull'd thee thus
    Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
    He might return to vasty Tartar back,
    And tell the legions 'I can never win
    A soul so easy as that Englishman's.'
    O, how hast thou with 'jealousy infected
    The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
    Why, so didst thou: seem they grave and learned?
    Why, so didst thou: come they of noble family?
    Why, so didst thou: seem they religious?
    Why, so didst thou: or are they spare in diet,
    Free from gross passion or of mirth or anger,
    Constant in spirit, not swerving with the blood,
    Garnish'd and deck'd in modest complement,
    Not working with the eye without the ear,
    And but in purged judgment trusting neither?
    Such and so finely bolted didst thou seem:
    And thus thy fall hath left a kind of blot,
    To mark the full-fraught man and best indued
    With some suspicion. I will weep for thee;
    For this revolt of thine, methinks, is like
    Another fall of man. Their faults are open:
    Arrest them to the answer of the law;
    And God acquit them of their practises!

    EXETER

    I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
    Richard Earl of Cambridge.
    I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
    Henry Lord Scroop of Masham.
    I arrest thee of high treason, by the name of
    Thomas Grey, knight, of Northumberland.

    SCROOP

    Our purposes God justly hath discover'd;
    And I repent my fault more than my death;
    Which I beseech your highness to forgive,
    Although my body pay the price of it.

    CAMBRIDGE

    For me, the gold of France did not seduce;
    Although I did admit it as a motive
    The sooner to effect what I intended:
    But God be thanked for prevention;
    Which I in sufferance heartily will rejoice,
    Beseeching God and you to pardon me.

    GREY

    Never did faithful subject more rejoice
    At the discovery of most dangerous treason
    Than I do at this hour joy o'er myself.
    Prevented from a damned enterprise:
    My fault, but not my body, pardon, sovereign.

    KING HENRY V

    God quit you in his mercy! Hear your sentence.
    You have conspired against our royal person,
    Join'd with an enemy proclaim'd and from his coffers
    Received the golden earnest of our death;
    Wherein you would have sold your king to slaughter,
    His princes and his peers to servitude,
    His subjects to oppression and contempt
    And his whole kingdom into desolation.
    Touching our person seek we no revenge;
    But we our kingdom's safety must so tender,
    Whose ruin you have sought, that to her laws
    We do deliver you. Get you therefore hence,
    Poor miserable wretches, to your death:
    The taste whereof, God of his mercy give
    You patience to endure, and true repentance
    Of all your dear offences! Bear them hence.

    Exeunt CAMBRIDGE, SCROOP and GREY, guarded
    Now, lords, for France; the enterprise whereof
    Shall be to you, as us, like glorious.
    We doubt not of a fair and lucky war,
    Since God so graciously hath brought to light
    This dangerous treason lurking in our way
    To hinder our beginnings. We doubt not now
    But every rub is smoothed on our way.
    Then forth, dear countrymen: let us deliver
    Our puissance into the hand of God,
    Putting it straight in expedition.
    Cheerly to sea; the signs of war advance:
    No king of England, if not king of France.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. London. Before a tavern.

    Enter PISTOL, Hostess, NYM, BARDOLPH, and Boy

    Hostess

    Prithee, honey-sweet husband, let me bring thee to Staines.

    PISTOL

    No; for my manly heart doth yearn.
    Bardolph, be blithe: Nym, rouse thy vaunting veins:
    Boy, bristle thy courage up; for Falstaff he is dead,
    And we must yearn therefore.

    BARDOLPH

    Would I were with him, wheresome'er he is, either in
    heaven or in hell!

    Hostess

    Nay, sure, he's not in hell: he's in Arthur's
    bosom, if ever man went to Arthur's bosom. A' made
    a finer end and went away an it had been any
    christom child; a' parted even just between twelve
    and one, even at the turning o' the tide: for after
    I saw him fumble with the sheets and play with
    flowers and smile upon his fingers' ends, I knew
    there was but one way; for his nose was as sharp as
    a pen, and a' babbled of green fields. 'How now,
    sir John!' quoth I 'what, man! be o' good
    cheer.' So a' cried out 'God, God, God!' three or
    four times. Now I, to comfort him, bid him a'
    should not think of God; I hoped there was no need
    to trouble himself with any such thoughts yet. So
    a' bade me lay more clothes on his feet: I put my
    hand into the bed and felt them, and they were as
    cold as any stone; then I felt to his knees, and
    they were as cold as any stone, and so upward and
    upward, and all was as cold as any stone.

    NYM

    They say he cried out of sack.

    Hostess

    Ay, that a' did.

    BARDOLPH

    And of women.

    Hostess

    Nay, that a' did not.

    Boy

    Yes, that a' did; and said they were devils
    incarnate.

    Hostess

    A' could never abide carnation; 'twas a colour he
    never liked.

    Boy

    A' said once, the devil would have him about women.

    Hostess

    A' did in some sort, indeed, handle women; but then
    he was rheumatic, and talked of the whore of Babylon.

    Boy

    Do you not remember, a' saw a flea stick upon
    Bardolph's nose, and a' said it was a black soul
    burning in hell-fire?

    BARDOLPH

    Well, the fuel is gone that maintained that fire:
    that's all the riches I got in his service.

    NYM

    Shall we shog? the king will be gone from
    Southampton.

    PISTOL

    Come, let's away. My love, give me thy lips.
    Look to my chattels and my movables:
    Let senses rule; the word is 'Pitch and Pay:'
    Trust none;
    For oaths are straws, men's faiths are wafer-cakes,
    And hold-fast is the only dog, my duck:
    Therefore, Caveto be thy counsellor.
    Go, clear thy c rystals. Yoke-fellows in arms,
    Let us to France; like horse-leeches, my boys,
    To suck, to suck, the very blood to suck!

    Boy

    And that's but unwholesome food they say.

    PISTOL

    Touch her soft mouth, and march.

    BARDOLPH

    Farewell, hostess.

    Kissing her

    NYM

    I cannot kiss, that is the humour of it; but, adieu.

    PISTOL

    Let housewifery appear: keep close, I thee command.

    Hostess

    Farewell; adieu.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. France. The KING'S palace.

    Flourish. Enter the FRENCH KING, the DAUPHIN, the DUKES of BERRI and BRETAGNE, the Constable, and others

    KING OF FRANCE

    Thus comes the English with full power upon us;
    And more than carefully it us concerns
    To answer royally in our defences.
    Therefore the Dukes of Berri and of Bretagne,
    Of Brabant and of Orleans, shall make forth,
    And you, Prince Dauphin, with all swift dispatch,
    To line and new repair our towns of war
    With men of courage and with means defendant;
    For England his approaches makes as fierce
    As waters to the sucking of a gulf.
    It fits us then to be as provident
    As fear may teach us out of late examples
    Left by the fatal and neglected English
    Upon our fields.

    DAUPHIN

    My most redoubted father,
    It is most meet we arm us 'gainst the foe;
    For peace itself should not so dull a kingdom,
    Though war nor no known quarrel were in question,
    But that defences, musters, preparations,
    Should be maintain'd, assembled and collected,
    As were a war in expectation.
    Therefore, I say 'tis meet we all go forth
    To view the sick and feeble parts of France:
    And let us do it with no show of fear;
    No, with no more than if we heard that England
    Were busied with a Whitsun morris-dance:
    For, my good liege, she is so idly king'd,
    Her sceptre so fantastically borne
    By a vain, giddy, shallow, humorous youth,
    That fear attends her not.

    Constable

    O peace, Prince Dauphin!
    You are too much mistaken in this king:
    Question your grace the late ambassadors,
    With what great state he heard their embassy,
    How well supplied with noble counsellors,
    How modest in exception, and withal
    How terrible in constant resolution,
    And you shall find his vanities forespent
    Were but the outside of the Roman Brutus,
    Covering discretion with a coat of folly;
    As gardeners do with ordure hide those roots
    That shall first spring and be most delicate.

    DAUPHIN

    Well, 'tis not so, my lord high constable;
    But though we think it so, it is no matter:
    In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh
    The enemy more mighty than he seems:
    So the proportions of defence are fill'd;
    Which of a weak or niggardly projection
    Doth, like a miser, spoil his coat with scanting
    A little cloth.

    KING OF FRANCE

    Think we King Harry strong;
    And, princes, look you strongly arm to meet him.
    The kindred of him hath been flesh'd upon us;
    And he is bred out of that bloody strain
    That haunted us in our familiar paths:
    Witness our too much memorable shame
    When Cressy battle fatally was struck,
    And all our princes captiv'd by the hand
    Of that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales;
    Whiles that his mountain sire, on mountain standing,
    Up in the air, crown'd with the golden sun,
    Saw his heroical seed, and smiled to see him,
    Mangle the work of nature and deface
    The patterns that by God and by French fathers
    Had twenty years been made. This is a stem
    Of that victorious stock; and let us fear
    The native mightiness and fate of him.

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger

    Ambassadors from Harry King of England
    Do crave admittance to your majesty.

    KING OF FRANCE

    We'll give them present audience. Go, and bring them.

    Exeunt Messenger and certain Lords
    You see this chase is hotly follow'd, friends.

    DAUPHIN

    Turn head, and stop pursuit; for coward dogs
    Most spend their mouths when what they seem to threaten
    Runs far before them. Good my sovereign,
    Take up the English short, and let them know
    Of what a monarchy you are the head:
    Self-love, my liege, is not so vile a sin
    As self-neglecting.

    Re-enter Lords, with EXETER and train

    KING OF FRANCE

    From our brother England?

    EXETER

    From him; and thus he greets your majesty.
    He wills you, in the name of God Almighty,
    That you divest yourself, and lay apart
    The borrow'd glories that by gift of heaven,
    By law of nature and of nations, 'long
    To him and to his heirs; namely, the crown
    And all wide-stretched honours that pertain
    By custom and the ordinance of times
    Unto the crown of France. That you may know
    'Tis no sinister nor no awkward claim,
    Pick'd from the worm-holes of long-vanish'd days,
    Nor from the dust of old oblivion raked,
    He sends you this most memorable line,
    In every branch truly demonstrative;
    Willing to overlook this pedigree:
    And when you find him evenly derived
    From his most famed of famous ancestors,
    Edward the Third, he bids you then resign
    Your crown and kingdom, indirectly held
    From him the native and true challenger.

    KING OF FRANCE

    Or else what follows?

    EXETER

    Bloody constraint; for if you hide the crown
    Even in your hearts, there will he rake for it:
    Therefore in fierce tempest is he coming,
    In thunder and in earthquake, like a Jove,
    That, if requiring fail, he will compel;
    And bids you, in the bowels of the Lord,
    Deliver up the crown, and to take mercy
    On the poor souls for whom this hungry war
    Opens his vasty jaws; and on your head
    Turning the widows' tears, the orphans' cries
    The dead men's blood, the pining maidens groans,
    For husbands, fathers and betrothed lovers,
    That shall be swallow'd in this controversy.
    This is his claim, his threatening and my message;
    Unless the Dauphin be in presence here,
    To whom expressly I bring greeting too.

    KING OF FRANCE

    For us, we will consider of this further:
    To-morrow shall you bear our full intent
    Back to our brother England.

    DAUPHIN

    For the Dauphin,
    I stand here for him: what to him from England?

    EXETER

    Scorn and defiance; slight regard, contempt,
    And any thing that may not misbecome
    The mighty sender, doth he prize you at.
    Thus says my king; an' if your father's highness
    Do not, in grant of all demands at large,
    Sweeten the bitter mock you sent his majesty,
    He'll call you to so hot an answer of it,
    That caves and womby vaultages of France
    Shall chide your trespass and return your mock
    In second accent of his ordnance.

    DAUPHIN

    Say, if my father render fair return,
    It is against my will; for I desire
    Nothing but odds with England: to that end,
    As matching to his youth and vanity,
    I did present him with the Paris balls.

    EXETER

    He'll make your Paris Louvre shake for it,
    Were it the mistress-court of mighty Europe:
    And, be assured, you'll find a difference,
    As we his subjects have in wonder found,
    Between the promise of his greener days
    And these he masters now: now he weighs time
    Even to the utmost grain: that you shall read
    In your own losses, if he stay in France.

    KING OF FRANCE

    To-morrow shall you know our mind at full.

    EXETER

    Dispatch us with all speed, lest that our king
    Come here himself to question our delay;
    For he is footed in this land already.

    KING OF FRANCE

    You shall be soon dispatch's with fair conditions:
    A night is but small breath and little pause
    To answer matters of this consequence.

    Flourish. Exeunt

    ACT III
    PROLOGUE

    Enter Chorus

    Chorus

    Thus with imagined wing our swift scene flies
    In motion of no less celerity
    Than that of thought. Suppose that you have seen
    The well-appointed king at Hampton pier
    Embark his royalty; and his brave fleet
    With silken streamers the young Phoebus fanning:
    Play with your fancies, and in them behold
    Upon the hempen tackle ship-boys climbing;
    Hear the shrill whistle which doth order give
    To sounds confused; behold the threaden sails,
    Borne with the invisible and creeping wind,
    Draw the huge bottoms through the furrow'd sea,
    Breasting the lofty surge: O, do but think
    You stand upon the ravage and behold
    A city on the inconstant billows dancing;
    For so appears this fleet majestical,
    Holding due course to Harfleur. Follow, follow:
    Grapple your minds to sternage of this navy,
    And leave your England, as dead midnight still,
    Guarded with grandsires, babies and old women,
    Either past or not arrived to pith and puissance;
    For who is he, whose chin is but enrich'd
    With one appearing hair, that will not follow
    These cull'd and choice-drawn cavaliers to France?
    Work, work your thoughts, and therein see a siege;
    Behold the ordnance on their carriages,
    With fatal mouths gaping on girded Harfleur.
    Suppose the ambassador from the French comes back;
    Tells Harry that the king doth offer him
    Katharine his daughter, and with her, to dowry,
    Some petty and unprofitable dukedoms.
    The offer likes not: and the nimble gunner
    With linstock now the devilish cannon touches,

    Alarum, and chambers go off
    And down goes all before them. Still be kind,
    And eke out our performance with your mind.

    Exit

    SCENE I. France. Before Harfleur.

    Alarum. Enter KING HENRY, EXETER, BEDFORD, GLOUCESTER, and Soldiers, with scaling-ladders

    KING HENRY V

    Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
    Or close the wall up with our English dead.
    In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
    As modest stillness and humility:
    But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
    Then imitate the action of the tiger;
    Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
    Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
    Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
    Let pry through the portage of the head
    Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
    As fearfully as doth a galled rock
    O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
    Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
    Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
    Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
    To his full height. On, on, you noblest English.
    Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
    Fathers that, like so many Alexanders,
    Have in these parts from morn till even fought
    And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
    Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
    That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
    Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
    And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
    Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
    The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
    That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
    For there is none of you so mean and base,
    That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
    I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
    Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
    Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
    Cry 'God for Harry, England, and Saint George!'

    Exeunt. Alarum, and chambers go off

    SCENE II. The same.

    Enter NYM, BARDOLPH, PISTOL, and Boy

    BARDOLPH

    On, on, on, on, on! to the breach, to the breach!

    NYM

    Pray thee, corporal, stay: the knocks are too hot;
    and, for mine own part, I have not a case of lives:
    the humour of it is too hot, that is the very
    plain-song of it.

    PISTOL

    The plain-song is most just: for humours do abound:
    Knocks go and come; God's vassals drop and die;
    And sword and shield,
    In bloody field,
    Doth win immortal fame.

    Boy

    Would I were in an alehouse in London! I would give
    all my fame for a pot of ale and safety.

    PISTOL

    And I:
    If wishes would prevail with me,
    My purpose should not fail with me,
    But thither would I hie.

    Boy

    As duly, but not as truly,
    As bird doth sing on bough.

    Enter FLUELLEN

    FLUELLEN

    Up to the breach, you dogs! avaunt, you cullions!

    Driving them forward

    PISTOL

    Be merciful, great duke, to men of mould.
    Abate thy rage, abate thy manly rage,
    Abate thy rage, great duke!
    Good bawcock, bate thy rage; use lenity, sweet chuck!

    NYM

    These be good humours! your honour wins bad humours.

    Exeunt all but Boy

    Boy

    As young as I am, I have observed these three
    swashers. I am boy to them all three: but all they
    three, though they would serve me, could not be man
    to me; for indeed three such antics do not amount to
    a man. For Bardolph, he is white-livered and
    red-faced; by the means whereof a' faces it out, but
    fights not. For Pistol, he hath a killing tongue
    and a quiet sword; by the means whereof a' breaks
    words, and keeps whole weapons. For Nym, he hath
    heard that men of few words are the best men; and
    therefore he scorns to say his prayers, lest a'
    should be thought a coward: but his few bad words
    are matched with as few good deeds; for a' never
    broke any man's head but his own, and that was
    against a post when he was drunk. They will steal
    any thing, and call it purchase. Bardolph stole a
    lute-case, bore it twelve leagues, and sold it for
    three half pence. Nym and Bardolph are sworn
    brothers in filching, and in Calais they stole a
    fire-shovel: I knew by that piece of service the
    men would carry coals. They would have me as
    familiar with men's pockets as their gloves or their
    handkerchers: which makes much against my manhood,
    if I should take from another's pocket to put into
    mine; for it is plain pocketing up of wrongs. I
    must leave them, and seek some better service:
    their villany goes against my weak stomach, and
    therefore I must cast it up.

    Exit

    Re-enter FLUELLEN, GOWER following

    GOWER

    Captain Fluellen, you must come presently to the
    mines; the Duke of Gloucester would speak with you.

    FLUELLEN

    To the mines! tell you the duke, it is not so good
    to come to the mines; for, look you, the mines is
    not according to the disciplines of the war: the
    concavities of it is not sufficient; for, look you,
    the
     
  4. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The First part of King Henry the Sixth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry VI, part 1 | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. Westminster Abbey.

    Dead March. Enter the Funeral of KING HENRY the Fifth, attended on by Dukes of BEDFORD, Regent of France; GLOUCESTER, Protector; and EXETER, Earl of WARWICK, the BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, Heralds, &amp; c

    BEDFORD

    Hung be the heavens with black, yield day to night!
    Comets, importing change of times and states,
    Brandish your crystal tresses in the sky,
    And with them scourge the bad revolting stars
    That have consented unto Henry's death!
    King Henry the Fifth, too famous to live long!
    England ne'er lost a king of so much worth.

    GLOUCESTER

    England ne'er had a king until his time.
    Virtue he had, deserving to command:
    His brandish'd sword did blind men with his beams:
    His arms spread wider than a dragon's wings;
    His sparking eyes, replete with wrathful fire,
    More dazzled and drove back his enemies
    Than mid-day sun fierce bent against their faces.
    What should I say? his deeds exceed all speech:
    He ne'er lift up his hand but conquered.

    EXETER

    We mourn in black: why mourn we not in blood?
    Henry is dead and never shall revive:
    Upon a wooden coffin we attend,
    And death's dishonourable victory
    We with our stately presence glorify,
    Like captives bound to a triumphant car.
    What! shall we curse the planets of mishap
    That plotted thus our glory's overthrow?
    Or shall we think the subtle-witted French
    Conjurers and sorcerers, that afraid of him
    By magic verses have contrived his end?
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    He was a king bless'd of the King of kings.
    Unto the French the dreadful judgement-day
    So dreadful will not be as was his sight.
    The battles of the Lord of hosts he fought:
    The church's prayers made him so prosperous.

    GLOUCESTER

    The church! where is it? Had not churchmen pray'd,
    His thread of life had not so soon decay'd:
    None do you like but an effeminate prince,
    Whom, like a school-boy, you may over-awe.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Gloucester, whate'er we like, thou art protector
    And lookest to command the prince and realm.
    Thy wife is proud; she holdeth thee in awe,
    More than God or religious churchmen may.

    GLOUCESTER

    Name not religion, for thou lovest the flesh,
    And ne'er throughout the year to church thou go'st
    Except it be to pray against thy foes.

    BEDFORD

    Cease, cease these jars and rest your minds in peace:
    Let's to the altar: heralds, wait on us:
    Instead of gold, we'll offer up our arms:
    Since arms avail not now that Henry's dead.
    Posterity, await for wretched years,
    When at their mothers' moist eyes babes shall suck,
    Our isle be made a nourish of salt tears,
    And none but women left to wail the dead.
    Henry the Fifth, thy ghost I invocate:
    Prosper this realm, keep it from civil broils,
    Combat with adverse planets in the heavens!
    A far more glorious star thy soul will make
    Than Julius Caesar or bright--

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger

    My honourable lords, health to you all!
    Sad tidings bring I to you out of France,
    Of loss, of slaughter and discomfiture:
    Guienne, Champagne, Rheims, Orleans,
    Paris, Guysors, Poictiers, are all quite lost.

    BEDFORD

    What say'st thou, man, before dead Henry's corse?
    Speak softly, or the loss of those great towns
    Will make him burst his lead and rise from death.

    GLOUCESTER

    Is Paris lost? is Rouen yielded up?
    If Henry were recall'd to life again,
    These news would cause him once more yield the ghost.

    EXETER

    How were they lost? what treachery was used?

    Messenger

    No treachery; but want of men and money.
    Amongst the soldiers this is muttered,
    That here you maintain several factions,
    And whilst a field should be dispatch'd and fought,
    You are disputing of your generals:
    One would have lingering wars with little cost;
    Another would fly swift, but wanteth wings;
    A third thinks, without expense at all,
    By guileful fair words peace may be obtain'd.
    Awake, awake, English nobility!
    Let not sloth dim your horrors new-begot:
    Cropp'd are the flower-de-luces in your arms;
    Of England's coat one half is cut away.

    EXETER

    Were our tears wanting to this funeral,
    These tidings would call forth their flowing tides.

    BEDFORD

    Me they concern; Regent I am of France.
    Give me my steeled coat. I'll fight for France.
    Away with these disgraceful wailing robes!
    Wounds will I lend the French instead of eyes,
    To weep their intermissive miseries.

    Enter to them another Messenger

    Messenger

    Lords, view these letters full of bad mischance.
    France is revolted from the English quite,
    Except some petty towns of no import:
    The Dauphin Charles is crowned king of Rheims;
    The Bastard of Orleans with him is join'd;
    Reignier, Duke of Anjou, doth take his part;
    The Duke of Alencon flieth to his side.

    EXETER

    The Dauphin crowned king! all fly to him!
    O, whither shall we fly from this reproach?

    GLOUCESTER

    We will not fly, but to our enemies' throats.
    Bedford, if thou be slack, I'll fight it out.

    BEDFORD

    Gloucester, why doubt'st thou of my forwardness?
    An army have I muster'd in my thoughts,
    Wherewith already France is overrun.

    Enter another Messenger

    Messenger

    My gracious lords, to add to your laments,
    Wherewith you now bedew King Henry's hearse,
    I must inform you of a dismal fight
    Betwixt the stout Lord Talbot and the French.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    What! wherein Talbot overcame? is't so?

    Messenger

    O, no; wherein Lord Talbot was o'erthrown:
    The circumstance I'll tell you more at large.
    The tenth of August last this dreadful lord,
    Retiring from the siege of Orleans,
    Having full scarce six thousand in his troop.
    By three and twenty thousand of the French
    Was round encompassed and set upon.
    No leisure had he to enrank his men;
    He wanted pikes to set before his archers;
    Instead whereof sharp stakes pluck'd out of hedges
    They pitched in the ground confusedly,
    To keep the horsemen off from breaking in.
    More than three hours the fight continued;
    Where valiant Talbot above human thought
    Enacted wonders with his sword and lance:
    Hundreds he sent to hell, and none durst stand him;
    Here, there, and every where, enraged he flew:
    The French exclaim'd, the devil was in arms;
    All the whole army stood agazed on him:
    His soldiers spying his undaunted spirit
    A Talbot! a Talbot! cried out amain
    And rush'd into the bowels of the battle.
    Here had the conquest fully been seal'd up,
    If Sir John Fastolfe had not play'd the coward:
    He, being in the vaward, placed behind
    With purpose to relieve and follow them,
    Cowardly fled, not having struck one stroke.
    Hence grew the general wreck and massacre;
    Enclosed were they with their enemies:
    A base Walloon, to win the Dauphin's grace,
    Thrust Talbot with a spear into the back,
    Whom all France with their chief assembled strength
    Durst not presume to look once in the face.

    BEDFORD

    Is Talbot slain? then I will slay myself,
    For living idly here in pomp and ease,
    Whilst such a worthy leader, wanting aid,
    Unto his dastard foemen is betray'd.

    Messenger

    O no, he lives; but is took prisoner,
    And Lord Scales with him and Lord Hungerford:
    Most of the rest slaughter'd or took likewise.

    BEDFORD

    His ransom there is none but I shall pay:
    I'll hale the Dauphin headlong from his throne:
    His crown shall be the ransom of my friend;
    Four of their lords I'll change for one of ours.
    Farewell, my masters; to my task will I;
    Bonfires in France forthwith I am to make,
    To keep our great Saint George's feast withal:
    Ten thousand soldiers with me I will take,
    Whose bloody deeds shall make all Europe quake.

    Messenger

    So you had need; for Orleans is besieged;
    The English army is grown weak and faint:
    The Earl of Salisbury craveth supply,
    And hardly keeps his men from mutiny,
    Since they, so few, watch such a multitude.

    EXETER

    Remember, lords, your oaths to Henry sworn,
    Either to quell the Dauphin utterly,
    Or bring him in obedience to your yoke.

    BEDFORD

    I do remember it; and here take my leave,
    To go about my preparation.

    Exit

    GLOUCESTER

    I'll to the Tower with all the haste I can,
    To view the artillery and munition;
    And then I will proclaim young Henry king.

    Exit

    EXETER

    To Eltham will I, where the young king is,
    Being ordain'd his special governor,
    And for his safety there I'll best devise.

    Exit
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Each hath his place and function to attend:
    I am left out; for me nothing remains.
    But long I will not be Jack out of office:
    The king from Eltham I intend to steal
    And sit at chiefest stern of public weal.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. France. Before Orleans.

    Sound a flourish. Enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and REIGNIER, marching with drum and Soldiers

    CHARLES

    Mars his true moving, even as in the heavens
    So in the earth, to this day is not known:
    Late did he shine upon the English side;
    Now we are victors; upon us he smiles.
    What towns of any moment but we have?
    At pleasure here we lie near Orleans;
    Otherwhiles the famish'd English, like pale ghosts,
    Faintly besiege us one hour in a month.

    ALENCON

    They want their porridge and their fat bull-beeves:
    Either they must be dieted like mules
    And have their provender tied to their mouths
    Or piteous they will look, like drowned mice.

    REIGNIER

    Let's raise the siege: why live we idly here?
    Talbot is taken, whom we wont to fear:
    Remaineth none but mad-brain'd Salisbury;
    And he may well in fretting spend his gall,
    Nor men nor money hath he to make war.

    CHARLES

    Sound, sound alarum! we will rush on them.
    Now for the honour of the forlorn French!
    Him I forgive my death that killeth me
    When he sees me go back one foot or fly.

    Exeunt

    Here alarum; they are beaten back by the English with great loss. Re-enter CHARLES, ALENCON, and REIGNIER

    CHARLES

    Who ever saw the like? what men have I!
    Dogs! cowards! dastards! I would ne'er have fled,
    But that they left me 'midst my enemies.

    REIGNIER

    Salisbury is a desperate homicide;
    He fighteth as one weary of his life.
    The other lords, like lions wanting food,
    Do rush upon us as their hungry prey.

    ALENCON

    Froissart, a countryman of ours, records,
    England all Olivers and Rowlands bred,
    During the time Edward the Third did reign.
    More truly now may this be verified;
    For none but Samsons and Goliases
    It sendeth forth to skirmish. One to ten!
    Lean, raw-boned rascals! who would e'er suppose
    They had such courage and audacity?

    CHARLES

    Let's leave this town; for they are hare-brain'd slaves,
    And hunger will enforce them to be more eager:
    Of old I know them; rather with their teeth
    The walls they'll tear down than forsake the siege.

    REIGNIER

    I think, by some odd gimmors or device
    Their arms are set like clocks, stiff to strike on;
    Else ne'er could they hold out so as they do.
    By my consent, we'll even let them alone.

    ALENCON

    Be it so.

    Enter the BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    Where's the Prince Dauphin? I have news for him.

    CHARLES

    Bastard of Orleans, thrice welcome to us.

    BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    Methinks your looks are sad, your cheer appall'd:
    Hath the late overthrow wrought this offence?
    Be not dismay'd, for succor is at hand:
    A holy maid hither with me I bring,
    Which by a vision sent to her from heaven
    Ordained is to raise this tedious siege
    And drive the English forth the bounds of France.
    The spirit of deep prophecy she hath,
    Exceeding the nine sibyls of old Rome:
    What's past and what's to come she can descry.
    Speak, shall I call her in? Believe my words,
    For they are certain and unfallible.

    CHARLES

    Go, call her in.

    Exit BASTARD OF ORLEANS
    But first, to try her skill,
    Reignier, stand thou as Dauphin in my place:
    Question her proudly; let thy looks be stern:
    By this means shall we sound what skill she hath.

    Re-enter the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, with JOAN LA PUCELLE

    REIGNIER

    Fair maid, is't thou wilt do these wondrous feats?

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Reignier, is't thou that thinkest to beguile me?
    Where is the Dauphin? Come, come from behind;
    I know thee well, though never seen before.
    Be not amazed, there's nothing hid from me:
    In private will I talk with thee apart.
    Stand back, you lords, and give us leave awhile.

    REIGNIER

    She takes upon her bravely at first dash.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Dauphin, I am by birth a shepherd's daughter,
    My wit untrain'd in any kind of art.
    Heaven and our Lady gracious hath it pleased
    To shine on my contemptible estate:
    Lo, whilst I waited on my tender lambs,
    And to sun's parching heat display'd my cheeks,
    God's mother deigned to appear to me
    And in a vision full of majesty
    Will'd me to leave my base vocation
    And free my country from calamity:
    Her aid she promised and assured success:
    In complete glory she reveal'd herself;
    And, whereas I was black and swart before,
    With those clear rays which she infused on me
    That beauty am I bless'd with which you see.
    Ask me what question thou canst possible,
    And I will answer unpremeditated:
    My courage try by combat, if thou darest,
    And thou shalt find that I exceed my sex.
    Resolve on this, thou shalt be fortunate,
    If thou receive me for thy warlike mate.

    CHARLES

    Thou hast astonish'd me with thy high terms:
    Only this proof I'll of thy valour make,
    In single combat thou shalt buckle with me,
    And if thou vanquishest, thy words are true;
    Otherwise I renounce all confidence.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    I am prepared: here is my keen-edged sword,
    Deck'd with five flower-de-luces on each side;
    The which at Touraine, in Saint Katharine's
    churchyard,
    Out of a great deal of old iron I chose forth.

    CHARLES

    Then come, o' God's name; I fear no woman.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    And while I live, I'll ne'er fly from a man.

    Here they fight, and JOAN LA PUCELLE overcomes

    CHARLES

    Stay, stay thy hands! thou art an Amazon
    And fightest with the sword of Deborah.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Christ's mother helps me, else I were too weak.

    CHARLES

    Whoe'er helps thee, 'tis thou that must help me:
    Impatiently I burn with thy desire;
    My heart and hands thou hast at once subdued.
    Excellent Pucelle, if thy name be so,
    Let me thy servant and not sovereign be:
    'Tis the French Dauphin sueth to thee thus.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    I must not yield to any rites of love,
    For my profession's sacred from above:
    When I have chased all thy foes from hence,
    Then will I think upon a recompense.

    CHARLES

    Meantime look gracious on thy prostrate thrall.

    REIGNIER

    My lord, methinks, is very long in talk.

    ALENCON

    Doubtless he shrives this woman to her smock;
    Else ne'er could he so long protract his speech.

    REIGNIER

    Shall we disturb him, since he keeps no mean?

    ALENCON

    He may mean more than we poor men do know:
    These women are shrewd tempters with their tongues.

    REIGNIER

    My lord, where are you? what devise you on?
    Shall we give over Orleans, or no?

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Why, no, I say, distrustful recreants!
    Fight till the last gasp; I will be your guard.

    CHARLES

    What she says I'll confirm: we'll fight it out.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Assign'd am I to be the English scourge.
    This night the siege assuredly I'll raise:
    Expect Saint Martin's summer, halcyon days,
    Since I have entered into these wars.
    Glory is like a circle in the water,
    Which never ceaseth to enlarge itself
    Till by broad spreading it disperse to nought.
    With Henry's death the English circle ends;
    Dispersed are the glories it included.
    Now am I like that proud insulting ship
    Which Caesar and his fortune bare at once.

    CHARLES

    Was Mahomet inspired with a dove?
    Thou with an eagle art inspired then.
    Helen, the mother of great Constantine,
    Nor yet Saint Philip's daughters, were like thee.
    Bright star of Venus, fall'n down on the earth,
    How may I reverently worship thee enough?

    ALENCON

    Leave off delays, and let us raise the siege.

    REIGNIER

    Woman, do what thou canst to save our honours;
    Drive them from Orleans and be immortalized.

    CHARLES

    Presently we'll try: come, let's away about it:
    No prophet will I trust, if she prove false.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. London. Before the Tower.

    Enter GLOUCESTER, with his Serving-men in blue coats

    GLOUCESTER

    I am come to survey the Tower this day:
    Since Henry's death, I fear, there is conveyance.
    Where be these warders, that they wait not here?
    Open the gates; 'tis Gloucester that calls.

    First Warder

    [Within] Who's there that knocks so imperiously?
    First Serving-Man It is the noble Duke of Gloucester.

    Second Warder

    [Within] Whoe'er he be, you may not be let in.
    First Serving-Man Villains, answer you so the lord protector?

    First Warder

    [Within] The Lord protect him! so we answer him:
    We do no otherwise than we are will'd.

    GLOUCESTER

    Who willed you? or whose will stands but mine?
    There's none protector of the realm but I.
    Break up the gates, I'll be your warrantize.
    Shall I be flouted thus by dunghill grooms?

    Gloucester's men rush at the Tower Gates, and WOODVILE the Lieutenant speaks within

    WOODVILE

    What noise is this? what traitors have we here?

    GLOUCESTER

    Lieutenant, is it you whose voice I hear?
    Open the gates; here's Gloucester that would enter.

    WOODVILE

    Have patience, noble duke; I may not open;
    The Cardinal of Winchester forbids:
    From him I have express commandment
    That thou nor none of thine shall be let in.

    GLOUCESTER

    Faint-hearted Woodvile, prizest him 'fore me?
    Arrogant Winchester, that haughty prelate,
    Whom Henry, our late sovereign, ne'er could brook?
    Thou art no friend to God or to the king:
    Open the gates, or I'll shut thee out shortly.
    Serving-Men Open the gates unto the lord protector,
    Or we'll burst them open, if that you come not quickly.

    Enter to the Protector at the Tower Gates BISHOP OF WINCHESTER and his men in tawny coats
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    How now, ambitious Humphry! what means this?

    GLOUCESTER

    Peel'd priest, dost thou command me to be shut out?
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    I do, thou most usurping proditor,
    And not protector, of the king or realm.

    GLOUCESTER

    Stand back, thou manifest conspirator,
    Thou that contrivedst to murder our dead lord;
    Thou that givest whores indulgences to sin:
    I'll canvass thee in thy broad cardinal's hat,
    If thou proceed in this thy insolence.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Nay, stand thou back, I will not budge a foot:
    This be Damascus, be thou cursed Cain,
    To slay thy brother Abel, if thou wilt.

    GLOUCESTER

    I will not slay thee, but I'll drive thee back:
    Thy scarlet robes as a child's bearing-cloth
    I'll use to carry thee out of this place.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Do what thou darest; I beard thee to thy face.

    GLOUCESTER

    What! am I dared and bearded to my face?
    Draw, men, for all this privileged place;
    Blue coats to tawny coats. Priest, beware your beard,
    I mean to tug it and to cuff you soundly:
    Under my feet I stamp thy cardinal's hat:
    In spite of pope or dignities of church,
    Here by the cheeks I'll drag thee up and down.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Gloucester, thou wilt answer this before the pope.

    GLOUCESTER

    Winchester goose, I cry, a rope! a rope!
    Now beat them hence; why do you let them stay?
    Thee I'll chase hence, thou wolf in sheep's array.
    Out, tawny coats! out, scarlet hypocrite!

    Here GLOUCESTER's men beat out BISHOP OF WINCHESTER's men, and enter in the hurly- burly the Mayor of London and his Officers

    Mayor

    Fie, lords! that you, being supreme magistrates,
    Thus contumeliously should break the peace!

    GLOUCESTER

    Peace, mayor! thou know'st little of my wrongs:
    Here's Beaufort, that regards nor God nor king,
    Hath here distrain'd the Tower to his use.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Here's Gloucester, a foe to citizens,
    One that still motions war and never peace,
    O'ercharging your free purses with large fines,
    That seeks to overthrow religion,
    Because he is protector of the realm,
    And would have armour here out of the Tower,
    To crown himself king and suppress the prince.

    GLOUCESTER

    I will not answer thee with words, but blows.

    Here they skirmish again

    Mayor

    Naught rests for me in this tumultuous strife
    But to make open proclamation:
    Come, officer; as loud as e'er thou canst,
    Cry.

    Officer

    All manner of men assembled here in arms this day
    against God's peace and the king's, we charge and
    command you, in his highness' name, to repair to
    your several dwelling-places; and not to wear,
    handle, or use any sword, weapon, or dagger,
    henceforward, upon pain of death.

    GLOUCESTER

    Cardinal, I'll be no breaker of the law:
    But we shall meet, and break our minds at large.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Gloucester, we will meet; to thy cost, be sure:
    Thy heart-blood I will have for this day's work.

    Mayor

    I'll call for clubs, if you will not away.
    This cardinal's more haughty than the devil.

    GLOUCESTER

    Mayor, farewell: thou dost but what thou mayst.
    BISHOP

    OF WINCHESTER

    Abominable Gloucester, guard thy head;
    For I intend to have it ere long.

    Exeunt, severally, GLOUCESTER and BISHOP OF WINCHESTER with their Serving-men

    Mayor

    See the coast clear'd, and then we will depart.
    Good God, these nobles should such stomachs bear!
    I myself fight not once in forty year.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. Orleans.

    Enter, on the walls, a Master Gunner and his Boy

    Master-Gunner Sirrah, thou know'st how Orleans is besieged,
    And how the English have the suburbs won.

    Boy

    Father, I know; and oft have shot at them,
    Howe'er unfortunate I miss'd my aim.
    Master-Gunner But now thou shalt not. Be thou ruled by me:
    Chief master-gunner am I of this town;
    Something I must do to procure me grace.
    The prince's espials have informed me
    How the English, in the suburbs close intrench'd,
    Wont, through a secret grate of iron bars
    In yonder tower, to overpeer the city,
    And thence discover how with most advantage
    They may vex us with shot, or with assault.
    To intercept this inconvenience,
    A piece of ordnance 'gainst it I have placed;
    And even these three days have I watch'd,
    If I could see them.
    Now do thou watch, for I can stay no longer.
    If thou spy'st any, run and bring me word;
    And thou shalt find me at the governor's.

    Exit

    Boy

    Father, I warrant you; take you no care;
    I'll never trouble you, if I may spy them.

    Exit

    Enter, on the turrets, SALISBURY and TALBOT, GLANSDALE, GARGRAVE, and others

    SALISBURY

    Talbot, my life, my joy, again return'd!
    How wert thou handled being prisoner?
    Or by what means got'st thou to be released?
    Discourse, I prithee, on this turret's top.

    TALBOT

    The Duke of Bedford had a prisoner
    Call'd the brave Lord Ponton de Santrailles;
    For him was I exchanged and ransomed.
    But with a baser man of arms by far
    Once in contempt they would have barter'd me:
    Which I, disdaining, scorn'd; and craved death,
    Rather than I would be so vile esteem'd.
    In fine, redeem'd I was as I desired.
    But, O! the treacherous Fastolfe wounds my heart,
    Whom with my bare fists I would execute,
    If I now had him brought into my power.

    SALISBURY

    Yet tell'st thou not how thou wert entertain'd.

    TALBOT

    With scoffs and scorns and contumelious taunts.
    In open market-place produced they me,
    To be a public spectacle to all:
    Here, said they, is the terror of the French,
    The scarecrow that affrights our children so.
    Then broke I from the officers that led me,
    And with my nails digg'd stones out of the ground,
    To hurl at the beholders of my shame:
    My grisly countenance made others fly;
    None durst come near for fear of sudden death.
    In iron walls they deem'd me not secure;
    So great fear of my name 'mongst them was spread,
    That they supposed I could rend bars of steel,
    And spurn in pieces posts of adamant:
    Wherefore a guard of chosen shot I had,
    That walked about me every minute-while;
    And if I did but stir out of my bed,
    Ready they were to shoot me to the heart.

    Enter the Boy with a linstock

    SALISBURY

    I grieve to hear what torments you endured,
    But we will be revenged sufficiently
    Now it is supper-time in Orleans:
    Here, through this grate, I count each one
    and view the Frenchmen how they fortify:
    Let us look in; the sight will much delight thee.
    Sir Thomas Gargrave, and Sir William Glansdale,
    Let me have your express opinions
    Where is best place to make our battery next.

    GARGRAVE

    I think, at the north gate; for there stand lords.

    GLANSDALE

    And I, here, at the bulwark of the bridge.

    TALBOT

    For aught I see, this city must be famish'd,
    Or with light skirmishes enfeebled.

    Here they shoot. SALISBURY and GARGRAVE fall

    SALISBURY

    O Lord, have mercy on us, wretched sinners!

    GARGRAVE

    O Lord, have mercy on me, woful man!

    TALBOT

    What chance is this that suddenly hath cross'd us?
    Speak, Salisbury; at least, if thou canst speak:
    How farest thou, mirror of all martial men?
    One of thy eyes and thy cheek's side struck off!
    Accursed tower! accursed fatal hand
    That hath contrived this woful tragedy!
    In thirteen battles Salisbury o'ercame;
    Henry the Fifth he first train'd to the wars;
    Whilst any trump did sound, or drum struck up,
    His sword did ne'er leave striking in the field.
    Yet livest thou, Salisbury? though thy speech doth fail,
    One eye thou hast, to look to heaven for grace:
    The sun with one eye vieweth all the world.
    Heaven, be thou gracious to none alive,
    If Salisbury wants mercy at thy hands!
    Bear hence his body; I will help to bury it.
    Sir Thomas Gargrave, hast thou any life?
    Speak unto Talbot; nay, look up to him.
    Salisbury, cheer thy spirit with this comfort;
    Thou shalt not die whiles--
    He beckons with his hand and smiles on me.
    As who should say 'When I am dead and gone,
    Remember to avenge me on the French.'
    Plantagenet, I will; and like thee, Nero,
    Play on the lute, beholding the towns burn:
    Wretched shall France be only in my name.

    Here an alarum, and it thunders and lightens
    What stir is this? what tumult's in the heavens?
    Whence cometh this alarum and the noise?

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger

    My lord, my lord, the French have gathered head:
    The Dauphin, with one Joan la Pucelle join'd,
    A holy prophetess new risen up,
    Is come with a great power to raise the siege.

    Here SALISBURY lifteth himself up and groans

    TALBOT

    Hear, hear how dying Salisbury doth groan!
    It irks his heart he cannot be revenged.
    Frenchmen, I'll be a Salisbury to you:
    Pucelle or puzzel, dolphin or dogfish,
    Your hearts I'll stamp out with my horse's heels,
    And make a quagmire of your mingled brains.
    Convey me Salisbury into his tent,
    And then we'll try what these dastard Frenchmen dare.

    Alarum. Exeunt

    SCENE V. The same.

    Here an alarum again: and TALBOT pursueth the DAUPHIN, and driveth him: then enter JOAN LA PUCELLE, driving Englishmen before her, and exit after them then re-enter TALBOT

    TALBOT

    Where is my strength, my valour, and my force?
    Our English troops retire, I cannot stay them:
    A woman clad in armour chaseth them.

    Re-enter JOAN LA PUCELLE
    Here, here she comes. I'll have a bout with thee;
    Devil or devil's dam, I'll conjure thee:
    Blood will I draw on thee, thou art a witch,
    And straightway give thy soul to him thou servest.

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Come, come, 'tis only I that must disgrace thee.

    Here they fight

    TALBOT

    Heavens, can you suffer hell so to prevail?
    My breast I'll burst with straining of my courage
    And from my shoulders crack my arms asunder.
    But I will chastise this high-minded strumpet.

    They fight again

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Talbot, farewell; thy hour is not yet come:
    I must go victual Orleans forthwith.

    A short alarum; then enter the town with soldiers
    O'ertake me, if thou canst; I scorn thy strength.
    Go, go, cheer up thy hungry-starved men;
    Help Salisbury to make his testament:
    This day is ours, as many more shall be.

    Exit

    TALBOT

    My thoughts are whirled like a potter's wheel;
    I know not where I am, nor what I do;
    A witch, by fear, not force, like Hannibal,
    Drives back our troops and conquers as she lists:
    So bees with smoke and doves with noisome stench
    Are from their hives and houses driven away.
    They call'd us for our fierceness English dogs;
    Now, like to whelps, we crying run away.

    A short alarum
    Hark, countrymen! either renew the fight,
    Or tear the lions out of England's coat;
    Renounce your soil, give sheep in lions' stead:
    Sheep run not half so treacherous from the wolf,
    Or horse or oxen from the leopard,
    As you fly from your oft-subdued slaves.

    Alarum. Here another skirmish
    It will not be: retire into your trenches:
    You all consented unto Salisbury's death,
    For none would strike a stroke in his revenge.
    Pucelle is enter'd into Orleans,
    In spite of us or aught that we could do.
    O, would I were to die with Salisbury!
    The shame hereof will make me hide my head.

    Exit TALBOT. Alarum; retreat; flourish

    SCENE VI. The same.

    Enter, on the walls, JOAN LA PUCELLE, CHARLES, REIGNIER, ALENCON, and Soldiers

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Advance our waving colours on the walls;
    Rescued is Orleans from the English
    Thus Joan la Pucelle hath perform'd her word.

    CHARLES

    Divinest creature, Astraea's daughter,
    How shall I honour thee for this success?
    Thy promises are like Adonis' gardens
    That one day bloom'd and fruitful were the next.
    France, triumph in thy glorious prophetess!
    Recover'd is the town of Orleans:
    More blessed hap did ne'er befall our state.

    REIGNIER

    Why ring not out the bells aloud throughout the town?
    Dauphin, command the citizens make bonfires
    And feast and banquet in the open streets,
    To celebrate the joy that God hath given us.

    ALENCON

    All France will be replete with mirth and joy,
    When they shall hear how we have play'd the men.

    CHARLES

    'Tis Joan, not we, by whom the day is won;
    For which I will divide my crown with her,
    And all the priests and friars in my realm
    Shall in procession sing her endless praise.
    A statelier pyramis to her I'll rear
    Than Rhodope's or Memphis' ever was:
    In memory of her when she is dead,
    Her ashes, in an urn more precious
    Than the rich-jewel'd of Darius,
    Transported shall be at high festivals
    Before the kings and queens of France.
    No longer on Saint Denis will we cry,
    But Joan la Pucelle shall be France's saint.
    Come in, and let us banquet royally,
    After this golden day of victory.

    Flourish. Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Before Orleans.

    Enter a Sergeant of a band with two Sentinels

    Sergeant

    Sirs, take your places and be vigilant:
    If any noise or soldier you perceive
    Near to the walls, by some apparent sign
    Let us have knowledge at the court of guard.

    First Sentinel

    Sergeant, you shall.

    Exit Sergeant
    Thus are poor servitors,
    When others sleep upon their quiet beds,
    Constrain'd to watch in darkness, rain and cold.

    Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, and Forces, with scaling-ladders, their drums beating a dead march

    TALBOT

    Lord Regent, and redoubted Burgundy,
    By whose approach the regions of Artois,
    Wallon and Picardy are friends to us,
    This happy night the Frenchmen are secure,
    Having all day caroused and banqueted:
    Embrace we then this opportunity
    As fitting best to quittance their deceit
    Contrived by art and baleful sorcery.

    BEDFORD

    Coward of France! how much he wrongs his fame,
    Despairing of his own arm's fortitude,
    To join with witches and the help of hell!

    BURGUNDY

    Traitors have never other company.
    But what's that Pucelle whom they term so pure?

    TALBOT

    A maid, they say.

    BEDFORD

    A maid! and be so martial!

    BURGUNDY

    Pray God she prove not masculine ere long,
    If underneath the standard of the French
    She carry armour as she hath begun.

    TALBOT

    Well, let them practise and converse with spirits:
    God is our fortress, in whose conquering name
    Let us resolve to scale their flinty bulwarks.

    BEDFORD

    Ascend, brave Talbot; we will follow thee.

    TALBOT

    Not all together: better far, I guess,
    That we do make our entrance several ways;
    That, if it chance the one of us do fail,
    The other yet may rise against their force.

    BEDFORD

    Agreed: I'll to yond corner.

    BURGUNDY

    And I to this.

    TALBOT

    And here will Talbot mount, or make his grave.
    Now, Salisbury, for thee, and for the right
    Of English Henry, shall this night appear
    How much in duty I am bound to both.

    Sentinels

    Arm! arm! the enemy doth make assault!

    Cry: 'St. George,' 'A Talbot.'

    The French leap over the walls in their shirts. Enter, several ways, the BASTARD OF ORLEANS, ALENCON, and REIGNIER, half ready, and half unready

    ALENCON

    How now, my lords! what, all unready so?

    BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    Unready! ay, and glad we 'scaped so well.

    REIGNIER

    'Twas time, I trow, to wake and leave our beds,
    Hearing alarums at our chamber-doors.

    ALENCON

    Of all exploits since first I follow'd arms,
    Ne'er heard I of a warlike enterprise
    More venturous or desperate than this.

    BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    I think this Talbot be a fiend of hell.

    REIGNIER

    If not of hell, the heavens, sure, favour him.

    ALENCON

    Here cometh Charles: I marvel how he sped.

    BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    Tut, holy Joan was his defensive guard.

    Enter CHARLES and JOAN LA PUCELLE

    CHARLES

    Is this thy cunning, thou deceitful dame?
    Didst thou at first, to flatter us withal,
    Make us partakers of a little gain,
    That now our loss might be ten times so much?

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Wherefore is Charles impatient with his friend!
    At all times will you have my power alike?
    Sleeping or waking must I still prevail,
    Or will you blame and lay the fault on me?
    Improvident soldiers! had your watch been good,
    This sudden mischief never could have fall'n.

    CHARLES

    Duke of Alencon, this was your default,
    That, being captain of the watch to-night,
    Did look no better to that weighty charge.

    ALENCON

    Had all your quarters been as safely kept
    As that whereof I had the government,
    We had not been thus shamefully surprised.

    BASTARD OF ORLEANS

    Mine was secure.

    REIGNIER

    And so was mine, my lord.

    CHARLES

    And, for myself, most part of all this night,
    Within her quarter and mine own precinct
    I was employ'd in passing to and fro,
    About relieving of the sentinels:
    Then how or which way should they first break in?

    JOAN LA PUCELLE

    Question, my lords, no further of the case,
    How or which way: 'tis sure they found some place
    But weakly guarded, where the breach was made.
    And now there rests no other shift but this;
    To gather our soldiers, scatter'd and dispersed,
    And lay new platforms to endamage them.

    Alarum. Enter an English Soldier, crying 'A Talbot! a Talbot!' They fly, leaving their clothes behind

    Soldier

    I'll be so bold to take what they have left.
    The cry of Talbot serves me for a sword;
    For I have loaden me with many spoils,
    Using no other weapon but his name.

    Exit

    SCENE II. Orleans. Within the town.

    Enter TALBOT, BEDFORD, BURGUNDY, a Captain, and others

    BEDFORD

    The day begins to break, and night is fled,
    Whose pitchy mantle over-veil'd the earth.
    Here sound retreat, and cease our hot pursuit.

    Retreat sounded

    TALBOT

    Bring forth the body of old Salisbury,
    And here advance it in the market-place,
    The middle centre of this cursed town.
    Now have I paid my vow unto his soul;
    For every drop of blood was drawn from him,
    There hath at least five Frenchmen died tonight.
    And that hereafter ages may behold
    What ruin happen'd in revenge of him,
    Within their chiefest temple I'll erect
    A tomb, wherein his corpse shall be interr'd:
    Upon the which, that every one may read,
    Shall be engraved the sack of Orleans,
    The treacherous manner of his mournful death
    And what a terror he had been to France.
    But, lords, in all our bloody massacre,
    I muse we met not with the Dauphin's grace,
    His new-come champion, virtuous Joan of Arc,
    Nor any of his false confederates.

    BEDFORD

    'Tis thought, Lord Talbot, when the fight began,
    Roused on the sudden from their drowsy beds,
    They did amongst the troops of armed men
    Leap o'er the walls for refuge in the field.

    BURGUNDY

    Myself, as far as I could well discern
    For smoke and dusky vapours of the night,
    Am sure I scared the Dauphin and his trull,
    When arm in arm they both came swiftly running,
    Like to a pair of loving turtle-doves
    That could not live asunder day or night.
    After that things are set in order here,
    We'll follow them with all the power we have.

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger

    All hail, my lords! which of this princely train
    Call ye the warlike Talbot, for his acts
    So much applauded through the realm of France?

    TALBOT

    Here is the Talbot: who would speak with him?

    Messenger

    The virtuous lady, Countess of Auvergne,
    With modesty admiring thy renown,
    By me entreats, great lord, thou wouldst vouchsafe
    To visit her poor castle where she lies,
    That she may boast she hath beheld the man
    Whose glory fills the world with loud report.

    BURGUNDY

    Is it even so? Nay, then, I see our wars
    Will turn unto a peaceful comic sport,
    When ladies crave to be encounter'd with.
    You may not, my lord, despise her gentle suit.

    TALBOT

    Ne'er trust me then; for when a world of men
    Could not prevail with all their oratory,
    Yet hath a woman's kindness over-ruled:
    And therefore tell her I return great thanks,
    And in submission will attend on her.
    Will not your honours bear me company?

    BEDFORD

    No, truly; it is more than manners will:
    And I have heard it said, unbidden guests
    Are often welcomest when they are gone.

    TALBOT

    Well then, alone, since there's no remedy,
    I mean to prove this lady's courtesy.
    Come hither, captain.

    Whispers
    You perceive my mind?

    Captain

    I do, my lord, and mean accordingly.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. Auvergne. The COUNTESS's castle.

    Enter the COUNTESS and her Porter

    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    Porter, remember what I gave in charge;
    And when you have done so, bring the keys to me.

    Porter

    Madam, I will.

    Exit
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    The plot is laid: if all things fall out right,
    I shall as famous be by this exploit
    As Scythian Tomyris by Cyrus' death.
    Great is the rumor of this dreadful knight,
    And his achievements of no less account:
    Fain would mine eyes be witness with mine ears,
    To give their censure of these rare reports.

    Enter Messenger and TALBOT

    Messenger

    Madam,
    According as your ladyship desired,
    By message craved, so is Lord Talbot come.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    And he is welcome. What! is this the man?

    Messenger

    Madam, it is.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    Is this the scourge of France?
    Is this the Talbot, so much fear'd abroad
    That with his name the mothers still their babes?
    I see report is fabulous and false:
    I thought I should have seen some Hercules,
    A second Hector, for his grim aspect,
    And large proportion of his strong-knit limbs.
    Alas, this is a child, a silly dwarf!
    It cannot be this weak and writhled shrimp
    Should strike such terror to his enemies.

    TALBOT

    Madam, I have been bold to trouble you;
    But since your ladyship is not at leisure,
    I'll sort some other time to visit you.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    What means he now? Go ask him whither he goes.

    Messenger

    Stay, my Lord Talbot; for my lady craves
    To know the cause of your abrupt departure.

    TALBOT

    Marry, for that she's in a wrong belief,
    I go to certify her Talbot's here.

    Re-enter Porter with keys
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    If thou be he, then art thou prisoner.

    TALBOT

    Prisoner! to whom?
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    To me, blood-thirsty lord;
    And for that cause I trained thee to my house.
    Long time thy shadow hath been thrall to me,
    For in my gallery thy picture hangs:
    But now the substance shall endure the like,
    And I will chain these legs and arms of thine,
    That hast by tyranny these many years
    Wasted our country, slain our citizens
    And sent our sons and husbands captivate.

    TALBOT

    Ha, ha, ha!
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    Laughest thou, wretch? thy mirth shall turn to moan.

    TALBOT

    I laugh to see your ladyship so fond
    To think that you have aught but Talbot's shadow
    Whereon to practise your severity.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    Why, art not thou the man?

    TALBOT

    I am indeed.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    Then have I substance too.

    TALBOT

    No, no, I am but shadow of myself:
    You are deceived, my substance is not here;
    For what you see is but the smallest part
    And least proportion of humanity:
    I tell you, madam, were the whole frame here,
    It is of such a spacious lofty pitch,
    Your roof were not sufficient to contain't.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    This is a riddling merchant for the nonce;
    He will be here, and yet he is not here:
    How can these contrarieties agree?

    TALBOT

    That will I show you presently.

    Winds his horn. Drums strike up: a peal of ordnance. Enter soldiers
    How say you, madam? are you now persuaded
    That Talbot is but shadow of himself?
    These are his substance, sinews, arms and strength,
    With which he yoketh your rebellious necks,
    Razeth your cities and subverts your towns
    And in a moment makes them desolate.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    Victorious Talbot! pardon my abuse:
    I find thou art no less than fame hath bruited
    And more than may be gather'd by thy shape.
    Let my presumption not provoke thy wrath;
    For I am sorry that with reverence
    I did not entertain thee as thou art.

    TALBOT

    Be not dismay'd, fair lady; nor misconstrue
    The mind of Talbot, as you did mistake
    The outward composition of his body.
    What you have done hath not offended me;
    Nor other satisfaction do I crave,
    But only, with your patience, that we may
    Taste of your wine and see what cates you have;
    For soldiers' stomachs always serve them well.
    COUNTESS

    OF AUVERGNE

    With all my heart, and think me honoured
    To feast so great a warrior in my house.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. London. The Temple-garden.

    Enter the Earls of SOMERSET, SUFFOLK, and WARWICK; RICHARD PLANTAGENET, VERNON, and another Lawyer

    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Great lords and gentlemen, what means this silence?
    Dare no man answer in a case of truth?

    SUFFOLK

    Within the Temple-hall we were too loud;
    The garden here is more convenient.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Then say at once if I maintain'd the truth;
    Or else was wrangling Somerset in the error?

    SUFFOLK

    Faith, I have been a truant in the law,
    And never yet could frame my will to it;
    And therefore frame the law unto my will.

    SOMERSET

    Judge you, my Lord of Warwick, then, between us.

    WARWICK

    Between two hawks, which flies the higher pitch;
    Between two dogs, which hath the deeper mouth;
    Between two blades, which bears the better temper:
    Between two horses, which doth bear him best;
    Between two girls, which hath the merriest eye;
    I have perhaps some shallow spirit of judgement;
    But in these nice sharp quillets of the law,
    Good faith, I am no wiser than a daw.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Tut, tut, here is a mannerly forbearance:
    The truth appears so naked on my side
    That any purblind eye may find it out.

    SOMERSET

    And on my side it is so well apparell'd,
    So clear, so shining and so evident
    That it will glimmer through a blind man's eye.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Since you are tongue-tied and so loath to speak,
    In dumb significants proclaim your thoughts:
    Let him that is a true-born gentleman
    And stands upon the honour of his birth,
    If he suppose that I have pleaded truth,
    From off this brier pluck a white rose with me.

    SOMERSET

    Let him that is no coward nor no flatterer,
    But dare maintain the party of the truth,
    Pluck a red rose from off this thorn with me.

    WARWICK

    I love no colours, and without all colour
    Of base insinuating flattery
    I pluck this white rose with Plantagenet.

    SUFFOLK

    I pluck this red rose with young Somerset
    And say withal I think he held the right.

    VERNON

    Stay, lords and gentlemen, and pluck no more,
    Till you conclude that he upon whose side
    The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree
    Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

    SOMERSET

    Good Master Vernon, it is well objected:
    If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    And I.

    VERNON

    Then for the truth and plainness of the case.
    I pluck this pale and maiden blossom here,
    Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

    SOMERSET

    Prick not your finger as you pluck it off,
    Lest bleeding you do paint the white rose red
    And fall on my side so, against your will.

    VERNON

    If I my lord, for my opinion bleed,
    Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt
    And keep me on the side where still I am.

    SOMERSET

    Well, well, come on: who else?

    Lawyer

    Unless my study and my books be false,
    The argument you held was wrong in you:

    To SOMERSET
    In sign whereof I pluck a white rose too.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

    SOMERSET

    Here in my scabbard, meditating that
    Shall dye your white rose in a bloody red.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Meantime your cheeks do counterfeit our roses;
    For pale they look with fear, as witnessing
    The truth on our side.

    SOMERSET

    No, Plantagenet,
    'Tis not for fear but anger that thy cheeks
    Blush for pure shame to counterfeit our roses,
    And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset?

    SOMERSET

    Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his truth;
    Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood.

    SOMERSET

    Well, I'll find friends to wear my bleeding roses,
    That shall maintain what I have said is true,
    Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand,
    I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

    SUFFOLK

    Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Proud Pole, I will, and scorn both him and thee.

    SUFFOLK

    I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.

    SOMERSET

    Away, away, good William de la Pole!
    We grace the yeoman by conversing with him.

    WARWICK

    Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him, Somerset;
    His grandfather was Lionel Duke of Clarence,
    Third son to the third Edward King of England:
    Spring crestless yeomen from so deep a root?
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    He bears him on the place's privilege,
    Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.

    SOMERSET

    By him that made me, I'll maintain my words
    On any plot of ground in Christendom.
    Was not thy father, Richard Earl of Cambridge,
    For treason executed in our late king's days?
    And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
    Corrupted, and exempt from ancient gentry?
    His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
    And, till thou be restored, thou art a yeoman.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    My father was attached, not attainted,
    Condemn'd to die for treason, but no traitor;
    And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
    Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
    For your partaker Pole and you yourself,
    I'll note you in my book of memory,
    To scourge you for this apprehension:
    Look to it well and say you are well warn'd.

    SOMERSET

    Ah, thou shalt find us ready for thee still;
    And know us by these colours for thy foes,
    For these my friends in spite of thee shall wear.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose,
    As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate,
    Will I for ever and my faction wear,
    Until it wither with me to my grave
    Or flourish to the height of my degree.

    SUFFOLK

    Go forward and be choked with thy ambition!
    And so farewell until I meet thee next.

    Exit

    SOMERSET

    Have with thee, Pole. Farewell, ambitious Richard.

    Exit
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    How I am braved and must perforce endure it!

    WARWICK

    This blot that they object against your house
    Shall be wiped out in the next parliament
    Call'd for the truce of Winchester and Gloucester;
    And if thou be not then created York,
    I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
    Meantime, in signal of my love to thee,
    Against proud Somerset and William Pole,
    Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
    And here I prophesy: this brawl to-day,
    Grown to this faction in the Temple-garden,
    Shall send between the red rose and the white
    A thousand souls to death and deadly night.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Good Master Vernon, I am bound to you,
    That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.

    VERNON

    In your behalf still will I wear the same.

    Lawyer

    And so will I.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Thanks, gentle sir.
    Come, let us four to dinner: I dare say
    This quarrel will drink blood another day.

    Exeunt

    SCENE V. The Tower of London.

    Enter MORTIMER, brought in a chair, and Gaolers

    MORTIMER

    Kind keepers of my weak decaying age,
    Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.
    Even like a man new haled from the rack,
    So fare my limbs with long imprisonment.
    And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death,
    Nestor-like aged in an age of care,
    Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer.
    These eyes, like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,
    Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent;
    Weak shoulders, overborne with burthening grief,
    And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine
    That droops his sapless branches to the ground;
    Yet are these feet, whose strengthless stay is numb,
    Unable to support this lump of clay,
    Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
    As witting I no other comfort have.
    But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come?

    First Gaoler

    Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come:
    We sent unto the Temple, unto his chamber;
    And answer was return'd that he will come.

    MORTIMER

    Enough: my soul shall then be satisfied.
    Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine.
    Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign,
    Before whose glory I was great in arms,
    This loathsome sequestration have I had:
    And even since then hath Richard been obscured,
    Deprived of honour and inheritance.
    But now the arbitrator of despairs,
    Just death, kind umpire of men's miseries,
    With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence:
    I would his troubles likewise were expired,
    That so he might recover what was lost.

    Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET

    First Gaoler

    My lord, your loving nephew now is come.

    MORTIMER

    Richard Plantagenet, my friend, is he come?
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly used,
    Your nephew, late despised Richard, comes.

    MORTIMER

    Direct mine arms I may embrace his neck,
    And in his bosom spend my latter gasp:
    O, tell me when my lips do touch his cheeks,
    That I may kindly give one fainting kiss.
    And now declare, sweet stem from York's great stock,
    Why didst thou say, of late thou wert despised?
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    First, lean thine aged back against mine arm;
    And, in that ease, I'll tell thee my disease.
    This day, in argument upon a case,
    Some words there grew 'twixt Somerset and me;
    Among which terms he used his lavish tongue
    And did upbraid me with my father's death:
    Which obloquy set bars before my tongue,
    Else with the like I had requited him.
    Therefore, good uncle, for my father's sake,
    In honour of a true Plantagenet
    And for alliance sake, declare the cause
    My father, Earl of Cambridge, lost his head.

    MORTIMER

    That cause, fair nephew, that imprison'd me
    And hath detain'd me all my flowering youth
    Within a loathsome dungeon, there to pine,
    Was cursed instrument of his decease.
    RICHARD

    PLANTAGENET

    Discover more at large what cause that was,
    For I am ignorant and cannot guess.

    MORTIMER

    I will, if that my fading breath permit
    And death approach not ere my tale be done.
    Henry the Fourth, grandfather to this king,
    Deposed his nephew Richard, Edward's son,
    The first-begotten and the lawful heir,
    Of Edward king, the third of that descent:
    During whose reign the Percies of the north,
    Finding his usurpation most unjust,
    Endeavor'd my advancement to the throne:
    The reason moved these warlike lords to this
    Was, for that--young King Richard thus removed,
    Leaving no heir begotten of his body--
    I was the next by birth and parentage;
    For by my mother I derived am
    From Lionel Duke of Clarence, the third son
    To King Edward the Third; whereas he
    From John of Gaunt doth bring his pedigree,
    Being but fourth of that heroic line.
    But mar
     
  5. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Life of King Henry the Eighth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry VIII | Entire play
    ACT I
    PROLOGUE

    I come no more to make you laugh: things now,
    That bear a weighty and a serious brow,
    Sad, high, and working, full of state and woe,
    Such noble scenes as draw the eye to flow,
    We now present. Those that can pity, here
    May, if they think it well, let fall a tear;
    The subject will deserve it. Such as give
    Their money out of hope they may believe,
    May here find truth too. Those that come to see
    Only a show or two, and so agree
    The play may pass, if they be still and willing,
    I'll undertake may see away their shilling
    Richly in two short hours. Only they
    That come to hear a merry bawdy play,
    A noise of targets, or to see a fellow
    In a long motley coat guarded with yellow,
    Will be deceived; for, gentle hearers, know,
    To rank our chosen truth with such a show
    As fool and fight is, beside forfeiting
    Our own brains, and the opinion that we bring,
    To make that only true we now intend,
    Will leave us never an understanding friend.
    Therefore, for goodness' sake, and as you are known
    The first and happiest hearers of the town,
    Be sad, as we would make ye: think ye see
    The very persons of our noble story
    As they were living; think you see them great,
    And follow'd with the general throng and sweat
    Of thousand friends; then in a moment, see
    How soon this mightiness meets misery:
    And, if you can be merry then, I'll say
    A man may weep upon his wedding-day.

    SCENE I. London. An ante-chamber in the palace.

    Enter NORFOLK at one door; at the other, BUCKINGHAM and ABERGAVENNY

    BUCKINGHAM

    Good morrow, and well met. How have ye done
    Since last we saw in France?

    NORFOLK

    I thank your grace,
    Healthful; and ever since a fresh admirer
    Of what I saw there.

    BUCKINGHAM

    An untimely ague
    Stay'd me a prisoner in my chamber when
    Those suns of glory, those two lights of men,
    Met in the vale of Andren.

    NORFOLK

    'Twixt Guynes and Arde:
    I was then present, saw them salute on horseback;
    Beheld them, when they lighted, how they clung
    In their embracement, as they grew together;
    Which had they, what four throned ones could have weigh'd
    Such a compounded one?

    BUCKINGHAM

    All the whole time
    I was my chamber's prisoner.

    NORFOLK

    Then you lost
    The view of earthly glory: men might say,
    Till this time pomp was single, but now married
    To one above itself. Each following day
    Became the next day's master, till the last
    Made former wonders its. To-day the French,
    All clinquant, all in gold, like heathen gods,
    Shone down the English; and, to-morrow, they
    Made Britain India: every man that stood
    Show'd like a mine. Their dwarfish pages were
    As cherubins, all guilt: the madams too,
    Not used to toil, did almost sweat to bear
    The pride upon them, that their very labour
    Was to them as a painting: now this masque
    Was cried incomparable; and the ensuing night
    Made it a fool and beggar. The two kings,
    Equal in lustre, were now best, now worst,
    As presence did present them; him in eye,
    Still him in praise: and, being present both
    'Twas said they saw but one; and no discerner
    Durst wag his tongue in censure. When these suns--
    For so they phrase 'em--by their heralds challenged
    The noble spirits to arms, they did perform
    Beyond thought's compass; that former fabulous story,
    Being now seen possible enough, got credit,
    That Bevis was believed.

    BUCKINGHAM

    O, you go far.

    NORFOLK

    As I belong to worship and affect
    In honour honesty, the tract of every thing
    Would by a good discourser lose some life,
    Which action's self was tongue to. All was royal;
    To the disposing of it nought rebell'd.
    Order gave each thing view; the office did
    Distinctly his full function.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Who did guide,
    I mean, who set the body and the limbs
    Of this great sport together, as you guess?

    NORFOLK

    One, certes, that promises no element
    In such a business.

    BUCKINGHAM

    I pray you, who, my lord?

    NORFOLK

    All this was order'd by the good discretion
    Of the right reverend Cardinal of York.

    BUCKINGHAM

    The devil speed him! no man's pie is freed
    From his ambitious finger. What had he
    To do in these fierce vanities? I wonder
    That such a keech can with his very bulk
    Take up the rays o' the beneficial sun
    And keep it from the earth.

    NORFOLK

    Surely, sir,
    There's in him stuff that puts him to these ends;
    For, being not propp'd by ancestry, whose grace
    Chalks successors their way, nor call'd upon
    For high feats done to the crown; neither allied
    For eminent assistants; but, spider-like,
    Out of his self-drawing web, he gives us note,
    The force of his own merit makes his way
    A gift that heaven gives for him, which buys
    A place next to the king.

    ABERGAVENNY

    I cannot tell
    What heaven hath given him,--let some graver eye
    Pierce into that; but I can see his pride
    Peep through each part of him: whence has he that,
    If not from hell? the devil is a niggard,
    Or has given all before, and he begins
    A new hell in himself.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Why the devil,
    Upon this French going out, took he upon him,
    Without the privity o' the king, to appoint
    Who should attend on him? He makes up the file
    Of all the gentry; for the most part such
    To whom as great a charge as little honour
    He meant to lay upon: and his own letter,
    The honourable board of council out,
    Must fetch him in the papers.

    ABERGAVENNY

    I do know
    Kinsmen of mine, three at the least, that have
    By this so sickened their estates, that never
    They shall abound as formerly.

    BUCKINGHAM

    O, many
    Have broke their backs with laying manors on 'em
    For this great journey. What did this vanity
    But minister communication of
    A most poor issue?

    NORFOLK

    Grievingly I think,
    The peace between the French and us not values
    The cost that did conclude it.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Every man,
    After the hideous storm that follow'd, was
    A thing inspired; and, not consulting, broke
    Into a general prophecy; That this tempest,
    Dashing the garment of this peace, aboded
    The sudden breach on't.

    NORFOLK

    Which is budded out;
    For France hath flaw'd the league, and hath attach'd
    Our merchants' goods at Bourdeaux.

    ABERGAVENNY

    Is it therefore
    The ambassador is silenced?

    NORFOLK

    Marry, is't.

    ABERGAVENNY

    A proper title of a peace; and purchased
    At a superfluous rate!

    BUCKINGHAM

    Why, all this business
    Our reverend cardinal carried.

    NORFOLK

    Like it your grace,
    The state takes notice of the private difference
    Betwixt you and the cardinal. I advise you--
    And take it from a heart that wishes towards you
    Honour and plenteous safety--that you read
    The cardinal's malice and his potency
    Together; to consider further that
    What his high hatred would effect wants not
    A minister in his power. You know his nature,
    That he's revengeful, and I know his sword
    Hath a sharp edge: it's long and, 't may be said,
    It reaches far, and where 'twill not extend,
    Thither he darts it. Bosom up my counsel,
    You'll find it wholesome. Lo, where comes that rock
    That I advise your shunning.

    Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, the purse borne before him, certain of the Guard, and two Secretaries with papers. CARDINAL WOLSEY in his passage fixeth his eye on BUCKINGHAM, and BUCKINGHAM on him, both full of disdain

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    The Duke of Buckingham's surveyor, ha?
    Where's his examination?

    First Secretary

    Here, so please you.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Is he in person ready?

    First Secretary

    Ay, please your grace.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Well, we shall then know more; and Buckingham
    Shall lessen this big look.

    Exeunt CARDINAL WOLSEY and his Train

    BUCKINGHAM

    This butcher's cur is venom-mouth'd, and I
    Have not the power to muzzle him; therefore best
    Not wake him in his slumber. A beggar's book
    Outworths a noble's blood.

    NORFOLK

    What, are you chafed?
    Ask God for temperance; that's the appliance only
    Which your disease requires.

    BUCKINGHAM

    I read in's looks
    Matter against me; and his eye reviled
    Me, as his abject object: at this instant
    He bores me with some trick: he's gone to the king;
    I'll follow and outstare him.

    NORFOLK

    Stay, my lord,
    And let your reason with your choler question
    What 'tis you go about: to climb steep hills
    Requires slow pace at first: anger is like
    A full-hot horse, who being allow'd his way,
    Self-mettle tires him. Not a man in England
    Can advise me like you: be to yourself
    As you would to your friend.

    BUCKINGHAM

    I'll to the king;
    And from a mouth of honour quite cry down
    This Ipswich fellow's insolence; or proclaim
    There's difference in no persons.

    NORFOLK

    Be advised;
    Heat not a furnace for your foe so hot
    That it do singe yourself: we may outrun,
    By violent swiftness, that which we run at,
    And lose by over-running. Know you not,
    The fire that mounts the liquor til run o'er,
    In seeming to augment it wastes it? Be advised:
    I say again, there is no English soul
    More stronger to direct you than yourself,
    If with the sap of reason you would quench,
    Or but allay, the fire of passion.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Sir,
    I am thankful to you; and I'll go along
    By your prescription: but this top-proud fellow,
    Whom from the flow of gall I name not but
    From sincere motions, by intelligence,
    And proofs as clear as founts in July when
    We see each grain of gravel, I do know
    To be corrupt and treasonous.

    NORFOLK

    Say not 'treasonous.'

    BUCKINGHAM

    To the king I'll say't; and make my vouch as strong
    As shore of rock. Attend. This holy fox,
    Or wolf, or both,--for he is equal ravenous
    As he is subtle, and as prone to mischief
    As able to perform't; his mind and place
    Infecting one another, yea, reciprocally--
    Only to show his pomp as well in France
    As here at home, suggests the king our master
    To this last costly treaty, the interview,
    That swallow'd so much treasure, and like a glass
    Did break i' the rinsing.

    NORFOLK

    Faith, and so it did.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Pray, give me favour, sir. This cunning cardinal
    The articles o' the combination drew
    As himself pleased; and they were ratified
    As he cried 'Thus let be': to as much end
    As give a crutch to the dead: but our count-cardinal
    Has done this, and 'tis well; for worthy Wolsey,
    Who cannot err, he did it. Now this follows,--
    Which, as I take it, is a kind of puppy
    To the old dam, treason,--Charles the emperor,
    Under pretence to see the queen his aunt--
    For 'twas indeed his colour, but he came
    To whisper Wolsey,--here makes visitation:
    His fears were, that the interview betwixt
    England and France might, through their amity,
    Breed him some prejudice; for from this league
    Peep'd harms that menaced him: he privily
    Deals with our cardinal; and, as I trow,--
    Which I do well; for I am sure the emperor
    Paid ere he promised; whereby his suit was granted
    Ere it was ask'd; but when the way was made,
    And paved with gold, the emperor thus desired,
    That he would please to alter the king's course,
    And break the foresaid peace. Let the king know,
    As soon he shall by me, that thus the cardinal
    Does buy and sell his honour as he pleases,
    And for his own advantage.

    NORFOLK

    I am sorry
    To hear this of him; and could wish he were
    Something mistaken in't.

    BUCKINGHAM

    No, not a syllable:
    I do pronounce him in that very shape
    He shall appear in proof.

    Enter BRANDON, a Sergeant-at-arms before him, and two or three of the Guard

    BRANDON

    Your office, sergeant; execute it.

    Sergeant

    Sir,
    My lord the Duke of Buckingham, and Earl
    Of Hereford, Stafford, and Northampton, I
    Arrest thee of high treason, in the name
    Of our most sovereign king.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Lo, you, my lord,
    The net has fall'n upon me! I shall perish
    Under device and practise.

    BRANDON

    I am sorry
    To see you ta'en from liberty, to look on
    The business present: 'tis his highness' pleasure
    You shall to the Tower.

    BUCKINGHAM

    It will help me nothing
    To plead mine innocence; for that dye is on me
    Which makes my whitest part black. The will of heaven
    Be done in this and all things! I obey.
    O my Lord Abergavenny, fare you well!

    BRANDON

    Nay, he must bear you company. The king

    To ABERGAVENNY
    Is pleased you shall to the Tower, till you know
    How he determines further.

    ABERGAVENNY

    As the duke said,
    The will of heaven be done, and the king's pleasure
    By me obey'd!

    BRANDON

    Here is a warrant from
    The king to attach Lord Montacute; and the bodies
    Of the duke's confessor, John de la Car,
    One Gilbert Peck, his chancellor--

    BUCKINGHAM

    So, so;
    These are the limbs o' the plot: no more, I hope.

    BRANDON

    A monk o' the Chartreux.

    BUCKINGHAM

    O, Nicholas Hopkins?

    BRANDON

    He.

    BUCKINGHAM

    My surveyor is false; the o'er-great cardinal
    Hath show'd him gold; my life is spann'd already:
    I am the shadow of poor Buckingham,
    Whose figure even this instant cloud puts on,
    By darkening my clear sun. My lord, farewell.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. The same. The council-chamber.

    Cornets. Enter KING HENRY VIII, leaning on CARDINAL WOLSEY's shoulder, the Nobles, and LOVELL; CARDINAL WOLSEY places himself under KING HENRY VIII's feet on his right side

    KING HENRY VIII

    My life itself, and the best heart of it,
    Thanks you for this great care: I stood i' the level
    Of a full-charged confederacy, and give thanks
    To you that choked it. Let be call'd before us
    That gentleman of Buckingham's; in person
    I'll hear him his confessions justify;
    And point by point the treasons of his master
    He shall again relate.

    A noise within, crying 'Room for the Queen!' Enter QUEEN KATHARINE, ushered by NORFOLK, and SUFFOLK: she kneels. KING HENRY VIII riseth from his state, takes her up, kisses and placeth her by him

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    Nay, we must longer kneel: I am a suitor.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Arise, and take place by us: half your suit
    Never name to us; you have half our power:
    The other moiety, ere you ask, is given;
    Repeat your will and take it.

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    Thank your majesty.
    That you would love yourself, and in that love
    Not unconsider'd leave your honour, nor
    The dignity of your office, is the point
    Of my petition.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Lady mine, proceed.

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    I am solicited, not by a few,
    And those of true condition, that your subjects
    Are in great grievance: there have been commissions
    Sent down among 'em, which hath flaw'd the heart
    Of all their loyalties: wherein, although,
    My good lord cardinal, they vent reproaches
    Most bitterly on you, as putter on
    Of these exactions, yet the king our master--
    Whose honour heaven shield from soil!--even he
    escapes not
    Language unmannerly, yea, such which breaks
    The sides of loyalty, and almost appears
    In loud rebellion.

    NORFOLK

    Not almost appears,
    It doth appear; for, upon these taxations,
    The clothiers all, not able to maintain
    The many to them longing, have put off
    The spinsters, carders, fullers, weavers, who,
    Unfit for other life, compell'd by hunger
    And lack of other means, in desperate manner
    Daring the event to the teeth, are all in uproar,
    And danger serves among then!

    KING HENRY VIII

    Taxation!
    Wherein? and what taxation? My lord cardinal,
    You that are blamed for it alike with us,
    Know you of this taxation?

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Please you, sir,
    I know but of a single part, in aught
    Pertains to the state; and front but in that file
    Where others tell steps with me.

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    No, my lord,
    You know no more than others; but you frame
    Things that are known alike; which are not wholesome
    To those which would not know them, and yet must
    Perforce be their acquaintance. These exactions,
    Whereof my sovereign would have note, they are
    Most pestilent to the bearing; and, to bear 'em,
    The back is sacrifice to the load. They say
    They are devised by you; or else you suffer
    Too hard an exclamation.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Still exaction!
    The nature of it? in what kind, let's know,
    Is this exaction?

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    I am much too venturous
    In tempting of your patience; but am bolden'd
    Under your promised pardon. The subjects' grief
    Comes through commissions, which compel from each
    The sixth part of his substance, to be levied
    Without delay; and the pretence for this
    Is named, your wars in France: this makes bold mouths:
    Tongues spit their duties out, and cold hearts freeze
    Allegiance in them; their curses now
    Live where their prayers did: and it's come to pass,
    This tractable obedience is a slave
    To each incensed will. I would your highness
    Would give it quick consideration, for
    There is no primer business.

    KING HENRY VIII

    By my life,
    This is against our pleasure.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    And for me,
    I have no further gone in this than by
    A single voice; and that not pass'd me but
    By learned approbation of the judges. If I am
    Traduced by ignorant tongues, which neither know
    My faculties nor person, yet will be
    The chronicles of my doing, let me say
    'Tis but the fate of place, and the rough brake
    That virtue must go through. We must not stint
    Our necessary actions, in the fear
    To cope malicious censurers; which ever,
    As ravenous fishes, do a vessel follow
    That is new-trimm'd, but benefit no further
    Than vainly longing. What we oft do best,
    By sick interpreters, once weak ones, is
    Not ours, or not allow'd; what worst, as oft,
    Hitting a grosser quality, is cried up
    For our best act. If we shall stand still,
    In fear our motion will be mock'd or carp'd at,
    We should take root here where we sit, or sit
    State-statues only.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Things done well,
    And with a care, exempt themselves from fear;
    Things done without example, in their issue
    Are to be fear'd. Have you a precedent
    Of this commission? I believe, not any.
    We must not rend our subjects from our laws,
    And stick them in our will. Sixth part of each?
    A trembling contribution! Why, we take
    From every tree lop, bark, and part o' the timber;
    And, though we leave it with a root, thus hack'd,
    The air will drink the sap. To every county
    Where this is question'd send our letters, with
    Free pardon to each man that has denied
    The force of this commission: pray, look to't;
    I put it to your care.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    A word with you.

    To the Secretary
    Let there be letters writ to every shire,
    Of the king's grace and pardon. The grieved commons
    Hardly conceive of me; let it be noised
    That through our intercession this revokement
    And pardon comes: I shall anon advise you
    Further in the proceeding.

    Exit Secretary

    Enter Surveyor

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    I am sorry that the Duke of Buckingham
    Is run in your displeasure.

    KING HENRY VIII

    It grieves many:
    The gentleman is learn'd, and a most rare speaker;
    To nature none more bound; his training such,
    That he may furnish and instruct great teachers,
    And never seek for aid out of himself. Yet see,
    When these so noble benefits shall prove
    Not well disposed, the mind growing once corrupt,
    They turn to vicious forms, ten times more ugly
    Than ever they were fair. This man so complete,
    Who was enroll'd 'mongst wonders, and when we,
    Almost with ravish'd listening, could not find
    His hour of speech a minute; he, my lady,
    Hath into monstrous habits put the graces
    That once were his, and is become as black
    As if besmear'd in hell. Sit by us; you shall hear--
    This was his gentleman in trust--of him
    Things to strike honour sad. Bid him recount
    The fore-recited practises; whereof
    We cannot feel too little, hear too much.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Stand forth, and with bold spirit relate what you,
    Most like a careful subject, have collected
    Out of the Duke of Buckingham.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Speak freely.

    Surveyor

    First, it was usual with him, every day
    It would infect his speech, that if the king
    Should without issue die, he'll carry it so
    To make the sceptre his: these very words
    I've heard him utter to his son-in-law,
    Lord Abergavenny; to whom by oath he menaced
    Revenge upon the cardinal.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Please your highness, note
    This dangerous conception in this point.
    Not friended by by his wish, to your high person
    His will is most malignant; and it stretches
    Beyond you, to your friends.

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    My learn'd lord cardinal,
    Deliver all with charity.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Speak on:
    How grounded he his title to the crown,
    Upon our fail? to this point hast thou heard him
    At any time speak aught?

    Surveyor

    He was brought to this
    By a vain prophecy of Nicholas Hopkins.

    KING HENRY VIII

    What was that Hopkins?

    Surveyor

    Sir, a Chartreux friar,
    His confessor, who fed him every minute
    With words of sovereignty.

    KING HENRY VIII

    How know'st thou this?

    Surveyor

    Not long before your highness sped to France,
    The duke being at the Rose, within the parish
    Saint Lawrence Poultney, did of me demand
    What was the speech among the Londoners
    Concerning the French journey: I replied,
    Men fear'd the French would prove perfidious,
    To the king's danger. Presently the duke
    Said, 'twas the fear, indeed; and that he doubted
    'Twould prove the verity of certain words
    Spoke by a holy monk; 'that oft,' says he,
    'Hath sent to me, wishing me to permit
    John de la Car, my chaplain, a choice hour
    To hear from him a matter of some moment:
    Whom after under the confession's seal
    He solemnly had sworn, that what he spoke
    My chaplain to no creature living, but
    To me, should utter, with demure confidence
    This pausingly ensued: neither the king nor's heirs,
    Tell you the duke, shall prosper: bid him strive
    To gain the love o' the commonalty: the duke
    Shall govern England.'

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    If I know you well,
    You were the duke's surveyor, and lost your office
    On the complaint o' the tenants: take good heed
    You charge not in your spleen a noble person
    And spoil your nobler soul: I say, take heed;
    Yes, heartily beseech you.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Let him on.
    Go forward.

    Surveyor

    On my soul, I'll speak but truth.
    I told my lord the duke, by the devil's illusions
    The monk might be deceived; and that 'twas dangerous for him
    To ruminate on this so far, until
    It forged him some design, which, being believed,
    It was much like to do: he answer'd, 'Tush,
    It can do me no damage;' adding further,
    That, had the king in his last sickness fail'd,
    The cardinal's and Sir Thomas Lovell's heads
    Should have gone off.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Ha! what, so rank? Ah ha!
    There's mischief in this man: canst thou say further?

    Surveyor

    I can, my liege.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Proceed.

    Surveyor

    Being at Greenwich,
    After your highness had reproved the duke
    About Sir William Blomer,--

    KING HENRY VIII

    I remember
    Of such a time: being my sworn servant,
    The duke retain'd him his. But on; what hence?

    Surveyor

    'If,' quoth he, 'I for this had been committed,
    As, to the Tower, I thought, I would have play'd
    The part my father meant to act upon
    The usurper Richard; who, being at Salisbury,
    Made suit to come in's presence; which if granted,
    As he made semblance of his duty, would
    Have put his knife to him.'

    KING HENRY VIII

    A giant traitor!

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Now, madam, may his highness live in freedom,
    and this man out of prison?

    QUEEN KATHARINE

    God mend all!

    KING HENRY VIII

    There's something more would out of thee; what say'st?

    Surveyor

    After 'the duke his father,' with 'the knife,'
    He stretch'd him, and, with one hand on his dagger,
    Another spread on's breast, mounting his eyes
    He did discharge a horrible oath; whose tenor
    Was,--were he evil used, he would outgo
    His father by as much as a performance
    Does an irresolute purpose.

    KING HENRY VIII

    There's his period,
    To sheathe his knife in us. He is attach'd;
    Call him to present trial: if he may
    Find mercy in the law, 'tis his: if none,
    Let him not seek 't of us: by day and night,
    He's traitor to the height.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. An ante-chamber in the palace.

    Enter Chamberlain and SANDS

    Chamberlain

    Is't possible the spells of France should juggle
    Men into such strange mysteries?

    SANDS

    New customs,
    Though they be never so ridiculous,
    Nay, let 'em be unmanly, yet are follow'd.

    Chamberlain

    As far as I see, all the good our English
    Have got by the late voyage is but merely
    A fit or two o' the face; but they are shrewd ones;
    For when they hold 'em, you would swear directly
    Their very noses had been counsellors
    To Pepin or Clotharius, they keep state so.

    SANDS

    They have all new legs, and lame ones: one would take it,
    That never saw 'em pace before, the spavin
    Or springhalt reign'd among 'em.

    Chamberlain

    Death! my lord,
    Their clothes are after such a pagan cut too,
    That, sure, they've worn out Christendom.

    Enter LOVELL
    How now!
    What news, Sir Thomas Lovell?

    LOVELL

    Faith, my lord,
    I hear of none, but the new proclamation
    That's clapp'd upon the court-gate.

    Chamberlain

    What is't for?

    LOVELL

    The reformation of our travell'd gallants,
    That fill the court with quarrels, talk, and tailors.

    Chamberlain

    I'm glad 'tis there: now I would pray our monsieurs
    To think an English courtier may be wise,
    And never see the Louvre.

    LOVELL

    They must either,
    For so run the conditions, leave those remnants
    Of fool and feather that they got in France,
    With all their honourable point of ignorance
    Pertaining thereunto, as fights and fireworks,
    Abusing better men than they can be,
    Out of a foreign wisdom, renouncing clean
    The faith they have in tennis, and tall stockings,
    Short blister'd breeches, and those types of travel,
    And understand again like honest men;
    Or pack to their old playfellows: there, I take it,
    They may, 'cum privilegio,' wear away
    The lag end of their lewdness and be laugh'd at.

    SANDS

    'Tis time to give 'em physic, their diseases
    Are grown so catching.

    Chamberlain

    What a loss our ladies
    Will have of these trim vanities!

    LOVELL

    Ay, marry,
    There will be woe indeed, lords: the sly whoresons
    Have got a speeding trick to lay down ladies;
    A French song and a fiddle has no fellow.

    SANDS

    The devil fiddle 'em! I am glad they are going,
    For, sure, there's no converting of 'em: now
    An honest country lord, as I am, beaten
    A long time out of play, may bring his plainsong
    And have an hour of hearing; and, by'r lady,
    Held current music too.

    Chamberlain

    Well said, Lord Sands;
    Your colt's tooth is not cast yet.

    SANDS

    No, my lord;
    Nor shall not, while I have a stump.

    Chamberlain

    Sir Thomas,
    Whither were you a-going?

    LOVELL

    To the cardinal's:
    Your lordship is a guest too.

    Chamberlain

    O, 'tis true:
    This night he makes a supper, and a great one,
    To many lords and ladies; there will be
    The beauty of this kingdom, I'll assure you.

    LOVELL

    That churchman bears a bounteous mind indeed,
    A hand as fruitful as the land that feeds us;
    His dews fall every where.

    Chamberlain

    No doubt he's noble;
    He had a black mouth that said other of him.

    SANDS

    He may, my lord; has wherewithal: in him
    Sparing would show a worse sin than ill doctrine:
    Men of his way should be most liberal;
    They are set here for examples.

    Chamberlain

    True, they are so:
    But few now give so great ones. My barge stays;
    Your lordship shall along. Come, good Sir Thomas,
    We shall be late else; which I would not be,
    For I was spoke to, with Sir Henry Guildford
    This night to be comptrollers.

    SANDS

    I am your lordship's.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. A Hall in York Place.

    Hautboys. A small table under a state for CARDINAL WOLSEY, a longer table for the guests. Then enter ANNE and divers other Ladies and Gentlemen as guests, at one door; at another door, enter GUILDFORD

    GUILDFORD

    Ladies, a general welcome from his grace
    Salutes ye all; this night he dedicates
    To fair content and you: none here, he hopes,
    In all this noble bevy, has brought with her
    One care abroad; he would have all as merry
    As, first, good company, good wine, good welcome,
    Can make good people. O, my lord, you're tardy:

    Enter Chamberlain, SANDS, and LOVELL
    The very thought of this fair company
    Clapp'd wings to me.

    Chamberlain

    You are young, Sir Harry Guildford.

    SANDS

    Sir Thomas Lovell, had the cardinal
    But half my lay thoughts in him, some of these
    Should find a running banquet ere they rested,
    I think would better please 'em: by my life,
    They are a sweet society of fair ones.

    LOVELL

    O, that your lordship were but now confessor
    To one or two of these!

    SANDS

    I would I were;
    They should find easy penance.

    LOVELL

    Faith, how easy?

    SANDS

    As easy as a down-bed would afford it.

    Chamberlain

    Sweet ladies, will it please you sit? Sir Harry,
    Place you that side; I'll take the charge of this:
    His grace is entering. Nay, you must not freeze;
    Two women placed together makes cold weather:
    My Lord Sands, you are one will keep 'em waking;
    Pray, sit between these ladies.

    SANDS

    By my faith,
    And thank your lordship. By your leave, sweet ladies:
    If I chance to talk a little wild, forgive me;
    I had it from my father.

    ANNE

    Was he mad, sir?

    SANDS

    O, very mad, exceeding mad, in love too:
    But he would bite none; just as I do now,
    He would kiss you twenty with a breath.

    Kisses her

    Chamberlain

    Well said, my lord.
    So, now you're fairly seated. Gentlemen,
    The penance lies on you, if these fair ladies
    Pass away frowning.

    SANDS

    For my little cure,
    Let me alone.

    Hautboys. Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, and takes his state

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    You're welcome, my fair guests: that noble lady,
    Or gentleman, that is not freely merry,
    Is not my friend: this, to confirm my welcome;
    And to you all, good health.

    Drinks

    SANDS

    Your grace is noble:
    Let me have such a bowl may hold my thanks,
    And save me so much talking.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    My Lord Sands,
    I am beholding to you: cheer your neighbours.
    Ladies, you are not merry: gentlemen,
    Whose fault is this?

    SANDS

    The red wine first must rise
    In their fair cheeks, my lord; then we shall have 'em
    Talk us to silence.

    ANNE

    You are a merry gamester,
    My Lord Sands.

    SANDS

    Yes, if I make my play.
    Here's to your ladyship: and pledge it, madam,
    For 'tis to such a thing,--

    ANNE

    You cannot show me.

    SANDS

    I told your grace they would talk anon.

    Drum and trumpet, chambers discharged

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    What's that?

    Chamberlain

    Look out there, some of ye.

    Exit Servant

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    What warlike voice,
    And to what end is this? Nay, ladies, fear not;
    By all the laws of war you're privileged.

    Re-enter Servant

    Chamberlain

    How now! what is't?

    Servant

    A noble troop of strangers;
    For so they seem: they've left their barge and landed;
    And hither make, as great ambassadors
    From foreign princes.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Good lord chamberlain,
    Go, give 'em welcome; you can speak the French tongue;
    And, pray, receive 'em nobly, and conduct 'em
    Into our presence, where this heaven of beauty
    Shall shine at full upon them. Some attend him.

    Exit Chamberlain, attended. All rise, and tables removed
    You have now a broken banquet; but we'll mend it.
    A good digestion to you all: and once more
    I shower a welcome on ye; welcome all.

    Hautboys. Enter KING HENRY VIII and others, as masquers, habited like shepherds, ushered by the Chamberlain. They pass directly before CARDINAL WOLSEY, and gracefully salute him
    A noble company! what are their pleasures?

    Chamberlain

    Because they speak no English, thus they pray'd
    To tell your grace, that, having heard by fame
    Of this so noble and so fair assembly
    This night to meet here, they could do no less
    Out of the great respect they bear to beauty,
    But leave their flocks; and, under your fair conduct,
    Crave leave to view these ladies and entreat
    An hour of revels with 'em.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Say, lord chamberlain,
    They have done my poor house grace; for which I pay 'em
    A thousand thanks, and pray 'em take their pleasures.

    They choose Ladies for the dance. KING HENRY VIII chooses ANNE

    KING HENRY VIII

    The fairest hand I ever touch'd! O beauty,
    Till now I never knew thee!

    Music. Dance

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    My lord!

    Chamberlain

    Your grace?

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Pray, tell 'em thus much from me:
    There should be one amongst 'em, by his person,
    More worthy this place than myself; to whom,
    If I but knew him, with my love and duty
    I would surrender it.

    Chamberlain

    I will, my lord.

    Whispers the Masquers

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    What say they?

    Chamberlain

    Such a one, they all confess,
    There is indeed; which they would have your grace
    Find out, and he will take it.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Let me see, then.
    By all your good leaves, gentlemen; here I'll make
    My royal choice.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Ye have found him, cardinal:

    Unmasking
    You hold a fair assembly; you do well, lord:
    You are a churchman, or, I'll tell you, cardinal,
    I should judge now unhappily.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    I am glad
    Your grace is grown so pleasant.

    KING HENRY VIII

    My lord chamberlain,
    Prithee, come hither: what fair lady's that?

    Chamberlain

    An't please your grace, Sir Thomas Bullen's daughter--
    The Viscount Rochford,--one of her highness' women.

    KING HENRY VIII

    By heaven, she is a dainty one. Sweetheart,
    I were unmannerly, to take you out,
    And not to kiss you. A health, gentlemen!
    Let it go round.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Sir Thomas Lovell, is the banquet ready
    I' the privy chamber?

    LOVELL

    Yes, my lord.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Your grace,
    I fear, with dancing is a little heated.

    KING HENRY VIII

    I fear, too much.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    There's fresher air, my lord,
    In the next chamber.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Lead in your ladies, every one: sweet partner,
    I must not yet forsake you: let's be merry:
    Good my lord cardinal, I have half a dozen healths
    To drink to these fair ladies, and a measure
    To lead 'em once again; and then let's dream
    Who's best in favour. Let the music knock it.

    Exeunt with trumpets

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Westminster. A street.

    Enter two Gentlemen, meeting

    First Gentleman

    Whither away so fast?

    Second Gentleman

    O, God save ye!
    Even to the hall, to hear what shall become
    Of the great Duke of Buckingham.

    First Gentleman

    I'll save you
    That labour, sir. All's now done, but the ceremony
    Of bringing back the prisoner.

    Second Gentleman

    Were you there?

    First Gentleman

    Yes, indeed, was I.

    Second Gentleman

    Pray, speak what has happen'd.

    First Gentleman

    You may guess quickly what.

    Second Gentleman

    Is he found guilty?

    First Gentleman

    Yes, truly is he, and condemn'd upon't.

    Second Gentleman

    I am sorry for't.

    First Gentleman

    So are a number more.

    Second Gentleman

    But, pray, how pass'd it?

    First Gentleman

    I'll tell you in a little. The great duke
    Came to the bar; where to his accusations
    He pleaded still not guilty and alleged
    Many sharp reasons to defeat the law.
    The king's attorney on the contrary
    Urged on the examinations, proofs, confessions
    Of divers witnesses; which the duke desired
    To have brought viva voce to his face:
    At which appear'd against him his surveyor;
    Sir Gilbert Peck his chancellor; and John Car,
    Confessor to him; with that devil-monk,
    Hopkins, that made this mischief.

    Second Gentleman

    That was he
    That fed him with his prophecies?

    First Gentleman

    The same.
    All these accused him strongly; which he fain
    Would have flung from him, but, indeed, he could not:
    And so his peers, upon this evidence,
    Have found him guilty of high treason. Much
    He spoke, and learnedly, for life; but all
    Was either pitied in him or forgotten.

    Second Gentleman

    After all this, how did he bear himself?

    First Gentleman

    When he was brought again to the bar, to hear
    His knell rung out, his judgment, he was stirr'd
    With such an agony, he sweat extremely,
    And something spoke in choler, ill, and hasty:
    But he fell to himself again, and sweetly
    In all the rest show'd a most noble patience.

    Second Gentleman

    I do not think he fears death.

    First Gentleman

    Sure, he does not:
    He never was so womanish; the cause
    He may a little grieve at.

    Second Gentleman

    Certainly
    The cardinal is the end of this.

    First Gentleman

    'Tis likely,
    By all conjectures: first, Kildare's attainder,
    Then deputy of Ireland; who removed,
    Earl Surrey was sent thither, and in haste too,
    Lest he should help his father.

    Second Gentleman

    That trick of state
    Was a deep envious one.

    First Gentleman

    At his return
    No doubt he will requite it. This is noted,
    And generally, whoever the king favours,
    The cardinal instantly will find employment,
    And far enough from court too.

    Second Gentleman

    All the commons
    Hate him perniciously, and, o' my conscience,
    Wish him ten fathom deep: this duke as much
    They love and dote on; call him bounteous Buckingham,
    The mirror of all courtesy;--

    First Gentleman

    Stay there, sir,
    And see the noble ruin'd man you speak of.

    Enter BUCKINGHAM from his arraignment; tip-staves before him; the axe with the edge towards him; halberds on each side: accompanied with LOVELL, VAUX, SANDS, and common people

    Second Gentleman

    Let's stand close, and behold him.

    BUCKINGHAM

    All good people,
    You that thus far have come to pity me,
    Hear what I say, and then go home and lose me.
    I have this day received a traitor's judgment,
    And by that name must die: yet, heaven bear witness,
    And if I have a co nscience, let it sink me,
    Even as the axe falls, if I be not faithful!
    The law I bear no malice for my death;
    'T has done, upon the premises, but justice:
    But those that sought it I could wish more Christians:
    Be what they will, I heartily forgive 'em:
    Yet let 'em look they glory not in mischief,
    Nor build their evils on the graves of great men;
    For then my guiltless blood must cry against 'em.
    For further life in this world I ne'er hope,
    Nor will I sue, although the king have mercies
    More than I dare make faults. You few that loved me,
    And dare be bold to weep for Buckingham,
    His noble friends and fellows, whom to leave
    Is only bitter to him, only dying,
    Go with me, like good angels, to my end;
    And, as the long divorce of steel falls on me,
    Make of your prayers one sweet sacrifice,
    And lift my soul to heaven. Lead on, o' God's name.

    LOVELL

    I do beseech your grace, for charity,
    If ever any malice in your heart
    Were hid against me, now to forgive me frankly.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Sir Thomas Lovell, I as free forgive you
    As I would be forgiven: I forgive all;
    There cannot be those numberless offences
    'Gainst me, that I cannot take peace with:
    no black envy
    Shall mark my grave. Commend me to his grace;
    And if he speak of Buckingham, pray, tell him
    You met him half in heaven: my vows and prayers
    Yet are the king's; and, till my soul forsake,
    Shall cry for blessings on him: may he live
    Longer than I have time to tell his years!
    Ever beloved and loving may his rule be!
    And when old time shall lead him to his end,
    Goodness and he fill up one monument!

    LOVELL

    To the water side I must conduct your grace;
    Then give my charge up to Sir Nicholas Vaux,
    Who undertakes you to your end.

    VAUX

    Prepare there,
    The duke is coming: see the barge be ready;
    And fit it with such furniture as suits
    The greatness of his person.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Nay, Sir Nicholas,
    Let it alone; my state now will but mock me.
    When I came hither, I was lord high constable
    And Duke of Buckingham; now, poor Edward Bohun:
    Yet I am richer than my base accusers,
    That never knew what truth meant: I now seal it;
    And with that blood will make 'em one day groan for't.
    My noble father, Henry of Buckingham,
    Who first raised head against usurping Richard,
    Flying for succor to his servant Banister,
    Being distress'd, was by that wretch betray'd,
    And without trial fell; God's peace be with him!
    Henry the Seventh succeeding, truly pitying
    My father's loss, like a most royal prince,
    Restored me to my honours, and, out of ruins,
    Made my name once more noble. Now his son,
    Henry the Eighth, life, honour, name and all
    That made me happy at one stroke has taken
    For ever from the world. I had my trial,
    And, must needs say, a noble one; which makes me,
    A little happier than my wretched father:
    Yet thus far we are one in fortunes: both
    Fell by our servants, by those men we loved most;
    A most unnatural and faithless service!
    Heaven has an end in all: yet, you that hear me,
    This from a dying man receive as certain:
    Where you are liberal of your loves and counsels
    Be sure you be not loose; for those you make friends
    And give your hearts to, when they once perceive
    The least rub in your fortunes, fall away
    Like water from ye, never found again
    But where they mean to sink ye. All good people,
    Pray for me! I must now forsake ye: the last hour
    Of my long weary life is come upon me. Farewell:
    And when you would say something that is sad,
    Speak how I fell. I have done; and God forgive me!

    Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and Train

    First Gentleman

    O, this is full of pity! Sir, it calls,
    I fear, too many curses on their beads
    That were the authors.

    Second Gentleman

    If the duke be guiltless,
    'Tis full of woe: yet I can give you inkling
    Of an ensuing evil, if it fall,
    Greater than this.

    First Gentleman

    Good angels keep it from us!
    What may it be? You do not doubt my faith, sir?

    Second Gentleman

    This secret is so weighty, 'twill require
    A strong faith to conceal it.

    First Gentleman

    Let me have it;
    I do not talk much.

    Second Gentleman

    I am confident,
    You shall, sir: did you not of late days hear
    A buzzing of a separation
    Between the king and Katharine?

    First Gentleman

    Yes, but it held not:
    For when the king once heard it, out of anger
    He sent command to the lord mayor straight
    To stop the rumor, and allay those tongues
    That durst disperse it.

    Second Gentleman

    But that slander, sir,
    Is found a truth now: for it grows again
    Fresher than e'er it was; and held for certain
    The king will venture at it. Either the cardinal,
    Or some about him near, have, out of malice
    To the good queen, possess'd him with a scruple
    That will undo her: to confirm this too,
    Cardinal Campeius is arrived, and lately;
    As all think, for this business.

    First Gentleman

    'Tis the cardinal;
    And merely to revenge him on the emperor
    For not bestowing on him, at his asking,
    The archbishopric of Toledo, this is purposed.

    Second Gentleman

    I think you have hit the mark: but is't not cruel
    That she should feel the smart of this? The cardinal
    Will have his will, and she must fall.

    First Gentleman

    'Tis woful.
    We are too open here to argue this;
    Let's think in private more.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. An ante-chamber in the palace.

    Enter Chamberlain, reading a letter

    Chamberlain

    'My lord, the horses your lordship sent for, with
    all the care I had, I saw well chosen, ridden, and
    furnished. They were young and handsome, and of the
    best breed in the north. When they were ready to
    set out for London, a man of my lord cardinal's, by
    commission and main power, took 'em from me; with
    this reason: His master would be served before a
    subject, if not before the king; which stopped our
    mouths, sir.'
    I fear he will indeed: well, let him have them:
    He will have all, I think.

    Enter, to Chamberlain, NORFOLK and SUFFOLK

    NORFOLK

    Well met, my lord chamberlain.

    Chamberlain

    Good day to both your graces.

    SUFFOLK

    How is the king employ'd?

    Chamberlain

    I left him private,
    Full of sad thoughts and troubles.

    NORFOLK

    What's the cause?

    Chamberlain

    It seems the marriage with his brother's wife
    Has crept too near his conscience.

    SUFFOLK

    No, his conscience
    Has crept too near another lady.

    NORFOLK

    'Tis so:
    This is the cardinal's doing, the king-cardinal:
    That blind priest, like the eldest son of fortune,
    Turns what he list. The king will know him one day.

    SUFFOLK

    Pray God he do! he'll never know himself else.

    NORFOLK

    How holily he works in all his business!
    And with what zeal! for, now he has crack'd the league
    Between us and the emperor, the queen's great nephew,
    He dives into the king's soul, and there scatters
    Dangers, doubts, wringing of the conscience,
    Fears, and despairs; and all these for his marriage:
    And out of all these to restore the king,
    He counsels a divorce; a loss of her
    That, like a jewel, has hung twenty years
    About his neck, yet never lost her lustre;
    Of her that loves him with that excellence
    That angels love good men with; even of her
    That, when the greatest stroke of fortune falls,
    Will bless the king: and is not this course pious?

    Chamberlain

    Heaven keep me from such counsel! 'Tis most true
    These news are every where; every tongue speaks 'em,
    And every true heart weeps for't: all that dare
    Look into these affairs see this main end,
    The French king's sister. Heaven will one day open
    The king's eyes, that so long have slept upon
    This bold bad man.

    SUFFOLK

    And free us from his slavery.

    NORFOLK

    We had need pray,
    And heartily, for our deliverance;
    Or this imperious man will work us all
    From princes into pages: all men's honours
    Lie like one lump before him, to be fashion'd
    Into what pitch he please.

    SUFFOLK

    For me, my lords,
    I love him not, nor fear him; there's my creed:
    As I am made without him, so I'll stand,
    If the king please; his curses and his blessings
    Touch me alike, they're breath I not believe in.
    I knew him, and I know him; so I leave him
    To him that made him proud, the pope.

    NORFOLK

    Let's in;
    And with some other business put the king
    From these sad thoughts, that work too much upon him:
    My lord, you'll bear us company?

    Chamberlain

    Excuse me;
    The king has sent me otherwhere: besides,
    You'll find a most unfit time to disturb him:
    Health to your lordships.

    NORFOLK

    Thanks, my good lord chamberlain.

    Exit Chamberlain; and KING HENRY VIII draws the curtain, and sits reading pensively

    SUFFOLK

    How sad he looks! sure, he is much afflicted.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Who's there, ha?

    NORFOLK

    Pray God he be not angry.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Who's there, I say? How dare you thrust yourselves
    Into my private meditations?
    Who am I? ha?

    NORFOLK

    A gracious king that pardons all offences
    Malice ne'er meant: our breach of duty this way
    Is business of estate; in which we come
    To know your royal pleasure.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Ye are too bold:
    Go to; I'll make ye know your times of business:
    Is this an hour for temporal affairs, ha?

    Enter CARDINAL WOLSEY and CARDINAL CAMPEIUS, with a commission
    Who's there? my good lord cardinal? O my Wolsey,
    The quiet of my wounded conscience;
    Thou art a cure fit for a king.

    To CARDINAL CAMPEIUS
    You're welcome,
    Most learned reverend sir, into our kingdom:
    Use us and it.

    To CARDINAL WOLSEY
    My good lord, have great care
    I be not found a talker.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Sir, you cannot.
    I would your grace would give us but an hour
    Of private conference.

    KING HENRY VIII

    [To NORFOLK and SUFFOLK]
    We are busy; go.

    NORFOLK

    [Aside to SUFFOLK]
    This priest has no pride in him?

    SUFFOLK

    [Aside to NORFOLK] Not to speak of:
    I would not be so sick though for his place:
    But this cannot continue.

    NORFOLK

    [Aside to SUFFOLK] If it do,
    I'll venture one have-at-him.

    SUFFOLK

    [Aside to NORFOLK] I another.

    Exeunt NORFOLK and SUFFOLK

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Your grace has given a precedent of wisdom
    Above all princes, in committing freely
    Your scruple to the voice of Christendom:
    Who can be angry now? what envy reach you?
    The Spaniard, tied blood and favour to her,
    Must now confess, if they have any goodness,
    The trial just and noble. All the clerks,
    I mean the learned ones, in Christian kingdoms
    Have their free voices: Rome, the nurse of judgment,
    Invited by your noble self, hath sent
    One general tongue unto us, this good man,
    This just and learned priest, Cardinal Campeius;
    Whom once more I present unto your highness.

    KING HENRY VIII

    And once more in mine arms I bid him welcome,
    And thank the holy conclave for their loves:
    They have sent me such a man I would have wish'd for.

    CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

    Your grace must needs deserve all strangers' loves,
    You are so noble. To your highness' hand
    I tender my commission; by whose virtue,
    The court of Rome commanding, you, my lord
    Cardinal of York, are join'd with me their servant
    In the unpartial judging of this business.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Two equal men. The queen shall be acquainted
    Forthwith for what you come. Where's Gardiner?

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    I know your majesty has always loved her
    So dear in heart, not to deny her that
    A woman of less place might ask by law:
    Scholars allow'd freely to argue for her.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Ay, and the best she shall have; and my favour
    To him that does best: God forbid else. Cardinal,
    Prithee, call Gardiner to me, my new secretary:
    I find him a fit fellow.

    Exit CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Re-enter CARDINAL WOLSEY, with GARDINER

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    [Aside to GARDINER] Give me your hand much joy and
    favour to you;
    You are the king's now.

    GARDINER

    [Aside to CARDINAL WOLSEY]
    But to be commanded
    For ever by your grace, whose hand has raised me.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Come hither, Gardiner.

    Walks and whispers

    CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

    My Lord of York, was not one Doctor Pace
    In this man's place before him?

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Yes, he was.

    CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

    Was he not held a learned man?

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Yes, surely.

    CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

    Believe me, there's an ill opinion spread then
    Even of yourself, lord cardinal.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    How! of me?

    CARDINAL CAMPEIUS

    They will not stick to say you envied him,
    And fearing he would rise, he was so virtuous,
    Kept him a foreign man still; which so grieved him,
    That he ran mad and died.

    CARDINAL WOLSEY

    Heaven's peace be with him!
    That's Christian care enough: for living murmurers
    There's places of rebuke. He was a fool;
    For he would needs be virtuous: that good fellow,
    If I command him, follows my appointment:
    I will have none so near else. Learn this, brother,
    We live not to be grip'd by meaner persons.

    KING HENRY VIII

    Deliver this with modesty to the queen.

    Exit GARDINER
    The most convenient place that I can think of
    For such receipt of learning is Black-Friars;
    There ye shall meet about this weighty business.
    My Wolsey, see it furnish'd. O, my lord,
    Would it not grieve an able man to leave
    So sweet a bedfellow? But, conscience, conscience!
    O, 'tis a tender place; and I must leave her.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. An ante-chamber of the QUEEN'S apartments.

    Enter ANNE and an Old Lady

    ANNE

    Not for that neither: here's the pang that pinches:
    His highness having lived so long with her, and she
    So good a lady that no tongue could ever
    Pronounce dishonour of her; by my life,
    She never knew harm-doing: O, now, after
    So many courses of the sun enthroned,
    Still growing in a majesty and pomp, the which
    To leave a thousand-fold more bitter than
    'Tis sweet at first to acquire,--after this process,
    To give her the avaunt! it is a pity
    Would move a monster.

    Old Lady

    Hearts of most hard temper
    Melt and lament for her.

    ANNE

    O, God's will! much better
    She ne'er had known pomp: though't be temporal,
    Yet, if that quarrel, fortune, do divorce
    It from the bearer, 'tis a sufferance panging
    As soul and body's severing.

    Old Lady

    Alas, poor lady!
    She's a stranger now again.

    ANNE

    So much the more
    Must pity drop upon her. Verily,
    I swear, 'tis better to be lowly born,
    And range with humble livers in content,
    Than to be perk'd up in a glistering grief,
    And wear a golden sorrow.

    Old Lady

    Our content
    Is our best having.

    ANNE
     
  6. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Second part of King Henry the Sixth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry VI, part 2 | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. London. The palace.

    Flourish of trumpets: then hautboys. Enter KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and CARDINAL, on the one side; QUEEN MARGARET, SUFFOLK, YORK, SOMERSET, and BUCKINGHAM, on the other

    SUFFOLK

    As by your high imperial majesty
    I had in charge at my depart for France,
    As procurator to your excellence,
    To marry Princess Margaret for your grace,
    So, in the famous ancient city, Tours,
    In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
    The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne and Alencon,
    Seven earls, twelve barons and twenty reverend bishops,
    I have perform'd my task and was espoused:
    And humbly now upon my bended knee,
    In sight of England and her lordly peers,
    Deliver up my title in the queen
    To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
    Of that great shadow I did represent;
    The happiest gift that ever marquess gave,
    The fairest queen that ever king received.

    KING HENRY VI

    Suffolk, arise. Welcome, Queen Margaret:
    I can express no kinder sign of love
    Than this kind kiss. O Lord, that lends me life,
    Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
    For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
    A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
    If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Great King of England and my gracious lord,
    The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
    By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
    In courtly company or at my beads,
    With you, mine alder-liefest sovereign,
    Makes me the bolder to salute my king
    With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
    And over-joy of heart doth minister.

    KING HENRY VI

    Her sight did ravish; but her grace in speech,
    Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
    Makes me from wondering fall to weeping joys;
    Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
    Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.

    ALL

    [Kneeling] Long live Queen Margaret, England's
    happiness!

    QUEEN MARGARET

    We thank you all.

    Flourish

    SUFFOLK

    My lord protector, so it please your grace,
    Here are the articles of contracted peace
    Between our sovereign and the French king Charles,
    For eighteen months concluded by consent.

    GLOUCESTER

    [Reads] 'Imprimis, it is agreed between the French
    king Charles, and William de la Pole, Marquess of
    Suffolk, ambassador for Henry King of England, that
    the said Henry shall espouse the Lady Margaret,
    daughter unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia and
    Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the
    thirtieth of May next ensuing. Item, that the duchy
    of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be released
    and delivered to the king her father'--

    Lets the paper fall

    KING HENRY VI

    Uncle, how now!

    GLOUCESTER

    Pardon me, gracious lord;
    Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart
    And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.

    KING HENRY VI

    Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on.

    CARDINAL

    [Reads] 'Item, It is further agreed between them,
    that the duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be
    released and delivered over to the king her father,
    and she sent over of the King of England's own
    proper cost and charges, without having any dowry.'

    KING HENRY VI

    They please us well. Lord marquess, kneel down:
    We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
    And gird thee with the sword. Cousin of York,
    We here discharge your grace from being regent
    I' the parts of France, till term of eighteen months
    Be full expired. Thanks, uncle Winchester,
    Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
    Salisbury, and Warwick;
    We thank you all for the great favour done,
    In entertainment to my princely queen.
    Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
    To see her coronation be perform'd.

    Exeunt KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, and SUFFOLK

    GLOUCESTER

    Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
    To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief,
    Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
    What! did my brother Henry spend his youth,
    His valour, coin and people, in the wars?
    Did he so often lodge in open field,
    In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,
    To conquer France, his true inheritance?
    And did my brother Bedford toil his wits,
    To keep by policy what Henry got?
    Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
    Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
    Received deep scars in France and Normandy?
    Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
    With all the learned council of the realm,
    Studied so long, sat in the council-house
    Early and late, debating to and fro
    How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe,
    And had his highness in his infancy
    Crowned in Paris in despite of foes?
    And shall these labours and these honours die?
    Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
    Your deeds of war and all our counsel die?
    O peers of England, shameful is this league!
    Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
    Blotting your names from books of memory,
    Razing the characters of your renown,
    Defacing monuments of conquer'd France,
    Undoing all, as all had never been!

    CARDINAL

    Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
    This peroration with such circumstance?
    For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.

    GLOUCESTER

    Ay, uncle, we will keep it, if we can;
    But now it is impossible we should:
    Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
    Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
    Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
    Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.

    SALISBURY

    Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
    These counties were the keys of Normandy.
    But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?

    WARWICK

    For grief that they are past recovery:
    For, were there hope to conquer them again,
    My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no tears.
    Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
    Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer:
    And are the cities, that I got with wounds,
    Delivered up again with peaceful words?
    Mort Dieu!

    YORK

    For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,
    That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
    France should have torn and rent my very heart,
    Before I would have yielded to this league.
    I never read but England's kings have had
    Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives:
    And our King Henry gives away his own,
    To match with her that brings no vantages.

    GLOUCESTER

    A proper jest, and never heard before,
    That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
    For costs and charges in transporting her!
    She should have stayed in France and starved
    in France, Before--

    CARDINAL

    My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot:
    It was the pleasure of my lord the King.

    GLOUCESTER

    My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
    'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
    But 'tis my presence that doth trouble ye.
    Rancour will out: proud prelate, in thy face
    I see thy fury: if I longer stay,
    We shall begin our ancient bickerings.
    Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
    I prophesied France will be lost ere long.

    Exit

    CARDINAL

    So, there goes our protector in a rage.
    'Tis known to you he is mine enemy,
    Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
    And no great friend, I fear me, to the king.
    Consider, lords, he is the next of blood,
    And heir apparent to the English crown:
    Had Henry got an empire by his marriage,
    And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,
    There's reason he should be displeased at it.
    Look to it, lords! let not his smoothing words
    Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
    What though the common people favour him,
    Calling him 'Humphrey, the good Duke of
    Gloucester,'
    Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice,
    'Jesu maintain your royal excellence!'
    With 'God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!'
    I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
    He will be found a dangerous protector.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Why should he, then, protect our sovereign,
    He being of age to govern of himself?
    Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
    And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
    We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.

    CARDINAL

    This weighty business will not brook delay:
    I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently.

    Exit

    SOMERSET

    Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride
    And greatness of his place be grief to us,
    Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal:
    His insolence is more intolerable
    Than all the princes in the land beside:
    If Gloucester be displaced, he'll be protector.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Or thou or I, Somerset, will be protector,
    Despite Duke Humphrey or the cardinal.

    Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and SOMERSET

    SALISBURY

    Pride went before, ambition follows him.
    While these do labour for their own preferment,
    Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
    I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloucester
    Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
    Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal,
    More like a soldier than a man o' the church,
    As stout and proud as he were lord of all,
    Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
    Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.
    Warwick, my son, the comfort of my age,
    Thy deeds, thy plainness and thy housekeeping,
    Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,
    Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey:
    And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
    In bringing them to civil discipline,
    Thy late exploits done in the heart of France,
    When thou wert regent for our sovereign,
    Have made thee fear'd and honour'd of the people:
    Join we together, for the public good,
    In what we can, to bridle and suppress
    The pride of Suffolk and the cardinal,
    With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition;
    And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds,
    While they do tend the profit of the land.

    WARWICK

    So God help Warwick, as he loves the land,
    And common profit of his country!

    YORK

    [Aside] And so says York, for he hath greatest cause.

    SALISBURY

    Then let's make haste away, and look unto the main.

    WARWICK

    Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost;
    That Maine which by main force Warwick did win,
    And would have kept so long as breath did last!
    Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine,
    Which I will win from France, or else be slain,

    Exeunt WARWICK and SALISBURY

    YORK

    Anjou and Maine are given to the French;
    Paris is lost; the state of Normandy
    Stands on a tickle point, now they are gone:
    Suffolk concluded on the articles,
    The peers agreed, and Henry was well pleased
    To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.
    I cannot blame them all: what is't to them?
    'Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
    Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage
    And purchase friends and give to courtezans,
    Still revelling like lords till all be gone;
    While as the silly owner of the goods
    Weeps over them and wrings his hapless hands
    And shakes his head and trembling stands aloof,
    While all is shared and all is borne away,
    Ready to starve and dare not touch his own:
    So York must sit and fret and bite his tongue,
    While his own lands are bargain'd for and sold.
    Methinks the realms of England, France and Ireland
    Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood
    As did the fatal brand Althaea burn'd
    Unto the prince's heart of Calydon.
    Anjou and Maine both given unto the French!
    Cold news for me, for I had hope of France,
    Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
    A day will come when York shall claim his own;
    And therefore I will take the Nevils' parts
    And make a show of love to proud Duke Humphrey,
    And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
    For that's the golden mark I seek to hit:
    Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
    Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
    Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
    Whose church-like humours fits not for a crown.
    Then, York, be still awhile, till time do serve:
    Watch thou and wake when others be asleep,
    To pry into the secrets of the state;
    Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
    With his new bride and England's dear-bought queen,
    And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at jars:
    Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
    With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfumed;
    And in my standard bear the arms of York
    To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
    And, force perforce, I'll make him yield the crown,
    Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.

    Exit

    SCENE II. GLOUCESTER'S house.

    Enter GLOUCESTER and his DUCHESS

    DUCHESS

    Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd corn,
    Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
    Why doth the great Duke Humphrey knit his brows,
    As frowning at the favours of the world?
    Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
    Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
    What seest thou there? King Henry's diadem,
    Enchased with all the honours of the world?
    If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,
    Until thy head be circled with the same.
    Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious gold.
    What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with mine:
    And, having both together heaved it up,
    We'll both together lift our heads to heaven,
    And never more abase our sight so low
    As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.

    GLOUCESTER

    O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
    Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts.
    And may that thought, when I imagine ill
    Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
    Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
    My troublous dream this night doth make me sad.

    DUCHESS

    What dream'd my lord? tell me, and I'll requite it
    With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.

    GLOUCESTER

    Methought this staff, mine office-badge in court,
    Was broke in twain; by whom I have forgot,
    But, as I think, it was by the cardinal;
    And on the pieces of the broken wand
    Were placed the heads of Edmund Duke of Somerset,
    And William de la Pole, first duke of Suffolk.
    This was my dream: what it doth bode, God knows.

    DUCHESS

    Tut, this was nothing but an argument
    That he that breaks a stick of Gloucester's grove
    Shall lose his head for his presumption.
    But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke:
    Methought I sat in seat of majesty
    In the cathedral church of Westminster,
    And in that chair where kings and queens are crown'd;
    Where Henry and dame Margaret kneel'd to me
    And on my head did set the diadem.

    GLOUCESTER

    Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright:
    Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtured Eleanor,
    Art thou not second woman in the realm,
    And the protector's wife, beloved of him?
    Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
    Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
    And wilt thou still be hammering treachery,
    To tumble down thy husband and thyself
    From top of honour to disgrace's feet?
    Away from me, and let me hear no more!

    DUCHESS

    What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
    With Eleanor, for telling but her dream?
    Next time I'll keep my dreams unto myself,
    And not be cheque'd.

    GLOUCESTER

    Nay, be not angry; I am pleased again.

    Enter Messenger

    Messenger

    My lord protector, 'tis his highness' pleasure
    You do prepare to ride unto Saint Alban's,
    Where as the king and queen do mean to hawk.

    GLOUCESTER

    I go. Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?

    DUCHESS

    Yes, my good lord, I'll follow presently.

    Exeunt GLOUCESTER and Messenger
    Follow I must; I cannot go before,
    While Gloucester bears this base and humble mind.
    Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
    I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks
    And smooth my way upon their headless necks;
    And, being a woman, I will not be slack
    To play my part in Fortune's pageant.
    Where are you there? Sir John! nay, fear not, man,
    We are alone; here's none but thee and I.

    Enter HUME

    HUME

    Jesus preserve your royal majesty!

    DUCHESS

    What say'st thou? majesty! I am but grace.

    HUME

    But, by the grace of God, and Hume's advice,
    Your grace's title shall be multiplied.

    DUCHESS

    What say'st thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd
    With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch,
    With Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
    And will they undertake to do me good?

    HUME

    This they have promised, to show your highness
    A spirit raised from depth of under-ground,
    That shall make answer to such questions
    As by your grace shall be propounded him.

    DUCHESS

    It is enough; I'll think upon the questions:
    When from St. Alban's we do make return,
    We'll see these things effected to the full.
    Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man,
    With thy confederates in this weighty cause.

    Exit

    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 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 palace.

    Enter three or four Petitioners, PETER, the Armourer's man, being one

    First Petitioner

    My masters, let's stand close: my lord protector
    will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver
    our supplications in the quill.

    Second Petitioner

    Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good man!
    Jesu bless him!

    Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN MARGARET

    PETER

    Here a' comes, methinks, and the queen with him.
    I'll be the first, sure.

    Second Petitioner

    Come back, fool; this is the Duke of Suffolk, and
    not my lord protector.

    SUFFOLK

    How now, fellow! would'st anything with me?

    First Petitioner

    I pray, my lord, pardon me; I took ye for my lord
    protector.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    [Reading] 'To my Lord Protector!' Are your
    supplications to his lordship? Let me see them:
    what is thine?

    First Petitioner

    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.

    SUFFOLK

    Thy wife, too! that's 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!

    Second Petitioner

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

    PETER

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

    QUEEN MARGARET

    What sayst 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.

    SUFFOLK

    Who is there?

    Enter Servant
    Take this fellow in, and send for
    his master with a pursuivant presently: we'll hear
    more of your matter before the King.

    Exit Servant with PETER

    QUEEN MARGARET

    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 supplication
    Away, base cullions! Suffolk, let them go.

    ALL

    Come, let's be gone.

    Exeunt

    QUEEN MARGARET

    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 Gloucester's governance?
    Am I a queen in title and in style,
    And must be made a subject to a duke?
    I tell thee, Pole, when in the city Tours
    Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love
    And stolest 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-Maries 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 canonized saints.
    I would the college of the cardinals
    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.

    SUFFOLK

    Madam, be patient: as I was cause
    Your highness came to England, so will I
    In England work your grace's full content.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Beside the haughty 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.

    SUFFOLK

    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.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    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 avenged on her?
    Contemptuous base-born callet 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.

    SUFFOLK

    Madam, myself have limed a bush for her,
    And placed a quire of such enticing birds,
    That she will light to listen to the 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'll weed them all at last,
    And you yourself shall steer the happy helm.

    Sound a sennet. Enter KING HENRY VI, GLOUCESTER, CARDINAL, BUCKINGHAM, YORK, SOMERSET, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and the DUCHESS

    KING HENRY VI

    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.

    SOMERSET

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

    WARWICK

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

    CARDINAL

    Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.

    WARWICK

    The cardinal's not my better in the field.

    BUCKINGHAM

    All in this presence are thy betters, Warwick.

    WARWICK

    Warwick may live to be the best of all.

    SALISBURY

    Peace, son! and show some reason, Buckingham,
    Why Somerset should be preferred in this.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Because the king, forsooth, will have it so.

    GLOUCESTER

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

    QUEEN MARGARET

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

    GLOUCESTER

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

    SUFFOLK

    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.

    CARDINAL

    The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags
    Are lank and lean with thy extortions.

    SOMERSET

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

    BUCKINGHAM

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

    QUEEN MARGARET

    They 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 GLOUCESTER. QUEEN MARGARET drops her fan
    Give me my fan: what, minion! can ye not?

    She gives the DUCHESS a box on the ear
    I cry you mercy, madam; was it you?

    DUCHESS

    Was't I! yea, I it was, proud Frenchwoman:
    Could I come near your beauty with my nails,
    I'd set my ten commandments in your face.

    KING HENRY VI

    Sweet aunt, be quiet; 'twas against her will.

    DUCHESS

    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 unrevenged.

    Exit

    BUCKINGHAM

    Lord cardinal, I will follow Eleanor,
    And listen after Humphrey, how he proceeds:
    She's tickled now; her fume needs no spurs,
    She'll gallop far enough to her destruction.

    Exit

    Re-enter GLOUCESTER

    GLOUCESTER

    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.

    SUFFOLK

    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 here,
    Without discharge, money, or furniture,
    Till France be won into the Dauphin's hands:
    Last time, I danced attendance on his will
    Till Paris was besieged, famish'd, and lost.

    WARWICK

    That can I witness; and a fouler fact
    Did never traitor in the land commit.

    SUFFOLK

    Peace, headstrong Warwick!

    WARWICK

    Image of pride, why should I hold my peace?

    Enter HORNER, the Armourer, and his man PETER, guarded

    SUFFOLK

    Because here is a man accused of treason:
    Pray God the Duke of York excuse himself!

    YORK

    Doth any one accuse York for a traitor?

    KING HENRY VI

    What mean'st thou, Suffolk; tell me, what are these?

    SUFFOLK

    Please it your majesty, this is the man
    That doth accuse his master of high treason:
    His words were these: that Richard, Duke of York,
    Was rightful heir unto the English crown
    And that your majesty was a usurper.

    KING HENRY VI

    Say, man, were these thy words?

    HORNER

    An't shall please your majesty, I never said nor
    thought any such matter: God is my witness, I am
    falsely accused by the villain.

    PETER

    By these ten bones, my lords, he did speak them to
    me in the garret one night, as we were scouring my
    Lord of York's armour.

    YORK

    Base dunghill villain and mechanical,
    I'll have thy head for this thy traitor's speech.
    I do beseech your royal majesty,
    Let him have all the rigor of the law.

    HORNER

    Alas, my lord, hang me, if ever I spake the words.
    My accuser is my 'prentice; and when I did correct
    him for his fault the other day, he did vow upon his
    knees he would be even with me: I have good
    witness of this: therefore I beseech your majesty,
    do not cast away an honest man for a villain's
    accusation.

    KING HENRY VI

    Uncle, what shall we say to this in law?

    GLOUCESTER

    This doom, my lord, if I may judge:
    Let Somerset be regent over the French,
    Because in York this breeds suspicion:
    And let these have a day appointed them
    For single combat in convenient place,
    For he hath witness of his servant's malice:
    This is the law, and this Duke Humphrey's doom.

    SOMERSET

    I humbly thank your royal majesty.

    HORNER

    And I accept the combat willingly.

    PETER

    Alas, my lord, I cannot fight; for God's sake, pity
    my case. The spite of man prevaileth against me. O
    Lord, have mercy upon me! I shall never be able to
    fight a blow. O Lord, my heart!

    GLOUCESTER

    Sirrah, or you must fight, or else be hang'd.

    KING HENRY VI

    Away with them to prison; and the day of combat
    shall be the last of the next month. Come,
    Somerset, we'll see thee sent away.

    Flourish. Exeunt

    SCENE IV. GLOUCESTER's garden.

    Enter MARGARET JOURDAIN, HUME, SOUTHWELL, and BOLINGBROKE

    HUME

    Come, my masters; the duchess, I tell you, expects
    performance of your promises.

    BOLINGBROKE

    Master Hume, we are therefore provided: will her
    ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?

    HUME

    Ay, what else? fear you not her courage.

    BOLINGBROKE

    I have heard her reported to be a woman of an
    invincible spirit: but it shall be convenient,
    Master Hume, that you be by her aloft, while we be
    busy below; and so, I pray you, go, in God's name,
    and leave us.

    Exit HUME
    Mother Jourdain, be you
    prostrate and grovel on the earth; John Southwell,
    read you; and let us to our work.

    Enter the DUCHESS aloft, HUME following

    DUCHESS

    Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this
    gear the sooner the better.

    BOLINGBROKE

    Patience, good lady; wizards know their times:
    Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
    The time of night when Troy was set on fire;
    The time when screech-owls cry and ban-dogs howl,
    And spirits walk and ghosts break up their graves,
    That time best fits the work we have in hand.
    Madam, sit you and fear not: whom we raise,
    We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.

    Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle; BOLINGBROKE or SOUTHWELL reads, Conjuro te, &amp; c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth

    Spirit

    Adsum.

    MARGARET JOURDAIN

    Asmath,
    By the eternal God, whose name and power
    Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask;
    For, till thou speak, thou shalt not pass from hence.

    Spirit

    Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!

    BOLINGBROKE

    'First of the king: what shall of him become?'

    Reading out of a paper

    Spirit

    The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose;
    But him outlive, and die a violent death.

    As the Spirit speaks, SOUTHWELL writes the answer

    BOLINGBROKE

    'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'

    Spirit

    By water shall he die, and take his end.

    BOLINGBROKE

    'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'

    Spirit

    Let him shun castles;
    Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
    Than where castles mounted stand.
    Have done, for more I hardly can endure.

    BOLINGBROKE

    Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
    False fiend, avoid!

    Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit

    Enter YORK and BUCKINGHAM with their Guard and break in

    YORK

    Lay hands upon these traitors and their trash.
    Beldam, I think we watch'd you at an inch.
    What, madam, are you there? the king and commonweal
    Are deeply indebted for this piece of pains:
    My lord protector will, I doubt it not,
    See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts.

    DUCHESS

    Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
    Injurious duke, that threatest where's no cause.

    BUCKINGHAM

    True, madam, none at all: what call you this?
    Away with them! let them be clapp'd up close.
    And kept asunder. You, madam, shall with us.
    Stafford, take her to thee.

    Exeunt above DUCHESS and HUME, guarded
    We'll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.
    All, away!

    Exeunt guard with MARGARET JOURDAIN, SOUTHWELL, &amp; c

    YORK

    Lord Buckingham, methinks, you watch'd her well:
    A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon!
    Now, pray, my lord, let's see the devil's writ.
    What have we here?

    Reads
    'The duke yet lives, that Henry shall depose;
    But him outlive, and die a violent death.'
    Why, this is just
    'Aio te, AEacida, Romanos vincere posse.'
    Well, to the rest:
    'Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of Suffolk?
    By water shall he die, and take his end.
    What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
    Let him shun castles;
    Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
    Than where castles mounted stand.'
    Come, come, my lords;
    These oracles are hardly attain'd,
    And hardly understood.
    The king is now in progress towards Saint Alban's,
    With him the husband of this lovely lady:
    Thither go these news, as fast as horse can
    carry them:
    A sorry breakfast for my lord protector.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Your grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York,
    To be the post, in hope of his reward.

    YORK

    At your pleasure, my good lord. Who's within
    there, ho!

    Enter a Servingman
    Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick
    To sup with me to-morrow night. Away!

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Saint Alban's.

    Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, GLOUCESTER, CARDINAL, and SUFFOLK, with Falconers halloing

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook,
    I saw not better sport these seven years' day:
    Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high;
    And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.

    KING HENRY VI

    But what a point, my lord, your falcon made,
    And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
    To see how God in all his creatures works!
    Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.

    SUFFOLK

    No marvel, an it like your majesty,
    My lord protector's hawks do tower so well;
    They know their master loves to be aloft,
    And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.

    GLOUCESTER

    My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind
    That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.

    CARDINAL

    I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.

    GLOUCESTER

    Ay, my lord cardinal? how think you by that?
    Were it not good your grace could fly to heaven?

    KING HENRY VI

    The treasury of everlasting joy.

    CARDINAL

    Thy heaven is on earth; thine eyes and thoughts
    Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart;
    Pernicious protector, dangerous peer,
    That smooth'st it so with king and commonweal!

    GLOUCESTER

    What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown peremptory?
    Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?
    Churchmen so hot? good uncle, hide such malice;
    With such holiness can you do it?

    SUFFOLK

    No malice, sir; no more than well becomes
    So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.

    GLOUCESTER

    As who, my lord?

    SUFFOLK

    Why, as you, my lord,
    An't like your lordly lord-protectorship.

    GLOUCESTER

    Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    And thy ambition, Gloucester.

    KING HENRY VI

    I prithee, peace, good queen,
    And whet not on these furious peers;
    For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.

    CARDINAL

    Let me be blessed for the peace I make,
    Against this proud protector, with my sword!

    GLOUCESTER

    [Aside to CARDINAL] Faith, holy uncle, would
    'twere come to that!

    CARDINAL

    [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Marry, when thou darest.

    GLOUCESTER

    [Aside to CARDINAL] Make up no factious
    numbers for the matter;
    In thine own person answer thy abuse.

    CARDINAL

    [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Ay, where thou darest
    not peep: an if thou darest,
    This evening, on the east side of the grove.

    KING HENRY VI

    How now, my lords!

    CARDINAL

    Believe me, cousin Gloucester,
    Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
    We had had more sport.

    Aside to GLOUCESTER
    Come with thy two-hand sword.

    GLOUCESTER

    True, uncle.

    CARDINAL

    [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Are ye advised? the
    east side of the grove?

    GLOUCESTER

    [Aside to CARDINAL] Cardinal, I am with you.

    KING HENRY VI

    Why, how now, uncle Gloucester!

    GLOUCESTER

    Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.

    Aside to CARDINAL
    Now, by God's mother, priest, I'll shave your crown for this,
    Or all my fence shall fail.

    CARDINAL

    [Aside to GLOUCESTER] Medice, teipsum--
    Protector, see to't well, protect yourself.

    KING HENRY VI

    The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.
    How irksome is this music to my heart!
    When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
    I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.

    Enter a Townsman of Saint Alban's, crying 'A miracle!'

    GLOUCESTER

    What means this noise?
    Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?

    Townsman

    A miracle! a miracle!

    SUFFOLK

    Come to the king and tell him what miracle.

    Townsman

    Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's shrine,
    Within this half-hour, hath received his sight;
    A man that ne'er saw in his life before.

    KING HENRY VI

    Now, God be praised, that to believing souls
    Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!

    Enter the Mayor of Saint Alban's and his brethren, bearing SIMPCOX, between two in a chair, SIMPCOX's Wife following

    CARDINAL

    Here comes the townsmen on procession,
    To present your highness with the man.

    KING HENRY VI

    Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
    Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.

    GLOUCESTER

    Stand by, my masters: bring him near the king;
    His highness' pleasure is to talk with him.

    KING HENRY VI

    Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,
    That we for thee may glorify the Lord.
    What, hast thou been long blind and now restored?

    SIMPCOX

    Born blind, an't please your grace.

    Wife

    Ay, indeed, was he.

    SUFFOLK

    What woman is this?

    Wife

    His wife, an't like your worship.

    GLOUCESTER

    Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst have
    better told.

    KING HENRY VI

    Where wert thou born?

    SIMPCOX

    At Berwick in the north, an't like your grace.

    KING HENRY VI

    Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee:
    Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
    But still remember what the Lord hath done.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Tell me, good fellow, camest thou here by chance,
    Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?

    SIMPCOX

    God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd
    A hundred times and oftener, in my sleep,
    By good Saint Alban; who said, 'Simpcox, come,
    Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'

    Wife

    Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft
    Myself have heard a voice to call him so.

    CARDINAL

    What, art thou lame?

    SIMPCOX

    Ay, God Almighty help me!

    SUFFOLK

    How camest thou so?

    SIMPCOX

    A fall off of a tree.

    Wife

    A plum-tree, master.

    GLOUCESTER

    How long hast thou been blind?

    SIMPCOX

    Born so, master.

    GLOUCESTER

    What, and wouldst climb a tree?

    SIMPCOX

    But that in all my life, when I was a youth.

    Wife

    Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.

    GLOUCESTER

    Mass, thou lovedst plums well, that wouldst
    venture so.

    SIMPCOX

    Alas, good master, my wife desired some damsons,
    And made me climb, with danger of my life.

    GLOUCESTER

    A subtle knave! but yet it shall not serve.
    Let me see thine eyes: wink now: now open them:
    In my opinion yet thou seest not well.

    SIMPCOX

    Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and
    Saint Alban.

    GLOUCESTER

    Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?

    SIMPCOX

    Red, master; red as blood.

    GLOUCESTER

    Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?

    SIMPCOX

    Black, forsooth: coal-black as jet.

    KING HENRY VI

    Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?

    SUFFOLK

    And yet, I think, jet did he never see.

    GLOUCESTER

    But cloaks and gowns, before this day, a many.

    Wife

    Never, before this day, in all his life.

    GLOUCESTER

    Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?

    SIMPCOX

    Alas, master, I know not.

    GLOUCESTER

    What's his name?

    SIMPCOX

    I know not.

    GLOUCESTER

    Nor his?

    SIMPCOX

    No, indeed, master.

    GLOUCESTER

    What's thine own name?

    SIMPCOX

    Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.

    GLOUCESTER

    Then, Saunder, sit there, the lyingest knave in
    Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou
    mightest as well have known all our names as thus to
    name the several colours we do wear. Sight may
    distinguish of colours, but suddenly to nominate them
    all, it is impossible. My lords, Saint Alban here
    hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his
    cunning to be great, that could restore this cripple
    to his legs again?

    SIMPCOX

    O master, that you could!

    GLOUCESTER

    My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not beadles in
    your town, and things called whips?

    Mayor

    Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.

    GLOUCESTER

    Then send for one presently.

    Mayor

    Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.

    Exit an Attendant

    GLOUCESTER

    Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. Now, sirrah,
    if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me
    over this stool and run away.

    SIMPCOX

    Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone:
    You go about to torture me in vain.

    Enter a Beadle with whips

    GLOUCESTER

    Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrah
    beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.

    Beadle

    I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your
    doublet quickly.

    SIMPCOX

    Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.

    After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry, 'A miracle!'

    KING HENRY VI

    O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    It made me laugh to see the villain run.

    GLOUCESTER

    Follow the knave; and take this drab away.

    Wife

    Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.

    GLOUCESTER

    Let them be whipped through every market-town, till
    they come to Berwick, from whence they came.

    Exeunt Wife, Beadle, Mayor, &amp; c

    CARDINAL

    Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.

    SUFFOLK

    True; made the lame to leap and fly away.

    GLOUCESTER

    But you have done more miracles than I;
    You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.

    Enter BUCKINGHAM

    KING HENRY VI

    What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?

    BUCKINGHAM

    Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold.
    A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent,
    Under the countenance and confederacy
    Of Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife,
    The ringleader and head of all this rout,
    Have practised dangerously against your state,
    Dealing with witches and with conjurers:
    Whom we have apprehended in the fact;
    Raising up wicked spirits from under ground,
    Demanding of King Henry's life and death,
    And other of your highness' privy-council;
    As more at large your grace shall understand.

    CARDINAL

    [Aside to GLOUCESTER] And so, my lord protector,
    by this means
    Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
    This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge;
    'Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.

    GLOUCESTER

    Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart:
    Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers;
    And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee,
    Or to the meanest groom.

    KING HENRY VI

    O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
    Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest.
    And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.

    GLOUCESTER

    Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal,
    How I have loved my king and commonweal:
    And, for my wife, I know not how it stands;
    Sorry I am to hear what I have heard:
    Noble she is, but if she have forgot
    Honour and virtue and conversed with such
    As, like to pitch, defile nobility,
    I banish her my bed and company
    And give her as a prey to law and shame,
    That hath dishonour'd Gloucester's honest name.

    KING HENRY VI

    Well, for this night we will repose us here:
    To-morrow toward London back again,
    To look into this business thoroughly
    And call these foul offenders to their answers
    And poise the cause in justice' equal scales,
    Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails.

    Flourish. Exeunt

    SCENE II. London. YORK'S garden.

    Enter YORK, SALISBURY, and WARWICK

    YORK

    Now, my good Lords of Salisbury and Warwick,
    Our simple supper ended, give me leave
    In this close walk to satisfy myself,
    In craving your opinion of my title,
    Which is infallible, to England's crown.

    SALISBURY

    My lord, I long to hear it at full.

    WARWICK

    Sweet York, begin: and if thy claim be good,
    The Nevils are thy subjects to command.

    YORK

    Then thus:
    Edward the Third, my lords, had seven sons:
    The first, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales;
    The second, William of Hatfield, and the third,
    Lionel Duke of Clarence: next to whom
    Was John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster;
    The fifth was Edmund Langley, Duke of York;
    The sixth was Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester;
    William of Windsor was the seventh and last.
    Edward the Black Prince died before his father
    And left behind him Richard, his only son,
    Who after Edward the Third's death reign'd as king;
    Till Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster,
    The eldest son and heir of John of Gaunt,
    Crown'd by the name of Henry the Fourth,
    Seized on the realm, deposed the rightful king,
    Sent his poor queen to France, from whence she came,
    And him to Pomfret; where, as all you know,
    Harmless Richard was murder'd traitorously.

    WARWICK

    Father, the duke hath told the truth:
    Thus got the house of Lancaster the crown.

    YORK

    Which now they hold by force and not by right;
    For Richard, the first son's heir, being dead,
    The issue of the next son should have reign'd.

    SALISBURY

    But William of Hatfield died without an heir.

    YORK

    The third son, Duke of Clarence, from whose line
    I claimed the crown, had issue, Philippe, a daughter,
    Who married Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March:
    Edmund had issue, Roger Earl of March;
    Roger had issue, Edmund, Anne and Eleanor.

    SALISBURY

    This Edmund, in the reign of Bolingbroke,
    As I have read, laid claim unto the crown;
    And, but for Owen Glendower, had been king,
    Who kept him in captivity till he died.
    But to the rest.

    YORK

    His eldest sister, Anne,
    My mother, being heir unto the crown
    Married Richard Earl of Cambridge; who was son
    To Edmund Langley, Edward the Third's fifth son.
    By her I claim the kingdom: she was heir
    To Roger Earl of March, who was the son
    Of Edmund Mortimer, who married Philippe,
    Sole daughter unto Lionel Duke of Clarence:
    So, if the issue of the elder son
    Succeed before the younger, I am king.

    WARWICK

    What plain proceeding is more plain than this?
    Henry doth claim the crown from John of Gaunt,
    The fourth son; York claims it from the third.
    Till Lionel's issue fails, his should not reign:
    It fails not yet, but flourishes in thee
    And in thy sons, fair slips of such a stock.
    Then, father Salisbury, kneel we together;
    And in this private plot be we the first
    That shall salute our rightful sovereign
    With honour of his birthright to the crown.

    BOTH

    Long live our sovereign Richard, England's king!

    YORK

    We thank you, lords. But I am not your king
    Till I be crown'd and that my sword be stain'd
    With heart-blood of the house of Lancaster;
    And that's not suddenly to be perform'd,
    But with advice and silent secrecy.
    Do you as I do in these dangerous days:
    Wink at the Duke of Suffolk's insolence,
    At Beaufort's pride, at Somerset's ambition,
    At Buckingham and all the crew of them,
    Till they have snared the shepherd of the flock,
    That virtuous prince, the good Duke Humphrey:
    'Tis that they seek, and they in seeking that
    Shall find their deaths, if York can prophesy.

    SALISBURY

    My lord, break we off; we know your mind at full.

    WARWICK

    My heart assures me that the Earl of Warwick
    Shall one day make the Duke of York a king.

    YORK

    And, Nevil, this I do assure myself:
    Richard shall live to make the Earl of Warwick
    The greatest man in England but the king.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. A hall of justice.

    Sound trumpets. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, GLOUCESTER, YORK, SUFFOLK, and SALISBURY; the DUCHESS, MARGARET JOURDAIN, SOUTHWELL, HUME, and BOLINGBROKE, under guard

    KING HENRY VI

    Stand forth, Dame Eleanor Cobham, Gloucester's wife:
    In sight of God and us, your guilt is great:
    Receive the sentence of the law for sins
    Such as by God's book are adjudged to death.
    You four, from hence to prison back again;
    From thence unto the place of execution:
    The witch in Smithfield shall be burn'd to ashes,
    And you three shall be strangled on the gallows.
    You, madam, for you are more nobly born,
    Despoiled of your honour in your life,
    Shall, after three days' open penance done,
    Live in your country here in banishment,
    With Sir John Stanley, in the Isle of Man.

    DUCHESS

    Welcome is banishment; welcome were my death.

    GLOUCESTER

    Eleanor, the law, thou see'st, hath judged thee:
    I cannot justify whom the law condemns.

    Exeunt DUCHESS and other prisoners, guarded
    Mine eyes are full of tears, my heart of grief.
    Ah, Humphrey, this dishonour in thine age
    Will bring thy head with sorrow to the ground!
    I beseech your majesty, give me leave to go;
    Sorrow would solace and mine age would ease.

    KING HENRY VI

    Stay, Humphrey Duke of Gloucester: ere thou go,
    Give up thy staff: Henry will to himself
    Protector be; and God shall be my hope,
    My stay, my guide and lantern to my feet:
    And go in peace, Humphrey, no less beloved
    Than when thou wert protector to thy King.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    I see no reason why a king of years
    Should be to be protected like a child.
    God and King Henry govern England's realm.
    Give up your staff, sir, and the king his realm.

    GLOUCESTER

    My staff? here, noble Henry, is my staff:
    As willingly do I the same resign
    As e'er thy father Henry made it mine;
    And even as willingly at thy feet I leave it
    As others would ambitiously receive it.
    Farewell, good king: when I am dead and gone,
    May honourable peace attend thy throne!

    Exit

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Why, now is Henry king, and Margaret queen;
    And Humphrey Duke of Gloucester scarce himself,
    That bears so shrewd a maim; two pulls at once;
    His lady banish'd, and a limb lopp'd off.
    This staff of honour raught, there let it stand
    Where it best fits to be, in Henry's hand.

    SUFFOLK

    Thus droops this lofty pine and hangs his sprays;
    Thus Eleanor's pride dies in her youngest days.

    YORK

    Lords, let him go. Please it your majesty,
    This is the day appointed for the combat;
    And ready are the appellant and defendant,
    The armourer and his man, to enter the lists,
    So please your highness to behold the fight.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Ay, good my lord; for purposely therefore
    Left I the court, to see this quarrel tried.

    KING HENRY VI

    O God's name, see the lists and all things fit:
    Here let them end it; and God defend the right!

    YORK

    I never saw a fellow worse bested,
    Or more afraid to fight, than is the appellant,
    The servant of this armourer, my lords.

    Enter at one door, HORNER, the Armourer, and his Neighbours, drinking to him so much that he is drunk; and he enters with a drum before him and his staff with a sand-bag fastened to it; and at the other door PETER, his man, with a drum and sand-bag, and 'Prentices drinking to him

    First Neighbour

    Here, neighbour Horner, I drink to you in a cup of
    sack: and fear not, neighbour, you shall do well enough.

    Second Neighbour

    And here, neighbour, here's a cup of charneco.

    Third Neighbour

    And here's a pot of good double beer, neighbour:
    drink, and fear not your man.

    HORNER

    Let it come, i' faith, and I'll pledge you all; and
    a fig for Peter!
    First 'Prentice Here, Peter, I drink to thee: and be not afraid.
    Second 'Prentice Be merry, Peter, and fear not thy master: fight
    for credit of the 'prentices.

    PETER

    I thank you all: drink, and pray for me, I pray
    you; for I think I have taken my last draught in
    this world. Here, Robin, an if I die, I give thee
    my apron: and, Will, thou shalt have my hammer:
    and here, Tom, take all the money that I have. O
    Lord bless me! I pray God! for I am never able to
    deal with my master, he hath learnt me so much fence already.

    SALISBURY

    Come, leave your drinking, and fall to blows.
    Sirrah, what's thy name?

    PETER

    Peter, forsooth.

    SALISBURY

    Peter! what more?

    PETER

    Thump.

    SALISBURY

    Thump! then see thou thump thy master well.

    HORNER

    Masters, I am come hither, as it were, upon my man's
    instigation, to prove him a knave and myself an
    honest man: and touching the Duke of York, I will
    take my death, I never meant him any ill, nor the
    king, nor the queen: and therefore, Peter, have at
    thee with a downright blow!

    YORK

    Dispatch: this knave's tongue begins to double.
    Sound, trumpets, alarum to the combatants!

    Alarum. They fight, and PETER strikes him down

    HORNER

    Hold, Peter, hold! I confess, I confess treason.

    Dies

    YORK

    Take away his weapon. Fellow, thank God, and the
    good wine in thy master's way.

    PETER

    O God, have I overcome mine enemy in this presence?
    O Peter, thou hast prevailed in right!

    KING HENRY VI

    Go, take hence that traitor from our sight;
    For his death
     
  7. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Third part of King Henry the Sixth
    Shakespeare homepage | Henry VI, part 3 | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house.

    Alarum. Enter YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers

    WARWICK

    I wonder how the king escaped our hands.

    YORK

    While we pursued the horsemen of the north,
    He slily stole away and left his men:
    Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
    Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
    Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
    Lord Clifford and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
    Charged our main battle's front, and breaking in
    Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

    EDWARD

    Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
    Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
    I cleft his beaver with a downright blow:
    That this is true, father, behold his blood.

    MONTAGUE

    And, brother, here's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
    Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.

    RICHARD

    Speak thou for me and tell them what I did.

    Throwing down SOMERSET's head

    YORK

    Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
    But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?

    NORFOLK

    Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!

    RICHARD

    Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.

    WARWICK

    And so do I. Victorious Prince of York,
    Before I see thee seated in that throne
    Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
    I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
    This is the palace of the fearful king,
    And this the regal seat: possess it, York;
    For this is thine and not King Henry's heirs'

    YORK

    Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
    For hither we have broken in by force.

    NORFOLK

    We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.

    YORK

    Thanks, gentle Norfolk: stay by me, my lords;
    And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.

    They go up

    WARWICK

    And when the king comes, offer no violence,
    Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.

    YORK

    The queen this day here holds her parliament,
    But little thinks we shall be of her council:
    By words or blows here let us win our right.

    RICHARD

    Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.

    WARWICK

    The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
    Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
    And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
    Hath made us by-words to our enemies.

    YORK

    Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute;
    I mean to take possession of my right.

    WARWICK

    Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
    The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
    Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.
    I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares:
    Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.

    Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest

    KING HENRY VI

    My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
    Even in the chair of state: belike he means,
    Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
    To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
    Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father.
    And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
    On him, his sons, his favourites and his friends.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    If I be not, heavens be revenged on me!

    CLIFFORD

    The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

    WESTMORELAND

    What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:
    My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.

    KING HENRY VI

    Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.

    CLIFFORD

    Patience is for poltroons, such as he:
    He durst not sit there, had your father lived.
    My gracious lord, here in the parliament
    Let us assail the family of York.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Well hast thou spoken, cousin: be it so.

    KING HENRY VI

    Ah, know you not the city favours them,
    And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?

    EXETER

    But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.

    KING HENRY VI

    Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
    To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
    Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words and threats
    Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
    Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,
    and kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
    I am thy sovereign.

    YORK

    I am thine.

    EXETER

    For shame, come down: he made thee Duke of York.

    YORK

    'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.

    EXETER

    Thy father was a traitor to the crown.

    WARWICK

    Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
    In following this usurping Henry.

    CLIFFORD

    Whom should he follow but his natural king?

    WARWICK

    True, Clifford; and that's Richard Duke of York.

    KING HENRY VI

    And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?

    YORK

    It must and shall be so: content thyself.

    WARWICK

    Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.

    WESTMORELAND

    He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
    And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.

    WARWICK

    And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
    That we are those which chased you from the field
    And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
    March'd through the city to the palace gates.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
    And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.

    WESTMORELAND

    Plantagenet, of thee and these thy sons,
    Thy kinsman and thy friends, I'll have more lives
    Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.

    CLIFFORD

    Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,
    I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
    As shall revenge his death before I stir.

    WARWICK

    Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!

    YORK

    Will you we show our title to the crown?
    If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.

    KING HENRY VI

    What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
    Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
    Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March:
    I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
    Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop
    And seized upon their towns and provinces.

    WARWICK

    Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.

    KING HENRY VI

    The lord protector lost it, and not I:
    When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.

    RICHARD

    You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.
    Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.

    EDWARD

    Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.

    MONTAGUE

    Good brother, as thou lovest and honourest arms,
    Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.

    RICHARD

    Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.

    YORK

    Sons, peace!

    KING HENRY VI

    Peace, thou! and give King Henry leave to speak.

    WARWICK

    Plantagenet shall speak first: hear him, lords;
    And be you silent and attentive too,
    For he that interrupts him shall not live.

    KING HENRY VI

    Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
    Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
    No: first shall war unpeople this my realm;
    Ay, and their colours, often borne in France,
    And now in England to our heart's great sorrow,
    Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
    My title's good, and better far than his.

    WARWICK

    Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.

    KING HENRY VI

    Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.

    YORK

    'Twas by rebellion against his king.

    KING HENRY VI

    [Aside] I know not what to say; my title's weak.--
    Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?

    YORK

    What then?

    KING HENRY VI

    An if he may, then am I lawful king;
    For Richard, in the view of many lords,
    Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth,
    Whose heir my father was, and I am his.

    YORK

    He rose against him, being his sovereign,
    And made him to resign his crown perforce.

    WARWICK

    Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
    Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?

    EXETER

    No; for he could not so resign his crown
    But that the next heir should succeed and reign.

    KING HENRY VI

    Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?

    EXETER

    His is the right, and therefore pardon me.

    YORK

    Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?

    EXETER

    My conscience tells me he is lawful king.

    KING HENRY VI

    [Aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
    Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.

    WARWICK

    Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Thou art deceived: 'tis not thy southern power,
    Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
    Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
    Can set the duke up in despite of me.

    CLIFFORD

    King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
    Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
    May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
    Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!

    KING HENRY VI

    O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!

    YORK

    Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.
    What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

    WARWICK

    Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
    Or I will fill the house with armed men,
    And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
    Write up his title with usurping blood.

    He stamps with his foot and the soldiers show themselves

    KING HENRY VI

    My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one word:
    Let me for this my life-time reign as king.

    YORK

    Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
    And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou livest.

    KING HENRY VI

    I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
    Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.

    CLIFFORD

    What wrong is this unto the prince your son!

    WARWICK

    What good is this to England and himself!

    WESTMORELAND

    Base, fearful and despairing Henry!

    CLIFFORD

    How hast thou injured both thyself and us!

    WESTMORELAND

    I cannot stay to hear these articles.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Nor I.

    CLIFFORD

    Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.

    WESTMORELAND

    Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
    In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
    And die in bands for this unmanly deed!

    CLIFFORD

    In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
    Or live in peace abandon'd and despised!

    Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND

    WARWICK

    Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.

    EXETER

    They seek revenge and therefore will not yield.

    KING HENRY VI

    Ah, Exeter!

    WARWICK

    Why should you sigh, my lord?

    KING HENRY VI

    Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
    Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
    But be it as it may: I here entail
    The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
    Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
    To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
    To honour me as thy king and sovereign,
    And neither by treason nor hostility
    To seek to put me down and reign thyself.

    YORK

    This oath I willingly take and will perform.

    WARWICK

    Long live King Henry! Plantagenet embrace him.

    KING HENRY VI

    And long live thou and these thy forward sons!

    YORK

    Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.

    EXETER

    Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes!

    Sennet. Here they come down

    YORK

    Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.

    WARWICK

    And I'll keep London with my soldiers.

    NORFOLK

    And I to Norfolk with my followers.

    MONTAGUE

    And I unto the sea from whence I came.

    Exeunt YORK, EDWARD, EDMUND, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, their Soldiers, and Attendants

    KING HENRY VI

    And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.

    Enter QUEEN MARGARET and PRINCE EDWARD

    EXETER

    Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger:
    I'll steal away.

    KING HENRY VI

    Exeter, so will I.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.

    KING HENRY VI

    Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Who can be patient in such extremes?
    Ah, wretched man! would I had died a maid
    And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
    Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father
    Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
    Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,
    Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
    Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
    Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there,
    Rather than have that savage duke thine heir
    And disinherited thine only son.

    PRINCE EDWARD

    Father, you cannot disinherit me:
    If you be king, why should not I succeed?

    KING HENRY VI

    Pardon me, Margaret; pardon me, sweet son:
    The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforced me.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Enforced thee! art thou king, and wilt be forced?
    I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
    Thou hast undone thyself, thy son and me;
    And given unto the house of York such head
    As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
    To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
    What is it, but to make thy sepulchre
    And creep into it far before thy time?
    Warwick is chancellor and the lord of Calais;
    Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
    The duke is made protector of the realm;
    And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
    The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
    Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
    The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes
    Before I would have granted to that act.
    But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
    And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
    Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
    Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
    Whereby my son is disinherited.
    The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
    Will follow mine, if once they see them spread;
    And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
    And utter ruin of the house of York.
    Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let's away;
    Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.

    KING HENRY VI

    Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Thou hast spoke too much already: get thee gone.

    KING HENRY VI

    Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.

    PRINCE EDWARD

    When I return with victory from the field
    I'll see your grace: till then I'll follow her.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Come, son, away; we may not linger thus.

    Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET and PRINCE EDWARD

    KING HENRY VI

    Poor queen! how love to me and to her son
    Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
    Revenged may she be on that hateful duke,
    Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
    Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
    Tire on the flesh of me and of my son!
    The loss of those three lords torments my heart:
    I'll write unto them and entreat them fair.
    Come, cousin you shall be the messenger.

    EXETER

    And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. Sandal Castle.

    Enter RICHARD, EDWARD, and MONTAGUE

    RICHARD

    Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.

    EDWARD

    No, I can better play the orator.

    MONTAGUE

    But I have reasons strong and forcible.

    Enter YORK

    YORK

    Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
    What is your quarrel? how began it first?

    EDWARD

    No quarrel, but a slight contention.

    YORK

    About what?

    RICHARD

    About that which concerns your grace and us;
    The crown of England, father, which is yours.

    YORK

    Mine boy? not till King Henry be dead.

    RICHARD

    Your right depends not on his life or death.

    EDWARD

    Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
    By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
    It will outrun you, father, in the end.

    YORK

    I took an oath that he should quietly reign.

    EDWARD

    But for a kingdom any oath may be broken:
    I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

    RICHARD

    No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.

    YORK

    I shall be, if I claim by open war.

    RICHARD

    I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.

    YORK

    Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.

    RICHARD

    An oath is of no moment, being not took
    Before a true and lawful magistrate,
    That hath authority over him that swears:
    Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
    Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
    Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
    Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
    How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
    Within whose circuit is Elysium
    And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
    Why do we finger thus? I cannot rest
    Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
    Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.

    YORK

    Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.
    Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
    And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
    Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk,
    And tell him privily of our intent.
    You Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
    With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise:
    In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
    Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
    While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more,
    But that I seek occasion how to rise,
    And yet the king not privy to my drift,
    Nor any of the house of Lancaster?

    Enter a Messenger
    But, stay: what news? Why comest thou in such post?

    Messenger

    The queen with all the northern earls and lords
    Intend here to besiege you in your castle:
    She is hard by with twenty thousand men;
    And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

    YORK

    Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear them?
    Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
    My brother Montague shall post to London:
    Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
    Whom we have left protectors of the king,
    With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
    And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.

    MONTAGUE

    Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
    And thus most humbly I do take my leave.

    Exit

    Enter JOHN MORTIMER and HUGH MORTIMER
    Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
    You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
    The army of the queen mean to besiege us.

    JOHN MORTIMER

    She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.

    YORK

    What, with five thousand men?

    RICHARD

    Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need:
    A woman's general; what should we fear?

    A march afar off

    EDWARD

    I hear their drums: let's set our men in order,
    And issue forth and bid them battle straight.

    YORK

    Five men to twenty! though the odds be great,
    I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
    Many a battle have I won in France,
    When as the enemy hath been ten to one:
    Why should I not now have the like success?

    Alarum. Exeunt

    SCENE III. Field of battle betwixt Sandal Castle and Wakefield.

    Alarums. Enter RUTLAND and his Tutor

    RUTLAND

    Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands?
    Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes!

    Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers

    CLIFFORD

    Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
    As for the brat of this accursed duke,
    Whose father slew my father, he shall die.

    Tutor

    And I, my lord, will bear him company.

    CLIFFORD

    Soldiers, away with him!

    Tutor

    Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
    Lest thou be hated both of God and man!

    Exit, dragged off by Soldiers

    CLIFFORD

    How now! is he dead already? or is it fear
    That makes him close his eyes? I'll open them.

    RUTLAND

    So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
    That trembles under his devouring paws;
    And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey,
    And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder.
    Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
    And not with such a cruel threatening look.
    Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die.
    I am too mean a subject for thy wrath:
    Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.

    CLIFFORD

    In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
    Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.

    RUTLAND

    Then let my father's blood open it again:
    He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.

    CLIFFORD

    Had thy brethren here, their lives and thine
    Were not revenge sufficient for me;
    No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves
    And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
    It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
    The sight of any of the house of York
    Is as a fury to torment my soul;
    And till I root out their accursed line
    And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
    Therefore--

    Lifting his hand

    RUTLAND

    O, let me pray before I take my death!
    To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!

    CLIFFORD

    Such pity as my rapier's point affords.

    RUTLAND

    I never did thee harm: why wilt thou slay me?

    CLIFFORD

    Thy father hath.

    RUTLAND

    But 'twas ere I was born.
    Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me,
    Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
    He be as miserably slain as I.
    Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
    And when I give occasion of offence,
    Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.

    CLIFFORD

    No cause!
    Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.

    Stabs him

    RUTLAND

    Di faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae!

    Dies

    CLIFFORD

    Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
    And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade
    Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood,
    Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.

    Exit

    SCENE IV. Another part of the field.

    Alarum. Enter YORK

    YORK

    The army of the queen hath got the field:
    My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
    And all my followers to the eager foe
    Turn back and fly, like ships before the wind
    Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
    My sons, God knows what hath bechanced them:
    But this I know, they have demean'd themselves
    Like men born to renown by life or death.
    Three times did Richard make a lane to me.
    And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out!'
    And full as oft came Edward to my side,
    With purple falchion, painted to the hilt
    In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
    And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
    Richard cried 'Charge! and give no foot of ground!'
    And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
    A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!'
    With this, we charged again: but, out, alas!
    We bodged again; as I have seen a swan
    With bootless labour swim against the tide
    And spend her strength with over-matching waves.

    A short alarum within
    Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue;
    And I am faint and cannot fly their fury:
    And were I strong, I would not shun their fury:
    The sands are number'd that make up my life;
    Here must I stay, and here my life must end.

    Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, PRINCE EDWARD, and Soldiers
    Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
    I dare your quenchless fury to more rage:
    I am your butt, and I abide your shot.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.

    CLIFFORD

    Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm,
    With downright payment, show'd unto my father.
    Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car,
    And made an evening at the noontide prick.

    YORK

    My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
    A bird that will revenge upon you all:
    And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
    Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
    Why come you not? what! multitudes, and fear?

    CLIFFORD

    So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
    So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
    So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
    Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.

    YORK

    O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
    And in thy thought o'er-run my former time;
    And, if though canst for blushing, view this face,
    And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
    Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this!

    CLIFFORD

    I will not bandy with thee word for word,
    But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes
    I would prolong awhile the traitor's life.
    Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumberland.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Hold, Clifford! do not honour him so much
    To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart:
    What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
    For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
    When he might spurn him with his foot away?
    It is war's prize to take all vantages;
    And ten to one is no impeach of valour.

    They lay hands on YORK, who struggles

    CLIFFORD

    Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    So doth the cony struggle in the net.

    YORK

    So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty;
    So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatch'd.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    What would your grace have done unto him now?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
    Come, make him stand upon this molehill here,
    That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
    Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
    What! was it you that would be England's king?
    Was't you that revell'd in our parliament,
    And made a preachment of your high descent?
    Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
    The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
    And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
    Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
    Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
    Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
    Look, York: I stain'd this napkin with the blood
    That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point,
    Made issue from the bosom of the boy;
    And if thine eyes can water for his death,
    I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
    Alas poor York! but that I hate thee deadly,
    I should lament thy miserable state.
    I prithee, grieve, to make me merry, York.
    What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails
    That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
    Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst be mad;
    And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
    Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
    Thou wouldst be fee'd, I see, to make me sport:
    York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown.
    A crown for York! and, lords, bow low to him:
    Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.

    Putting a paper crown on his head
    Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
    Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair,
    And this is he was his adopted heir.
    But how is it that great Plantagenet
    Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
    As I bethink me, you should not be king
    Till our King Henry had shook hands with death.
    And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
    And rob his temples of the diadem,
    Now in his life, against your holy oath?
    O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable!
    Off with the crown, and with the crown his head;
    And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.

    CLIFFORD

    That is my office, for my father's sake.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Nay, stay; lets hear the orisons he makes.

    YORK

    She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
    Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!
    How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
    To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
    Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
    But that thy face is, vizard-like, unchanging,
    Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
    I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
    To tell thee whence thou camest, of whom derived,
    Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
    Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
    Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
    Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
    Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
    It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
    Unless the adage must be verified,
    That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
    'Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud;
    But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small:
    'Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
    The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at:
    'Tis government that makes them seem divine;
    The want thereof makes thee abominable:
    Thou art as opposite to every good
    As the Antipodes are unto us,
    Or as the south to the septentrion.
    O tiger's heart wrapt in a woman's hide!
    How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
    To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
    And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
    Women are soft, mild, pitiful and flexible;
    Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
    Bids't thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
    Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will:
    For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
    And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
    These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies:
    And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
    'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false
    Frenchwoman.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Beshrew me, but his passion moves me so
    That hardly can I cheque my eyes from tears.

    YORK

    That face of his the hungry cannibals
    Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood:
    But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
    O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
    See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears:
    This cloth thou dip'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
    And I with tears do wash the blood away.
    Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:
    And if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
    Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
    Yea even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
    And say 'Alas, it was a piteous deed!'
    There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my curse;
    And in thy need such comfort come to thee
    As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!
    Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world:
    My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
    I should not for my life but weep with him.
    To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
    Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
    And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.

    CLIFFORD

    Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.

    Stabbing him

    QUEEN MARGARET

    And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.

    Stabbing him

    YORK

    Open Thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
    My soul flies through these wounds to seek out Thee.

    Dies

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
    So York may overlook the town of York.

    Flourish. Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire.

    A march. Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and their power

    EDWARD

    I wonder how our princely father 'scaped,
    Or whether he be 'scaped away or no
    From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit:
    Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;
    Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
    Or had he 'scaped, methinks we should have heard
    The happy tidings of his good escape.
    How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

    RICHARD

    I cannot joy, until I be resolved
    Where our right valiant father is become.
    I saw him in the battle range about;
    And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth.
    Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
    As doth a lion in a herd of neat;
    Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs,
    Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry,
    The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
    So fared our father with his enemies;
    So fled his enemies my warlike father:
    Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.
    See how the morning opes her golden gates,
    And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
    How well resembles it the prime of youth,
    Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!

    EDWARD

    Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

    RICHARD

    Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
    Not separated with the racking clouds,
    But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
    See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
    As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
    Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
    In this the heaven figures some event.

    EDWARD

    'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
    I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
    That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
    Each one already blazing by our meeds,
    Should notwithstanding join our lights together
    And over-shine the earth as this the world.
    Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
    Upon my target three fair-shining suns.

    RICHARD

    Nay, bear three daughters: by your leave I speak it,
    You love the breeder better than the male.

    Enter a Messenger
    But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
    Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?

    Messenger

    Ah, one that was a woful looker-on
    When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
    Your princely father and my loving lord!

    EDWARD

    O, speak no more, for I have heard too much.

    RICHARD

    Say how he died, for I will hear it all.

    Messenger

    Environed he was with many foes,
    And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
    Against the Greeks that would have enter'd Troy.
    But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
    And many strokes, though with a little axe,
    Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
    By many hands your father was subdued;
    But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm
    Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen,
    Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite,
    Laugh'd in his face; and when with grief he wept,
    The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks
    A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
    Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain:
    And after many scorns, many foul taunts,
    They took his head, and on the gates of York
    They set the same; and there it doth remain,
    The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

    EDWARD

    Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
    Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
    O Clifford, boisterous Clifford! thou hast slain
    The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
    And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
    For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee.
    Now my soul's palace is become a prison:
    Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
    Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
    For never henceforth shall I joy again,
    Never, O never shall I see more joy!

    RICHARD

    I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture
    Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart:
    Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burthen;
    For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
    Is kindling coals that fires all my breast,
    And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
    To weep is to make less the depth of grief:
    Tears then for babes; blows and revenge for me
    Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death,
    Or die renowned by attempting it.

    EDWARD

    His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
    His dukedom and his chair with me is left.

    RICHARD

    Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
    Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun:
    For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say;
    Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.

    March. Enter WARWICK, MONTAGUE, and their army

    WARWICK

    How now, fair lords! What fare? what news abroad?

    RICHARD

    Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount
    Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
    Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
    The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
    O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!

    EDWARD

    O Warwick, Warwick! that Plantagenet,
    Which held three dearly as his soul's redemption,
    Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.

    WARWICK

    Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears;
    And now, to add more measure to your woes,
    I come to tell you things sith then befall'n.
    After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
    Where your brave father breathed his latest gasp,
    Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
    Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
    I, then in London keeper of the king,
    Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
    And very well appointed, as I thought,
    March'd toward Saint Alban's to intercept the queen,
    Bearing the king in my behalf along;
    For by my scouts I was advertised
    That she was coming with a full intent
    To dash our late decree in parliament
    Touching King Henry's oath and your succession.
    Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met
    Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
    But whether 'twas the coldness of the king,
    Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
    That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen;
    Or whether 'twas report of her success;
    Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
    Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
    I cannot judge: but to conclude with truth,
    Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
    Our soldiers', like the night-owl's lazy flight,
    Or like an idle thresher with a flail,
    Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
    I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
    With promise of high pay and great rewards:
    But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
    And we in them no hope to win the day;
    So that we fled; the king unto the queen;
    Lord George your brother, Norfolk and myself,
    In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you:
    For in the marches here we heard you were,
    Making another head to fight again.

    EDWARD

    Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
    And when came George from Burgundy to England?

    WARWICK

    Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;
    And for your brother, he was lately sent
    From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
    With aid of soldiers to this needful war.

    RICHARD

    'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled:
    Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
    But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.

    WARWICK

    Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear;
    For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine
    Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
    And wring the awful sceptre from his fist,
    Were he as famous and as bold in war
    As he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayer.

    RICHARD

    I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not:
    'Tis love I bear thy glories makes me speak.
    But in this troublous time what's to be done?
    Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
    And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
    Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads?
    Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
    Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
    If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.

    WARWICK

    Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out;
    And therefore comes my brother Montague.
    Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
    With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
    And of their feather many more proud birds,
    Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
    He swore consent to your succession,
    His oath enrolled in the parliament;
    And now to London all the crew are gone,
    To frustrate both his oath and what beside
    May make against the house of Lancaster.
    Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong:
    Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
    With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
    Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
    Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
    Why, Via! to London will we march amain,
    And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
    And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!'
    But never once again turn back and fly.

    RICHARD

    Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak:
    Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,
    That cries 'Retire,' if Warwick bid him stay.

    EDWARD

    Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
    And when thou fail'st--as God forbid the hour!--
    Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!

    WARWICK

    No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York:
    The next degree is England's royal throne;
    For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
    In every borough as we pass along;
    And he that throws not up his cap for joy
    Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
    King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague,
    Stay we no longer, dreaming of renown,
    But sound the trumpets, and about our task.

    RICHARD

    Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
    As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
    I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.

    EDWARD

    Then strike up drums: God and Saint George for us!

    Enter a Messenger

    WARWICK

    How now! what news?

    Messenger

    The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,
    The queen is coming with a puissant host;
    And craves your company for speedy counsel.

    WARWICK

    Why then it sorts, brave warriors, let's away.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. Before York.

    Flourish. Enter KING HENRY VI, QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, CLIFFORD, and NORTHUMBERLAND, with drum and trumpets

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
    Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy
    That sought to be encompass'd with your crown:
    Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?

    KING HENRY VI

    Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck:
    To see this sight, it irks my very soul.
    Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
    Nor wittingly have I infringed my vow.

    CLIFFORD

    My gracious liege, this too much lenity
    And harmful pity must be laid aside.
    To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
    Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
    Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
    Not his that spoils her young before her face.
    Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
    Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
    The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
    And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
    Ambitious York doth level at thy crown,
    Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows:
    He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
    And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
    Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
    Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
    Which argued thee a most unloving father.
    Unreasonable creatures feed their young;
    And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
    Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
    Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
    Which sometime they have used with fearful flight,
    Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
    Offer their own lives in their young's defence?
    For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
    Were it not pity that this goodly boy
    Should lose his birthright by his father's fault,
    And long hereafter say unto his child,
    'What my great-grandfather and his grandsire got
    My careless father fondly gave away'?
    Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
    And let his manly face, which promiseth
    Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
    To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.

    KING HENRY VI

    Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
    Inferring arguments of mighty force.
    But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
    That things ill-got had ever bad success?
    And happy always was it for that son
    Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
    I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
    And would my father had left me no more!
    For all the rest is held at such a rate
    As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
    Than in possession and jot of pleasure.
    Ah, cousin York! would thy best friends did know
    How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

    QUEEN MARGARET

    My lord, cheer up your spirits: our foes are nigh,
    And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
    You promised knighthood to our forward son:
    Unsheathe your sword, and dub him presently.
    Edward, kneel down.

    KING HENRY VI

    Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
    And learn this lesson, draw thy sword in right.

    PRINCE

    My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
    I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,
    And in that quarrel use it to the death.

    CLIFFORD

    Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.

    Enter a Messenger

    Messenger

    Royal commanders, be in readiness:
    For with a band of thirty thousand men
    Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York;
    And in the towns, as they do march along,
    Proclaims him king, and many fly to him:
    Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.

    CLIFFORD

    I would your highness would depart the field:
    The queen hath best success when you are absent.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.

    KING HENRY VI

    Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Be it with resolution then to fight.

    PRINCE EDWARD

    My royal father, cheer these noble lords
    And hearten those that fight in your defence:
    Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry 'Saint George!'

    March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers

    EDWARD

    Now, perjured Henry! wilt thou kneel for grace,
    And set thy diadem upon my head;
    Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
    Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
    Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?

    EDWARD

    I am his king, and he should bow his knee;
    I was adopted heir by his consent:
    Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
    You, that are king, though he do wear the crown,
    Have caused him, by new act of parliament,
    To blot out me, and put his own son in.

    CLIFFORD

    And reason too:
    Who should succeed the father but the son?

    RICHARD

    Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!

    CLIFFORD

    Ay, crook-back, here I stand to answer thee,
    Or any he the proudest of thy sort.

    RICHARD

    'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?

    CLIFFORD

    Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.

    RICHARD

    For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.

    WARWICK

    What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick! dare you speak?
    When you and I met at Saint Alban's last,
    Your legs did better service than your hands.

    WARWICK

    Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.

    CLIFFORD

    You said so much before, and yet you fled.

    WARWICK

    'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.

    RICHARD

    Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
    Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
    The execution of my big-swoln heart
    Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.

    CLIFFORD

    I slew thy father, call'st thou him a child?

    RICHARD

    Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
    As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
    But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.

    KING HENRY VI

    Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

    KING HENRY VI

    I prithee, give no limits to my tongue:
    I am a king, and privileged to speak.

    CLIFFORD

    My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
    Cannot be cured by words; therefore be still.

    RICHARD

    Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword:
    By him that made us all, I am resolved
    that Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.

    EDWARD

    Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
    A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,
    That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.

    WARWICK

    If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
    For York in justice puts his armour on.

    PRINCE EDWARD

    If that be right which Warwick says is right,
    There is no wrong, but every thing is right.

    RICHARD

    Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
    For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam;
    But like a foul mis-shapen stigmatic,
    Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
    As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.

    RICHARD

    Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
    Whose father bears the title of a king,--
    As if a channel should be call'd the sea,--
    Shamest thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
    To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?

    EDWARD

    A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns,
    To make this shameless callet know herself.
    Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
    Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
    And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
    By that false woman, as this king by thee.
    His father revell'd in the heart of France,
    And tamed the king, and made the dauphin stoop;
    And had he match'd according to his state,
    He might have kept that glory to this day;
    But when he took a beggar to his bed,
    And graced thy poor sire with his bridal-day,
    Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him,
    That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France,
    And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.
    For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy pride?
    Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
    And we, in pity of the gentle king,
    Had slipp'd our claim until another age.

    GEORGE

    But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
    And that thy summer bred us no increase,
    We set the axe to thy usurping root;
    And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
    Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
    We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down,
    Or bathed thy growing with our heated bloods.

    EDWARD

    And, in this resolution, I defy thee;
    Not willing any longer conference,
    Since thou deniest the gentle king to speak.
    Sound trumpets! let our bloody colours wave!
    And either victory, or else a grave.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Stay, Edward.

    EDWARD

    No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay:
    These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. A field of battle between Towton and Saxton, in

    Yorkshire.

    Alarum. Excursions. Enter WARWICK

    WARWICK

    Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
    I lay me down a little while to breathe;
    For strokes received, and many blows repaid,
    Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength,
    And spite of spite needs must I rest awhile.

    Enter EDWARD, running

    EDWARD

    Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle death!
    For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded.

    WARWICK

    How now, my lord! what hap? what hope of good?

    Enter GEORGE

    GEORGE

    Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair;
    Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us:
    What counsel give you? whither shall we fly?

    EDWARD

    Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings;
    And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.

    Enter RICHARD

    RICHARD

    Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
    Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
    Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance;
    And in the very pangs of death he cried,
    Like to a dismal clangour heard from far,
    'Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!'
    So, underneath the belly of their steeds,
    That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
    The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.

    WARWICK

    Then let the earth be drunken with our blood:
    I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
    Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
    Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
    And look upon, as if the tragedy
    Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
    Here on my knee I vow to God above,
    I'll never pause again, never stand still,
    Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
    Or fortune given me measure of revenge.

    EDWARD

    O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine;
    And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!
    And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
    I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
    Thou setter up and plucker down of kings,
    Beseeching thee, if with they will it stands
    That to my foes this body must be prey,
    Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
    And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
    Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
    Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.

    RICHARD

    Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle Warwick,
    Let me embrace thee in my weary arms:
    I, that did never weep, now melt with woe
    That winter should cut off our spring-time so.

    WARWICK

    Away, away! Once more, sweet lords farewell.

    GEORGE

    Yet let us all together to our troops,
    And give them leave to fly that will not stay;
    And call them pillars that will stand to us;
    And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards
    As victors wear at the Olympian games:
    This may plant courage in their quailing breasts;
    For yet is hope of life and victory.
    Forslow no longer, make we hence amain.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. Another part of the field.

    Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD

    RICHARD

    Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone:
    Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
    And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge,
    Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.

    CLIFFORD

    Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone:
    This is the hand that stabb'd thy father York;
    And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland;
    And here's the heart that triumphs in their death
    And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and brother
    To execute the like upon thyself;
    And so, have at thee!

    They fight. WARWICK comes; CLIFFORD flies

    RICHARD

    Nay Warwick, single out some other chase;
    For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.

    Exeunt

    SCENE V. Another part of the field.

    Alarum. Enter KING HENRY VI alone

    KING HENRY VI

    This battle fares like to the morning's war,
    When dying clouds contend with growing light,
    What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
    Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
    Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
    Forced by the tide to combat with the wind;
    Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
    Forced to retire by fury of the wind:
    Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
    Now one the better, then another best;
    Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
    Yet neither conqueror nor conquered:
    So is the equal of this fell war.
    Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
    To whom God will, there be the victory!
    For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,<br
     
  8. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Life and Death of King John
    Shakespeare homepage | King John | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. KING JOHN'S palace.

    Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, PEMBROKE, ESSEX, SALISBURY, and others, with CHATILLON

    KING JOHN

    Now, say, Chatillon, what would France with us?

    CHATILLON

    Thus, after greeting, speaks the King of France
    In my behavior to the majesty,
    The borrow'd majesty, of England here.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    A strange beginning: 'borrow'd majesty!'

    KING JOHN

    Silence, good mother; hear the embassy.

    CHATILLON

    Philip of France, in right and true behalf
    Of thy deceased brother Geffrey's son,
    Arthur Plantagenet, lays most lawful claim
    To this fair island and the territories,
    To Ireland, Poictiers, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
    Desiring thee to lay aside the sword
    Which sways usurpingly these several titles,
    And put these same into young Arthur's hand,
    Thy nephew and right royal sovereign.

    KING JOHN

    What follows if we disallow of this?

    CHATILLON

    The proud control of fierce and bloody war,
    To enforce these rights so forcibly withheld.

    KING JOHN

    Here have we war for war and blood for blood,
    Controlment for controlment: so answer France.

    CHATILLON

    Then take my king's defiance from my mouth,
    The farthest limit of my embassy.

    KING JOHN

    Bear mine to him, and so depart in peace:
    Be thou as lightning in the eyes of France;
    For ere thou canst report I will be there,
    The thunder of my cannon shall be heard:
    So hence! Be thou the trumpet of our wrath
    And sullen presage of your own decay.
    An honourable conduct let him have:
    Pembroke, look to 't. Farewell, Chatillon.

    Exeunt CHATILLON and PEMBROKE

    QUEEN ELINOR

    What now, my son! have I not ever said
    How that ambitious Constance would not cease
    Till she had kindled France and all the world,
    Upon the right and party of her son?
    This might have been prevented and made whole
    With very easy arguments of love,
    Which now the manage of two kingdoms must
    With fearful bloody issue arbitrate.

    KING JOHN

    Our strong possession and our right for us.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Your strong possession much more than your right,
    Or else it must go wrong with you and me:
    So much my conscience whispers in your ear,
    Which none but heaven and you and I shall hear.

    Enter a Sheriff

    ESSEX

    My liege, here is the strangest controversy
    Come from country to be judged by you,
    That e'er I heard: shall I produce the men?

    KING JOHN

    Let them approach.
    Our abbeys and our priories shall pay
    This expedition's charge.

    Enter ROBERT and the BASTARD
    What men are you?

    BASTARD

    Your faithful subject I, a gentleman
    Born in Northamptonshire and eldest son,
    As I suppose, to Robert Faulconbridge,
    A soldier, by the honour-giving hand
    Of Coeur-de-lion knighted in the field.

    KING JOHN

    What art thou?

    ROBERT

    The son and heir to that same Faulconbridge.

    KING JOHN

    Is that the elder, and art thou the heir?
    You came not of one mother then, it seems.

    BASTARD

    Most certain of one mother, mighty king;
    That is well known; and, as I think, one father:
    But for the certain knowledge of that truth
    I put you o'er to heaven and to my mother:
    Of that I doubt, as all men's children may.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Out on thee, rude man! thou dost shame thy mother
    And wound her honour with this diffidence.

    BASTARD

    I, madam? no, I have no reason for it;
    That is my brother's plea and none of mine;
    The which if he can prove, a' pops me out
    At least from fair five hundred pound a year:
    Heaven guard my mother's honour and my land!

    KING JOHN

    A good blunt fellow. Why, being younger born,
    Doth he lay claim to thine inheritance?

    BASTARD

    I know not why, except to get the land.
    But once he slander'd me with bastardy:
    But whether I be as true begot or no,
    That still I lay upon my mother's head,
    But that I am as well begot, my liege,--
    Fair fall the bones that took the pains for me!--
    Compare our faces and be judge yourself.
    If old sir Robert did beget us both
    And were our father and this son like him,
    O old sir Robert, father, on my knee
    I give heaven thanks I was not like to thee!

    KING JOHN

    Why, what a madcap hath heaven lent us here!

    QUEEN ELINOR

    He hath a trick of Coeur-de-lion's face;
    The accent of his tongue affecteth him.
    Do you not read some tokens of my son
    In the large composition of this man?

    KING JOHN

    Mine eye hath well examined his parts
    And finds them perfect Richard. Sirrah, speak,
    What doth move you to claim your brother's land?

    BASTARD

    Because he hath a half-face, like my father.
    With half that face would he have all my land:
    A half-faced groat five hundred pound a year!

    ROBERT

    My gracious liege, when that my father lived,
    Your brother did employ my father much,--

    BASTARD

    Well, sir, by this you cannot get my land:
    Your tale must be how he employ'd my mother.

    ROBERT

    And once dispatch'd him in an embassy
    To Germany, there with the emperor
    To treat of high affairs touching that time.
    The advantage of his absence took the king
    And in the mean time sojourn'd at my father's;
    Where how he did prevail I shame to speak,
    But truth is truth: large lengths of seas and shores
    Between my father and my mother lay,
    As I have heard my father speak himself,
    When this same lusty gentleman was got.
    Upon his death-bed he by will bequeath'd
    His lands to me, and took it on his death
    That this my mother's son was none of his;
    And if he were, he came into the world
    Full fourteen weeks before the course of time.
    Then, good my liege, let me have what is mine,
    My father's land, as was my father's will.

    KING JOHN

    Sirrah, your brother is legitimate;
    Your father's wife did after wedlock bear him,
    And if she did play false, the fault was hers;
    Which fault lies on the hazards of all husbands
    That marry wives. Tell me, how if my brother,
    Who, as you say, took pains to get this son,
    Had of your father claim'd this son for his?
    In sooth, good friend, your father might have kept
    This calf bred from his cow from all the world;
    In sooth he might; then, if he were my brother's,
    My brother might not claim him; nor your father,
    Being none of his, refuse him: this concludes;
    My mother's son did get your father's heir;
    Your father's heir must have your father's land.

    ROBERT

    Shall then my father's will be of no force
    To dispossess that child which is not his?

    BASTARD

    Of no more force to dispossess me, sir,
    Than was his will to get me, as I think.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Whether hadst thou rather be a Faulconbridge
    And like thy brother, to enjoy thy land,
    Or the reputed son of Coeur-de-lion,
    Lord of thy presence and no land beside?

    BASTARD

    Madam, an if my brother had my shape,
    And I had his, sir Robert's his, like him;
    And if my legs were two such riding-rods,
    My arms such eel-skins stuff'd, my face so thin
    That in mine ear I durst not stick a rose
    Lest men should say 'Look, where three-farthings goes!'
    And, to his shape, were heir to all this land,
    Would I might never stir from off this place,
    I would give it every foot to have this face;
    I would not be sir Nob in any case.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    I like thee well: wilt thou forsake thy fortune,
    Bequeath thy land to him and follow me?
    I am a soldier and now bound to France.

    BASTARD

    Brother, take you my land, I'll take my chance.
    Your face hath got five hundred pound a year,
    Yet sell your face for five pence and 'tis dear.
    Madam, I'll follow you unto the death.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Nay, I would have you go before me thither.

    BASTARD

    Our country manners give our betters way.

    KING JOHN

    What is thy name?

    BASTARD

    Philip, my liege, so is my name begun,
    Philip, good old sir Robert's wife's eldest son.

    KING JOHN

    From henceforth bear his name whose form thou bear'st:
    Kneel thou down Philip, but rise more great,
    Arise sir Richard and Plantagenet.

    BASTARD

    Brother by the mother's side, give me your hand:
    My father gave me honour, yours gave land.
    Now blessed by the hour, by night or day,
    When I was got, sir Robert was away!

    QUEEN ELINOR

    The very spirit of Plantagenet!
    I am thy grandam, Richard; call me so.

    BASTARD

    Madam, by chance but not by truth; what though?
    Something about, a little from the right,
    In at the window, or else o'er the hatch:
    Who dares not stir by day must walk by night,
    And have is have, however men do catch:
    Near or far off, well won is still well shot,
    And I am I, howe'er I was begot.

    KING JOHN

    Go, Faulconbridge: now hast thou thy desire;
    A landless knight makes thee a landed squire.
    Come, madam, and come, Richard, we must speed
    For France, for France, for it is more than need.

    BASTARD

    Brother, adieu: good fortune come to thee!
    For thou wast got i' the way of honesty.

    Exeunt all but BASTARD
    A foot of honour better than I was;
    But many a many foot of land the worse.
    Well, now can I make any Joan a lady.
    'Good den, sir Richard!'--'God-a-mercy, fellow!'--
    And if his name be George, I'll call him Peter;
    For new-made honour doth forget men's names;
    'Tis too respective and too sociable
    For your conversion. Now your traveller,
    He and his toothpick at my worship's mess,
    And when my knightly stomach is sufficed,
    Why then I suck my teeth and catechise
    My picked man of countries: 'My dear sir,'
    Thus, leaning on mine elbow, I begin,
    'I shall beseech you'--that is question now;
    And then comes answer like an Absey book:
    'O sir,' says answer, 'at your best command;
    At your employment; at your service, sir;'
    'No, sir,' says question, 'I, sweet sir, at yours:'
    And so, ere answer knows what question would,
    Saving in dialogue of compliment,
    And talking of the Alps and Apennines,
    The Pyrenean and the river Po,
    It draws toward supper in conclusion so.
    But this is worshipful society
    And fits the mounting spirit like myself,
    For he is but a bastard to the time
    That doth not smack of observation;
    And so am I, whether I smack or no;
    And not alone in habit and device,
    Exterior form, outward accoutrement,
    But from the inward motion to deliver
    Sweet, sweet, sweet poison for the age's tooth:
    Which, though I will not practise to deceive,
    Yet, to avoid deceit, I mean to learn;
    For it shall strew the footsteps of my rising.
    But who comes in such haste in riding-robes?
    What woman-post is this? hath she no husband
    That will take pains to blow a horn before her?

    Enter LADY FAULCONBRIDGE and GURNEY
    O me! it is my mother. How now, good lady!
    What brings you here to court so hastily?

    LADY FAULCONBRIDGE

    Where is that slave, thy brother? where is he,
    That holds in chase mine honour up and down?

    BASTARD

    My brother Robert? old sir Robert's son?
    Colbrand the giant, that same mighty man?
    Is it sir Robert's son that you seek so?

    LADY FAULCONBRIDGE

    Sir Robert's son! Ay, thou unreverend boy,
    Sir Robert's son: why scorn'st thou at sir Robert?
    He is sir Robert's son, and so art thou.

    BASTARD

    James Gurney, wilt thou give us leave awhile?

    GURNEY

    Good leave, good Philip.

    BASTARD

    Philip! sparrow: James,
    There's toys abroad: anon I'll tell thee more.

    Exit GURNEY
    Madam, I was not old sir Robert's son:
    Sir Robert might have eat his part in me
    Upon Good-Friday and ne'er broke his fast:
    Sir Robert could do well: marry, to confess,
    Could he get me? Sir Robert could not do it:
    We know his handiwork: therefore, good mother,
    To whom am I beholding for these limbs?
    Sir Robert never holp to make this leg.

    LADY FAULCONBRIDGE

    Hast thou conspired with thy brother too,
    That for thine own gain shouldst defend mine honour?
    What means this scorn, thou most untoward knave?

    BASTARD

    Knight, knight, good mother, Basilisco-like.
    What! I am dubb'd! I have it on my shoulder.
    But, mother, I am not sir Robert's son;
    I have disclaim'd sir Robert and my land;
    Legitimation, name and all is gone:
    Then, good my mother, let me know my father;
    Some proper man, I hope: who was it, mother?

    LADY FAULCONBRIDGE

    Hast thou denied thyself a Faulconbridge?

    BASTARD

    As faithfully as I deny the devil.

    LADY FAULCONBRIDGE

    King Richard Coeur-de-lion was thy father:
    By long and vehement suit I was seduced
    To make room for him in my husband's bed:
    Heaven lay not my transgression to my charge!
    Thou art the issue of my dear offence,
    Which was so strongly urged past my defence.

    BASTARD

    Now, by this light, were I to get again,
    Madam, I would not wish a better father.
    Some sins do bear their privilege on earth,
    And so doth yours; your fault was not your folly:
    Needs must you lay your heart at his dispose,
    Subjected tribute to commanding love,
    Against whose fury and unmatched force
    The aweless lion could not wage the fight,
    Nor keep his princely heart from Richard's hand.
    He that perforce robs lions of their hearts
    May easily win a woman's. Ay, my mother,
    With all my heart I thank thee for my father!
    Who lives and dares but say thou didst not well
    When I was got, I'll send his soul to hell.
    Come, lady, I will show thee to my kin;
    And they shall say, when Richard me begot,
    If thou hadst said him nay, it had been sin:
    Who says it was, he lies; I say 'twas not.

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. France. Before Angiers.

    Enter AUSTRIA and forces, drums, etc. on one side: on the other KING PHILIP and his power; LEWIS, ARTHUR, CONSTANCE and attendants

    LEWIS

    Before Angiers well met, brave Austria.
    Arthur, that great forerunner of thy blood,
    Richard, that robb'd the lion of his heart
    And fought the holy wars in Palestine,
    By this brave duke came early to his grave:
    And for amends to his posterity,
    At our importance hither is he come,
    To spread his colours, boy, in thy behalf,
    And to rebuke the usurpation
    Of thy unnatural uncle, English John:
    Embrace him, love him, give him welcome hither.

    ARTHUR

    God shall forgive you Coeur-de-lion's death
    The rather that you give his offspring life,
    Shadowing their right under your wings of war:
    I give you welcome with a powerless hand,
    But with a heart full of unstained love:
    Welcome before the gates of Angiers, duke.

    LEWIS

    A noble boy! Who would not do thee right?

    AUSTRIA

    Upon thy cheek lay I this zealous kiss,
    As seal to this indenture of my love,
    That to my home I will no more return,
    Till Angiers and the right thou hast in France,
    Together with that pale, that white-faced shore,
    Whose foot spurns back the ocean's roaring tides
    And coops from other lands her islanders,
    Even till that England, hedged in with the main,
    That water-walled bulwark, still secure
    And confident from foreign purposes,
    Even till that utmost corner of the west
    Salute thee for her king: till then, fair boy,
    Will I not think of home, but follow arms.

    CONSTANCE

    O, take his mother's thanks, a widow's thanks,
    Till your strong hand shall help to give him strength
    To make a more requital to your love!

    AUSTRIA

    The peace of heaven is theirs that lift their swords
    In such a just and charitable war.

    KING PHILIP

    Well then, to work: our cannon shall be bent
    Against the brows of this resisting town.
    Call for our chiefest men of discipline,
    To cull the plots of best advantages:
    We'll lay before this town our royal bones,
    Wade to the market-place in Frenchmen's blood,
    But we will make it subject to this boy.

    CONSTANCE

    Stay for an answer to your embassy,
    Lest unadvised you stain your swords with blood:
    My Lord Chatillon may from England bring,
    That right in peace which here we urge in war,
    And then we shall repent each drop of blood
    That hot rash haste so indirectly shed.

    Enter CHATILLON

    KING PHILIP

    A wonder, lady! lo, upon thy wish,
    Our messenger Chatillon is arrived!
    What England says, say briefly, gentle lord;
    We coldly pause for thee; Chatillon, speak.

    CHATILLON

    Then turn your forces from this paltry siege
    And stir them up against a mightier task.
    England, impatient of your just demands,
    Hath put himself in arms: the adverse winds,
    Whose leisure I have stay'd, have given him time
    To land his legions all as soon as I;
    His marches are expedient to this town,
    His forces strong, his soldiers confident.
    With him along is come the mother-queen,
    An Ate, stirring him to blood and strife;
    With her her niece, the Lady Blanch of Spain;
    With them a bastard of the king's deceased,
    And all the unsettled humours of the land,
    Rash, inconsiderate, fiery voluntaries,
    With ladies' faces and fierce dragons' spleens,
    Have sold their fortunes at their native homes,
    Bearing their birthrights proudly on their backs,
    To make hazard of new fortunes here:
    In brief, a braver choice of dauntless spirits
    Than now the English bottoms have waft o'er
    Did nearer float upon the swelling tide,
    To do offence and scath in Christendom.

    Drum beats
    The interruption of their churlish drums
    Cuts off more circumstance: they are at hand,
    To parley or to fight; therefore prepare.

    KING PHILIP

    How much unlook'd for is this expedition!

    AUSTRIA

    By how much unexpected, by so much
    We must awake endavour for defence;
    For courage mounteth with occasion:
    Let them be welcome then: we are prepared.

    Enter KING JOHN, QUEEN ELINOR, BLANCH, the BASTARD, Lords, and forces

    KING JOHN

    Peace be to France, if France in peace permit
    Our just and lineal entrance to our own;
    If not, bleed France, and peace ascend to heaven,
    Whiles we, God's wrathful agent, do correct
    Their proud contempt that beats His peace to heaven.

    KING PHILIP

    Peace be to England, if that war return
    From France to England, there to live in peace.
    England we love; and for that England's sake
    With burden of our armour here we sweat.
    This toil of ours should be a work of thine;
    But thou from loving England art so far,
    That thou hast under-wrought his lawful king
    Cut off the sequence of posterity,
    Out-faced infant state and done a rape
    Upon the maiden virtue of the crown.
    Look here upon thy brother Geffrey's face;
    These eyes, these brows, were moulded out of his:
    This little abstract doth contain that large
    Which died in Geffrey, and the hand of time
    Shall draw this brief into as huge a volume.
    That Geffrey was thy elder brother born,
    And this his son; England was Geffrey's right
    And this is Geffrey's: in the name of God
    How comes it then that thou art call'd a king,
    When living blood doth in these temples beat,
    Which owe the crown that thou o'ermasterest?

    KING JOHN

    From whom hast thou this great commission, France,
    To draw my answer from thy articles?

    KING PHILIP

    From that supernal judge, that stirs good thoughts
    In any breast of strong authority,
    To look into the blots and stains of right:
    That judge hath made me guardian to this boy:
    Under whose warrant I impeach thy wrong
    And by whose help I mean to chastise it.

    KING JOHN

    Alack, thou dost usurp authority.

    KING PHILIP

    Excuse; it is to beat usurping down.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Who is it thou dost call usurper, France?

    CONSTANCE

    Let me make answer; thy usurping son.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Out, insolent! thy bastard shall be king,
    That thou mayst be a queen, and cheque the world!

    CONSTANCE

    My bed was ever to thy son as true
    As thine was to thy husband; and this boy
    Liker in feature to his father Geffrey
    Than thou and John in manners; being as like
    As rain to water, or devil to his dam.
    My boy a bastard! By my soul, I think
    His father never was so true begot:
    It cannot be, an if thou wert his mother.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    There's a good mother, boy, that blots thy father.

    CONSTANCE

    There's a good grandam, boy, that would blot thee.

    AUSTRIA

    Peace!

    BASTARD

    Hear the crier.

    AUSTRIA

    What the devil art thou?

    BASTARD

    One that will play the devil, sir, with you,
    An a' may catch your hide and you alone:
    You are the hare of whom the proverb goes,
    Whose valour plucks dead lions by the beard;
    I'll smoke your skin-coat, an I catch you right;
    Sirrah, look to't; i' faith, I will, i' faith.

    BLANCH

    O, well did he become that lion's robe
    That did disrobe the lion of that robe!

    BASTARD

    It lies as sightly on the back of him
    As great Alcides' shows upon an ass:
    But, ass, I'll take that burthen from your back,
    Or lay on that shall make your shoulders crack.

    AUSTRIA

    What craker is this same that deafs our ears
    With this abundance of superfluous breath?

    KING PHILIP

    Lewis, determine what we shall do straight.

    LEWIS

    Women and fools, break off your conference.
    King John, this is the very sum of all;
    England and Ireland, Anjou, Touraine, Maine,
    In right of Arthur do I claim of thee:
    Wilt thou resign them and lay down thy arms?

    KING JOHN

    My life as soon: I do defy thee, France.
    Arthur of Bretagne, yield thee to my hand;
    And out of my dear love I'll give thee more
    Than e'er the coward hand of France can win:
    Submit thee, boy.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Come to thy grandam, child.

    CONSTANCE

    Do, child, go to it grandam, child:
    Give grandam kingdom, and it grandam will
    Give it a plum, a cherry, and a fig:
    There's a good grandam.

    ARTHUR

    Good my mother, peace!
    I would that I were low laid in my grave:
    I am not worth this coil that's made for me.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    His mother shames him so, poor boy, he weeps.

    CONSTANCE

    Now shame upon you, whether she does or no!
    His grandam's wrongs, and not his mother's shames,
    Draws those heaven-moving pearls from his poor eyes,
    Which heaven shall take in nature of a fee;
    Ay, with these crystal beads heaven shall be bribed
    To do him justice and revenge on you.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Thou monstrous slanderer of heaven and earth!

    CONSTANCE

    Thou monstrous injurer of heaven and earth!
    Call not me slanderer; thou and thine usurp
    The dominations, royalties and rights
    Of this oppressed boy: this is thy eld'st son's son,
    Infortunate in nothing but in thee:
    Thy sins are visited in this poor child;
    The canon of the law is laid on him,
    Being but the second generation
    Removed from thy sin-conceiving womb.

    KING JOHN

    Bedlam, have done.

    CONSTANCE

    I have but this to say,
    That he is not only plagued for her sin,
    But God hath made her sin and her the plague
    On this removed issue, plague for her
    And with her plague; her sin his injury,
    Her injury the beadle to her sin,
    All punish'd in the person of this child,
    And all for her; a plague upon her!

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Thou unadvised scold, I can produce
    A will that bars the title of thy son.

    CONSTANCE

    Ay, who doubts that? a will! a wicked will:
    A woman's will; a canker'd grandam's will!

    KING PHILIP

    Peace, lady! pause, or be more temperate:
    It ill beseems this presence to cry aim
    To these ill-tuned repetitions.
    Some trumpet summon hither to the walls
    These men of Angiers: let us hear them speak
    Whose title they admit, Arthur's or John's.

    Trumpet sounds. Enter certain Citizens upon the walls

    First Citizen

    Who is it that hath warn'd us to the walls?

    KING PHILIP

    'Tis France, for England.

    KING JOHN

    England, for itself.
    You men of Angiers, and my loving subjects--

    KING PHILIP

    You loving men of Angiers, Arthur's subjects,
    Our trumpet call'd you to this gentle parle--

    KING JOHN

    For our advantage; therefore hear us first.
    These flags of France, that are advanced here
    Before the eye and prospect of your town,
    Have hither march'd to your endamagement:
    The cannons have their bowels full of wrath,
    And ready mounted are they to spit forth
    Their iron indignation 'gainst your walls:
    All preparation for a bloody siege
    All merciless proceeding by these French
    Confronts your city's eyes, your winking gates;
    And but for our approach those sleeping stones,
    That as a waist doth girdle you about,
    By the compulsion of their ordinance
    By this time from their fixed beds of lime
    Had been dishabited, and wide havoc made
    For bloody power to rush upon your peace.
    But on the sight of us your lawful king,
    Who painfully with much expedient march
    Have brought a countercheque before your gates,
    To save unscratch'd your city's threatened cheeks,
    Behold, the French amazed vouchsafe a parle;
    And now, instead of bullets wrapp'd in fire,
    To make a shaking fever in your walls,
    They shoot but calm words folded up in smoke,
    To make a faithless error in your ears:
    Which trust accordingly, kind citizens,
    And let us in, your king, whose labour'd spirits,
    Forwearied in this action of swift speed,
    Crave harbourage within your city walls.

    KING PHILIP

    When I have said, make answer to us both.
    Lo, in this right hand, whose protection
    Is most divinely vow'd upon the right
    Of him it holds, stands young Plantagenet,
    Son to the elder brother of this man,
    And king o'er him and all that he enjoys:
    For this down-trodden equity, we tread
    In warlike march these greens before your town,
    Being no further enemy to you
    Than the constraint of hospitable zeal
    In the relief of this oppressed child
    Religiously provokes. Be pleased then
    To pay that duty which you truly owe
    To that owes it, namely this young prince:
    And then our arms, like to a muzzled bear,
    Save in aspect, hath all offence seal'd up;
    Our cannons' malice vainly shall be spent
    Against the invulnerable clouds of heaven;
    And with a blessed and unvex'd retire,
    With unhack'd swords and helmets all unbruised,
    We will bear home that lusty blood again
    Which here we came to spout against your town,
    And leave your children, wives and you in peace.
    But if you fondly pass our proffer'd offer,
    'Tis not the roundure of your old-faced walls
    Can hide you from our messengers of war,
    Though all these English and their discipline
    Were harbour'd in their rude circumference.
    Then tell us, shall your city call us lord,
    In that behalf which we have challenged it?
    Or shall we give the signal to our rage
    And stalk in blood to our possession?

    First Citizen

    In brief, we are the king of England's subjects:
    For him, and in his right, we hold this town.

    KING JOHN

    Acknowledge then the king, and let me in.

    First Citizen

    That can we not; but he that proves the king,
    To him will we prove loyal: till that time
    Have we ramm'd up our gates against the world.

    KING JOHN

    Doth not the crown of England prove the king?
    And if not that, I bring you witnesses,
    Twice fifteen thousand hearts of England's breed,--

    BASTARD

    Bastards, and else.

    KING JOHN

    To verify our title with their lives.

    KING PHILIP

    As many and as well-born bloods as those,--

    BASTARD

    Some bastards too.

    KING PHILIP

    Stand in his face to contradict his claim.

    First Citizen

    Till you compound whose right is worthiest,
    We for the worthiest hold the right from both.

    KING JOHN

    Then God forgive the sin of all those souls
    That to their everlasting residence,
    Before the dew of evening fall, shall fleet,
    In dreadful trial of our kingdom's king!

    KING PHILIP

    Amen, amen! Mount, chevaliers! to arms!

    BASTARD

    Saint George, that swinged the dragon, and e'er since
    Sits on his horseback at mine hostess' door,
    Teach us some fence!

    To AUSTRIA
    Sirrah, were I at home,
    At your den, sirrah, with your lioness
    I would set an ox-head to your lion's hide,
    And make a monster of you.

    AUSTRIA

    Peace! no more.

    BASTARD

    O tremble, for you hear the lion roar.

    KING JOHN

    Up higher to the plain; where we'll set forth
    In best appointment all our regiments.

    BASTARD

    Speed then, to take advantage of the field.

    KING PHILIP

    It shall be so; and at the other hill
    Command the rest to stand. God and our right!

    Exeunt

    Here after excursions, enter the Herald of France, with trumpets, to the gates

    French Herald

    You men of Angiers, open wide your gates,
    And let young Arthur, Duke of Bretagne, in,
    Who by the hand of France this day hath made
    Much work for tears in many an English mother,
    Whose sons lie scattered on the bleeding ground;
    Many a widow's husband grovelling lies,
    Coldly embracing the discolour'd earth;
    And victory, with little loss, doth play
    Upon the dancing banners of the French,
    Who are at hand, triumphantly display'd,
    To enter conquerors and to proclaim
    Arthur of Bretagne England's king and yours.

    Enter English Herald, with trumpet

    English Herald

    Rejoice, you men of Angiers, ring your bells:
    King John, your king and England's doth approach,
    Commander of this hot malicious day:
    Their armours, that march'd hence so silver-bright,
    Hither return all gilt with Frenchmen's blood;
    There stuck no plume in any English crest
    That is removed by a staff of France;
    Our colours do return in those same hands
    That did display them when we first march'd forth;
    And, like a troop of jolly huntsmen, come
    Our lusty English, all with purpled hands,
    Dyed in the dying slaughter of their foes:
    Open your gates and gives the victors way.

    First Citizen

    Heralds, from off our towers we might behold,
    From first to last, the onset and retire
    Of both your armies; whose equality
    By our best eyes cannot be censured:
    Blood hath bought blood and blows have answered blows;
    Strength match'd with strength, and power confronted power:
    Both are alike; and both alike we like.
    One must prove greatest: while they weigh so even,
    We hold our town for neither, yet for both.

    Re-enter KING JOHN and KING PHILIP, with their powers, severally

    KING JOHN

    France, hast thou yet more blood to cast away?
    Say, shall the current of our right run on?
    Whose passage, vex'd with thy impediment,
    Shall leave his native channel and o'erswell
    With course disturb'd even thy confining shores,
    Unless thou let his silver water keep
    A peaceful progress to the ocean.

    KING PHILIP

    England, thou hast not saved one drop of blood,
    In this hot trial, more than we of France;
    Rather, lost more. And by this hand I swear,
    That sways the earth this climate overlooks,
    Before we will lay down our just-borne arms,
    We'll put thee down, 'gainst whom these arms we bear,
    Or add a royal number to the dead,
    Gracing the scroll that tells of this war's loss
    With slaughter coupled to the name of kings.

    BASTARD

    Ha, majesty! how high thy glory towers,
    When the rich blood of kings is set on fire!
    O, now doth Death line his dead chaps with steel;
    The swords of soldiers are his teeth, his fangs;
    And now he feasts, mousing the flesh of men,
    In undetermined differences of kings.
    Why stand these royal fronts amazed thus?
    Cry, 'havoc!' kings; back to the stained field,
    You equal potents, fiery kindled spirits!
    Then let confusion of one part confirm
    The other's peace: till then, blows, blood and death!

    KING JOHN

    Whose party do the townsmen yet admit?

    KING PHILIP

    Speak, citizens, for England; who's your king?

    First Citizen

    The king of England; when we know the king.

    KING PHILIP

    Know him in us, that here hold up his right.

    KING JOHN

    In us, that are our own great deputy
    And bear possession of our person here,
    Lord of our presence, Angiers, and of you.

    First Citizen

    A greater power then we denies all this;
    And till it be undoubted, we do lock
    Our former scruple in our strong-barr'd gates;
    King'd of our fears, until our fears, resolved,
    Be by some certain king purged and deposed.

    BASTARD

    By heaven, these scroyles of Angiers flout you, kings,
    And stand securely on their battlements,
    As in a theatre, whence they gape and point
    At your industrious scenes and acts of death.
    Your royal presences be ruled by me:
    Do like the mutines of Jerusalem,
    Be friends awhile and both conjointly bend
    Your sharpest deeds of malice on this town:
    By east and west let France and England mount
    Their battering cannon charged to the mouths,
    Till their soul-fearing clamours have brawl'd down
    The flinty ribs of this contemptuous city:
    I'ld play incessantly upon these jades,
    Even till unfenced desolation
    Leave them as naked as the vulgar air.
    That done, dissever your united strengths,
    And part your mingled colours once again;
    Turn face to face and bloody point to point;
    Then, in a moment, Fortune shall cull forth
    Out of one side her happy minion,
    To whom in favour she shall give the day,
    And kiss him with a glorious victory.
    How like you this wild counsel, mighty states?
    Smacks it not something of the policy?

    KING JOHN

    Now, by the sky that hangs above our heads,
    I like it well. France, shall we knit our powers
    And lay this Angiers even to the ground;
    Then after fight who shall be king of it?

    BASTARD

    An if thou hast the mettle of a king,
    Being wronged as we are by this peevish town,
    Turn thou the mouth of thy artillery,
    As we will ours, against these saucy walls;
    And when that we have dash'd them to the ground,
    Why then defy each other and pell-mell
    Make work upon ourselves, for heaven or hell.

    KING PHILIP

    Let it be so. Say, where will you assault?

    KING JOHN

    We from the west will send destruction
    Into this city's bosom.

    AUSTRIA

    I from the north.

    KING PHILIP

    Our thunder from the south
    Shall rain their drift of bullets on this town.

    BASTARD

    O prudent discipline! From north to south:
    Austria and France shoot in each other's mouth:
    I'll stir them to it. Come, away, away!

    First Citizen

    Hear us, great kings: vouchsafe awhile to stay,
    And I shall show you peace and fair-faced league;
    Win you this city without stroke or wound;
    Rescue those breathing lives to die in beds,
    That here come sacrifices for the field:
    Persever not, but hear me, mighty kings.

    KING JOHN

    Speak on with favour; we are bent to hear.

    First Citizen

    That daughter there of Spain, the Lady Blanch,
    Is niece to England: look upon the years
    Of Lewis the Dauphin and that lovely maid:
    If lusty love should go in quest of beauty,
    Where should he find it fairer than in Blanch?
    If zealous love should go in search of virtue,
    Where should he find it purer than in Blanch?
    If love ambitious sought a match of birth,
    Whose veins bound richer blood than Lady Blanch?
    Such as she is, in beauty, virtue, birth,
    Is the young Dauphin every way complete:
    If not complete of, say he is not she;
    And she again wants nothing, to name want,
    If want it be not that she is not he:
    He is the half part of a blessed man,
    Left to be finished by such as she;
    And she a fair divided excellence,
    Whose fulness of perfection lies in him.
    O, two such silver currents, when they join,
    Do glorify the banks that bound them in;
    And two such shores to two such streams made one,
    Two such controlling bounds shall you be, kings,
    To these two princes, if you marry them.
    This union shall do more than battery can
    To our fast-closed gates; for at this match,
    With swifter spleen than powder can enforce,
    The mouth of passage shall we fling wide ope,
    And give you entrance: but without this match,
    The sea enraged is not half so deaf,
    Lions more confident, mountains and rocks
    More free from motion, no, not Death himself
    In moral fury half so peremptory,
    As we to keep this city.

    BASTARD

    Here's a stay
    That shakes the rotten carcass of old Death
    Out of his rags! Here's a large mouth, indeed,
    That spits forth death and mountains, rocks and seas,
    Talks as familiarly of roaring lions
    As maids of thirteen do of puppy-dogs!
    What cannoneer begot this lusty blood?
    He speaks plain cannon fire, and smoke and bounce;
    He gives the bastinado with his tongue:
    Our ears are cudgell'd; not a word of his
    But buffets better than a fist of France:
    Zounds! I was never so bethump'd with words
    Since I first call'd my brother's father dad.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Son, list to this conjunction, make this match;
    Give with our niece a dowry large enough:
    For by this knot thou shalt so surely tie
    Thy now unsured assurance to the crown,
    That yon green boy shall have no sun to ripe
    The bloom that promiseth a mighty fruit.
    I see a yielding in the looks of France;
    Mark, how they whisper: urge them while their souls
    Are capable of this ambition,
    Lest zeal, now melted by the windy breath
    Of soft petitions, pity and remorse,
    Cool and congeal again to what it was.

    First Citizen

    Why answer not the double majesties
    This friendly treaty of our threaten'd town?

    KING PHILIP

    Speak England first, that hath been forward first
    To speak unto this city: what say you?

    KING JOHN

    If that the Dauphin there, thy princely son,
    Can in this book of beauty read 'I love,'
    Her dowry shall weigh equal with a queen:
    For Anjou and fair Touraine, Maine, Poictiers,
    And all that we upon this side the sea,
    Except this city now by us besieged,
    Find liable to our crown and dignity,
    Shall gild her bridal bed and make her rich
    In titles, honours and promotions,
    As she in beauty, education, blood,
    Holds hand with any princess of the world.

    KING PHILIP

    What say'st thou, boy? look in the lady's face.

    LEWIS

    I do, my lord; and in her eye I find
    A wonder, or a wondrous miracle,
    The shadow of myself form'd in her eye:
    Which being but the shadow of your son,
    Becomes a sun and makes your son a shadow:
    I do protest I never loved myself
    Till now infixed I beheld myself
    Drawn in the flattering table of her eye.

    Whispers with BLANCH

    BASTARD

    Drawn in the flattering table of her eye!
    Hang'd in the frowning wrinkle of her brow!
    And quarter'd in her heart! he doth espy
    Himself love's traitor: this is pity now,
    That hang'd and drawn and quartered, there should be
    In such a love so vile a lout as he.

    BLANCH

    My uncle's will in this respect is mine:
    If he see aught in you that makes him like,
    That any thing he sees, which moves his liking,
    I can with ease translate it to my will;
    Or if you will, to speak more properly,
    I will enforce it easily to my love.
    Further I will not flatter you, my lord,
    That all I see in you is worthy love,
    Than this; that nothing do I see in you,
    Though churlish thoughts themselves should be your judge,
    That I can find should merit any hate.

    KING JOHN

    What say these young ones? What say you my niece?

    BLANCH

    That she is bound in honour still to do
    What you in wisdom still vouchsafe to say.

    KING JOHN

    Speak then, prince Dauphin; can you love this lady?

    LEWIS

    Nay, ask me if I can refrain from love;
    For I do love her most unfeignedly.

    KING JOHN

    Then do I give Volquessen, Touraine, Maine,
    Poictiers and Anjou, these five provinces,
    With her to thee; and this addition more,
    Full thirty thousand marks of English coin.
    Philip of France, if thou be pleased withal,
    Command thy son and daughter to join hands.

    KING PHILIP

    It likes us well; young princes, close your hands.

    AUSTRIA

    And your lips too; for I am well assured
    That I did so when I was first assured.

    KING PHILIP

    Now, citizens of Angiers, ope your gates,
    Let in that amity which you have made;
    For at Saint Mary's chapel presently
    The rites of marriage shall be solemnized.
    Is not the Lady Constance in this troop?
    I know she is not, for this match made up
    Her presence would have interrupted much:
    Where is she and her son? tell me, who knows.

    LEWIS

    She is sad and passionate at your highness' tent.

    KING PHILIP

    And, by my faith, this league that we have made
    Will give her sadness very little cure.
    Brother of England, how may we content
    This widow lady? In her right we came;
    Which we, God knows, have turn'd another way,
    To our own vantage.

    KING JOHN

    We will heal up all;
    For we'll create young Arthur Duke of Bretagne
    And Earl of Richmond; and this rich fair town
    We make him lord of. Call the Lady Constance;
    Some speedy messenger bid her repair
    To our solemnity: I trust we shall,
    If not fill up the measure of her will,
    Yet in some measure satisfy her so
    That we shall stop her exclamation.
    Go we, as well as haste will suffer us,
    To this unlook'd for, unprepared pomp.

    Exeunt all but the BASTARD

    BASTARD

    Mad world! mad kings! mad composition!
    John, to stop Arthur's title in the whole,
    Hath willingly departed with a part,
    And France, whose armour conscience buckled on,
    Whom zeal and charity brought to the field
    As God's own soldier, rounded in the ear
    With that same purpose-changer, that sly devil,
    That broker, that still breaks the pate of faith,
    That daily break-vow, he that wins of all,
    Of kings, of beggars, old men, young men, maids,
    Who, having no external thing to lose
    But the word 'maid,' cheats the poor maid of that,
    That smooth-faced gentleman, tickling Commodity,
    Commodity, the bias of the world,
    The world, who of itself is peised well,
    Made to run even upon even ground,
    Till this advantage, this vile-drawing bias,
    This sway of motion, this Commodity,
    Makes it take head from all indifferency,
    From all direction, purpose, course, intent:
    And this same bias, this Commodity,
    This bawd, this broker, this all-changing word,
    Clapp'd on the outward eye of fickle France,
    Hath drawn him from his own determined aid,
    From a resolved and honourable war,
    To a most base and vile-concluded peace.
    And why rail I on this Commodity?
    But for because he hath not woo'd me yet:
    Not that I have the power to clutch my hand,
    When his fair angels would salute my palm;
    But for my hand, as unattempted yet,
    Like a poor beggar, raileth on the rich.
    Well, whiles I am a beggar, I will rail
    And say there is no sin but to be rich;
    And being rich, my virtue then shall be
    To say there is no vice but beggary.
    Since kings break faith upon commodity,
    Gain, be my lord, for I will worship thee.

    Exit

    ACT III
    SCENE I. The French King's pavilion.

    Enter CONSTANCE, ARTHUR, and SALISBURY

    CONSTANCE

    Gone to be married! gone to swear a peace!
    False blood to false blood join'd! gone to be friends!
    Shall Lewis have Blanch, and Blanch those provinces?
    It is not so; thou hast misspoke, misheard:
    Be well advised, tell o'er thy tale again:
    It cannot be; thou dost but say 'tis so:
    I trust I may not trust thee; for thy word
    Is but the vain breath of a common man:
    Believe me, I do not believe thee, man;
    I have a king's oath to the contrary.
    Thou shalt be punish'd for thus frighting me,
    For I am sick and capable of fears,
    Oppress'd with wrongs and therefore full of fears,
    A widow, husbandless, subject to fears,
    A woman, naturally born to fears;
    And though thou now confess thou didst but jest,
    With my vex'd spirits I cannot take a truce,
    But they will quake and tremble all this day.
    What dost thou mean by shaking of thy head?
    Why dost thou look so sadly on my son?
    What means that hand upon that breast of thine?
    Why holds thine eye that lamentable rheum,
    Like a proud river peering o'er his bounds?
    Be these sad signs confirmers of thy words?
    Then speak again; not all thy former tale,
    But this one word, whether thy tale be true.

    SALISBURY

    As true as I believe you think them false
    That give you cause to prove my saying true.

    CONSTANCE

    O, if thou teach me to believe this sorrow,
    Teach thou this sorrow how to make me die,
    And let belief and life encounter so
    As doth the fury of two desperate men
    Which in the very meeting fall and die.
    Lewis marry Blanch! O boy, then where art thou?
    France friend with England, what becomes of me?
    Fellow, be gone: I cannot brook thy sight:
    This news hath made thee a most ugly man.

    SALISBURY

    What other harm have I, good lady, done,
    But spoke the harm that is by others done?

    CONSTANCE

    Which harm within itself so heinous is
    As it makes harmful all that speak of it.

    ARTHUR

    I do beseech you, madam, be content.

    CONSTANCE

    If thou, that bid'st me be content, wert grim,
    Ugly and slanderous to thy mother's womb,
    Full of unpleasing blots and sightless stains,
    Lame, foolish, crooked, swart, prodigious,
    Patch'd with foul moles and eye-offending marks,
    I would not care, I then would be content,
    For then I should not love thee, no, nor thou
    Become thy great birth nor deserve a crown.
    But thou art fair, and at thy birth, dear boy,
    Nature and Fortune join'd to make thee great:
    Of Nature's gifts thou mayst with lilies boast,
    And with the half-blown rose. But Fortune, O,
    She is corrupted, changed and won from thee;
    She adulterates hourly with thine uncle John,
    And with her golden hand hath pluck'd on France
    To tread down fair respect of sovereignty,
    And made his majesty the bawd to theirs.
    France is a bawd to Fortune and King John,
    That strumpet Fortune, that usurping John!
    Tell me, thou fellow, is not France forsworn?
    Envenom him with words, or get thee gone
    And leave those woes alone which I alone
    Am bound to under-bear.

    SALISBURY

    Pardon me, madam,
    I may not go without you to the kings.

    CONSTANCE

    Thou mayst, thou shalt; I will not go with thee:
    I will instruct my sorrows to be proud;
    For grief is proud and makes his owner stoop.
    To me and to the state of my great grief
    Let kings assemble; for my grief's so great
    That no supporter but the huge firm earth
    Can hold it up: here I and sorrows sit;
    Here is my throne, bid kings come bow to it.

    Seats herself on the ground

    Enter KING JOHN, KING PHILLIP, LEWIS, BLANCH, QUEEN ELINOR, the BASTARD, AUSTRIA, and Attendants

    KING PHILIP

    'Tis true, fair daughter; and this blessed day
    Ever in France shall be kept festival:
    To solemnize this day the glorious sun
    Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
    Turning with splendor of his precious eye
    The meagre cloddy earth to glittering gold:
    The yearly course that brings this day about
    Shall never see it but a holiday.

    CONSTANCE

    A wicked day, and not a holy day!

    Rising
    What hath this day deserved? what hath it done,
    That it in golden letters should be set
    Among the high tides in the calendar?
    Nay, rather turn this day out of the week,
    This day of shame, oppression, perjury.
    Or, if it must stand still, let wives with child
    Pray that their burthens may not fall this day,
    Lest that their hopes prodigiously be cross'd:
    But on this day let seamen fear no wreck;
    No bargains break that are not this day made:
    This day, all things begun come to ill end,
    Yea, faith itself to hollow falsehood change!

    KING PHILIP

    By heaven, lady, you shall have no cause
    To curse the fair proceedings of this day:
    Have I not pawn'd to you my majesty?

    CONSTANCE

    You have beguiled me with a counterfeit
    Resembling majesty, which, being touch'd and tried,
    Proves valueless: you are forsworn, forsworn;
    You came in arms to spill mine enemies' blood,
    But now in arms you strengthen it with yours:
    The grappling vigour and rough frown of war
    Is cold in amity and painted peace,
    And our oppression hath made up this league.
    Arm, arm, you heavens, against these perjured kings!
    A widow cries; be husband to me, heavens!
    Let not the hours of this ungodly day
    Wear out the day in peace; but, ere sunset,
    Set armed discord 'twixt these perjured kings!
    Hear me, O, hear me!

    AUSTRIA

    Lady Constance, peace!

    CONSTANCE

    War! war! no peace! peace is to me a war
    O Lymoges! O Austria! thou dost shame
    That bloody spoil: thou slave, thou wretch, thou coward!
    Thou little valiant, great in villany!
    Thou ever strong upon the stronger side!
    Thou Fortune's champion that dost never fight
    But when her humorous ladyship is by
    To teach thee safety! thou art perjured too,
    And soothest up greatness. What a fool art thou,
    A ramping fool, to brag and stamp and swear
    Upon my party! Thou cold-blooded slave,
    Hast thou not spoke like thunder on my side,
    Been sworn my soldier, bidding me depend
    Upon thy stars, thy fortune and thy strength,
    And dost thou now fall over to my fores?
    Thou wear a lion's hide! doff it for shame,
    And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

    AUSTRIA

    O, that a man should speak those words to me!

    BASTARD

    And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

    AUSTRIA

    Thou darest not say so, villain, for thy life.

    BASTARD

    And hang a calf's-skin on those recreant limbs.

    KING JOHN

    We like not this; thou dost forget thyself.

    Enter CARDINAL PANDULPH

    KING PHILIP

    Here comes the holy legate of the pope.

    CARDINAL PANDULPH

    Hail, you anointed deputies of heaven!
    To thee, King John, my holy errand is.
    I Pandulph, of fair Milan cardinal,
    And from Pope Innocent the legate here,
    Do in his name religiously demand
    Why thou against the church, our holy mother,
    So wilfully dost spurn; and force perforce
    Keep Stephen Langton, chosen archbishop
    Of Canterbury, from that holy see?
    This, in our foresaid holy father's name,
    Pope Innocent, I do demand of thee.

    KING JOHN

    What earthy name to interrogatories
    Can task the free breath of a sacred king?
    Thou canst not, cardinal, devise a name
    So slight, unworthy and ridiculous,
    To charge me to an answer, as the pope.
    Tell him this tale; and from the mouth of England
    Add thus much more, that no Italian priest
    Shall tithe or toll in our dominions;
    But as we, under heaven, are supreme head,
    So under Him that great supremacy,
    Where we do reign, we will alone uphold,
    Without the assistance of a mortal hand:
    So tell the pope, all reverence set apart
    To him and his usurp'd authority.

    KING PHILIP

    Brother of England, you blaspheme in this.

    KING JOHN

    Though you and all the kings of Christendom
    Are led so grossly by this meddling priest,
    Dreading the curse that money may buy out;
    And by the merit of vile gold, dross, dust,
    Purchase corrupted pardon of a man,
    Who in that sale sells pardon from himself,
    Though you and all the rest so grossly led
    This juggling witchcraft with revenue cherish,
    Yet I alone, alone do me oppose
    Against the pope and count his friends my foes.

    CARDINAL PANDULPH

    Then, by the lawful power that I have,
    Thou shalt stand cursed and excommunicate.
    And blessed shall he be that doth revolt
    From his allegiance to an heretic;
    And meritorious shall that hand be call'd,
    Canonized and worshipped as a saint,
    That takes away by any secret course
    Thy hateful life.

    CONSTANCE

    O, lawful let it be
    That I have room with Rome to curse awhile!
    Good father cardinal, cry thou amen
    To my keen curses; for without my wrong
    There is no tongue hath power to curse him right.

    CARDINAL PANDULPH

    There's law and warrant, lady, for my curse.

    CONSTANCE

    And for mine too: when law can do no right,
    Let it be lawful that law bar no wrong:
    Law cannot give my child his kingdom here,
    For he that holds his kingdom holds the law;
    Therefore, since law itself is perfect wrong,
    How can the law forbid my tongue to curse?

    CARDINAL PANDULPH

    Philip of France, on peril of a curse,
    Let go the hand of that arch-heretic;
    And raise the power of France upon his head,
    Unless he do submit himself to Rome.

    QUEEN ELINOR

    Look'st thou pale, France? do not let go thy hand.

    CONSTANCE

    Look to that, devil; lest that France repent,
    And by disjoining hands, hell lose a soul.

    AUSTRIA

    King Philip, listen to the cardinal.

    BASTARD

    And hang a calf's-skin on his recreant limbs.

    AUSTRIA

    Well, ruffian, I must pocket up these wrongs, Because--

    BASTARD

    Your breeches best may carry them.

    KING JOHN

    Philip, what say'st thou to the cardinal?

    CONSTANCE

    What should he say, but as the cardinal?

    LEWIS

    Bethink you, father; for the difference
    Is purchase of a heavy curse from Rome,
    Or the light loss of England for a friend:
    Forego the easier.

    BLANCH

    That's the curse of Rome.

    CONSTANCE

    O Lewis, stand fast! the devil tempts thee here
    In likeness of a new untrimmed bride.

    BLANCH

    The Lady Constance speaks not from her faith,
    But from her need.

    CONSTANCE

    O, if thou grant my need,
    Which only lives but by the death of faith,
    That need must needs infer this principle,
    That faith would live again by death of need.
    O then, tread down my need, and faith mounts up;
    Keep my need up, and faith is trodden down!

    KING JOHN

    The king is moved, and answers not to this.

    CONSTANCE

    O, be removed from him, and answer well!

    AUSTRIA

    Do so, King Philip; hang no more in doubt.

    BASTARD

    Hang nothing but a calf's-skin, most sweet lout.

    KING PHILIP

    I am perplex'd, and know not what to say.

    CARDINAL PANDULPH

    What canst thou say but will perplex thee more,
    If thou stand excommunicate and cursed?

    KING PHILIP

    Good reverend father, make my person yours,
    And tell me how you would bestow yourself.
    This royal hand and mine are newly knit,
    And the conjunction of our inward souls
    Married in league, coupled and linked together
    With all religious strength of sacred vows;
    The latest breath that gave the sound of words
    Was deep-sworn faith, peace, amity, true love
    Between our kingdoms and our royal selves,
    And even before this truce, but new before,
    No longer than we well could wash our hands
    To clap this royal bargain up of peace,
    Heaven knows, they were besmear'd and over-stain'd
    With slaughter's pencil, where revenge did paint
    The fearful difference of incensed kings:
    And shall these hands, so lately purged of blood,
    So newly join'd in love, so strong in both,
    Unyoke this seizure and this kind regreet?
    Play fast and loose with faith? s
     
  9. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Life and Death of Richard the Second
    Shakespeare homepage | Richard II | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. London. KING RICHARD II's palace.

    Enter KING RICHARD II, JOHN OF GAUNT, with other Nobles and Attendants

    KING RICHARD II

    Old John of Gaunt, time-honour'd Lancaster,
    Hast thou, according to thy oath and band,
    Brought hither Henry Hereford thy bold son,
    Here to make good the boisterous late appeal,
    Which then our leisure would not let us hear,
    Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    I have, my liege.

    KING RICHARD II

    Tell me, moreover, hast thou sounded him,
    If he appeal the duke on ancient malice;
    Or worthily, as a good subject should,
    On some known ground of treachery in him?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    As near as I could sift him on that argument,
    On some apparent danger seen in him
    Aim'd at your highness, no inveterate malice.

    KING RICHARD II

    Then call them to our presence; face to face,
    And frowning brow to brow, ourselves will hear
    The accuser and the accused freely speak:
    High-stomach'd are they both, and full of ire,
    In rage deaf as the sea, hasty as fire.

    Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE and THOMAS MOWBRAY

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Many years of happy days befal
    My gracious sovereign, my most loving liege!

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    Each day still better other's happiness;
    Until the heavens, envying earth's good hap,
    Add an immortal title to your crown!

    KING RICHARD II

    We thank you both: yet one but flatters us,
    As well appeareth by the cause you come;
    Namely to appeal each other of high treason.
    Cousin of Hereford, what dost thou object
    Against the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray?

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    First, heaven be the record to my speech!
    In the devotion of a subject's love,
    Tendering the precious safety of my prince,
    And free from other misbegotten hate,
    Come I appellant to this princely presence.
    Now, Thomas Mowbray, do I turn to thee,
    And mark my greeting well; for what I speak
    My body shall make good upon this earth,
    Or my divine soul answer it in heaven.
    Thou art a traitor and a miscreant,
    Too good to be so and too bad to live,
    Since the more fair and crystal is the sky,
    The uglier seem the clouds that in it fly.
    Once more, the more to aggravate the note,
    With a foul traitor's name stuff I thy throat;
    And wish, so please my sovereign, ere I move,
    What my tongue speaks my right drawn sword may prove.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    Let not my cold words here accuse my zeal:
    'Tis not the trial of a woman's war,
    The bitter clamour of two eager tongues,
    Can arbitrate this cause betwixt us twain;
    The blood is hot that must be cool'd for this:
    Yet can I not of such tame patience boast
    As to be hush'd and nought at all to say:
    First, the fair reverence of your highness curbs me
    From giving reins and spurs to my free speech;
    Which else would post until it had return'd
    These terms of treason doubled down his throat.
    Setting aside his high blood's royalty,
    And let him be no kinsman to my liege,
    I do defy him, and I spit at him;
    Call him a slanderous coward and a villain:
    Which to maintain I would allow him odds,
    And meet him, were I tied to run afoot
    Even to the frozen ridges of the Alps,
    Or any other ground inhabitable,
    Where ever Englishman durst set his foot.
    Mean time let this defend my loyalty,
    By all my hopes, most falsely doth he lie.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Pale trembling coward, there I throw my gage,
    Disclaiming here the kindred of the king,
    And lay aside my high blood's royalty,
    Which fear, not reverence, makes thee to except.
    If guilty dread have left thee so much strength
    As to take up mine honour's pawn, then stoop:
    By that and all the rites of knighthood else,
    Will I make good against thee, arm to arm,
    What I have spoke, or thou canst worse devise.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    I take it up; and by that sword I swear
    Which gently laid my knighthood on my shoulder,
    I'll answer thee in any fair degree,
    Or chivalrous design of knightly trial:
    And when I mount, alive may I not light,
    If I be traitor or unjustly fight!

    KING RICHARD II

    What doth our cousin lay to Mowbray's charge?
    It must be great that can inherit us
    So much as of a thought of ill in him.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Look, what I speak, my life shall prove it true;
    That Mowbray hath received eight thousand nobles
    In name of lendings for your highness' soldiers,
    The which he hath detain'd for lewd employments,
    Like a false traitor and injurious villain.
    Besides I say and will in battle prove,
    Or here or elsewhere to the furthest verge
    That ever was survey'd by English eye,
    That all the treasons for these eighteen years
    Complotted and contrived in this land
    Fetch from false Mowbray their first head and spring.
    Further I say and further will maintain
    Upon his bad life to make all this good,
    That he did plot the Duke of Gloucester's death,
    Suggest his soon-believing adversaries,
    And consequently, like a traitor coward,
    Sluiced out his innocent soul through streams of blood:
    Which blood, like sacrificing Abel's, cries,
    Even from the tongueless caverns of the earth,
    To me for justice and rough chastisement;
    And, by the glorious worth of my descent,
    This arm shall do it, or this life be spent.

    KING RICHARD II

    How high a pitch his resolution soars!
    Thomas of Norfolk, what say'st thou to this?

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    O, let my sovereign turn away his face
    And bid his ears a little while be deaf,
    Till I have told this slander of his blood,
    How God and good men hate so foul a liar.

    KING RICHARD II

    Mowbray, impartial are our eyes and ears:
    Were he my brother, nay, my kingdom's heir,
    As he is but my father's brother's son,
    Now, by my sceptre's awe, I make a vow,
    Such neighbour nearness to our sacred blood
    Should nothing privilege him, nor partialize
    The unstooping firmness of my upright soul:
    He is our subject, Mowbray; so art thou:
    Free speech and fearless I to thee allow.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    Then, Bolingbroke, as low as to thy heart,
    Through the false passage of thy throat, thou liest.
    Three parts of that receipt I had for Calais
    Disbursed I duly to his highness' soldiers;
    The other part reserved I by consent,
    For that my sovereign liege was in my debt
    Upon remainder of a dear account,
    Since last I went to France to fetch his queen:
    Now swallow down that lie. For Gloucester's death,
    I slew him not; but to my own disgrace
    Neglected my sworn duty in that case.
    For you, my noble Lord of Lancaster,
    The honourable father to my foe
    Once did I lay an ambush for your life,
    A trespass that doth vex my grieved soul
    But ere I last received the sacrament
    I did confess it, and exactly begg'd
    Your grace's pardon, and I hope I had it.
    This is my fault: as for the rest appeall'd,
    It issues from the rancour of a villain,
    A recreant and most degenerate traitor
    Which in myself I boldly will defend;
    And interchangeably hurl down my gage
    Upon this overweening traitor's foot,
    To prove myself a loyal gentleman
    Even in the best blood chamber'd in his bosom.
    In haste whereof, most heartily I pray
    Your highness to assign our trial day.

    KING RICHARD II

    Wrath-kindled gentlemen, be ruled by me;
    Let's purge this choler without letting blood:
    This we prescribe, though no physician;
    Deep malice makes too deep incision;
    Forget, forgive; conclude and be agreed;
    Our doctors say this is no month to bleed.
    Good uncle, let this end where it begun;
    We'll calm the Duke of Norfolk, you your son.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    To be a make-peace shall become my age:
    Throw down, my son, the Duke of Norfolk's gage.

    KING RICHARD II

    And, Norfolk, throw down his.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    When, Harry, when?
    Obedience bids I should not bid again.

    KING RICHARD II

    Norfolk, throw down, we bid; there is no boot.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    Myself I throw, dread sovereign, at thy foot.
    My life thou shalt command, but not my shame:
    The one my duty owes; but my fair name,
    Despite of death that lives upon my grave,
    To dark dishonour's use thou shalt not have.
    I am disgraced, impeach'd and baffled here,
    Pierced to the soul with slander's venom'd spear,
    The which no balm can cure but his heart-blood
    Which breathed this poison.

    KING RICHARD II

    Rage must be withstood:
    Give me his gage: lions make leopards tame.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    Yea, but not change his spots: take but my shame.
    And I resign my gage. My dear dear lord,
    The purest treasure mortal times afford
    Is spotless reputation: that away,
    Men are but gilded loam or painted clay.
    A jewel in a ten-times-barr'd-up chest
    Is a bold spirit in a loyal breast.
    Mine honour is my life; both grow in one:
    Take honour from me, and my life is done:
    Then, dear my liege, mine honour let me try;
    In that I live and for that will I die.

    KING RICHARD II

    Cousin, throw up your gage; do you begin.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    O, God defend my soul from such deep sin!
    Shall I seem crest-fall'n in my father's sight?
    Or with pale beggar-fear impeach my height
    Before this out-dared dastard? Ere my tongue
    Shall wound my honour with such feeble wrong,
    Or sound so base a parle, my teeth shall tear
    The slavish motive of recanting fear,
    And spit it bleeding in his high disgrace,
    Where shame doth harbour, even in Mowbray's face.

    Exit JOHN OF GAUNT

    KING RICHARD II

    We were not born to sue, but to command;
    Which since we cannot do to make you friends,
    Be ready, as your lives shall answer it,
    At Coventry, upon Saint Lambert's day:
    There shall your swords and lances arbitrate
    The swelling difference of your settled hate:
    Since we can not atone you, we shall see
    Justice design the victor's chivalry.
    Lord marshal, command our officers at arms
    Be ready to direct these home alarms.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. The DUKE OF LANCASTER'S palace.

    Enter JOHN OF GAUNT with DUCHESS

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Alas, the part I had in Woodstock's blood
    Doth more solicit me than your exclaims,
    To stir against the butchers of his life!
    But since correction lieth in those hands
    Which made the fault that we cannot correct,
    Put we our quarrel to the will of heaven;
    Who, when they see the hours ripe on earth,
    Will rain hot vengeance on offenders' heads.

    DUCHESS

    Finds brotherhood in thee no sharper spur?
    Hath love in thy old blood no living fire?
    Edward's seven sons, whereof thyself art one,
    Were as seven vials of his sacred blood,
    Or seven fair branches springing from one root:
    Some of those seven are dried by nature's course,
    Some of those branches by the Destinies cut;
    But Thomas, my dear lord, my life, my Gloucester,
    One vial full of Edward's sacred blood,
    One flourishing branch of his most royal root,
    Is crack'd, and all the precious liquor spilt,
    Is hack'd down, and his summer leaves all faded,
    By envy's hand and murder's bloody axe.
    Ah, Gaunt, his blood was thine! that bed, that womb,
    That metal, that self-mould, that fashion'd thee
    Made him a man; and though thou livest and breathest,
    Yet art thou slain in him: thou dost consent
    In some large measure to thy father's death,
    In that thou seest thy wretched brother die,
    Who was the model of thy father's life.
    Call it not patience, Gaunt; it is despair:
    In suffering thus thy brother to be slaughter'd,
    Thou showest the naked pathway to thy life,
    Teaching stern murder how to butcher thee:
    That which in mean men we intitle patience
    Is pale cold cowardice in noble breasts.
    What shall I say? to safeguard thine own life,
    The best way is to venge my Gloucester's death.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    God's is the quarrel; for God's substitute,
    His deputy anointed in His sight,
    Hath caused his death: the which if wrongfully,
    Let heaven revenge; for I may never lift
    An angry arm against His minister.

    DUCHESS

    Where then, alas, may I complain myself?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    To God, the widow's champion and defence.

    DUCHESS

    Why, then, I will. Farewell, old Gaunt.
    Thou goest to Coventry, there to behold
    Our cousin Hereford and fell Mowbray fight:
    O, sit my husband's wrongs on Hereford's spear,
    That it may enter butcher Mowbray's breast!
    Or, if misfortune miss the first career,
    Be Mowbray's sins so heavy in his bosom,
    They may break his foaming courser's back,
    And throw the rider headlong in the lists,
    A caitiff recreant to my cousin Hereford!
    Farewell, old Gaunt: thy sometimes brother's wife
    With her companion grief must end her life.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Sister, farewell; I must to Coventry:
    As much good stay with thee as go with me!

    DUCHESS

    Yet one word more: grief boundeth where it falls,
    Not with the empty hollowness, but weight:
    I take my leave before I have begun,
    For sorrow ends not when it seemeth done.
    Commend me to thy brother, Edmund York.
    Lo, this is all:--nay, yet depart not so;
    Though this be all, do not so quickly go;
    I shall remember more. Bid him--ah, what?--
    With all good speed at Plashy visit me.
    Alack, and what shall good old York there see
    But empty lodgings and unfurnish'd walls,
    Unpeopled offices, untrodden stones?
    And what hear there for welcome but my groans?
    Therefore commend me; let him not come there,
    To seek out sorrow that dwells every where.
    Desolate, desolate, will I hence and die:
    The last leave of thee takes my weeping eye.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. The lists at Coventry.

    Enter the Lord Marshal and the DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Lord Marshal

    My Lord Aumerle, is Harry Hereford arm'd?

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Yea, at all points; and longs to enter in.

    Lord Marshal

    The Duke of Norfolk, sprightfully and bold,
    Stays but the summons of the appellant's trumpet.

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Why, then, the champions are prepared, and stay
    For nothing but his majesty's approach.

    The trumpets sound, and KING RICHARD enters with his nobles, JOHN OF GAUNT, BUSHY, BAGOT, GREEN, and others. When they are set, enter THOMAS MOWBRAY in arms, defendant, with a Herald

    KING RICHARD II

    Marshal, demand of yonder champion
    The cause of his arrival here in arms:
    Ask him his name and orderly proceed
    To swear him in the justice of his cause.

    Lord Marshal

    In God's name and the king's, say who thou art
    And why thou comest thus knightly clad in arms,
    Against what man thou comest, and what thy quarrel:
    Speak truly, on thy knighthood and thy oath;
    As so defend thee heaven and thy valour!

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    My name is Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk;
    Who hither come engaged by my oath--
    Which God defend a knight should violate!--
    Both to defend my loyalty and truth
    To God, my king and my succeeding issue,
    Against the Duke of Hereford that appeals me
    And, by the grace of God and this mine arm,
    To prove him, in defending of myself,
    A traitor to my God, my king, and me:
    And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!

    The trumpets sound. Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE, appellant, in armour, with a Herald

    KING RICHARD II

    Marshal, ask yonder knight in arms,
    Both who he is and why he cometh hither
    Thus plated in habiliments of war,
    And formally, according to our law,
    Depose him in the justice of his cause.

    Lord Marshal

    What is thy name? and wherefore comest thou hither,
    Before King Richard in his royal lists?
    Against whom comest thou? and what's thy quarrel?
    Speak like a true knight, so defend thee heaven!

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and Derby
    Am I; who ready here do stand in arms,
    To prove, by God's grace and my body's valour,
    In lists, on Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
    That he is a traitor, foul and dangerous,
    To God of heaven, King Richard and to me;
    And as I truly fight, defend me heaven!

    Lord Marshal

    On pain of death, no person be so bold
    Or daring-hardy as to touch the lists,
    Except the marshal and such officers
    Appointed to direct these fair designs.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Lord marshal, let me kiss my sovereign's hand,
    And bow my knee before his majesty:
    For Mowbray and myself are like two men
    That vow a long and weary pilgrimage;
    Then let us take a ceremonious leave
    And loving farewell of our several friends.

    Lord Marshal

    The appellant in all duty greets your highness,
    And craves to kiss your hand and take his leave.

    KING RICHARD II

    We will descend and fold him in our arms.
    Cousin of Hereford, as thy cause is right,
    So be thy fortune in this royal fight!
    Farewell, my blood; which if to-day thou shed,
    Lament we may, but not revenge thee dead.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    O let no noble eye profane a tear
    For me, if I be gored with Mowbray's spear:
    As confident as is the falcon's flight
    Against a bird, do I with Mowbray fight.
    My loving lord, I take my leave of you;
    Of you, my noble cousin, Lord Aumerle;
    Not sick, although I have to do with death,
    But lusty, young, and cheerly drawing breath.
    Lo, as at English feasts, so I regreet
    The daintiest last, to make the end most sweet:
    O thou, the earthly author of my blood,
    Whose youthful spirit, in me regenerate,
    Doth with a twofold vigour lift me up
    To reach at victory above my head,
    Add proof unto mine armour with thy prayers;
    And with thy blessings steel my lance's point,
    That it may enter Mowbray's waxen coat,
    And furbish new the name of John a Gaunt,
    Even in the lusty havior of his son.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    God in thy good cause make thee prosperous!
    Be swift like lightning in the execution;
    And let thy blows, doubly redoubled,
    Fall like amazing thunder on the casque
    Of thy adverse pernicious enemy:
    Rouse up thy youthful blood, be valiant and live.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Mine innocency and Saint George to thrive!

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    However God or fortune cast my lot,
    There lives or dies, true to King Richard's throne,
    A loyal, just and upright gentleman:
    Never did captive with a freer heart
    Cast off his chains of bondage and embrace
    His golden uncontroll'd enfranchisement,
    More than my dancing soul doth celebrate
    This feast of battle with mine adversary.
    Most mighty liege, and my companion peers,
    Take from my mouth the wish of happy years:
    As gentle and as jocund as to jest
    Go I to fight: truth hath a quiet breast.

    KING RICHARD II

    Farewell, my lord: securely I espy
    Virtue with valour couched in thine eye.
    Order the trial, marshal, and begin.

    Lord Marshal

    Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and Derby,
    Receive thy lance; and God defend the right!

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Strong as a tower in hope, I cry amen.

    Lord Marshal

    Go bear this lance to Thomas, Duke of Norfolk.

    First Herald

    Harry of Hereford, Lancaster and Derby,
    Stands here for God, his sovereign and himself,
    On pain to be found false and recreant,
    To prove the Duke of Norfolk, Thomas Mowbray,
    A traitor to his God, his king and him;
    And dares him to set forward to the fight.

    Second Herald

    Here standeth Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk,
    On pain to be found false and recreant,
    Both to defend himself and to approve
    Henry of Hereford, Lancaster, and Derby,
    To God, his sovereign and to him disloyal;
    Courageously and with a free desire
    Attending but the signal to begin.

    Lord Marshal

    Sound, trumpets; and set forward, combatants.

    A charge sounded
    Stay, the king hath thrown his warder down.

    KING RICHARD II

    Let them lay by their helmets and their spears,
    And both return back to their chairs again:
    Withdraw with us: and let the trumpets sound
    While we return these dukes what we decree.

    A long flourish
    Draw near,
    And list what with our council we have done.
    For that our kingdom's earth should not be soil'd
    With that dear blood which it hath fostered;
    And for our eyes do hate the dire aspect
    Of civil wounds plough'd up with neighbours' sword;
    And for we think the eagle-winged pride
    Of sky-aspiring and ambitious thoughts,
    With rival-hating envy, set on you
    To wake our peace, which in our country's cradle
    Draws the sweet infant breath of gentle sleep;
    Which so roused up with boisterous untuned drums,
    With harsh resounding trumpets' dreadful bray,
    And grating shock of wrathful iron arms,
    Might from our quiet confines fright fair peace
    And make us wade even in our kindred's blood,
    Therefore, we banish you our territories:
    You, cousin Hereford, upon pain of life,
    Till twice five summers have enrich'd our fields
    Shall not regreet our fair dominions,
    But tread the stranger paths of banishment.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Your will be done: this must my comfort be,
    Sun that warms you here shall shine on me;
    And those his golden beams to you here lent
    Shall point on me and gild my banishment.

    KING RICHARD II

    Norfolk, for thee remains a heavier doom,
    Which I with some unwillingness pronounce:
    The sly slow hours shall not determinate
    The dateless limit of thy dear exile;
    The hopeless word of 'never to return'
    Breathe I against thee, upon pain of life.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    A heavy sentence, my most sovereign liege,
    And all unlook'd for from your highness' mouth:
    A dearer merit, not so deep a maim
    As to be cast forth in the common air,
    Have I deserved at your highness' hands.
    The language I have learn'd these forty years,
    My native English, now I must forego:
    And now my tongue's use is to me no more
    Than an unstringed viol or a harp,
    Or like a cunning instrument cased up,
    Or, being open, put into his hands
    That knows no touch to tune the harmony:
    Within my mouth you have engaol'd my tongue,
    Doubly portcullis'd with my teeth and lips;
    And dull unfeeling barren ignorance
    Is made my gaoler to attend on me.
    I am too old to fawn upon a nurse,
    Too far in years to be a pupil now:
    What is thy sentence then but speechless death,
    Which robs my tongue from breathing native breath?

    KING RICHARD II

    It boots thee not to be compassionate:
    After our sentence plaining comes too late.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    Then thus I turn me from my country's light,
    To dwell in solemn shades of endless night.

    KING RICHARD II

    Return again, and take an oath with thee.
    Lay on our royal sword your banish'd hands;
    Swear by the duty that you owe to God--
    Our part therein we banish with yourselves--
    To keep the oath that we administer:
    You never shall, so help you truth and God!
    Embrace each other's love in banishment;
    Nor never look upon each other's face;
    Nor never write, regreet, nor reconcile
    This louring tempest of your home-bred hate;
    Nor never by advised purpose meet
    To plot, contrive, or complot any ill
    'Gainst us, our state, our subjects, or our land.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    I swear.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    And I, to keep all this.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Norfolk, so far as to mine enemy:--
    By this time, had the king permitted us,
    One of our souls had wander'd in the air.
    Banish'd this frail sepulchre of our flesh,
    As now our flesh is banish'd from this land:
    Confess thy treasons ere thou fly the realm;
    Since thou hast far to go, bear not along
    The clogging burthen of a guilty soul.

    THOMAS MOWBRAY

    No, Bolingbroke: if ever I were traitor,
    My name be blotted from the book of life,
    And I from heaven banish'd as from hence!
    But what thou art, God, thou, and I do know;
    And all too soon, I fear, the king shall rue.
    Farewell, my liege. Now no way can I stray;
    Save back to England, all the world's my way.

    Exit

    KING RICHARD II

    Uncle, even in the glasses of thine eyes
    I see thy grieved heart: thy sad aspect
    Hath from the number of his banish'd years
    Pluck'd four away.

    To HENRY BOLINGBROKE
    Six frozen winter spent,
    Return with welcome home from banishment.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    How long a time lies in one little word!
    Four lagging winters and four wanton springs
    End in a word: such is the breath of kings.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    I thank my liege, that in regard of me
    He shortens four years of my son's exile:
    But little vantage shall I reap thereby;
    For, ere the six years that he hath to spend
    Can change their moons and bring their times about
    My oil-dried lamp and time-bewasted light
    Shall be extinct with age and endless night;
    My inch of taper will be burnt and done,
    And blindfold death not let me see my son.

    KING RICHARD II

    Why uncle, thou hast many years to live.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    But not a minute, king, that thou canst give:
    Shorten my days thou canst with sullen sorrow,
    And pluck nights from me, but not lend a morrow;
    Thou canst help time to furrow me with age,
    But stop no wrinkle in his pilgrimage;
    Thy word is current with him for my death,
    But dead, thy kingdom cannot buy my breath.

    KING RICHARD II

    Thy son is banish'd upon good advice,
    Whereto thy tongue a party-verdict gave:
    Why at our justice seem'st thou then to lour?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Things sweet to taste prove in digestion sour.
    You urged me as a judge; but I had rather
    You would have bid me argue like a father.
    O, had it been a stranger, not my child,
    To smooth his fault I should have been more mild:
    A partial slander sought I to avoid,
    And in the sentence my own life destroy'd.
    Alas, I look'd when some of you should say,
    I was too strict to make mine own away;
    But you gave leave to my unwilling tongue
    Against my will to do myself this wrong.

    KING RICHARD II

    Cousin, farewell; and, uncle, bid him so:
    Six years we banish him, and he shall go.

    Flourish. Exeunt KING RICHARD II and train

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Cousin, farewell: what presence must not know,
    From where you do remain let paper show.

    Lord Marshal

    My lord, no leave take I; for I will ride,
    As far as land will let me, by your side.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    O, to what purpose dost thou hoard thy words,
    That thou return'st no greeting to thy friends?

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    I have too few to take my leave of you,
    When the tongue's office should be prodigal
    To breathe the abundant dolour of the heart.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Thy grief is but thy absence for a time.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Joy absent, grief is present for that time.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    What is six winters? they are quickly gone.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    To men in joy; but grief makes one hour ten.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Call it a travel that thou takest for pleasure.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    My heart will sigh when I miscall it so,
    Which finds it an inforced pilgrimage.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    The sullen passage of thy weary steps
    Esteem as foil wherein thou art to set
    The precious jewel of thy home return.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Nay, rather, every tedious stride I make
    Will but remember me what a deal of world
    I wander from the jewels that I love.
    Must I not serve a long apprenticehood
    To foreign passages, and in the end,
    Having my freedom, boast of nothing else
    But that I was a journeyman to grief?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    All places that the eye of heaven visits
    Are to a wise man ports and happy havens.
    Teach thy necessity to reason thus;
    There is no virtue like necessity.
    Think not the king did banish thee,
    But thou the king. Woe doth the heavier sit,
    Where it perceives it is but faintly borne.
    Go, say I sent thee forth to purchase honour
    And not the king exiled thee; or suppose
    Devouring pestilence hangs in our air
    And thou art flying to a fresher clime:
    Look, what thy soul holds dear, imagine it
    To lie that way thou go'st, not whence thou comest:
    Suppose the singing birds musicians,
    The grass whereon thou tread'st the presence strew'd,
    The flowers fair ladies, and thy steps no more
    Than a delightful measure or a dance;
    For gnarling sorrow hath less power to bite
    The man that mocks at it and sets it light.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    O, who can hold a fire in his hand
    By thinking on the frosty Caucasus?
    Or cloy the hungry edge of appetite
    By bare imagination of a feast?
    Or wallow naked in December snow
    By thinking on fantastic summer's heat?
    O, no! the apprehension of the good
    Gives but the greater feeling to the worse:
    Fell sorrow's tooth doth never rankle more
    Than when he bites, but lanceth not the sore.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Come, come, my son, I'll bring thee on thy way:
    Had I thy youth and cause, I would not stay.

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    Then, England's ground, farewell; sweet soil, adieu;
    My mother, and my nurse, that bears me yet!
    Where'er I wander, boast of this I can,
    Though banish'd, yet a trueborn Englishman.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. The court.

    Enter KING RICHARD II, with BAGOT and GREEN at one door; and the DUKE OF AUMERLE at another

    KING RICHARD II

    We did observe. Cousin Aumerle,
    How far brought you high Hereford on his way?

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    I brought high Hereford, if you call him so,
    But to the next highway, and there I left him.

    KING RICHARD II

    And say, what store of parting tears were shed?

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    Faith, none for me; except the north-east wind,
    Which then blew bitterly against our faces,
    Awaked the sleeping rheum, and so by chance
    Did grace our hollow parting with a tear.

    KING RICHARD II

    What said our cousin when you parted with him?

    DUKE OF AUMERLE

    'Farewell:'
    And, for my heart disdained that my tongue
    Should so profane the word, that taught me craft
    To counterfeit oppression of such grief
    That words seem'd buried in my sorrow's grave.
    Marry, would the word 'farewell' have lengthen'd hours
    And added years to his short banishment,
    He should have had a volume of farewells;
    But since it would not, he had none of me.

    KING RICHARD II

    He is our cousin, cousin; but 'tis doubt,
    When time shall call him home from banishment,
    Whether our kinsman come to see his friends.
    Ourself and Bushy, Bagot here and Green
    Observed his courtship to the common people;
    How he did seem to dive into their hearts
    With humble and familiar courtesy,
    What reverence he did throw away on slaves,
    Wooing poor craftsmen with the craft of smiles
    And patient underbearing of his fortune,
    As 'twere to banish their affects with him.
    Off goes his bonnet to an oyster-wench;
    A brace of draymen bid God speed him well
    And had the tribute of his supple knee,
    With 'Thanks, my countrymen, my loving friends;'
    As were our England in reversion his,
    And he our subjects' next degree in hope.

    GREEN

    Well, he is gone; and with him go these thoughts.
    Now for the rebels which stand out in Ireland,
    Expedient manage must be made, my liege,
    Ere further leisure yield them further means
    For their advantage and your highness' loss.

    KING RICHARD II

    We will ourself in person to this war:
    And, for our coffers, with too great a court
    And liberal largess, are grown somewhat light,
    We are inforced to farm our royal realm;
    The revenue whereof shall furnish us
    For our affairs in hand: if that come short,
    Our substitutes at home shall have blank charters;
    Whereto, when they shall know what men are rich,
    They shall subscribe them for large sums of gold
    And send them after to supply our wants;
    For we will make for Ireland presently.

    Enter BUSHY
    Bushy, what news?

    BUSHY

    Old John of Gaunt is grievous sick, my lord,
    Suddenly taken; and hath sent post haste
    To entreat your majesty to visit him.

    KING RICHARD II

    Where lies he?

    BUSHY

    At Ely House.

    KING RICHARD II

    Now put it, God, in the physician's mind
    To help him to his grave immediately!
    The lining of his coffers shall make coats
    To deck our soldiers for these Irish wars.
    Come, gentlemen, let's all go visit him:
    Pray God we may make haste, and come too late!

    All

    Amen.

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Ely House.

    Enter JOHN OF GAUNT sick, with the DUKE OF YORK, &amp; c

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Will the king come, that I may breathe my last
    In wholesome counsel to his unstaid youth?

    DUKE OF YORK

    Vex not yourself, nor strive not with your breath;
    For all in vain comes counsel to his ear.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    O, but they say the tongues of dying men
    Enforce attention like deep harmony:
    Where words are scarce, they are seldom spent in vain,
    For they breathe truth that breathe their words in pain.
    He that no more must say is listen'd more
    Than they whom youth and ease have taught to glose;
    More are men's ends mark'd than their lives before:
    The setting sun, and music at the close,
    As the last taste of sweets, is sweetest last,
    Writ in remembrance more than things long past:
    Though Richard my life's counsel would not hear,
    My death's sad tale may yet undeaf his ear.

    DUKE OF YORK

    No; it is stopp'd with other flattering sounds,
    As praises, of whose taste the wise are fond,
    Lascivious metres, to whose venom sound
    The open ear of youth doth always listen;
    Report of fashions in proud Italy,
    Whose manners still our tardy apish nation
    Limps after in base imitation.
    Where doth the world thrust forth a vanity--
    So it be new, there's no respect how vile--
    That is not quickly buzzed into his ears?
    Then all too late comes counsel to be heard,
    Where will doth mutiny with wit's regard.
    Direct not him whose way himself will choose:
    'Tis breath thou lack'st, and that breath wilt thou lose.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Methinks I am a prophet new inspired
    And thus expiring do foretell of him:
    His rash fierce blaze of riot cannot last,
    For violent fires soon burn out themselves;
    Small showers last long, but sudden storms are short;
    He tires betimes that spurs too fast betimes;
    With eager feeding food doth choke the feeder:
    Light vanity, insatiate cormorant,
    Consuming means, soon preys upon itself.
    This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,
    This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,
    This other Eden, demi-paradise,
    This fortress built by Nature for herself
    Against infection and the hand of war,
    This happy breed of men, this little world,
    This precious stone set in the silver sea,
    Which serves it in the office of a wall,
    Or as a moat defensive to a house,
    Against the envy of less happier lands,
    This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,
    This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings,
    Fear'd by their breed and famous by their birth,
    Renowned for their deeds as far from home,
    For Christian service and true chivalry,
    As is the sepulchre in stubborn Jewry,
    Of the world's ransom, blessed Mary's Son,
    This land of such dear souls, this dear dear land,
    Dear for her reputation through the world,
    Is now leased out, I die pronouncing it,
    Like to a tenement or pelting farm:
    England, bound in with the triumphant sea
    Whose rocky shore beats back the envious siege
    Of watery Neptune, is now bound in with shame,
    With inky blots and rotten parchment bonds:
    That England, that was wont to conquer others,
    Hath made a shameful conquest of itself.
    Ah, would the scandal vanish with my life,
    How happy then were my ensuing death!

    Enter KING RICHARD II and QUEEN, DUKE OF AUMERLE, BUSHY, GREEN, BAGOT, LORD ROSS, and LORD WILLOUGHBY

    DUKE OF YORK

    The king is come: deal mildly with his youth;
    For young hot colts being raged do rage the more.

    QUEEN

    How fares our noble uncle, Lancaster?

    KING RICHARD II

    What comfort, man? how is't with aged Gaunt?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    O how that name befits my composition!
    Old Gaunt indeed, and gaunt in being old:
    Within me grief hath kept a tedious fast;
    And who abstains from meat that is not gaunt?
    For sleeping England long time have I watch'd;
    Watching breeds leanness, leanness is all gaunt:
    The pleasure that some fathers feed upon,
    Is my strict fast; I mean, my children's looks;
    And therein fasting, hast thou made me gaunt:
    Gaunt am I for the grave, gaunt as a grave,
    Whose hollow womb inherits nought but bones.

    KING RICHARD II

    Can sick men play so nicely with their names?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    No, misery makes sport to mock itself:
    Since thou dost seek to kill my name in me,
    I mock my name, great king, to flatter thee.

    KING RICHARD II

    Should dying men flatter with those that live?

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    No, no, men living flatter those that die.

    KING RICHARD II

    Thou, now a-dying, say'st thou flatterest me.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    O, no! thou diest, though I the sicker be.

    KING RICHARD II

    I am in health, I breathe, and see thee ill.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    Now He that made me knows I see thee ill;
    Ill in myself to see, and in thee seeing ill.
    Thy death-bed is no lesser than thy land
    Wherein thou liest in reputation sick;
    And thou, too careless patient as thou art,
    Commit'st thy anointed body to the cure
    Of those physicians that first wounded thee:
    A thousand flatterers sit within thy crown,
    Whose compass is no bigger than thy head;
    And yet, incaged in so small a verge,
    The waste is no whit lesser than thy land.
    O, had thy grandsire with a prophet's eye
    Seen how his son's son should destroy his sons,
    From forth thy reach he would have laid thy shame,
    Deposing thee before thou wert possess'd,
    Which art possess'd now to depose thyself.
    Why, cousin, wert thou regent of the world,
    It were a shame to let this land by lease;
    But for thy world enjoying but this land,
    Is it not more than shame to shame it so?
    Landlord of England art thou now, not king:
    Thy state of law is bondslave to the law; And thou--

    KING RICHARD II

    A lunatic lean-witted fool,
    Presuming on an ague's privilege,
    Darest with thy frozen admonition
    Make pale our cheek, chasing the royal blood
    With fury from his native residence.
    Now, by my seat's right royal majesty,
    Wert thou not brother to great Edward's son,
    This tongue that runs so roundly in thy head
    Should run thy head from thy unreverent shoulders.

    JOHN OF GAUNT

    O, spare me not, my brother Edward's son,
    For that I was his father Edward's son;
    That blood already, like the pelican,
    Hast thou tapp'd out and drunkenly caroused:
    My brother Gloucester, plain well-meaning soul,
    Whom fair befal in heaven 'mongst happy souls!
    May be a precedent and witness good
    That thou respect'st not spilling Edward's blood:
    Join with the present sickness that I have;
    And thy unkindness be like crooked age,
    To crop at once a too long wither'd flower.
    Live in thy shame, but die not shame with thee!
    These words hereafter thy tormentors be!
    Convey me to my bed, then to my grave:
    Love they to live that love and honour have.

    Exit, borne off by his Attendants

    KING RICHARD II

    And let them die that age and sullens have;
    For both hast thou, and both become the grave.

    DUKE OF YORK

    I do beseech your majesty, impute his words
    To wayward sickliness and age in him:
    He loves you, on my life, and holds you dear
    As Harry Duke of Hereford, were he here.

    KING RICHARD II

    Right, you say true: as Hereford's love, so his;
    As theirs, so mine; and all be as it is.

    Enter NORTHUMBERLAND

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    My liege, old Gaunt commends him to your majesty.

    KING RICHARD II

    What says he?

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Nay, nothing; all is said
    His tongue is now a stringless instrument;
    Words, life and all, old Lancaster hath spent.

    DUKE OF YORK

    Be York the next that must be bankrupt so!
    Though death be poor, it ends a mortal woe.

    KING RICHARD II

    The ripest fruit first falls, and so doth he;
    His time is spent, our pilgrimage must be.
    So much for that. Now for our Irish wars:
    We must supplant those rough rug-headed kerns,
    Which live like venom where no venom else
    But only they have privilege to live.
    And for these great affairs do ask some charge,
    Towards our assistance we do seize to us
    The plate, corn, revenues and moveables,
    Whereof our uncle Gaunt did stand possess'd.

    DUKE OF YORK

    How long shall I be patient? ah, how long
    Shall tender duty make me suffer wrong?
    Not Gloucester's death, nor Hereford's banishment
    Not Gaunt's rebukes, nor England's private wrongs,
    Nor the prevention of poor Bolingbroke
    About his marriage, nor my own disgrace,
    Have ever made me sour my patient cheek,
    Or bend one wrinkle on my sovereign's face.
    I am the last of noble Edward's sons,
    Of whom thy father, Prince of Wales, was first:
    In war was never lion raged more fierce,
    In peace was never gentle lamb more mild,
    Than was that young and princely gentleman.
    His face thou hast, for even so look'd he,
    Accomplish'd with the number of thy hours;
    But when he frown'd, it was against the French
    And not against his friends; his noble hand
    Did will what he did spend and spent not that
    Which his triumphant father's hand had won;
    His hands were guilty of no kindred blood,
    But bloody with the enemies of his kin.
    O Richard! York is too far gone with grief,
    Or else he never would compare between.

    KING RICHARD II

    Why, uncle, what's the matter?

    DUKE OF YORK

    O my liege,
    Pardon me, if you please; if n ot, I, pleased
    Not to be pardon'd, am content withal.
    Seek you to seize and gripe into your hands
    The royalties and rights of banish'd Hereford?
    Is not Gaunt dead, and doth not Hereford live?
    Was not Gaunt just, and is not Harry true?
    Did not the one deserve to have an heir?
    Is not his heir a well-deserving son?
    Take Hereford's rights away, and take from Time
    His charters and his customary rights;
    Let not to-morrow then ensue to-day;
    Be not thyself; for how art thou a king
    But by fair sequence and succession?
    Now, afore God--God forbid I say true!--
    If you do wrongfully seize Hereford's rights,
    Call in the letters patent that he hath
    By his attorneys-general to sue
    His livery, and deny his offer'd homage,
    You pluck a thousand dangers on your head,
    You lose a thousand well-disposed hearts
    And prick my tender patience, to those thoughts
    Which honour and allegiance cannot think.

    KING RICHARD II

    Think what you will, we seize into our hands
    His plate, his goods, his money and his lands.

    DUKE OF YORK

    I'll not be by the while: my liege, farewell:
    What will ensue hereof, there's none can tell;
    But by bad courses may be understood
    That their events can never fall out good.

    Exit

    KING RICHARD II

    Go, Bushy, to the Earl of Wiltshire straight:
    Bid him repair to us to Ely House
    To see this business. To-morrow next
    We will for Ireland; and 'tis time, I trow:
    And we create, in absence of ourself,
    Our uncle York lord governor of England;
    For he is just and always loved us well.
    Come on, our queen: to-morrow must we part;
    Be merry, for our time of stay is short

    Flourish. Exeunt KING RICHARD II, QUEEN, DUKE OF AUMERLE, BUSHY, GREEN, and BAGOT

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Well, lords, the Duke of Lancaster is dead.

    LORD ROSS

    And living too; for now his son is duke.

    LORD WILLOUGHBY

    Barely in title, not in revenue.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Richly in both, if justice had her right.

    LORD ROSS

    My heart is great; but it must break with silence,
    Ere't be disburden'd with a liberal tongue.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Nay, speak thy mind; and let him ne'er speak more
    That speaks thy words again to do thee harm!

    LORD WILLOUGHBY

    Tends that thou wouldst speak to the Duke of Hereford?
    If it be so, out with it boldly, man;
    Quick is mine ear to hear of good towards him.

    LORD ROSS

    No good at all that I can do for him;
    Unless you call it good to pity him,
    Bereft and gelded of his patrimony.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Now, afore God, 'tis shame such wrongs are borne
    In him, a royal prince, and many moe
    Of noble blood in this declining land.
    The king is not himself, but basely led
    By flatterers; and what they will inform,
    Merely in hate, 'gainst any of us all,
    That will the king severely prosecute
    'Gainst us, our lives, our children, and our heirs.

    LORD ROSS

    The commons hath he pill'd with grievous taxes,
    And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fined
    For ancient quarrels, and quite lost their hearts.

    LORD WILLOUGHBY

    And daily new exactions are devised,
    As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
    But what, o' God's name, doth become of this?

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he hath not,
    But basely yielded upon compromise
    That which his noble ancestors achieved with blows:
    More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.

    LORD ROSS

    The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.

    LORD WILLOUGHBY

    The king's grown bankrupt, like a broken man.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.

    LORD ROSS

    He hath not money for these Irish wars,
    His burthenous taxations notwithstanding,
    But by the robbing of the banish'd duke.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
    But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
    Yet see no shelter to avoid the storm;
    We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
    And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

    LORD ROSS

    We see the very wreck that we must suffer;
    And unavoided is the danger now,
    For suffering so the causes of our wreck.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Not so; even through the hollow eyes of death
    I spy life peering; but I dare not say
    How near the tidings of our comfort is.

    LORD WILLOUGHBY

    Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost ours.

    LORD ROSS

    Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
    We three are but thyself; and, speaking so,
    Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold.

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Then thus: I have from Port le Blanc, a bay
    In Brittany, received intelligence
    That Harry Duke of Hereford, Rainold Lord Cobham,
    That late broke from the Duke of Exeter,
    His brother, Archbishop late of Canterbury,
    Sir Thomas Erpingham, Sir John Ramston,
    Sir John Norbery, Sir Robert Waterton and Francis Quoint,
    All these well furnish'd by the Duke of Bretagne
    With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war,
    Are making hither with all due expedience
    And shortly mean to touch our northern shore:
    Perhaps they had ere this, but that they stay
    The first departing of the king for Ireland.
    If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke,
    Imp out our drooping country's broken wing,
    Redeem from broking pawn the blemish'd crown,
    Wipe off the dust that hides our sceptre's gilt
    And make high majesty look like itself,
    Away with me in post to Ravenspurgh;
    But if you faint, as fearing to do so,
    Stay and be secret, and myself will go.

    LORD ROSS

    To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them that fear.

    LORD WILLOUGHBY

    Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. The palace.

    Enter QUEEN, BUSHY, and BAGOT

    BUSHY

    Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
    You promised, when you parted with the king,
    To lay aside life-harming heaviness
    And entertain a cheerful disposition.

    QUEEN

    To please the king I did; to please myself
    I cannot do it; yet I know no cause
    Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
    Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
    As my sweet Richard: yet again, methinks,
    Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb,
    Is coming towards me, and my inward soul
    With nothing trembles: at some thing it grieves,
    More than with parting from my lord the king.

    BUSHY

    Each substance of a grief hath twenty shadows,
    Which shows like grief itself, but is not so;
    For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears,
    Divides one thing entire to many objects;
    Like perspectives, which rightly gazed upon
    Show nothing but confusion, eyed awry
    Distinguish form: so your sweet majesty,
    Looking awry upon your lord's departure,
    Find shapes of grief, more than himself, to wail;
    Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows
    Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen,
    More than your lord's departure weep not: more's not seen;
    Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
    Which for things true weeps things imaginary.

    QUEEN

    It may be so; but yet my inward soul
    Persuades me it is otherwise: howe'er it be,
    I cannot but be sad; so heavy sad
    As, though on thinking on no thought I think,
    Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.

    BUSHY

    'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.

    QUEEN

    'Tis nothing less: conceit is still derived
    From some forefather grief; mine is not so,
    For nothing had begot my something grief;
    Or something hath the nothing that I grieve:
    'Tis in reversion that I do possess;
    But what it is, that is not yet known; what
    I cannot name; 'tis nameless woe, I wot.

    Enter GREEN

    GREEN

    God save your majesty! and well met, gentlemen:
    I hope the king is not yet shipp'd for Ireland.

    QUEEN

    Why hopest thou so? 'tis better hope he is;
    For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope:
    Then wherefore dost thou hope he is not shipp'd?

    GREEN

    That he, our hope, might have retired his power,
    And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
    Who strongly hath set footing in this land:
    The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself,
    And with uplifted arms is safe arrived
    At Ravenspurgh.

    QUEEN

    Now God in heaven forbid!

    GREEN

    Ah, madam, 'tis too true: and that is worse,
    The Lord Northumberland, his son young Henry Percy,
    The Lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
    With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.

    BUSHY

    Why have you not proclaim'd Northumberland
    And all the rest revolted faction traitors?

    GREEN

    We have: whereupon the Earl of Worcester
    Hath broke his staff, resign'd his stewardship,
    And all the household servants fled with him
    To Bolingbroke.

    QUEEN

    So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe,
    And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir:
    Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy,
    And I, a gasping new-deliver'd mother,
    Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join'd.

    BUSHY

    Despair not, madam.

    QUEEN

    Who shall hinder me?
    I will despair, and be at enmity
    With cozening hope: he is a flatterer,
    A parasite, a keeper back of death,
    Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
    Which false hope lingers in extremity.

    Enter DUKE OF YORK

    GREEN

    Here comes the Duke of York.

    QUEEN

    With signs of war about his aged neck:
    O, full of careful business are his looks!
    Uncle, for God's sake, speak comfortable words.

    DUKE OF YORK

    Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts:
    Comfort's in heaven; and we are on the earth,
    Where nothing lives but crosses, cares and grief.
    Your husband, he is gone to save far off,
    Whilst others come to make him lose at home:
    Here am I left to underprop his land,
    Who, weak with age, cannot support myself:
    Now comes the sick hour that his surfeit made;
    Now shall he try his friends that flatter'd him.

    Enter a Servant

    Servant

    My lord, your son was gone before I came.

    DUKE OF YORK

    He was? Why, so! go all which way it will!
    The nobles they are fled, the commons they are cold,
    And will, I fear, revolt on Hereford's side.
    Sirrah, get thee to Plashy, to my sister Gloucester;
    Bid her send me presently a thousand pound:
    Hold, take my ring.

    Servant

    My lord, I had forgot to tell your lordship,
    To-day, as I came by, I called there;
    But I shall grieve you to report the rest.

    DUKE OF YORK

    What is't, knave?

    Servant

    An hour before I came, the duchess died.

    DUKE OF YORK

    God for his mercy! what a tide of woes
    Comes rushing on this woeful land at once!
    I know not what to do: I would to God,
    So my untruth had not provoked him to it,
    The king had cut off my head with my brother's.
    What, are there no posts dispatch'd for Ireland?
    How shall we do for money for these wars?
    Come, sister,--cousin, I would say--pray, pardon me.
    Go, fellow, get thee home, provide some carts
    And bring away the armour that is there.

    Exit Servant
    Gentlemen, will you go muster men?
    If I know how or which way to order these affairs
    Thus thrust disorderly into my hands,
    Never believe me. Both are my kinsmen:
    The one is my sovereign, whom both my oath
    And duty bids defend; the other again
    Is my kinsman, whom the king hath wrong'd,
    Whom conscience and my kindred bids to right.
    Well, somewhat we must do. Come, cousin, I'll
    Dispose of you.
    Gentlemen, go, muster up your men,
    And meet me presently at Berkeley.
    I should to Plashy too;
    But time will not permit: all is uneven,
    And every thing is left at six and seven.

    Exeunt DUKE OF YORK and QUEEN

    BUSHY

    The wind sits fair for news to go to Ireland,
    But none returns. For us to levy power
    Proportionable to the enemy
    Is all unpossible.

    GREEN

    Besides, our nearness to the king in love
    Is near the hate of those love not the king.

    BAGOT

    And that's the wavering commons: for their love
    Lies in their purses, and whoso empties them
    By so much fills their hearts with deadly hate.

    BUSHY

    Wherein the king stands generally condemn'd.

    BAGOT

    If judgement lie in them, then so do we,
    Because we ever have been near the king.

    GREEN

    Well, I will for refuge straight to Bristol castle:
    The Earl of Wiltshire is already there.

    BUSHY

    Thither will I with you; for little office
    The hateful commons will perform for us,
    Except like curs to tear us all to pieces.
    Will you go along with us?

    BAGOT

    No; I will to Ireland to his majesty.
    Farewell: if heart's presages be not vain,
    We three here art that ne'er shall meet again.

    BUSHY

    That's as York thrives to beat back Bolingbroke.

    GREEN

    Alas, poor duke! the task he undertakes
    Is numbering sands and drinking oceans dry:
    Where one on his side fights, thousands will fly.
    Farewell at once, for once, for all, and ever.

    BUSHY

    Well, we may meet again.

    BAGOT

    I fear me, never.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. Wilds in Gloucestershire.

    Enter HENRY BOLINGBROKE and NORTHUMBERLAND, with Forces

    HENRY BOLINGBROKE

    How far is it, my lord, to Berkeley now?

    NORTHUMBERLAND

    Believe me, noble lord,
    I am a stranger here in Gloucestershire:
    These high wild hills and rough uneven ways
    Draws out our miles, and makes them wearisome,
    And yet your fair discourse hath been as sugar,
    Making the hard way sweet and delectable.
    Bu
     
  10. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Life and Death of Richard the Third
    Shakespeare homepage | Richard III | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. London. A street.

    Enter GLOUCESTER, solus

    GLOUCESTER

    Now is the winter of our discontent
    Made glorious summer by this sun of York;
    And all the clouds that lour'd upon our house
    In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.
    Now are our brows bound with victorious wreaths;
    Our bruised arms hung up for monuments;
    Our stern alarums changed to merry meetings,
    Our dreadful marches to delightful measures.
    Grim-visaged war hath smooth'd his wrinkled front;
    And now, instead of mounting barded steeds
    To fright the souls of fearful adversaries,
    He capers nimbly in a lady's chamber
    To the lascivious pleasing of a lute.
    But I, that am not shaped for sportive tricks,
    Nor made to court an amorous looking-glass;
    I, that am rudely stamp'd, and want love's majesty
    To strut before a wanton ambling nymph;
    I, that am curtail'd of this fair proportion,
    Cheated of feature by dissembling nature,
    Deformed, unfinish'd, sent before my time
    Into this breathing world, scarce half made up,
    And that so lamely and unfashionable
    That dogs bark at me as I halt by them;
    Why, I, in this weak piping time of peace,
    Have no delight to pass away the time,
    Unless to spy my shadow in the sun
    And descant on mine own deformity:
    And therefore, since I cannot prove a lover,
    To entertain these fair well-spoken days,
    I am determined to prove a villain
    And hate the idle pleasures of these days.
    Plots have I laid, inductions dangerous,
    By drunken prophecies, libels and dreams,
    To set my brother Clarence and the king
    In deadly hate the one against the other:
    And if King Edward be as true and just
    As I am subtle, false and treacherous,
    This day should Clarence closely be mew'd up,
    About a prophecy, which says that 'G'
    Of Edward's heirs the murderer shall be.
    Dive, thoughts, down to my soul: here
    Clarence comes.

    Enter CLARENCE, guarded, and BRAKENBURY
    Brother, good day; what means this armed guard
    That waits upon your grace?

    CLARENCE

    His majesty
    Tendering my person's safety, hath appointed
    This conduct to convey me to the Tower.

    GLOUCESTER

    Upon what cause?

    CLARENCE

    Because my name is George.

    GLOUCESTER

    Alack, my lord, that fault is none of yours;
    He should, for that, commit your godfathers:
    O, belike his majesty hath some intent
    That you shall be new-christen'd in the Tower.
    But what's the matter, Clarence? may I know?

    CLARENCE

    Yea, Richard, when I know; for I protest
    As yet I do not: but, as I can learn,
    He hearkens after prophecies and dreams;
    And from the cross-row plucks the letter G.
    And says a wizard told him that by G
    His issue disinherited should be;
    And, for my name of George begins with G,
    It follows in his thought that I am he.
    These, as I learn, and such like toys as these
    Have moved his highness to commit me now.

    GLOUCESTER

    Why, this it is, when men are ruled by women:
    'Tis not the king that sends you to the Tower:
    My Lady Grey his wife, Clarence, 'tis she
    That tempers him to this extremity.
    Was it not she and that good man of worship,
    Anthony Woodville, her brother there,
    That made him send Lord Hastings to the Tower,
    From whence this present day he is deliver'd?
    We are not safe, Clarence; we are not safe.

    CLARENCE

    By heaven, I think there's no man is secure
    But the queen's kindred and night-walking heralds
    That trudge betwixt the king and Mistress Shore.
    Heard ye not what an humble suppliant
    Lord hastings was to her for his delivery?

    GLOUCESTER

    Humbly complaining to her deity
    Got my lord chamberlain his liberty.
    I'll tell you what; I think it is our way,
    If we will keep in favour with the king,
    To be her men and wear her livery:
    The jealous o'erworn widow and herself,
    Since that our brother dubb'd them gentlewomen.
    Are mighty gossips in this monarchy.

    BRAKENBURY

    I beseech your graces both to pardon me;
    His majesty hath straitly given in charge
    That no man shall have private conference,
    Of what degree soever, with his brother.

    GLOUCESTER

    Even so; an't please your worship, Brakenbury,
    You may partake of any thing we say:
    We speak no treason, man: we say the king
    Is wise and virtuous, and his noble queen
    Well struck in years, fair, and not jealous;
    We say that Shore's wife hath a pretty foot,
    A cherry lip, a bonny eye, a passing pleasing tongue;
    And that the queen's kindred are made gentle-folks:
    How say you sir? Can you deny all this?

    BRAKENBURY

    With this, my lord, myself have nought to do.

    GLOUCESTER

    Naught to do with mistress Shore! I tell thee, fellow,
    He that doth naught with her, excepting one,
    Were best he do it secretly, alone.

    BRAKENBURY

    What one, my lord?

    GLOUCESTER

    Her husband, knave: wouldst thou betray me?

    BRAKENBURY

    I beseech your grace to pardon me, and withal
    Forbear your conference with the noble duke.

    CLARENCE

    We know thy charge, Brakenbury, and will obey.

    GLOUCESTER

    We are the queen's abjects, and must obey.
    Brother, farewell: I will unto the king;
    And whatsoever you will employ me in,
    Were it to call King Edward's widow sister,
    I will perform it to enfranchise you.
    Meantime, this deep disgrace in brotherhood
    Touches me deeper than you can imagine.

    CLARENCE

    I know it pleaseth neither of us well.

    GLOUCESTER

    Well, your imprisonment shall not be long;
    Meantime, have patience.

    CLARENCE

    I must perforce. Farewell.

    Exeunt CLARENCE, BRAKENBURY, and Guard

    GLOUCESTER

    Go, tread the path that thou shalt ne'er return.
    Simple, plain Clarence! I do love thee so,
    That I will shortly send thy soul to heaven,
    If heaven will take the present at our hands.
    But who comes here? the new-deliver'd Hastings?

    Enter HASTINGS

    HASTINGS

    Good time of day unto my gracious lord!

    GLOUCESTER

    As much unto my good lord chamberlain!
    Well are you welcome to the open air.
    How hath your lordship brook'd imprisonment?

    HASTINGS

    With patience, noble lord, as prisoners must:
    But I shall live, my lord, to give them thanks
    That were the cause of my imprisonment.

    GLOUCESTER

    No doubt, no doubt; and so shall Clarence too;
    For they that were your enemies are his,
    And have prevail'd as much on him as you.

    HASTINGS

    More pity that the eagle should be mew'd,
    While kites and buzzards prey at liberty.

    GLOUCESTER

    What news abroad?

    HASTINGS

    No news so bad abroad as this at home;
    The King is sickly, weak and melancholy,
    And his physicians fear him mightily.

    GLOUCESTER

    Now, by Saint Paul, this news is bad indeed.
    O, he hath kept an evil diet long,
    And overmuch consumed his royal person:
    'Tis very grievous to be thought upon.
    What, is he in his bed?

    HASTINGS

    He is.

    GLOUCESTER

    Go you before, and I will follow you.

    Exit HASTINGS
    He cannot live, I hope; and must not die
    Till George be pack'd with post-horse up to heaven.
    I'll in, to urge his hatred more to Clarence,
    With lies well steel'd with weighty arguments;
    And, if I fall not in my deep intent,
    Clarence hath not another day to live:
    Which done, God take King Edward to his mercy,
    And leave the world for me to bustle in!
    For then I'll marry Warwick's youngest daughter.
    What though I kill'd her husband and her father?
    The readiest way to make the wench amends
    Is to become her husband and her father:
    The which will I; not all so much for love
    As for another secret close intent,
    By marrying her which I must reach unto.
    But yet I run before my horse to market:
    Clarence still breathes; Edward still lives and reigns:
    When they are gone, then must I count my gains.

    Exit

    SCENE II. The same. Another street.

    Enter the corpse of KING HENRY the Sixth, Gentlemen with halberds to guard it; LADY ANNE being the mourner

    LADY ANNE

    Set down, set down your honourable load,
    If honour may be shrouded in a hearse,
    Whilst I awhile obsequiously lament
    The untimely fall of virtuous Lancaster.
    Poor key-cold figure of a holy king!
    Pale ashes of the house of Lancaster!
    Thou bloodless remnant of that royal blood!
    Be it lawful that I invocate thy ghost,
    To hear the lamentations of Poor Anne,
    Wife to thy Edward, to thy slaughter'd son,
    Stabb'd by the selfsame hand that made these wounds!
    Lo, in these windows that let forth thy life,
    I pour the helpless balm of my poor eyes.
    Cursed be the hand that made these fatal holes!
    Cursed be the heart that had the heart to do it!
    Cursed the blood that let this blood from hence!
    More direful hap betide that hated wretch,
    That makes us wretched by the death of thee,
    Than I can wish to adders, spiders, toads,
    Or any creeping venom'd thing that lives!
    If ever he have child, abortive be it,
    Prodigious, and untimely brought to light,
    Whose ugly and unnatural aspect
    May fright the hopeful mother at the view;
    And that be heir to his unhappiness!
    If ever he have wife, let her he made
    A miserable by the death of him
    As I am made by my poor lord and thee!
    Come, now towards Chertsey with your holy load,
    Taken from Paul's to be interred there;
    And still, as you are weary of the weight,
    Rest you, whiles I lament King Henry's corse.

    Enter GLOUCESTER

    GLOUCESTER

    Stay, you that bear the corse, and set it down.

    LADY ANNE

    What black magician conjures up this fiend,
    To stop devoted charitable deeds?

    GLOUCESTER

    Villains, set down the corse; or, by Saint Paul,
    I'll make a corse of him that disobeys.

    Gentleman

    My lord, stand back, and let the coffin pass.

    GLOUCESTER

    Unmanner'd dog! stand thou, when I command:
    Advance thy halbert higher than my breast,
    Or, by Saint Paul, I'll strike thee to my foot,
    And spurn upon thee, beggar, for thy boldness.

    LADY ANNE

    What, do you tremble? are you all afraid?
    Alas, I blame you not; for you are mortal,
    And mortal eyes cannot endure the devil.
    Avaunt, thou dreadful minister of hell!
    Thou hadst but power over his mortal body,
    His soul thou canst not have; therefore be gone.

    GLOUCESTER

    Sweet saint, for charity, be not so curst.

    LADY ANNE

    Foul devil, for God's sake, hence, and trouble us not;
    For thou hast made the happy earth thy hell,
    Fill'd it with cursing cries and deep exclaims.
    If thou delight to view thy heinous deeds,
    Behold this pattern of thy butcheries.
    O, gentlemen, see, see! dead Henry's wounds
    Open their congeal'd mouths and bleed afresh!
    Blush, Blush, thou lump of foul deformity;
    For 'tis thy presence that exhales this blood
    From cold and empty veins, where no blood dwells;
    Thy deed, inhuman and unnatural,
    Provokes this deluge most unnatural.
    O God, which this blood madest, revenge his death!
    O earth, which this blood drink'st revenge his death!
    Either heaven with lightning strike the
    murderer dead,
    Or earth, gape open wide and eat him quick,
    As thou dost swallow up this good king's blood
    Which his hell-govern'd arm hath butchered!

    GLOUCESTER

    Lady, you know no rules of charity,
    Which renders good for bad, blessings for curses.

    LADY ANNE

    Villain, thou know'st no law of God nor man:
    No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity.

    GLOUCESTER

    But I know none, and therefore am no beast.

    LADY ANNE

    O wonderful, when devils tell the truth!

    GLOUCESTER

    More wonderful, when angels are so angry.
    Vouchsafe, divine perfection of a woman,
    Of these supposed-evils, to give me leave,
    By circumstance, but to acquit myself.

    LADY ANNE

    Vouchsafe, defused infection of a man,
    For these known evils, but to give me leave,
    By circumstance, to curse thy cursed self.

    GLOUCESTER

    Fairer than tongue can name thee, let me have
    Some patient leisure to excuse myself.

    LADY ANNE

    Fouler than heart can think thee, thou canst make
    No excuse current, but to hang thyself.

    GLOUCESTER

    By such despair, I should accuse myself.

    LADY ANNE

    And, by despairing, shouldst thou stand excused;
    For doing worthy vengeance on thyself,
    Which didst unworthy slaughter upon others.

    GLOUCESTER

    Say that I slew them not?

    LADY ANNE

    Why, then they are not dead:
    But dead they are, and devilish slave, by thee.

    GLOUCESTER

    I did not kill your husband.

    LADY ANNE

    Why, then he is alive.

    GLOUCESTER

    Nay, he is dead; and slain by Edward's hand.

    LADY ANNE

    In thy foul throat thou liest: Queen Margaret saw
    Thy murderous falchion smoking in his blood;
    The which thou once didst bend against her breast,
    But that thy brothers beat aside the point.

    GLOUCESTER

    I was provoked by her slanderous tongue,
    which laid their guilt upon my guiltless shoulders.

    LADY ANNE

    Thou wast provoked by thy bloody mind.
    Which never dreamt on aught but butcheries:
    Didst thou not kill this king?

    GLOUCESTER

    I grant ye.

    LADY ANNE

    Dost grant me, hedgehog? then, God grant me too
    Thou mayst be damned for that wicked deed!
    O, he was gentle, mild, and virtuous!

    GLOUCESTER

    The fitter for the King of heaven, that hath him.

    LADY ANNE

    He is in heaven, where thou shalt never come.

    GLOUCESTER

    Let him thank me, that holp to send him thither;
    For he was fitter for that place than earth.

    LADY ANNE

    And thou unfit for any place but hell.

    GLOUCESTER

    Yes, one place else, if you will hear me name it.

    LADY ANNE

    Some dungeon.

    GLOUCESTER

    Your bed-chamber.

    LADY ANNE

    I'll rest betide the chamber where thou liest!

    GLOUCESTER

    So will it, madam till I lie with you.

    LADY ANNE

    I hope so.

    GLOUCESTER

    I know so. But, gentle Lady Anne,
    To leave this keen encounter of our wits,
    And fall somewhat into a slower method,
    Is not the causer of the timeless deaths
    Of these Plantagenets, Henry and Edward,
    As blameful as the executioner?

    LADY ANNE

    Thou art the cause, and most accursed effect.

    GLOUCESTER

    Your beauty was the cause of that effect;
    Your beauty: which did haunt me in my sleep
    To undertake the death of all the world,
    So I might live one hour in your sweet bosom.

    LADY ANNE

    If I thought that, I tell thee, homicide,
    These nails should rend that beauty from my cheeks.

    GLOUCESTER

    These eyes could never endure sweet beauty's wreck;
    You should not blemish it, if I stood by:
    As all the world is cheered by the sun,
    So I by that; it is my day, my life.

    LADY ANNE

    Black night o'ershade thy day, and death thy life!

    GLOUCESTER

    Curse not thyself, fair creature thou art both.

    LADY ANNE

    I would I were, to be revenged on thee.

    GLOUCESTER

    It is a quarrel most unnatural,
    To be revenged on him that loveth you.

    LADY ANNE

    It is a quarrel just and reasonable,
    To be revenged on him that slew my husband.

    GLOUCESTER

    He that bereft thee, lady, of thy husband,
    Did it to help thee to a better husband.

    LADY ANNE

    His better doth not breathe upon the earth.

    GLOUCESTER

    He lives that loves thee better than he could.

    LADY ANNE

    Name him.

    GLOUCESTER

    Plantagenet.

    LADY ANNE

    Why, that was he.

    GLOUCESTER

    The selfsame name, but one of better nature.

    LADY ANNE

    Where is he?

    GLOUCESTER

    Here.

    She spitteth at him
    Why dost thou spit at me?

    LADY ANNE

    Would it were mortal poison, for thy sake!

    GLOUCESTER

    Never came poison from so sweet a place.

    LADY ANNE

    Never hung poison on a fouler toad.
    Out of my sight! thou dost infect my eyes.

    GLOUCESTER

    Thine eyes, sweet lady, have infected mine.

    LADY ANNE

    Would they were basilisks, to strike thee dead!

    GLOUCESTER

    I would they were, that I might die at once;
    For now they kill me with a living death.
    Those eyes of thine from mine have drawn salt tears,
    Shamed their aspect with store of childish drops:
    These eyes that never shed remorseful tear,
    No, when my father York and Edward wept,
    To hear the piteous moan that Rutland made
    When black-faced Clifford shook his sword at him;
    Nor when thy warlike father, like a child,
    Told the sad story of my father's death,
    And twenty times made pause to sob and weep,
    That all the standers-by had wet their cheeks
    Like trees bedash'd with rain: in that sad time
    My manly eyes did scorn an humble tear;
    And what these sorrows could not thence exhale,
    Thy beauty hath, and made them blind with weeping.
    I never sued to friend nor enemy;
    My tongue could never learn sweet smoothing word;
    But now thy beauty is proposed my fee,
    My proud heart sues, and prompts my tongue to speak.

    She looks scornfully at him
    Teach not thy lips such scorn, for they were made
    For kissing, lady, not for such contempt.
    If thy revengeful heart cannot forgive,
    Lo, here I lend thee this sharp-pointed sword;
    Which if thou please to hide in this true bosom.
    And let the soul forth that adoreth thee,
    I lay it naked to the deadly stroke,
    And humbly beg the death upon my knee.

    He lays his breast open: she offers at it with his sword
    Nay, do not pause; for I did kill King Henry,
    But 'twas thy beauty that provoked me.
    Nay, now dispatch; 'twas I that stabb'd young Edward,
    But 'twas thy heavenly face that set me on.

    Here she lets fall the sword
    Take up the sword again, or take up me.

    LADY ANNE

    Arise, dissembler: though I wish thy death,
    I will not be the executioner.

    GLOUCESTER

    Then bid me kill myself, and I will do it.

    LADY ANNE

    I have already.

    GLOUCESTER

    Tush, that was in thy rage:
    Speak it again, and, even with the word,
    That hand, which, for thy love, did kill thy love,
    Shall, for thy love, kill a far truer love;
    To both their deaths thou shalt be accessary.

    LADY ANNE

    I would I knew thy heart.

    GLOUCESTER

    'Tis figured in my tongue.

    LADY ANNE

    I fear me both are false.

    GLOUCESTER

    Then never man was true.

    LADY ANNE

    Well, well, put up your sword.

    GLOUCESTER

    Say, then, my peace is made.

    LADY ANNE

    That shall you know hereafter.

    GLOUCESTER

    But shall I live in hope?

    LADY ANNE

    All men, I hope, live so.

    GLOUCESTER

    Vouchsafe to wear this ring.

    LADY ANNE

    To take is not to give.

    GLOUCESTER

    Look, how this ring encompasseth finger.
    Even so thy breast encloseth my poor heart;
    Wear both of them, for both of them are thine.
    And if thy poor devoted suppliant may
    But beg one favour at thy gracious hand,
    Thou dost confirm his happiness for ever.

    LADY ANNE

    What is it?

    GLOUCESTER

    That it would please thee leave these sad designs
    To him that hath more cause to be a mourner,
    And presently repair to Crosby Place;
    Where, after I have solemnly interr'd
    At Chertsey monastery this noble king,
    And wet his grave with my repentant tears,
    I will with all expedient duty see you:
    For divers unknown reasons. I beseech you,
    Grant me this boon.

    LADY ANNE

    With all my heart; and much it joys me too,
    To see you are become so penitent.
    Tressel and Berkeley, go along with me.

    GLOUCESTER

    Bid me farewell.

    LADY ANNE

    'Tis more than you deserve;
    But since you teach me how to flatter you,
    Imagine I have said farewell already.

    Exeunt LADY ANNE, TRESSEL, and BERKELEY

    GLOUCESTER

    Sirs, take up the corse.

    GENTLEMEN

    Towards Chertsey, noble lord?

    GLOUCESTER

    No, to White-Friars; there attend my coining.

    Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER
    Was ever woman in this humour woo'd?
    Was ever woman in this humour won?
    I'll have her; but I will not keep her long.
    What! I, that kill'd her husband and his father,
    To take her in her heart's extremest hate,
    With curses in her mouth, tears in her eyes,
    The bleeding witness of her hatred by;
    Having God, her conscience, and these bars
    against me,
    And I nothing to back my suit at all,
    But the plain devil and dissembling looks,
    And yet to win her, all the world to nothing!
    Ha!
    Hath she forgot already that brave prince,
    Edward, her lord, whom I, some three months since,
    Stabb'd in my angry mood at Tewksbury?
    A sweeter and a lovelier gentleman,
    Framed in the prodigality of nature,
    Young, valiant, wise, and, no doubt, right royal,
    The spacious world cannot again afford
    And will she yet debase her eyes on me,
    That cropp'd the golden prime of this sweet prince,
    And made her widow to a woful bed?
    On me, whose all not equals Edward's moiety?
    On me, that halt and am unshapen thus?
    My dukedom to a beggarly denier,
    I do mistake my person all this while:
    Upon my life, she finds, although I cannot,
    Myself to be a marvellous proper man.
    I'll be at charges for a looking-glass,
    And entertain some score or two of tailors,
    To study fashions to adorn my body:
    Since I am crept in favour with myself,
    Will maintain it with some little cost.
    But first I'll turn yon fellow in his grave;
    And then return lamenting to my love.
    Shine out, fair sun, till I have bought a glass,
    That I may see my shadow as I pass.

    Exit

    SCENE III. The palace.

    Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH, RIVERS, and GREY

    RIVERS

    Have patience, madam: there's no doubt his majesty
    Will soon recover his accustom'd health.

    GREY

    In that you brook it in, it makes him worse:
    Therefore, for God's sake, entertain good comfort,
    And cheer his grace with quick and merry words.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    If he were dead, what would betide of me?

    RIVERS

    No other harm but loss of such a lord.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    The loss of such a lord includes all harm.

    GREY

    The heavens have bless'd you with a goodly son,
    To be your comforter when he is gone.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    Oh, he is young and his minority
    Is put unto the trust of Richard Gloucester,
    A man that loves not me, nor none of you.

    RIVERS

    Is it concluded that he shall be protector?

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    It is determined, not concluded yet:
    But so it must be, if the king miscarry.

    Enter BUCKINGHAM and DERBY

    GREY

    Here come the lords of Buckingham and Derby.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Good time of day unto your royal grace!

    DERBY

    God make your majesty joyful as you have been!

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    The Countess Richmond, good my Lord of Derby.
    To your good prayers will scarcely say amen.
    Yet, Derby, notwithstanding she's your wife,
    And loves not me, be you, good lord, assured
    I hate not you for her proud arrogance.

    DERBY

    I do beseech you, either not believe
    The envious slanders of her false accusers;
    Or, if she be accused in true report,
    Bear with her weakness, which, I think proceeds
    From wayward sickness, and no grounded malice.

    RIVERS

    Saw you the king to-day, my Lord of Derby?

    DERBY

    But now the Duke of Buckingham and I
    Are come from visiting his majesty.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    What likelihood of his amendment, lords?

    BUCKINGHAM

    Madam, good hope; his grace speaks cheerfully.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    God grant him health! Did you confer with him?

    BUCKINGHAM

    Madam, we did: he desires to make atonement
    Betwixt the Duke of Gloucester and your brothers,
    And betwixt them and my lord chamberlain;
    And sent to warn them to his royal presence.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    Would all were well! but that will never be
    I fear our happiness is at the highest.

    Enter GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and DORSET

    GLOUCESTER

    They do me wrong, and I will not endure it:
    Who are they that complain unto the king,
    That I, forsooth, am stern, and love them not?
    By holy Paul, they love his grace but lightly
    That fill his ears with such dissentious rumours.
    Because I cannot flatter and speak fair,
    Smile in men's faces, smooth, deceive and cog,
    Duck with French nods and apish courtesy,
    I must be held a rancorous enemy.
    Cannot a plain man live and think no harm,
    But thus his simple truth must be abused
    By silken, sly, insinuating Jacks?

    RIVERS

    To whom in all this presence speaks your grace?

    GLOUCESTER

    To thee, that hast nor honesty nor grace.
    When have I injured thee? when done thee wrong?
    Or thee? or thee? or any of your faction?
    A plague upon you all! His royal person,--
    Whom God preserve better than you would wish!--
    Cannot be quiet scarce a breathing-while,
    But you must trouble him with lewd complaints.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    Brother of Gloucester, you mistake the matter.
    The king, of his own royal disposition,
    And not provoked by any suitor else;
    Aiming, belike, at your interior hatred,
    Which in your outward actions shows itself
    Against my kindred, brothers, and myself,
    Makes him to send; that thereby he may gather
    The ground of your ill-will, and so remove it.

    GLOUCESTER

    I cannot tell: the world is grown so bad,
    That wrens make prey where eagles dare not perch:
    Since every Jack became a gentleman
    There's many a gentle person made a Jack.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    Come, come, we know your meaning, brother
    Gloucester;
    You envy my advancement and my friends':
    God grant we never may have need of you!

    GLOUCESTER

    Meantime, God grants that we have need of you:
    Your brother is imprison'd by your means,
    Myself disgraced, and the nobility
    Held in contempt; whilst many fair promotions
    Are daily given to ennoble those
    That scarce, some two days since, were worth a noble.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    By Him that raised me to this careful height
    From that contented hap which I enjoy'd,
    I never did incense his majesty
    Against the Duke of Clarence, but have been
    An earnest advocate to plead for him.
    My lord, you do me shameful injury,
    Falsely to draw me in these vile suspects.

    GLOUCESTER

    You may deny that you were not the cause
    Of my Lord Hastings' late imprisonment.

    RIVERS

    She may, my lord, for--

    GLOUCESTER

    She may, Lord Rivers! why, who knows not so?
    She may do more, sir, than denying that:
    She may help you to many fair preferments,
    And then deny her aiding hand therein,
    And lay those honours on your high deserts.
    What may she not? She may, yea, marry, may she--

    RIVERS

    What, marry, may she?

    GLOUCESTER

    What, marry, may she! marry with a king,
    A bachelor, a handsome stripling too:
    I wis your grandam had a worser match.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    My Lord of Gloucester, I have too long borne
    Your blunt upbraidings and your bitter scoffs:
    By heaven, I will acquaint his majesty
    With those gross taunts I often have endured.
    I had rather be a country servant-maid
    Than a great queen, with this condition,
    To be thus taunted, scorn'd, and baited at:

    Enter QUEEN MARGARET, behind
    Small joy have I in being England's queen.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    And lessen'd be that small, God, I beseech thee!
    Thy honour, state and seat is due to me.

    GLOUCESTER

    What! threat you me with telling of the king?
    Tell him, and spare not: look, what I have said
    I will avouch in presence of the king:
    I dare adventure to be sent to the Tower.
    'Tis time to speak; my pains are quite forgot.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Out, devil! I remember them too well:
    Thou slewest my husband Henry in the Tower,
    And Edward, my poor son, at Tewksbury.

    GLOUCESTER

    Ere you were queen, yea, or your husband king,
    I was a pack-horse in his great affairs;
    A weeder-out of his proud adversaries,
    A liberal rewarder of his friends:
    To royalize his blood I spilt mine own.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Yea, and much better blood than his or thine.

    GLOUCESTER

    In all which time you and your husband Grey
    Were factious for the house of Lancaster;
    And, Rivers, so were you. Was not your husband
    In Margaret's battle at Saint Alban's slain?
    Let me put in your minds, if you forget,
    What you have been ere now, and what you are;
    Withal, what I have been, and what I am.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    A murderous villain, and so still thou art.

    GLOUCESTER

    Poor Clarence did forsake his father, Warwick;
    Yea, and forswore himself,--which Jesu pardon!--

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Which God revenge!

    GLOUCESTER

    To fight on Edward's party for the crown;
    And for his meed, poor lord, he is mew'd up.
    I would to God my heart were flint, like Edward's;
    Or Edward's soft and pitiful, like mine
    I am too childish-foolish for this world.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Hie thee to hell for shame, and leave the world,
    Thou cacodemon! there thy kingdom is.

    RIVERS

    My Lord of Gloucester, in those busy days
    Which here you urge to prove us enemies,
    We follow'd then our lord, our lawful king:
    So should we you, if you should be our king.

    GLOUCESTER

    If I should be! I had rather be a pedlar:
    Far be it from my heart, the thought of it!

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    As little joy, my lord, as you suppose
    You should enjoy, were you this country's king,
    As little joy may you suppose in me.
    That I enjoy, being the queen thereof.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    A little joy enjoys the queen thereof;
    For I am she, and altogether joyless.
    I can no longer hold me patient.

    Advancing
    Hear me, you wrangling pirates, that fall out
    In sharing that which you have pill'd from me!
    Which of you trembles not that looks on me?
    If not, that, I being queen, you bow like subjects,
    Yet that, by you deposed, you quake like rebels?
    O gentle villain, do not turn away!

    GLOUCESTER

    Foul wrinkled witch, what makest thou in my sight?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    But repetition of what thou hast marr'd;
    That will I make before I let thee go.

    GLOUCESTER

    Wert thou not banished on pain of death?

    QUEEN MARGARET

    I was; but I do find more pain in banishment
    Than death can yield me here by my abode.
    A husband and a son thou owest to me;
    And thou a kingdom; all of you allegiance:
    The sorrow that I have, by right is yours,
    And all the pleasures you usurp are mine.

    GLOUCESTER

    The curse my noble father laid on thee,
    When thou didst crown his warlike brows with paper
    And with thy scorns drew'st rivers from his eyes,
    And then, to dry them, gavest the duke a clout
    Steep'd in the faultless blood of pretty Rutland--
    His curses, then from bitterness of soul
    Denounced against thee, are all fall'n upon thee;
    And God, not we, hath plagued thy bloody deed.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    So just is God, to right the innocent.

    HASTINGS

    O, 'twas the foulest deed to slay that babe,
    And the most merciless that e'er was heard of!

    RIVERS

    Tyrants themselves wept when it was reported.

    DORSET

    No man but prophesied revenge for it.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Northumberland, then present, wept to see it.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    What were you snarling all before I came,
    Ready to catch each other by the throat,
    And turn you all your hatred now on me?
    Did York's dread curse prevail so much with heaven?
    That Henry's death, my lovely Edward's death,
    Their kingdom's loss, my woful banishment,
    Could all but answer for that peevish brat?
    Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven?
    Why, then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses!
    If not by war, by surfeit die your king,
    As ours by murder, to make him a king!
    Edward thy son, which now is Prince of Wales,
    For Edward my son, which was Prince of Wales,
    Die in his youth by like untimely violence!
    Thyself a queen, for me that was a queen,
    Outlive thy glory, like my wretched self!
    Long mayst thou live to wail thy children's loss;
    And see another, as I see thee now,
    Deck'd in thy rights, as thou art stall'd in mine!
    Long die thy happy days before thy death;
    And, after many lengthen'd hours of grief,
    Die neither mother, wife, nor England's queen!
    Rivers and Dorset, you were standers by,
    And so wast thou, Lord Hastings, when my son
    Was stabb'd with bloody daggers: God, I pray him,
    That none of you may live your natural age,
    But by some unlook'd accident cut off!

    GLOUCESTER

    Have done thy charm, thou hateful wither'd hag!

    QUEEN MARGARET

    And leave out thee? stay, dog, for thou shalt hear me.
    If heaven have any grievous plague in store
    Exceeding those that I can wish upon thee,
    O, let them keep it till thy sins be ripe,
    And then hurl down their indignation
    On thee, the troubler of the poor world's peace!
    The worm of conscience still begnaw thy soul!
    Thy friends suspect for traitors while thou livest,
    And take deep traitors for thy dearest friends!
    No sleep close up that deadly eye of thine,
    Unless it be whilst some tormenting dream
    Affrights thee with a hell of ugly devils!
    Thou elvish-mark'd, abortive, rooting hog!
    Thou that wast seal'd in thy nativity
    The slave of nature and the son of hell!
    Thou slander of thy mother's heavy womb!
    Thou loathed issue of thy father's loins!
    Thou rag of honour! thou detested--

    GLOUCESTER

    Margaret.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Richard!

    GLOUCESTER

    Ha!

    QUEEN MARGARET

    I call thee not.

    GLOUCESTER

    I cry thee mercy then, for I had thought
    That thou hadst call'd me all these bitter names.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Why, so I did; but look'd for no reply.
    O, let me make the period to my curse!

    GLOUCESTER

    'Tis done by me, and ends in 'Margaret.'

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    Thus have you breathed your curse against yourself.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Poor painted queen, vain flourish of my fortune!
    Why strew'st thou sugar on that bottled spider,
    Whose deadly web ensnareth thee about?
    Fool, fool! thou whet'st a knife to kill thyself.
    The time will come when thou shalt wish for me
    To help thee curse that poisonous bunchback'd toad.

    HASTINGS

    False-boding woman, end thy frantic curse,
    Lest to thy harm thou move our patience.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Foul shame upon you! you have all moved mine.

    RIVERS

    Were you well served, you would be taught your duty.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    To serve me well, you all should do me duty,
    Teach me to be your queen, and you my subjects:
    O, serve me well, and teach yourselves that duty!

    DORSET

    Dispute not with her; she is lunatic.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Peace, master marquess, you are malapert:
    Your fire-new stamp of honour is scarce current.
    O, that your young nobility could judge
    What 'twere to lose it, and be miserable!
    They that stand high have many blasts to shake them;
    And if they fall, they dash themselves to pieces.

    GLOUCESTER

    Good counsel, marry: learn it, learn it, marquess.

    DORSET

    It toucheth you, my lord, as much as me.

    GLOUCESTER

    Yea, and much more: but I was born so high,
    Our aery buildeth in the cedar's top,
    And dallies with the wind and scorns the sun.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    And turns the sun to shade; alas! alas!
    Witness my son, now in the shade of death;
    Whose bright out-shining beams thy cloudy wrath
    Hath in eternal darkness folded up.
    Your aery buildeth in our aery's nest.
    O God, that seest it, do not suffer it!
    As it was won with blood, lost be it so!

    BUCKINGHAM

    Have done! for shame, if not for charity.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    Urge neither charity nor shame to me:
    Uncharitably with me have you dealt,
    And shamefully by you my hopes are butcher'd.
    My charity is outrage, life my shame
    And in that shame still live my sorrow's rage.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Have done, have done.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    O princely Buckingham I'll kiss thy hand,
    In sign of league and amity with thee:
    Now fair befal thee and thy noble house!
    Thy garments are not spotted with our blood,
    Nor thou within the compass of my curse.

    BUCKINGHAM

    Nor no one here; for curses never pass
    The lips of those that breathe them in the air.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    I'll not believe but they ascend the sky,
    And there awake God's gentle-sleeping peace.
    O Buckingham, take heed of yonder dog!
    Look, when he fawns, he bites; and when he bites,
    His venom tooth will rankle to the death:
    Have not to do with him, beware of him;
    Sin, death, and hell have set their marks on him,
    And all their ministers attend on him.

    GLOUCESTER

    What doth she say, my Lord of Buckingham?

    BUCKINGHAM

    Nothing that I respect, my gracious lord.

    QUEEN MARGARET

    What, dost thou scorn me for my gentle counsel?
    And soothe the devil that I warn thee from?
    O, but remember this another day,
    When he shall split thy very heart with sorrow,
    And say poor Margaret was a prophetess!
    Live each of you the subjects to his hate,
    And he to yours, and all of you to God's!

    Exit

    HASTINGS

    My hair doth stand on end to hear her curses.

    RIVERS

    And so doth mine: I muse why she's at liberty.

    GLOUCESTER

    I cannot blame her: by God's holy mother,
    She hath had too much wrong; and I repent
    My part thereof that I have done to her.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    I never did her any, to my knowledge.

    GLOUCESTER

    But you have all the vantage of her wrong.
    I was too hot to do somebody good,
    That is too cold in thinking of it now.
    Marry, as for Clarence, he is well repaid,
    He is frank'd up to fatting for his pains
    God pardon them that are the cause of it!

    RIVERS

    A virtuous and a Christian-like conclusion,
    To pray for them that have done scathe to us.

    GLOUCESTER

    So do I ever:

    Aside
    being well-advised.
    For had I cursed now, I had cursed myself.

    Enter CATESBY

    CATESBY

    Madam, his majesty doth call for you,
    And for your grace; and you, my noble lords.

    QUEEN ELIZABETH

    Catesby, we come. Lords, will you go with us?

    RIVERS

    Madam, we will attend your grace.

    Exeunt all but GLOUCESTER

    GLOUCESTER

    I do the wrong, and first begin to brawl.
    The secret mischiefs that I set abroach
    I lay unto the grievous charge of others.
    Clarence, whom I, indeed, have laid in darkness,
    I do beweep to many simple gulls
    Namely, to Hastings, Derby, Buckingham;
    And say it is the queen and her allies
    That stir the king against the duke my brother.
    Now, they believe it; and withal whet me
    To be revenged on Rivers, Vaughan, Grey:
    But then I sigh; and, with a piece of scripture,
    Tell them that God bids us do good for evil:
    And thus I clothe my naked villany
    With old odd ends stolen out of holy writ;
    And seem a saint, when most I play the devil.

    Enter two Murderers
    But, soft! here come my executioners.
    How now, my hardy, stout resolved mates!
    Are you now going to dispatch this deed?

    First Murderer

    We are, my lord; and come to have the warrant
    That we may be admitted where he is.

    GLOUCESTER

    Well thought upon; I have it here about me.

    Gives the warrant
    When you have done, repair to Crosby Place.
    But, sirs, be sudden in the execution,
    Withal obdurate, do not hear him plead;
    For Clarence is well-spoken, and perhaps
    May move your hearts to pity if you mark him.

    First Murderer

    Tush!
    Fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
    Talkers are no good doers: be assured
    We come to use our hands and not our tongues.

    GLOUCESTER

    Your eyes drop millstones, when fools' eyes drop tears:
    I like you, lads; about your business straight;
    Go, go, dispatch.

    First Murderer

    We will, my noble lord.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. London. The Tower.

    Enter CLARENCE and BRAKENBURY

    BRAKENBURY

    Why looks your grace so heavily today?

    CLARENCE

    O, I have pass'd a miserable night,
    So full of ugly sights, of ghastly dreams,
    That, as I am a Christian faithful man,
    I would not spend another such a night,
    Though 'twere to buy a world of happy days,
    So full of dismal terror was the time!

    BRAKENBURY

    What was your dream? I long to hear you tell it.

    CLARENCE

    Methoughts that I had broken from the Tower,
    And was embark'd to cross to Burgundy;
    And, in my company, my brother Gloucester;
    Who from my cabin tempted me to walk
    Upon the hatches: thence we looked toward England,
    And cited up a thousand fearful times,
    During the wars of York and Lancaster
    That had befall'n us. As we paced along
    Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
    Methought that Gloucester stumbled; and, in falling,
    Struck me, that thought to stay him, overboard,
    Into the tumbling billows of the main.
    Lord, Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown!
    What dreadful noise of waters in mine ears!
    What ugly sights of death within mine eyes!
    Methought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks;
    Ten thousand men that fishes gnaw'd upon;
    Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl,
    Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels,
    All scatter'd in the bottom of the sea:
    Some lay in dead men's skulls; and, in those holes
    Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept,
    As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems,
    Which woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep,
    And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

    BRAKENBURY

    Had you such leisure in the time of death
    To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?

    CLARENCE

    Methought I had; and often did I strive
    To yield the ghost: but still the envious flood
    Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
    To seek the empty, vast and wandering air;
    But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
    Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

    BRAKENBURY

    Awaked you not with this sore agony?

    CLARENCE

    O, no, my dream was lengthen'd after life;
    O, then began the tempest to my soul,
    Who pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood,
    With that grim ferryman which poets write of,
    Unto the kingdom of perpetual night.
    The first that there did greet my stranger soul,
    Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick;
    Who cried aloud, 'What scourge for perjury
    Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence?'
    And so he vanish'd: then came wandering by
    A shadow like an angel, with bright hair
    Dabbled in blood; and he squeak'd out aloud,
    'Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence,
    That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury;
    Seize on him, Furies, take him to your torments!'
    With that, methoughts, a legion of foul fiends
    Environ'd me about, and howled in mine ears
    Such hideous cries, that with the very noise
    I trembling waked, and for a season after
    Could not believe but that I was in hell,
    Such terrible impression made the dream.

    BRAKENBURY

    No marvel, my lord, though it affrighted you;
    I promise, I am afraid to hear you tell it.

    CLARENCE

    O Brakenbury, I have done those things,
    Which now bear evidence against my soul,
    For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me!
    O God! if my deep prayers cannot appease thee,
    But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
    Yet execute thy wrath in me alone,
    O, spare my guiltless wife and my poor children!
    I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
    My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.

    BRAKENBURY

    I will, my lord: God give your grace good rest!

    CLARENCE sleeps
    Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
    Makes the night morning, and the noon-tide night.
    Princes have but their tides for their glories,
    An outward honour for an inward toil;
    And, for unfelt imagination,
    They often feel a world of restless cares:
    So that, betwixt their tides and low names,
    There's nothing differs but the outward fame.

    Enter the two Murderers

    First Murderer

    Ho! who's here?

    BRAKENBURY

    In God's name what are you, and how came you hither?

    First Murderer

    I would speak with Clarence, and I came hither on my legs.

    BRAKENBURY

    Yea, are you so brief?

    Second Murderer

    O sir, it is better to be brief than tedious. Show
    him our commission; talk no more.

    BRAKENBURY reads it

    BRAKENBURY

    I am, in this, commanded to deliver
    The noble Duke of Clarence to your hands:
    I will not reason what is meant hereby,
    Because I will be guiltless of the meaning.
    Here are the keys, there sits the duke asleep:
    I'll to the king; and signify to him
    That thus I have resign'd my charge to you.

    First Murderer

    Do so, it is a point of wisdom: fare you well.

    Exit BRAKENBURY

    Second Murderer

    What, shall we stab him as he sleeps?

    First Murderer

    No; then he will say 'twas done cowardly, when he wakes.

    Second Murderer

    When he wakes! why, fool, he shall never wake till
    the judgment-day.

    First Murderer

    Why, then he will say we stabbed him sleeping.

    Second Murderer

    The urging of that word 'judgment' hath bred a kind
    of remorse in me.

    First Murderer

    What, art thou afraid?

    Second Murderer

    Not to kill him, having a warrant for it; but to be
    damned for killing him, from which no warrant can defend us.

    First Murderer

    I thought thou hadst been resolute.

    Second Murderer

    So I am, to let him live.

    First Murderer

    Back to the Duke of Gloucester, tell him so.

    Second Murderer

    I pray thee, stay a while: I hope my holy humour
    will change; 'twas wont to hold me but while one
    would tell twenty.

    First Murderer

    How dost thou feel thyself now?

    Second Murderer

    'Faith, some certain dregs of conscience are yet
    within me.

    First Murderer

    Remember our reward, when the deed is done.

    Second Murderer

    'Zounds, he dies: I had forgot the reward.

    First Murderer

    Where is thy conscience now?

    Second Murderer

    In the Duke of Gloucester's purse.

    First Murderer

    So when he opens his purse to give us our reward,
    thy conscience flies out.

    Second Murderer

    Let it go; there's few or none will entertain it.

    First Murderer

    How if it come to thee again?

    Second Murderer

    I'll not meddle with it: it is a dangerous thing: it
    makes a man a coward: a man cannot steal, but it
    accuseth him; he cannot swear, but it cheques him;
    he cannot lie with his neighbour's wife, but it
    detects him: 'tis a blushing shamefast spirit that
    mutinies in a man's bosom; it fills one full of
    obstacles: it made me once restore a purse of gold
    that I found; it beggars any man that keeps it: it
    is turned out of all towns and cities for a
    dangerous thing; and every man that means to live
    well endeavours to trust to himself and to live
    without it.

    First Murderer

    'Zounds, it is even now at my elbow, persuading me
    not to kill the duke.

    Second Murderer

    Take the devil in thy mind, and relieve him not: he
    would insinuate with thee but to make thee sigh.

    First Murderer

    Tut, I am strong-framed, he cannot prevail with me,
    I warrant thee.

    Second Murderer

    Spoke like a tail fellow that respects his
    reputation. Come, shall we to this gear?

    First Murderer

    Take him over the costard with the hilts of thy
    sword, and then we will chop him in the malmsey-butt
    in the next room.

    Second Murderer

    O excellent devise! make a sop of him.

    First Murderer

    Hark! he stirs: shall I strike?

    Second Murderer

    No, first let's reason with him.

    CLARENCE

    Where art thou, keeper? give me a cup of wine.

    Second murderer

    You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon.

    CLARENCE

    In God's name, what art thou?

    Second Murderer

    A man, as you are.

    CLARENCE

    But not, as I am, royal.

    Second Murderer

    Nor you, as we are, loyal.

    CLARENCE

    Thy voice is thunder, but thy looks are humble.

    Second Murderer

    My voice is now the king's, my looks mine own.

    CLARENCE

    How darkly and how deadly dost thou speak!
    Your eyes do menace me: why look you pale?
    Who sent you hither? Wherefore do you come?

    Both

    To, to, to--

    CLARENCE

    To murder me?

    Both

    Ay, ay.

    CLARENCE

    You scarcely have the hearts to tell me so,
    And therefore cannot have the hearts to do it.
    Wherein, my friends, have I offended you?

    First Murderer

    Offended us you have not, but the king.

    CLARENCE

    I shall be reconciled to him again.

    Second Murderer

    Never, my lord; therefore prepare to die.

    CLARENCE

    Are you call'd forth from out a world of men
    To slay the innocent? What is my offence?
    Where are the evidence that do accuse me?
    What lawful quest have given their verdict up
    Unto the frowning judge? or who pronounced
    The bitter sentence of poor Clarence' death?
    Before I be convict by course of law,
    To threaten me with death is most unlawful.
    I charge you, as you hope to have redemption
    By Christ's dear blood shed for our grievous sins,
    That you depart and lay no hands on me
    The deed you undertake is damnable.

    First Murderer

    What we will do, we do upon command.

    Second Murderer

    And he that hath commanded is the king.

    CLARENCE

    Erroneous vassal! the great King of kings
    Hath in the tables of his law commanded
    That thou shalt do no murder: and wilt thou, then,
    Spurn at his edict and fulfil a man's?
    Take heed; for he holds vengeance in his hands,
    To hurl upon their heads that break his law.

    Second Murderer

    And that same vengeance doth he hurl on thee,
    For false forswearing and for murder too:
    Thou didst receive the holy sacrament,
    To fight in quarrel of the house of Lancaster.

    First Murderer

    And, like a traitor to the name of God,
    Didst break that vow; and with thy treacherous blade
    Unrip'dst the bowels of thy sovereign's son.

    Second Murderer

    Whom thou wert sworn to cherish and defend.

    First Murderer

    How canst thou urge God's dreadful law to us,
    When thou hast broke it in so dear degree?

    CLARENCE

    Alas! for whose sake did I that ill deed?
    For Edward, for my brother, for his sake: Why, sirs,
    He sends ye not to murder me for this
    For in this sin he is as deep as I.
    If God will be revenged for this deed.
    O, know you yet, he doth it publicly,
    Take not the quarrel from his powerful arm;
    He needs no indirect nor lawless course
    To cut off those that have offended him.

    First Murderer

    Who made thee, then, a bloody minister,
    When gallant-springing brave Plantagenet,
    That princely novice, was struck dead by thee?

    CLARENCE

    My brother's love, the devil, and my rage.

    First Murderer

    Thy brother's love, our duty, and thy fault,
    Provoke us hither now to slaughter thee.

    CLARENCE

    Oh, if you love my brother, hate not me;
    I am his brother, and I love him well.
    If you be hired for meed, go back again,
    And I will send you to my brother Gloucester,
    Who shall reward you better for my life
    Than Edward will for tidings of my death.

    Second Murderer

    You are deceived, your brother Gloucester hates you.

    CLARENCE

    O, no, he loves me, and he holds me dear:
    Go you to him from me.

    Both

    Ay, so we will.

    CLARENCE

    Tell him, when that our princely father York
    Bless'd his three sons with his victorious arm,
    And charged us from his soul to love each other,
    He little thought of this divided friendship:
    Bid Gloucester think of this, and he will weep.

    First Murderer

    Ay, millstones; as be lesson'd us to weep.

    CLARENCE

    O, do not slander him, for he is kind.

    First Murderer

    Right,
    As snow in harvest. Thou deceivest thyself:
    'Tis he that sent us hither now to slaughter thee.

    CLARENCE

    It cannot be; for when I parted with him,
    He hugg'd me in his arms, and swore, with sobs,
    That he would labour my delivery.

    Second Murderer

    Why, so he doth, now he delivers thee
    From this world's thraldom to the joys of heaven.

    First Murderer

    Make peace with God, for you must die, my lord.

    CLARENCE

    Hast thou that holy feeling in thy soul,
    To counsel me to make my peace with God,
    And art thou yet to thy own soul so blind,
    That thou wilt war with God by murdering me?
    Ah, sirs, consider, he that set you on
    To do this deed will hate you for the deed.

    Second Murderer

    What shall we do?

    CLARENCE

    Relent, and save your souls.

    First Murderer

    Relent! 'tis cowardly and womanish.

    CLARENCE

    Not to relent is beastly, savage, devilish.
    Which of you, if you were a prince's son,
    Being pent from liberty, as I am now,
    if two such murderers as yourselves came to you,
    Would not entreat for life?
    My friend, I spy some pity in thy looks:
    O, if thine eye be not a flatterer,
    Come thou on my side, and entreat for me,
    As you would beg, were you in my distress
    A begging prince what beggar pities not?

    Second Murderer

    Look behind you, my lord.

    First Murderer

    Take that, and that: if all this will not do,

    Stabs him
    I'll drown you in the malmsey-butt within.

    Exit, with the body

    Second Murderer

    A bloody deed, and desperately dispatch'd!
    How fain, like Pilate, would I wash my hands
    Of this most grievous guilty murder done!

    Re-enter First Murderer

    First Murderer

    How now! what mean'st thou, that thou help'st me not?
    By heavens, the duke shall know how slack thou art!

    Second Murderer

    I would he knew that I had saved his brother!
    Take thou the fee, and tell him what I say;
    For I repent me that the duke is slain.

    Exit

    First Murderer

    So do not I: go, coward as thou art.
    Now must I hide his body in some hole,
    Until the duke take order for his burial:
    And when I have my meed, I must away;
    For this will out, and here I must not stay.

    ACT II
    SCENE I. London. The palace.

    Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD IV sick, QUEEN ELIZABETH, DORSET, RIVERS, HASTINGS, BUCKINGHAM, GREY, and others

    KING EDWARD IV

    Why, so: now have I done a good day's work:<br /
     
  11. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Titus Andronicus
    Shakespeare homepage | Titus Andronicus | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. Rome. Before the Capitol.

    The Tomb of the ANDRONICI appearing; the Tribunes and Senators aloft. Enter, below, from one side, SATURNINUS and his Followers; and, from the other side, BASSIANUS and his Followers; with drum and colours

    SATURNINUS

    Noble patricians, patrons of my right,
    Defend the justice of my cause with arms,
    And, countrymen, my loving followers,
    Plead my successive title with your swords:
    I am his first-born son, that was the last
    That wore the imperial diadem of Rome;
    Then let my father's honours live in me,
    Nor wrong mine age with this indignity.

    BASSIANUS

    Romans, friends, followers, favorers of my right,
    If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son,
    Were gracious in the eyes of royal Rome,
    Keep then this passage to the Capitol
    And suffer not dishonour to approach
    The imperial seat, to virtue consecrate,
    To justice, continence and nobility;
    But let desert in pure election shine,
    And, Romans, fight for freedom in your choice.

    Enter MARCUS ANDRONICUS, aloft, with the crown

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    Princes, that strive by factions and by friends
    Ambitiously for rule and empery,
    Know that the people of Rome, for whom we stand
    A special party, have, by common voice,
    In election for the Roman empery,
    Chosen Andronicus, surnamed Pius
    For many good and great deserts to Rome:
    A nobler man, a braver warrior,
    Lives not this day within the city walls:
    He by the senate is accit'd home
    From weary wars against the barbarous Goths;
    That, with his sons, a terror to our foes,
    Hath yoked a nation strong, train'd up in arms.
    Ten years are spent since first he undertook
    This cause of Rome and chastised with arms
    Our enemies' pride: five times he hath return'd
    Bleeding to Rome, bearing his valiant sons
    In coffins from the field;
    And now at last, laden with horror's spoils,
    Returns the good Andronicus to Rome,
    Renowned Titus, flourishing in arms.
    Let us entreat, by honour of his name,
    Whom worthily you would have now succeed.
    And in the Capitol and senate's right,
    Whom you pretend to honour and adore,
    That you withdraw you and abate your strength;
    Dismiss your followers and, as suitors should,
    Plead your deserts in peace and humbleness.

    SATURNINUS

    How fair the tribune speaks to calm my thoughts!

    BASSIANUS

    Marcus Andronicus, so I do ally
    In thy uprightness and integrity,
    And so I love and honour thee and thine,
    Thy noble brother Titus and his sons,
    And her to whom my thoughts are humbled all,
    Gracious Lavinia, Rome's rich ornament,
    That I will here dismiss my loving friends,
    And to my fortunes and the people's favor
    Commit my cause in balance to be weigh'd.

    Exeunt the followers of BASSIANUS

    SATURNINUS

    Friends, that have been thus forward in my right,
    I thank you all and here dismiss you all,
    And to the love and favor of my country
    Commit myself, my person and the cause.

    Exeunt the followers of SATURNINUS
    Rome, be as just and gracious unto me
    As I am confident and kind to thee.
    Open the gates, and let me in.

    BASSIANUS

    Tribunes, and me, a poor competitor.

    Flourish. SATURNINUS and BASSIANUS go up into the Capitol

    Enter a Captain

    Captain

    Romans, make way: the good Andronicus.
    Patron of virtue, Rome's best champion,
    Successful in the battles that he fights,
    With honour and with fortune is return'd
    From where he circumscribed with his sword,
    And brought to yoke, the enemies of Rome.

    Drums and trumpets sounded. Enter MARTIUS and MUTIUS; After them, two Men bearing a coffin covered with black; then LUCIUS and QUINTUS. After them, TITUS ANDRONICUS; and then TAMORA, with ALARBUS, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, AARON, and other Goths, prisoners; Soldiers and people following. The Bearers set down the coffin, and TITUS speaks

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Hail, Rome, victorious in thy mourning weeds!
    Lo, as the bark, that hath discharged her fraught,
    Returns with precious jading to the bay
    From whence at first she weigh'd her anchorage,
    Cometh Andronicus, bound with laurel boughs,
    To re-salute his country with his tears,
    Tears of true joy for his return to Rome.
    Thou great defender of this Capitol,
    Stand gracious to the rites that we intend!
    Romans, of five and twenty valiant sons,
    Half of the number that King Priam had,
    Behold the poor remains, alive and dead!
    These that survive let Rome reward with love;
    These that I bring unto their latest home,
    With burial amongst their ancestors:
    Here Goths have given me leave to sheathe my sword.
    Titus, unkind and careless of thine own,
    Why suffer'st thou thy sons, unburied yet,
    To hover on the dreadful shore of Styx?
    Make way to lay them by their brethren.

    The tomb is opened
    There greet in silence, as the dead are wont,
    And sleep in peace, slain in your country's wars!
    O sacred receptacle of my joys,
    Sweet cell of virtue and nobility,
    How many sons of mine hast thou in store,
    That thou wilt never render to me more!

    LUCIUS

    Give us the proudest prisoner of the Goths,
    That we may hew his limbs, and on a pile
    Ad manes fratrum sacrifice his flesh,
    Before this earthy prison of their bones;
    That so the shadows be not unappeased,
    Nor we disturb'd with prodigies on earth.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    I give him you, the noblest that survives,
    The eldest son of this distressed queen.

    TAMORA

    Stay, Roman brethren! Gracious conqueror,
    Victorious Titus, rue the tears I shed,
    A mother's tears in passion for her son:
    And if thy sons were ever dear to thee,
    O, think my son to be as dear to me!
    Sufficeth not that we are brought to Rome,
    To beautify thy triumphs and return,
    Captive to thee and to thy Roman yoke,
    But must my sons be slaughter'd in the streets,
    For valiant doings in their country's cause?
    O, if to fight for king and commonweal
    Were piety in thine, it is in these.
    Andronicus, stain not thy tomb with blood:
    Wilt thou draw near the nature of the gods?
    Draw near them then in being merciful:
    Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge:
    Thrice noble Titus, spare my first-born son.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Patient yourself, madam, and pardon me.
    These are their brethren, whom you Goths beheld
    Alive and dead, and for their brethren slain
    Religiously they ask a sacrifice:
    To this your son is mark'd, and die he must,
    To appease their groaning shadows that are gone.

    LUCIUS

    Away with him! and make a fire straight;
    And with our swords, upon a pile of wood,
    Let's hew his limbs till they be clean consumed.

    Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS, and MUTIUS, with ALARBUS

    TAMORA

    O cruel, irreligious piety!

    CHIRON

    Was ever Scythia half so barbarous?

    DEMETRIUS

    Oppose not Scythia to ambitious Rome.
    Alarbus goes to rest; and we survive
    To tremble under Titus' threatening looks.
    Then, madam, stand resolved, but hope withal
    The self-same gods that arm'd the Queen of Troy
    With opportunity of sharp revenge
    Upon the Thracian tyrant in his tent,
    May favor Tamora, the Queen of Goths--
    When Goths were Goths and Tamora was queen--
    To quit the bloody wrongs upon her foes.

    Re-enter LUCIUS, QUINTUS, MARTIUS and MUTIUS, with their swords bloody

    LUCIUS

    See, lord and father, how we have perform'd
    Our Roman rites: Alarbus' limbs are lopp'd,
    And entrails feed the sacrificing fire,
    Whose smoke, like incense, doth perfume the sky.
    Remaineth nought, but to inter our brethren,
    And with loud 'larums welcome them to Rome.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Let it be so; and let Andronicus
    Make this his latest farewell to their souls.

    Trumpets sounded, and the coffin laid in the tomb
    In peace and honour rest you here, my sons;
    Rome's readiest champions, repose you here in rest,
    Secure from worldly chances and mishaps!
    Here lurks no treason, here no envy swells,
    Here grow no damned grudges; here are no storms,
    No noise, but silence and eternal sleep:
    In peace and honour rest you here, my sons!

    Enter LAVINIA

    LAVINIA

    In peace and honour live Lord Titus long;
    My noble lord and father, live in fame!
    Lo, at this tomb my tributary tears
    I render, for my brethren's obsequies;
    And at thy feet I kneel, with tears of joy,
    Shed on the earth, for thy return to Rome:
    O, bless me here with thy victorious hand,
    Whose fortunes Rome's best citizens applaud!

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Kind Rome, that hast thus lovingly reserved
    The cordial of mine age to glad my heart!
    Lavinia, live; outlive thy father's days,
    And fame's eternal date, for virtue's praise!

    Enter, below, MARCUS ANDRONICUS and Tribunes; re-enter SATURNINUS and BASSIANUS, attended

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    Long live Lord Titus, my beloved brother,
    Gracious triumpher in the eyes of Rome!

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Thanks, gentle tribune, noble brother Marcus.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    And welcome, nephews, from successful wars,
    You that survive, and you that sleep in fame!
    Fair lords, your fortunes are alike in all,
    That in your country's service drew your swords:
    But safer triumph is this funeral pomp,
    That hath aspired to Solon's happiness
    And triumphs over chance in honour's bed.
    Titus Andronicus, the people of Rome,
    Whose friend in justice thou hast ever been,
    Send thee by me, their tribune and their trust,
    This palliament of white and spotless hue;
    And name thee in election for the empire,
    With these our late-deceased emperor's sons:
    Be candidatus then, and put it on,
    And help to set a head on headless Rome.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    A better head her glorious body fits
    Than his that shakes for age and feebleness:
    What should I don this robe, and trouble you?
    Be chosen with proclamations to-day,
    To-morrow yield up rule, resign my life,
    And set abroad new business for you all?
    Rome, I have been thy soldier forty years,
    And led my country's strength successfully,
    And buried one and twenty valiant sons,
    Knighted in field, slain manfully in arms,
    In right and service of their noble country
    Give me a staff of honour for mine age,
    But not a sceptre to control the world:
    Upright he held it, lords, that held it last.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    Titus, thou shalt obtain and ask the empery.

    SATURNINUS

    Proud and ambitious tribune, canst thou tell?

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Patience, Prince Saturninus.

    SATURNINUS

    Romans, do me right:
    Patricians, draw your swords: and sheathe them not
    Till Saturninus be Rome's emperor.
    Andronicus, would thou wert shipp'd to hell,
    Rather than rob me of the people's hearts!

    LUCIUS

    Proud Saturnine, interrupter of the good
    That noble-minded Titus means to thee!

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Content thee, prince; I will restore to thee
    The people's hearts, and wean them from themselves.

    BASSIANUS

    Andronicus, I do not flatter thee,
    But honour thee, and will do till I die:
    My faction if thou strengthen with thy friends,
    I will most thankful be; and thanks to men
    Of noble minds is honourable meed.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    People of Rome, and people's tribunes here,
    I ask your voices and your suffrages:
    Will you bestow them friendly on Andronicus?

    Tribunes

    To gratify the good Andronicus,
    And gratulate his safe return to Rome,
    The people will accept whom he admits.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Tribunes, I thank you: and this suit I make,
    That you create your emperor's eldest son,
    Lord Saturnine; whose virtues will, I hope,
    Reflect on Rome as Titan's rays on earth,
    And ripen justice in this commonweal:
    Then, if you will elect by my advice,
    Crown him and say 'Long live our emperor!'

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    With voices and applause of every sort,
    Patricians and plebeians, we create
    Lord Saturninus Rome's great emperor,
    And say 'Long live our Emperor Saturnine!'

    A long flourish till they come down

    SATURNINUS

    Titus Andronicus, for thy favors done
    To us in our election this day,
    I give thee thanks in part of thy deserts,
    And will with deeds requite thy gentleness:
    And, for an onset, Titus, to advance
    Thy name and honourable family,
    Lavinia will I make my empress,
    Rome's royal mistress, mistress of my heart,
    And in the sacred Pantheon her espouse:
    Tell me, Andronicus, doth this motion please thee?

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    It doth, my worthy lord; and in this match
    I hold me highly honour'd of your grace:
    And here in sight of Rome to Saturnine,
    King and commander of our commonweal,
    The wide world's emperor, do I consecrate
    My sword, my chariot and my prisoners;
    Presents well worthy Rome's imperial lord:
    Receive them then, the tribute that I owe,
    Mine honour's ensigns humbled at thy feet.

    SATURNINUS

    Thanks, noble Titus, father of my life!
    How proud I am of thee and of thy gifts
    Rome shall record, and when I do forget
    The least of these unspeakable deserts,
    Romans, forget your fealty to me.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    [To TAMORA] Now, madam, are you prisoner to
    an emperor;
    To him that, for your honour and your state,
    Will use you nobly and your followers.

    SATURNINUS

    A goodly lady, trust me; of the hue
    That I would choose, were I to choose anew.
    Clear up, fair queen, that cloudy countenance:
    Though chance of war hath wrought this change of cheer,
    Thou comest not to be made a scorn in Rome:
    Princely shall be thy usage every way.
    Rest on my word, and let not discontent
    Daunt all your hopes: madam, he comforts you
    Can make you greater than the Queen of Goths.
    Lavinia, you are not displeased with this?

    LAVINIA

    Not I, my lord; sith true nobility
    Warrants these words in princely courtesy.

    SATURNINUS

    Thanks, sweet Lavinia. Romans, let us go;
    Ransomless here we set our prisoners free:
    Proclaim our honours, lords, with trump and drum.

    Flourish. SATURNINUS courts TAMORA in dumb show

    BASSIANUS

    Lord Titus, by your leave, this maid is mine.

    Seizing LAVINIA

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    How, sir! are you in earnest then, my lord?

    BASSIANUS

    Ay, noble Titus; and resolved withal
    To do myself this reason and this right.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    'Suum cuique' is our Roman justice:
    This prince in justice seizeth but his own.

    LUCIUS

    And that he will, and shall, if Lucius live.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Traitors, avaunt! Where is the emperor's guard?
    Treason, my lord! Lavinia is surprised!

    SATURNINUS

    Surprised! by whom?

    BASSIANUS

    By him that justly may
    Bear his betroth'd from all the world away.

    Exeunt BASSIANUS and MARCUS with LAVINIA

    MUTIUS

    Brothers, help to convey her hence away,
    And with my sword I'll keep this door safe.

    Exeunt LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Follow, my lord, and I'll soon bring her back.

    MUTIUS

    My lord, you pass not here.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    What, villain boy!
    Barr'st me my way in Rome?

    Stabbing MUTIUS

    MUTIUS

    Help, Lucius, help!

    Dies

    During the fray, SATURNINUS, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON and AARON go out and re-enter, above

    Re-enter LUCIUS

    LUCIUS

    My lord, you are unjust, and, more than so,
    In wrongful quarrel you have slain your son.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Nor thou, nor he, are any sons of mine;
    My sons would never so dishonour me:
    Traitor, restore Lavinia to the emperor.

    LUCIUS

    Dead, if you will; but not to be his wife,
    That is another's lawful promised love.

    Exit

    SATURNINUS

    No, Titus, no; the emperor needs her not,
    Nor her, nor thee, nor any of thy stock:
    I'll trust, by leisure, him that mocks me once;
    Thee never, nor thy traitorous haughty sons,
    Confederates all thus to dishonour me.
    Was there none else in Rome to make a stale,
    But Saturnine? Full well, Andronicus,
    Agree these deeds with that proud brag of thine,
    That said'st I begg'd the empire at thy hands.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    O monstrous! what reproachful words are these?

    SATURNINUS

    But go thy ways; go, give that changing piece
    To him that flourish'd for her with his sword
    A valiant son-in-law thou shalt enjoy;
    One fit to bandy with thy lawless sons,
    To ruffle in the commonwealth of Rome.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    These words are razors to my wounded heart.

    SATURNINUS

    And therefore, lovely Tamora, queen of Goths,
    That like the stately Phoebe 'mongst her nymphs
    Dost overshine the gallant'st dames of Rome,
    If thou be pleased with this my sudden choice,
    Behold, I choose thee, Tamora, for my bride,
    And will create thee empress of Rome,
    Speak, Queen of Goths, dost thou applaud my choice?
    And here I swear by all the Roman gods,
    Sith priest and holy water are so near
    And tapers burn so bright and every thing
    In readiness for Hymenaeus stand,
    I will not re-salute the streets of Rome,
    Or climb my palace, till from forth this place
    I lead espoused my bride along with me.

    TAMORA

    And here, in sight of heaven, to Rome I swear,
    If Saturnine advance the Queen of Goths,
    She will a handmaid be to his desires,
    A loving nurse, a mother to his youth.

    SATURNINUS

    Ascend, fair queen, Pantheon. Lords, accompany
    Your noble emperor and his lovely bride,
    Sent by the heavens for Prince Saturnine,
    Whose wisdom hath her fortune conquered:
    There shall we consummate our spousal rites.

    Exeunt all but TITUS

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    I am not bid to wait upon this bride.
    Titus, when wert thou wont to walk alone,
    Dishonour'd thus, and challenged of wrongs?

    Re-enter MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    O Titus, see, O, see what thou hast done!
    In a bad quarrel slain a virtuous son.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    No, foolish tribune, no; no son of mine,
    Nor thou, nor these, confederates in the deed
    That hath dishonour'd all our family;
    Unworthy brother, and unworthy sons!

    LUCIUS

    But let us give him burial, as becomes;
    Give Mutius burial with our brethren.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Traitors, away! he rests not in this tomb:
    This monument five hundred years hath stood,
    Which I have sumptuously re-edified:
    Here none but soldiers and Rome's servitors
    Repose in fame; none basely slain in brawls:
    Bury him where you can; he comes not here.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    My lord, this is impiety in you:
    My nephew Mutius' deeds do plead for him
    He must be buried with his brethren.

    QUINTUS MARTIUS

    And shall, or him we will accompany.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    'And shall!' what villain was it that spake
    that word?

    QUINTUS

    He that would vouch it in any place but here.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    What, would you bury him in my despite?

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    No, noble Titus, but entreat of thee
    To pardon Mutius and to bury him.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Marcus, even thou hast struck upon my crest,
    And, with these boys, mine honour thou hast wounded:
    My foes I do repute you every one;
    So, trouble me no more, but get you gone.

    MARTIUS

    He is not with himself; let us withdraw.

    QUINTUS

    Not I, till Mutius' bones be buried.

    MARCUS and the Sons of TITUS kneel

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    Brother, for in that name doth nature plead,--

    QUINTUS

    Father, and in that name doth nature speak,--

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Speak thou no more, if all the rest will speed.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    Renowned Titus, more than half my soul,--

    LUCIUS

    Dear father, soul and substance of us all,--

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    Suffer thy brother Marcus to inter
    His noble nephew here in virtue's nest,
    That died in honour and Lavinia's cause.
    Thou art a Roman; be not barbarous:
    The Greeks upon advice did bury Ajax
    That slew himself; and wise Laertes' son
    Did graciously plead for his funerals:
    Let not young Mutius, then, that was thy joy
    Be barr'd his entrance here.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Rise, Marcus, rise.
    The dismall'st day is this that e'er I saw,
    To be dishonour'd by my sons in Rome!
    Well, bury him, and bury me the next.

    MUTIUS is put into the tomb

    LUCIUS

    There lie thy bones, sweet Mutius, with thy friends,
    Till we with trophies do adorn thy tomb.

    All

    [Kneeling] No man shed tears for noble Mutius;
    He lives in fame that died in virtue's cause.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    My lord, to step out of these dreary dumps,
    How comes it that the subtle Queen of Goths
    Is of a sudden thus advanced in Rome?

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    I know not, Marcus; but I know it is,
    Whether by device or no, the heavens can tell:
    Is she not then beholding to the man
    That brought her for this high good turn so far?
    Yes, and will nobly him remunerate.

    Flourish. Re-enter, from one side, SATURNINUS attended, TAMORA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON and AARON; from the other, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, and others

    SATURNINUS

    So, Bassianus, you have play'd your prize:
    God give you joy, sir, of your gallant bride!

    BASSIANUS

    And you of yours, my lord! I say no more,
    Nor wish no less; and so, I take my leave.

    SATURNINUS

    Traitor, if Rome have law or we have power,
    Thou and thy faction shall repent this rape.

    BASSIANUS

    Rape, call you it, my lord, to seize my own,
    My truth-betrothed love and now my wife?
    But let the laws of Rome determine all;
    Meanwhile I am possess'd of that is mine.

    SATURNINUS

    'Tis good, sir: you are very short with us;
    But, if we live, we'll be as sharp with you.

    BASSIANUS

    My lord, what I have done, as best I may,
    Answer I must and shall do with my life.
    Only thus much I give your grace to know:
    By all the duties that I owe to Rome,
    This noble gentleman, Lord Titus here,
    Is in opinion and in honour wrong'd;
    That in the rescue of Lavinia
    With his own hand did slay his youngest son,
    In zeal to you and highly moved to wrath
    To be controll'd in that he frankly gave:
    Receive him, then, to favor, Saturnine,
    That hath express'd himself in all his deeds
    A father and a friend to thee and Rome.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Prince Bassianus, leave to plead my deeds:
    'Tis thou and those that have dishonour'd me.
    Rome and the righteous heavens be my judge,
    How I have loved and honour'd Saturnine!

    TAMORA

    My worthy lord, if ever Tamora
    Were gracious in those princely eyes of thine,
    Then hear me speak in indifferently for all;
    And at my suit, sweet, pardon what is past.

    SATURNINUS

    What, madam! be dishonour'd openly,
    And basely put it up without revenge?

    TAMORA

    Not so, my lord; the gods of Rome forfend
    I should be author to dishonour you!
    But on mine honour dare I undertake
    For good Lord Titus' innocence in all;
    Whose fury not dissembled speaks his griefs:
    Then, at my suit, look graciously on him;
    Lose not so noble a friend on vain suppose,
    Nor with sour looks afflict his gentle heart.

    Aside to SATURNINUS
    be won at last;
    Dissemble all your griefs and discontents:
    You are but newly planted in your throne;
    Lest, then, the people, and patricians too,
    Upon a just survey, take Titus' part,
    And so supplant you for ingratitude,
    Which Rome reputes to be a heinous sin,
    Yield at entreats; and then let me alone:
    I'll find a day to massacre them all
    And raze their faction and their family,
    The cruel father and his traitorous sons,
    To whom I sued for my dear son's life,
    And make them know what 'tis to let a queen
    Kneel in the streets and beg for grace in vain.

    Aloud
    Come, come, sweet emperor; come, Andronicus;
    Take up this good old man, and cheer the heart
    That dies in tempest of thy angry frown.

    SATURNINUS

    Rise, Titus, rise; my empress hath prevail'd.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    I thank your majesty, and her, my lord:
    These words, these looks, infuse new life in me.

    TAMORA

    Titus, I am incorporate in Rome,
    A Roman now adopted happily,
    And must advise the emperor for his good.
    This day all quarrels die, Andronicus;
    And let it be mine honour, good my lord,
    That I have reconciled your friends and you.
    For you, Prince Bassianus, I have pass'd
    My word and promise to the emperor,
    That you will be more mild and tractable.
    And fear not lords, and you, Lavinia;
    By my advice, all humbled on your knees,
    You shall ask pardon of his majesty.

    LUCIUS

    We do, and vow to heaven and to his highness,
    That what we did was mildly as we might,
    Tendering our sister's honour and our own.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    That, on mine honour, here I do protest.

    SATURNINUS

    Away, and talk not; trouble us no more.

    TAMORA

    Nay, nay, sweet emperor, we must all be friends:
    The tribune and his nephews kneel for grace;
    I will not be denied: sweet heart, look back.

    SATURNINUS

    Marcus, for thy sake and thy brother's here,
    And at my lovely Tamora's entreats,
    I do remit these young men's heinous faults: Stand up.
    Lavinia, though you left me like a churl,
    I found a friend, and sure as death I swore
    I would not part a bachelor from the priest.
    Come, if the emperor's court can feast two brides,
    You are my guest, Lavinia, and your friends.
    This day shall be a love-day, Tamora.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    To-morrow, an it please your majesty
    To hunt the panther and the hart with me,
    With horn and hound we'll give your grace bonjour.

    SATURNINUS

    Be it so, Titus, and gramercy too.

    Flourish. Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Rome. Before the Palace.

    Enter AARON

    AARON

    Now climbeth Tamora Olympus' top,
    Safe out of fortune's shot; and sits aloft,
    Secure of thunder's crack or lightning flash;
    Advanced above pale envy's threatening reach.
    As when the golden sun salutes the morn,
    And, having gilt the ocean with his beams,
    Gallops the zodiac in his glistering coach,
    And overlooks the highest-peering hills;
    So Tamora:
    Upon her wit doth earthly honour wait,
    And virtue stoops and trembles at her frown.
    Then, Aaron, arm thy heart, and fit thy thoughts,
    To mount aloft with thy imperial mistress,
    And mount her pitch, whom thou in triumph long
    Hast prisoner held, fetter'd in amorous chains
    And faster bound to Aaron's charming eyes
    Than is Prometheus tied to Caucasus.
    Away with slavish weeds and servile thoughts!
    I will be bright, and shine in pearl and gold,
    To wait upon this new-made empress.
    To wait, said I? to wanton with this queen,
    This goddess, this Semiramis, this nymph,
    This siren, that will charm Rome's Saturnine,
    And see his shipwreck and his commonweal's.
    Holloa! what storm is this?

    Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, braving

    DEMETRIUS

    Chiron, thy years want wit, thy wit wants edge,
    And manners, to intrude where I am graced;
    And may, for aught thou know'st, affected be.

    CHIRON

    Demetrius, thou dost over-ween in all;
    And so in this, to bear me down with braves.
    'Tis not the difference of a year or two
    Makes me less gracious or thee more fortunate:
    I am as able and as fit as thou
    To serve, and to deserve my mistress' grace;
    And that my sword upon thee shall approve,
    And plead my passions for Lavinia's love.

    AARON

    [Aside] Clubs, clubs! these lovers will not keep
    the peace.

    DEMETRIUS

    Why, boy, although our mother, unadvised,
    Gave you a dancing-rapier by your side,
    Are you so desperate grown, to threat your friends?
    Go to; have your lath glued within your sheath
    Till you know better how to handle it.

    CHIRON

    Meanwhile, sir, with the little skill I have,
    Full well shalt thou perceive how much I dare.

    DEMETRIUS

    Ay, boy, grow ye so brave?

    They draw

    AARON

    [Coming forward] Why, how now, lords!
    So near the emperor's palace dare you draw,
    And maintain such a quarrel openly?
    Full well I wot the ground of all this grudge:
    I would not for a million of gold
    The cause were known to them it most concerns;
    Nor would your noble mother for much more
    Be so dishonour'd in the court of Rome.
    For shame, put up.

    DEMETRIUS

    Not I, till I have sheathed
    My rapier in his bosom and withal
    Thrust these reproachful speeches down his throat
    That he hath breathed in my dishonour here.

    CHIRON

    For that I am prepared and full resolved.
    Foul-spoken coward, that thunder'st with thy tongue,
    And with thy weapon nothing darest perform!

    AARON

    Away, I say!
    Now, by the gods that warlike Goths adore,
    This petty brabble will undo us all.
    Why, lords, and think you not how dangerous
    It is to jet upon a prince's right?
    What, is Lavinia then become so loose,
    Or Bassianus so degenerate,
    That for her love such quarrels may be broach'd
    Without controlment, justice, or revenge?
    Young lords, beware! and should the empress know
    This discord's ground, the music would not please.

    CHIRON

    I care not, I, knew she and all the world:
    I love Lavinia more than all the world.

    DEMETRIUS

    Youngling, learn thou to make some meaner choice:
    Lavinia is thine elder brother's hope.

    AARON

    Why, are ye mad? or know ye not, in Rome
    How furious and impatient they be,
    And cannot brook competitors in love?
    I tell you, lords, you do but plot your deaths
    By this device.

    CHIRON

    Aaron, a thousand deaths
    Would I propose to achieve her whom I love.

    AARON

    To achieve her! how?

    DEMETRIUS

    Why makest thou it so strange?
    She is a woman, therefore may be woo'd;
    She is a woman, therefore may be won;
    She is Lavinia, therefore must be loved.
    What, man! more water glideth by the mill
    Than wots the miller of; and easy it is
    Of a cut loaf to steal a shive, we know:
    Though Bassianus be the emperor's brother.
    Better than he have worn Vulcan's badge.

    AARON

    [Aside] Ay, and as good as Saturninus may.

    DEMETRIUS

    Then why should he despair that knows to court it
    With words, fair looks and liberality?
    What, hast not thou full often struck a doe,
    And borne her cleanly by the keeper's nose?

    AARON

    Why, then, it seems, some certain snatch or so
    Would serve your turns.

    CHIRON

    Ay, so the turn were served.

    DEMETRIUS

    Aaron, thou hast hit it.

    AARON

    Would you had hit it too!
    Then should not we be tired with this ado.
    Why, hark ye, hark ye! and are you such fools
    To square for this? would it offend you, then
    That both should speed?

    CHIRON

    Faith, not me.

    DEMETRIUS

    Nor me, so I were one.

    AARON

    For shame, be friends, and join for that you jar:
    'Tis policy and stratagem must do
    That you affect; and so must you resolve,
    That what you cannot as you would achieve,
    You must perforce accomplish as you may.
    Take this of me: Lucrece was not more chaste
    Than this Lavinia, Bassianus' love.
    A speedier course than lingering languishment
    Must we pursue, and I have found the path.
    My lords, a solemn hunting is in hand;
    There will the lovely Roman ladies troop:
    The forest walks are wide and spacious;
    And many unfrequented plots there are
    Fitted by kind for rape and villany:
    Single you thither then this dainty doe,
    And strike her home by force, if not by words:
    This way, or not at all, stand you in hope.
    Come, come, our empress, with her sacred wit
    To villany and vengeance consecrate,
    Will we acquaint with all that we intend;
    And she shall file our engines with advice,
    That will not suffer you to square yourselves,
    But to your wishes' height advance you both.
    The emperor's court is like the house of Fame,
    The palace full of tongues, of eyes, and ears:
    The woods are ruthless, dreadful, deaf, and dull;
    There speak, and strike, brave boys, and take
    your turns;
    There serve your lusts, shadow'd from heaven's eye,
    And revel in Lavinia's treasury.

    CHIRON

    Thy counsel, lad, smells of no cowardice,

    DEMETRIUS

    Sit fas aut nefas, till I find the stream
    To cool this heat, a charm to calm these fits.
    Per Styga, per manes vehor.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. A forest near Rome. Horns and cry of hounds heard.

    Enter TITUS ANDRONICUS, with Hunters, &amp; c., MARCUS, LUCIUS, QUINTUS, and MARTIUS

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    The hunt is up, the morn is bright and grey,
    The fields are fragrant and the woods are green:
    Uncouple here and let us make a bay
    And wake the emperor and his lovely bride
    And rouse the prince and ring a hunter's peal,
    That all the court may echo with the noise.
    Sons, let it be your charge, as it is ours,
    To attend the emperor's person carefully:
    I have been troubled in my sleep this night,
    But dawning day new comfort hath inspired.

    A cry of hounds and horns, winded in a peal. Enter SATURNINUS, TAMORA, BASSIANUS, LAVINIA, DEMETRIUS, CHIRON, and Attendants
    Many good morrows to your majesty;
    Madam, to you as many and as good:
    I promised your grace a hunter's peal.

    SATURNINUS

    And you have rung it lustily, my lord;
    Somewhat too early for new-married ladies.

    BASSIANUS

    Lavinia, how say you?

    LAVINIA

    I say, no;
    I have been broad awake two hours and more.

    SATURNINUS

    Come on, then; horse and chariots let us have,
    And to our sport.

    To TAMORA
    Madam, now shall ye see
    Our Roman hunting.

    MARCUS ANDRONICUS

    I have dogs, my lord,
    Will rouse the proudest panther in the chase,
    And climb the highest promontory top.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    And I have horse will follow where the game
    Makes way, and run like swallows o'er the plain.

    DEMETRIUS

    Chiron, we hunt not, we, with horse nor hound,
    But hope to pluck a dainty doe to ground.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. A lonely part of the forest.

    Enter AARON, with a bag of gold

    AARON

    He that had wit would think that I had none,
    To bury so much gold under a tree,
    And never after to inherit it.
    Let him that thinks of me so abjectly
    Know that this gold must coin a stratagem,
    Which, cunningly effected, will beget
    A very excellent piece of villany:
    And so repose, sweet gold, for their unrest

    Hides the gold
    That have their alms out of the empress' chest.

    Enter TAMORA

    TAMORA

    My lovely Aaron, wherefore look'st thou sad,
    When every thing doth make a gleeful boast?
    The birds chant melody on every bush,
    The snake lies rolled in the cheerful sun,
    The green leaves quiver with the cooling wind
    And make a chequer'd shadow on the ground:
    Under their sweet shade, Aaron, let us sit,
    And, whilst the babbling echo mocks the hounds,
    Replying shrilly to the well-tuned horns,
    As if a double hunt were heard at once,
    Let us sit down and mark their yelping noise;
    And, after conflict such as was supposed
    The wandering prince and Dido once enjoy'd,
    When with a happy storm they were surprised
    And curtain'd with a counsel-keeping cave,
    We may, each wreathed in the other's arms,
    Our pastimes done, possess a golden slumber;
    Whiles hounds and horns and sweet melodious birds
    Be unto us as is a nurse's song
    Of lullaby to bring her babe asleep.

    AARON

    Madam, though Venus govern your desires,
    Saturn is dominator over mine:
    What signifies my deadly-standing eye,
    My silence and my cloudy melancholy,
    My fleece of woolly hair that now uncurls
    Even as an adder when she doth unroll
    To do some fatal execution?
    No, madam, these are no venereal signs:
    Vengeance is in my heart, death in my hand,
    Blood and revenge are hammering in my head.
    Hark Tamora, the empress of my soul,
    Which never hopes more heaven than rests in thee,
    This is the day of doom for Bassianus:
    His Philomel must lose her tongue to-day,
    Thy sons make pillage of her chastity
    And wash their hands in Bassianus' blood.
    Seest thou this letter? take it up, I pray thee,
    And give the king this fatal plotted scroll.
    Now question me no more; we are espied;
    Here comes a parcel of our hopeful booty,
    Which dreads not yet their lives' destruction.

    TAMORA

    Ah, my sweet Moor, sweeter to me than life!

    AARON

    No more, great empress; Bassianus comes:
    Be cross with him; and I'll go fetch thy sons
    To back thy quarrels, whatsoe'er they be.

    Exit

    Enter BASSIANUS and LAVINIA

    BASSIANUS

    Who have we here? Rome's royal empress,
    Unfurnish'd of her well-beseeming troop?
    Or is it Dian, habited like her,
    Who hath abandoned her holy groves
    To see the general hunting in this forest?

    TAMORA

    Saucy controller of our private steps!
    Had I the power that some say Dian had,
    Thy temples should be planted presently
    With horns, as was Actaeon's; and the hounds
    Should drive upon thy new-transformed limbs,
    Unmannerly intruder as thou art!

    LAVINIA

    Under your patience, gentle empress,
    'Tis thought you have a goodly gift in horning;
    And to be doubted that your Moor and you
    Are singled forth to try experiments:
    Jove shield your husband from his hounds to-day!
    'Tis pity they should take him for a stag.

    BASSIANUS

    Believe me, queen, your swarth Cimmerian
    Doth make your honour of his body's hue,
    Spotted, detested, and abominable.
    Why are you sequester'd from all your train,
    Dismounted from your snow-white goodly steed.
    And wander'd hither to an obscure plot,
    Accompanied but with a barbarous Moor,
    If foul desire had not conducted you?

    LAVINIA

    And, being intercepted in your sport,
    Great reason that my noble lord be rated
    For sauciness. I pray you, let us hence,
    And let her joy her raven-colour'd love;
    This valley fits the purpose passing well.

    BASSIANUS

    The king my brother shall have note of this.

    LAVINIA

    Ay, for these slips have made him noted long:
    Good king, to be so mightily abused!

    TAMORA

    Why have I patience to endure all this?

    Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON

    DEMETRIUS

    How now, dear sovereign, and our gracious mother!
    Why doth your highness look so pale and wan?

    TAMORA

    Have I not reason, think you, to look pale?
    These two have 'ticed me hither to this place:
    A barren detested vale, you see it is;
    The trees, though summer, yet forlorn and lean,
    O'ercome with moss and baleful mistletoe:
    Here never shines the sun; here nothing breeds,
    Unless the nightly owl or fatal raven:
    And when they show'd me this abhorred pit,
    They told me, here, at dead time of the night,
    A thousand fiends, a thousand hissing snakes,
    Ten thousand swelling toads, as many urchins,
    Would make such fearful and confused cries
    As any mortal body hearing it
    Should straight fall mad, or else die suddenly.
    No sooner had they told this hellish tale,
    But straight they told me they would bind me here
    Unto the body of a dismal yew,
    And leave me to this miserable death:
    And then they call'd me foul adulteress,
    Lascivious Goth, and all the bitterest terms
    That ever ear did hear to such effect:
    And, had you not by wondrous fortune come,
    This vengeance on me had they executed.
    Revenge it, as you love your mother's life,
    Or be ye not henceforth call'd my children.

    DEMETRIUS

    This is a witness that I am thy son.

    Stabs BASSIANUS

    CHIRON

    And this for me, struck home to show my strength.

    Also stabs BASSIANUS, who dies

    LAVINIA

    Ay, come, Semiramis, nay, barbarous Tamora,
    For no name fits thy nature but thy own!

    TAMORA

    Give me thy poniard; you shall know, my boys
    Your mother's hand shall right your mother's wrong.

    DEMETRIUS

    Stay, madam; here is more belongs to her;
    First thrash the corn, then after burn the straw:
    This minion stood upon her chastity,
    Upon her nuptial vow, her loyalty,
    And with that painted hope braves your mightiness:
    And shall she carry this unto her grave?

    CHIRON

    An if she do, I would I were an eunuch.
    Drag hence her husband to some secret hole,
    And make his dead trunk pillow to our lust.

    TAMORA

    But when ye have the honey ye desire,
    Let not this wasp outlive, us both to sting.

    CHIRON

    I warrant you, madam, we wil l make that sure.
    Come, mistress, now perforce we will enjoy
    That nice-preserved honesty of yours.

    LAVINIA

    O Tamora! thou bear'st a woman's face,--

    TAMORA

    I will not hear her speak; away with her!

    LAVINIA

    Sweet lords, entreat her hear me but a word.

    DEMETRIUS

    Listen, fair madam: let it be your glory
    To see her tears; but be your heart to them
    As unrelenting flint to drops of rain.

    LAVINIA

    When did the tiger's young ones teach the dam?
    O, do not learn her wrath; she taught it thee;
    The milk thou suck'dst from her did turn to marble;
    Even at thy teat thou hadst thy tyranny.
    Yet every mother breeds not sons alike:

    To CHIRON
    Do thou entreat her show a woman pity.

    CHIRON

    What, wouldst thou have me prove myself a bastard?

    LAVINIA

    'Tis true; the raven doth not hatch a lark:
    Yet have I heard,--O, could I find it now!--
    The lion moved with pity did endure
    To have his princely paws pared all away:
    Some say that ravens foster forlorn children,
    The whilst their own birds famish in their nests:
    O, be to me, though thy hard heart say no,
    Nothing so kind, but something pitiful!

    TAMORA

    I know not what it means; away with her!

    LAVINIA

    O, let me teach thee! for my father's sake,
    That gave thee life, when well he might have
    slain thee,
    Be not obdurate, open thy deaf ears.

    TAMORA

    Hadst thou in person ne'er offended me,
    Even for his sake am I pitiless.
    Remember, boys, I pour'd forth tears in vain,
    To save your brother from the sacrifice;
    But fierce Andronicus would not relent;
    Therefore, away with her, and use her as you will,
    The worse to her, the better loved of me.

    LAVINIA

    O Tamora, be call'd a gentle queen,
    And with thine own hands kill me in this place!
    For 'tis not life that I have begg'd so long;
    Poor I was slain when Bassianus died.

    TAMORA

    What begg'st thou, then? fond woman, let me go.

    LAVINIA

    'Tis present death I beg; and one thing more
    That womanhood denies my tongue to tell:
    O, keep me from their worse than killing lust,
    And tumble me into some loathsome pit,
    Where never man's eye may behold my body:
    Do this, and be a charitable murderer.

    TAMORA

    So should I rob my sweet sons of their fee:
    No, let them satisfy their lust on thee.

    DEMETRIUS

    Away! for thou hast stay'd us here too long.

    LAVINIA

    No grace? no womanhood? Ah, beastly creature!
    The blot and enemy to our general name!
    Confusion fall--

    CHIRON

    Nay, then I'll stop your mouth. Bring thou her husband:
    This is the hole where Aaron bid us hide him.

    DEMETRIUS throws the body of BASSIANUS into the pit; then exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON, dragging off LAVINIA

    TAMORA

    Farewell, my sons: see that you make her sure.
    Ne'er let my heart know merry cheer indeed,
    Till all the Andronici be made away.
    Now will I hence to seek my lovely Moor,
    And let my spleenful sons this trull deflow'r.

    Exit

    Re-enter AARON, with QUINTUS and MARTIUS

    AARON

    Come on, my lords, the better foot before:
    Straight will I bring you to the loathsome pit
    Where I espied the panther fast asleep.

    QUINTUS

    My sight is very dull, whate'er it bodes.

    MARTIUS

    And mine, I promise you; were't not for shame,
    Well could I leave our sport to sleep awhile.

    Falls into the pit

    QUINTUS

    What art thou fall'n? What subtle hole is this,
    Whose mouth is cover'd with rude-growing briers,
    Upon whose leaves are drops of new-shed blood
    As fresh as morning dew distill'd on flowers?
    A very fatal place it seems to me.
    Speak, brother, hast thou hurt thee with the fall?

    MARTIUS

    O brother, with the dismall'st object hurt
    That ever eye with sight made heart lament!

    AARON

    [Aside] Now will I fetch the king to find them here,
    That he thereby may give a likely guess
    How these were they that made away his brother.

    Exit

    MARTIUS

    Why dost not comfort me, and help me out
    From this unhallowed and blood-stained hole?

    QUINTUS

    I am surprised with an uncouth fear;
    A chilling sweat o'er-runs my trembling joints:
    My heart suspects more than mine eye can see.

    MARTIUS

    To prove thou hast a true-divining heart,
    Aaron and thou look down into this den,
    And see a fearful sight of blood and death.

    QUINTUS

    Aaron is gone; and my compassionate heart
    Will not permit mine eyes once to behold
    The thing whereat it trembles by surmise;
    O, tell me how it is; for ne'er till now
    Was I a child to fear I know not what.

    MARTIUS

    Lord Bassianus lies embrewed here,
    All on a heap, like to a slaughter'd lamb,
    In this detested, dark, blood-drinking pit.

    QUINTUS

    If it be dark, how dost thou know 'tis he?

    MARTIUS

    Upon his bloody finger he doth wear
    A precious ring, that lightens all the hole,
    Which, like a taper in some monument,
    Doth shine upon the dead man's earthy cheeks,
    And shows the ragged entrails of the pit:
    So pale did shine the moon on Pyramus
    When he by night lay bathed in maiden blood.
    O brother, help me with thy fainting hand--
    If fear hath made thee faint, as me it hath--
    Out of this fell devouring receptacle,
    As hateful as Cocytus' misty mouth.

    QUINTUS

    Reach me thy hand, that I may help thee out;
    Or, wanting strength to do thee so much good,
    I may be pluck'd into the swallowing womb
    Of this deep pit, poor Bassianus' grave.
    I have no strength to pluck thee to the brink.

    MARTIUS

    Nor I no strength to climb without thy help.

    QUINTUS

    Thy hand once more; I will not loose again,
    Till thou art here aloft, or I below:
    Thou canst not come to me: I come to thee.

    Falls in

    Enter SATURNINUS with AARON

    SATURNINUS

    Along with me: I'll see what hole is here,
    And what he is that now is leap'd into it.
    Say who art thou that lately didst descend
    Into this gaping hollow of the earth?

    MARTIUS

    The unhappy son of old Andronicus:
    Brought hither in a most unlucky hour,
    To find thy brother Bassianus dead.

    SATURNINUS

    My brother dead! I know thou dost but jest:
    He and his lady both are at the lodge
    Upon the north side of this pleasant chase;
    'Tis not an hour since I left him there.

    MARTIUS

    We know not where you left him all alive;
    But, out, alas! here have we found him dead.

    Re-enter TAMORA, with Attendants; TITUS ANDRONICUS, and Lucius

    TAMORA

    Where is my lord the king?

    SATURNINUS

    Here, Tamora, though grieved with killing grief.

    TAMORA

    Where is thy brother Bassianus?

    SATURNINUS

    Now to the bottom dost thou search my wound:
    Poor Bassianus here lies murdered.

    TAMORA

    Then all too late I bring this fatal writ,
    The complot of this timeless tragedy;
    And wonder greatly that man's face can fold
    In pleasing smiles such murderous tyranny.

    She giveth SATURNINUS a letter

    SATURNINUS

    [Reads] 'An if we miss to meet him handsomely--
    Sweet huntsman, Bassianus 'tis we mean--
    Do thou so much as dig the grave for him:
    Thou know'st our meaning. Look for thy reward
    Among the nettles at the elder-tree
    Which overshades the mouth of that same pit
    Where we decreed to bury Bassianus.
    Do this, and purchase us thy lasting friends.'
    O Tamora! was ever heard the like?
    This is the pit, and this the elder-tree.
    Look, sirs, if you can find the huntsman out
    That should have murdered Bassianus here.

    AARON

    My gracious lord, here is the bag of gold.

    SATURNINUS

    [To TITUS] Two of thy whelps, fell curs of
    bloody kind,
    Have here bereft my brother of his life.
    Sirs, drag them from the pit unto the prison:
    There let them bide until we have devised
    Some never-heard-of torturing pain for them.

    TAMORA

    What, are they in this pit? O wondrous thing!
    How easily murder is discovered!

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    High emperor, upon my feeble knee
    I beg this boon, with tears not lightly shed,
    That this fell fault of my accursed sons,
    Accursed if the fault be proved in them,--

    SATURNINUS

    If it be proved! you see it is apparent.
    Who found this letter? Tamora, was it you?

    TAMORA

    Andronicus himself did take it up.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    I did, my lord: yet let me be their bail;
    For, by my father's reverend tomb, I vow
    They shall be ready at your highness' will
    To answer their suspicion with their lives.

    SATURNINUS

    Thou shalt not bail them: see thou follow me.
    Some bring the murder'd body, some the murderers:
    Let them not speak a word; the guilt is plain;
    For, by my soul, were there worse end than death,
    That end upon them should be executed.

    TAMORA

    Andronicus, I will entreat the king;
    Fear not thy sons; they shall do well enough.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Come, Lucius, come; stay not to talk with them.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. Another part of the forest.

    Enter DEMETRIUS and CHIRON with LAVINIA, ravished; her hands cut off, and her tongue cut out

    DEMETRIUS

    So, now go tell, an if thy tongue can speak,
    Who 'twas that cut thy tongue and ravish'd thee.

    CHIRON

    Write down thy mind, bewray thy meaning so,
    An if thy stumps will let thee play the scribe.

    DEMETRIUS

    See, how with signs and tokens she can scrowl.

    CHIRON

    Go home, call for sweet water, wash thy hands.

    DEMETRIUS

    She hath no tongue to call, nor hands to wash;
    And so let's leave her to her silent walks.

    CHIRON

    An 'twere my case, I should go hang myself.

    DEMETRIUS

    If thou hadst hands to help thee knit the cord.

    Exeunt DEMETRIUS and CHIRON

    Enter MARCUS

    MARCUS

    Who is this? my niece, that flies away so fast!
    Cousin, a word; where is your husband?
    If I do dream, would all my wealth would wake me!
    If I do wake, some planet strike me down,
    That I may slumber in eternal sleep!
    Speak, gentle niece, what stern ungentle hands
    Have lopp'd and hew'd and made thy body bare
    Of her two branches, those sweet ornaments,
    Whose circling shadows kings have sought to sleep in,
    And might not gain so great a happiness
    As have thy love? Why dost not speak to me?
    Alas, a crimson river of warm blood,
    Like to a bubbling fountain stirr'd with wind,
    Doth rise and fall between thy rosed lips,
    Coming and going with thy honey breath.
    But, sure, some Tereus hath deflowered thee,
    And, lest thou shouldst detect him, cut thy tongue.
    Ah, now thou turn'st away thy face for shame!
    And, notwithstanding all this loss of blood,
    As from a conduit with three issuing spouts,
    Yet do thy cheeks look red as Titan's face
    Blushing to be encountered with a cloud.
    Shall I speak for thee? shall I say 'tis so?
    O, that I knew thy heart; and knew the beast,
    That I might rail at him, to ease my mind!
    Sorrow concealed, like an oven stopp'd,
    Doth burn the heart to cinders where it is.
    Fair Philomela, she but lost her tongue,
    And in a tedious sampler sew'd her mind:
    But, lovely niece, that mean is cut from thee;
    A craftier Tereus, cousin, hast thou met,
    And he hath cut those pretty fingers off,
    That could have better sew'd than Philomel.
    O, had the monster seen those lily hands
    Tremble, like aspen-leaves, upon a lute,
    And make the silken strings delight to kiss them,
    He would not then have touch'd them for his life!
    Or, had he heard the heavenly harmony
    Which that sweet tongue hath made,
    He would have dropp'd his knife, and fell asleep
    As Cerberus at the Thracian poet's feet.
    Come, let us go, and make thy father blind;
    For such a sight will blind a father's eye:
    One hour's storm will drown the fragrant meads;
    What will whole months of tears thy father's eyes?
    Do not draw back, for we will mourn with thee
    O, could our mourning ease thy misery!

    Exeunt

    ACT III
    SCENE I. Rome. A street.

    Enter Judges, Senators and Tribunes, with MARTIUS and QUINTUS, bound, passing on to the place of execution; TITUS going before, pleading

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Hear me, grave fathers! noble tribunes, stay!
    For pity of mine age, whose youth was spent
    In dangerous wars, whilst you securely slept;
    For all my blood in Rome's great quarrel shed;
    For all the frosty nights that I have watch'd;
    And for these bitter tears, which now you see
    Filling the aged wrinkles in my cheeks;
    Be pitiful to my condemned sons,
    Whose souls are not corrupted as 'tis thought.
    For two and twenty sons I never wept,
    Because they died in honour's lofty bed.

    Lieth down; the Judges, &amp; c., pass by him, and Exeunt
    For these, these, tribunes, in the dust I write
    My heart's deep languor and my soul's sad tears:
    Let my tears stanch the earth's dry appetite;
    My sons' sweet blood will make it shame and blush.
    O earth, I will befriend thee more with rain,
    That shall distil from these two ancient urns,
    Than youthful April shall with all his showers:
    In summer's drought I'll drop upon thee still;
    In winter with warm tears I'll melt the snow
    And keep eternal spring-time on thy face,
    So thou refuse to drink my dear sons' blood.

    Enter LUCIUS, with his sword drawn
    O reverend tribunes! O gentle, aged men!
    Unbind my sons, reverse the doom of death;
    And let me say, that never wept before,
    My tears are now prevailing orators.

    LUCIUS

    O noble father, you lament in vain:
    The tribunes hear you not; no man is by;
    And you recount your sorrows to a stone.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Ah, Lucius, for thy brothers let me plead.
    Grave tribunes, once more I entreat of you,--

    LUCIUS

    My gracious lord, no tribune hears you speak.

    TITUS ANDRONICUS

    Why, tis no matter, man; if they did hear,
    They would not mark me, or if they did mark,
    They would not pity me, yet plead I must;
    Therefore I tell my sorrows to the stones;
    Who, though they cannot answer my distress,
    Yet in some sort they are better than the tribunes,
    For that they will not intercept my tale:
    When I do weep, they humbly at my feet
    Receive my tears and seem to weep with me;
    And, were they but attired in grave weeds,
    Rome could afford no tribune like to these.
    A stone is soft as wax,--tribunes more hard than stones;
    A stone is silent, and offendeth not,
    And tribunes with their tongues doom men to death.

    Rises
    But wherefore
     
  12. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    Antony and Cleopatra
    Shakespeare homepage | Antony and Cleopatra | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. Alexandria. A room in CLEOPATRA's palace.

    Enter DEMETRIUS and PHILO

    PHILO

    Nay, but this dotage of our general's
    O'erflows the measure: those his goodly eyes,
    That o'er the files and musters of the war
    Have glow'd like plated Mars, now bend, now turn,
    The office and devotion of their view
    Upon a tawny front: his captain's heart,
    Which in the scuffles of great fights hath burst
    The buckles on his breast, reneges all temper,
    And is become the bellows and the fan
    To cool a gipsy's lust.

    Flourish. Enter ANTONY, CLEOPATRA, her Ladies, the Train, with Eunuchs fanning her
    Look, where they come:
    Take but good note, and you shall see in him.
    The triple pillar of the world transform'd
    Into a strumpet's fool: behold and see.

    CLEOPATRA

    If it be love indeed, tell me how much.

    MARK ANTONY

    There's beggary in the love that can be reckon'd.

    CLEOPATRA

    I'll set a bourn how far to be beloved.

    MARK ANTONY

    Then must thou needs find out new heaven, new earth.

    Enter an Attendant

    Attendant

    News, my good lord, from Rome.

    MARK ANTONY

    Grates me: the sum.

    CLEOPATRA

    Nay, hear them, Antony:
    Fulvia perchance is angry; or, who knows
    If the scarce-bearded Caesar have not sent
    His powerful mandate to you, 'Do this, or this;
    Take in that kingdom, and enfranchise that;
    Perform 't, or else we damn thee.'

    MARK ANTONY

    How, my love!

    CLEOPATRA

    Perchance! nay, and most like:
    You must not stay here longer, your dismission
    Is come from Caesar; therefore hear it, Antony.
    Where's Fulvia's process? Caesar's I would say? both?
    Call in the messengers. As I am Egypt's queen,
    Thou blushest, Antony; and that blood of thine
    Is Caesar's homager: else so thy cheek pays shame
    When shrill-tongued Fulvia scolds. The messengers!

    MARK ANTONY

    Let Rome in Tiber melt, and the wide arch
    Of the ranged empire fall! Here is my space.
    Kingdoms are clay: our dungy earth alike
    Feeds beast as man: the nobleness of life
    Is to do thus; when such a mutual pair

    Embracing
    And such a twain can do't, in which I bind,
    On pain of punishment, the world to weet
    We stand up peerless.

    CLEOPATRA

    Excellent falsehood!
    Why did he marry Fulvia, and not love her?
    I'll seem the fool I am not; Antony
    Will be himself.

    MARK ANTONY

    But stirr'd by Cleopatra.
    Now, for the love of Love and her soft hours,
    Let's not confound the time with conference harsh:
    There's not a minute of our lives should stretch
    Without some pleasure now. What sport tonight?

    CLEOPATRA

    Hear the ambassadors.

    MARK ANTONY

    Fie, wrangling queen!
    Whom every thing becomes, to chide, to laugh,
    To weep; whose every passion fully strives
    To make itself, in thee, fair and admired!
    No messenger, but thine; and all alone
    To-night we'll wander through the streets and note
    The qualities of people. Come, my queen;
    Last night you did desire it: speak not to us.

    Exeunt MARK ANTONY and CLEOPATRA with their train

    DEMETRIUS

    Is Caesar with Antonius prized so slight?

    PHILO

    Sir, sometimes, when he is not Antony,
    He comes too short of that great property
    Which still should go with Antony.

    DEMETRIUS

    I am full sorry
    That he approves the common liar, who
    Thus speaks of him at Rome: but I will hope
    Of better deeds to-morrow. Rest you happy!

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. The same. Another room.

    Enter CHARMIAN, IRAS, ALEXAS, and a Soothsayer

    CHARMIAN

    Lord Alexas, sweet Alexas, most any thing Alexas,
    almost most absolute Alexas, where's the soothsayer
    that you praised so to the queen? O, that I knew
    this husband, which, you say, must charge his horns
    with garlands!

    ALEXAS

    Soothsayer!

    Soothsayer

    Your will?

    CHARMIAN

    Is this the man? Is't you, sir, that know things?

    Soothsayer

    In nature's infinite book of secrecy
    A little I can read.

    ALEXAS

    Show him your hand.

    Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Bring in the banquet quickly; wine enough
    Cleopatra's health to drink.

    CHARMIAN

    Good sir, give me good fortune.

    Soothsayer

    I make not, but foresee.

    CHARMIAN

    Pray, then, foresee me one.

    Soothsayer

    You shall be yet far fairer than you are.

    CHARMIAN

    He means in flesh.

    IRAS

    No, you shall paint when you are old.

    CHARMIAN

    Wrinkles forbid!

    ALEXAS

    Vex not his prescience; be attentive.

    CHARMIAN

    Hush!

    Soothsayer

    You shall be more beloving than beloved.

    CHARMIAN

    I had rather heat my liver with drinking.

    ALEXAS

    Nay, hear him.

    CHARMIAN

    Good now, some excellent fortune! Let me be married
    to three kings in a forenoon, and widow them all:
    let me have a child at fifty, to whom Herod of Jewry
    may do homage: find me to marry me with Octavius
    Caesar, and companion me with my mistress.

    Soothsayer

    You shall outlive the lady whom you serve.

    CHARMIAN

    O excellent! I love long life better than figs.

    Soothsayer

    You have seen and proved a fairer former fortune
    Than that which is to approach.

    CHARMIAN

    Then belike my children shall have no names:
    prithee, how many boys and wenches must I have?

    Soothsayer

    If every of your wishes had a womb.
    And fertile every wish, a million.

    CHARMIAN

    Out, fool! I forgive thee for a witch.

    ALEXAS

    You think none but your sheets are privy to your wishes.

    CHARMIAN

    Nay, come, tell Iras hers.

    ALEXAS

    We'll know all our fortunes.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Mine, and most of our fortunes, to-night, shall
    be--drunk to bed.

    IRAS

    There's a palm presages chastity, if nothing else.

    CHARMIAN

    E'en as the o'erflowing Nilus presageth famine.

    IRAS

    Go, you wild bedfellow, you cannot soothsay.

    CHARMIAN

    Nay, if an oily palm be not a fruitful
    prognostication, I cannot scratch mine ear. Prithee,
    tell her but a worky-day fortune.

    Soothsayer

    Your fortunes are alike.

    IRAS

    But how, but how? give me particulars.

    Soothsayer

    I have said.

    IRAS

    Am I not an inch of fortune better than she?

    CHARMIAN

    Well, if you were but an inch of fortune better than
    I, where would you choose it?

    IRAS

    Not in my husband's nose.

    CHARMIAN

    Our worser thoughts heavens mend! Alexas,--come,
    his fortune, his fortune! O, let him marry a woman
    that cannot go, sweet Isis, I beseech thee! and let
    her die too, and give him a worse! and let worst
    follow worse, till the worst of all follow him
    laughing to his grave, fifty-fold a cuckold! Good
    Isis, hear me this prayer, though thou deny me a
    matter of more weight; good Isis, I beseech thee!

    IRAS

    Amen. Dear goddess, hear that prayer of the people!
    for, as it is a heartbreaking to see a handsome man
    loose-wived, so it is a deadly sorrow to behold a
    foul knave uncuckolded: therefore, dear Isis, keep
    decorum, and fortune him accordingly!

    CHARMIAN

    Amen.

    ALEXAS

    Lo, now, if it lay in their hands to make me a
    cuckold, they would make themselves whores, but
    they'ld do't!

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Hush! here comes Antony.

    CHARMIAN

    Not he; the queen.

    Enter CLEOPATRA

    CLEOPATRA

    Saw you my lord?

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    No, lady.

    CLEOPATRA

    Was he not here?

    CHARMIAN

    No, madam.

    CLEOPATRA

    He was disposed to mirth; but on the sudden
    A Roman thought hath struck him. Enobarbus!

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Madam?

    CLEOPATRA

    Seek him, and bring him hither.
    Where's Alexas?

    ALEXAS

    Here, at your service. My lord approaches.

    CLEOPATRA

    We will not look upon him: go with us.

    Exeunt

    Enter MARK ANTONY with a Messenger and Attendants

    Messenger

    Fulvia thy wife first came into the field.

    MARK ANTONY

    Against my brother Lucius?

    Messenger

    Ay:
    But soon that war had end, and the time's state
    Made friends of them, joining their force 'gainst Caesar;
    Whose better issue in the war, from Italy,
    Upon the first encounter, drave them.

    MARK ANTONY

    Well, what worst?

    Messenger

    The nature of bad news infects the teller.

    MARK ANTONY

    When it concerns the fool or coward. On:
    Things that are past are done with me. 'Tis thus:
    Who tells me true, though in his tale lie death,
    I hear him as he flatter'd.

    Messenger

    Labienus--
    This is stiff news--hath, with his Parthian force,
    Extended Asia from Euphrates;
    His conquering banner shook from Syria
    To Lydia and to Ionia; Whilst--

    MARK ANTONY

    Antony, thou wouldst say,--

    Messenger

    O, my lord!

    MARK ANTONY

    Speak to me home, mince not the general tongue:
    Name Cleopatra as she is call'd in Rome;
    Rail thou in Fulvia's phrase; and taunt my faults
    With such full licence as both truth and malice
    Have power to utter. O, then we bring forth weeds,
    When our quick minds lie still; and our ills told us
    Is as our earing. Fare thee well awhile.

    Messenger

    At your noble pleasure.

    Exit

    MARK ANTONY

    From Sicyon, ho, the news! Speak there!

    First Attendant

    The man from Sicyon,--is there such an one?

    Second Attendant

    He stays upon your will.

    MARK ANTONY

    Let him appear.
    These strong Egyptian fetters I must break,
    Or lose myself in dotage.

    Enter another Messenger
    What are you?

    Second Messenger

    Fulvia thy wife is dead.

    MARK ANTONY

    Where died she?

    Second Messenger

    In Sicyon:
    Her length of sickness, with what else more serious
    Importeth thee to know, this bears.

    Gives a letter

    MARK ANTONY

    Forbear me.

    Exit Second Messenger
    There's a great spirit gone! Thus did I desire it:
    What our contempt doth often hurl from us,
    We wish it ours again; the present pleasure,
    By revolution lowering, does become
    The opposite of itself: she's good, being gone;
    The hand could pluck her back that shoved her on.
    I must from this enchanting queen break off:
    Ten thousand harms, more than the ills I know,
    My idleness doth hatch. How now! Enobarbus!

    Re-enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    What's your pleasure, sir?

    MARK ANTONY

    I must with haste from hence.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Why, then, we kill all our women:
    we see how mortal an unkindness is to them;
    if they suffer our departure, death's the word.

    MARK ANTONY

    I must be gone.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Under a compelling occasion, let women die; it were
    pity to cast them away for nothing; though, between
    them and a great cause, they should be esteemed
    nothing. Cleopatra, catching but the least noise of
    this, dies instantly; I have seen her die twenty
    times upon far poorer moment: I do think there is
    mettle in death, which commits some loving act upon
    her, she hath such a celerity in dying.

    MARK ANTONY

    She is cunning past man's thought.

    Exit ALEXAS

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Alack, sir, no; her passions are made of nothing but
    the finest part of pure love: we cannot call her
    winds and waters sighs and tears; they are greater
    storms and tempests than almanacs can report: this
    cannot be cunning in her; if it be, she makes a
    shower of rain as well as Jove.

    MARK ANTONY

    Would I had never seen her.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    O, sir, you had then left unseen a wonderful piece
    of work; which not to have been blest withal would
    have discredited your travel.

    MARK ANTONY

    Fulvia is dead.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Sir?

    MARK ANTONY

    Fulvia is dead.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Fulvia!

    MARK ANTONY

    Dead.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Why, sir, give the gods a thankful sacrifice. When
    it pleaseth their deities to take the wife of a man
    from him, it shows to man the tailors of the earth;
    comforting therein, that when old robes are worn
    out, there are members to make new. If there were
    no more women but Fulvia, then had you indeed a cut,
    and the case to be lamented: this grief is crowned
    with consolation; your old smock brings forth a new
    petticoat: and indeed the tears live in an onion
    that should water this sorrow.

    MARK ANTONY

    The business she hath broached in the state
    Cannot endure my absence.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    And the business you have broached here cannot be
    without you; especially that of Cleopatra's, which
    wholly depends on your abode.

    MARK ANTONY

    No more light answers. Let our officers
    Have notice what we purpose. I shall break
    The cause of our expedience to the queen,
    And get her leave to part. For not alone
    The death of Fulvia, with more urgent touches,
    Do strongly speak to us; but the letters too
    Of many our contriving friends in Rome
    Petition us at home: Sextus Pompeius
    Hath given the dare to Caesar, and commands
    The empire of the sea: our slippery people,
    Whose love is never link'd to the deserver
    Till his deserts are past, begin to throw
    Pompey the Great and all his dignities
    Upon his son; who, high in name and power,
    Higher than both in blood and life, stands up
    For the main soldier: whose quality, going on,
    The sides o' the world may danger: much is breeding,
    Which, like the courser's hair, hath yet but life,
    And not a serpent's poison. Say, our pleasure,
    To such whose place is under us, requires
    Our quick remove from hence.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    I shall do't.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. The same. Another room.

    Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS

    CLEOPATRA

    Where is he?

    CHARMIAN

    I did not see him since.

    CLEOPATRA

    See where he is, who's with him, what he does:
    I did not send you: if you find him sad,
    Say I am dancing; if in mirth, report
    That I am sudden sick: quick, and return.

    Exit ALEXAS

    CHARMIAN

    Madam, methinks, if you did love him dearly,
    You do not hold the method to enforce
    The like from him.

    CLEOPATRA

    What should I do, I do not?

    CHARMIAN

    In each thing give him way, cross him nothing.

    CLEOPATRA

    Thou teachest like a fool; the way to lose him.

    CHARMIAN

    Tempt him not so too far; I wish, forbear:
    In time we hate that which we often fear.
    But here comes Antony.

    Enter MARK ANTONY

    CLEOPATRA

    I am sick and sullen.

    MARK ANTONY

    I am sorry to give breathing to my purpose,--

    CLEOPATRA

    Help me away, dear Charmian; I shall fall:
    It cannot be thus long, the sides of nature
    Will not sustain it.

    MARK ANTONY

    Now, my dearest queen,--

    CLEOPATRA

    Pray you, stand further from me.

    MARK ANTONY

    What's the matter?

    CLEOPATRA

    I know, by that same eye, there's some good news.
    What says the married woman? You may go:
    Would she had never given you leave to come!
    Let her not say 'tis I that keep you here:
    I have no power upon you; hers you are.

    MARK ANTONY

    The gods best know,--

    CLEOPATRA

    O, never was there queen
    So mightily betray'd! yet at the first
    I saw the treasons planted.

    MARK ANTONY

    Cleopatra,--

    CLEOPATRA

    Why should I think you can be mine and true,
    Though you in swearing shake the throned gods,
    Who have been false to Fulvia? Riotous madness,
    To be entangled with those mouth-made vows,
    Which break themselves in swearing!

    MARK ANTONY

    Most sweet queen,--

    CLEOPATRA

    Nay, pray you, seek no colour for your going,
    But bid farewell, and go: when you sued staying,
    Then was the time for words: no going then;
    Eternity was in our lips and eyes,
    Bliss in our brows' bent; none our parts so poor,
    But was a race of heaven: they are so still,
    Or thou, the greatest soldier of the world,
    Art turn'd the greatest liar.

    MARK ANTONY

    How now, lady!

    CLEOPATRA

    I would I had thy inches; thou shouldst know
    There were a heart in Egypt.

    MARK ANTONY

    Hear me, queen:
    The strong necessity of time commands
    Our services awhile; but my full heart
    Remains in use with you. Our Italy
    Shines o'er with civil swords: Sextus Pompeius
    Makes his approaches to the port of Rome:
    Equality of two domestic powers
    Breed scrupulous faction: the hated, grown to strength,
    Are newly grown to love: the condemn'd Pompey,
    Rich in his father's honour, creeps apace,
    Into the hearts of such as have not thrived
    Upon the present state, whose numbers threaten;
    And quietness, grown sick of rest, would purge
    By any desperate change: my more particular,
    And that which most with you should safe my going,
    Is Fulvia's death.

    CLEOPATRA

    Though age from folly could not give me freedom,
    It does from childishness: can Fulvia die?

    MARK ANTONY

    She's dead, my queen:
    Look here, and at thy sovereign leisure read
    The garboils she awaked; at the last, best:
    See when and where she died.

    CLEOPATRA

    O most false love!
    Where be the sacred vials thou shouldst fill
    With sorrowful water? Now I see, I see,
    In Fulvia's death, how mine received shall be.

    MARK ANTONY

    Quarrel no more, but be prepared to know
    The purposes I bear; which are, or cease,
    As you shall give the advice. By the fire
    That quickens Nilus' slime, I go from hence
    Thy soldier, servant; making peace or war
    As thou affect'st.

    CLEOPATRA

    Cut my lace, Charmian, come;
    But let it be: I am quickly ill, and well,
    So Antony loves.

    MARK ANTONY

    My precious queen, forbear;
    And give true evidence to his love, which stands
    An honourable trial.

    CLEOPATRA

    So Fulvia told me.
    I prithee, turn aside and weep for her,
    Then bid adieu to me, and say the tears
    Belong to Egypt: good now, play one scene
    Of excellent dissembling; and let it look
    Life perfect honour.

    MARK ANTONY

    You'll heat my blood: no more.

    CLEOPATRA

    You can do better yet; but this is meetly.

    MARK ANTONY

    Now, by my sword,--

    CLEOPATRA

    And target. Still he mends;
    But this is not the best. Look, prithee, Charmian,
    How this Herculean Roman does become
    The carriage of his chafe.

    MARK ANTONY

    I'll leave you, lady.

    CLEOPATRA

    Courteous lord, one word.
    Sir, you and I must part, but that's not it:
    Sir, you and I have loved, but there's not it;
    That you know well: something it is I would,
    O, my oblivion is a very Antony,
    And I am all forgotten.

    MARK ANTONY

    But that your royalty
    Holds idleness your subject, I should take you
    For idleness itself.

    CLEOPATRA

    'Tis sweating labour
    To bear such idleness so near the heart
    As Cleopatra this. But, sir, forgive me;
    Since my becomings kill me, when they do not
    Eye well to you: your honour calls you hence;
    Therefore be deaf to my unpitied folly.
    And all the gods go with you! upon your sword
    Sit laurel victory! and smooth success
    Be strew'd before your feet!

    MARK ANTONY

    Let us go. Come;
    Our separation so abides, and flies,
    That thou, residing here, go'st yet with me,
    And I, hence fleeting, here remain with thee. Away!

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. Rome. OCTAVIUS CAESAR's house.

    Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, reading a letter, LEPIDUS, and their Train

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    You may see, Lepidus, and henceforth know,
    It is not Caesar's natural vice to hate
    Our great competitor: from Alexandria
    This is the news: he fishes, drinks, and wastes
    The lamps of night in revel; is not more man-like
    Than Cleopatra; nor the queen of Ptolemy
    More womanly than he; hardly gave audience, or
    Vouchsafed to think he had partners: you shall find there
    A man who is the abstract of all faults
    That all men follow.

    LEPIDUS

    I must not think there are
    Evils enow to darken all his goodness:
    His faults in him seem as the spots of heaven,
    More fiery by night's blackness; hereditary,
    Rather than purchased; what he cannot change,
    Than what he chooses.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    You are too indulgent. Let us grant, it is not
    Amiss to tumble on the bed of Ptolemy;
    To give a kingdom for a mirth; to sit
    And keep the turn of tippling with a slave;
    To reel the streets at noon, and stand the buffet
    With knaves that smell of sweat: say this
    becomes him,--
    As his composure must be rare indeed
    Whom these things cannot blemish,--yet must Antony
    No way excuse his soils, when we do bear
    So great weight in his lightness. If he fill'd
    His vacancy with his voluptuousness,
    Full surfeits, and the dryness of his bones,
    Call on him for't: but to confound such time,
    That drums him from his sport, and speaks as loud
    As his own state and ours,--'tis to be chid
    As we rate boys, who, being mature in knowledge,
    Pawn their experience to their present pleasure,
    And so rebel to judgment.

    Enter a Messenger

    LEPIDUS

    Here's more news.

    Messenger

    Thy biddings have been done; and every hour,
    Most noble Caesar, shalt thou have report
    How 'tis abroad. Pompey is strong at sea;
    And it appears he is beloved of those
    That only have fear'd Caesar: to the ports
    The discontents repair, and men's reports
    Give him much wrong'd.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    I should have known no less.
    It hath been taught us from the primal state,
    That he which is was wish'd until he were;
    And the ebb'd man, ne'er loved till ne'er worth love,
    Comes dear'd by being lack'd. This common body,
    Like to a vagabond flag upon the stream,
    Goes to and back, lackeying the varying tide,
    To rot itself with motion.

    Messenger

    Caesar, I bring thee word,
    Menecrates and Menas, famous pirates,
    Make the sea serve them, which they ear and wound
    With keels of every kind: many hot inroads
    They make in Italy; the borders maritime
    Lack blood to think on't, and flush youth revolt:
    No vessel can peep forth, but 'tis as soon
    Taken as seen; for Pompey's name strikes more
    Than could his war resisted.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Antony,
    Leave thy lascivious wassails. When thou once
    Wast beaten from Modena, where thou slew'st
    Hirtius and Pansa, consuls, at thy heel
    Did famine follow; whom thou fought'st against,
    Though daintily brought up, with patience more
    Than savages could suffer: thou didst drink
    The stale of horses, and the gilded puddle
    Which beasts would cough at: thy palate then did deign
    The roughest berry on the rudest hedge;
    Yea, like the stag, when snow the pasture sheets,
    The barks of trees thou browsed'st; on the Alps
    It is reported thou didst eat strange flesh,
    Which some did die to look on: and all this--
    It wounds thine honour that I speak it now--
    Was borne so like a soldier, that thy cheek
    So much as lank'd not.

    LEPIDUS

    'Tis pity of him.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Let his shames quickly
    Drive him to Rome: 'tis time we twain
    Did show ourselves i' the field; and to that end
    Assemble we immediate council: Pompey
    Thrives in our idleness.

    LEPIDUS

    To-morrow, Caesar,
    I shall be furnish'd to inform you rightly
    Both what by sea and land I can be able
    To front this present time.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Till which encounter,
    It is my business too. Farewell.

    LEPIDUS

    Farewell, my lord: what you shall know meantime
    Of stirs abroad, I shall beseech you, sir,
    To let me be partaker.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Doubt not, sir;
    I knew it for my bond.

    Exeunt

    SCENE V. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.

    Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and MARDIAN

    CLEOPATRA

    Charmian!

    CHARMIAN

    Madam?

    CLEOPATRA

    Ha, ha!
    Give me to drink mandragora.

    CHARMIAN

    Why, madam?

    CLEOPATRA

    That I might sleep out this great gap of time
    My Antony is away.

    CHARMIAN

    You think of him too much.

    CLEOPATRA

    O, 'tis treason!

    CHARMIAN

    Madam, I trust, not so.

    CLEOPATRA

    Thou, eunuch Mardian!

    MARDIAN

    What's your highness' pleasure?

    CLEOPATRA

    Not now to hear thee sing; I take no pleasure
    In aught an eunuch has: 'tis well for thee,
    That, being unseminar'd, thy freer thoughts
    May not fly forth of Egypt. Hast thou affections?

    MARDIAN

    Yes, gracious madam.

    CLEOPATRA

    Indeed!

    MARDIAN

    Not in deed, madam; for I can do nothing
    But what indeed is honest to be done:
    Yet have I fierce affections, and think
    What Venus did with Mars.

    CLEOPATRA

    O Charmian,
    Where think'st thou he is now? Stands he, or sits he?
    Or does he walk? or is he on his horse?
    O happy horse, to bear the weight of Antony!
    Do bravely, horse! for wot'st thou whom thou movest?
    The demi-Atlas of this earth, the arm
    And burgonet of men. He's speaking now,
    Or murmuring 'Where's my serpent of old Nile?'
    For so he calls me: now I feed myself
    With most delicious poison. Think on me,
    That am with Phoebus' amorous pinches black,
    And wrinkled deep in time? Broad-fronted Caesar,
    When thou wast here above the ground, I was
    A morsel for a monarch: and great Pompey
    Would stand and make his eyes grow in my brow;
    There would he anchor his aspect and die
    With looking on his life.

    Enter ALEXAS, from OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    ALEXAS

    Sovereign of Egypt, hail!

    CLEOPATRA

    How much unlike art thou Mark Antony!
    Yet, coming from him, that great medicine hath
    With his tinct gilded thee.
    How goes it with my brave Mark Antony?

    ALEXAS

    Last thing he did, dear queen,
    He kiss'd,--the last of many doubled kisses,--
    This orient pearl. His speech sticks in my heart.

    CLEOPATRA

    Mine ear must pluck it thence.

    ALEXAS

    'Good friend,' quoth he,
    'Say, the firm Roman to great Egypt sends
    This treasure of an oyster; at whose foot,
    To mend the petty present, I will piece
    Her opulent throne with kingdoms; all the east,
    Say thou, shall call her mistress.' So he nodded,
    And soberly did mount an arm-gaunt steed,
    Who neigh'd so high, that what I would have spoke
    Was beastly dumb'd by him.

    CLEOPATRA

    What, was he sad or merry?

    ALEXAS

    Like to the time o' the year between the extremes
    Of hot and cold, he was nor sad nor merry.

    CLEOPATRA

    O well-divided disposition! Note him,
    Note him good Charmian, 'tis the man; but note him:
    He was not sad, for he would shine on those
    That make their looks by his; he was not merry,
    Which seem'd to tell them his remembrance lay
    In Egypt with his joy; but between both:
    O heavenly mingle! Be'st thou sad or merry,
    The violence of either thee becomes,
    So does it no man else. Met'st thou my posts?

    ALEXAS

    Ay, madam, twenty several messengers:
    Why do you send so thick?

    CLEOPATRA

    Who's born that day
    When I forget to send to Antony,
    Shall die a beggar. Ink and paper, Charmian.
    Welcome, my good Alexas. Did I, Charmian,
    Ever love Caesar so?

    CHARMIAN

    O that brave Caesar!

    CLEOPATRA

    Be choked with such another emphasis!
    Say, the brave Antony.

    CHARMIAN

    The valiant Caesar!

    CLEOPATRA

    By Isis, I will give thee bloody teeth,
    If thou with Caesar paragon again
    My man of men.

    CHARMIAN

    By your most gracious pardon,
    I sing but after you.

    CLEOPATRA

    My salad days,
    When I was green in judgment: cold in blood,
    To say as I said then! But, come, away;
    Get me ink and paper:
    He shall have every day a several greeting,
    Or I'll unpeople Egypt.

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Messina. POMPEY's house.

    Enter POMPEY, MENECRATES, and MENAS, in warlike manner

    POMPEY

    If the great gods be just, they shall assist
    The deeds of justest men.

    MENECRATES

    Know, worthy Pompey,
    That what they do delay, they not deny.

    POMPEY

    Whiles we are suitors to their throne, decays
    The thing we sue for.

    MENECRATES

    We, ignorant of ourselves,
    Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
    Deny us for our good; so find we profit
    By losing of our prayers.

    POMPEY

    I shall do well:
    The people love me, and the sea is mine;
    My powers are crescent, and my auguring hope
    Says it will come to the full. Mark Antony
    In Egypt sits at dinner, and will make
    No wars without doors: Caesar gets money where
    He loses hearts: Lepidus flatters both,
    Of both is flatter'd; but he neither loves,
    Nor either cares for him.

    MENAS

    Caesar and Lepidus
    Are in the field: a mighty strength they carry.

    POMPEY

    Where have you this? 'tis false.

    MENAS

    From Silvius, sir.

    POMPEY

    He dreams: I know they are in Rome together,
    Looking for Antony. But all the charms of love,
    Salt Cleopatra, soften thy waned lip!
    Let witchcraft join with beauty, lust with both!
    Tie up the libertine in a field of feasts,
    Keep his brain fuming; Epicurean cooks
    Sharpen with cloyless sauce his appetite;
    That sleep and feeding may prorogue his honour
    Even till a Lethe'd dulness!

    Enter VARRIUS
    How now, Varrius!

    VARRIUS

    This is most certain that I shall deliver:
    Mark Antony is every hour in Rome
    Expected: since he went from Egypt 'tis
    A space for further travel.

    POMPEY

    I could have given less matter
    A better ear. Menas, I did not think
    This amorous surfeiter would have donn'd his helm
    For such a petty war: his soldiership
    Is twice the other twain: but let us rear
    The higher our opinion, that our stirring
    Can from the lap of Egypt's widow pluck
    The ne'er-lust-wearied Antony.

    MENAS

    I cannot hope
    Caesar and Antony shall well greet together:
    His wife that's dead did trespasses to Caesar;
    His brother warr'd upon him; although, I think,
    Not moved by Antony.

    POMPEY

    I know not, Menas,
    How lesser enmities may give way to greater.
    Were't not that we stand up against them all,
    'Twere pregnant they should square between
    themselves;
    For they have entertained cause enough
    To draw their swords: but how the fear of us
    May cement their divisions and bind up
    The petty difference, we yet not know.
    Be't as our gods will have't! It only stands
    Our lives upon to use our strongest hands.
    Come, Menas.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. Rome. The house of LEPIDUS.

    Enter DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS and LEPIDUS

    LEPIDUS

    Good Enobarbus, 'tis a worthy deed,
    And shall become you well, to entreat your captain
    To soft and gentle speech.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    I shall entreat him
    To answer like himself: if Caesar move him,
    Let Antony look over Caesar's head
    And speak as loud as Mars. By Jupiter,
    Were I the wearer of Antonius' beard,
    I would not shave't to-day.

    LEPIDUS

    'Tis not a time
    For private stomaching.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Every time
    Serves for the matter that is then born in't.

    LEPIDUS

    But small to greater matters must give way.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Not if the small come first.

    LEPIDUS

    Your speech is passion:
    But, pray you, stir no embers up. Here comes
    The noble Antony.

    Enter MARK ANTONY and VENTIDIUS

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    And yonder, Caesar.

    Enter OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MECAENAS, and AGRIPPA

    MARK ANTONY

    If we compose well here, to Parthia:
    Hark, Ventidius.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    I do not know,
    Mecaenas; ask Agrippa.

    LEPIDUS

    Noble friends,
    That which combined us was most great, and let not
    A leaner action rend us. What's amiss,
    May it be gently heard: when we debate
    Our trivial difference loud, we do commit
    Murder in healing wounds: then, noble partners,
    The rather, for I earnestly beseech,
    Touch you the sourest points with sweetest terms,
    Nor curstness grow to the matter.

    MARK ANTONY

    'Tis spoken well.
    Were we before our armies, and to fight.
    I should do thus.

    Flourish

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Welcome to Rome.

    MARK ANTONY

    Thank you.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Sit.

    MARK ANTONY

    Sit, sir.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Nay, then.

    MARK ANTONY

    I learn, you take things ill which are not so,
    Or being, concern you not.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    I must be laugh'd at,
    If, or for nothing or a little, I
    Should say myself offended, and with you
    Chiefly i' the world; more laugh'd at, that I should
    Once name you derogately, when to sound your name
    It not concern'd me.

    MARK ANTONY

    My being in Egypt, Caesar,
    What was't to you?

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    No more than my residing here at Rome
    Might be to you in Egypt: yet, if you there
    Did practise on my state, your being in Egypt
    Might be my question.

    MARK ANTONY

    How intend you, practised?

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    You may be pleased to catch at mine intent
    By what did here befal me. Your wife and brother
    Made wars upon me; and their contestation
    Was theme for you, you were the word of war.

    MARK ANTONY

    You do mistake your business; my brother never
    Did urge me in his act: I did inquire it;
    And have my learning from some true reports,
    That drew their swords with you. Did he not rather
    Discredit my authority with yours;
    And make the wars alike against my stomach,
    Having alike your cause? Of this my letters
    Before did satisfy you. If you'll patch a quarrel,
    As matter whole you have not to make it with,
    It must not be with this.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    You praise yourself
    By laying defects of judgment to me; but
    You patch'd up your excuses.

    MARK ANTONY

    Not so, not so;
    I know you could not lack, I am certain on't,
    Very necessity of this thought, that I,
    Your partner in the cause 'gainst which he fought,
    Could not with graceful eyes attend those wars
    Which fronted mine own peace. As for my wife,
    I would you had her spirit in such another:
    The third o' the world is yours; which with a snaffle
    You may pace easy, but not such a wife.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Would we had all such wives, that the men might go
    to wars with the women!

    MARK ANTONY

    So much uncurbable, her garboils, Caesar
    Made out of her impatience, which not wanted
    Shrewdness of policy too, I grieving grant
    Did you too much disquiet: for that you must
    But say, I could not help it.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    I wrote to you
    When rioting in Alexandria; you
    Did pocket up my letters, and with taunts
    Did gibe my missive out of audience.

    MARK ANTONY

    Sir,
    He fell upon me ere admitted: then
    Three kings I had newly feasted, and did want
    Of what I was i' the morning: but next day
    I told him of myself; which was as much
    As to have ask'd him pardon. Let this fellow
    Be nothing of our strife; if we contend,
    Out of our question wipe him.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    You have broken
    The article of your oath; which you shall never
    Have tongue to charge me with.

    LEPIDUS

    Soft, Caesar!

    MARK ANTONY

    No,
    Lepidus, let him speak:
    The honour is sacred which he talks on now,
    Supposing that I lack'd it. But, on, Caesar;
    The article of my oath.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    To lend me arms and aid when I required them;
    The which you both denied.

    MARK ANTONY

    Neglected, rather;
    And then when poison'd hours had bound me up
    From mine own knowledge. As nearly as I may,
    I'll play the penitent to you: but mine honesty
    Shall not make poor my greatness, nor my power
    Work without it. Truth is, that Fulvia,
    To have me out of Egypt, made wars here;
    For which myself, the ignorant motive, do
    So far ask pardon as befits mine honour
    To stoop in such a case.

    LEPIDUS

    'Tis noble spoken.

    MECAENAS

    If it might please you, to enforce no further
    The griefs between ye: to forget them quite
    Were to remember that the present need
    Speaks to atone you.

    LEPIDUS

    Worthily spoken, Mecaenas.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Or, if you borrow one another's love for the
    instant, you may, when you hear no more words of
    Pompey, return it again: you shall have time to
    wrangle in when you have nothing else to do.

    MARK ANTONY

    Thou art a soldier only: speak no more.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.

    MARK ANTONY

    You wrong this presence; therefore speak no more.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Go to, then; your considerate stone.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    I do not much dislike the matter, but
    The manner of his speech; for't cannot be
    We shall remain in friendship, our conditions
    So differing in their acts. Yet if I knew
    What hoop should hold us stanch, from edge to edge
    O' the world I would pursue it.

    AGRIPPA

    Give me leave, Caesar,--

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Speak, Agrippa.

    AGRIPPA

    Thou hast a sister by the mother's side,
    Admired Octavia: great Mark Antony
    Is now a widower.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Say not so, Agrippa:
    If Cleopatra heard you, your reproof
    Were well deserved of rashness.

    MARK ANTONY

    I am not married, Caesar: let me hear
    Agrippa further speak.

    AGRIPPA

    To hold you in perpetual amity,
    To make you brothers, and to knit your hearts
    With an unslipping knot, take Antony
    Octavia to his wife; whose beauty claims
    No worse a husband than the best of men;
    Whose virtue and whose general graces speak
    That which none else can utter. By this marriage,
    All little jealousies, which now seem great,
    And all great fears, which now import their dangers,
    Would then be nothing: truths would be tales,
    Where now half tales be truths: her love to both
    Would, each to other and all loves to both,
    Draw after her. Pardon what I have spoke;
    For 'tis a studied, not a present thought,
    By duty ruminated.

    MARK ANTONY

    Will Caesar speak?

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Not till he hears how Antony is touch'd
    With what is spoke already.

    MARK ANTONY

    What power is in Agrippa,
    If I would say, 'Agrippa, be it so,'
    To make this good?

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    The power of Caesar, and
    His power unto Octavia.

    MARK ANTONY

    May I never
    To this good purpose, that so fairly shows,
    Dream of impediment! Let me have thy hand:
    Further this act of grace: and from this hour
    The heart of brothers govern in our loves
    And sway our great designs!

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    There is my hand.
    A sister I bequeath you, whom no brother
    Did ever love so dearly: let her live
    To join our kingdoms and our hearts; and never
    Fly off our loves again!

    LEPIDUS

    Happily, amen!

    MARK ANTONY

    I did not think to draw my sword 'gainst Pompey;
    For he hath laid strange courtesies and great
    Of late upon me: I must thank him only,
    Lest my remembrance suffer ill report;
    At heel of that, defy him.

    LEPIDUS

    Time calls upon's:
    Of us must Pompey presently be sought,
    Or else he seeks out us.

    MARK ANTONY

    Where lies he?

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    About the mount Misenum.

    MARK ANTONY

    What is his strength by land?

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Great and increasing: but by sea
    He is an absolute master.

    MARK ANTONY

    So is the fame.
    Would we had spoke together! Haste we for it:
    Yet, ere we put ourselves in arms, dispatch we
    The business we have talk'd of.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    With most gladness:
    And do invite you to my sister's view,
    Whither straight I'll lead you.

    MARK ANTONY

    Let us, Lepidus,
    Not lack your company.

    LEPIDUS

    Noble Antony,
    Not sickness should detain me.

    Flourish. Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR, MARK ANTONY, and LEPIDUS

    MECAENAS

    Welcome from Egypt, sir.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Half the heart of Caesar, worthy Mecaenas! My
    honourable friend, Agrippa!

    AGRIPPA

    Good Enobarbus!

    MECAENAS

    We have cause to be glad that matters are so well
    digested. You stayed well by 't in Egypt.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Ay, sir; we did sleep day out of countenance, and
    made the night light with drinking.

    MECAENAS

    Eight wild-boars roasted whole at a breakfast, and
    but twelve persons there; is this true?

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    This was but as a fly by an eagle: we had much more
    monstrous matter of feast, which worthily deserved noting.

    MECAENAS

    She's a most triumphant lady, if report be square to
    her.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    When she first met Mark Antony, she pursed up
    his heart, upon the river of Cydnus.

    AGRIPPA

    There she appeared indeed; or my reporter devised
    well for her.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    I will tell you.
    The barge she sat in, like a burnish'd throne,
    Burn'd on the water: the poop was beaten gold;
    Purple the sails, and so perfumed that
    The winds were love-sick with them; the oars were silver,
    Which to the tune of flutes kept stroke, and made
    The water which they beat to follow faster,
    As amorous of their strokes. For her own person,
    It beggar'd all description: she did lie
    In her pavilion--cloth-of-gold of tissue--
    O'er-picturing that Venus where we see
    The fancy outwork nature: on each side her
    Stood pretty dimpled boys, like smiling Cupids,
    With divers-colour'd fans, whose wind did seem
    To glow the delicate cheeks which they did cool,
    And what they undid did.

    AGRIPPA

    O, rare for Antony!

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Her gentlewomen, like the Nereides,
    So many mermaids, tended her i' the eyes,
    And made their bends adornings: at the helm
    A seeming mermaid steers: the silken tackle
    Swell with the touches of those flower-soft hands,
    That yarely frame the office. From the barge
    A strange invisible perfume hits the sense
    Of the adjacent wharfs. The city cast
    Her people out upon her; and Antony,
    Enthroned i' the market-place, did sit alone,
    Whistling to the air; which, but for vacancy,
    Had gone to gaze on Cleopatra too,
    And made a gap in nature.

    AGRIPPA

    Rare Egyptian!

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Upon her landing, Antony sent to her,
    Invited her to supper: she replied,
    It should be better he became her guest;
    Which she entreated: our courteous Antony,
    Whom ne'er the word of 'No' woman heard speak,
    Being barber'd ten times o'er, goes to the feast,
    And for his ordinary pays his heart
    For what his eyes eat only.

    AGRIPPA

    Royal wench!
    She made great Caesar lay his sword to bed:
    He plough'd her, and she cropp'd.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    I saw her once
    Hop forty paces through the public street;
    And having lost her breath, she spoke, and panted,
    That she did make defect perfection,
    And, breathless, power breathe forth.

    MECAENAS

    Now Antony must leave her utterly.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Never; he will not:
    Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale
    Her infinite variety: other women cloy
    The appetites they feed: but she makes hungry
    Where most she satisfies; for vilest things
    Become themselves in her: that the holy priests
    Bless her when she is riggish.

    MECAENAS

    If beauty, wisdom, modesty, can settle
    The heart of Antony, Octavia is
    A blessed lottery to him.

    AGRIPPA

    Let us go.
    Good Enobarbus, make yourself my guest
    Whilst you abide here.

    DOMITIUS ENOBARBUS

    Humbly, sir, I thank you.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. The same. OCTAVIUS CAESAR's house.

    Enter MARK ANTONY, OCTAVIUS CAESAR, OCTAVIA between them, and Attendants

    MARK ANTONY

    The world and my great office will sometimes
    Divide me from your bosom.

    OCTAVIA

    All which time
    Before the gods my knee shall bow my prayers
    To them for you.

    MARK ANTONY

    Good night, sir. My Octavia,
    Read not my blemishes in the world's report:
    I have not kept my square; but that to come
    Shall all be done by the rule. Good night, dear lady.
    Good night, sir.

    OCTAVIUS CAESAR

    Good night.

    Exeunt OCTAVIUS CAESAR and OCTAVIA

    Enter Soothsayer

    MARK ANTONY

    Now, sirrah; you do wish yourself in Egypt?

    Soothsayer

    Would I had never come from thence, nor you Thither!

    MARK ANTONY

    If you can, your reason?

    Soothsayer

    I see it in
    My motion, have it not in my tongue: but yet
    Hie you to Egypt again.

    MARK ANTONY

    Say to me,
    Whose fortunes shall rise higher, Caesar's or mine?

    Soothsayer

    Caesar's.
    Therefore, O Antony, stay not by his side:
    Thy demon, that's thy spirit which keeps thee, is
    Noble, courageous high, unmatchable,
    Where Caesar's is not; but, near him, thy angel
    Becomes a fear, as being o'erpower'd: therefore
    Make space enough between you.

    MARK ANTONY

    Speak this no more.

    Soothsayer

    To none but thee; no more, but when to thee.
    If thou dost play with him at any game,
    Thou art sure to lose; and, of that natural luck,
    He beats thee 'gainst the odds: thy lustre thickens,
    When he shines by: I say again, thy spirit
    Is all afraid to govern thee near him;
    But, he away, 'tis noble.

    MARK ANTONY

    Get thee gone:
    Say to Ventidius I would speak with him:

    Exit Soothsayer
    He shall to Parthia. Be it art or hap,
    He hath spoken true: the very dice obey him;
    And in our sports my better cunning faints
    Under his chance: if we draw lots, he speeds;
    His cocks do win the battle still of mine,
    When it is all to nought; and his quails ever
    Beat mine, inhoop'd, at odds. I will to Egypt:
    And though I make this marriage for my peace,
    I' the east my pleasure lies.

    Enter VENTIDIUS
    O, come, Ventidius,
    You must to Parthia: your commission's ready;
    Follow me, and receive't.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. The same. A street.

    Enter LEPIDUS, MECAENAS, and AGRIPPA

    LEPIDUS

    Trouble yourselves no further: pray you, hasten
    Your generals after.

    AGRIPPA

    Sir, Mark Antony
    Will e'en but kiss Octavia, and we'll follow.

    LEPIDUS

    Till I shall see you in your soldier's dress,
    Which will become you both, farewell.

    MECAENAS

    We shall,
    As I conceive the journey, be at the Mount
    Before you, Lepidus.

    LEPIDUS

    Your way is shorter;
    My purposes do draw me much about:
    You'll win two days upon me.

    MECAENAS AGRIPPA

    Sir, good success!

    LEPIDUS

    Farewell.

    Exeunt

    SCENE V. Alexandria. CLEOPATRA's palace.

    Enter CLEOPATRA, CHARMIAN, IRAS, and ALEXAS

    CLEOPATRA

    Give me some music; music, moody food
    Of us that trade in love.

    Attendants

    The music, ho!

    Enter MARDIAN

    CLEOPATRA

    Let it alone; let's to billiards: come, Charmian.

    CHARMIAN

    My arm is sore; best play with Mardian.

    CLEOPATRA

    As well a woman with an eunuch play'd
    As with a woman. Come, you'll play with me, sir?

    MARDIAN

    As well as I can, madam.

    CLEOPATRA

    And when good will is show'd, though't come
    too short,
    The actor may plead pardon. I'll none now:
    Give me mine angle; we'll to the river: there,
    My music playing far off, I will betray
    Tawny-finn'd fishes; my bended hook shall pierce
    Their slimy jaws; and, as I draw them up,
    I'll think them every one an Antony,
    And say 'Ah, ha! you're caught.'

    CHARMIAN

    'Twas merry when
    You wager'd on your angling; when your diver
    Did hang a salt-fish on his hook, which he
    With fervency drew up.

    CLEOPATRA

    That time,--O times!--
    I laugh'd him out of patience; and that night
    I laugh'd him into patience; and next morn,
    Ere the ninth hour, I drunk him to his bed;
    Then put my tires and mantles on him, whilst
    I wore his sword Philippan.

    Enter a Messenger
    O, from Italy
    Ram thou thy fruitful tidings in mine ears,
    That long time have been barren.

    Messenger

    Madam, madam,--

    CLEOPATRA

    Antonius dead!--If thou say so, villain,
    Thou kill'st thy mistress: but well and free,
    If thou so yield him, there is gold, and here
    My bluest veins to kiss; a hand that kings
    Have lipp'd, and trembled kissing.

    Messenger

    First, madam, he is well.

    CLEOPATRA

    Why, there's more gold.
    But, sirrah, mark, we use
    To say the dead are well: bring it to that,
    The gold I give thee will I melt and pour
    Down thy ill-uttering throat.

    Messenger

    Good madam, hear me.

    CLEOPATRA

    Well, go to, I will;
    But there's no goodness in thy face: if Antony
    Be free and healthful,--so tart a favour
    To trumpet such good tidings! If not well,
    Thou shouldst come like a Fury crown'd with snakes,
    Not like a formal man.

    Messenger

    Will't please you hear me?

    CLEOPATRA

    I have a mind to strike thee ere thou speak'st:
    Yet if thou say Antony lives, is well,
    Or friends with Caesar, or not captive to him,
    I'll set thee in a shower of gold, and hail
    Rich pearls upon thee.

    Messenger

    Madam, he's well.

    CLEOPATRA

    Well said.

    Messenger

    And friends with Caesar.

    CLEOPATRA

    Thou'rt an honest man.

    Messenger

    Caesar and he are greater friends than ever.

    CLEOPATRA

    Make thee a fortune from me.

    Messenger

    But yet, madam,--

    CLEOPATRA

    I do not like 'But yet,' it does allay
    The good precedence; fie upon 'But yet'!
    'But yet' is as a gaoler to bring forth
    Some monstrous malefactor. Prithee, friend,
    Pour out the pack of matter to mine ear,
    The good and bad together: he's friends with Caesar:
    In state of health thou say'st; and thou say'st free.

    Messenger

    Free, madam! no; I made no such report:
    He's bound unto Octavia.

    CLEOPATRA

    For what good turn?

    Messenger

    For the best turn i' the bed.

    CLEOPATRA

    I am pale, Charmian.

    Messenger

    Madam, he's married to Octavia.

    CLEOPATRA

    The most infectious pestilence upon thee!

    Strikes him down

    Messenger

    Good madam, patience.

    CLEOPATRA

    What say you? Hence,

    Strikes him again
    Horrible villain! or I'll spurn thine eyes
    Like balls before me; I'll unhair thy head:

    She hales him up and down
    Thou shalt be whipp'd with wire, and stew'd in brine,
    Smarting in lingering pickle.

    Messenger

    Gracious madam,
    I that do bring the news made not the match.

    CLEOPATRA

    Say 'tis not so, a province I will give thee,
    And make thy fortunes proud: the blow thou hadst
    Shall make thy peace for moving me to rage;
    And I will boot thee with what gift beside
    Thy modesty can beg.

    Messenger

    He's married, madam.

    CLEOPATRA

    Rogue, thou hast lived too long.

    Draws a knife

    Messenger

    Nay, then I'll run.
    What mean you, madam? I have made no fault.

    Exit

    CHARMIAN

    Good madam, keep yourself within yourself:
    The man is innocent.

    CLEOPATRA

    Some innocents 'scape not the thunderbolt.
    Melt Egypt into Nile! and kindly creatures
    Turn all to serpents! Call the slave again:
    Though I am mad, I will not bite him: call.

    CHARMIAN

    He is afeard to come.

    CLEOPATRA

    I will not hurt him.

    Exit CHARMIAN
    These hands do lack nobility, that they strike
    A meaner than myself; since I myself
    Have given myself the cause.

    Re-enter CHARMIAN and Messenger
    Come hither, sir.
    Though it be honest, it is never good
    To bring bad news: give to a gracious message.
    An host of tongues; but let ill tidings tell
    Themselves when they be felt.

    Messenger

    I have done my duty.

    CLEOPATRA

    Is he married?
    I cannot hate thee worser than I do,
    If thou again say 'Yes.'

    Messenger

    He's married, madam.

    CLEOPATRA

    The gods confound thee! dost thou hold there still?

    Messenger

    Should I lie, madam?

    CLEOPATRA

    O, I would thou didst,
    So half my Egypt were submerged and made
    A cistern for scaled snakes! Go, get thee hence:
    Hadst thou Narcissus in thy face, to me
    Thou wouldst appear most ugly. He is married?

    Messenger

    I crave your highness' pardon.

    CLEOPATRA

    He is married?

    Messenger

    Take no offence that I would not offend you:
    To punish me for what you make me do.
    Seems much unequal: he's married to Octavia.

    CLEOPATRA

    O, that his fault should make a knave of thee,
    That art not what thou'rt sure of! Get thee hence:
    The merchandise which thou hast brought from Rome
    Are all too dear for me: lie they upon thy hand,
    And be undone by 'em!

    Exit Messenger

    CHARMIAN

    Good your highness, patience.

    CLEOPATRA

    In praising Antony, I have dispraised Caesar.

    CHARMIAN

    Many times, madam.

    CLEOPATRA

    I am paid for't now.
    Lead me from hence:
    I faint: O Iras, Charmian! 'tis no matter.
    Go to the fellow, good Alexas; bid him
    Report the feature of Octavia, her years,
    Her inclination, let him not leave out
    The colour of her hair: bring me word quickly.

    Exit ALEXAS
    Let him for ever go:--let him not--Charmian,
    Though he be painted one way like a Gorgon,
    The other way's a Mars. Bid you Alexas

    To MARDIAN
    Bring me word how tall she is. Pity me, Charmian,
    But do not speak to me. Lead me to my chamber.

    Exeunt

    SCENE VI. Near Misenum.

    Flourish. Enter PO
     
  13. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Tragedy of Coriolanus
    Shakespeare homepage | Coriolanus | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. Rome. A street.

    Enter a company of mutinous Citizens, with staves, clubs, and other weapons

    First Citizen

    Before we proceed any further, hear me speak.

    All

    Speak, speak.

    First Citizen

    You are all resolved rather to die than to famish?

    All

    Resolved. resolved.

    First Citizen

    First, you know Caius Marcius is chief enemy to the people.

    All

    We know't, we know't.

    First Citizen

    Let us kill him, and we'll have corn at our own price.
    Is't a verdict?

    All

    No more talking on't; let it be done: away, away!

    Second Citizen

    One word, good citizens.

    First Citizen

    We are accounted poor citizens, the patricians good.
    What authority surfeits on would relieve us: if they
    would yield us but the superfluity, while it were
    wholesome, we might guess they relieved us humanely;
    but they think we are too dear: the leanness that
    afflicts us, the object of our misery, is as an
    inventory to particularise their abundance; our
    sufferance is a gain to them Let us revenge this with
    our pikes, ere we become rakes: for the gods know I
    speak this in hunger for bread, not in thirst for revenge.

    Second Citizen

    Would you proceed especially against Caius Marcius?

    All

    Against him first: he's a very dog to the commonalty.

    Second Citizen

    Consider you what services he has done for his country?

    First Citizen

    Very well; and could be content to give him good
    report fort, but that he pays himself with being proud.

    Second Citizen

    Nay, but speak not maliciously.

    First Citizen

    I say unto you, what he hath done famously, he did
    it to that end: though soft-conscienced men can be
    content to say it was for his country he did it to
    please his mother and to be partly proud; which he
    is, even till the altitude of his virtue.

    Second Citizen

    What he cannot help in his nature, you account a
    vice in him. You must in no way say he is covetous.

    First Citizen

    If I must not, I need not be barren of accusations;
    he hath faults, with surplus, to tire in repetition.

    Shouts within
    What shouts are these? The other side o' the city
    is risen: why stay we prating here? to the Capitol!

    All

    Come, come.

    First Citizen

    Soft! who comes here?

    Enter MENENIUS AGRIPPA

    Second Citizen

    Worthy Menenius Agrippa; one that hath always loved
    the people.

    First Citizen

    He's one honest enough: would all the rest were so!

    MENENIUS

    What work's, my countrymen, in hand? where go you
    With bats and clubs? The matter? speak, I pray you.

    First Citizen

    Our business is not unknown to the senate; they have
    had inkling this fortnight what we intend to do,
    which now we'll show 'em in deeds. They say poor
    suitors have strong breaths: they shall know we
    have strong arms too.

    MENENIUS

    Why, masters, my good friends, mine honest neighbours,
    Will you undo yourselves?

    First Citizen

    We cannot, sir, we are undone already.

    MENENIUS

    I tell you, friends, most charitable care
    Have the patricians of you. For your wants,
    Your suffering in this dearth, you may as well
    Strike at the heaven with your staves as lift them
    Against the Roman state, whose course will on
    The way it takes, cracking ten thousand curbs
    Of more strong link asunder than can ever
    Appear in your impediment. For the dearth,
    The gods, not the patricians, make it, and
    Your knees to them, not arms, must help. Alack,
    You are transported by calamity
    Thither where more attends you, and you slander
    The helms o' the state, who care for you like fathers,
    When you curse them as enemies.

    First Citizen

    Care for us! True, indeed! They ne'er cared for us
    yet: suffer us to famish, and their store-houses
    crammed with grain; make edicts for usury, to
    support usurers; repeal daily any wholesome act
    established against the rich, and provide more
    piercing statutes daily, to chain up and restrain
    the poor. If the wars eat us not up, they will; and
    there's all the love they bear us.

    MENENIUS

    Either you must
    Confess yourselves wondrous malicious,
    Or be accused of folly. I shall tell you
    A pretty tale: it may be you have heard it;
    But, since it serves my purpose, I will venture
    To stale 't a little more.

    First Citizen

    Well, I'll hear it, sir: yet you must not think to
    fob off our disgrace with a tale: but, an 't please
    you, deliver.

    MENENIUS

    There was a time when all the body's members
    Rebell'd against the belly, thus accused it:
    That only like a gulf it did remain
    I' the midst o' the body, idle and unactive,
    Still cupboarding the viand, never bearing
    Like labour with the rest, where the other instruments
    Did see and hear, devise, instruct, walk, feel,
    And, mutually participate, did minister
    Unto the appetite and affection common
    Of the whole body. The belly answer'd--

    First Citizen

    Well, sir, what answer made the belly?

    MENENIUS

    Sir, I shall tell you. With a kind of smile,
    Which ne'er came from the lungs, but even thus--
    For, look you, I may make the belly smile
    As well as speak--it tauntingly replied
    To the discontented members, the mutinous parts
    That envied his receipt; even so most fitly
    As you malign our senators for that
    They are not such as you.

    First Citizen

    Your belly's answer? What!
    The kingly-crowned head, the vigilant eye,
    The counsellor heart, the arm our soldier,
    Our steed the leg, the tongue our trumpeter.
    With other muniments and petty helps
    In this our fabric, if that they--

    MENENIUS

    What then?
    'Fore me, this fellow speaks! What then? what then?

    First Citizen

    Should by the cormorant belly be restrain'd,
    Who is the sink o' the body,--

    MENENIUS

    Well, what then?

    First Citizen

    The former agents, if they did complain,
    What could the belly answer?

    MENENIUS

    I will tell you
    If you'll bestow a small--of what you have little--
    Patience awhile, you'll hear the belly's answer.

    First Citizen

    Ye're long about it.

    MENENIUS

    Note me this, good friend;
    Your most grave belly was deliberate,
    Not rash like his accusers, and thus answer'd:
    'True is it, my incorporate friends,' quoth he,
    'That I receive the general food at first,
    Which you do live upon; and fit it is,
    Because I am the store-house and the shop
    Of the whole body: but, if you do remember,
    I send it through the rivers of your blood,
    Even to the court, the heart, to the seat o' the brain;
    And, through the cranks and offices of man,
    The strongest nerves and small inferior veins
    From me receive that natural competency
    Whereby they live: and though that all at once,
    You, my good friends,'--this says the belly, mark me,--

    First Citizen

    Ay, sir; well, well.

    MENENIUS

    'Though all at once cannot
    See what I do deliver out to each,
    Yet I can make my audit up, that all
    From me do back receive the flour of all,
    And leave me but the bran.' What say you to't?

    First Citizen

    It was an answer: how apply you this?

    MENENIUS

    The senators of Rome are this good belly,
    And you the mutinous members; for examine
    Their counsels and their cares, digest things rightly
    Touching the weal o' the common, you shall find
    No public benefit which you receive
    But it proceeds or comes from them to you
    And no way from yourselves. What do you think,
    You, the great toe of this assembly?

    First Citizen

    I the great toe! why the great toe?

    MENENIUS

    For that, being one o' the lowest, basest, poorest,
    Of this most wise rebellion, thou go'st foremost:
    Thou rascal, that art worst in blood to run,
    Lead'st first to win some vantage.
    But make you ready your stiff bats and clubs:
    Rome and her rats are at the point of battle;
    The one side must have bale.

    Enter CAIUS MARCIUS
    Hail, noble Marcius!

    MARCIUS

    Thanks. What's the matter, you dissentious rogues,
    That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion,
    Make yourselves scabs?

    First Citizen

    We have ever your good word.

    MARCIUS

    He that will give good words to thee will flatter
    Beneath abhorring. What would you have, you curs,
    That like nor peace nor war? the one affrights you,
    The other makes you proud. He that trusts to you,
    Where he should find you lions, finds you hares;
    Where foxes, geese: you are no surer, no,
    Than is the coal of fire upon the ice,
    Or hailstone in the sun. Your virtue is
    To make him worthy whose offence subdues him
    And curse that justice did it.
    Who deserves greatness
    Deserves your hate; and your affections are
    A sick man's appetite, who desires most that
    Which would increase his evil. He that depends
    Upon your favours swims with fins of lead
    And hews down oaks with rushes. Hang ye! Trust Ye?
    With every minute you do change a mind,
    And call him noble that was now your hate,
    Him vile that was your garland. What's the matter,
    That in these several places of the city
    You cry against the noble senate, who,
    Under the gods, keep you in awe, which else
    Would feed on one another? What's their seeking?

    MENENIUS

    For corn at their own rates; whereof, they say,
    The city is well stored.

    MARCIUS

    Hang 'em! They say!
    They'll sit by the fire, and presume to know
    What's done i' the Capitol; who's like to rise,
    Who thrives and who declines; side factions
    and give out
    Conjectural marriages; making parties strong
    And feebling such as stand not in their liking
    Below their cobbled shoes. They say there's
    grain enough!
    Would the nobility lay aside their ruth,
    And let me use my sword, I'll make a quarry
    With thousands of these quarter'd slaves, as high
    As I could pick my lance.

    MENENIUS

    Nay, these are almost thoroughly persuaded;
    For though abundantly they lack discretion,
    Yet are they passing cowardly. But, I beseech you,
    What says the other troop?

    MARCIUS

    They are dissolved: hang 'em!
    They said they were an-hungry; sigh'd forth proverbs,
    That hunger broke stone walls, that dogs must eat,
    That meat was made for mouths, that the gods sent not
    Corn for the rich men only: with these shreds
    They vented their complainings; which being answer'd,
    And a petition granted them, a strange one--
    To break the heart of generosity,
    And make bold power look pale--they threw their caps
    As they would hang them on the horns o' the moon,
    Shouting their emulation.

    MENENIUS

    What is granted them?

    MARCIUS

    Five tribunes to defend their vulgar wisdoms,
    Of their own choice: one's Junius Brutus,
    Sicinius Velutus, and I know not--'Sdeath!
    The rabble should have first unroof'd the city,
    Ere so prevail'd with me: it will in time
    Win upon power and throw forth greater themes
    For insurrection's arguing.

    MENENIUS

    This is strange.

    MARCIUS

    Go, get you home, you fragments!

    Enter a Messenger, hastily

    Messenger

    Where's Caius Marcius?

    MARCIUS

    Here: what's the matter?

    Messenger

    The news is, sir, the Volsces are in arms.

    MARCIUS

    I am glad on 't: then we shall ha' means to vent
    Our musty superfluity. See, our best elders.

    Enter COMINIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, and other Senators; JUNIUS BRUTUS and SICINIUS VELUTUS

    First Senator

    Marcius, 'tis true that you have lately told us;
    The Volsces are in arms.

    MARCIUS

    They have a leader,
    Tullus Aufidius, that will put you to 't.
    I sin in envying his nobility,
    And were I any thing but what I am,
    I would wish me only he.

    COMINIUS

    You have fought together.

    MARCIUS

    Were half to half the world by the ears and he.
    Upon my party, I'ld revolt to make
    Only my wars with him: he is a lion
    That I am proud to hunt.

    First Senator

    Then, worthy Marcius,
    Attend upon Cominius to these wars.

    COMINIUS

    It is your former promise.

    MARCIUS

    Sir, it is;
    And I am constant. Titus Lartius, thou
    Shalt see me once more strike at Tullus' face.
    What, art thou stiff? stand'st out?

    TITUS

    No, Caius Marcius;
    I'll lean upon one crutch and fight with t'other,
    Ere stay behind this business.

    MENENIUS

    O, true-bred!

    First Senator

    Your company to the Capitol; where, I know,
    Our greatest friends attend us.

    TITUS

    [To COMINIUS] Lead you on.

    To MARCIUS
    Right worthy you priority.

    COMINIUS

    Noble Marcius!

    First Senator

    [To the Citizens] Hence to your homes; be gone!

    MARCIUS

    Nay, let them follow:
    The Volsces have much corn; take these rats thither
    To gnaw their garners. Worshipful mutiners,
    Your valour puts well forth: pray, follow.

    Citizens steal away. Exeunt all but SICINIUS and BRUTUS

    SICINIUS

    Was ever man so proud as is this Marcius?

    BRUTUS

    He has no equal.

    SICINIUS

    When we were chosen tribunes for the people,--

    BRUTUS

    Mark'd you his lip and eyes?

    SICINIUS

    Nay. but his taunts.

    BRUTUS

    Being moved, he will not spare to gird the gods.

    SICINIUS

    Be-mock the modest moon.

    BRUTUS

    The present wars devour him: he is grown
    Too proud to be so valiant.

    SICINIUS

    Such a nature,
    Tickled with good success, disdains the shadow
    Which he treads on at noon: but I do wonder
    His insolence can brook to be commanded
    Under Cominius.

    BRUTUS

    Fame, at the which he aims,
    In whom already he's well graced, can not
    Better be held nor more attain'd than by
    A place below the first: for what miscarries
    Shall be the general's fault, though he perform
    To the utmost of a man, and giddy censure
    Will then cry out of Marcius 'O if he
    Had borne the business!'

    SICINIUS

    Besides, if things go well,
    Opinion that so sticks on Marcius shall
    Of his demerits rob Cominius.

    BRUTUS

    Come:
    Half all Cominius' honours are to Marcius.
    Though Marcius earned them not, and all his faults
    To Marcius shall be honours, though indeed
    In aught he merit not.

    SICINIUS

    Let's hence, and hear
    How the dispatch is made, and in what fashion,
    More than his singularity, he goes
    Upon this present action.

    BRUTUS

    Lets along.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. Corioli. The Senate-house.

    Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS and certain Senators

    First Senator

    So, your opinion is, Aufidius,
    That they of Rome are entered in our counsels
    And know how we proceed.

    AUFIDIUS

    Is it not yours?
    What ever have been thought on in this state,
    That could be brought to bodily act ere Rome
    Had circumvention? 'Tis not four days gone
    Since I heard thence; these are the words: I think
    I have the letter here; yes, here it is.

    Reads
    'They have press'd a power, but it is not known
    Whether for east or west: the dearth is great;
    The people mutinous; and it is rumour'd,
    Cominius, Marcius your old enemy,
    Who is of Rome worse hated than of you,
    And Titus Lartius, a most valiant Roman,
    These three lead on this preparation
    Whither 'tis bent: most likely 'tis for you:
    Consider of it.'

    First Senator

    Our army's in the field
    We never yet made doubt but Rome was ready
    To answer us.

    AUFIDIUS

    Nor did you think it folly
    To keep your great pretences veil'd till when
    They needs must show themselves; which
    in the hatching,
    It seem'd, appear'd to Rome. By the discovery.
    We shall be shorten'd in our aim, which was
    To take in many towns ere almost Rome
    Should know we were afoot.

    Second Senator

    Noble Aufidius,
    Take your commission; hie you to your bands:
    Let us alone to guard Corioli:
    If they set down before 's, for the remove
    Bring your army; but, I think, you'll find
    They've not prepared for us.

    AUFIDIUS

    O, doubt not that;
    I speak from certainties. Nay, more,
    Some parcels of their power are forth already,
    And only hitherward. I leave your honours.
    If we and Caius Marcius chance to meet,
    'Tis sworn between us we shall ever strike
    Till one can do no more.

    All

    The gods assist you!

    AUFIDIUS

    And keep your honours safe!

    First Senator

    Farewell.

    Second Senator

    Farewell.

    All

    Farewell.

    Exeunt

    SCENE III. Rome. A room in Marcius' house.

    Enter VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA they set them down on two low stools, and sew

    VOLUMNIA

    I pray you, daughter, sing; or express yourself in a
    more comfortable sort: if my son were my husband, I
    should freelier rejoice in that absence wherein he
    won honour than in the embracements of his bed where
    he would show most love. When yet he was but
    tender-bodied and the only son of my womb, when
    youth with comeliness plucked all gaze his way, when
    for a day of kings' entreaties a mother should not
    sell him an hour from her beholding, I, considering
    how honour would become such a person. that it was
    no better than picture-like to hang by the wall, if
    renown made it not stir, was pleased to let him seek
    danger where he was like to find fame. To a cruel
    war I sent him; from whence he returned, his brows
    bound with oak. I tell thee, daughter, I sprang not
    more in joy at first hearing he was a man-child
    than now in first seeing he had proved himself a
    man.

    VIRGILIA

    But had he died in the business, madam; how then?

    VOLUMNIA

    Then his good report should have been my son; I
    therein would have found issue. Hear me profess
    sincerely: had I a dozen sons, each in my love
    alike and none less dear than thine and my good
    Marcius, I had rather had eleven die nobly for their
    country than one voluptuously surfeit out of action.

    Enter a Gentlewoman

    Gentlewoman

    Madam, the Lady Valeria is come to visit you.

    VIRGILIA

    Beseech you, give me leave to retire myself.

    VOLUMNIA

    Indeed, you shall not.
    Methinks I hear hither your husband's drum,
    See him pluck Aufidius down by the hair,
    As children from a bear, the Volsces shunning him:
    Methinks I see him stamp thus, and call thus:
    'Come on, you cowards! you were got in fear,
    Though you were born in Rome:' his bloody brow
    With his mail'd hand then wiping, forth he goes,
    Like to a harvest-man that's task'd to mow
    Or all or lose his hire.

    VIRGILIA

    His bloody brow! O Jupiter, no blood!

    VOLUMNIA

    Away, you fool! it more becomes a man
    Than gilt his trophy: the breasts of Hecuba,
    When she did suckle Hector, look'd not lovelier
    Than Hector's forehead when it spit forth blood
    At Grecian sword, contemning. Tell Valeria,
    We are fit to bid her welcome.

    Exit Gentlewoman

    VIRGILIA

    Heavens bless my lord from fell Aufidius!

    VOLUMNIA

    He'll beat Aufidius 'head below his knee
    And tread upon his neck.

    Enter VALERIA, with an Usher and Gentlewoman

    VALERIA

    My ladies both, good day to you.

    VOLUMNIA

    Sweet madam.

    VIRGILIA

    I am glad to see your ladyship.

    VALERIA

    How do you both? you are manifest house-keepers.
    What are you sewing here? A fine spot, in good
    faith. How does your little son?

    VIRGILIA

    I thank your ladyship; well, good madam.

    VOLUMNIA

    He had rather see the swords, and hear a drum, than
    look upon his school-master.

    VALERIA

    O' my word, the father's son: I'll swear,'tis a
    very pretty boy. O' my troth, I looked upon him o'
    Wednesday half an hour together: has such a
    confirmed countenance. I saw him run after a gilded
    butterfly: and when he caught it, he let it go
    again; and after it again; and over and over he
    comes, and again; catched it again; or whether his
    fall enraged him, or how 'twas, he did so set his
    teeth and tear it; O, I warrant it, how he mammocked
    it!

    VOLUMNIA

    One on 's father's moods.

    VALERIA

    Indeed, la, 'tis a noble child.

    VIRGILIA

    A crack, madam.

    VALERIA

    Come, lay aside your stitchery; I must have you play
    the idle husewife with me this afternoon.

    VIRGILIA

    No, good madam; I will not out of doors.

    VALERIA

    Not out of doors!

    VOLUMNIA

    She shall, she shall.

    VIRGILIA

    Indeed, no, by your patience; I'll not over the
    threshold till my lord return from the wars.

    VALERIA

    Fie, you confine yourself most unreasonably: come,
    you must go visit the good lady that lies in.

    VIRGILIA

    I will wish her speedy strength, and visit her with
    my prayers; but I cannot go thither.

    VOLUMNIA

    Why, I pray you?

    VIRGILIA

    'Tis not to save labour, nor that I want love.

    VALERIA

    You would be another Penelope: yet, they say, all
    the yarn she spun in Ulysses' absence did but fill
    Ithaca full of moths. Come; I would your cambric
    were sensible as your finger, that you might leave
    pricking it for pity. Come, you shall go with us.

    VIRGILIA

    No, good madam, pardon me; indeed, I will not forth.

    VALERIA

    In truth, la, go with me; and I'll tell you
    excellent news of your husband.

    VIRGILIA

    O, good madam, there can be none yet.

    VALERIA

    Verily, I do not jest with you; there came news from
    him last night.

    VIRGILIA

    Indeed, madam?

    VALERIA

    In earnest, it's true; I heard a senator speak it.
    Thus it is: the Volsces have an army forth; against
    whom Cominius the general is gone, with one part of
    our Roman power: your lord and Titus Lartius are set
    down before their city Corioli; they nothing doubt
    prevailing and to make it brief wars. This is true,
    on mine honour; and so, I pray, go with us.

    VIRGILIA

    Give me excuse, good madam; I will obey you in every
    thing hereafter.

    VOLUMNIA

    Let her alone, lady: as she is now, she will but
    disease our better mirth.

    VALERIA

    In troth, I think she would. Fare you well, then.
    Come, good sweet lady. Prithee, Virgilia, turn thy
    solemness out o' door. and go along with us.

    VIRGILIA

    No, at a word, madam; indeed, I must not. I wish
    you much mirth.

    VALERIA

    Well, then, farewell.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. Before Corioli.

    Enter, with drum and colours, MARCIUS, TITUS LARTIUS, Captains and Soldiers. To them a Messenger

    MARCIUS

    Yonder comes news. A wager they have met.

    LARTIUS

    My horse to yours, no.

    MARCIUS

    'Tis done.

    LARTIUS

    Agreed.

    MARCIUS

    Say, has our general met the enemy?

    Messenger

    They lie in view; but have not spoke as yet.

    LARTIUS

    So, the good horse is mine.

    MARCIUS

    I'll buy him of you.

    LARTIUS

    No, I'll nor sell nor give him: lend you him I will
    For half a hundred years. Summon the town.

    MARCIUS

    How far off lie these armies?

    Messenger

    Within this mile and half.

    MARCIUS

    Then shall we hear their 'larum, and they ours.
    Now, Mars, I prithee, make us quick in work,
    That we with smoking swords may march from hence,
    To help our fielded friends! Come, blow thy blast.

    They sound a parley. Enter two Senators with others on the walls
    Tutus Aufidius, is he within your walls?

    First Senator

    No, nor a man that fears you less than he,
    That's lesser than a little.

    Drums afar off
    Hark! our drums
    Are bringing forth our youth. We'll break our walls,
    Rather than they shall pound us up: our gates,
    Which yet seem shut, we, have but pinn'd with rushes;
    They'll open of themselves.

    Alarum afar off
    Hark you. far off!
    There is Aufidius; list, what work he makes
    Amongst your cloven army.

    MARCIUS

    O, they are at it!

    LARTIUS

    Their noise be our instruction. Ladders, ho!

    Enter the army of the Volsces

    MARCIUS

    They fear us not, but issue forth their city.
    Now put your shields before your hearts, and fight
    With hearts more proof than shields. Advance,
    brave Titus:
    They do disdain us much beyond our thoughts,
    Which makes me sweat with wrath. Come on, my fellows:
    He that retires I'll take him for a Volsce,
    And he shall feel mine edge.

    Alarum. The Romans are beat back to their trenches. Re-enter MARCIUS cursing

    MARCIUS

    All the contagion of the south light on you,
    You shames of Rome! you herd of--Boils and plagues
    Plaster you o'er, that you may be abhorr'd
    Further than seen and one infect another
    Against the wind a mile! You souls of geese,
    That bear the shapes of men, how have you run
    From slaves that apes would beat! Pluto and hell!
    All hurt behind; backs red, and faces pale
    With flight and agued fear! Mend and charge home,
    Or, by the fires of heaven, I'll leave the foe
    And make my wars on you: look to't: come on;
    If you'll stand fast, we'll beat them to their wives,
    As they us to our trenches followed.

    Another alarum. The Volsces fly, and MARCIUS follows them to the gates
    So, now the gates are ope: now prove good seconds:
    'Tis for the followers fortune widens them,
    Not for the fliers: mark me, and do the like.

    Enters the gates

    First Soldier

    Fool-hardiness; not I.

    Second Soldier

    Nor I.

    MARCIUS is shut in

    First Soldier

    See, they have shut him in.

    All

    To the pot, I warrant him.

    Alarum continues

    Re-enter TITUS LARTIUS

    LARTIUS

    What is become of Marcius?

    All

    Slain, sir, doubtless.

    First Soldier

    Following the fliers at the very heels,
    With them he enters; who, upon the sudden,
    Clapp'd to their gates: he is himself alone,
    To answer all the city.

    LARTIUS

    O noble fellow!
    Who sensibly outdares his senseless sword,
    And, when it bows, stands up. Thou art left, Marcius:
    A carbuncle entire, as big as thou art,
    Were not so rich a jewel. Thou wast a soldier
    Even to Cato's wish, not fierce and terrible
    Only in strokes; but, with thy grim looks and
    The thunder-like percussion of thy sounds,
    Thou madst thine enemies shake, as if the world
    Were feverous and did tremble.

    Re-enter MARCIUS, bleeding, assaulted by the enemy

    First Soldier

    Look, sir.

    LARTIUS

    O,'tis Marcius!
    Let's fetch him off, or make remain alike.

    They fight, and all enter the city

    SCENE V. Corioli. A street.

    Enter certain Romans, with spoils

    First Roman

    This will I carry to Rome.

    Second Roman

    And I this.

    Third Roman

    A murrain on't! I took this for silver.

    Alarum continues still afar off

    Enter MARCIUS and TITUS LARTIUS with a trumpet

    MARCIUS

    See here these movers that do prize their hours
    At a crack'd drachm! Cushions, leaden spoons,
    Irons of a doit, doublets that hangmen would
    Bury with those that wore them, these base slaves,
    Ere yet the fight be done, pack up: down with them!
    And hark, what noise the general makes! To him!
    There is the man of my soul's hate, Aufidius,
    Piercing our Romans: then, valiant Titus, take
    Convenient numbers to make good the city;
    Whilst I, with those that have the spirit, will haste
    To help Cominius.

    LARTIUS

    Worthy sir, thou bleed'st;
    Thy exercise hath been too violent for
    A second course of fight.

    MARCIUS

    Sir, praise me not;
    My work hath yet not warm'd me: fare you well:
    The blood I drop is rather physical
    Than dangerous to me: to Aufidius thus
    I will appear, and fight.

    LARTIUS

    Now the fair goddess, Fortune,
    Fall deep in love with thee; and her great charms
    Misguide thy opposers' swords! Bold gentleman,
    Prosperity be thy page!

    MARCIUS

    Thy friend no less
    Than those she placeth highest! So, farewell.

    LARTIUS

    Thou worthiest Marcius!

    Exit MARCIUS
    Go, sound thy trumpet in the market-place;
    Call thither all the officers o' the town,
    Where they shall know our mind: away!

    Exeunt

    SCENE VI. Near the camp of Cominius.

    Enter COMINIUS, as it were in retire, with soldiers

    COMINIUS

    Breathe you, my friends: well fought;
    we are come off
    Like Romans, neither foolish in our stands,
    Nor cowardly in retire: believe me, sirs,
    We shall be charged again. Whiles we have struck,
    By interims and conveying gusts we have heard
    The charges of our friends. Ye Roman gods!
    Lead their successes as we wish our own,
    That both our powers, with smiling
    fronts encountering,
    May give you thankful sacrifice.

    Enter a Messenger
    Thy news?

    Messenger

    The citizens of Corioli have issued,
    And given to Lartius and to Marcius battle:
    I saw our party to their trenches driven,
    And then I came away.

    COMINIUS

    Though thou speak'st truth,
    Methinks thou speak'st not well.
    How long is't since?

    Messenger

    Above an hour, my lord.

    COMINIUS

    'Tis not a mile; briefly we heard their drums:
    How couldst thou in a mile confound an hour,
    And bring thy news so late?

    Messenger

    Spies of the Volsces
    Held me in chase, that I was forced to wheel
    Three or four miles about, else had I, sir,
    Half an hour since brought my report.

    COMINIUS

    Who's yonder,
    That does appear as he were flay'd? O gods
    He has the stamp of Marcius; and I have
    Before-time seen him thus.

    MARCIUS

    [Within] Come I too late?

    COMINIUS

    The shepherd knows not thunder from a tabour
    More than I know the sound of Marcius' tongue
    From every meaner man.

    Enter MARCIUS

    MARCIUS

    Come I too late?

    COMINIUS

    Ay, if you come not in the blood of others,
    But mantled in your own.

    MARCIUS

    O, let me clip ye
    In arms as sound as when I woo'd, in heart
    As merry as when our nuptial day was done,
    And tapers burn'd to bedward!

    COMINIUS

    Flower of warriors,
    How is it with Titus Lartius?

    MARCIUS

    As with a man busied about decrees:
    Condemning some to death, and some to exile;
    Ransoming him, or pitying, threatening the other;
    Holding Corioli in the name of Rome,
    Even like a fawning greyhound in the leash,
    To let him slip at will.

    COMINIUS

    Where is that slave
    Which told me they had beat you to your trenches?
    Where is he? call him hither.

    MARCIUS

    Let him alone;
    He did inform the truth: but for our gentlemen,
    The common file--a plague! tribunes for them!--
    The mouse ne'er shunn'd the cat as they did budge
    From rascals worse than they.

    COMINIUS

    But how prevail'd you?

    MARCIUS

    Will the time serve to tell? I do not think.
    Where is the enemy? are you lords o' the field?
    If not, why cease you till you are so?

    COMINIUS

    Marcius,
    We have at disadvantage fought and did
    Retire to win our purpose.

    MARCIUS

    How lies their battle? know you on which side
    They have placed their men of trust?

    COMINIUS

    As I guess, Marcius,
    Their bands i' the vaward are the Antiates,
    Of their best trust; o'er them Aufidius,
    Their very heart of hope.

    MARCIUS

    I do beseech you,
    By all the battles wherein we have fought,
    By the blood we have shed together, by the vows
    We have made to endure friends, that you directly
    Set me against Aufidius and his Antiates;
    And that you not delay the present, but,
    Filling the air with swords advanced and darts,
    We prove this very hour.

    COMINIUS

    Though I could wish
    You were conducted to a gentle bath
    And balms applied to, you, yet dare I never
    Deny your asking: take your choice of those
    That best can aid your action.

    MARCIUS

    Those are they
    That most are willing. If any such be here--
    As it were sin to doubt--that love this painting
    Wherein you see me smear'd; if any fear
    Lesser his person than an ill report;
    If any think brave death outweighs bad life
    And that his country's dearer than himself;
    Let him alone, or so many so minded,
    Wave thus, to express his disposition,
    And follow Marcius.

    They all shout and wave their swords, take him up in their arms, and cast up their caps
    O, me alone! make you a sword of me?
    If these shows be not outward, which of you
    But is four Volsces? none of you but is
    Able to bear against the great Aufidius
    A shield as hard as his. A certain number,
    Though thanks to all, must I select
    from all: the rest
    Shall bear the business in some other fight,
    As cause will be obey'd. Please you to march;
    And four shall quickly draw out my command,
    Which men are best inclined.

    COMINIUS

    March on, my fellows:
    Make good this ostentation, and you shall
    Divide in all with us.

    Exeunt

    SCENE VII. The gates of Corioli.

    TITUS LARTIUS, having set a guard upon Corioli, going with drum and trumpet toward COMINIUS and CAIUS MARCIUS, enters with Lieutenant, other Soldiers, and a Scout

    LARTIUS

    So, let the ports be guarded: keep your duties,
    As I have set them down. If I do send, dispatch
    Those centuries to our aid: the rest will serve
    For a short holding: if we lose the field,
    We cannot keep the town.

    Lieutenant

    Fear not our care, sir.

    LARTIUS

    Hence, and shut your gates upon's.
    Our guider, come; to the Roman camp conduct us.

    Exeunt

    SCENE VIII. A field of battle.

    Alarum as in battle. Enter, from opposite sides, MARCIUS and AUFIDIUS

    MARCIUS

    I'll fight with none but thee; for I do hate thee
    Worse than a promise-breaker.

    AUFIDIUS

    We hate alike:
    Not Afric owns a serpent I abhor
    More than thy fame and envy. Fix thy foot.

    MARCIUS

    Let the first budger die the other's slave,
    And the gods doom him after!

    AUFIDIUS

    If I fly, Marcius,
    Holloa me like a hare.

    MARCIUS

    Within these three hours, Tullus,
    Alone I fought in your Corioli walls,
    And made what work I pleased: 'tis not my blood
    Wherein thou seest me mask'd; for thy revenge
    Wrench up thy power to the highest.

    AUFIDIUS

    Wert thou the Hector
    That was the whip of your bragg'd progeny,
    Thou shouldst not scape me here.

    They fight, and certain Volsces come to the aid of AUFIDIUS. MARCIUS fights till they be driven in breathless
    Officious, and not valiant, you have shamed me
    In your condemned seconds.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IX. The Roman camp.

    Flourish. Alarum. A retreat is sounded. Flourish. Enter, from one side, COMINIUS with the Romans; from the other side, MARCIUS, with his arm in a scarf

    COMINIUS

    If I should tell thee o'er this thy day's work,
    Thou'ldst not believe thy deeds: but I'll report it
    Where senators shall mingle tears with smiles,
    Where great patricians shall attend and shrug,
    I' the end admire, where ladies shall be frighted,
    And, gladly quaked, hear more; where the
    dull tribunes,
    That, with the fusty plebeians, hate thine honours,
    Shall say against their hearts 'We thank the gods
    Our Rome hath such a soldier.'
    Yet camest thou to a morsel of this feast,
    Having fully dined before.

    Enter TITUS LARTIUS, with his power, from the pursuit

    LARTIUS

    O general,
    Here is the steed, we the caparison:
    Hadst thou beheld--

    MARCIUS

    Pray now, no more: my mother,
    Who has a charter to extol her blood,
    When she does praise me grieves me. I have done
    As you have done; that's what I can; induced
    As you have been; that's for my country:
    He that has but effected his good will
    Hath overta'en mine act.

    COMINIUS

    You shall not be
    The grave of your deserving; Rome must know
    The value of her own: 'twere a concealment
    Worse than a theft, no less than a traducement,
    To hide your doings; and to silence that,
    Which, to the spire and top of praises vouch'd,
    Would seem but modest: therefore, I beseech you
    In sign of what you are, not to reward
    What you have done--before our army hear me.

    MARCIUS

    I have some wounds upon me, and they smart
    To hear themselves remember'd.

    COMINIUS

    Should they not,
    Well might they fester 'gainst ingratitude,
    And tent themselves with death. Of all the horses,
    Whereof we have ta'en good and good store, of all
    The treasure in this field achieved and city,
    We render you the tenth, to be ta'en forth,
    Before the common distribution, at
    Your only choice.

    MARCIUS

    I thank you, general;
    But cannot make my heart consent to take
    A bribe to pay my sword: I do refuse it;
    And stand upon my common part with those
    That have beheld the doing.

    A long flourish. They all cry 'Marcius! Marcius!' cast up their caps and lances: COMINIUS and LARTIUS stand bare

    MARCIUS

    May these same instruments, which you profane,
    Never sound more! when drums and trumpets shall
    I' the field prove flatterers, let courts and cities be
    Made all of false-faced soothing!
    When steel grows soft as the parasite's silk,
    Let him be made a coverture for the wars!
    No more, I say! For that I have not wash'd
    My nose that bled, or foil'd some debile wretch.--
    Which, without note, here's many else have done,--
    You shout me forth
    In acclamations hyperbolical;
    As if I loved my little should be dieted
    In praises sauced with lies.

    COMINIUS

    Too modest are you;
    More cruel to your good report than grateful
    To us that give you truly: by your patience,
    If 'gainst yourself you be incensed, we'll put you,
    Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles,
    Then reason safely with you. Therefore, be it known,
    As to us, to all the world, that Caius Marcius
    Wears this war's garland: in token of the which,
    My noble steed, known to the camp, I give him,
    With all his trim belonging; and from this time,
    For what he did before Corioli, call him,
    With all the applause and clamour of the host,
    CAIUS MARCIUS CORIOLANUS! Bear
    The addition nobly ever!

    Flourish. Trumpets sound, and drums

    All

    Caius Marcius Coriolanus!

    CORIOLANUS

    I will go wash;
    And when my face is fair, you shall perceive
    Whether I blush or no: howbeit, I thank you.
    I mean to stride your steed, and at all times
    To undercrest your good addition
    To the fairness of my power.

    COMINIUS

    So, to our tent;
    Where, ere we do repose us, we will write
    To Rome of our success. You, Titus Lartius,
    Must to Corioli back: send us to Rome
    The best, with whom we may articulate,
    For their own good and ours.

    LARTIUS

    I shall, my lord.

    CORIOLANUS

    The gods begin to mock me. I, that now
    Refused most princely gifts, am bound to beg
    Of my lord general.

    COMINIUS

    Take't; 'tis yours. What is't?

    CORIOLANUS

    I sometime lay here in Corioli
    At a poor man's house; he used me kindly:
    He cried to me; I saw him prisoner;
    But then Aufidius was with in my view,
    And wrath o'erwhelm'd my pity: I request you
    To give my poor host freedom.

    COMINIUS

    O, well begg'd!
    Were he the butcher of my son, he should
    Be free as is the wind. Deliver him, Titus.

    LARTIUS

    Marcius, his name?

    CORIOLANUS

    By Jupiter! forgot.
    I am weary; yea, my memory is tired.
    Have we no wine here?

    COMINIUS

    Go we to our tent:
    The blood upon your visage dries; 'tis time
    It should be look'd to: come.

    Exeunt

    SCENE X. The camp of the Volsces.

    A flourish. Cornets. Enter TULLUS AUFIDIUS, bloody, with two or three Soldiers

    AUFIDIUS

    The town is ta'en!

    First Soldier

    'Twill be deliver'd back on good condition.

    AUFIDIUS

    Condition!
    I would I were a Roman; for I cannot,
    Being a Volsce, be that I am. Condition!
    What good condition can a treaty find
    I' the part that is at mercy? Five times, Marcius,
    I have fought with thee: so often hast thou beat me,
    And wouldst do so, I think, should we encounter
    As often as we eat. By the elements,
    If e'er again I meet him beard to beard,
    He's mine, or I am his: mine emulation
    Hath not that honour in't it had; for where
    I thought to crush him in an equal force,
    True sword to sword, I'll potch at him some way
    Or wrath or craft may get him.

    First Soldier

    He's the devil.

    AUFIDIUS

    Bolder, though not so subtle. My valour's poison'd
    With only suffering stain by him; for him
    Shall fly out of itself: nor sleep nor sanctuary,
    Being naked, sick, nor fane nor Capitol,
    The prayers of priests nor times of sacrifice,
    Embarquements all of fury, shall lift up
    Their rotten privilege and custom 'gainst
    My hate to Marcius: where I find him, were it
    At home, upon my brother's guard, even there,
    Against the hospitable canon, would I
    Wash my fierce hand in's heart. Go you to the city;
    Learn how 'tis held; and what they are that must
    Be hostages for Rome.

    First Soldier

    Will not you go?

    AUFIDIUS

    I am attended at the cypress grove: I pray you--
    'Tis south the city mills--bring me word thither
    How the world goes, that to the pace of it
    I may spur on my journey.

    First Soldier

    I shall, sir.

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. Rome. A public place.

    Enter MENENIUS with the two Tribunes of the people, SICINIUS and BRUTUS.

    MENENIUS

    The augurer tells me we shall have news to-night.

    BRUTUS

    Good or bad?

    MENENIUS

    Not according to the prayer of the people, for they
    love not Marcius.

    SICINIUS

    Nature teaches beasts to know their friends.

    MENENIUS

    Pray you, who does the wolf love?

    SICINIUS

    The lamb.

    MENENIUS

    Ay, to devour him; as the hungry plebeians would the
    noble Marcius.

    BRUTUS

    He's a lamb indeed, that baes like a bear.

    MENENIUS

    He's a bear indeed, that lives like a lamb. You two
    are old men: tell me one thing that I shall ask you.

    Both

    Well, sir.

    MENENIUS

    In what enormity is Marcius poor in, that you two
    have not in abundance?

    BRUTUS

    He's poor in no one fault, but stored with all.

    SICINIUS

    Especially in pride.

    BRUTUS

    And topping all others in boasting.

    MENENIUS

    This is strange now: do you two know how you are
    censured here in the city, I mean of us o' the
    right-hand file? do you?

    Both

    Why, how are we censured?

    MENENIUS

    Because you talk of pride now,--will you not be angry?

    Both

    Well, well, sir, well.

    MENENIUS

    Why, 'tis no great matter; for a very little thief of
    occasion will rob you of a great deal of patience:
    give your dispositions the reins, and be angry at
    your pleasures; at the least if you take it as a
    pleasure to you in being so. You blame Marcius for
    being proud?

    BRUTUS

    We do it not alone, sir.

    MENENIUS

    I know you can do very little alone; for your helps
    are many, or else your actions would grow wondrous
    single: your abilities are too infant-like for
    doing much alone. You talk of pride: O that you
    could turn your eyes toward the napes of your necks,
    and make but an interior survey of your good selves!
    O that you could!

    BRUTUS

    What then, sir?

    MENENIUS

    Why, then you should discover a brace of unmeriting,
    proud, violent, testy magistrates, alias fools, as
    any in Rome.

    SICINIUS

    Menenius, you are known well enough too.

    MENENIUS

    I am known to be a humorous patrician, and one that
    loves a cup of hot wine with not a drop of allaying
    Tiber in't; said to be something imperfect in
    favouring the first complaint; hasty and tinder-like
    upon too trivial motion; one that converses more
    with the buttock of the night than with the forehead
    of the morning: what I think I utter, and spend my
    malice in my breath. Meeting two such wealsmen as
    you are--I cannot call you Lycurguses--if the drink
    you give me touch my palate adversely, I make a
    crooked face at it. I can't say your worships have
    delivered the matter well, when I find the ass in
    compound with the major part of your syllables: and
    though I must be content to bear with those that say
    you are reverend grave men, yet they lie deadly that
    tell you you have good faces. If you see this in
    the map of my microcosm, follows it that I am known
    well enough too? what barm can your bisson
    conspectuities glean out of this character, if I be
    known well enough too?

    BRUTUS

    Come, sir, come, we know you well enough.

    MENENIUS

    You know neither me, yourselves nor any thing. You
    are ambitious for poor knaves' caps and legs: you
    wear out a good wholesome forenoon in hearing a
    cause between an orange wife and a fosset-seller;
    and then rejourn the controversy of three pence to a
    second day of audience. When you are hearing a
    matter between party and party, if you chance to be
    pinched with the colic, you make faces like
    mummers; set up the bloody flag against all
    patience; and, in roaring for a chamber-pot,
    dismiss the controversy bleeding the more entangled
    by your hearing: all the peace you make in their
    cause is, calling both the parties knaves. You are
    a pair of strange ones.

    BRUTUS

    Come, come, you are well understood to be a
    perfecter giber for the table than a necessary
    bencher in the Capitol.

    MENENIUS

    Our very priests must become mockers, if they shall
    encounter such ridiculous subjects as you are. When
    you speak best unto the purpose, it is not worth the
    wagging of your beards; and your beards deserve not
    so honourable a grave as to stuff a botcher's
    cushion, or to be entombed in an ass's pack-
    saddle. Yet you must be saying, Marcius is proud;
    who in a cheap estimation, is worth predecessors
    since Deucalion, though peradventure some of the
    best of 'em were hereditary hangmen. God-den to
    your worships: more of your conversation would
    infect my brain, being the herdsmen of the beastly
    plebeians: I will be bold to take my leave of you.

    BRUTUS and SICINIUS go aside

    Enter VOLUMNIA, VIRGILIA, and VALERIA
    How now, my as fair as noble ladies,--and the moon,
    were she earthly, no nobler,--whither do you follow
    your eyes so fast?

    VOLUMNIA

    Honourable Menenius, my boy Marcius approaches; for
    the love of Juno, let's go.

    MENENIUS

    Ha! Marcius coming home!

    VOLUMNIA

    Ay, worthy Menenius; and with most prosperous
    approbation.

    MENENIUS

    Take my cap, Jupiter, and I thank thee. Hoo!
    Marcius coming home!

    VOLUMNIA VIRGILIA

    Nay,'tis true.

    VOLUMNIA

    Look, here's a letter from him: the state hath
    another, his wife another; and, I think, there's one
    at home for you.

    MENENIUS

    I will make my very house reel tonight: a letter for
    me!

    VIRGILIA

    Yes, certain, there's a letter for you; I saw't.

    MENENIUS

    A letter for me! it gives me an estate of seven
    years' health; in which time I will make a lip at
    the physician: the most sovereign prescription in
    Galen is but empiricutic, and, to this preservative,
    of no better report than a horse-drench. Is he
    not wounded? he was wont to come home wounded.

    VIRGILIA

    O, no, no, no.

    VOLUMNIA

    O, he is wounded; I thank the gods for't.

    MENENIUS

    So do I too, if it be not too much: brings a'
    victory in his pocket? the wounds become him.

    VOLUMNIA

    On's brows: Menenius, he comes the third time home
    with the oaken garland.

    MENENIUS

    Has he disciplined Aufidius soundly?

    VOLUMNIA

    Titus Lartius writes, they fought together, but
    Aufidius got off.

    MENENIUS

    And 'twas time for him too, I'll warrant him that:
    an he had stayed by him, I would not have been so
    fidiused for all the chests in Corioli, and the gold
    that's in them. Is the senate possessed of this?

    VOLUMNIA

    Good ladies, let's go. Yes, yes, yes; the senate
    has letters from the general, wherein he gives my
    son the whole name of the war: he hath in this
    action outdone his former deeds doubly

    VALERIA

    In troth, there's wondrous things spoke of him.

    MENENIUS

    Wondrous! ay, I warrant you, and not without his
    true purchasing.

    VIRGILIA

    The gods grant them true!

    VOLUMNIA

    True! pow, wow.

    MENENIUS

    True! I'll be sworn they are true.
    Where is he wounded?

    To the Tribunes
    God save your good worships! Marcius is coming
    home: he has more cause to be proud. Where is he wounded?

    VOLUMNIA

    I' the shoulder and i' the left arm there will be
    large cicatrices to show the people, when he shall
    stand for his place. He received in the repulse of
    Tarquin seven hurts i' the body.

    MENENIUS

    One i' the neck, and two i' the thigh,--there's
    nine that I know.

    VOLUMNIA

    He had, before this last expedition, twenty-five
    wounds upon him.

    MENENIUS

    Now it's twenty-seven: every gash was an enemy's grave.

    A shout and flourish
    Hark! the trumpets.

    VOLUMNIA

    These are the ushers of Marcius: before him he
    carries noise, and behind him he leaves tears:
    Death, that dark spirit, in 's nervy arm doth lie;
    Which, being advanced, declines, and then men die.

    A sennet. Trumpets sound. Enter COMINIUS the general, and TITUS LARTIUS; between them, CORIOLANUS, crowned with an oaken garland; with Captains and Soldiers, and a Herald

    Herald

    Know, Rome, that all alone Marcius did fight
    Within Corioli gates: where he hath won,
    With fame, a name to Caius Marcius; these
    In honour follows Coriolanus.
    Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!

    Flourish

    All

    Welcome to Rome, renowned Coriolanus!

    CORIOLANUS

    No more of this; it does offend my heart:
    Pray now, no more.

    COMINIUS

    Look, sir, your mother!

    CORIOLANUS

    O,
    You have, I know, petition'd all the gods
    For my prosperity!

    Kneels

    VOLUMNIA

    Nay, my good soldier, up;
    My gentle Marcius, worthy Caius, and
    By deed-achieving honour newly named,--
    What is it?--Coriolanus must I call thee?--
    But O, thy wife!

    CORIOLANUS

    My gracious silence, hail!
    Wouldst thou have laugh'd had I come coffin'd home,
    That weep'st to see me triumph? Ay, my dear,
    Such eyes the widows in Corioli wear,
    And mothers that lack sons.

    MENENIUS

    Now, the gods crown thee!

    CORIOLANUS

    And live you yet?

    To VALERIA
    O my sweet lady, pardon.

    VOLUMNIA

    I know not where to turn: O, welcome home:
    And welcome, general: and ye're welcome all.

    MENENIUS

    A hundred thousand welcomes. I could weep
    And I could laugh, I am light and heavy. Welcome.
    A curse begin at very root on's heart,
    That is not glad to see thee! You are three
    That Rome should dote on: yet, by the faith of men,
    We have some old crab-trees here
    at home that will not
    Be grafted to your relish. Yet welcome, warriors:
    We call a nettle but a nettle and
    The faults of fools but folly.

    COMINIUS

    Ever right.

    CORIOLANUS

    Menenius ever, ever.

    Herald

    Give way there, and go on!

    CORIOLANUS

    [To VOLUMNIA and VIRGILIA] Your hand, and yours:
    Ere in our own house I do shade my head,
    The good patricians must be visited;
    From whom I have received not only greetings,
    But with them change of honours.

    VOLUMNIA

    I have lived
    To see inherited my very wishes
    And the buildings of my fancy: only
    There's one thing wanting, which I doubt not but
    Our Rome will cast upon thee.

    CORIOLANUS

    Know, good mother,
    I had rather be their servant in my way,
    Than sway with them in theirs.

    COMINIUS

    On, to the Capitol!

    Flourish. Cornets. Exeunt in state, as before. BRUTUS and SICINIUS come forward

    BRUTUS

    All tongues speak of him, and the bleared sights
    Are spectacled to see him: your prattling nurse
    Into a rapture lets her baby cry
    While she chats him: the kitchen malkin pins
    Her richest lockram 'bout her reechy neck,
    Clambering the walls to eye him: stalls, bulks, windows,
    Are smother'd up, leads fill'd, and ridges horsed
    With variable complexions, all agreeing
    In earnestness to see him: seld-shown flamens
    Do press among the popular throngs and puff
    To win a vulgar station: or veil'd dames
    Commit the war of white and damask in
    Their nicely-gawded cheeks to the wanton spoil
    Of Phoebus' burning kisses: such a pother
    As if that whatsoever god who leads him
    Were slily crept into his human powers
    And gave him graceful posture.

    SICINIUS

    On the sudden,
    I warrant him consul.

    BRUTUS

    Then our office may,
    During his power, go sleep.

    SICINIUS

    He cannot temperately transport his honours
    From where he should begin and end, but will
    Lose those he hath won.

    BRUTUS

    In that there's comfort.

    SICINIUS

    Doubt not
    The commoners, for whom we stand, but they
    Upon their ancient malice will forget
    With the least cause these his new honours, which
    That he will give them make I as little question
    As he is proud to do't.

    BRUTUS

    I heard him swear,
    Were he to stand for consul, never would he
    Appear i' the market-place nor on him put
    The napless vesture of humility;
    Nor showing, as the manner is, his wounds
    To the people, beg their stinking breaths.

    SICINIUS

    'Tis right.

    BRUTUS

    It was his word: O, he would miss it rather
    Than carry it but by the suit of the gentry to him,
    And the desire of the nobles.

    SICINIUS

    I wish no better
    Than have him hold that purpose and to put it
    In execution.

    BRUTUS

    'Tis most like he will.

    SICINIUS

    It shall be to him then as our good wills,
    A sure destruction.

    BRUTUS

    So it must fall out
    To him or our authorities. For an end,
    We must suggest the people in what hatred
    He still hath held them; that to's power he would
    Have made them mules, silenced their pleaders and
    Dispropertied their freedoms, holding t
     
  14. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
    Shakespeare homepage | Hamlet | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. Elsinore. A platform before the castle.

    FRANCISCO at his post. Enter to him BERNARDO

    BERNARDO

    Who's there?

    FRANCISCO

    Nay, answer me: stand, and unfold yourself.

    BERNARDO

    Long live the king!

    FRANCISCO

    Bernardo?

    BERNARDO

    He.

    FRANCISCO

    You come most carefully upon your hour.

    BERNARDO

    'Tis now struck twelve; get thee to bed, Francisco.

    FRANCISCO

    For this relief much thanks: 'tis bitter cold,
    And I am sick at heart.

    BERNARDO

    Have you had quiet guard?

    FRANCISCO

    Not a mouse stirring.

    BERNARDO

    Well, good night.
    If you do meet Horatio and Marcellus,
    The rivals of my watch, bid them make haste.

    FRANCISCO

    I think I hear them. Stand, ho! Who's there?

    Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS

    HORATIO

    Friends to this ground.

    MARCELLUS

    And liegemen to the Dane.

    FRANCISCO

    Give you good night.

    MARCELLUS

    O, farewell, honest soldier:
    Who hath relieved you?

    FRANCISCO

    Bernardo has my place.
    Give you good night.

    Exit

    MARCELLUS

    Holla! Bernardo!

    BERNARDO

    Say,
    What, is Horatio there?

    HORATIO

    A piece of him.

    BERNARDO

    Welcome, Horatio: welcome, good Marcellus.

    MARCELLUS

    What, has this thing appear'd again to-night?

    BERNARDO

    I have seen nothing.

    MARCELLUS

    Horatio says 'tis but our fantasy,
    And will not let belief take hold of him
    Touching this dreaded sight, twice seen of us:
    Therefore I have entreated him along
    With us to watch the minutes of this night;
    That if again this apparition come,
    He may approve our eyes and speak to it.

    HORATIO

    Tush, tush, 'twill not appear.

    BERNARDO

    Sit down awhile;
    And let us once again assail your ears,
    That are so fortified against our story
    What we have two nights seen.

    HORATIO

    Well, sit we down,
    And let us hear Bernardo speak of this.

    BERNARDO

    Last night of all,
    When yond same star that's westward from the pole
    Had made his course to illume that part of heaven
    Where now it burns, Marcellus and myself,
    The bell then beating one,--

    Enter Ghost

    MARCELLUS

    Peace, break thee off; look, where it comes again!

    BERNARDO

    In the same figure, like the king that's dead.

    MARCELLUS

    Thou art a scholar; speak to it, Horatio.

    BERNARDO

    Looks it not like the king? mark it, Horatio.

    HORATIO

    Most like: it harrows me with fear and wonder.

    BERNARDO

    It would be spoke to.

    MARCELLUS

    Question it, Horatio.

    HORATIO

    What art thou that usurp'st this time of night,
    Together with that fair and warlike form
    In which the majesty of buried Denmark
    Did sometimes march? by heaven I charge thee, speak!

    MARCELLUS

    It is offended.

    BERNARDO

    See, it stalks away!

    HORATIO

    Stay! speak, speak! I charge thee, speak!

    Exit Ghost

    MARCELLUS

    'Tis gone, and will not answer.

    BERNARDO

    How now, Horatio! you tremble and look pale:
    Is not this something more than fantasy?
    What think you on't?

    HORATIO

    Before my God, I might not this believe
    Without the sensible and true avouch
    Of mine own eyes.

    MARCELLUS

    Is it not like the king?

    HORATIO

    As thou art to thyself:
    Such was the very armour he had on
    When he the ambitious Norway combated;
    So frown'd he once, when, in an angry parle,
    He smote the sledded Polacks on the ice.
    'Tis strange.

    MARCELLUS

    Thus twice before, and jump at this dead hour,
    With martial stalk hath he gone by our watch.

    HORATIO

    In what particular thought to work I know not;
    But in the gross and scope of my opinion,
    This bodes some strange eruption to our state.

    MARCELLUS

    Good now, sit down, and tell me, he that knows,
    Why this same strict and most observant watch
    So nightly toils the subject of the land,
    And why such daily cast of brazen cannon,
    And foreign mart for implements of war;
    Why such impress of shipwrights, whose sore task
    Does not divide the Sunday from the week;
    What might be toward, that this sweaty haste
    Doth make the night joint-labourer with the day:
    Who is't that can inform me?

    HORATIO

    That can I;
    At least, the whisper goes so. Our last king,
    Whose image even but now appear'd to us,
    Was, as you know, by Fortinbras of Norway,
    Thereto prick'd on by a most emulate pride,
    Dared to the combat; in which our valiant Hamlet--
    For so this side of our known world esteem'd him--
    Did slay this Fortinbras; who by a seal'd compact,
    Well ratified by law and heraldry,
    Did forfeit, with his life, all those his lands
    Which he stood seized of, to the conqueror:
    Against the which, a moiety competent
    Was gaged by our king; which had return'd
    To the inheritance of Fortinbras,
    Had he been vanquisher; as, by the same covenant,
    And carriage of the article design'd,
    His fell to Hamlet. Now, sir, young Fortinbras,
    Of unimproved mettle hot and full,
    Hath in the skirts of Norway here and there
    Shark'd up a list of lawless resolutes,
    For food and diet, to some enterprise
    That hath a stomach in't; which is no other--
    As it doth well appear unto our state--
    But to recover of us, by strong hand
    And terms compulsatory, those foresaid lands
    So by his father lost: and this, I take it,
    Is the main motive of our preparations,
    The source of this our watch and the chief head
    Of this post-haste and romage in the land.

    BERNARDO

    I think it be no other but e'en so:
    Well may it sort that this portentous figure
    Comes armed through our watch; so like the king
    That was and is the question of these wars.

    HORATIO

    A mote it is to trouble the mind's eye.
    In the most high and palmy state of Rome,
    A little ere the mightiest Julius fell,
    The graves stood tenantless and the sheeted dead
    Did squeak and gibber in the Roman streets:
    As stars with trains of fire and dews of blood,
    Disasters in the sun; and the moist star
    Upon whose influence Neptune's empire stands
    Was sick almost to doomsday with eclipse:
    And even the like precurse of fierce events,
    As harbingers preceding still the fates
    And prologue to the omen coming on,
    Have heaven and earth together demonstrated
    Unto our climatures and countrymen.--
    But soft, behold! lo, where it comes again!

    Re-enter Ghost
    I'll cross it, though it blast me. Stay, illusion!
    If thou hast any sound, or use of voice,
    Speak to me:
    If there be any good thing to be done,
    That may to thee do ease and grace to me,
    Speak to me:

    Cock crows
    If thou art privy to thy country's fate,
    Which, happily, foreknowing may avoid, O, speak!
    Or if thou hast uphoarded in thy life
    Extorted treasure in the womb of earth,
    For which, they say, you spirits oft walk in death,
    Speak of it: stay, and speak! Stop it, Marcellus.

    MARCELLUS

    Shall I strike at it with my partisan?

    HORATIO

    Do, if it will not stand.

    BERNARDO

    'Tis here!

    HORATIO

    'Tis here!

    MARCELLUS

    'Tis gone!

    Exit Ghost
    We do it wrong, being so majestical,
    To offer it the show of violence;
    For it is, as the air, invulnerable,
    And our vain blows malicious mockery.

    BERNARDO

    It was about to speak, when the cock crew.

    HORATIO

    And then it started like a guilty thing
    Upon a fearful summons. I have heard,
    The cock, that is the trumpet to the morn,
    Doth with his lofty and shrill-sounding throat
    Awake the god of day; and, at his warning,
    Whether in sea or fire, in earth or air,
    The extravagant and erring spirit hies
    To his confine: and of the truth herein
    This present object made probation.

    MARCELLUS

    It faded on the crowing of the cock.
    Some say that ever 'gainst that season comes
    Wherein our Saviour's birth is celebrated,
    The bird of dawning singeth all night long:
    And then, they say, no spirit dares stir abroad;
    The nights are wholesome; then no planets strike,
    No fairy takes, nor witch hath power to charm,
    So hallow'd and so gracious is the time.

    HORATIO

    So have I heard and do in part believe it.
    But, look, the morn, in russet mantle clad,
    Walks o'er the dew of yon high eastward hill:
    Break we our watch up; and by my advice,
    Let us impart what we have seen to-night
    Unto young Hamlet; for, upon my life,
    This spirit, dumb to us, will speak to him.
    Do you consent we shall acquaint him with it,
    As needful in our loves, fitting our duty?

    MARCELLUS

    Let's do't, I pray; and I this morning know
    Where we shall find him most conveniently.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. A room of state in the castle.

    Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, HAMLET, POLONIUS, LAERTES, VOLTIMAND, CORNELIUS, Lords, and Attendants

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Though yet of Hamlet our dear brother's death
    The memory be green, and that it us befitted
    To bear our hearts in grief and our whole kingdom
    To be contracted in one brow of woe,
    Yet so far hath discretion fought with nature
    That we with wisest sorrow think on him,
    Together with remembrance of ourselves.
    Therefore our sometime sister, now our queen,
    The imperial jointress to this warlike state,
    Have we, as 'twere with a defeated joy,--
    With an auspicious and a dropping eye,
    With mirth in funeral and with dirge in marriage,
    In equal scale weighing delight and dole,--
    Taken to wife: nor have we herein barr'd
    Your better wisdoms, which have freely gone
    With this affair along. For all, our thanks.
    Now follows, that you know, young Fortinbras,
    Holding a weak supposal of our worth,
    Or thinking by our late dear brother's death
    Our state to be disjoint and out of frame,
    Colleagued with the dream of his advantage,
    He hath not fail'd to pester us with message,
    Importing the surrender of those lands
    Lost by his father, with all bonds of law,
    To our most valiant brother. So much for him.
    Now for ourself and for this time of meeting:
    Thus much the business is: we have here writ
    To Norway, uncle of young Fortinbras,--
    Who, impotent and bed-rid, scarcely hears
    Of this his nephew's purpose,--to suppress
    His further gait herein; in that the levies,
    The lists and full proportions, are all made
    Out of his subject: and we here dispatch
    You, good Cornelius, and you, Voltimand,
    For bearers of this greeting to old Norway;
    Giving to you no further personal power
    To business with the king, more than the scope
    Of these delated articles allow.
    Farewell, and let your haste commend your duty.

    CORNELIUS VOLTIMAND

    In that and all things will we show our duty.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    We doubt it nothing: heartily farewell.

    Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS
    And now, Laertes, what's the news with you?
    You told us of some suit; what is't, Laertes?
    You cannot speak of reason to the Dane,
    And loose your voice: what wouldst thou beg, Laertes,
    That shall not be my offer, not thy asking?
    The head is not more native to the heart,
    The hand more instrumental to the mouth,
    Than is the throne of Denmark to thy father.
    What wouldst thou have, Laertes?

    LAERTES

    My dread lord,
    Your leave and favour to return to France;
    From whence though willingly I came to Denmark,
    To show my duty in your coronation,
    Yet now, I must confess, that duty done,
    My thoughts and wishes bend again toward France
    And bow them to your gracious leave and pardon.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Have you your father's leave? What says Polonius?

    LORD POLONIUS

    He hath, my lord, wrung from me my slow leave
    By laboursome petition, and at last
    Upon his will I seal'd my hard consent:
    I do beseech you, give him leave to go.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Take thy fair hour, Laertes; time be thine,
    And thy best graces spend it at thy will!
    But now, my cousin Hamlet, and my son,--

    HAMLET

    [Aside] A little more than kin, and less than kind.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    How is it that the clouds still hang on you?

    HAMLET

    Not so, my lord; I am too much i' the sun.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    Good Hamlet, cast thy nighted colour off,
    And let thine eye look like a friend on Denmark.
    Do not for ever with thy vailed lids
    Seek for thy noble father in the dust:
    Thou know'st 'tis common; all that lives must die,
    Passing through nature to eternity.

    HAMLET

    Ay, madam, it is common.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    If it be,
    Why seems it so particular with thee?

    HAMLET

    Seems, madam! nay it is; I know not 'seems.'
    'Tis not alone my inky cloak, good mother,
    Nor customary suits of solemn black,
    Nor windy suspiration of forced breath,
    No, nor the fruitful river in the eye,
    Nor the dejected 'havior of the visage,
    Together with all forms, moods, shapes of grief,
    That can denote me truly: these indeed seem,
    For they are actions that a man might play:
    But I have that within which passeth show;
    These but the trappings and the suits of woe.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    'Tis sweet and commendable in your nature, Hamlet,
    To give these mourning duties to your father:
    But, you must know, your father lost a father;
    That father lost, lost his, and the survivor bound
    In filial obligation for some term
    To do obsequious sorrow: but to persever
    In obstinate condolement is a course
    Of impious stubbornness; 'tis unmanly grief;
    It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
    A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
    An understanding simple and unschool'd:
    For what we know must be and is as common
    As any the most vulgar thing to sense,
    Why should we in our peevish opposition
    Take it to heart? Fie! 'tis a fault to heaven,
    A fault against the dead, a fault to nature,
    To reason most absurd: whose common theme
    Is death of fathers, and who still hath cried,
    From the first corse till he that died to-day,
    'This must be so.' We pray you, throw to earth
    This unprevailing woe, and think of us
    As of a father: for let the world take note,
    You are the most immediate to our throne;
    And with no less nobility of love
    Than that which dearest father bears his son,
    Do I impart toward you. For your intent
    In going back to school in Wittenberg,
    It is most retrograde to our desire:
    And we beseech you, bend you to remain
    Here, in the cheer and comfort of our eye,
    Our chiefest courtier, cousin, and our son.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    Let not thy mother lose her prayers, Hamlet:
    I pray thee, stay with us; go not to Wittenberg.

    HAMLET

    I shall in all my best obey you, madam.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Why, 'tis a loving and a fair reply:
    Be as ourself in Denmark. Madam, come;
    This gentle and unforced accord of Hamlet
    Sits smiling to my heart: in grace whereof,
    No jocund health that Denmark drinks to-day,
    But the great cannon to the clouds shall tell,
    And the king's rouse the heavens all bruit again,
    Re-speaking earthly thunder. Come away.

    Exeunt all but HAMLET

    HAMLET

    O, that this too too solid flesh would melt
    Thaw and resolve itself into a dew!
    Or that the Everlasting had not fix'd
    His canon 'gainst self-slaughter! O God! God!
    How weary, stale, flat and unprofitable,
    Seem to me all the uses of this world!
    Fie on't! ah fie! 'tis an unweeded garden,
    That grows to seed; things rank and gross in nature
    Possess it merely. That it should come to this!
    But two months dead: nay, not so much, not two:
    So excellent a king; that was, to this,
    Hyperion to a satyr; so loving to my mother
    That he might not beteem the winds of heaven
    Visit her face too roughly. Heaven and earth!
    Must I remember? why, she would hang on him,
    As if increase of appetite had grown
    By what it fed on: and yet, within a month--
    Let me not think on't--Frailty, thy name is woman!--
    A little month, or ere those shoes were old
    With which she follow'd my poor father's body,
    Like Niobe, all tears:--why she, even she--
    O, God! a beast, that wants discourse of reason,
    Would have mourn'd longer--married with my uncle,
    My father's brother, but no more like my father
    Than I to Hercules: within a month:
    Ere yet the salt of most unrighteous tears
    Had left the flushing in her galled eyes,
    She married. O, most wicked speed, to post
    With such dexterity to incestuous sheets!
    It is not nor it cannot come to good:
    But break, my heart; for I must hold my tongue.

    Enter HORATIO, MARCELLUS, and BERNARDO

    HORATIO

    Hail to your lordship!

    HAMLET

    I am glad to see you well:
    Horatio,--or I do forget myself.

    HORATIO

    The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever.

    HAMLET

    Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you:
    And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio? Marcellus?

    MARCELLUS

    My good lord--

    HAMLET

    I am very glad to see you. Good even, sir.
    But what, in faith, make you from Wittenberg?

    HORATIO

    A truant disposition, good my lord.

    HAMLET

    I would not hear your enemy say so,
    Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
    To make it truster of your own report
    Against yourself: I know you are no truant.
    But what is your affair in Elsinore?
    We'll teach you to drink deep ere you depart.

    HORATIO

    My lord, I came to see your father's funeral.

    HAMLET

    I pray thee, do not mock me, fellow-student;
    I think it was to see my mother's wedding.

    HORATIO

    Indeed, my lord, it follow'd hard upon.

    HAMLET

    Thrift, thrift, Horatio! the funeral baked meats
    Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
    Would I had met my dearest foe in heaven
    Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio!
    My father!--methinks I see my father.

    HORATIO

    Where, my lord?

    HAMLET

    In my mind's eye, Horatio.

    HORATIO

    I saw him once; he was a goodly king.

    HAMLET

    He was a man, take him for all in all,
    I shall not look upon his like again.

    HORATIO

    My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.

    HAMLET

    Saw? who?

    HORATIO

    My lord, the king your father.

    HAMLET

    The king my father!

    HORATIO

    Season your admiration for awhile
    With an attent ear, till I may deliver,
    Upon the witness of these gentlemen,
    This marvel to you.

    HAMLET

    For God's love, let me hear.

    HORATIO

    Two nights together had these gentlemen,
    Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
    In the dead vast and middle of the night,
    Been thus encounter'd. A figure like your father,
    Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pe,
    Appears before them, and with solemn march
    Goes slow and stately by them: thrice he walk'd
    By their oppress'd and fear-surprised eyes,
    Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
    Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
    Stand dumb and speak not to him. This to me
    In dreadful secrecy impart they did;
    And I with them the third night kept the watch;
    Where, as they had deliver'd, both in time,
    Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
    The apparition comes: I knew your father;
    These hands are not more like.

    HAMLET

    But where was this?

    MARCELLUS

    My lord, upon the platform where we watch'd.

    HAMLET

    Did you not speak to it?

    HORATIO

    My lord, I did;
    But answer made it none: yet once methought
    It lifted up its head and did address
    Itself to motion, like as it would speak;
    But even then the morning cock crew loud,
    And at the sound it shrunk in haste away,
    And vanish'd from our sight.

    HAMLET

    'Tis very strange.

    HORATIO

    As I do live, my honour'd lord, 'tis true;
    And we did think it writ down in our duty
    To let you know of it.

    HAMLET

    Indeed, indeed, sirs, but this troubles me.
    Hold you the watch to-night?

    MARCELLUS BERNARDO

    We do, my lord.

    HAMLET

    Arm'd, say you?

    MARCELLUS BERNARDO

    Arm'd, my lord.

    HAMLET

    From top to toe?

    MARCELLUS BERNARDO

    My lord, from head to foot.

    HAMLET

    Then saw you not his face?

    HORATIO

    O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.

    HAMLET

    What, look'd he frowningly?

    HORATIO

    A countenance more in sorrow than in anger.

    HAMLET

    Pale or red?

    HORATIO

    Nay, very pale.

    HAMLET

    And fix'd his eyes upon you?

    HORATIO

    Most constantly.

    HAMLET

    I would I had been there.

    HORATIO

    It would have much amazed you.

    HAMLET

    Very like, very like. Stay'd it long?

    HORATIO

    While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.

    MARCELLUS BERNARDO

    Longer, longer.

    HORATIO

    Not when I saw't.

    HAMLET

    His beard was grizzled--no?

    HORATIO

    It was, as I have seen it in his life,
    A sable silver'd.

    HAMLET

    I will watch to-night;
    Perchance 'twill walk again.

    HORATIO

    I warrant it will.

    HAMLET

    If it assume my noble father's person,
    I'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape
    And bid me hold my peace. I pray you all,
    If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight,
    Let it be tenable in your silence still;
    And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
    Give it an understanding, but no tongue:
    I will requite your loves. So, fare you well:
    Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
    I'll visit you.

    All

    Our duty to your honour.

    HAMLET

    Your loves, as mine to you: farewell.

    Exeunt all but HAMLET
    My father's spirit in arms! all is not well;
    I doubt some foul play: would the night were come!
    Till then sit still, my soul: foul deeds will rise,
    Though all the earth o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

    Exit

    SCENE III. A room in Polonius' house.

    Enter LAERTES and OPHELIA

    LAERTES

    My necessaries are embark'd: farewell:
    And, sister, as the winds give benefit
    And convoy is assistant, do not sleep,
    But let me hear from you.

    OPHELIA

    Do you doubt that?

    LAERTES

    For Hamlet and the trifling of his favour,
    Hold it a fashion and a toy in blood,
    A violet in the youth of primy nature,
    Forward, not permanent, sweet, not lasting,
    The perfume and suppliance of a minute; No more.

    OPHELIA

    No more but so?

    LAERTES

    Think it no more;
    For nature, crescent, does not grow alone
    In thews and bulk, but, as this temple waxes,
    The inward service of the mind and soul
    Grows wide withal. Perhaps he loves you now,
    And now no soil nor cautel doth besmirch
    The virtue of his will: but you must fear,
    His greatness weigh'd, his will is not his own;
    For he himself is subject to his birth:
    He may not, as unvalued persons do,
    Carve for himself; for on his choice depends
    The safety and health of this whole state;
    And therefore must his choice be circumscribed
    Unto the voice and yielding of that body
    Whereof he is the head. Then if he says he loves you,
    It fits your wisdom so far to believe it
    As he in his particular act and place
    May give his saying deed; which is no further
    Than the main voice of Denmark goes withal.
    Then weigh what loss your honour may sustain,
    If with too credent ear you list his songs,
    Or lose your heart, or your chaste treasure open
    To his unmaster'd importunity.
    Fear it, Ophelia, fear it, my dear sister,
    And keep you in the rear of your affection,
    Out of the shot and danger of desire.
    The chariest maid is prodigal enough,
    If she unmask her beauty to the moon:
    Virtue itself 'scapes not calumnious strokes:
    The canker galls the infants of the spring,
    Too oft before their buttons be disclosed,
    And in the morn and liquid dew of youth
    Contagious blastments are most imminent.
    Be wary then; best safety lies in fear:
    Youth to itself rebels, though none else near.

    OPHELIA

    I shall the effect of this good lesson keep,
    As watchman to my heart. But, good my brother,
    Do not, as some ungracious pastors do,
    Show me the steep and thorny way to heaven;
    Whiles, like a puff'd and reckless libertine,
    Himself the primrose path of dalliance treads,
    And recks not his own rede.

    LAERTES

    O, fear me not.
    I stay too long: but here my father comes.

    Enter POLONIUS
    A double blessing is a double grace,
    Occasion smiles upon a second leave.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Yet here, Laertes! aboard, aboard, for shame!
    The wind sits in the shoulder of your sail,
    And you are stay'd for. There; my blessing with thee!
    And these few precepts in thy memory
    See thou character. Give thy thoughts no tongue,
    Nor any unproportioned thought his act.
    Be thou familiar, but by no means vulgar.
    Those friends thou hast, and their adoption tried,
    Grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel;
    But do not dull thy palm with entertainment
    Of each new-hatch'd, unfledged comrade. Beware
    Of entrance to a quarrel, but being in,
    Bear't that the opposed may beware of thee.
    Give every man thy ear, but few thy voice;
    Take each man's censure, but reserve thy judgment.
    Costly thy habit as thy purse can buy,
    But not express'd in fancy; rich, not gaudy;
    For the apparel oft proclaims the man,
    And they in France of the best rank and station
    Are of a most select and generous chief in that.
    Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
    For loan oft loses both itself and friend,
    And borrowing dulls the edge of husbandry.
    This above all: to thine ownself be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man.
    Farewell: my blessing season this in thee!

    LAERTES

    Most humbly do I take my leave, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    The time invites you; go; your servants tend.

    LAERTES

    Farewell, Ophelia; and remember well
    What I have said to you.

    OPHELIA

    'Tis in my memory lock'd,
    And you yourself shall keep the key of it.

    LAERTES

    Farewell.

    Exit

    LORD POLONIUS

    What is't, Ophelia, be hath said to you?

    OPHELIA

    So please you, something touching the Lord Hamlet.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Marry, well bethought:
    'Tis told me, he hath very oft of late
    Given private time to you; and you yourself
    Have of your audience been most free and bounteous:
    If it be so, as so 'tis put on me,
    And that in way of caution, I must tell you,
    You do not understand yourself so clearly
    As it behoves my daughter and your honour.
    What is between you? give me up the truth.

    OPHELIA

    He hath, my lord, of late made many tenders
    Of his affection to me.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Affection! pooh! you speak like a green girl,
    Unsifted in such perilous circumstance.
    Do you believe his tenders, as you call them?

    OPHELIA

    I do not know, my lord, what I should think.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Marry, I'll teach you: think yourself a baby;
    That you have ta'en these tenders for true pay,
    Which are not sterling. Tender yourself more dearly;
    Or--not to crack the wind of the poor phrase,
    Running it thus--you'll tender me a fool.

    OPHELIA

    My lord, he hath importuned me with love
    In honourable fashion.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Ay, fashion you may call it; go to, go to.

    OPHELIA

    And hath given countenance to his speech, my lord,
    With almost all the holy vows of heaven.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Ay, springes to catch woodcocks. I do know,
    When the blood burns, how prodigal the soul
    Lends the tongue vows: these blazes, daughter,
    Giving more light than heat, extinct in both,
    Even in their promise, as it is a-making,
    You must not take for fire. From this time
    Be somewhat scanter of your maiden presence;
    Set your entreatments at a higher rate
    Than a command to parley. For Lord Hamlet,
    Believe so much in him, that he is young
    And with a larger tether may he walk
    Than may be given you: in few, Ophelia,
    Do not believe his vows; for they are brokers,
    Not of that dye which their investments show,
    But mere implorators of unholy suits,
    Breathing like sanctified and pious bawds,
    The better to beguile. This is for all:
    I would not, in plain terms, from this time forth,
    Have you so slander any moment leisure,
    As to give words or talk with the Lord Hamlet.
    Look to't, I charge you: come your ways.

    OPHELIA

    I shall obey, my lord.

    Exeunt

    SCENE IV. The platform.

    Enter HAMLET, HORATIO, and MARCELLUS

    HAMLET

    The air bites shrewdly; it is very cold.

    HORATIO

    It is a nipping and an eager air.

    HAMLET

    What hour now?

    HORATIO

    I think it lacks of twelve.

    HAMLET

    No, it is struck.

    HORATIO

    Indeed? I heard it not: then it draws near the season
    Wherein the spirit held his wont to walk.

    A flourish of trumpets, and ordnance shot off, within
    What does this mean, my lord?

    HAMLET

    The king doth wake to-night and takes his rouse,
    Keeps wassail, and the swaggering up-spring reels;
    And, as he drains his draughts of Rhenish down,
    The kettle-drum and trumpet thus bray out
    The triumph of his pledge.

    HORATIO

    Is it a custom?

    HAMLET

    Ay, marry, is't:
    But to my mind, though I am native here
    And to the manner born, it is a custom
    More honour'd in the breach than the observance.
    This heavy-headed revel east and west
    Makes us traduced and tax'd of other nations:
    They clepe us drunkards, and with swinish phrase
    Soil our addition; and indeed it takes
    From our achievements, though perform'd at height,
    The pith and marrow of our attribute.
    So, oft it chances in particular men,
    That for some vicious mole of nature in them,
    As, in their birth--wherein they are not guilty,
    Since nature cannot choose his origin--
    By the o'ergrowth of some complexion,
    Oft breaking down the pales and forts of reason,
    Or by some habit that too much o'er-leavens
    The form of plausive manners, that these men,
    Carrying, I say, the stamp of one defect,
    Being nature's livery, or fortune's star,--
    Their virtues else--be they as pure as grace,
    As infinite as man may undergo--
    Shall in the general censure take corruption
    From that particular fault: the dram of eale
    Doth all the noble substance of a doubt
    To his own scandal.

    HORATIO

    Look, my lord, it comes!

    Enter Ghost

    HAMLET

    Angels and ministers of grace defend us!
    Be thou a spirit of health or goblin damn'd,
    Bring with thee airs from heaven or blasts from hell,
    Be thy intents wicked or charitable,
    Thou comest in such a questionable shape
    That I will speak to thee: I'll call thee Hamlet,
    King, father, royal Dane: O, answer me!
    Let me not burst in ignorance; but tell
    Why thy canonized bones, hearsed in death,
    Have burst their cerements; why the sepulchre,
    Wherein we saw thee quietly inurn'd,
    Hath oped his ponderous and marble jaws,
    To cast thee up again. What may this mean,
    That thou, dead corse, again in complete steel
    Revisit'st thus the glimpses of the moon,
    Making night hideous; and we fools of nature
    So horridly to shake our disposition
    With thoughts beyond the reaches of our souls?
    Say, why is this? wherefore? what should we do?

    Ghost beckons HAMLET

    HORATIO

    It beckons you to go away with it,
    As if it some impartment did desire
    To you alone.

    MARCELLUS

    Look, with what courteous action
    It waves you to a more removed ground:
    But do not go with it.

    HORATIO

    No, by no means.

    HAMLET

    It will not speak; then I will follow it.

    HORATIO

    Do not, my lord.

    HAMLET

    Why, what should be the fear?
    I do not set my life in a pin's fee;
    And for my soul, what can it do to that,
    Being a thing immortal as itself?
    It waves me forth again: I'll follow it.

    HORATIO

    What if it tempt you toward the flood, my lord,
    Or to the dreadful summit of the cliff
    That beetles o'er his base into the sea,
    And there assume some other horrible form,
    Which might deprive your sovereignty of reason
    And draw you into madness? think of it:
    The very place puts toys of desperation,
    Without more motive, into every brain
    That looks so many fathoms to the sea
    And hears it roar beneath.

    HAMLET

    It waves me still.
    Go on; I'll follow thee.

    MARCELLUS

    You shall not go, my lord.

    HAMLET

    Hold off your hands.

    HORATIO

    Be ruled; you shall not go.

    HAMLET

    My fate cries out,
    And makes each petty artery in this body
    As hardy as the Nemean lion's nerve.
    Still am I call'd. Unhand me, gentlemen.
    By heaven, I'll make a ghost of him that lets me!
    I say, away! Go on; I'll follow thee.

    Exeunt Ghost and HAMLET

    HORATIO

    He waxes desperate with imagination.

    MARCELLUS

    Let's follow; 'tis not fit thus to obey him.

    HORATIO

    Have after. To what issue will this come?

    MARCELLUS

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    HORATIO

    Heaven will direct it.

    MARCELLUS

    Nay, let's follow him.

    Exeunt

    SCENE V. Another part of the platform.

    Enter GHOST and HAMLET

    HAMLET

    Where wilt thou lead me? speak; I'll go no further.

    Ghost

    Mark me.

    HAMLET

    I will.

    Ghost

    My hour is almost come,
    When I to sulphurous and tormenting flames
    Must render up myself.

    HAMLET

    Alas, poor ghost!

    Ghost

    Pity me not, but lend thy serious hearing
    To what I shall unfold.

    HAMLET

    Speak; I am bound to hear.

    Ghost

    So art thou to revenge, when thou shalt hear.

    HAMLET

    What?

    Ghost

    I am thy father's spirit,
    Doom'd for a certain term to walk the night,
    And for the day confined to fast in fires,
    Till the foul crimes done in my days of nature
    Are burnt and purged away. But that I am forbid
    To tell the secrets of my prison-house,
    I could a tale unfold whose lightest word
    Would harrow up thy soul, freeze thy young blood,
    Make thy two eyes, like stars, start from their spheres,
    Thy knotted and combined locks to part
    And each particular hair to stand on end,
    Like quills upon the fretful porpentine:
    But this eternal blazon must not be
    To ears of flesh and blood. List, list, O, list!
    If thou didst ever thy dear father love--

    HAMLET

    O God!

    Ghost

    Revenge his foul and most unnatural murder.

    HAMLET

    Murder!

    Ghost

    Murder most foul, as in the best it is;
    But this most foul, strange and unnatural.

    HAMLET

    Haste me to know't, that I, with wings as swift
    As meditation or the thoughts of love,
    May sweep to my revenge.

    Ghost

    I find thee apt;
    And duller shouldst thou be than the fat weed
    That roots itself in ease on Lethe wharf,
    Wouldst thou not stir in this. Now, Hamlet, hear:
    'Tis given out that, sleeping in my orchard,
    A serpent stung me; so the whole ear of Denmark
    Is by a forged process of my death
    Rankly abused: but know, thou noble youth,
    The serpent that did sting thy father's life
    Now wears his crown.

    HAMLET

    O my prophetic soul! My uncle!

    Ghost

    Ay, that incestuous, that adulterate beast,
    With witchcraft of his wit, with traitorous gifts,--
    O wicked wit and gifts, that have the power
    So to seduce!--won to his shameful lust
    The will of my most seeming-virtuous queen:
    O Hamlet, what a falling-off was there!
    From me, whose love was of that dignity
    That it went hand in hand even with the vow
    I made to her in marriage, and to decline
    Upon a wretch whose natural gifts were poor
    To those of mine!
    But virtue, as it never will be moved,
    Though lewdness court it in a shape of heaven,
    So lust, though to a radiant angel link'd,
    Will sate itself in a celestial bed,
    And prey on garbage.
    But, soft! methinks I scent the morning air;
    Brief let me be. Sleeping within my orchard,
    My custom always of the afternoon,
    Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole,
    With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial,
    And in the porches of my ears did pour
    The leperous distilment; whose effect
    Holds such an enmity with blood of man
    That swift as quicksilver it courses through
    The natural gates and alleys of the body,
    And with a sudden vigour doth posset
    And curd, like eager droppings into milk,
    The thin and wholesome blood: so did it mine;
    And a most instant tetter bark'd about,
    Most lazar-like, with vile and loathsome crust,
    All my smooth body.
    Thus was I, sleeping, by a brother's hand
    Of life, of crown, of queen, at once dispatch'd:
    Cut off even in the blossoms of my sin,
    Unhousel'd, disappointed, unanel'd,
    No reckoning made, but sent to my account
    With all my imperfections on my head:
    O, horrible! O, horrible! most horrible!
    If thou hast nature in thee, bear it not;
    Let not the royal bed of Denmark be
    A couch for luxury and damned incest.
    But, howsoever thou pursuest this act,
    Taint not thy mind, nor let thy soul contrive
    Against thy mother aught: leave her to heaven
    And to those thorns that in her bosom lodge,
    To prick and sting her. Fare thee well at once!
    The glow-worm shows the matin to be near,
    And 'gins to pale his uneffectual fire:
    Adieu, adieu! Hamlet, remember me.

    Exit

    HAMLET

    O all you host of heaven! O earth! what else?
    And shall I couple hell? O, fie! Hold, hold, my heart;
    And you, my sinews, grow not instant old,
    But bear me stiffly up. Remember thee!
    Ay, thou poor ghost, while memory holds a seat
    In this distracted globe. Remember thee!
    Yea, from the table of my memory
    I'll wipe away all trivial fond records,
    All saws of books, all forms, all pressures past,
    That youth and observation copied there;
    And thy commandment all alone shall live
    Within the book and volume of my brain,
    Unmix'd with baser matter: yes, by heaven!
    O most pernicious woman!
    O villain, villain, smiling, damned villain!
    My tables,--meet it is I set it down,
    That one may smile, and smile, and be a villain;
    At least I'm sure it may be so in Denmark:

    Writing
    So, uncle, there you are. Now to my word;
    It is 'Adieu, adieu! remember me.'
    I have sworn 't.

    MARCELLUS HORATIO

    [Within] My lord, my lord,--

    MARCELLUS

    [Within] Lord Hamlet,--

    HORATIO

    [Within] Heaven secure him!

    HAMLET

    So be it!

    HORATIO

    [Within] Hillo, ho, ho, my lord!

    HAMLET

    Hillo, ho, ho, boy! come, bird, come.

    Enter HORATIO and MARCELLUS

    MARCELLUS

    How is't, my noble lord?

    HORATIO

    What news, my lord?

    HAMLET

    O, wonderful!

    HORATIO

    Good my lord, tell it.

    HAMLET

    No; you'll reveal it.

    HORATIO

    Not I, my lord, by heaven.

    MARCELLUS

    Nor I, my lord.

    HAMLET

    How say you, then; would heart of man once think it?
    But you'll be secret?

    HORATIO MARCELLUS

    Ay, by heaven, my lord.

    HAMLET

    There's ne'er a villain dwelling in all Denmark
    But he's an arrant knave.

    HORATIO

    There needs no ghost, my lord, come from the grave
    To tell us this.

    HAMLET

    Why, right; you are i' the right;
    And so, without more circumstance at all,
    I hold it fit that we shake hands and part:
    You, as your business and desire shall point you;
    For every man has business and desire,
    Such as it is; and for mine own poor part,
    Look you, I'll go pray.

    HORATIO

    These are but wild and whirling words, my lord.

    HAMLET

    I'm sorry they offend you, heartily;
    Yes, 'faith heartily.

    HORATIO

    There's no offence, my lord.

    HAMLET

    Yes, by Saint Patrick, but there is, Horatio,
    And much offence too. Touching this vision here,
    It is an honest ghost, that let me tell you:
    For your desire to know what is between us,
    O'ermaster 't as you may. And now, good friends,
    As you are friends, scholars and soldiers,
    Give me one poor request.

    HORATIO

    What is't, my lord? we will.

    HAMLET

    Never make known what you have seen to-night.

    HORATIO MARCELLUS

    My lord, we will not.

    HAMLET

    Nay, but swear't.

    HORATIO

    In faith,
    My lord, not I.

    MARCELLUS

    Nor I, my lord, in faith.

    HAMLET

    Upon my sword.

    MARCELLUS

    We have sworn, my lord, already.

    HAMLET

    Indeed, upon my sword, indeed.

    Ghost

    [Beneath] Swear.

    HAMLET

    Ah, ha, boy! say'st thou so? art thou there,
    truepenny?
    Come on--you hear this fellow in the cellarage--
    Consent to swear.

    HORATIO

    Propose the oath, my lord.

    HAMLET

    Never to speak of this that you have seen,
    Swear by my sword.

    Ghost

    [Beneath] Swear.

    HAMLET

    Hic et ubique? then we'll shift our ground.
    Come hither, gentlemen,
    And lay your hands again upon my sword:
    Never to speak of this that you have heard,
    Swear by my sword.

    Ghost

    [Beneath] Swear.

    HAMLET

    Well said, old mole! canst work i' the earth so fast?
    A worthy pioner! Once more remove, good friends.

    HORATIO

    O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!

    HAMLET

    And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.
    There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
    Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. But come;
    Here, as before, never, so help you mercy,
    How strange or odd soe'er I bear myself,
    As I perchance hereafter shall think meet
    To put an antic disposition on,
    That you, at such times seeing me, never shall,
    With arms encumber'd thus, or this headshake,
    Or by pronouncing of some doubtful phrase,
    As 'Well, well, we know,' or 'We could, an if we would,'
    Or 'If we list to speak,' or 'There be, an if they might,'
    Or such ambiguous giving out, to note
    That you know aught of me: this not to do,
    So grace and mercy at your most need help you, Swear.

    Ghost

    [Beneath] Swear.

    HAMLET

    Rest, rest, perturbed spirit!

    They swear
    So, gentlemen,
    With all my love I do commend me to you:
    And what so poor a man as Hamlet is
    May do, to express his love and friending to you,
    God willing, shall not lack. Let us go in together;
    And still your fingers on your lips, I pray.
    The time is out of joint: O cursed spite,
    That ever I was born to set it right!
    Nay, come, let's go together.

    Exeunt

    ACT II
    SCENE I. A room in POLONIUS' house.

    Enter POLONIUS and REYNALDO

    LORD POLONIUS

    Give him this money and these notes, Reynaldo.

    REYNALDO

    I will, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    You shall do marvellous wisely, good Reynaldo,
    Before you visit him, to make inquire
    Of his behavior.

    REYNALDO

    My lord, I did intend it.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Marry, well said; very well said. Look you, sir,
    Inquire me first what Danskers are in Paris;
    And how, and who, what means, and where they keep,
    What company, at what expense; and finding
    By this encompassment and drift of question
    That they do know my son, come you more nearer
    Than your particular demands will touch it:
    Take you, as 'twere, some distant knowledge of him;
    As thus, 'I know his father and his friends,
    And in part him: ' do you mark this, Reynaldo?

    REYNALDO

    Ay, very well, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    'And in part him; but' you may say 'not well:
    But, if't be he I mean, he's very wild;
    Addicted so and so:' and there put on him
    What forgeries you please; marry, none so rank
    As may dishonour him; take heed of that;
    But, sir, such wanton, wild and usual slips
    As are companions noted and most known
    To youth and liberty.

    REYNALDO

    As gaming, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Ay, or drinking, fencing, swearing, quarrelling,
    Drabbing: you may go so far.

    REYNALDO

    My lord, that would dishonour him.

    LORD POLONIUS

    'Faith, no; as you may season it in the charge
    You must not put another scandal on him,
    That he is open to incontinency;
    That's not my meaning: but breathe his faults so quaintly
    That they may seem the taints of liberty,
    The flash and outbreak of a fiery mind,
    A savageness in unreclaimed blood,
    Of general assault.

    REYNALDO

    But, my good lord,--

    LORD POLONIUS

    Wherefore should you do this?

    REYNALDO

    Ay, my lord,
    I would know that.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Marry, sir, here's my drift;
    And I believe, it is a fetch of wit:
    You laying these slight sullies on my son,
    As 'twere a thing a little soil'd i' the working, Mark you,
    Your party in converse, him you would sound,
    Having ever seen in the prenominate crimes
    The youth you breathe of guilty, be assured
    He closes with you in this consequence;
    'Good sir,' or so, or 'friend,' or 'gentleman,'
    According to the phrase or the addition
    Of man and country.

    REYNALDO

    Very good, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    And then, sir, does he this--he does--what was I
    about to say? By the mass, I was about to say
    something: where did I leave?

    REYNALDO

    At 'closes in the consequence,' at 'friend or so,'
    and 'gentleman.'

    LORD POLONIUS

    At 'closes in the consequence,' ay, marry;
    He closes thus: 'I know the gentleman;
    I saw him yesterday, or t' other day,
    Or then, or then; with such, or such; and, as you say,
    There was a' gaming; there o'ertook in's rouse;
    There falling out at tennis:' or perchance,
    'I saw him enter such a house of sale,'
    Videlicet, a brothel, or so forth.
    See you now;
    Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth:
    And thus do we of wisdom and of reach,
    With windlasses and with assays of bias,
    By indirections find directions out:
    So by my former lecture and advice,
    Shall you my son. You have me, have you not?

    REYNALDO

    My lord, I have.

    LORD POLONIUS

    God be wi' you; fare you well.

    REYNALDO

    Good my lord!

    LORD POLONIUS

    Observe his inclination in yourself.

    REYNALDO

    I shall, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    And let him ply his music.

    REYNALDO

    Well, my lord.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Farewell!

    Exit REYNALDO

    Enter OPHELIA
    How now, Ophelia! what's the matter?

    OPHELIA

    O, my lord, my lord, I have been so affrighted!

    LORD POLONIUS

    With what, i' the name of God?

    OPHELIA

    My lord, as I was sewing in my closet,
    Lord Hamlet, with his doublet all unbraced;
    No hat upon his head; his stockings foul'd,
    Ungarter'd, and down-gyved to his ancle;
    Pale as his shirt; his knees knocking each other;
    And with a look so piteous in purport
    As if he had been loosed out of hell
    To speak of horrors,--he comes before me.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Mad for thy love?

    OPHELIA

    My lord, I do not know;
    But truly, I do fear it.

    LORD POLONIUS

    What said he?

    OPHELIA

    He took me by the wrist and held me hard;
    Then goes he to the length of all his arm;
    And, with his other hand thus o'er his brow,
    He falls to such perusal of my face
    As he would draw it. Long stay'd he so;
    At last, a little shaking of mine arm
    And thrice his head thus waving up and down,
    He raised a sigh so piteous and profound
    As it did seem to shatter all his bulk
    And end his being: that done, he lets me go:
    And, with his head over his shoulder turn'd,
    He seem'd to find his way without his eyes;
    For out o' doors he went without their helps,
    And, to the last, bended their light on me.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Come, go with me: I will go seek the king.
    This is the very ecstasy of love,
    Whose violent property fordoes itself
    And leads the will to desperate undertakings
    As oft as any passion under heaven
    That does afflict our natures. I am sorry.
    What, have you given him any hard words of late?

    OPHELIA

    No, my good lord, but, as you did command,
    I did repel his fetters and denied
    His access to me.

    LORD POLONIUS

    That hath made him mad.
    I am sorry that with better heed and judgment
    I had not quoted him: I fear'd he did but trifle,
    And meant to wreck thee; but, beshrew my jealousy!
    By heaven, it is as proper to our age
    To cast beyond ourselves in our opinions
    As it is common for the younger sort
    To lack discretion. Come, go we to the king:
    This must be known; which, being kept close, might
    move
    More grief to hide than hate to utter love.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. A room in the castle.

    Enter KING CLAUDIUS, QUEEN GERTRUDE, ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and Attendants

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Welcome, dear Rosencrantz and Guildenstern!
    Moreover that we much did long to see you,
    The need we have to use you did provoke
    Our hasty sending. Something have you heard
    Of Hamlet's transformation; so call it,
    Sith nor the exterior nor the inward man
    Resembles that it was. What it should be,
    More than his father's death, that thus hath put him
    So much from the understanding of himself,
    I cannot dream of: I entreat you both,
    That, being of so young days brought up with him,
    And sith so neighbour'd to his youth and havior,
    That you vouchsafe your rest here in our court
    Some little time: so by your companies
    To draw him on to pleasures, and to gather,
    So much as from occasion you may glean,
    Whether aught, to us unknown, afflicts him thus,
    That, open'd, lies within our remedy.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    Good gentlemen, he hath much talk'd of you;
    And sure I am two men there are not living
    To whom he more adheres. If it will please you
    To show us so much gentry and good will
    As to expend your time with us awhile,
    For the supply and profit of our hope,
    Your visitation shall receive such thanks
    As fits a king's remembrance.

    ROSENCRANTZ

    Both your majesties
    Might, by the sovereign power you have of us,
    Put your dread pleasures more into command
    Than to entreaty.

    GUILDENSTERN

    But we both obey,
    And here give up ourselves, in the full bent
    To lay our service freely at your feet,
    To be commanded.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Thanks, Rosencrantz and gentle Guildenstern.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    Thanks, Guildenstern and gentle Rosencrantz:
    And I beseech you instantly to visit
    My too much changed son. Go, some of you,
    And bring these gentlemen where Hamlet is.

    GUILDENSTERN

    Heavens make our presence and our practises
    Pleasant and helpful to him!

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    Ay, amen!

    Exeunt ROSENCRANTZ, GUILDENSTERN, and some Attendants

    Enter POLONIUS

    LORD POLONIUS

    The ambassadors from Norway, my good lord,
    Are joyfully return'd.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Thou still hast been the father of good news.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Have I, my lord? I assure my good liege,
    I hold my duty, as I hold my soul,
    Both to my God and to my gracious king:
    And I do think, or else this brain of mine
    Hunts not the trail of policy so sure
    As it hath used to do, that I have found
    The very cause of Hamlet's lunacy.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    O, speak of that; that do I long to hear.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Give first admittance to the ambassadors;
    My news shall be the fruit to that great feast.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Thyself do grace to them, and bring them in.

    Exit POLONIUS
    He tells me, my dear Gertrude, he hath found
    The head and source of all your son's distemper.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    I doubt it is no other but the main;
    His father's death, and our o'erhasty marriage.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    Well, we shall sift him.

    Re-enter POLONIUS, with VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS
    Welcome, my good friends!
    Say, Voltimand, what from our brother Norway?

    VOLTIMAND

    Most fair return of greetings and desires.
    Upon our first, he sent out to suppress
    His nephew's levies; which to him appear'd
    To be a preparation 'gainst the Polack;
    But, better look'd into, he truly found
    It was against your highness: whereat grieved,
    That so his sickness, age and impotence
    Was falsely borne in hand, sends out arrests
    On Fortinbras; which he, in brief, obeys;
    Receives rebuke from Norway, and in fine
    Makes vow before his uncle never more
    To give the assay of arms against your majesty.
    Whereon old Norway, overcome with joy,
    Gives him three thousand crowns in annual fee,
    And his commission to employ those soldiers,
    So levied as before, against the Polack:
    With an entreaty, herein further shown,

    Giving a paper
    That it might please you to give quiet pass
    Through your dominions for this enterprise,
    On such regards of safety and allowance
    As therein are set down.

    KING CLAUDIUS

    It likes us well;
    And at our more consider'd time well read,
    Answer, and think upon this business.
    Meantime we thank you for your well-took labour:
    Go to your rest; at night we'll feast together:
    Most welcome home!

    Exeunt VOLTIMAND and CORNELIUS

    LORD POLONIUS

    This business is well ended.
    My liege, and madam, to expostulate
    What majesty should be, what duty is,
    Why day is day, night night, and time is time,
    Were nothing but to waste night, day and time.
    Therefore, since brevity is the soul of wit,
    And tediousness the limbs and outward flourishes,
    I will be brief: your noble son is mad:
    Mad call I it; for, to define true madness,
    What is't but to be nothing else but mad?
    But let that go.

    QUEEN GERTRUDE

    More matter, with less art.

    LORD POLONIUS

    Madam, I swear I use no art at all.
    That he is mad, 'tis true: 'tis true 'tis pity;
    And pity 'tis 'tis true: a foolish figure;
    But farewell it, for I will use no art.
    Mad let us grant him, then: and now remains
    That we find out the cause of this effect,
    Or rather say, the cause of this defect,
    For this effect defective comes by cause:
    Thus it remains, and the remainder thus. Perpend.
    I have a daughter--have while she is mine--
    Who, in her duty and obedience, mark,
    Hath given me this: now gather, and surmise.

    Reads
    'To the celestial and my soul's idol, the most
    beautified Ophelia,'--
    That's an ill
     
  15. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    The Life and Death of Julies Caesar
    Shakespeare homepage | Julius Caeser | Entire play
    ACT I
    SCENE I. Rome. A street.

    Enter FLAVIUS, MARULLUS, and certain Commoners

    FLAVIUS

    Hence! home, you idle creatures get you home:
    Is this a holiday? what! know you not,
    Being mechanical, you ought not walk
    Upon a labouring day without the sign
    Of your profession? Speak, what trade art thou?

    First Commoner

    Why, sir, a carpenter.

    MARULLUS

    Where is thy leather apron and thy rule?
    What dost thou with thy best apparel on?
    You, sir, what trade are you?

    Second Commoner

    Truly, sir, in respect of a fine workman, I am but,
    as you would say, a cobbler.

    MARULLUS

    But what trade art thou? answer me directly.

    Second Commoner

    A trade, sir, that, I hope, I may use with a safe
    conscience; which is, indeed, sir, a mender of bad soles.

    MARULLUS

    What trade, thou knave? thou naughty knave, what trade?

    Second Commoner

    Nay, I beseech you, sir, be not out with me: yet,
    if you be out, sir, I can mend you.

    MARULLUS

    What meanest thou by that? mend me, thou saucy fellow!

    Second Commoner

    Why, sir, cobble you.

    FLAVIUS

    Thou art a cobbler, art thou?

    Second Commoner

    Truly, sir, all that I live by is with the awl: I
    meddle with no tradesman's matters, nor women's
    matters, but with awl. I am, indeed, sir, a surgeon
    to old shoes; when they are in great danger, I
    recover them. As proper men as ever trod upon
    neat's leather have gone upon my handiwork.

    FLAVIUS

    But wherefore art not in thy shop today?
    Why dost thou lead these men about the streets?

    Second Commoner

    Truly, sir, to wear out their shoes, to get myself
    into more work. But, indeed, sir, we make holiday,
    to see Caesar and to rejoice in his triumph.

    MARULLUS

    Wherefore rejoice? What conquest brings he home?
    What tributaries follow him to Rome,
    To grace in captive bonds his chariot-wheels?
    You blocks, you stones, you worse than senseless things!
    O you hard hearts, you cruel men of Rome,
    Knew you not Pompey? Many a time and oft
    Have you climb'd up to walls and battlements,
    To towers and windows, yea, to chimney-tops,
    Your infants in your arms, and there have sat
    The livelong day, with patient expectation,
    To see great Pompey pass the streets of Rome:
    And when you saw his chariot but appear,
    Have you not made an universal shout,
    That Tiber trembled underneath her banks,
    To hear the replication of your sounds
    Made in her concave shores?
    And do you now put on your best attire?
    And do you now cull out a holiday?
    And do you now strew flowers in his way
    That comes in triumph over Pompey's blood? Be gone!
    Run to your houses, fall upon your knees,
    Pray to the gods to intermit the plague
    That needs must light on this ingratitude.

    FLAVIUS

    Go, go, good countrymen, and, for this fault,
    Assemble all the poor men of your sort;
    Draw them to Tiber banks, and weep your tears
    Into the channel, till the lowest stream
    Do kiss the most exalted shores of all.

    Exeunt all the Commoners
    See whether their basest metal be not moved;
    They vanish tongue-tied in their guiltiness.
    Go you down that way towards the Capitol;

    This way will I

    disrobe the images,
    If you do find them deck'd with ceremonies.

    MARULLUS

    May we do so?
    You know it is the feast of Lupercal.

    FLAVIUS

    It is no matter; let no images
    Be hung with Caesar's trophies. I'll about,
    And drive away the vulgar from the streets:
    So do you too, where you perceive them thick.
    These growing feathers pluck'd from Caesar's wing
    Will make him fly an ordinary pitch,
    Who else would soar above the view of men
    And keep us all in servile fearfulness.

    Exeunt

    SCENE II. A public place.

    Flourish. Enter CAESAR; ANTONY, for the course; CALPURNIA, PORTIA, DECIUS BRUTUS, CICERO, BRUTUS, CASSIUS, and CASCA; a great crowd following, among them a Soothsayer

    CAESAR

    Calpurnia!

    CASCA

    Peace, ho! Caesar speaks.

    CAESAR

    Calpurnia!

    CALPURNIA

    Here, my lord.

    CAESAR

    Stand you directly in Antonius' way,
    When he doth run his course. Antonius!

    ANTONY

    Caesar, my lord?

    CAESAR

    Forget not, in your speed, Antonius,
    To touch Calpurnia; for our elders say,
    The barren, touched in this holy chase,
    Shake off their sterile curse.

    ANTONY

    I shall remember:
    When Caesar says 'do this,' it is perform'd.

    CAESAR

    Set on; and leave no ceremony out.

    Flourish

    Soothsayer

    Caesar!

    CAESAR

    Ha! who calls?

    CASCA

    Bid every noise be still: peace yet again!

    CAESAR

    Who is it in the press that calls on me?
    I hear a tongue, shriller than all the music,
    Cry 'Caesar!' Speak; Caesar is turn'd to hear.

    Soothsayer

    Beware the ides of March.

    CAESAR

    What man is that?

    BRUTUS

    A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.

    CAESAR

    Set him before me; let me see his face.

    CASSIUS

    Fellow, come from the throng; look upon Caesar.

    CAESAR

    What say'st thou to me now? speak once again.

    Soothsayer

    Beware the ides of March.

    CAESAR

    He is a dreamer; let us leave him: pass.

    Sennet. Exeunt all except BRUTUS and CASSIUS

    CASSIUS

    Will you go see the order of the course?

    BRUTUS

    Not I.

    CASSIUS

    I pray you, do.

    BRUTUS

    I am not gamesome: I do lack some part
    Of that quick spirit that is in Antony.
    Let me not hinder, Cassius, your desires;
    I'll leave you.

    CASSIUS

    Brutus, I do observe you now of late:
    I have not from your eyes that gentleness
    And show of love as I was wont to have:
    You bear too stubborn and too strange a hand
    Over your friend that loves you.

    BRUTUS

    Cassius,
    Be not deceived: if I have veil'd my look,
    I turn the trouble of my countenance
    Merely upon myself. Vexed I am
    Of late with passions of some difference,
    Conceptions only proper to myself,
    Which give some soil perhaps to my behaviors;
    But let not therefore my good friends be grieved--
    Among which number, Cassius, be you one--
    Nor construe any further my neglect,
    Than that poor Brutus, with himself at war,
    Forgets the shows of love to other men.

    CASSIUS

    Then, Brutus, I have much mistook your passion;
    By means whereof this breast of mine hath buried
    Thoughts of great value, worthy cogitations.
    Tell me, good Brutus, can you see your face?

    BRUTUS

    No, Cassius; for the eye sees not itself,
    But by reflection, by some other things.

    CASSIUS

    'Tis just:
    And it is very much lamented, Brutus,
    That you have no such mirrors as will turn
    Your hidden worthiness into your eye,
    That you might see your shadow. I have heard,
    Where many of the best respect in Rome,
    Except immortal Caesar, speaking of Brutus
    And groaning underneath this age's yoke,
    Have wish'd that noble Brutus had his eyes.

    BRUTUS

    Into what dangers would you lead me, Cassius,
    That you would have me seek into myself
    For that which is not in me?

    CASSIUS

    Therefore, good Brutus, be prepared to hear:
    And since you know you cannot see yourself
    So well as by reflection, I, your glass,
    Will modestly discover to yourself
    That of yourself which you yet know not of.
    And be not jealous on me, gentle Brutus:
    Were I a common laugher, or did use
    To stale with ordinary oaths my love
    To every new protester; if you know
    That I do fawn on men and hug them hard
    And after scandal them, or if you know
    That I profess myself in banqueting
    To all the rout, then hold me dangerous.

    Flourish, and shout

    BRUTUS

    What means this shouting? I do fear, the people
    Choose Caesar for their king.

    CASSIUS

    Ay, do you fear it?
    Then must I think you would not have it so.

    BRUTUS

    I would not, Cassius; yet I love him well.
    But wherefore do you hold me here so long?
    What is it that you would impart to me?
    If it be aught toward the general good,
    Set honour in one eye and death i' the other,
    And I will look on both indifferently,
    For let the gods so speed me as I love
    The name of honour more than I fear death.

    CASSIUS

    I know that virtue to be in you, Brutus,
    As well as I do know your outward favour.
    Well, honour is the subject of my story.
    I cannot tell what you and other men
    Think of this life; but, for my single self,
    I had as lief not be as live to be
    In awe of such a thing as I myself.
    I was born free as Caesar; so were you:
    We both have fed as well, and we can both
    Endure the winter's cold as well as he:
    For once, upon a raw and gusty day,
    The troubled Tiber chafing with her shores,
    Caesar said to me 'Darest thou, Cassius, now
    Leap in with me into this angry flood,
    And swim to yonder point?' Upon the word,
    Accoutred as I was, I plunged in
    And bade him follow; so indeed he did.
    The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
    With lusty sinews, throwing it aside
    And stemming it with hearts of controversy;
    But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
    Caesar cried 'Help me, Cassius, or I sink!'
    I, as Aeneas, our great ancestor,
    Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
    The old Anchises bear, so from the waves of Tiber
    Did I the tired Caesar. And this man
    Is now become a god, and Cassius is
    A wretched creature and must bend his body,
    If Caesar carelessly but nod on him.
    He had a fever when he was in Spain,
    And when the fit was on him, I did mark
    How he did shake: 'tis true, this god did shake;
    His coward lips did from their colour fly,
    And that same eye whose bend doth awe the world
    Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
    Ay, and that tongue of his that bade the Romans
    Mark him and write his speeches in their books,
    Alas, it cried 'Give me some drink, Titinius,'
    As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me
    A man of such a feeble temper should
    So get the start of the majestic world
    And bear the palm alone.

    Shout. Flourish

    BRUTUS

    Another general shout!
    I do believe that these applauses are
    For some new honours that are heap'd on Caesar.

    CASSIUS

    Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow world
    Like a Colossus, and we petty men
    Walk under his huge legs and peep about
    To find ourselves dishonourable graves.
    Men at some time are masters of their fates:
    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
    But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
    Brutus and Caesar: what should be in that 'Caesar'?
    Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
    Write them together, yours is as fair a name;
    Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well;
    Weigh them, it is as heavy; conjure with 'em,
    Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Caesar.
    Now, in the names of all the gods at once,
    Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed,
    That he is grown so great? Age, thou art shamed!
    Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
    When went there by an age, since the great flood,
    But it was famed with more than with one man?
    When could they say till now, that talk'd of Rome,
    That her wide walls encompass'd but one man?
    Now is it Rome indeed and room enough,
    When there is in it but one only man.
    O, you and I have heard our fathers say,
    There was a Brutus once that would have brook'd
    The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome
    As easily as a king.

    BRUTUS

    That you do love me, I am nothing jealous;
    What you would work me to, I have some aim:
    How I have thought of this and of these times,
    I shall recount hereafter; for this present,
    I would not, so with love I might entreat you,
    Be any further moved. What you have said
    I will consider; what you have to say
    I will with patience hear, and find a time
    Both meet to hear and answer such high things.
    Till then, my noble friend, chew upon this:
    Brutus had rather be a villager
    Than to repute himself a son of Rome
    Under these hard conditions as this time
    Is like to lay upon us.

    CASSIUS

    I am glad that my weak words
    Have struck but thus much show of fire from Brutus.

    BRUTUS

    The games are done and Caesar is returning.

    CASSIUS

    As they pass by, pluck Casca by the sleeve;
    And he will, after his sour fashion, tell you
    What hath proceeded worthy note to-day.

    Re-enter CAESAR and his Train

    BRUTUS

    I will do so. But, look you, Cassius,
    The angry spot doth glow on Caesar's brow,
    And all the rest look like a chidden train:
    Calpurnia's cheek is pale; and Cicero
    Looks with such ferret and such fiery eyes
    As we have seen him in the Capitol,
    Being cross'd in conference by some senators.

    CASSIUS

    Casca will tell us what the matter is.

    CAESAR

    Antonius!

    ANTONY

    Caesar?

    CAESAR

    Let me have men about me that are fat;
    Sleek-headed men and such as sleep o' nights:
    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look;
    He thinks too much: such men are dangerous.

    ANTONY

    Fear him not, Caesar; he's not dangerous;
    He is a noble Roman and well given.

    CAESAR

    Would he were fatter! But I fear him not:
    Yet if my name were liable to fear,
    I do not know the man I should avoid
    So soon as that spare Cassius. He reads much;
    He is a great observer and he looks
    Quite through the deeds of men: he loves no plays,
    As thou dost, Antony; he hears no music;
    Seldom he smiles, and smiles in such a sort
    As if he mock'd himself and scorn'd his spirit
    That could be moved to smile at any thing.
    Such men as he be never at heart's ease
    Whiles they behold a greater than themselves,
    And therefore are they very dangerous.
    I rather tell thee what is to be fear'd
    Than what I fear; for always I am Caesar.
    Come on my right hand, for this ear is deaf,
    And tell me truly what thou think'st of him.

    Sennet. Exeunt CAESAR and all his Train, but CASCA

    CASCA

    You pull'd me by the cloak; would you speak with me?

    BRUTUS

    Ay, Casca; tell us what hath chanced to-day,
    That Caesar looks so sad.

    CASCA

    Why, you were with him, were you not?

    BRUTUS

    I should not then ask Casca what had chanced.

    CASCA

    Why, there was a crown offered him: and being
    offered him, he put it by with the back of his hand,
    thus; and then the people fell a-shouting.

    BRUTUS

    What was the second noise for?

    CASCA

    Why, for that too.

    CASSIUS

    They shouted thrice: what was the last cry for?

    CASCA

    Why, for that too.

    BRUTUS

    Was the crown offered him thrice?

    CASCA

    Ay, marry, was't, and he put it by thrice, every
    time gentler than other, and at every putting-by
    mine honest neighbours shouted.

    CASSIUS

    Who offered him the crown?

    CASCA

    Why, Antony.

    BRUTUS

    Tell us the manner of it, gentle Casca.

    CASCA

    I can as well be hanged as tell the manner of it:
    it was mere foolery; I did not mark it. I saw Mark
    Antony offer him a crown;--yet 'twas not a crown
    neither, 'twas one of these coronets;--and, as I told
    you, he put it by once: but, for all that, to my
    thinking, he would fain have had it. Then he
    offered it to him again; then he put it by again:
    but, to my thinking, he was very loath to lay his
    fingers off it. And then he offered it the third
    time; he put it the third time by: and still as he
    refused it, the rabblement hooted and clapped their
    chapped hands and threw up their sweaty night-caps
    and uttered such a deal of stinking breath because
    Caesar refused the crown that it had almost choked
    Caesar; for he swounded and fell down at it: and
    for mine own part, I durst not laugh, for fear of
    opening my lips and receiving the bad air.

    CASSIUS

    But, soft, I pray you: what, did Caesar swound?

    CASCA

    He fell down in the market-place, and foamed at
    mouth, and was speechless.

    BRUTUS

    'Tis very like: he hath the failing sickness.

    CASSIUS

    No, Caesar hath it not; but you and I,
    And honest Casca, we have the falling sickness.

    CASCA

    I know not what you mean by that; but, I am sure,
    Caesar fell down. If the tag-rag people did not
    clap him and hiss him, according as he pleased and
    displeased them, as they use to do the players in
    the theatre, I am no true man.

    BRUTUS

    What said he when he came unto himself?

    CASCA

    Marry, before he fell down, when he perceived the
    common herd was glad he refused the crown, he
    plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his
    throat to cut. An I had been a man of any
    occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word,
    I would I might go to hell among the rogues. And so
    he fell. When he came to himself again, he said,
    If he had done or said any thing amiss, he desired
    their worships to think it was his infirmity. Three
    or four wenches, where I stood, cried 'Alas, good
    soul!' and forgave him with all their hearts: but
    there's no heed to be taken of them; if Caesar had
    stabbed their mothers, they would have done no less.

    BRUTUS

    And after that, he came, thus sad, away?

    CASCA

    Ay.

    CASSIUS

    Did Cicero say any thing?

    CASCA

    Ay, he spoke Greek.

    CASSIUS

    To what effect?

    CASCA

    Nay, an I tell you that, Ill ne'er look you i' the
    face again: but those that understood him smiled at
    one another and shook their heads; but, for mine own
    part, it was Greek to me. I could tell you more
    news too: Marullus and Flavius, for pulling scarfs
    off Caesar's images, are put to silence. Fare you
    well. There was more foolery yet, if I could
    remember it.

    CASSIUS

    Will you sup with me to-night, Casca?

    CASCA

    No, I am promised forth.

    CASSIUS

    Will you dine with me to-morrow?

    CASCA

    Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinner
    worth the eating.

    CASSIUS

    Good: I will expect you.

    CASCA

    Do so. Farewell, both.

    Exit

    BRUTUS

    What a blunt fellow is this grown to be!
    He was quick mettle when he went to school.

    CASSIUS

    So is he now in execution
    Of any bold or noble enterprise,
    However he puts on this tardy form.
    This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit,
    Which gives men stomach to digest his words
    With better appetite.

    BRUTUS

    And so it is. For this time I will leave you:
    To-morrow, if you please to speak with me,
    I will come home to you; or, if you will,
    Come home to me, and I will wait for you.

    CASSIUS

    I will do so: till then, think of the world.

    Exit BRUTUS
    Well, Brutus, thou art noble; yet, I see,
    Thy honourable metal may be wrought
    From that it is disposed: therefore it is meet
    That noble minds keep ever with their likes;
    For who so firm that cannot be seduced?
    Caesar doth bear me hard; but he loves Brutus:
    If I were Brutus now and he were Cassius,
    He should not humour me. I will this night,
    In several hands, in at his windows throw,
    As if they came from several citizens,
    Writings all tending to the great opinion
    That Rome holds of his name; wherein obscurely
    Caesar's ambition shall be glanced at:
    And after this let Caesar seat him sure;
    For we will shake him, or worse days endure.

    Exit

    SCENE III. The same. A street.

    Thunder and lightning. Enter from opposite sides, CASCA, with his sword drawn, and CICERO

    CICERO

    Good even, Casca: brought you Caesar home?
    Why are you breathless? and why stare you so?

    CASCA

    Are not you moved, when all the sway of earth
    Shakes like a thing unfirm? O Cicero,
    I have seen tempests, when the scolding winds
    Have rived the knotty oaks, and I have seen
    The ambitious ocean swell and rage and foam,
    To be exalted with the threatening clouds:
    But never till to-night, never till now,
    Did I go through a tempest dropping fire.
    Either there is a civil strife in heaven,
    Or else the world, too saucy with the gods,
    Incenses them to send destruction.

    CICERO

    Why, saw you any thing more wonderful?

    CASCA

    A common slave--you know him well by sight--
    Held up his left hand, which did flame and burn
    Like twenty torches join'd, and yet his hand,
    Not sensible of fire, remain'd unscorch'd.
    Besides--I ha' not since put up my sword--
    Against the Capitol I met a lion,
    Who glared upon me, and went surly by,
    Without annoying me: and there were drawn
    Upon a heap a hundred ghastly women,
    Transformed with their fear; who swore they saw
    Men all in fire walk up and down the streets.
    And yesterday the bird of night did sit
    Even at noon-day upon the market-place,
    Hooting and shrieking. When these prodigies
    Do so conjointly meet, let not men say
    'These are their reasons; they are natural;'
    For, I believe, they are portentous things
    Unto the climate that they point upon.

    CICERO

    Indeed, it is a strange-disposed time:
    But men may construe things after their fashion,
    Clean from the purpose of the things themselves.
    Come Caesar to the Capitol to-morrow?

    CASCA

    He doth; for he did bid Antonius
    Send word to you he would be there to-morrow.

    CICERO

    Good night then, Casca: this disturbed sky
    Is not to walk in.

    CASCA

    Farewell, Cicero.

    Exit CICERO

    Enter CASSIUS

    CASSIUS

    Who's there?

    CASCA

    A Roman.

    CASSIUS

    Casca, by your voice.

    CASCA

    Your ear is good. Cassius, what night is this!

    CASSIUS

    A very pleasing night to honest men.

    CASCA

    Who ever knew the heavens menace so?

    CASSIUS

    Those that have known the earth so full of faults.
    For my part, I have walk'd about the streets,
    Submitting me unto the perilous night,
    And, thus unbraced, Casca, as you see,
    Have bared my bosom to the thunder-stone;
    And when the cross blue lightning seem'd to open
    The breast of heaven, I did present myself
    Even in the aim and very flash of it.

    CASCA

    But wherefore did you so much tempt the heavens?
    It is the part of men to fear and tremble,
    When the most mighty gods by tokens send
    Such dreadful heralds to astonish us.

    CASSIUS

    You are dull, Casca, and those sparks of life
    That should be in a Roman you do want,
    Or else you use not. You look pale and gaze
    And put on fear and cast yourself in wonder,
    To see the strange impatience of the heavens:
    But if you would consider the true cause
    Why all these fires, why all these gliding ghosts,
    Why birds and beasts from quality and kind,
    Why old men fool and children calculate,
    Why all these things change from their ordinance
    Their natures and preformed faculties
    To monstrous quality,--why, you shall find
    That heaven hath infused them with these spirits,
    To make them instruments of fear and warning
    Unto some monstrous state.
    Now could I, Casca, name to thee a man
    Most like this dreadful night,
    That thunders, lightens, opens graves, and roars
    As doth the lion in the Capitol,
    A man no mightier than thyself or me
    In personal action, yet prodigious grown
    And fearful, as these strange eruptions are.

    CASCA

    'Tis Caesar that you mean; is it not, Cassius?

    CASSIUS

    Let it be who it is: for Romans now
    Have thews and limbs like to their ancestors;
    But, woe the while! our fathers' minds are dead,
    And we are govern'd with our mothers' spirits;
    Our yoke and sufferance show us womanish.

    CASCA

    Indeed, they say the senators tomorrow
    Mean to establish Caesar as a king;
    And he shall wear his crown by sea and land,
    In every place, save here in Italy.

    CASSIUS

    I know where I will wear this dagger then;
    Cassius from bondage will deliver Cassius:
    Therein, ye gods, you make the weak most strong;
    Therein, ye gods, you tyrants do defeat:
    Nor stony tower, nor walls of beaten brass,
    Nor airless dungeon, nor strong links of iron,
    Can be retentive to the strength of spirit;
    But life, being weary of these worldly bars,
    Never lacks power to dismiss itself.
    If I know this, know all the world besides,
    That part of tyranny that I do bear
    I can shake off at pleasure.

    Thunder still

    CASCA

    So can I:
    So every bondman in his own hand bears
    The power to cancel his captivity.

    CASSIUS

    And why should Caesar be a tyrant then?
    Poor man! I know he would not be a wolf,
    But that he sees the Romans are but sheep:
    He were no lion, were not Romans hinds.
    Those that with haste will make a mighty fire
    Begin it with weak straws: what trash is Rome,
    What rubbish and what offal, when it serves
    For the base matter to illuminate
    So vile a thing as Caesar! But, O grief,
    Where hast thou led me? I perhaps speak this
    Before a willing bondman; then I know
    My answer must be made. But I am arm'd,
    And dangers are to me indifferent.

    CASCA

    You speak to Casca, and to such a man
    That is no fleering tell-tale. Hold, my hand:
    Be factious for redress of all these griefs,
    And I will set this foot of mine as far
    As who goes farthest.

    CASSIUS

    There's a bargain made.
    Now know you, Casca, I have moved already
    Some certain of the noblest-minded Romans
    To undergo with me an enterprise
    Of honourable-dangerous consequence;
    And I do know, by this, they stay for me
    In Pompey's porch: for now, this fearful night,
    There is no stir or walking in the streets;
    And the complexion of the element
    In favour's like the work we have in hand,
    Most bloody, fiery, and most terrible.

    CASCA

    Stand close awhile, for here comes one in haste.

    CASSIUS

    'Tis Cinna; I do know him by his gait;
    He is a friend.

    Enter CINNA
    Cinna, where haste you so?

    CINNA

    To find out you. Who's that? Metellus Cimber?

    CASSIUS

    No, it is Casca; one incorporate
    To ou