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KING HENRY VI.
The Contention of the two famous houses of York and Lancaster,' in two parts, was published in quarto, in 1600; and the first part was entered on the Stationers' books, (as Mr. Steevens has observed,) March 12, 1593-4. On these two plays, which I believe to have been written by some preceding author, before the year 1590, Shakspeare formed, as I conceive, this and the following drama; altering, retrenching, or amplifying, as he thought proper. At present it is only necessary to apprize the reader of the method observed in the printing of these plays. All the lines printed in the usual manner are found in the original quarto plays (or at least with such minute variations as are not worth noticing :) and those, I conceive, Shakspeare adopted as he found them. The lines to which inverted commas are prefixed, were, if my hypothesis be well founded, retouched, and greatly improved by him; and those with asterisks were his own original production; the embroidery with which he ornamented the coarse stuff that had been awkwardly made up for the stage by some of his contemporaries. The speeches which he new-modelled, he improved, sometimes by amplification, and sometimes by re
SECOND PART OF
Duke of Somerset,
Duke of Suffolk,
King Henry the Sixth:
Hume and Southwell, two priests.
Humphrey, duke of Gloster, his uncle.
Richard Plantagenet, duke of York:
of the king's party.
Young Clifford, his son.
Lord Scales, Governor of the Tower. Lord Say.
A Sea-captain, Master, and Master's Mate, and
George, John, Dick, Smith, the Weaver, Michael,
Margaret, queen to king Henry.
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Petitioners, Aldermen, a Beadle, Sheriff, and Officers; Citizens, Prentices, Falconers, Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.
Scene, dispersedly in various parts of England.
Seven earls, twelve barons, twenty reverend bishops,
To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
K. Hen. Suffolk, arise.-Welcome, queen Mar-
I can express no kinder sign of love,
Q. Mar. Great king of England, and my gra
Studied so long, sat in the council-house,
'The mutual conference that my mind hath had1-
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
Been crown'd in Paris, in despite of foes?
'K. Hen. Her sight did ravish: but her grace in Your deeds of war, and all our counsel, die?
O peers of England, shameful is this league!
'Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
• Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
Blotting your names from books of memory:
Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love. All. Long live queen Margaret, England's happiness!
'Car. Nephew, what means this passionate dis
Q. Mar. We thank you all. [Flourish. Suff. 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.
Glo. [Reads.] Imprimis, It is agreed between the||
K. Hen. Uncle, how now?
K. Hen. Uncle of Winchester, I pray, read on. Win. 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 dowry. K. Hen. They please us well.-Lord marquess, kneel down;
We here create thee the first duke of Suffolk,
Cousin of York, we here discharge your grace
Somerset, Salisbury, and Warwick;
In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat,
(1) I am the bolder to address you, having already familiarized you to my imagination. (2) Beloved above all things.
This peroration with such circumstance ?3 For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still. *Glo. 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 duchies of Anjou and Maine Unto the poor king Reignier, whose large style * Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
*Sal. Now, by the death of him that died for all, *These counties were the keys of Normandy:But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son? 'War. For grief, that they are past recovery: For, were there hope to conquer them again, My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no
Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
*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 out England's kings have had
And our king Henry gives away his own, To match with her that brings no vantages. *Glo. A proper jest, and never heard before, * That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth, For costs and charges in transporting her! She should have staid in France, and starv'd in France,
*Car. My lord of Gloster, now you grow too hot; *It was the pleasure of my lord the king. *Glo. My lord of Winchester, I know your mind, 'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike, But 'tis my presence that doth trouble you. Rancour will out: Proud prelate, in thy face I see thy fury: If I longer stay, We shall begin our ancient bickerings.4 Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone, I prophesied-France will be lost ere long. [Exit. Car. 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 displeas'd at it.
(3) This speech crowded with so many circum stances of aggravation.
*Look to it, lords; let not his smoothing words The peers agreed; and Henry was well pleas'd, *Bewitch your hearts; be wise, and circumspect. * To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair "What though the common people favour him,
Calling him-Humphrey, the good duke of Glos-* I cannot blame them all; What is't to them? *'Tis thine they give away, and not their own. Clapping their hands, and crying with a loud voice* Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their Jesu maintain your royal excellence! pillage,
With-God preserve the good duke Humphrey !
*He being of age to govern of himself?—
I'll to the duke of Suffolk presently.
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 Gloster be displac'd, he'll be protector. Buck. Or thou, or I, Somerset, will be protector, * Despite duke Humphrey, or the cardinal. [Exeunt Buckingham and Somerset. Sal. Pride went before, ambition follows him. While these do labour for their own preferment, ⚫ Bchoves it us to labour for the realm.
And all together-with the duke of Suffolk,-
I never saw but Humphrey duke of Gloster
Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
Oft have I seen the haughty cardinal
[Exit. Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood,
*And purchase friends, and give to courtezans,
In bringing them to civil discipline;
Thy late exploits, done in the heart of France,
A day will come, when York shall claim his own;
With his new bride, and England's dear-bought
And Humphrey with the peers be fall'n at jars :
Join we together, for the public good;
⚫ 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.
* War. So God help Warwick, as he loves the land, *And common profit of his country!
* York. And so says York, for he hath greatest*
Duch. Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd
Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
*As frowning at the favours of the world?
Until thy head be circled with the same.
Sal. Then let's make haste away, and look unto*
War. 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 ticklel point, now they are gone: *Suffolk concluded on the articles;
(1) For ticklish.
(2) Meleager; whose life was to continue only so long as a certain firebrand should last. Hi mother Althea having thrown it into the fire, he lexpired in torment.
Glo. O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy ' Your grace's title shall be multiplied. lord,
'And William de la Poole first duke of Suffolk.
Shall lose his head for his presumption.
Where Henry, and dame Margaret, kneel'd to me,
Glo Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright:
'With Eleanor, for telling but her dream? Next time, I'll keep my dreams unto myself, And not be check'd.
'Glo. Nay, be not angry, I am pleas'd again.
We are alone; here's none but thee, and I.
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch;
Hume. This they have promised,—to show
A spirit rais'd from depth of under ground,
When from Saint Albans we do make return,
'Marry, and shall. But how now, sir John Hume?
Enter a Messenger.
'Mess. My lord protector, 'tis his highness' pleasure,
You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans, Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk. Glo. I go.-Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us?* Duch. Yes, good my lord, I'll follow presently. Exeunt Gloster and Messenger. Follow I must, cannot go before, *While Gloster 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 3 nay, fear not,
Duch. What say'st thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd
And buzz 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,4 I shall have gold for all. [Exit. SCENE III-The same.
A room in the palace. Enter Peter, and others, with petitions.
And from the great and new-made duke of Suffolk;
They, knowing dame Eleanor's aspiring humour,
'1 Pet. My masters, let's stand close; my lord protector will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver our supplications in the quill.5 2 Pet. Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good man! Jesu bless him!
Enter Suffolk, and Queen Margaret.
*1 Pet. Here 'a comes, methinks, and the queen with him: I'll be the first, sure.
2 Pet. Come back, fool; this is the duke of Suffolk, and not my lord protector.
Su How now, fellow? would'st any thing with me?
1 Pet. I pray, my lord, pardon me! I took ye for my lord protector.
'Q. Mar. [Reading the superscription.] To my lord protector! are your supplications to his lordship? Let me see them: What is thine?
1Pet. Mine is, an't please your grace, against John Goodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keep'ing my house, and lands, and wife and all, from me.
Suff. Thy wife too? that is some wrong indeed.What's yours?-What's here! [Reads.] Against the duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of Melford.-How now, sir knave?
2 Pet. Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole township.
Peter. [Presenting his petition] Against my
(4) Let the issue be what it will.
With great exactness and observance of form.
Q Mar. What say'st thou? Did the duke of York say, he was rightful heir to the crown? 'Peter. That my master was? No, forsooth: my* 'master said, That he was; and that the king was 'an usurper.
master, Thomas Horner, for saying, That the duke* And plac'd a quire of such enticing birds, of York was rightful heir to the crown. *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 complaint1 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. Enter King Henry, York, and Somerset, conversing with him; Duke and Duchess of Gloster, Cardinal Beaufort, Buckingham, Salisbury, and Warwick.
Suff. Who is there? [Enter Servants.]-Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a pursuivant presently:-we'll hear more of your matter before the king. [Exeunt Servants, with Peter. Q. Mar. And as for you, that love to be pro-||* tected
Under the wings of our protector's grace,
(1) Scoundrels. (2) Sayings. (3) Drab, trull. (4) i. e. The complaint of Peter the armourer's man against his master
*Is this the fashion in the court of England?
*To number Ave-Maries on his beads:
*His champions are-the prophets and apostles;
* Are brazen images of canoniz'd saints.
* Would choose him pope, and carry him to Rome,
Suff Madam, be patient: as I was cause
* And grumbling York; and not the least of these, *But can do more in England than the king.
*Suff. And he of these, that can do most of all, *Cannot do more in England than the Nevils: *Salisbury, and Warwick, are no simple peers. 'Q. Mar. Not all these lords do vex me half so much, 'As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife. 'She sweeps it through the court with troops of* ladies,
More like an empress than duke Humphrey's wife;* Strangers in court do take her for the queen: *She bears a duke's revenues on her back, * And in her heart she scorns her poverty: *Shall I not live to be aveng'd on her? *Contemptuous base-born callat3 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. 'Suff. Madam, myself have lim'd a bush for her;
K. Hen. For my part, noble lords, I care not which;
Or Somerset, or York, all's one to me.
York. If York have ill demean'd himself in
Then let him be denay'd5 the regentship.
War. Whether your grace be worthy, yea, or no,
Car. Ambitious Warwick, let thy betters speak.
'Glo. Madam, I am protector of the realm;
The commonwealth hath daily run to wreck : * The dauphin hath prevail'd beyond the seas; *And all the peers and nobles of the realm * Have been as bondmen to thy sovereignty. *Car. The commons hast thou rack'd; the clergy's bags *Are lank and lean with thy extortions. *Som. Thy sumptuous buildings, and thy wife's attire,
Have cost a mass of public treasury.
*Q. Mar. Thy sale of offices and towns in
*If they were known, as the suspect is great,Would make thee quickly hop without thy head.
[Exit Gloster. The Queen drops her fam. Give me my fan: What, minion! can you not? [Gives the Duchess a box on the ear. I cry you mercy, madam; Was it you?
(5) Denay is frequently used instead of deny among the old writers.
(6) Censure here means simply judgment or opinion.