Imatges de pÓgina

'K. Edw. How many children hast thou, widow? | tell me.

Clar. I think, he means to beg a child of her.

[Aside. [Aside.

Glo. Nay, whip me then; he'll rather give her


L. Grey. Three, my most gracious lord. Glo. You shall have four, if you'll be rul'd by him. [Aside.

K. Edu. "Twere pity, they should lose their father's land."

L. Grey. Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.

K. Edw. Lords, give us leave; I'll try this widow's wit.

Glo. Ay, good leave! have you, for you will have leave,

Till youth take leave, and leave you to the crutch. [Glo. and Clar. retire to the other side. *K. Edw. Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?

*L. Grey. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself. *K. Edw. And would you not do much, to do them good?

* L. Grey. To do them good, I would sustain some harm.

*K. Edw. Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.

L. Grey. Therefore I came unto your majesty. K. Edw. I'll tell you how these lands are to be got. * L. Grey. So shall you bind me to your highness' service.

*K. Edw. what service wilt thou do me, if I give them?

* L. Grey. What you command, that rests in me to do.

*K. Edw. But you will take exceptions to my boon.

*L. Grey. No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.

*K. Edw. Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.

*L. Grey. Why, then I will do what your grace commands.

*Glo. He plies her hard; and much rain wears the marble.

[blocks in formation]

Your highness aims at, if I aim aright.

K. Edw. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee. *L. Grey. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.

K. Edw. Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.

L. Grey. Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower;

For by that loss I will not purchase them.

K. Edw. Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.

L. Grey. Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.

But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness2 of my suit;
Please you dismiss me, either with ay, or no.
K. Edw. Ay; if thou wilt say ay, to my request:
No; if thou dost say no, to my demand.
L. Grey. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an

Glo. The widow likes him not, she knits her

brows. Clar. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.

[Aside. [Aside.

'K. Edw. [Aside.] Her looks do argue her re

plete with modesty;

* Her words do show her wit incomparable;
*All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
One way, or other, she is for a king;
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.-
Say, that king Edward take thee for his queen?
L. Grey. "Tis better said than done, my gracious

I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.

K. Edw. Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee,

I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.

L. Grey. And that is more than I will yield


[Aside.I know, I am too mean to be your queen; And yet too good to be your concubine.

*Clar. As red as fire! nay, then her wax must melt. [Aside.

L. Grey. Why stops my lord? shall I not hear my task?

K. Edw. An easy task; 'tis but to love a king. L. Grey. That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.

K. Edw. Why then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.

L. Grey. I take my leave with many thousand thanks.

Glo. The match is made; she seals it with a curt'sy.

K. Edw. But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I

[blocks in formation]

K. Edw. You cavil, widow; I did mean, my

[blocks in formation]
[blocks in formation]

K. Edw. Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile; both,

Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.

Enter a Nobleman.

Nob. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken, And brought your prisoner to your palace gate. K. Edw. See, that he be convey'd unto the Tower :-

And go we, brothers, to the man that took him, To question of his apprehension.'Widow, go you along;-Lords, use her honourable. [Exeunt King Edward, Lady Grey, Clarence, and Lord.

Glo. Ay, Edward will use women honourably. Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all, That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring, To cross me from the golden time I look for! And yet, between my soul's desire, and me, *(The lustful Edward's title buried,)

[ocr errors]

Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward, And all the unlook'd-for issue of their bodies, To take their rooms, ere I can place myself: A cold premeditation for my purpose! *Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty; *Like one that stands upon a promontory, *And spies a far-off shore where he would tread, *Wishing his foot were equal with his eye; * And chides the sea that sunders him from thence, *Saying-he'll lade it dry to have his way: *So do I wish the crown, being so far off;

* And so I chide the means that keep me from it; * And so I say-I'll cut the causes off, * Flattering me with impossibilities.

* My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much, * Unless my hand and strength could equal them. *Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard; *What other pleasure can the world afford? 'I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,

And deck my body in gay ornaments, And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks. 'O miserable thought! and more unlikely, Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns! Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb : And, for I should not deal in her soft laws, She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub; To make an envious mountain on my back, Where sits deformity to mock my body; To shape my legs of an unequal size; *To disproportion me in every part, *Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp, * That carries no impression like the dam. And am I then a man to be belov'd?

'O monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought! *Then, since this earth affords no joy to me, * But to command, to check, to o'erbear such *As are of better person than myself,

And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart; *And wet my cheeks with artificial tears, *And frame my face to all occasions. *I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall; I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk; ; *I'll play the orator as well as Nestor, * Deceive more slily than Ulysses could, *And, like a Sinon, take another Troy: I can add colours to the cameleon;

[ocr errors]

Change shapes, with Proteus, for advantages, And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school. Can I do this, and cannot get a crown? Tut! were it further off, I'll pluck it down. [Exit. SCENE III-France. A room in the palace. Flourish. Enter Lewis the French King, and Lady Bona, attended; the king takes his state. Then enter Queen Margaret, Prince Edward her son, and the Earl of Oxford.

'K. Lew. Fair queen of England, worthy Mar[Rising.


Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state,
And birth, that thou should'st stand, while Lewis

doth sit.

*Q. Mar. No, mighty king of France; now Margaret

*Must strike her sail, and learn a while to serve, * Where kings command. I was, I must confess, * Great Albion's queen in former golden days: *But now mischance hath trod my title down, *And with dishonour laid me on the ground; * Where I must take like seat unto my fortune, *And to my humble seat conform myself.

*K. Lew. Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep despair?

*Q. Mar. From such a cause as fills mine eyes

[blocks in formation]

*K. Lew. Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself, *And sit thee by our side: yield not thy neck [Seats her by him. *To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind *Still ride in triumph over all mischance. *Be plain, queen Margaret, and tell thy grief; *It shall be eas'd, if France can yield relief.

*Q. Mar. Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts,

*And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak,
*Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis,-
*That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
*Is, of a king, become a banish'd man,
*And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn;
*While proud ambitious Edward, duke of York,
*Usurps the regal title, and the seat

*Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
*This is the cause, that I, poor Margaret,-

*I'll make my heaven-to dream upon the crown;* With this my son, prince Edward, Henry's heir,-* And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell,* Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;

*Until my misshap'd trunk that bears this head, * Be round impaled with a glorious crown. * And yet I know not how to get the crown, * For many lives stand between me and home: * And I,-like one lost in a thorny wood, *That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns; *Seeking a way, and straying from the way; *Not knowing how to find the open air, *But toiling desperately to find it out,*Torment myself to catch the English crown: *And from that torment I will free myself, Or hew my way out with a bloody axe. (1) Encircled.

And, if thou fail us, all our hope is done : *Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help; *Our people and our peers are both misled, *Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight, *And, as thou see'st, ourselves in heavy plight. *K. Lew. Renowned queen, with patience calm

the storm,

While we bethink a means to break it off.

* Q. Mar. The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.

*K. Lew. The more I stay, the more I'll succour


* Q. Mar. O, but impatience waiteth on true


*And see, where comes the breeder of my sorrow.

Enter Warwick, attended.

K. Lew. What's he, approacheth boldly to our presence?

Oxf. Call him my king, by whose injurious doom
My elder brother, the lord Aubrey Vere,
Was done to death? and more than so, my father,
Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years,
When nature brought him to the door of death?

Q. Mar. Our earl of Warwick, Edward's great-No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm,

est friend.

K. Lew. Welcome, brave Warwick! What brings thee to France? [Descending from his state, Queen Mar. rises. Q. Mar. Ay, now begins a second storm to rise; *For this is he, that moves both wind and tide.

War. From worthy Edward, king of Albion, My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend, I come,--in kindness, and unfeigned love,— First to do greetings to thy royal person; And, then, to crave a league of amity; And, lastly, to confirm that amity With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant That virtuous lady Bona, thy fair sister, To England's king in lawful marriage.

'Q. Mar. If that go forward, Henry's hope is done.

War. And, gracious madain, [To Bona.] in our king's behalf,

I am commanded, with your leave and favour, Humbly to kiss hand, and with my tongue your To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart: Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears, Hath plac'd thy beauty's image, and thy virtue. Q. Mar. King Lewis,-and lady Bona,-hear me speak,

Before you answer Warwick. His demand *Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love, *But from deceit, bred by necessity; *For how can tyrants safely govern home, * Unless abroad they purchase great alliance? * To prove him tyrant, this reason may suffice,That Henry liveth still: but were he dead. *Yet here prince Edward stands, king Henry's son. *Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage

*Thcu draw not on thy danger and dishonour: *For though usurpers sway the rule a while, *Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs. War. Injurious Margaret! Prince.

And why not queen? War. Because thy father Henry did usurp; And thou no more art prince, than she is queen. Oxf. Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,

Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,
"Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest ;
And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,
Who by his prowess conquered all France:
From these our Henry lineally descends.

War. Oxford, how haps it, in this smooth


[ocr errors]

This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
War. And I the house of York.

K. Lew. Queen Margaret, prince Edward, and

Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside, While I use further conference with Warwick. *Q. Mar. Heaven grant, that Warwick's words bewitch him not!


[Retiring with the Prince and Oxford. K. Lew. Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,

Is Edward your true king? for I were loath,
To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
War. Thereon I pawn my credit and mine

K. Lew. But is he gracious in the people's eye?
War. The more, that Henry was unfortunate.
K. Lew. Then further,-all dissembling set aside,
Tell me for truth the measure of his love
Unto our sister Bona.


Such it seems,

As may beseem a monarch like himself.
Myself have often heard him say, and swear,-
That this his love was an eternal plant;
Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground,
The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun;
Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
Unless the lady Bona quit his pain.

K. Lew. Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve. Bona. Your grant, or your denial, shall be mine: Yet I confess, [To War.] that often ere this day, When I have heard your king's desert recounted, Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.

*K. Lew. Then, Warwick, thus,-Our sister shall be Edward's:

*And now forthwith shall articles be drawn *Touching the jointure that your king must make, *Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd: Draw near, queen Margaret; and be a witness, That Bona shall be wife to the English king.

Prince. To Edward, but not to the English king. * Q. Mar. Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device By this alliance to make void my suit; Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry's friend. *K. Lew. And still is friend to him and Mar


*But if your title to the crown be weak,—

As may appear by Edward's good success,―
*Then 'tis but reason, that I be releas'd
*From giving aid, which late I promised.
*Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand,
dis-* That your estate requires, and mine can yield.

War. Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease;
Where having nothing, nothing he can lose.
And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,-
You have a father able to maintain you;
And better 'twere, you troubled him than France.
*Q. Mar. Peace, impudent and shameless War-

You told not, how Henry the Sixth hath lost
All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten?
Methinks, these peers of France should smile at that.
But for the rest,-You tell a pedigree
Of threescore and two years; a silly time
To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
Oxf. Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against*
thy liege,

wick, peace;

Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings! *I will not hence, till with my talk and tears, *Both full of truth, I make king Lewis behold *Thy sly conveyance,2 and thy lord's false love; For both of you are birds of self-same feather. [A horn sounded within. K. Lew. Warwick, this is some post to us, or thee. (2) Juggling.

Whom thou obey'dst thirty and six years,
And not bewray thy treason with a blush?"
War. Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,*
Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
For shame, leave Henry, and call Edward king.
(1) Malice, or hatred,

Enter a Messenger.

*K. Lew. And mine, with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.

Mess. My lord ambassador, these letters are for Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolv'd,


Sent from your brother marquis Montague.
These from our king unto your majesty.—
And, madam, these for you; from whom, I know not.

[To Margaret. They all read their letters. Oxf. I like it well, that our fair queen and mistress Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his. Prince. Nay, mark, how Lewis stamps as he

were nettled:

* I hope, all's for the best.

K. Lew. Warwick, what are thy news? and yours, fair queen?

'Q. Mar. Mine, such as fill my heart with unhop'd joys.

War. Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discon


K. Lew. What! has your king married the lady Grey?

And now, to sooth your forgery and his, Sends me a paper to persuade me patience? Is this the alliance that he seeks with France? 'Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?

You shall have aid.

*Q. Mar. Let me give humble thanks for all at


K. Lew. Then England's messenger, return in post;

And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,— That Lewis of France is sending over maskers, To revel it with him and his new bride: *Thou seest what's past, go fear2 thy king withal. Bona. Tell him, In hope he'll prove a widower shortly,

I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.

Q. Mar. Tell him, My mourning weeds are laid aside,

And I am ready to put armour on.

War. Tell him from me, That he hath done me


And therefore I'll uncrown him, ere't be long. There's thy reward: be gone.

K. Lew.

[Exit Mess. But, Warwick, thou, And Oxford, with five thousand men, Shall cross the seas, and bid false Edward battle: *And, as occasion serves, this noble queen

Q. Mar. I told your majesty as much before: This proveth Edward's love, and Warwick's hon-* And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.


War. King Lewis, I here protest,-in sight of


And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,-
That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's;
No more my king, for he dishonours me;
But most himself, if he could see his shame.-
Did I forget, that by the house of York
My father came untimely to his death?
Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece?
Did I impale him with the regal crown?
Did I put Henry from his native right;

And am I guerdon'd' at the last with shame?
* Shame on himself! for my desert is honour.
* And, to repair my honour lost for him,
* I here renounce him, and return to Henry :
My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
And henceforth I am thy true servitor;
I will revenge his wrong to lady Bona,
And replant Henry in his former state.

Q. Mar. Warwick, these words have turn'd
my hate to love;

And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
And joy that thou becom'st king Henry's friend.
War. So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned

That, if king Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
I'll undertake to land them on our coast,
And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
"Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him:
* And as for Clarence,-as my letters tell me,
* He's very likely now to fall from him;
* For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
*Or than for strength and safety of our country.
*Bona. Dear brother, how shall Bona be re-

*But by thy help to this distressed queen?

*Q. Mar. Renowned prince, how shall poor Henry live,

* Unless thou rescue him from foul despair? *Bona. My quarrel, and this English queen's,

are one.

[blocks in formation]

'Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt;--
What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
War. This shall assure my constant loyalty
That if our queen and this young prince agree,
I'll join mine eldest daughter, and my joy,
To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.

[blocks in formation]

serves it;

*And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand. [He gives his hand to Warwick. 'K. Lew. Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,

And thou, lord Bourbon, our high admiral, Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.I long, till Edward fall by war's mischance, For mocking marriage with a dame of France. [Exeunt all but Warwick. War. I came from Edward as ambassador, But I return his sworn and mortal foe: Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me, But dreadful war shall answer his demand. Had he none else to make a stale,3 but me? Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow. I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown, And I'll be chief to bring him down again: Not that I pity Henry's misery,

But seek revenge on Edward's mockery. [Exit.


SCENE 1-London. A room in the palace. Enter Gloster, Clarence, Somerset, Montague, and others.

'Glo. Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you

Of this new marriage with the lady Grey?

(3) A stalking-horse, a pretence.

[blocks in formation]

'Glo. And yet, methinks, your grace hath not
done well,

To give the heir and daughter of lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride;
She better would have fitted me, or Clarence :
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
'Clar. Or else you would not have bestow'd
the heirl

Of the lord Bonville on your new wife's son,
And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
K. Edw. Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife,
That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
'Clar. In choosing for yourself, you show'd your

Which being shallow, you shall give me leave
To play the broker in mine own behalf;
And, to that end, I shortly mind to leave you.
'K. Edw. Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be

And not be tied unto his brother's will.

[ocr errors]

Q. Eliz. My lords, before it pleas'd his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Do me but right, and you must all confess
That I was not ignoble of descent,

* And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
*But as this title honours me and mine,

K. Edw. Yea, brother Richard, are you offended*

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing, *Do cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow. 'K. Edw. My love, forbear to fawn upon their


[blocks in formation]

'Glo. And Warwick, doing what you gave in From France? charge,

Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.

K. Edw. What, if both Lewis and Warwick
be appeas'd,

By such invention as I can devise?
Mont. Yet to have join'd with France in such al-

Would more have strengthen'd this our common-

'Gainst foreign storms, than any home-bred mar

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

Mess. My sovereign liege, no letters; and few

But such as I, without your special pardon,
Dare not relate.

K. Edw. Go to, we pardon thee: therefore,
in brief,

Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.

What answer makes king Lewis unto our letters?

Mess. At my depart, these were his very words:
Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king,—
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers,
To revel it with him and his new bride.

K. Edw. Is Lewis so brave? belike, he thinks
me Henry.

But what said lady Bona to my marriage?
Mess. These were her words, utter'd with mild

disdain ;

Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.

K. Edw. I blame not her, she could say little less; wellShe had the wrong. But what said Henry's queen? For I have heard, that she was there in place.2 Mess. Tell him, quoth she, my mourning weeds are done,3

To have the heir of the lord Hungerford.
K. Edw. Ay, what of that? it was my will, and

* And, for this once, my will shall stand for law.

(1) The heiress of great estates were in the wardship of the king, who matched them to his favourites.

[blocks in formation]
« AnteriorContinua »