Page images
PDF
EPUB

Sink. Forbear a while, we'll hear a little more.

K. Henry. My Queen and son are gone to France for aid: And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick Is thither gone to crave the French King's sister To wife for Edward. If this news be true, Poor Queen and son! your labour is but lost: For Warwick is a subtle orator, And Lewis a Prince foon won with moving words: By this account then Margaret may win him, For she's a woman to be pitied much: Her fighs will make a batt’ry in his breast; Her tears will pierce into a marble heart; The Tyger will be mild while she doth mourn, And Nero would be tainted with remorse, To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears. Ay, but she's come to beg, Warwick to give: She on his left side craving aid for Henry; He on his right, asking a wife for Edward. She weeps, and says her Henry is depos’d; He smiles, and says his Edward is installid; That the poor wretch! for grief can speak no more: While Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong, Inferreth arguments of mighty strength, And in conclusion wins the King from her, With promise of his fifter, and what else, To strengthen and support King Edward's place. O Marg'ret, thus 'twill be, and thou (poor soul) Art then forsaken, as thou went'ft forlorn.

Hum. Say, what art thou that talk'st of Kings and Queens ?

K. Henry. More than I seem, and less than I was born to ; A man at least, for less I should not be; And men may talk of Kings, and why not I?

Hum. Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou .wert a King. K. Henry. Why so I am in mind, and that's enough. Hum. But if thou be a King, where is thy crown?

K. Henry. My crown is in my heart, not on my head: Not deck'd with diamonds, and Indian stones; Not to be seen ; my crown is callid Content,

A

A crown it is that seldom Kings enjoy.

Hum. Well, if you be a King crown’d with Content,
Your crown Content and you must be contented
To go along with us. For, as we think,
You are the King, King Edward hath depos’d:
And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance,
Will apprehend you as his enemy.

K. Henry. But did you never swear, and break an oath?
Hum. No, never such an oath, and will not now.'
K. Henry. Where did you dwell when I was King of

England ?
Hum. Here in this country where we now remain.

K. Henry. I was anointed King at nine months old,
My father and my grandfather were Kings ;
And you were sworn true subjects unto me:
And tell me then, have you not broke your oaths ?

Sink. No, we were subjects but while you were King.
K. Henry. Why, am I dead? do I not breathe a man?
Ah, simple men, you know not what you fwear :
Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the lightness of you common men.
But do not break your oath, for of that sin
My mild intreaty shall not make you guilty.
Go where you will, the King shall be commanded,
And be you Kings, command, and I'll obey.

Sink. We are true subjects to the King, King Edward.

K. Henry. So would you be again to Henry, If he was seated as King Edward is.

Sink. We charge you in God's name and in the King's To go with us unto the officers.

[obey'd; K, Henry. In God's name lead, your King's name be And what God will, that let your King perform, And what he will I humbly yield unto.

[Exeunt.

SCENE

S CE N E II.

The King's Palace in London.

Enter King Edward, Gloucester, Clarence, and Lady Gray.

. Rother of Gloʻster, at St. Alban's field [Nain,

This Lady's husband, a Sir John Gray, was His land then seiz'd on by the conqueror : Her suit is now to repoffefs those lands, Which we in justice cannot well deny, Because in quarrel of the house of York The worthy gentleman did lose his life.

Glo. Your Highness shall do well to grant her suit : It were dishonour to deny it her.

K. Edw. It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.

Glo. Yea! it is so ?
I see the Lady hath a thing to grant,
Before the King will grant her humble suit.

Cla, He knows the game; how true he keeps the wind !
Glo. Silence !

K. Edw. Widow, we will consider of your suit,
And come fome other time to know our mind.

Gray. Right gracious Lord, I cannot brook delay.
May't please your Highness to resolve me now;
And what your pleasure is shall satisfie me.

Glo, Ay, widow! then I'll warrant you all your lands,
An if what pleases him shall pleasure you :
Fight closer, or good faith you'll catch a blow.

Cla. I fear her not, unleis fhe chance to fall.
Glo. God forbid that! for he'll take vantages.
K. Edw. How many children hast thou, widow? tell me.
Cla. I think he means to beg a child of her.
Glo. Nay, whip me then: he'll rather give her two.
Gray. Three, my most gracious Lord.

Gle. (a) Vid. Hall. 3 year of Edw. 4. fol. 5:

Glo. You shall have four, if you'll be ruld by him.
K. Edw. 'Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.
Gray. Be pitiful, dread Lord, and grant 6''em 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. - K. Edw. Now tell me, Madam, do you love your chilGray. Ay, full as dearly as I love my self.

[dren ? K. Edw. And would you not do much to do them good? Gray. To do them good, I would sustain some harm. K.Edw. Then get your husband's lands, to do them good. Gray. Therefore I came unto your Majesty. K. Edw. I'll tell you how these lands are to be got. Gray. So shall you bind me to your Highness' service. K. Edw. What service wilt thou do me, if I give them? Gray. What you command that rests in me to do. K. Edw. But you will take exceptions to my boon? Gray. No, gracious Lord, except I cannot do it. K. Edw. Ay but thou canst do what I mean to ask. Gray. Why then I will do what your Grace commands. Glo. He plies her hard, and much rain wears the marble. Cla. As red as fire! nay then her wax must melt. Gray. Why stops my Lord? shall I not hear my task? K. Edw. An easie task, 'tis but to love a King. Gray. That's soon perform’d, because I am a subject. K. Edw. Why then thy husband's lands I freely give thee. Gray. I take my leave with many thousand thanks. Glo. The match is made, she feals it with a curtsie. K. Edw. But stay thee, 'tis the fruits of love I mean. Gray. The fruits of love I mean, my loving Liege.

K. Edw. Ay, but I fear me in another fense. What love think’st thou I sue so much to get?

Gray. My love ʼtill death, niy humble thanks, my prayers ; That love which virtue begs, and virtue grants.

K. Edw. No, by my troth, I did not mean such love. Gray. Why then you mean not as I thought you did. K. Edw. But now you partly may perceive my mind.

Gray. 6 it

Gray. My mind will never grant what I perceive Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.

K. Edw. To tell thee plain, I aim to lye with thee, Gray. To tell you plain, I'd rather lye in prison. [lands. K. Edw. Why then thou shalt not have thy husband's

Gray. Why then mine honesty shall be my dower ; For by that loss I will not purchafe them.

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

Gray. Herein your Highness wrongs both them and me: But, mighty Lord, this merry inclination Accords not with the sadness of my fuit; Please

you

dismiss me, or with ay or no. K. Édw. Ay; if thou wilt say Ay to my request: No; if thou dost say No to my demand.

Gray. Then No, my Lord; my suit is at an end. Glo. The widow likes him not, she knits her brows. Cla. He is the bluntest wooer in christendom.

K. Edw. Her looks do argue her replete with modesty, Her words do shew 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?

Gray. 'Tis better said than done, my gracious Lord; 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.

Gray. And that is more than I will yield unto:
I know I am too mean to be your Queen,
And yet too good to be your concubine.

K. Edw, You cavil, widow; I did mean my Queen. Gray. 'Twill grieve your Grace my sons Thall call you father.

[mother. K. Edw. No more than when my daughters call thee Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children And by God's mother, I being but a batchelor Have other fome: why, 'tis a happy thing,

To

« PreviousContinue »