Page images

O monstrous treachery! can this be so!
That in alliance, amity, and oaths,
There should be found such false dissembling guile?

K. Henry. What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt?
Glou. He doth, my Lord, and is become our foe.
K Henry. Is that the worst this letter doth contain ?
Glou. It is the worst, and all, my Lord, he writes.

K Henry. Why then Lord Talbot there shall talk with him, And give him chastisement for this abuse. My Lord, how say you, are you not content ?

Tal. Content, my Liege? yes: but that I'm prevented, I should have begg'd I might have been employ’d.

K. Henry. Then gather strength, and march unto him Let him perceive how ill we brook his treason, [strait : And what offence it is to flout his friends.

Tal. I go, my Lord, in heart defiring still You may behold confusion of

your foes. [Exit Talbot.

[merged small][ocr errors]

Enter Vernon and Baffet. Ver. Grant me the combat, gracious Sovereign. Baf. And me, my Lord, grant me the combat too. York. This is my servant, hear him, noble Prince. Som. And this is mine, sweet Henry, favour him.

K. Henry. Be patient, Lords, and give them leave to speak. Say, gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim? And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom?

Ver. With him, my Lord, for he hath done me wrong. Baf. And I with him, for he hath done me wrong.

K. Henry What is the wrong whereon you both complain? First let me know, and then I'll answer you.

Bas. Crossing the sea from England into France,
This fellow here with sharp and carping tongue
Upbraided me about the rose I wear;
Saying the fanguine colour of the leaves
Did represent my master's blushing cheeks;
When stubbornly he did repugn the truth


About a certain question in the law,
Argu'd betwixt the Duke of York and him;
With other vile and ignominious terms.
In confutation of which rude reproach,
And in defence of my Lord's worthiness,
I crave the benefit of law of arms.

Ver. And that is my petition, noble Lord;
For though he seem with forged quaint conceit
To set a glofs upon his bold intent,
Yet know, my Lord, I was provok'd by him,
And he first took exceptions at this badge,
Pronouncing that the paleness of this flow'r
Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.

York. Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?

Som. Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out, Though ne'er lo cunningly you smother it. [men!

K. Henry. Good Lord! what madness rules in brain-sick When for fo Night and frivolous a cause Such factious emulations shall arife! Good cousins both of York and Somerset, Quiet your felves and be again at peace.

York. Let this dissention first be try'd by fight, And then your Highness shall command a peace.

Som. The quarrel toucheth none but us alone,
Betwixt our felves let us decide it then.

York. There is my pledge ; accept it, Somerset.
Ver. Nay, let it rest where it began at first.
Bas. Confirm it fo, mine honourable Lord.

Gisu. Confirm it so ? confounded be your strife,
And perish ye with your audacious prate!
Presumptuous vassals, are you not asham'd
With this immodeft clamorous outrage
To trouble and disturb the King and us?
And you, my Lords, methinks you do not well
To bear with their perverse objections :
Much less to take occasion from their mouths
To raise a mutiny betwixt your selves:
Let me persuade you take a better course.

Exe. It grieves his Highness : good my Lords, be friends.

K. Henry. Come hither you that would be combatants : Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour, Quite to forget this quarrel and the cause. And you, my Lords, remember where we are, In France, amongst a fickle wavering nation: If they perceive diffention in our looks, And that within ourselves we disagree, How will their grudging stomachs be provok'd To wilful disobedience, and rebel! Beside, what infamy will there arife, When foreign Princes shall be certify'd, That for a toy, a thing of no regard, King Henry's Peers and chief Nobility Destroy'd themselves, and lost the realm of France! O, think upon the conquest of my father, My tender years, and let us not forego That for a trifle, which was bought with blood. Let me be umpire in this doubtful ftrife: I fee no reason, if I wear this rofe, That any one should therefore be fufpicious I more encline to Somerset than York: Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both. As well they may upbraid me with my crown, Because, forsooth, the King of Scots is crown'd. But your discretions better can persuade, Than I am able to instruct or teach: And therefore as we hither came in peace, So let us still continue peace and love. Cousin of York, we institute your Grace To be our Regent in these parts of France: And good my Lord of Somerset, unite Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot ; And like true subjects, sons of your progenitors, Go chearfully together, and digest Your angry choler on your enemies. Our self, my Lord Protector, and the rest, After fome respite will return to Calais ;


From thence to England, where I hope ere long
To be presented, by your victories,
With Charles, Alanson, and that trait'rous rout. (Flourish.

Manent York, Warwick, Exeter, and Vernon.
War. My Lord of York, I promise you the King
Most prettily, methought, did play the orator.

York. And so he did; but yet I like it not, In that he wears the badge of Somerset.

War. Tush, that was but his fancy, blame him not; I dare presume, sweet Prince, he thought no harm.

York. An if I *'wis,' he did. But let it rest; Other affairs must now be managed.

[Exeunt. Manet Exeter. Exe. Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice: For had the passions of thy heart burst out, I fear we should have seen decypher'd there More ranc'rous spight, more furious raging broils, Than yet can be imagin’d or suppos'd. But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees This jarring discord of Nobility, This should'ring of each other in the Court, This factious bandying of their favourites ; But that he doth presage fome ill event. 'Tis much, when scepters are in childrens hands; But more, when envy breeds unkind division, Then comes the ruin, there begins confusion. [Exit.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]
[blocks in formation]

Enter Talbot with trumpets, and drum.
Tal. "O to the gates of Bourdeaux, trumpeter,
Summon their General unto the wall. [Sounds.

Enter General aloft.
English John Talbot, captains, calls you forth,
Servant in arms to Harry King of England;
And thus he would: open your city gates,
Be humbled to us, call my Sovereign yours,
And do him homage as obedient subjects,
And I'll withdraw me and my bloody pow'r.
But if you


this proffer'd peace,
You tempt the fury of my three attendants,
Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire;
Who in a moment even with the earth
Shall lay your stately and air-braving tow'rs,

forsake the offer of s'our love.
Gen. Thou ominous and fearful owl of death,
Our nation's terrour, and their bloody scourge!
The period of thy tyranny approacheth.
On us thou canst not enter but by death:
For I protest we are well fortify’d,
And strong enough to issue out and fight.
If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed,
Stands with the snares of war to tangle thee.
On either hand thee, there are squadrons pitch'd
To wall thee from the liberty of fight;
And no way canst thou turn thee for redress,
But death doth front thee with apparent spoil.


5 their

« PreviousContinue »