« AnteriorContinuar »
For, whilst I think I am thy married wife,
And thou a prince, protector of this land,
Methinks, I should not thus be led along,
Mail'd up in shame, 5 with papers on my back ;
And follow'd with a rabble, that rejoice
To see my tears, and hear my deep-fet groans.
The ruthless Aint doth cut my tender feet ;
And, when I start, the envious people laugh,
And bid me be advised how I tread.
Ah, Humphrey, can I bear this shameful yoke ?
Trow'st thou, that e'er I'll look upon the world ;
Or count them happy, that enjoy the sun ?
No ; dark shall be my light, and night my day;
To think upon my pomp, shall be my hell.
Sometime i'll say, I am duke Humphrey's wife ;
And he a prince, and ruler of the land :
Yet so he rul'd, and such a prince he was,
As he stood by, whilst I, his forlorn duchess,
Was made a wonder, and a pointing-stock,
To every idle rascal follower.
But be thou mild, and blush not at my shame ;
Nor stir at nothing, till the axe of death
Hangs over thee, as, sure, it shortly will. 1
For Suffolk,-he that can do all in all
With her, that hateth thee, and hates us all,
And York, and impious Beaufort, that false priest,
Have all lim'd bushes to betray thy wings,
And, fly thou how thou canst, they'll tangle thee :
But fear not thou, until thy foot be snard,
Nor never seek prevention of thy foes.
Glo. Ah, Nell, forbear ; thou aimest all awry ;
I must offend, before I be attainted :
And had I twenty times so many foes,
And each of them had twenty times their power,
All these could not procure me any scathe,?
So long as I am loyal, true, and crimeless.
Would'st have me rescue thee from this reproach?
Why, yet thy scandal were not wip'd away,
But I in danger for the breach of law.
Thy greatest help is quiet,& gentle Nell:
 Wrapped up; bundled up in disgrace ; alluding to the sheet of pe
 i. e. deep.fetched. STEEV (7) Scathe is harm, or mischief. Chaucer, Spenser, and all our ancient writers, are frequent in their use of this word
 The poet has not endeavoured to raise much compassion for the Duchess, who indeed suffered but what she had deserved. JOHNS.
12 VOL. V.
I pray thee, sort thy heart to patience ;
These few days' wonder will be quickly worn.
Enter a Herald. Her. I summon your grace to his majesty's parliament, holden at Bury the first of this next mouth.
Glo. And my consent ne'er ask'd herein before ! This is close dealing.–Well, I will be there. (Ex. Her. My Nell, I take my leave :-and, master sheriff, Let not her penance exceed the king's commission.
She. An't please your grace, here my commission stays:
And sir John Stanley is appointed now
To take her with him to the isle of Man.
Glo. Must you, sir John, protect my lady here?
Stan. So am I given in charge, may't please your grace.
Glo. Entreat not her the worse, in that I pray
You use her well : the world may laugh” again ;
And I may live to do you kindness, if
You do it her. And so, sir John, farewell.
Duch. What gone, my lord; and bid me not farewell?
Glo. Witness my tears, I cannot stay to speak.
[Exeunt GLOSTER and Servants. Duch. Art thou gone too? All comfort go with thee ! For none abides with me: my joy is-death ; Death, at whose name I oft have been afear'd, Because I wish'd this world's eternity.Stanley, I prythee, go, and take me hence ; I care not whither, for I beg no favour, Only convey me where thou art commanded.
Stan. Why, madam, that is to the isle of Man ; There to be used according to your state.
Duch. That's bad enough, for I am but reproach : And shall I then be us'd reproachfully!
Stan. Like to a duchess, and duke Humphrey's lady, According to that state you shall be used.
Duch. Sheriff, farewell, and better than I fare ; Although thou hast been conduct of my shame !
Sher. It is my office ; and, madam, pardon me.
Duch. Ay, ay, farewell ; thy office is discharg'd.Come, Stanley, shall we go ?
Stan. Madam, your penance done, throw off this sheet, And go we to attire you for our journey.
Duch. My shame will not be shifted with my sheet : No, it will hang upon my richest robes,
 i. e. The world may look again favourably upon mes
And show itself, attire me how I can.
Go, lead the way ; I long to see my prison.' [Exeunt.
ACT III. SCENE I.-The Abbey at Bury. Enter to the Parliament,
King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, Cardinal BEAUFORT,
SUFFOLK, York, BUCKINGHAM, and others.
I MUSE, my lord of Gloster is not come :
'Tis not his wont to be the hindmost man,
Whate'er occasion keeps him from us now.
Q.Mar. Can you not see? or will you not observe
The strangeness of his alter'd countenance ?
With what a majesty he bears himself;
How insolent of late he is become,
How proud, peremptory, and unlike himself?
We know the time, since he was mild and affable ;
And, if we did but glance a far-off look,
Immediately he was upon his knee,
That all the court admir'd him for submission :
But meet him now, and, be it in the morn,
When every one will give the time of day,
He knits his brow, and shows an angry eye,
And passeth by with stiff unbowed knee,
Disdaining duty that to us belongs.
Small curs are not regarded, when they grin ;
But great men tremble, when the lion roars ;
And Humphrey is no little man in England.
First, note, that he is near you in descent ;
And should you fall, he is the next will mount.
Me seemeth 2 then, it is no policy,-
Respecting what a rancorous mind he bears,
And his advantage following your decease,-
That he should come about your royal person,
Or be admitted to your highness' council.
By flattery hath he won the commons' hearts;
And, when he please to make commotion,
'Tis to be fear'd, they all will follow him.
 This impatience of a high spirit is very natural. It is nct so dreadful to be imprisoned, as it is desirable in a state of disgrace to be sheltered from the scorn of gazers:
JOHNS. [2) i.e. It seemeth to me; a word more grammatical than methinks, which hás, I know not how, intruded into its place. JOHNS.
Now 'tis the spring, and weeds are shallow-rooted ;
Suffer them now, and they'll o'ergrow the garden,
And choke the herbs for want of husbandry.
The reverent care, I bear unto my lord,
Made me collect 3 these dangers in the duke.
If it be fond, 4 call it a woman's fear ;
Which fear if better reasons can supplant,
I will subscribe and say—I wrong'd the duke.
My lord of Suffolk,- Buckingham,—and York,
Reprove my allegation, if you can ;
Or else conclude my words effectual.
Suf. Well hath your higliness seen into this duke';
And, had I first been put to speak iny mind,
I think, I should have told your grace's tale.
The duchess, by his subornation,
Upon my life, began her devilish practices :
Or if he were not privy to those faults,
Yet, by reputing of his high descent,
(As next the king, he was successive heir,)
And such high vaunts of his nobility,
Did instigate the bedlam brain-sick duchess,
Ry wicked means to frame our sovereign's fall.
Smooth runs the water, where the brook is deep ;
And in his simple show he harbours treason.
The fox barks not, when he would steal the lamb.
No, no, my sovereign.; Gloster is a man
Unsounded yet, and full of deep deceit.
Car. Did he not, contrary to form of law, Devise strange deaths for small offences done?
York. And did he not, in his protectorship, Levy great sums of money through the realm, For soldiers' pay in France, and never sent it? By means whereof, the towns each day revolted.
Buck. Tut! these are petty faults to faults unknowo, Which time will bring to light in smooth duke Hum
phrey. K.Hen. My lords, at once : The care you have of us, To mow down thorns that would annoy our foot, Is worthy praise : But shall I speak my conscience ? Our kinsman Gloster is as innocent From meaning treason to our royal person, As is the sucking lamb, or harmless dove : The duke is virtuous, mild ; and too well given,
3) i.e. assemble by observation,
 i.e. weak, foolish. STEEV.
To dream on evil, or to work my downfall.
Q.Mar. Ah, what's more dangerous than this fond
Seems he a dove? his feathers are but borrow'd,
For he's disposed as the hateful raven.
Is he a lamb? his skin is surely lent him,
For he's inclin'd as are the ravenous wolves.
Who cannot steal a shape, than means deceit ?
Take heed, my lord ; the welfare of us all
Hangs on the cutting short that fraudful man.
Som. All health unto my gracious sovereign !
K.Hen. Welcome, lord' Somerset. What news from
Som. That all your interest in those territories
Is utterly bereft you ; all is lost.
K.Hen. Cold news, lord Somerset : But God's will be
York. Cold news for me ; for I had hope of France,
As firmly as I hope for fertile England.
Thus are my blossoms blasted in the bud,
And caterpillars eat my leaves away:
But I will remedy this gears ere long,
Or sell my title for a glorious grave.
Glo. All happiness unto my lord the king !
Pardon, my liege, that I have staid so long.
Suf. Nay, Gloster, know, that thou art come too soon,
Unless thou wert more loyal than thou art :
I do arrest thee of high treason here.
Glo. Well, Suffolk, yet thou shalt not see me blush,
Nor change my countenance for this arrest ;
A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.
The purest spring is not so free from mud,
As I am clear from treason to my sovereign :
Who can accuse me ? wherein am I guilty ?
York. 'Tis thought, my lord, that you took bribes of
And, being protector, staied the soldiers' pay ;
By means whereof, his highness hath lost France.
Glo. Is it but thought so? What are they that think it?
I never robb’d the soldiers of their pay,
Nor ever had one penny bribe from France.
 Gear was a general word for things or matters. JOHNS.