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The duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
[The King swoons. QUEEN, How fares my lord? Help, lords! the
king is dead. Som. Rear
up his body; wring him by the nose. QUEEN. Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope
thine eyes ! SuF. He doth revive again: madam, be patient. King. O heavenly God! QUEEN.
How fares my gracious lord ? Sur. Comfort, my sovereign! gracious Henry,
King. What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me?
Came he right now to sing a raven's note,
Whose dismal tune bereft
And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
Can chase away the first-conceived sound ?
Hide not thy poison with such sugar'd words ;
Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say ;
Their touch affrights me as a serpent's sting.
Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
Upon thy eye-balls murderous tyranny
Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world.
Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding :
Yet do not go away: come, basilisk,
And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight;
For in the shade of death I shall find joy ;
In life but double death, now Gloucester's dead.
QUEEN. Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolk thus ?
Although the duke was enemy to him,
Yet he most Christian-like laments his death :
And for myself, foe as he was to me,
Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans
Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life,
I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,
Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs,
And all to have the noble duke alive.
What know I how the world may deem of me?
For it is known we were but hollow friends :
may be judged I made the duke
So shall my name with slander's tongue be wounded,
And princes' courts be fill’d with my reproach.
This get I by his death : ay me, unhappy!
To be a queen, and crown'd with infamy!
KING. Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched
man ! Queen. Be woe for me, more wretched than he is. What, dost thou turn away and hide thy face? I am no loathsome leper; look on me. What! art thou, like the adder, waxen deaf? Be poisonous too and kill thy forlorn queen. Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester's tomb ? Why, then, dame Margaret was ne'er thy joy. Erect his statua and worship it, And make my image but an alehouse sign. Was I for this nigh wreck'd upon And twice by awkward wind from England's bank Drove back again unto my native clime? What boded this, but well forewarning wind
Did seem to say Seek not a scorpion's nest,
Nor set no footing on this unkind shore ?
What did I then, but cursed the gentle gusts
And he that loosed them forth their brazen caves;
And bid them blow towards England's blessed shore,
Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock ?
Yet Æolus would not be a murderer,
But left that hateful office unto thee :
The pretty-vaulting sea refused to drown me,
Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown'd on
With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness :
The splitting rocks cower'd in the sinking sands
And would not dash me with their ragged sides,
Because thy Ainty heart, more hard than they,
Might in thy palace perish Margaret.
As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
I stood upon the hatches in the storm,
And when the dusky sky began to rob
My earnest-gaping sight of thy land's view,
I took a costly jewel from my neck,
A heart it was, bound in with diamonds,
And threw it towards thy land: the sea received it,
And so I wish'd thy body might my heart:
And even with this I lost fair England's view
And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart
And call’d them blind and dusky spectacles,
For losing ken of Albion's wished coast.
How often have I tempted Suffolk's tongue,
The agent of thy foul inconstancy,
To sit and witch me, as Ascanius did
When he to madding Dido would unfold
His father's acts commenced in burning Troy !
Am I not witch'd like her? or thou not false like
Ay me, I can no more! die, Margaret !
For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
Noise within. Enter Warwick, SALISBURY,
and many Commons.
WAR. It is reported, mighty sovereign,
That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murder'd
By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beaufort's means.
The commons, like an angry hive of bees
That want their leader, scatter up and down
And care not who they sting in his revenge.
Myself have calm'd their spleenful mutiny,
Until they hear the order of his death.
King. That he is dead, good Warwick, 'tis too
true; But how he died God knows, not Henry : Enter his chamber, view his breathless corpse, And comment then upon his sudden death. War. That shall I do, my liege. Stay, Salis
bury, With the rude multitude till I return. [Exit. KING. O Thou that judgest all things, stay my
thoughts, My thoughts, that labour to persuade my soul Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey's life!
If my suspect be false, forgive me, God,
For judgement only doth belong to thee.
Fain would I go to chafe his paly lips
With twenty thousand kisses and to drain
Upon his face an ocean of salt tears,
To tell my love unto his dumb deaf trunk
And with my fingers feel his hand unfeeling :
But all in vain are these mean obsequies;
And to survey his dead and earthy image,
What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
Re-enter Warwick and others, bearing
GLOUCESTER's body on a bed. War. Come hither, gracious sovereign, view this
body. King. That is to see how deep my grave is made; For with his soul fled all my worldly solace, For seeing him I see my life in death.
WAR. As surely as my soul intends to live With that dread King that took our state upon him To free us from his father's wrathful curse, I do believe that violent hands were laid Upon the life of this thrice-famed duke. Sur. A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn
tongue ! What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow ?
War. See how the blood is settled in his face. Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale and bloodless, Being all descended to the labouring heart; Who, in the conflict that it holds with death,