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Say as you think, and speak it from your souls,* Wer't not all one, an empty eagle were set * To guard the chicken from a hungry kite, As place Duke Humphrey for the king's protector? Q. Mar. So the poor chicken should be sure of
death. • Suf. Madam, 'tis true: And wer't not madness
then • To make the fox surveyor of the fold? • Who being accus'd a crafty murderer, • His guilt should be but idly posted over, . Because his purpose is not executed. • No; let him die, in that he is a fox,
By nature prov'd an enemy to the flock, • Before his chaps be stain'd with crimson blood; • As Humphrey, prov'd by reasons, to my liege 1
16. . And do not stand on quillets, how to slay him : • Be it by gins, by snares, by subtilty, • Sleeping or waking, 'tis no matter how, • So he be dead; for that is good deceit " Which mates 17 him first, that first intends deceit. * Q. Mar. Thrice-noble Suffolk, 'tis resolutely
spoke. * Suf. Not resolute, except so much were done; * For things are often spoke, and seldom meant: But, that
heart accordeth with my tongue,* Seeing the deed is meritorious, * And to preserve my sovereign from his foe,
Say but the word, and I will be his priest 18.
16 The meaning of this obscurely constructed passage appears to be, 'The fox may be lawfully killed, as being known to be an enemy to sheep, even before he has actually killed them ; so Humphrey may be properly destroyed, as being proved by reasons or arguments to be the king's enemy, before he has committed any actual crime.'
17 i. e. confounds, overoomes. See note on Macbeth, Act v. Sc. 1, p. 309.
18 That is, ' I will be the attendant on his last scene; I will be the last man whom he shall see.'
* Car. But I would have him dead, my lord of
Suffolk, * Ere you can take due orders for a priest: Say,
, you consent, and censure 19 well the deed, * And I'll provide his executioner, * I tender so the safety of my liege. * Suf. Here is my hand, the deed is worthy doing. * Q. Mar. And so say
I. * York. And I: and now we three have spoke it, * It skills not greatly 20 who impugns our doom.
Enter a Messenger. · Mess. Great lords, from Ireland am I come amain, • To signify—that rebels there are up, . And put the Englishmen unto the sword; * Send succours, lords, and
rage betime, * Before the wound do grow incurable; * For, being green, there is great hope of help.
* Car. A breach, that craves a quick expedient 21
• What counsel give you in this weighty cause?
• York. That Somerset be sent as regent thither: • 'Tis meet, that lucky ruler be employ’d; « Witness the fortune he hath had in France.
• Som. If York, with all his far fet? policy, · Had been the regent there instead of me, • He never would have staid in France so long.
• York. No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done: I rather would have lost my life betimes, * Than bring a burden of dishonour home, * By staying there so long, till all were lost.
19 i. e. judge or think well of it.
20 • It matters not greatly.' Shakspeare has the phrase again in Twelfth Night, Act v. Sc. 1, p. 391, and in The Taming of the Shrew, Act iii. Sc. 2, p. 309. 21 Expeditious.
22 Far fetched.
your fortune is.
* Show me one scar character'd on thy skin: Men’s flesh preserv'd so whole, do seldom win. Q. Mar. Nay then, this spark will prove a raging
fire, * If wind and fuel be brought to feed it with : * Nomore, good York :sweet Somerset, be still: * Thy fortune, York, hadst thou been regent there, Might happily have prov'd far worse than his. York. What, worse than naught? nay, then a
shame take all ! • Som. And in the number, thee, that wishest shame! • Car. My lord of York, try
what The uncivil Kernes of Ireland are in arms, And temper clay with blood of Englishmen:
To Ireland will you lead a band of men, · Collected choicely, from each county some, ' And, try your hap against the Irishmen?
* York. I will, my lord, so please his majesty.
* Suf. Why, our authority is his consent; * And, what we do establish, he confirms : Then, noble York, take thou this task in hand.
• York. I am content: Provide me soldiers, lords, • Whiles I take order for mine own affairs.
Suf. A charge, Lord York, that I will see per
form’d. • But now return we to the false Duke Humphrey.
• Car. No more of him; for I will deal with him, That, henceforth, he shall trouble us no more. · And so break off: the day is almost spent: Lord Suffolk, you and I must talk of that event.
· York. My lord of Suffolk, within fourteen days, • At Bristol I expect my soldiers ; • For there I'll ship them all for Ireland. Suf. I'll see it truly done, my lord of York.
[Exeunt all but YORK. • York. Now, York, or never, steel thy fearful
And change misdoubt to resolution: * Be that thou hop'st to be; or what thou art * Resign to death, it is not worth the enjoying : * Let pale-fac'd fear keep with the mean-born man, * And find no harbour in a royal heart. * Faster than spring-time showers, comes thought
on thought; * And not a thought, but thinks on dignity. * My brain, more busy than the labouring spider, * Weaves tedious snares to trap mine enemies. * Well, nobles, well, 'tis politickly done, * To send me packing with an host of men: * I fear me, you but warm the starved snake, * Who, cherish'd in your breasts, will sting your
hearts. 'Twas men I lack'd, and you will give them me: ' I take it kindly : yet, be well assur’d
You put sharp weapons in a madman's hands. " Whiles I in Ireland nourish a mighty band, * I will stir up in England some black storm, * Shall blow ten thousand souls to heaven, or hell: * And this fell tempest shall not cease to rage * Until the golden circuit on my head 23, * Like to the glorious sun's transparent beams, '* Do calm the fury of this mad-bred flaw 24.
And, for a minister of my intent, • I have seduc'd a head-strong Kentishman, • John Cade of Ashford,
23 Thus in Macbeth :
All that impedes thee from the golden round,
To have thee crown'd withal.' In King Henry IV. Part 11. the crown is called · this golden rigol.'
24 A flaw is a violent gust of wind. See Hamlet, Act y. Sc. 1:-
patch a wall to expel the winter's flaw.' VOL. VI.
« To make com mmotion, as full well he can, • Under the title of John Mortimer. * In Ireland have I seen this stubborn Cade * Oppose himself against a troop of Kernes 25; * And fought so long, till that his thighs with darts * Were almost like a sharp-quill'd porcupine:
And, in the end being rescu’d, I have seen him
Caper upright like a wild Mórisco 26, * Shaking the bloody darts, as he his bells. * Full often, like a shag-hair'd crafty Kerne, * Hath he conversed with the enemy; * And undiscover'd come to me again, * And given me notice of their villanies. * This devil here shall be
By this I shall perceive the commons' mind,
Say, he be taken, rack'd, and tortured: • I know, no pain, they can inflict upon • Will make him say—I mov'd him to those arms. • Say, that he thrive (as 'tis great like he will),
Why, then from Ireland come I with my strength, And reap
the harvest which that rascal sow'd : For, Humphrey being dead, as he shall be, • And Henry put apart, the next for me. [Erit.
25 Kernes were Irish peasantry, wb served as light armed foot soldiers. In King Richard II. they are called ' rough rugheaded Kernes. See note on that passage, vol. v. p. 37.
26 A dancer in a morris dance, originally, perhaps, meant to imitate a Moorish dance, and thence named. The bells sufficiently indicate that the English morris dancer is intended. It appears from Blount's Glossography, and some of our old writers, that the dance itself was called a morisco. Florio, in the first edition of his Italian Dictionary, defines ‘Moresca, a kind of morice or antique dance, after the Moorish or Ethiopian fashion.' The reader who would know more on this curious subject will do well to consult Mr. Douce's very interesting dissertation, printed in the second volume of his Illustrations of Shakspeare,