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Enter WARWICK”, attended. • K. Lew. What's he, approacheth boldly to our
presence? Q. Mar. Our earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest
friend. K. Lew. Welcome, brave Warwick! What brings thee to France? [Descending from his State, Queen
MARGARET rises. * Q. Mar. Ay, now begins a second storm to rise; * For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
· War. From worthy Edward, king of Albion,
This nobleman's embassy and commission, the insult he receives by the king's hasty marriage, and his consequent resolution to avenge it, with the capture, imprisonment, and escape of the king, Shakspeare found in Hall and Holinshed; but later as well as earlier writers of better authority incline us to discredit the whole; and to refer the rupture between the king and his political creator to other causes. Perhaps we need seek no further than that jealousy and ingratitude which is but too often experienced in those who are under great obligations—too great to be discharged. There needs no other proof how little our common histories are to be depended on than this fabulous story .of Warwick and the Lady Bona. The king was privately married to the Lady Elizabeth Widville, in 1463, and in February, 1465, Warwick actually stood sponsor to the Princess Elizabeth, their first child. It should seem from the Annales of W. of Wyrcester that no open rupture had taken place between the king and Warwick up to the beginning of November, 1468; at least nothing appears to the contrary in that historian, whose work is unfortunately defective from that period.
• Q. Mar. If that go forward, Henry's hope is
done. War. And, gracious madam, [To BONA], in our
king's behalf, • I am commanded, with your leave and favour, Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart; Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears, Hath plac'd thy beauty's
image, and thy virtue. Q. Mar. King Lewis,—and Lady Bona,-hear
me speak, · Before
you answer Warwick. His demand Springs not from Edward's well meant honest love, * But from deceit, bred by necessity; * For how can tyrants safely govern home, * Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
prove him tyrant, this reason may suffice,* That Henry liveth still: but were he dead, * Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry's son. * Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and
marriage * Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour: * For though usurpers sway the rule awhile, * Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
War. Injurious Margaret!
And why not queen?
Oxf. Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt, Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain; And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth, • Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest; And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth, Who by his prowess conquered all France: From these our Henry lineally descends. ? There is nearly the same line in a former speech of Marga
It is found in its present situation alone in the old play.
War. Oxford, how haps it, in this smooth discourse, You told not, how Henry the Sixth hath lost All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten? Methinks, these peers of France should smile at that. But for the rest,—You tell a pedigree Of threescore and two years; a silly time To make prescription for a kingdom's worth. Oxf. Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against
thy liege, • Whom thou obey’dst thirty and six
years, And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
War. Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right, Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree? For shame, leave Henry, and call Edward king.
Oxf. Call him my king, by whose injurious doom My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere, Was done to death ? and more than so, my father, Even in the downfall of his mellow'd
years, • When nature brought him to the door of death 3? No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm, This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
War. And I the house of York.
Oxford, Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside, • While I use further conference with Warwick. Q. Mar. Heaven grant, that Warwick's words bewitch him not!
[Retiring with the Prince and OXFORD. K. Lew. Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy
conscience, • Is Edward your true king? for I were loath * To link with him that were not lawful chosen,
3 This passage unavoidably brings to mind that admirable image of old
in Sackville's Induction to the Mirror for Magistrates:
• His withered fist still knocking at death's door,'
War. Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honour. K. Lew. But is he gracious in the people's eye! War. The more, that Henry was unfortunate *. K. Lew. Then further,--all dissembling set aside, Tell me for truth the measure of his love • Unto our sister Bona. War.
Such it seems, As may
beseem a monarch like himself. Myself have often heard him say, and swear, That this his love was an eternal plants ; Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground, The leaves and fruit maintain’d with beauty's sun; Exempt from envy 6, but not from disdain, Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
K. Lew. Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
Bona. Your grant, or your denial, shall be mine: Yet I confess, [TO WAR.] that often ere this day, When I have heard your king's desert recounted, Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire. * K. Lew. Then,
Warwick, thus,–Our sister shall be Edward's; * And now forthwith shall articles be drawn * Touching the jointure that your king must make, * Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd :Draw near, queen Margaret; and be a witness, That Bona shall be wife to the English king. Prince. To Edward, but not to the English king.
Q. Mar. Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device By this alliance to make void
suit; * Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry's friend. 4 He means
that Henry was unsuccessful in war,' having lost bis dominions in France, &c.
5 In the language of Shakspeare's time, by an eternal plant was meant what we now call a perennial one.
6 Steevens thinks that envy in this place, as in many others, is put for malice or hatred. His situation places him above these, though it cannot secure him from female disdain.
* K. Lew. And still is friend to him and Margaret; * But if your title to the crown be weak,
As may appear by Edward's good success, Then 'tis but reason, that I be releas'd * From giving aid, which late I promis'd. * Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand. * That your estate requires, and mine can yield.
War. Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease: Where having nothing, nothing he can lose. And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,You have a father able to maintain you?;And better 'twere, you troubled him than France. * Q. Mar. Peace, impudent and shameless War
wick, peace; * Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings 8! * I will not hence, till with my talk and tears, * Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold * Thy sly conveyance, and thy lord's false love; * For both of you are birds of self-same feather.
[A Horn sounded within. K. Lew. Warwick, this is some post to us, or thee.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. My lord ambassador,these letters are for you; Sent from your brother, Marquis Montague. These from our king unto your majesty:And, madam, these for you; from whom I know not.
[TO MARGARET. They all read their Letters.
? Johnson is inclined to think this ironical. The poverty of Margaret's father being a frequent topic of reproach.
8 The queen here applies to Warwick the very words that King Edward, p. 265, addresses to the Deity. It seems doubtful whether these words in the former instance are not in the old play addressed to Warwick also.
9 Conveyance is used for any crafty artifice. The word has already been explained. Vide King Henry VI, Part 1. Act i. Sc. 3.