« AnteriorContinuar »
* And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart;
How often have I tempted Suffolk's tongue (The agent of thy foul inconstancy) * To sit and witch i me, as Ascanius did, * When he to madding Dido would unfold * His father's acts, commenced in burning Troy? * Am I not witched like her? or thou not false like
him? 2 Ah me, I can no more! Die, Margaret ! * For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
Noise within. Enter WARWICK and SALISBURY. The
Commons press to the door. · War. It is reported, mighty sovereign, · That good duke Humphrey traitorously is murdered
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 calmed their spleenful mutiny, · Until they hear the order of his death. K. Hen. 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 I shall do, my liege.—Stay, Salisbury, With the rude multitude, till I return.
[WARWICK goes into an inner room, and
SALISBURY retires. * K. Hen. 0 Thou that judgest all things, stay my
thoughts ; * My thoughts, that labor to persuade my soul,
1 The old copy reads, “ watch me:" the emendation is Theobald's.
2 Steevens thinks the word or should be omitted in this line, which would improve both the sense and metre. Mason proposes to read art instead of or.
* Some violent hands were laid on Humphrey's life! * If my suspect be false, forgive me, God; * For judgment 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 earthly image, * What were it but to make my sorrow greater ?
The folding doors of an inner chamber are thrown
open, and GLOSTER is discovered dead in his bed ; WARWICK and others standing by it.? * War. Come hither, gracious sovereign ; view this
body. * K. Hen. That is to see how deep my grave is
* For with his soul fled all my worldly solace ; For, seeing him, I see my life in death.3
· 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.
Suff. 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 !
1 Steevens proposed to read rain instead of drain.
2 This stage direction was inserted by Malone as best suited to the exhibition. The stage direction in the quarto is, “ Warwick draws the curtaines, and shows duke Humphrey in his bed;" in the folio, " A bed with Gloster's body put forth.” By these and other circumstances it seems that the theatres were then unfurnished with scenes. In those days, it appears that curtains were occasionally hung across the middle of the stage on an iron rod, which being drawn open formed a second apartment, when a change of scene was required. See Malone's Account of the ancient Theatres, prefixed to the variorum edition of Shakspeare.
3 This passage evidently means, "I see my own life threatened with extermination, or surrounded by death."
Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost, . Of ashy semblance, meagre, pale, and bloodless, · Being all descended to the laboring heart; · Who, in the conflict that it holds with death, • Attracts the same for aidance 'gainst the enemy; - Which with the heart there cools, and ne'er returneth • To blush and beautify the cheek again.
But, see, his face is black, and full of blood; · His eyeballs further out than when he lived, · Staring full ghastly like a strangled man; · His hair upreared, his nostrils stretched with strug
gling; · His hands abroad displayed, as one that grasped · And tugged for life, and was by strength subdued. · Look, on the sheets, his hair, you see, is sticking; · His well-proportioned beard made rough and rugged, · Like to the summer's corn by tempest lodged. • It cannot be, but he was murdered here; · The least of all these signs were probable. • Suff. Why, Warwick, who should do the duke to
death? Myself, and Beaufort, had him in protection; . And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers. · War. But both of you were vowed duke Hum
phrey's foes; * And you, forsooth, had the good duke to keep. “ 'Tis like, you would not feast him like a friend ; 6 And 'tis well seen he found an enemy.
Q. Mar. Then you, belike, suspect these noblemen • As guilty of duke Humphrey's timeless death. War. Who finds the heifer dead, and bleeding
1 Timely may mean early, recently, newly.
Q. Mar. Are you the butcher, Suffolk ; where's
Is Beaufort termed a kite? where are his talons ?
Suff. I wear no knife, to slaughter sleeping men; But here's a vengeful sword, rusted with ease, That shall be scoured in his rancorous heart, That slanders me with murder's crimson badge.Say, if thou dar’st, proud lord of Warwickshire, That I am faulty in duke Humphrey's death.
[Exeunt Cardinal, Som., and others. War. What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare
him ? Q. Mar. He dares not calm his contumelious spirit, Nor cease to be an arrogant controller, Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times. War. Madam, be still; with reverence may I
say ; For every word you speak in his behalf, Is slander to your royal dignity.
• Suff. Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanor ! If ever lady wronged her lord so much, Thy mother took into her blameful bed Some stern, untutored churl, and noble stock Was graft with crab-tree slip; whose fruit thou art, And never of the Nevils' noble race.
War. But that the guilt of murder bucklers thee, And I should rob the deathsman of his fee, Quitting thee thereby of ten thousand shames, And that my sovereign's presence makes me mild, I would, false, murderous coward, on thy knee Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech, And say--it was thy mother that thou mean’st, That thou thyself wast born in bastardy; And, after all this fearful homage done, Give thee thy hire, and send thy soul to hell, Pernicious bloodsucker of sleeping men ! Suff. Thou shalt be waking, while I shed thy
blood, If from this presence thou dar’st go with me.
War. Away even now, or I will drag thee hence;
* Unworthy though thou art, I'll cope with thee,
[Exeunt SUFFOLK and WARWICK. * K. Hen. What stronger breast plate than a heart
untainted? * Thrice is he armed, that hath his quarrel just; * And he but naked, though locked up in steel, * Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
[A noise within. Q. Mar. What noise is this?
Re-enter SUFFOLK, and WARWICK, with their weapons
• K. Hen. Why, how now, lords ? your wrathful
· Here in our presence? Dare you be so bold ?-
Noise of a crowd within. Re-enter SALISBURY. * Sal. Sirs, stand apart; the king shall know your mind.
[Speaking to those within Dread lord, the commons send you word by me, Unless false Suffolk straight be done to death, Or banished fair England's territories,
They will by violence tear him from your palace, * And torture him with grievous, lingering death. They say, by him the good duke Humphrey died : • They say, in him they fear your highness' death; • And mere instinct of love and loyalty- Free from a stubborn, opposite intent, · As being thought to contradict your liking· Makes them thus forward in his banishment. * They say, in care of your most royal person, * That, if your highness should intend to sleep, * And charge—that no man should disturb your rest,