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SCENE III. London. Cardinal Beaufort's Bed
Enter KING HENRY,” SALISBURY, WARWICK, and others. The Cardinal in bed; Attendants with him.
* K. Hen. How fares my lord P. Speak, Beaufort, to thy sovereign. * Car. If thou be'st death, I’ll give thee England’s treasure, * Enough to purchase such another island, * So thou wilt let me live, and feel no pain. * K. Hen. Ah, what a sign it is of evil life, * When death’s approach is seen so terrible ! * War. Beaufort, it is thy sovereign speaks to thee. * Car. Bring me unto my trial when you will. • Died he not in his bed P. Where should he die P Can I make men live, whe’r they will or no?— * O! torture me no more ; I will confess.“Alive again P. Then show me where he is; “I’ll give a thousand pound to look upon him.— * He hath no eyes; the dust hath blinded them.— Comb down his hair; look! look! it stands upright, * Like lime-twigs set to catch my winged soul — * Give me some drink; and bid the apothecary ‘Bring the strong poison that I bought of him. * K. Hen. O, thou eternal Mover of the heavens, * Look with a gentle eye upon this wretch! * O, beat away the busy, meddling fiend, * That lays strong siege unto this wretch’s soul, *And from his bosom purge this black despair * War. See, how the pangs of death do make him - rin' * Søl. fo him not ; let him pass peaceably.
1 The quarto offers this stage direction:-" Enter the King and Salisbury, and then the curtaines be drawne, and the Cardinal is discovered in his bed, raving and staring as if he were mad.” This description did not so Shakspeare, for he has availed himself of it in a preceding speech y Vaux.
* K. Hen. Peace to his soul, if God’s good pleasure be * Lord cardinal, if thou think'st on heaven’s bliss, • Hold up thy hand, make signal of thy hope.— • He dies, and makes no sign. O, God, forgive him • War. So bad a death argues a monstrous life. • K. Hen. Forbear to judge, for we are sinners
all.— * Close up his eyes, and draw the curtain close ; • And let us all to meditation. [Eveunt.
SCENE I. Kent. The Sea-shore near Dover.'
Firing heard at sea. Then enter, from a boat, a Captain, a Master, a Master's Mate, WALTER WHITMoRE, and others; with them SUFFOLK, and other Gentlemen, prisoners.
* Cap. The gaudy, blabbing, and remorseful day *Is crept into the bosom of the sea; * And now loud-howling wolves arouse the jades * That drag the tragic, melancholy might, * Who with their drowsy, slow, and flagging wings * Clip dead men's graves, and from their misty jaws * Breathe foul, contagious darkness in the air. * Therefore, bring forth the soldiers of our prize; * For, whilst our pinnace anchors in the Downs, * Here shall they make their ransom on the sand, * Or with their blood stain this discolored shore.— * Master, this prisoner freely give I thee;—
1 There is a curious circumstantial account of the event on which this scene is founded in the Paston Letters, published by Sir John Fenn, Vol. i. p. 38, Letter x. The scene is founded on the narration of Hall, which is copied by Holinshed.
“And thou that art his mate, make boot of this;– * The other, [Pointing to SUFFolk.] Walter Whitmore, is thy share. * 1 Gent. What is my ransom, master? Let me know. * Mast. A thousand crowns, or else lay down your head. . * Mate. And so much shall you give, or off goes OUITS. * Cap. What, think you much to pay two thousand croWns, *And bear the name and port of gentlemen? * Cut both the villains’ throats;–for die you shall. * The lives of those which we have lost in fight * Cannot' be counterpoised with such a petty sum. * 1 Gent. I’ll give it, sir; and therefore spare my life. r * 2 Gent. And so will I, and write home for it straight. * Whit. I lost mine eye in laying the prize aboard, ‘And therefore, to revenge it, shalt thou die; [To SUFF. ‘And so should these, if I might have my will. * Cap. Be not so rash ; take ransom ; let him live. * Suff. Look on my George; I am a gentleman; ‘ Rate me at what thou wilt, thou shalt be paid. * Whit. And so am I; my name is Walter Whitmore. * How now P Why start'st thou ? What, doth death affright? * Suff. Thy name affrights me,” in whose sound is death. * A cunning man did calculate my birth,
And told me—that by Water I should die.
1 The word cannot, which is necessary to complete the sense of the passage, is not in the old copy: it was supplied by Malone.
2 Suffolk had heard his name before without being startled by it. In the old play, as soon as ever the captain has consigned him to “Walter Whickmore,” he immediately exclaims, “Walter 1’” Whickmore asks him why he fears him; and Suffolk replies, “It is thy name affrights me.” The Poet here, as in other instances, has fallen into an impropriety by sometimes following and sometimes deserting his original.
* Yet let not this make thee be bloody-minded; * Thy name is—Gaultier, being rightly sounded. * Whit. Gaultier, or Walter, which it is, I care not; * Ne'er yet did base dishonor blur our name, * But with our sword we wiped away the blot; ‘Therefore, when merchant-like I sell revenge, ‘Broke be my sword, my arms torn and defaced, ‘And I proclaimed a coward through the world! - - [Lays hold on SUFFOLK. * Suff. Stay, Whitmore; for thy prisoner is a prince, The duke of Suffolk, William de la Poole. * Whit. The duke of Suffolk, muffled up in rags! Suff. Ay, but these rags are no part of the duke; Jove sometime went disguised, and why not I ? Cap. But Jove was never slain, as thou shalt be. * Suff. Obscure and lowly swain, king Henry's blood, . The honorable blood of Lancaster, * Must not be shed by such a jaded groom." Hast thou not kissed thy hand, and held my stirrup? * Bare-headed plodded by my footcloth mule, • And thought thee happy when I shook my head f ‘How often hast thou waited at my cup, * Fed from my trencher, kneeled down at the board, * When I have feasted with queen Margaret ! * Remember it, and let it make thee crest-fallen ; * Ay, and allay this thy abortive pride. . *How in our voiding lobby hast thou stood, *And duly waited for my coming forth! . * This hand of mine hath writ in thy behalf, “And therefore shall it charm thy riotous tongue. * Whit. Speak, captain, shall I stab the forlorn swain f * Cap. First let my words stab him, as he hath me. * Suff. Base slave thy words are blunt, and so art thou.
1 A jaded groom is a low fellow. Suffolk's boast of his own blood was
hardly warranted by his origin. His great grandfather had been a mer
chant at Hull. . vol. Iv 50
* Cap. Convey him hence, and on our longboat's side * Strike off his head.
Suff. Thou dar'st not for thy own.
Suff. Poole P
Cap. - Poole P sir Poole P Lord!
* Ay, kennel, puddle, sink; whose filth and dirt ‘Troubles the silver spring where England drinks. ‘Now will I dam up this thy yawning mouth, * For swallowing the treasure of the realm. * Thy lips, that kissed the queen, shall sweep the ground; ‘And thou, that smil’dst at good duke Humphrey’s death, ‘Against the senseless winds shall grin in vain, *Who, in contempt, shall hiss at thee again; * And wedded be thou to the hags of hell, * For daring to affy" a mighty lord *Unto the daughter of a worthless king, * Having neither subject, wealth, nor diadem. *By devilish policy art thou grown great, * And, like ambitious Sylla, overgorged *With goblets of thy mother’s bleeding heart. * By thee, Anjou and Maine were sold to France. * The false, revolting Normans, thorough thee, * Disdain to call us lord ; and Picardy * Hath slain their governors, surprised our forts, *And sent the ragged soldiers wounded home. * The princely Warwick, and the Nevils all,— *Whose dreadful swords were never drawn in vain,_ * As hating thee, are rising up in arms. * And now the house of York—thrust from the crown, *By shameful murder of a guiltless king, *And lofty, proud, encroaching tyranny— *Burns with revenging fire ; whose hopeful colors * Advance our half-faced sun,” striving to shine, *Under the which is writ—Invitis nubibus.
1 To betroth in marriage. This enumeration of Suffolk's crimes seems to have been suggested by the Mirror for Magistrates.
2 Edward III. bore for his device the rays of the sun dispersing themselves out of a cloud.—Camden’s Remaines.