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Main chance, father, you meant; but I meant Maine;
Which I will win from France, or else be slain.
[Exeunt WARWICK and SALISBURY. York. Anjou and Maine are given to the French; Paris is lost; the state of Normandy Stands on a tickle* point, now they are gone: Suffolk concluded on the articles;
The peers agreed; and Henry was well pleas'd,
To change two dukedoms for a duke's fair daughter.
I cannot blame them all; what is't to them?
"Tis thine they give away, and not their own.
Pirates may make cheap pennyworths of their pillage,
And purchase friends, and give to courtezans,
Still revelling, like lords, till all be gone:
While as the silly owner of the goods
Weeps over them, and rings his hapless hands,
And shakes his head, and trembling stands aloof,
While all is shared, and all is borne away;
Ready to starve, and dare not touch his own.
So York must sit, and fret, and bite his tongue,
While his own lands are bargain'd for, and sold.
Methinks, the realms of England, France, and Ireland,
Bear that proportion to my flesh and blood,
As did the fatal brand Althea burn'd,
Unto the prince's heart of Calydon,t
Anjou and Maine, both given unto the French!
Cold news for me; for I had hope of France,
Even as I have of fertile England's soil.
A day will come, when York shall claim his own;
And therefore I will take the Nevil's parts,
And make a show of love to proud duke Humphrey,
And, when I spy advantage, claim the crown,
For that's the golden mark I seek to hit:
Nor shall proud Lancaster usurp my right,
Nor hold the sceptre in his childish fist,
Nor wear the diadem upon his head,
Whose church-like humours fit not for a crown.
Then, York, be still awhile, till time do serve:
Watch thou, and wake, when others be asleep,
To pry into the secrets of the state;
Till Henry, surfeiting in joys of love,
With his new bride, and England's dear-bought queen,
And Humphrey with the peers be fallen at jars:
Then will I raise aloft the milk-white rose,
With whose sweet smell the air shall be perfum'd;
And in my standard bear the arms of York,
To grapple with the house of Lancaster;
And, force perforce, I'll make him yield the crown,
Whose bookish rule hath pull'd fair England down.
SCENE II.-The same. A Room in the Duke of GLOSTER'S House.
Enter GLOSTER and the DUCHESS.
Duch. Why droops my lord, like over-ripen'd corn,
Hanging the head at Ceres' plenteous load?
Why doth the great duke Humphrey knit his brows,
As frowning at the favours of the world?
Why are thine eyes fixed to the sullen earth,
Gazing on that which seems to dim thy sight?
What see'st thou there? king Henry's diadem,
Enchased with all the honours of the world?
If so, gaze on, and grovel on thy face,
Until thy head be circled with the same.
Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious gold:-
What, is't too short? I'll lengthen it with mine:
And, having both together heav'd it up,
We'll both together lift our heads to heaven;
And never more abase our sight so low,
As to vouchsafe one glance unto the ground.
Glo. O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost love thy lord,
Banish the canker of ambitious thoughts:
And may that thought, when I imagine ill
Against my king and nephew, virtuous Henry,
Be my last breathing in this mortal world!
My troublous dream this night doth make me sad.
Duch. What dream'd my lord? tell me, and I'll requite it With sweet rehearsal of my morning's dream.
Glo. Methought, this staff, mine office-badge in court,
Was broke in twain, by whom, I have forgot,
But, as I think, it was by the cardinal;
And on the pieces of the broken wand
Were placed the heads of Edmund duke of Somerset,
And William de la Poole first duke of Suffolk.
This was my dream; what it doth bode, God knows.
Duch. Tut, this was nothing but an argument,
That he that breaks a stick of Gloster's grove,
Shall lose his head for his presumption.
But list to me, my Humphrey, my sweet duke:
Methought, I sat in seat of majesty,
In the cathedral church of Westminster,
And in that chair where kings and queens are crown'd;
Where Henry, and dame Margaret, kneel'd to me,
And on my head did set the diadem.
Glo. Nay, Eleanor, then must I chide outright:
Presumptuous dame, ill-nurtured* Eleanor!
Art thou not second woman in the realm;
And the protector's wife, beloved of him?
Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command,
Above the reach or compass of thy thought?
And wilt thou still be hammering treachery,
To tumble down thy husband and thyself,
From top of honour to disgrace's feet?
Away from me, and let me hear no more.
Duch. What, what, my lord! are you so choleric
With Eleanor, for telling but her dream?
Next time, I'll keep my dreams unto myself,
And not be check'd.
Glo. Nay, be not angry, I am pleased again.
Enter a MESSENGER.
Mess. My lord protector, 'tis his highness' pleasure, You do prepare to ride unto Saint Albans, Whereas the king and queen do mean to hawk. Glo. I go.-Come, Nell, thou wilt ride with us? Duch. Yes, good my lord, I'll follow presently. [Exeunt GLOSTER and MESSENGER.
Follow I must, I cannot go before,
While Gloster bears this base and humble mind.
Were I a man, a duke, and next of blood,
I would remove these tedious stumbling-blocks,
And smooth my way upon their headless necks:
And, being a woman, I will not be slack
To play my part in fortune's pageant.
Where are you there? Sir John!† nay, fear not, man,
We are alone; here none but thee, and I.
Hume. Jesu preserve your royal majesty!
Duch. What say'st thou, majesty! I am but grace.
Hume. But by the grace of God, and Hume's advice,
Your grace's title shall be multiplied.
Duch. What say'st thou, man? hast thou as yet conferr'd
With Margery Jourdain, the cunning witch;
And Roger Bolingbroke, the conjurer?
And will they undertake to do me good?
Hume. This they have promised,-to show your highness
A spirit raised from depth of under ground,
That shall make answer to such questions,
As by your grace shall be propounded him.
Duch. It is enough; I'll think upon the questions:
When from Saint Albans we do make return,
We'll see these things effected to the full.
Here, Hume, take this reward; make merry, man,
With thy confederates in this weighty cause.
Hume. Hume must make merry with the duchess' gold;
Marry, and shall. But how now, Sir John Hume?
Seal up your lips, and give no words but-mum !
The business asketh silent secrecy.
Dame Eleanor gives gold, to bring the witch:
† A title frequently bestowed on the clergy.
Gold cannot come amiss, were she a devil.
Yet have I gold, flies from another coast:
I dare not say, from the rich cardinal,
And from the great and new-made duke of Suffolk;
Yet I do find it so: for, to be plain,
They, knowing dame Eleanor's aspiring humour,
Have hired me to undermine the duchess,
And buz these conjurations in her brain.
They say, A crafty knave does need no broker;
Yet am I Suffolk and the cardinal's broker.
Hume, if you take not heed, you shall go near
To call them both-a pair of crafty knaves.
Well, so it stands: And thus, I fear, at last,
Hume's knavery will be the duchess' wreck;
And her attainture will be Humphrey's fall:
Sort how it will,* I shall have gold for all.
SCENE III.-The same. A Room in the Palace.
Enter PETER, and others, with Petitions.
1 Pet. My masters, let's stand close; my lord protector will come this way by and by, and then we may deliver our supplications in the quill.t
2 Pet. Marry, the Lord protect him, for he's a good man! Jesu bless him!
Enter SUFFOLK and QUEEN MARGARET.
1 Pet. Here 'a comes, methinks, and the queen with him: I'll be the first, sure.
2 Pet. Come back, fool: this is the duke of Suffolk, and not my lord protector,
Suf. How now, fellow? would'st anything with me?
1 Pet. I pray, my lord, pardon me! I took ye for my lord protector.
Q. Mar. [Reading the superscription.] To my lord protector! are your supplications to his lordship? Let me see them: What is thine?
1 Pet. Mine is, an't please your grace, against John Goodman, my lord cardinal's man, for keeping my house, and lands, and wife and all, from me.
Suf. Thy wife too? that is some wrong, indeed. -What's your's?-What's here! [Reads.] Against the duke of Suffolk, for enclosing the commons of Melford.-How now, sir knave?
2 Pet. Alas, sir, I am but a poor petitioner of our whole town
Peter. [Presenting his Petition.] Against my master, Thomas Horner, for saying, That the duke of York was rightful heir to the crown.
Q. Mar. Why say'st thou? Did the duke of York say, he was rightful heir to the crown?
Peter. That my master was? No, forsooth: my master said, That he was; and that the king was an usurper.
Suf. Who is there? [Enter Servants.]-Take this fellow in, and send for his master with a pursuivant presently:-we'll hear more of your matter before the king.
[Exeunt Servants, with PETER. Q. Mar. And as for you, that love to be protected Under the wings of our protector's grace, Begin your suits anew, and sue to him. Away, base cullions!-Suffolk, let them go. All. Come, let's be gone.
[Tears the Petition.
Q. Mar. My lord of Suffolk, say, is this the guise,
Is this the fashion in the court of England?
Is this the government of Britain's isle,
And this the royalty of Albion's king?
What, shall king Henry be a pupil still,
Under the surly Gloster's governance ?
Am I a queen in title and in style,
And must be made a subject to a duke?
I tell thee, Poole, when in the city Tours
Thou ran'st a tilt in honour of my love,
And stol'st away the ladies' hearts of France;
I thought king Henry had resembled thee,
In courage, courtship, and proportion:
But all his mind is bent to holiness,
To number Ave-Maries on his beads:
His champions are-the prophets and apostles:
His weapons, holy saws of sacred writ;
His study is his tilt-yard, and his loves
Are brazen images of canonized saints.
I would, the college of cardinals
Would choose him pope, and carry him to Rome,
And set the triple crown upon his head;
That were a state fit for his holiness.
Suf. Madam, be patient: as I was cause
Your highness came to England, so will I
In England work your grace's full content.
Qu. Mar. Beside the haught protector, have we Beaufort,
The imperious churchman; Somerset, Buckingham,
And grumbling York: and not the least of these,
But can do more in England than the king.
Suf. And he of these, that can do most of all,
Cannot do more in England than the Nevils:
Salisbury, and Warwick, are no simple peers.
Q. Mar. Not all these lords do vex me half so much,
As that proud dame, the lord protector's wife.
She sweeps it through the court with troops of ladies,
More like an empress than duke Humphrey's wife;
Strangers in court do take her for the queen:
She bears a duke's revenues on her back,