Page images
PDF
EPUB

This ornament of knighthood, yea, or no?

Glou. To say the truth, this fact was infamous,
And ill befeeming any cominon man;
Much more a Knight, a Captain, and a Leader.

Tal. When first this order was ordain’d, iny Lords,
Knights of the Garter were of noble birth;
Valiant and virtuous, full of haughty courage ;
Such as were grown to credit by the wars;
Not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress,
But always resolute in most extremes.
He then that is not furnish'd in this fort,
Doth but ufurp the sacred name of Knight,
Profaning this most honourable order;
And shou'd, if I were worthy to be judge,
Be quite degraded, like a hedge-born swain
That doth presume to boast of gentle blood. [doom;

K. Henry. Stain to thy countrymen! thou hear'st thy Be packing therefore, thou that wast a Knight; Henceforth we banish thee: on pain of death. (Exit Fal, And now, my Lord Protector, view the letter Sent from our uncle Duke of Burgundy. Glou. What means his Grace, that he hath changed

his style ? No more but plain and bluntly, To the King. [Reading. Hath he forgot he is his Sovereign? Or doth his churlish superscription: Portend fome alteration in good-will? What's here? I have upon especial cause, [Reads. Mou'd with compassion of my country's wreck, Together with the pitiful complaints: Of such as your oppression feeds upon, Forsaken your pernicious faction; And join'd with Charles the rightful King of France. O monstrous treachery! can this be so ? That in alliance, amity, and oaths, There should be found such false diffembling guile?

K. Henry. What! doth my uncle Burgundy revolt? Glou. He doth, my Lord, and is become your foe. K. Henry. Is that the worst this letter doth contain ? Glou. It is the worst, and all, my Lord, he writes,

K. Henry. Why then, Lord Talbot there shall talk And give him chastiferpent for this abuse. [with him,

My

My Lord, how say you, are you not content?
Tal. Content, my Liege? yes: but that I am pre-

vented,
I should have begg'd I might have been employ'd.

K. Henry. Then gather strength, and march unto him Let him perceive how ill we brook his treaton, [ltrait: And what offence it is to fiout his friends.

Tal. I go, my Lord, in heart defiring still You may behold confusion of your foes. [Exit Talbot.

SCENE II. Enter Vernon aud Baffet. Ver. Grant me the combat, gracious Sovereign. Bas. And me, my Lord, grant me the combat too. York. This is my servant; hear him, Noble Prince. Som. And this is mine; sweet Henry, favour him. K. Henry. Be patient, Lords, and give them leave to

speak. Say, Gentlemen, what makes you thus exclaim? And wherefore crave you combat? or with whom?

Ver. With him, my Lord, for he hath done me wrong. Baf. And I with him, for he hath done me wrong.

K. Henry. What is the wrong whereon you both comFirst let me know, and then I'll answer you. (plain.

Bal. Crossing the sea from England into France,
This fellow here, with envious, carping tongue,
Upbraided me about the rose I wear;
Saying, the fanguine colour of the leaves
Did represent my master's blushing cheeks;
When stubbornly he did repugn the truth
About a certain question in the law,
Argu'd betwixt the Duke of York and him ;
With other vile and ignominious terms.
In confutation of which rude reproach,
And in defence of my Lord's worthiness,
I crave the benefit of law of arms.

Ver. And that is my petition, Noble Lord:
For tho' he seem, with forged quaint conceit,
To set a glofs upon his bold intent;
Yet know, my Lord, I was provok'd by him;
And he first took exceptions at this badge,
Pronouncing, that the paleness of this flower
Bewray'd the faintness of my master's heart.

Pork,

York. Will not this malice, Somerset, be left?

Som. Your private grudge, my Lord of York, will out; Though ne'er to cunningly you smother it.

K. Henry. Good Lord! what madness rules in brainWhen, for fo flight and frivolous a cause, [fick men ! Such factious emulations shall arise ! Good cousins both of York and Somerset, Quiet yourlelves, I pray, and be at peace.

York. Let this diffenfion first be try'd by fight; And then your Highness thall command a peace.

Som. The quarrel toucheth none but us alone;
Betwixt ourselves let us decide it then.

York. There is my pledge; accept it, Somerset:
Ver. Nay, let it rest where it began at firit.
Baf. Confirm it so, inine Honourable Lord.

Glou. Confirm it fo! confounded be your strife;
And perish ye with your audacious prate;
Presumptuous vaffils ! are you not asham'd
With this immodest clamorous outrage
To trouble and disturb the King and us?
And you, my Lords, methinks you do not well
To bear with their perverle objections ;
Much less to take occasion from their mouths
To raise a mutiny betwixt yourselves.
Let me persuade you, take a better course.
Exe. It grieves his Highness; good my Lords, be

friends. K. Henry. Come hither, you that wou'd be combatants. Henceforth I charge you, as you love our favour, Quite to forget this quarrel, and the cause. And you, my Lords, remember where we are : In France; amongst a fickle wavering nation. If they perceive diffenfion in our looks, And that within ourselves we disagree, How will their grudging stomachs be provok'd To wilful disobedience, and rehel? Beside, what infamy will there arife, When foreign princes shall be certify'd, That for a toy, a thing of no regard, King Henry's Peers and chief nobility Destroy'd themselves, and lost the realm of France! 0, think upon the conquest of my father,

My

Your angry

My tender years, and let us not forego
That for a trifle which was bought with blood.
Let me be umpire in this doubtful ttrise.
I see no reason, if I wear this rose,
That any one should therefore be luspicious
I more incline to Somerset than York.
Both are my kinsmen, and I love them both.
As well they may upbraid me with my crown,
Because, forsooth the King of Scots is crown’d,
But your discretions better can persuade,
Than I am able to instruct or teach :
And therefore, as we hither came in peace,
So let us still continue peace and love.
Cousin of York, we institute your Grace
To be our Regent in these parts of France:
And, good my Lord of Somerset, unite
Your troops of horsemen with his bands of foot :
And, like true subjects, fons of your progenitors,
Go chearfully together, and digelt

choler on your enemies.
Our self, my Lord Protector, and the rest,
After some respite will return to Calais;
From thence to England; where I hope ere long
To be presented by your victories,
With Charles, Alanson, and that trait'rous rout.

[Flourish. Exeunt, Manent York, Warwick, Exeter, and Vernon. War. My Lord of York, I promise you, the King Prettily, methought, did play the orator.

York. And so he did ; but yet I like it not, In that he wears the badge of Somerset.

War. Tush, that was but his fancy, blame him not:. I dare presume, sweet Prince, he thought no harm.

York. And if I wis, he did. -But let it reit; Other affairs must now be managed. [Exeunt.

Maret Exeter. Exe. Well didst thou, Richard, to suppress thy voice: For had the passions of thy heart burit out, I fear we thould have seen decypher'd there More ranç'rous ipigbt, more furious raging broils,

Than

Than yet can be imagin'd or fuppos'd.
But howsoe'er, no simple man that sees
This jarring discord of Noblity,
This thould'ring of each other in the court,
This factious bandying of their favourites,
But that he doth prelage fome ill event.
'Tis much, when sceptres are in childrens' hands;
But more, when envy breeds unkind division :
There comes the ruin, there begins confufion. [Exit,

SCENE III. Before the walls of Bourdeaux.

Enter Talbot with trumpets aud drums.
Tal. Go to the gates of Bourdeaux, trumpeter,
Summon their General unto the wall. [Sounds,

Enter General, aloft.
Englifh John Talbot, Captains, calls you forth,
Servant in arms to Harry King of England;
And thus he would. Open your city.gates,
Be humbled to us, call my sovereign yours,
And do him homage as obedient subjects,
And I'll withdraw me and my bloody pow'r.
But if you frown upon this proffer'd peace,
You tempt the fury of my three attendants,
Lean famine, quartering steel, and climbing fire;
Who in a moment even with the earth
Shall lay your stately and air- braving tow'rs,
If you forsake the offer of their love.

Gen. Thou ominous and fearful owl of death,
Our nation's terror, and their bloody scourge!
The period of thy tyranny approacheth.
On us thou canst not enter, but by death;
For I protest we are well fortify'd,
And strong enough to iffue out and fight.
If thou retire, the Dauphin, well appointed,
Stands with the fnares of war to tangle thee.
On either hand thee, there are squadrons pitch'd
To wall thee from the liberty of fight;
And no way canst thou turn thee for redress,
But death doth front thee with apparent spoil,
And pale destruction meets thee in the face,

« PreviousContinue »