Henry VI, Pt. 2
Act III, Scene 2
Bury St Edmunds. A palace room of state.
- Enter two or three Murderers running over the stage, from
- the murder of Duke Humphrey.
First Murderer1 - 2
- Run to my Lord of Suffolk; let him know
- We have dispatch’d the Duke, as he commanded.
Second Murderer3 - 4
- O that it were to do! What have we done?
- Didst ever hear a man so penitent?
- Enter Suffolk.
- Here comes my lord.
Duke of Suffolk6
- Now, sirs, have you dispatch’d this thing?
- Ay, my good lord, he’s dead.
Duke of Suffolk8 - 12
- Why, that’s well said. Go, get you to my house,
- I will reward you for this venturous deed.
- The King and all the peers are here at hand.
- Have you laid fair the bed? Is all things well,
- According as I gave directions?
- ’Tis, my good lord.
Duke of Suffolk14
- Away, be gone.
- Sound trumpets. Enter the King, the Queen, Cardinal,
- Suffolk, Somerset, with Attendants.
King Henry the Sixth15 - 17
- Go call our uncle to our presence straight.
- Say we intend to try his Grace today,
- If he be guilty, as ’tis published.
Duke of Suffolk18
- I’ll call him presently, my noble lord.
King Henry the Sixth19 - 22
- Lords, take your places; and I pray you all
- Proceed no straiter ’gainst our uncle Gloucester
- Than from true evidence of good esteem
- He be approv’d in practice culpable.
Queen Margaret23 - 25
- God forbid any malice should prevail,
- That faultless may condemn a nobleman!
- Pray God he may acquit him of suspicion!
King Henry the Sixth26 - 28
- I thank thee, Meg, these words content me much.
- Enter Suffolk.
- How now? Why look’st thou pale? Why tremblest thou?
- Where is our uncle? What’s the matter, Suffolk?
Duke of Suffolk29
- Dead in his bed, my lord; Gloucester is dead.
- Marry, God forfend!
Cardinal Beauford31 - 32
- God’s secret judgment. I did dream tonight
- The Duke was dumb and could not speak a word.
- King sounds.
- How fares my lord? Help, lords, the King is dead.
Duke of Somerset34
- Rear up his body, wring him by the nose.
- Run, go, help, help! O Henry, ope thine eyes!
Duke of Suffolk36
- He doth revive again. Madam, be patient.
King Henry the Sixth37
- O heavenly God!
- How fares my gracious lord?
Duke of Suffolk39
- Comfort, my sovereign! Gracious Henry, comfort!
King Henry the Sixth40 - 56
- What, doth my Lord of Suffolk comfort me?
- Came he right now to sing a raven’s note,
- Whose dismal tune bereft my vital pow’rs;
- And thinks he that the chirping of a wren,
- By crying comfort from a hollow breast,
- Can chase away the first-conceived sound?
- Hide not thy poison with such sug’red words.
- Lay not thy hands on me; forbear, I say!
- Their touch affrights me as a serpent’s sting.
- Thou baleful messenger, out of my sight!
- Upon thy eyeballs murderous tyranny
- Sits in grim majesty, to fright the world.
- Look not upon me, for thine eyes are wounding.
- Yet do not go away. Come, basilisk,
- And kill the innocent gazer with thy sight;
- For in the shade of death I shall find joy;
- In life but double death, now Gloucester’s dead.
Queen Margaret57 - 72
- Why do you rate my Lord of Suffolk thus?
- Although the Duke was enemy to him,
- Yet he most Christian-like laments his death;
- And for myself, foe as he was to me,
- Might liquid tears or heart-offending groans
- Or blood-consuming sighs recall his life,
- I would be blind with weeping, sick with groans,
- Look pale as primrose with blood-drinking sighs,
- And all to have the noble Duke alive.
- What know I how the world may deem of me,
- For it is known we were but hollow friends?
- It may be judg’d I made the Duke away,
- So shall my name with slander’s tongue be wounded,
- And princes’ courts be fill’d with my reproach.
- This get I by his death. Ay me, unhappy,
- To be a queen, and crown’d with infamy!
King Henry the Sixth73
- Ah, woe is me for Gloucester, wretched man!
Queen Margaret74 - 122
- Be woe for me, more wretched than he is.
- What, dost thou turn away and hide thy face?
- I am no loathsome leper, look on me.
- What? Art thou like the adder waxen deaf?
- Be poisonous too, and kill thy forlorn queen.
- Is all thy comfort shut in Gloucester’s tomb?
- Why then Dame Margaret was ne’er thy joy.
- Erect his statue and worship it,
- And make my image but an alehouse sign.
- Was I for this nigh wrack’d upon the sea,
- And twice by awkward wind from England’s bank
- Drove back again unto my native clime?
- What boded this, but well forewarning wind
- Did seem to say, “Seek not a scorpion’s nest,
- Nor set no footing on this unkind shore”?
- What did I then, but curs’d the gentle gusts,
- And he that loos’d them forth their brazen caves,
- And bid them blow towards England’s blessed shore,
- Or turn our stern upon a dreadful rock?
- Yet Aeolus would not be a murderer,
- But left that hateful office unto thee.
- The pretty vaulting sea refus’d to drown me,
- Knowing that thou wouldst have me drown’d on shore
- With tears as salt as sea, through thy unkindness.
- The splitting rocks cow’r’d in the sinking sands,
- And would not dash me with their ragged sides,
- Because thy flinty heart, more hard than they,
- Might in thy palace perish Margaret.
- As far as I could ken thy chalky cliffs,
- When from thy shore the tempest beat us back,
- I stood upon the hatches in the storm;
- And when the dusky sky began to rob
- My earnest-gaping sight of thy land’s view,
- I took a costly jewel from my neck,
- A heart it was, bound in with diamonds,
- And threw it towards thy land. The sea receiv’d it,
- And so I wish’d thy body might my heart.
- And even with this I lost fair England’s view,
- And bid mine eyes be packing with my heart,
- And call’d them blind and dusky spectacles,
- For losing ken of Albion’s wished coast.
- How often have I tempted Suffolk’s tongue
- (The agent of thy foul inconstancy)
- To sit and witch me, as Ascanius did
- When he to madding Dido would unfold
- His father’s acts commenc’d in burning Troy!
- Am I not witch’d like her? Or thou not false like him?
- Ay me, I can no more! Die, Margaret!
- For Henry weeps that thou dost live so long.
- Noise within. Enter Warwick, Salisbury, and many Commons.
Earl of Warwick123 - 130
- It is reported, mighty sovereign,
- That good Duke Humphrey traitorously is murd’red
- By Suffolk and the Cardinal Beauford’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 calm’d their spleenful mutiny,
- Until they hear the order of his death.
King Henry the Sixth131 - 134
- 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.
Earl of Warwick135 - 136
- That shall I do, my liege. Stay, Salisbury,
- With the rude multitude till I return.
- Exit Warwick; then Salisbury with the Commons.
King Henry the Sixth137 - 149
- O Thou that judgest all things, stay my thoughts,
- My thoughts that labor to persuade my soul
- 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,
- Bed put forth with the body of Gloucester in it.
- Enter Warwick.
- And to survey his dead and earthy image,
- What were it but to make my sorrow greater?
Earl of Warwick150
- Come hither, gracious sovereign, view this body.
King Henry the Sixth151 - 153
- That is to see how deep my grave is made,
- For with his soul fled all my worldly solace;
- For seeing him, I see my life in death.
Earl of Warwick154 - 158
- 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.
Duke of Suffolk159 - 160
- A dreadful oath, sworn with a solemn tongue!
- What instance gives Lord Warwick for his vow?
Earl of Warwick161 - 179
- See how the blood is settled in his face.
- Oft have I seen a timely-parted ghost,
- Of ashy semblance, meager, 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 uprear’d, his nostrils stretch’d with struggling;
- His hands abroad display’d, as one that grasp’d
- And tugg’d for life, and was by strength subdu’d.
- Look, on the sheets his hair, you see, is sticking,
- His well-proportion’d beard made rough and rugged,
- Like to the summer’s corn by tempest lodged.
- It cannot be but he was murd’red here,
- The least of all these signs were probable.
Duke of Suffolk180 - 182
- Why, Warwick, who should do the Duke to death?
- Myself and Beauford had him in protection,
- And we, I hope, sir, are no murderers.
Earl of Warwick183 - 187
- But both of you were vowed Duke Humphrey’s foes,
- And you
- To Cardinal.
- forsooth, had the good Duke to keep.
- ’Tis like you would not feast him like a friend,
- And ’tis well seen he found an enemy.
Queen Margaret188 - 189
- Then you belike suspect these noblemen
- As guilty of Duke Humphrey’s timeless death.
Earl of Warwick190 - 196
- Who finds the heifer dead and bleeding fresh,
- And sees fast by a butcher with an axe,
- But will suspect ’twas he that made the slaughter?
- Who finds the partridge in the puttock’s nest
- But may imagine how the bird was dead,
- Although the kite soar with unbloodied beak?
- Even so suspicious is this tragedy.
Queen Margaret197 - 198
- Are you the butcher, Suffolk? Where’s your knife?
- Is Beauford term’d a kite? Where are his talons?
Duke of Suffolk199 - 204
- 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, Somerset, and others.
Earl of Warwick205
- What dares not Warwick, if false Suffolk dare him?
Queen Margaret206 - 208
- He dares not calm his contumelious spirit,
- Nor cease to be an arrogant controller,
- Though Suffolk dare him twenty thousand times.
Earl of Warwick209 - 211
- Madam, be still—with reverence may I say—
- For every word you speak in his behalf
- Is slander to your royal dignity.
Duke of Suffolk212 - 217
- Blunt-witted lord, ignoble in demeanor!
- If ever lady wrong’d her lord so much,
- Thy mother took into her blameful bed
- Some stern untutor’d churl; and noble stock
- Was graft with crab-tree slip, whose fruit thou art
- And never of the Nevils’ noble race.
Earl of Warwick218 - 228
- 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 murd’rous coward, on thy knee
- Make thee beg pardon for thy passed speech,
- And say it was thy mother that thou meant’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 blood-sucker of sleeping men!
Duke of Suffolk229 - 230
- Thou shalt be waking while I shed thy blood,
- If from this presence thou dar’st go with me.
Earl of Warwick231 - 233
- Away even now, or I will drag thee hence.
- Unworthy though thou art, I’ll cope with thee,
- And do some service to Duke Humphrey’s ghost.
- Exeunt Suffolk and Warwick.
King Henry the Sixth234 - 237
- What stronger breastplate than a heart untainted!
- Thrice is he arm’d that hath his quarrel just;
- And he but naked, though lock’d up in steel,
- Whose conscience with injustice is corrupted.
- A noise within.
- What noise is this?
- Enter Suffolk and Warwick with their weapons drawn.
King Henry the Sixth239 - 241
- Why, how now, lords? Your wrathful weapons drawn
- Here in our presence? Dare you be so bold?
- Why, what tumultuous clamor have we here?
Duke of Suffolk242 - 243
- The trait’rous Warwick, with the men of Bury,
- Set all upon me, mighty sovereign.
- Enter Salisbury.
Earl of Salisbury244 - 271
- To the Commons within.
- Sirs, stand apart, the King shall know your mind.—
- Dread lord, the commons send you word by me,
- Unless Lord 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 ling’ring 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
- In pain of your dislike, or pain of death,
- Yet notwithstanding such a strait edict,
- Were there a serpent seen, with forked tongue,
- That slyly glided towards your Majesty,
- It were but necessary you were wak’d,
- Lest being suffer’d in that harmful slumber,
- The mortal worm might make the sleep eternal.
- And therefore do they cry, though you forbid,
- That they will guard you, whe’er you will or no,
- From such fell serpents as false Suffolk is;
- With whose envenomed and fatal sting,
- Your loving uncle, twenty times his worth,
- They say is shamefully bereft of life.
- An answer from the King, my Lord of Salisbury!
Duke of Suffolk273 - 279
- ’Tis like the commons, rude unpolish’d hinds,
- Could send such message to their sovereign.
- But you, my lord, were glad to be employ’d,
- To show how quaint an orator you are;
- But all the honor Salisbury hath won
- Is, that he was the lord ambassador
- Sent from a sort of tinkers to the King.
- An answer from the King, or we will all break in!
King Henry the Sixth281 - 290
- Go, Salisbury, and tell them all from me,
- I thank them for their tender loving care;
- And had I not been cited so by them,
- Yet did I purpose as they do entreat;
- For sure, my thoughts do hourly prophesy
- Mischance unto my state by Suffolk’s means.
- And therefore by His majesty I swear,
- Whose far-unworthy deputy I am,
- He shall not breathe infection in this air
- But three days longer, on the pain of death.
- Exit Salisbury.
- O Henry, let me plead for gentle Suffolk!
King Henry the Sixth292 - 301
- Ungentle queen, to call him gentle Suffolk!
- No more, I say! If thou dost plead for him,
- Thou wilt but add increase unto my wrath.
- Had I but said, I would have kept my word;
- But when I swear, it is irrevocable.
- If after three days’ space thou here be’st found
- On any ground that I am ruler of,
- The world shall not be ransom for thy life.
- Come, Warwick, come, good Warwick, go with me,
- I have great matters to impart to thee.
- Exit with Warwick.
Queen Margaret302 - 306
- Mischance and sorrow go along with you!
- Heart’s discontent and sour affliction
- Be playfellows to keep you company!
- There’s two of you, the devil make a third,
- And threefold vengeance tend upon your steps!
Duke of Suffolk307 - 308
- Cease, gentle queen, these execrations,
- And let thy Suffolk take his heavy leave.
Queen Margaret309 - 310
- Fie, coward woman and soft-hearted wretch!
- Hast thou not spirit to curse thine enemy?
Duke of Suffolk311 - 330
- A plague upon them! Wherefore should I curse them?
- Would curses kill, as doth the mandrake’s groan,
- I would invent as bitter searching terms,
- As curst, as harsh, and horrible to hear,
- Deliver’d strongly through my fixed teeth,
- With full as many signs of deadly hate,
- As lean-fac’d Envy in her loathsome cave.
- My tongue should stumble in mine earnest words,
- Mine eyes should sparkle like the beaten flint,
- Mine hair be fix’d an end, as one distract;
- Ay, every joint should seem to curse and ban;
- And even now my burden’d heart would break,
- Should I not curse them. Poison be their drink!
- Gall, worse than gall, the daintiest that they taste!
- Their sweetest shade a grove of cypress trees!
- Their chiefest prospect murd’ring basilisks!
- Their softest touch as smart as lizards’ stings!
- Their music frightful as the serpent’s hiss,
- And boding screech owls make the consort full!
- All the foul terrors in dark-seated hell—
Queen Margaret331 - 334
- Enough, sweet Suffolk, thou torment’st thyself,
- And these dread curses, like the sun ’gainst glass,
- Or like an overcharged gun, recoil,
- And turns the force of them upon thyself.
Duke of Suffolk335 - 340
- You bade me ban, and will you bid me leave?
- Now by the ground that I am banish’d from,
- Well could I curse away a winter’s night,
- Though standing naked on a mountain top,
- Where biting cold would never let grass grow,
- And think it but a minute spent in sport.
Queen Margaret341 - 358
- O, let me entreat thee cease. Give me thy hand,
- That I may dew it with my mournful tears;
- Nor let the rain of heaven wet this place
- To wash away my woeful monuments.
- O, could this kiss be printed in thy hand,
- That thou mightst think upon these by the seal,
- Through whom a thousand sighs are breath’d for thee!
- So get thee gone, that I may know my grief,
- ’Tis but surmis’d whiles thou art standing by,
- As one that surfeits thinking on a want.
- I will repeal thee, or, be well assur’d,
- Adventure to be banished myself;
- And banished I am, if but from thee.
- Go, speak not to me; even now be gone.
- O, go not yet! Even thus two friends condemn’d
- Embrace, and kiss, and take ten thousand leaves,
- Loather a hundred times to part than die.
- Yet now farewell, and farewell life with thee!
Duke of Suffolk359 - 368
- Thus is poor Suffolk ten times banished,
- Once by the King, and three times thrice by thee.
- ’Tis not the land I care for, wert thou thence;
- A wilderness is populous enough,
- So Suffolk had thy heavenly company:
- For where thou art, there is the world itself,
- With every several pleasure in the world;
- And where thou art not, desolation.
- I can no more: live thou to joy thy life;
- Myself no joy in nought but that thou liv’st.
- Enter Vaux.
- Whither goes Vaux so fast? What news, I prithee?
Vaux370 - 380
- To signify unto his Majesty
- That Cardinal Beauford is at point of death;
- For suddenly a grievous sickness took him,
- That makes him gasp, and stare, and catch the air,
- Blaspheming God and cursing men on earth.
- Sometime he talks as if Duke Humphrey’s ghost
- Were by his side; sometime he calls the King,
- And whispers to his pillow as to him
- The secrets of his overcharged soul;
- And I am sent to tell his Majesty
- That even now he cries aloud for him.
Queen Margaret381 - 389
- Go tell this heavy message to the King.
- Exit Vaux.
- Ay me! What is this world! What news are these!
- But wherefore grieve I at an hour’s poor loss,
- Omitting Suffolk’s exile, my soul’s treasure?
- Why only, Suffolk, mourn I not for thee,
- And with the southern clouds contend in tears,
- Theirs for the earth’s increase, mine for my sorrows?
- Now get thee hence, the King, thou know’st, is coming.
- If thou be found by me, thou art but dead.
Duke of Suffolk390 - 404
- If I depart from thee, I cannot live,
- And in thy sight to die, what were it else
- But like a pleasant slumber in thy lap?
- Here could I breathe my soul into the air,
- As mild and gentle as the cradle-babe
- Dying with mother’s dug between its lips;
- Where, from thy sight, I should be raging mad,
- And cry out for thee to close up mine eyes,
- To have thee with thy lips to stop my mouth;
- So shouldst thou either turn my flying soul,
- Or I should breathe it so into thy body,
- And then it liv’d in sweet Elysium.
- To die by thee were but to die in jest,
- From thee to die were torture more than death.
- O, let me stay, befall what may befall!
Queen Margaret405 - 409
- Away! Though parting be a fretful corrosive,
- It is applied to a deathful wound.
- To France, sweet Suffolk! Let me hear from thee;
- For wheresoe’er thou art in this world’s globe,
- I’ll have an Iris that shall find thee out.
Duke of Suffolk410
- I go.
- And take my heart with thee.
- She kisseth him.
Duke of Suffolk412 - 415
- A jewel, lock’d into the woefull’st cask
- That ever did contain a thing of worth.
- Even as a splitted bark, so sunder we;
- This way fall I to death.
- This way for me.
- Exeunt severally.