KING HENRY THE SIXTH
HUMPHREY, DUKE OF GLOUCESTER, his uncle
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, BISHOP OF WINCHESTER, great-uncle to the King
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, DUKE OF YORK
EDWARD and RICHARD, his sons
DUKE OF SOMERSET
DUKE OF SUFFOLK
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
YOUNG CLIFFORD, his son
EARL OF SALISBURY
EARL OF WARWICK
SIR HUMPHREY STAFFORD
WILLIAM STAFFORD, his brother
SIR JOHN STANLEY
A LIEUTENANT, a SHIPMASTER, a MASTER'S MATE, and WALTER WHITMORE
TWO GENTLEMEN, prisoners with Suffolk
JOHN HUME and JOHN SOUTHWELL, two priests
ROGER BOLINGBROKE, a conjurer
A SPIRIT raised by him
THOMAS HORNER, an armourer
PETER, his man
CLERK OF CHATHAM
MAYOR OF SAINT ALBANS
SAUNDER SIMPCOX, an impostor
ALEXANDER IDEN, a Kentish gentleman
JACK CADE, a rebel
GEORGE BEVIS, JOHN HOLLAND, DICK THE BUTCHER, SMITH THE WEAVER,
MICHAEL, &c., followers of Cade
MARGARET, Queen to King Henry
ELEANOR, Duchess of Gloucester
MARGERY JOURDAIN, a witch
WIFE to SIMPCOX
Lords, Ladies, and Attendants; Petitioners, Aldermen, a Herald,
a Beadle, a Sheriff, Officers, Citizens, Prentices, Falconers,
Guards, Soldiers, Messengers, &c.
ACT I. SCENE I.
London. The palace
Flourish of trumpets; then hautboys. Enter the KING,
DUKE HUMPHREY OF GLOUCESTER, SALISBURY, WARWICK, and
CARDINAL BEAUFORT, on the one side; the QUEEN, SUFFOLK,
YORK, SOMERSET, and BUCKINGHAM, on the other
SUFFOLK. As by your high imperial Majesty
I had in charge at my depart for France,
As procurator to your Excellence,
To marry Princess Margaret for your Grace;
So, in the famous ancient city Tours,
In presence of the Kings of France and Sicil,
The Dukes of Orleans, Calaber, Bretagne, and Alencon,
Seven earls, twelve barons, and twenty reverend bishops,
I have perform'd my task, and was espous'd;
And humbly now upon my bended knee,
In sight of England and her lordly peers,
Deliver up my title in the Queen
To your most gracious hands, that are the substance
Of that great shadow I did represent:
The happiest gift that ever marquis gave,
The fairest queen that ever king receiv'd.
KING HENRY. Suffolk, arise. Welcome, Queen Margaret:
I can express no kinder sign of love
Than this kind kiss. O Lord, that lends me life,
Lend me a heart replete with thankfulness!
For thou hast given me in this beauteous face
A world of earthly blessings to my soul,
If sympathy of love unite our thoughts.
QUEEN. Great King of England, and my gracious lord,
The mutual conference that my mind hath had,
By day, by night, waking and in my dreams,
In courtly company or at my beads,
With you, mine alder-liefest sovereign,
Makes me the bolder to salute my king
With ruder terms, such as my wit affords
And over-joy of heart doth minister.
KING HENRY. Her sight did ravish, but her grace in speech,
Her words y-clad with wisdom's majesty,
Makes me from wond'ring fall to weeping joys,
Such is the fulness of my heart's content.
Lords, with one cheerful voice welcome my love.
ALL. [Kneeling] Long live Queen Margaret, England's happiness!
QUEEN. We thank you all. [Flourish]
SUFFOLK. My Lord Protector, so it please your Grace,
Here are the articles of contracted peace
Between our sovereign and the French King Charles,
For eighteen months concluded by consent.
GLOUCESTER. [Reads] 'Imprimis: It is agreed between the French King
Charles and William de la Pole, Marquess of Suffolk, ambassador
for Henry King of England, that the said Henry shall espouse the
Lady Margaret, daughter unto Reignier King of Naples, Sicilia,
and Jerusalem, and crown her Queen of England ere the thirtieth
of May next ensuing.
Item: That the duchy of Anjou and the county of Maine shall be
released and delivered to the King her father'-
[Lets the paper fall]
KING HENRY. Uncle, how now!
GLOUCESTER. Pardon me, gracious lord;
Some sudden qualm hath struck me at the heart,
And dimm'd mine eyes, that I can read no further.
KING HENRY. Uncle of Winchester, I pray read on.
CARDINAL. [Reads] 'Item: It is further agreed between them that the
duchies of Anjou and Maine shall be released and delivered over
to the King her father, and she sent over of the King of
England's own proper cost and charges, without having any dowry.'
KING HENRY. They please us well. Lord Marquess, kneel down.
We here create thee the first Duke of Suffolk,
And girt thee with the sword. Cousin of York,
We here discharge your Grace from being Regent
I' th' parts of France, till term of eighteen months
Be full expir'd. Thanks, uncle Winchester,
Gloucester, York, Buckingham, Somerset,
Salisbury, and Warwick;
We thank you all for this great favour done
In entertainment to my princely queen.
Come, let us in, and with all speed provide
To see her coronation be perform'd.
Exeunt KING, QUEEN, and SUFFOLK
GLOUCESTER. Brave peers of England, pillars of the state,
To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief
Your grief, the common grief of all the land.
What! did my brother Henry spend his youth,
His valour, coin, and people, in the wars?
Did he so often lodge in open field,
In winter's cold and summer's parching heat,
To conquer France, his true inheritance?
And did my brother Bedford toil his wits
To keep by policy what Henry got?
Have you yourselves, Somerset, Buckingham,
Brave York, Salisbury, and victorious Warwick,
Receiv'd deep scars in France and Normandy?
Or hath mine uncle Beaufort and myself,
With all the learned Council of the realm,
Studied so long, sat in the Council House
Early and late, debating to and fro
How France and Frenchmen might be kept in awe?
And had his Highness in his infancy
Crowned in Paris, in despite of foes?
And shall these labours and these honours die?
Shall Henry's conquest, Bedford's vigilance,
Your deeds of war, and all our counsel die?
O peers of England, shameful is this league!
Fatal this marriage, cancelling your fame,
Blotting your names from books of memory,
Razing the characters of your renown,
Defacing monuments of conquer'd France,
Undoing all, as all had never been!
CARDINAL. Nephew, what means this passionate discourse,
This peroration with such circumstance?
For France, 'tis ours; and we will keep it still.
GLOUCESTER. Ay, uncle, we will keep it if we can;
But now it is impossible we should.
Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
Hath given the duchy of Anjou and Maine
Unto the poor King Reignier, whose large style
Agrees not with the leanness of his purse.
SALISBURY. Now, by the death of Him that died for all,
These counties were the keys of Normandy!
But wherefore weeps Warwick, my valiant son?
WARWICK. For grief that they are past recovery;
For were there hope to conquer them again
My sword should shed hot blood, mine eyes no tears.
Anjou and Maine! myself did win them both;
Those provinces these arms of mine did conquer;
And are the cities that I got with wounds
Deliver'd up again with peaceful words?
YORK. For Suffolk's duke, may he be suffocate,
That dims the honour of this warlike isle!
France should have torn and rent my very heart
Before I would have yielded to this league.
I never read but England's kings have had
Large sums of gold and dowries with their wives;
And our King Henry gives away his own
To match with her that brings no vantages.
GLOUCESTER. A proper jest, and never heard before,
That Suffolk should demand a whole fifteenth
For costs and charges in transporting her!
She should have stay'd in France, and starv'd in France,
CARDINAL. My Lord of Gloucester, now ye grow too hot:
It was the pleasure of my lord the King.
GLOUCESTER. My Lord of Winchester, I know your mind;
'Tis not my speeches that you do mislike,
But 'tis my presence that doth trouble ye.
Rancour will out: proud prelate, in thy face
I see thy fury; if I longer stay
We shall begin our ancient bickerings.
Lordings, farewell; and say, when I am gone,
I prophesied France will be lost ere long. Exit
CARDINAL. So, there goes our Protector in a rage.
'Tis known to you he is mine enemy;
Nay, more, an enemy unto you all,
And no great friend, I fear me, to the King.
Consider, lords, he is the next of blood
And heir apparent to the English crown.
Had Henry got an empire by his marriage
And all the wealthy kingdoms of the west,
There's reason he should be displeas'd at it.
Look to it, lords; let not his smoothing words
Bewitch your hearts; be wise and circumspect.
What though the common people favour him,
Calling him 'Humphrey, the good Duke of Gloucester,'
Clapping their hands, and crying with loud voice
'Jesu maintain your royal excellence!'
With 'God preserve the good Duke Humphrey!'
I fear me, lords, for all this flattering gloss,
He will be found a dangerous Protector.
BUCKINGHAM. Why should he then protect our sovereign,
He being of age to govern of himself?
Cousin of Somerset, join you with me,
And all together, with the Duke of Suffolk,
We'll quickly hoise Duke Humphrey from his seat.
CARDINAL. This weighty business will not brook delay;
I'll to the Duke of Suffolk presently. Exit
SOMERSET. Cousin of Buckingham, though Humphrey's pride
And greatness of his place be grief to us,
Yet let us watch the haughty cardinal;
His insolence is more intolerable
Than all the princes in the land beside;
If Gloucester be displac'd, he'll be Protector.
BUCKINGHAM. Or thou or I, Somerset, will be Protector,
Despite Duke Humphrey or the Cardinal.
Exeunt BUCKINGHAM and SOMERSET
SALISBURY. Pride went before, ambition follows him.
While these do labour for their own preferment,
Behoves it us to labour for the realm.
I never saw but Humphrey Duke of Gloucester
Did bear him like a noble gentleman.
Oft have I seen the haughty Cardinal-
More like a soldier than a man o' th' church,
As stout and proud as he were lord of all-
Swear like a ruffian and demean himself
Unlike the ruler of a commonweal.
Warwick my son, the comfort of my age,
Thy deeds, thy plainness, and thy housekeeping,
Hath won the greatest favour of the commons,
Excepting none but good Duke Humphrey.
And, brother York, thy acts in Ireland,
In bringing them to civil discipline,
Thy late exploits done in the heart of France
When thou wert Regent for our sovereign,
Have made thee fear'd and honour'd of the people:
Join we together for the public good,
In what we can, to bridle and suppress
The pride of Suffolk and the Cardinal,
With Somerset's and Buckingham's ambition;
And, as we may, cherish Duke Humphrey's deeds
While they do tend the profit of the land.
WARWICK. So God help Warwick, as he loves the land
And common profit of his country!
YORK. And so says York- [Aside] for he hath greatest cause.
SALISBURY. Then let's make haste away and look unto the main.
WARWICK. Unto the main! O father, Maine is lost-
That Maine which by main force Warwick did win,
And would have kept so long as breath did last.
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 changes 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 wrings his hapless hands
And shakes his head and trembling stands aloof,
While all is shar'd 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 Althaea burnt
Unto the prince's heart of Calydon.
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 Nevils' 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 fits 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 fall'n 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. Exit