Page images
PDF
EPUB

As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what :
But what, o'God's name, doth become of this?
North. Wars have not wasted it, for warr'd he hath

not,
But basely yielded upon compromise
That, which his ancestors achiev'd with blows:
More hath he spent in peace, than they in wars.

Ross. The earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
Willo. The king's grown bankrupt, like a broken

man.

North. Reproach, and dissolution, hangeth over him.

Ross. He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banish'd duke

North. His noble kinsman : most degenerate king !
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm:
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.

Ross. We see the very wreck that we must suffer ; And unavoided is the danger now, For suffering so the causes of our wreck. North. Not so; even through the hollow eyes of

death, I spy life peering ; but I dare not say How near the tidings of our comfort is.

Willo. Nay, let us share thy thoughts, as thou dost

ours.

Ross. Be confident to speak, Northumberland :
We three are but thyself; and, speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore, be bold.

North. Then thus :—I have from Port le Blanc, a

bay In Brittany, receiv'd intelligence, That Harry Hereford, Reignold lord Cobham, The son of Richard Earl of Arundel, That late broke from the duke of Exeter, His brother, archbishop late of Canterbury, Sir Thomas Erpingham, sir John Ramston, Sir John Norbery, sir Robert Waterton, and Francis

Quoint, All these well furnished by the duke of Bretagne, With eight tall ships, three thousand men of war, Are making hither with all due expedience, And shortly mean to touch our northern shore: Perhaps, they had ere this; but that they stay The first departing of the king for Ireland. If then we shall shake off our slavish yoke, Imp out our drooping country's broken wing, Redeem from broken pawn the blemish'd crown, Wipe off the dust that hides our scepter's gilt, And make high majesty look like itself, Away, with me, in post to Ravenspurg : But if you faint, as fearing to do so, Stay, and be secret, and myself will go. Ross. To horse, to horse! urge doubts to them that

fear. Willo. Hold out my horse, and I will first be there.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-The same. A Room in the Palace.

Enter Queen, Bushy, and Bagot.
Bushy. Madam, your majesty is too much sad:
You promisd, when you parted with the king,
To lay aside life-harming heaviness,
And entertain a cheerful disposition.

Queen. To please the king, I did ; to please myself,
I cannot do it; yet I know no cause,
Why I should welcome such a guest as grief,
Save bidding farewell to so sweet a guest
As my sweet Richard : Yet, again, metbinks,
Some unborn sorrow, ripe in fortune's womb,
Is coming towards me; and my inward soul
With nothing trembles : at something it grieves,
More than with parting from my lord the king.
Bushy. Each substance of a grief hath twenty sha-

dows, Which show like grief itself, but are not so: For sorrow's eye, glazed with blinding tears, Divides one thing entire to many objects ; Like perspectives, which, rightly gaz'd upon, Show nothing but confusion; ey'd awry, Distinguish form : so your sweet majesty, Looking awry upon your lord's departure, Finds shapes of grief, more than himself, to wail; Which, look'd on as it is, is nought but shadows Of what it is not. Then, thrice-gracious queen, More than your lord's departure weep not; more's not

seen:

Or if it be, 'tis with false sorrow's eye,
Which, for things true, weeps things imaginary.

Queen. It may be so; but yet my inward soul
Persuades me, it is otherwise: Howe'er it be,
I cannot but be sad; so heavy sad,
As,-though, in thinking, on no thought I think,-
Makes me with heavy nothing faint and shrink.

Bushy. 'Tis nothing but conceit, my gracious lady.

Queen. 'Tis nothing less: conceit is still deriv'd
From some fore-father grief; mine is not so;
For nothing hath begot my something grief;
Or something hath the nothing that I grieve:
"Tis in reversion that I do possess;
But what it is, that is not yet known; what
I cannot name; 'tis nameless woe, I wot.

Enter GREEN. Green. God save your majesty!—and well met, gen

tlemen : I hope, the king is not yet shipp'd for Ireland.

Queen. Why hop'st thou so ? 'tis better hope, he is;
For his designs crave haste, his haste good hope;
Then wherefore dost thou hope, he is not shipp'd
Green. That he, our hope, might have retir’d his

power,
And driven into despair an enemy's hope,
Who strongly hath set footing in this land :
The banish'd Bolingbroke repeals himself,
And with uplifted arms is safe arrivd
At Ravenspurg.

Queen. Now God in heaven forbid !
Green. O, madam, 'tis too true : and that is worse,-
The lord Northumberland, his young son Henry Percy,
The lords of Ross, Beaumond, and Willoughby,
With all their powerful friends, are fled to him.
Bushy. Why have you not proclaim’d Northumber-

land,
And all the rest of the revolting faction,
Traitors ?

Green. We have: whereon the earl of Worcester Hath broke his staff, resign’d his stewardship, And all the household servants fled with him To Bolingbroke.

Queen. So, Green, thou art the midwife to my woe, And Bolingbroke my sorrow's dismal heir : Now hath my soul brought forth her prodigy; And I, a gasping new-deliver’d mother, Have woe to woe, sorrow to sorrow join’d.

Bushy. Despair not, madam.

Queen. Who shall hinder me?
I will despair, and be at enmity
With cozening hope; he is a flatterer,
A parasite, a keeper-back of death,
Who gently would dissolve the bands of life,
Which false hope lingers in extremity.

Enter YORK.
Green. Here comes the duke of York.

Queen. With signs of war about his aged neck;
O, full of careful business are his looks!
Uncle,
For heaven's sake, speak comfortable words.

York. Should I do so, I should belie my thoughts: Comfort's in heaven; and we are on the earth,

« PreviousContinue »