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Home > King Henry VI Part 2 > ACT II - SCENE I. Saint Alban's.

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ACT II - SCENE I. Saint Alban's.
QUEEN MARGARET
1    Believe me, lords, for flying at the brook,
2    I saw not better sport these seven years' day:
3    Yet, by your leave, the wind was very high;
4    And, ten to one, old Joan had not gone out.
KING HENRY VI
5    But what a point, my lord, your falcon made,
6    And what a pitch she flew above the rest!
7    To see how God in all his creatures works!
8    Yea, man and birds are fain of climbing high.
SUFFOLK
9    No marvel, an it like your majesty,
10   My lord protector's hawks do tower so well;
11   They know their master loves to be aloft,
12   And bears his thoughts above his falcon's pitch.
GLOUCESTER
13   My lord, 'tis but a base ignoble mind
14   That mounts no higher than a bird can soar.
CARDINAL
15   I thought as much; he would be above the clouds.
GLOUCESTER
16   Ay, my lord cardinal? how think you by that?
17   Were it not good your grace could fly to heaven?
KING HENRY VI
18   The treasury of everlasting joy.
CARDINAL
19   Thy heaven is on earth; thine eyes and thoughts
20   Beat on a crown, the treasure of thy heart;
21   Pernicious protector, dangerous peer,
22   That smooth'st it so with king and commonweal!
GLOUCESTER
23   What, cardinal, is your priesthood grown peremptory?
24   Tantaene animis coelestibus irae?
25   Churchmen so hot? good uncle, hide such malice;
26   With such holiness can you do it?
SUFFOLK
27   No malice, sir; no more than well becomes
28   So good a quarrel and so bad a peer.
GLOUCESTER
29   As who, my lord?
SUFFOLK
30   Why, as you, my lord,
31   An't like your lordly lord-protectorship.
GLOUCESTER
32   Why, Suffolk, England knows thine insolence.
QUEEN MARGARET
33   And thy ambition, Gloucester.
KING HENRY VI
34   I prithee, peace, good queen,
35   And whet not on these furious peers;
36   For blessed are the peacemakers on earth.
CARDINAL
37   Let me be blessed for the peace I make,
38   Against this proud protector, with my sword!
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CARDINAL
39    Faith, holy uncle, would
40   'twere come to that!
CARDINAL
Aside to GLOUCESTER
41    Marry, when thou darest.
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CARDINAL
42    Make up no factious
43   numbers for the matter;
44   In thine own person answer thy abuse.
CARDINAL
Aside to GLOUCESTER
45    Ay, where thou darest
46   not peep: an if thou darest,
47   This evening, on the east side of the grove.
KING HENRY VI
48   How now, my lords!
CARDINAL
49   Believe me, cousin Gloucester,
50   Had not your man put up the fowl so suddenly,
51   We had had more sport.
Aside to GLOUCESTER
52   Come with thy two-hand sword.
GLOUCESTER
53   True, uncle.
CARDINAL
Aside to GLOUCESTER
54    Are ye advised? the
55   east side of the grove?
GLOUCESTER
Aside to CARDINAL
56    Cardinal, I am with you.
KING HENRY VI
57   Why, how now, uncle Gloucester!
GLOUCESTER
58   Talking of hawking; nothing else, my lord.
Aside to CARDINAL
59   Now, by God's mother, priest, I'll shave your crown for this,
60   Or all my fence shall fail.
CARDINAL
Aside to GLOUCESTER
61    Medice, teipsum--
62   Protector, see to't well, protect yourself.
KING HENRY VI
63   The winds grow high; so do your stomachs, lords.
64   How irksome is this music to my heart!
65   When such strings jar, what hope of harmony?
66   I pray, my lords, let me compound this strife.
Enter a Townsman of Saint Alban's, crying 'A miracle!'

GLOUCESTER
67   What means this noise?
68   Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
Townsman
69   A miracle! a miracle!
SUFFOLK
70   Come to the king and tell him what miracle.
Townsman
71   Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's shrine,
72   Within this half-hour, hath received his sight;
73   A man that ne'er saw in his life before.
KING HENRY VI
74   Now, God be praised, that to believing souls
75   Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!
CARDINAL
76   Here comes the townsmen on procession,
77   To present your highness with the man.
KING HENRY VI
78   Great is his comfort in this earthly vale,
79   Although by his sight his sin be multiplied.
GLOUCESTER
80   Stand by, my masters: bring him near the king;
81   His highness' pleasure is to talk with him.
KING HENRY VI
82   Good fellow, tell us here the circumstance,
83   That we for thee may glorify the Lord.
84   What, hast thou been long blind and now restored?
SIMPCOX
85   Born blind, an't please your grace.
Wife
86   Ay, indeed, was he.
SUFFOLK
87   What woman is this?
Wife
88   His wife, an't like your worship.
GLOUCESTER
89   Hadst thou been his mother, thou couldst have
90   better told.
KING HENRY VI
91   Where wert thou born?
SIMPCOX
92   At Berwick in the north, an't like your grace.
KING HENRY VI
93   Poor soul, God's goodness hath been great to thee:
94   Let never day nor night unhallow'd pass,
95   But still remember what the Lord hath done.
QUEEN MARGARET
96   Tell me, good fellow, camest thou here by chance,
97   Or of devotion, to this holy shrine?
SIMPCOX
98   God knows, of pure devotion; being call'd
99   A hundred times and oftener, in my sleep,
100  By good Saint Alban; who said, 'Simpcox, come,
101  Come, offer at my shrine, and I will help thee.'
Wife
102  Most true, forsooth; and many time and oft
103  Myself have heard a voice to call him so.
CARDINAL
104  What, art thou lame?
SIMPCOX
105  Ay, God Almighty help me!
SUFFOLK
106  How camest thou so?
SIMPCOX
107  A fall off of a tree.
Wife
108  A plum-tree, master.
GLOUCESTER
109  How long hast thou been blind?
SIMPCOX
110  Born so, master.
GLOUCESTER
111  What, and wouldst climb a tree?
SIMPCOX
112  But that in all my life, when I was a youth.
Wife
113  Too true; and bought his climbing very dear.
GLOUCESTER
114  Mass, thou lovedst plums well, that wouldst
115  venture so.
SIMPCOX
116  Alas, good master, my wife desired some damsons,
117  And made me climb, with danger of my life.
GLOUCESTER
118  A subtle knave! but yet it shall not serve.
119  Let me see thine eyes: wink now: now open them:
120  In my opinion yet thou seest not well.
SIMPCOX
121  Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and
122  Saint Alban.
GLOUCESTER
123  Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?
SIMPCOX
124  Red, master; red as blood.
GLOUCESTER
125  Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?
SIMPCOX
126  Black, forsooth: coal-black as jet.
KING HENRY VI
127  Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?
SUFFOLK
128  And yet, I think, jet did he never see.
GLOUCESTER
129  But cloaks and gowns, before this day, a many.
Wife
130  Never, before this day, in all his life.
GLOUCESTER
131  Tell me, sirrah, what's my name?
SIMPCOX
132  Alas, master, I know not.
GLOUCESTER
133  What's his name?
SIMPCOX
134  I know not.
GLOUCESTER
135  Nor his?
SIMPCOX
136  No, indeed, master.
GLOUCESTER
137  What's thine own name?
SIMPCOX
138  Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
GLOUCESTER
139  Then, Saunder, sit there, the lyingest knave in
140  Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind, thou
141  mightest as well have known all our names as thus to
142  name the several colours we do wear. Sight may
143  distinguish of colours, but suddenly to nominate them
144  all, it is impossible. My lords, Saint Alban here
145  hath done a miracle; and would ye not think his
146  cunning to be great, that could restore this cripple
147  to his legs again?
SIMPCOX
148  O master, that you could!
GLOUCESTER
149  My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not beadles in
150  your town, and things called whips?
Mayor
151  Yes, my lord, if it please your grace.
GLOUCESTER
152  Then send for one presently.
Mayor
153  Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight.
Exit an Attendant

GLOUCESTER
154  Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. Now, sirrah,
155  if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me
156  over this stool and run away.
SIMPCOX
157  Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone:
158  You go about to torture me in vain.
Enter a Beadle with whips

GLOUCESTER
159  Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrah
160  beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
Beadle
161  I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your
162  doublet quickly.
SIMPCOX
163  Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.
KING HENRY VI
164  O God, seest Thou this, and bearest so long?
QUEEN MARGARET
165  It made me laugh to see the villain run.
GLOUCESTER
166  Follow the knave; and take this drab away.
Wife
167  Alas, sir, we did it for pure need.
GLOUCESTER
168  Let them be whipped through every market-town, till
169  they come to Berwick, from whence they came.
Exeunt Wife, Beadle, Mayor, &c

CARDINAL
170  Duke Humphrey has done a miracle to-day.
SUFFOLK
171  True; made the lame to leap and fly away.
GLOUCESTER
172  But you have done more miracles than I;
173  You made in a day, my lord, whole towns to fly.
Enter BUCKINGHAM

KING HENRY VI
174  What tidings with our cousin Buckingham?
BUCKINGHAM
175  Such as my heart doth tremble to unfold.
176  A sort of naughty persons, lewdly bent,
177  Under the countenance and confederacy
178  Of Lady Eleanor, the protector's wife,
179  The ringleader and head of all this rout,
180  Have practised dangerously against your state,
181  Dealing with witches and with conjurers:
182  Whom we have apprehended in the fact;
183  Raising up wicked spirits from under ground,
184  Demanding of King Henry's life and death,
185  And other of your highness' privy-council;
186  As more at large your grace shall understand.
CARDINAL
Aside to GLOUCESTER
187   And so, my lord protector,
188  by this means
189  Your lady is forthcoming yet at London.
190  This news, I think, hath turn'd your weapon's edge;
191  'Tis like, my lord, you will not keep your hour.
GLOUCESTER
192  Ambitious churchman, leave to afflict my heart:
193  Sorrow and grief have vanquish'd all my powers;
194  And, vanquish'd as I am, I yield to thee,
195  Or to the meanest groom.
KING HENRY VI
196  O God, what mischiefs work the wicked ones,
197  Heaping confusion on their own heads thereby!
QUEEN MARGARET
198  Gloucester, see here the tainture of thy nest.
199  And look thyself be faultless, thou wert best.
GLOUCESTER
200  Madam, for myself, to heaven I do appeal,
201  How I have loved my king and commonweal:
202  And, for my wife, I know not how it stands;
203  Sorry I am to hear what I have heard:
204  Noble she is, but if she have forgot
205  Honour and virtue and conversed with such
206  As, like to pitch, defile nobility,
207  I banish her my bed and company
208  And give her as a prey to law and shame,
209  That hath dishonour'd Gloucester's honest name.
KING HENRY VI
210  Well, for this night we will repose us here:
211  To-morrow toward London back again,
212  To look into this business thoroughly
213  And call these foul offenders to their answers
214  And poise the cause in justice' equal scales,
215  Whose beam stands sure, whose rightful cause prevails.
Flourish. Exeunt

< (Previous) ACT I, SCENE IVACT II, SCENE II (Next) >
Scene Index
ACT I
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT II
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV


  • ACT III
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III


  • ACT IV
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III
  • SCENE IV
  • SCENE V
  • SCENE VI
  • SCENE VII
  • SCENE VIII
  • SCENE IX
  • SCENE X


  • ACT V
  • SCENE I
  • SCENE II
  • SCENE III

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