PERKIN WARBECK

by JOHN FORD

c. 1634

 

 

 

 

 

DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

The English

Henry VII., King of England

Lord Dawbeney.

Sir William Stanley, Lord Chamberlain.

Earl of Oxford.

Earl of Surrey.

Fox, Bishop of Durham.

Urswick, Chaplain to the King.

Sir Robert Clifford.

Lambert Simnel.

Hialas, a Spanish Agent.

The Scottish

James IV., King of Scotland.

Earl of Huntley.

      Lady Katherine Gordon, his daughter.

            Jane Douglas, Lady Katherine's Attendant.

Earl of Crawford.

      Countess of Crawford, his wife.

Lord Dalyell.

Marchmont, a Herald.

The Rebels

Perkin Warbeck.

Warbeck's followers:

     Stephen Frion, his secretary.

     John A-Water, Mayor of Cork.

     Heron, a Mercer.

     Skelton, a Tailor.

     Astley, a Scrivener.

Sheriff, Constable, Officers, Messenger, Guards,

Soldiers, Masquers, and Attendants.

Scene

Partly in England, partly in Scotland.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

Westminster.

The royal Presence-chamber.

Enter King Henry, supported to the throne by the

Bishop of Durham and Sir William Stanley;

Earls of Oxford and Surrey, and Lord Dawbeney.

A Guard.

King Hen.  Still to be haunted, still to be pursued,

Still to be frightened with false apparitions

Of pageant majesty and new-coined greatness,

As if we were a mockery king in state,

Only ordained to lavish sweat and blood,

In scorn and laughter, to the ghosts of York,

Is all below our merits: yet, my lords,

My friends and counsellors, yet we sit fast

In our own royal birthright; the rent face

And bleeding wounds of England's slaughtered people

Have been by us as by the best physician,

At last both throughly cured and set in safety;

And yet, for all this glorious work of peace,

Ourselves is scarce secure.

Dur.                                   The rage of malice

Conjures fresh spirits with the spells of York.

For ninety years ten English kings and princes,

Threescore great dukes and earls, a thousand lords

And valiant knights, two hundred fifty thousand

Of English subjects have in civil wars

Been sacrificed to an uncivil thirst

Of discord and ambition: this hot vengeance

Of the just powers above to utter ruin

And desolation had rained on, but that

Mercy did gently sheathe the sword of justice,

In lending to this blood-shrunk commonwealth

A new soul, new birth, in your sacred person.

Daw.  Edward the Fourth, after a doubtful fortune,

Yielded to nature, leaving to his sons,

Edward and Richard, the inheritance

Of a most bloody purchase: these young princes,

Richard the tyrant, their unnatural uncle,

Forced to a violent grave: − so just is Heaven,

Him hath your majesty by your own arm,

Divinely strengthened, pulled from his boar's sty,

And struck the black usurper to a carcass.

Nor doth the house of York decay in honours,

Though Lancaster doth repossess his right;

For Edward's daughter is King Henry's queen, −

A blessèd union, and a lasting blessing

For this poor panting island, if some shreds,

Some useless remnant of the house of York

Grudge not at this content.

Oxf.                                  Margaret of Burgundy

Blows fresh coals of division.

Sur.                                        Painted fires,

Without or heat to scorch or light to cherish.

Daw.  York's headless trunk, her father; Edward's fate,

Her brother, king; the smothering of her nephews

By tyrant Gloster, brother to her nature;

Nor Gloster's own confusion, − all decrees

Sacred in Heaven, − can move this woman-monster,

But that she still, from the unbottomed mine

Of devilish policies, doth vent the ore

Of troubles and sedition.

Oxf.                                In her age −

Great sir, observe the wonder − she grows fruitful,

Who in her strength of youth was always barren:

Nor are her births as other mothers' are,

At nine or ten months' end; she has been with child

Eight, or seven years at least; whose twins being born, −

A prodigy in nature, − even the youngest

Is fifteen years of age at his first entrance,

As soon as known i' the world; tall striplings, strong

And able to give battle unto kings,

Idols of Yorkish malice.

Daw.                             And but idols;

A steely hammer crushes 'em to pieces.

K. Hen.  Lambert, the eldest, lords, is in our service,

Preferred by an officious care of duty

From the scullery to a falconer; strange example!

Which shows the difference between noble natures

And the base-born: but for the upstart duke,

The new-revived York, Edward's second son,

Murdered long since i' the Tower, − he lives again,

And vows to be your king.

Stan.                                The throne is filled, sir.

K. Hen.  True, Stanley; and the lawful heir sits on it:

A guard of angels and the holy prayers

Of loyal subjects are a sure defence

Against all force and council of intrusion. −

But now, my lords, put case, some of our nobles,

Our great ones, should give countenance and courage

To trim Duke Perkin; you will all confess

Our bounties have unthriftily been scattered

Amongst unthankful men.

Daw.                                Unthankful beasts,

Dogs, villains, traitors!

K. Hen.                       Dawbeney, let the guilty

Keep silence; I accuse none, though I know

Foreign attempts against a state and kingdom

Are seldom without some great friends at home.

Stan.  Sir, if no other abler reasons else

Of duty or allegiance could divert

A headstrong resolution, yet the dangers

So lately passed by men of blood and fortunes

In Lambert Simnel's party must command

More than a fear, a terror to conspiracy.

The high-born Lincoln, son to De la Pole,

The Earl of Kildare, − the Lord Geraldine, −

Francis Lord Lovell, and the German baron

Bold Martin Swart, with Broughton and the rest, −

Most spectacles of ruin, some of mercy, −

Are precedents sufficient to forewarn

The present times, or any that live in them,

What folly, nay, what madness, 'twere to lift

A finger up in all defence but yours,

Which can be but imposturous in a title.

K. Hen.  Stanley, we know thou lov'st us, and thy heart

Is figured on thy tongue; nor think we less

Of any's here. − How closely we have hunted

This cub, since he unlodged, from hole to hole,

Your knowledge is our chronicle: first Ireland,

The common stage of novelty, presented

This gewgaw to oppose us; there the Geraldines

And Butlers once again stood in support

Of this colossic statue: Charles of France

Thence called him into his protection,

Dissembled him the lawful heir of England;

Yet this was all but French dissimulation,

Aiming at peace with us; which being granted

On honourable terms on our part, suddenly

This smoke of straw was packed from France again,

T' infect some grosser air: and now we learn −

Maugre the malice of the bastard Nevill,

Sir Taylor, and a hundred English rebels −

They're all retired to Flanders, to the dam

That nursed this eager whelp, Margaret of Burgundy.

But we will hunt him there too; we will hunt him.

Hunt him to death, even in the beldam's closet,

Though the archduke were his buckler!

Sur.                                                She has styled him

“The fair white rose of England."

Daw.                                           Jolly gentleman!

More fit to be a swabber to the Flemish

After a drunken surfeit.

Enter Urswick with a paper.

Urs.                             Gracious sovereign,

Please you peruse this paper.

[The King reads.]

Dur.                                     The king's countenance

Gathers a sprightly blood.

Daw.                                Good news; believe it.

K. Hen.  Urswick, thine ear. Thou'st lodged him?

Urs.                                                 Strongly safe, sir.

 K. Hen.  Enough: − is Barley come too?

Urs.                                                      No, my lord.

K. Hen.  No matter − phew! he's but a running weed,

At pleasure to be plucked-up by the roots:

But more of this anon. − I have bethought me,

My lords, for reasons which you shall partake,

It is our pleasure to remove our court

From Westminster to the Tower: we will lodge

This very night there; − give, Lord Chamberlain,

A present order for 't.

Stan. [Aside]          The Tower! − I shall, sir.

K. Hen.  Come, my true, best, fast friends: these clouds
     will vanish,

The sun will shine at full; the heavens are clearing.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]

ACT I, SCENE II.

Edinburgh.

An Apartment in the Earl of Huntley's House.

Enter Earl of Huntley and Lord Dalyell.

Hunt.  You trifle time, sir.

Dal.                                 O, my noble lord,

You construe my griefs to so hard a sense,

That where the text is argument of pity,

Matter of earnest love, your gloss corrupts it

With too much, ill-placed mirth.

Hunt.                                   Much mirth! Lord Dalyell;

Not so, I vow. Observe me, sprightly gallant.

I know thou art a noble lad, a handsome,

Descended from an honourable ancestry,

Forward and active, dost resolve to wrestle

And ruffle in the world by noble actions

For a brave mention to posterity:

I scorn not thy affection to my daughter,

Not I, by good Saint Andrew; but this bugbear,

This whoreson tale of honour, − honour, Dalyell! −

So hourly chats and tattles in mine ear

The piece of royalty that is stitched-up

In my Kate's blood, that 'tis as dangerous

For thee, young lord, to perch so near an eaglet

As foolish for my gravity to admit it:

I have spoke all at once.

Dal.                              Sir, with this truth

You mix such wormwood, that you leave no hope

For my disordered palate e'er to relish

A wholesome taste again: alas, I know, sir,

What an unequal distance lies between

Great Huntley's daughter's birth and Dalyell's fortunes;

She's the king's kinswoman, placed near the crown,

A princess of the blood, and I a subject.

Hunt.  Right; but a noble subject; put in that too.

Dal.  I could add more; and in the rightest line

Derive my pedigree from Adam Mure,

A Scottish knight; whose daughter was the mother

To him who first begot the race of Jameses,

That sway the sceptre to this very day.

But kindreds are not ours when once the date

Of many years have swallowed up the memory

Of their originals; so pasture-fields

Neighbouring too near the ocean are swooped-up,

And known no more; for stood I in my first

And native greatness, if my princely mistress

Vouchsafed me not her servant, 'twere as good

I were reduced to clownery, to nothing,

As to a throne of wonder.

Hunt.  [Aside]                Now, by Saint Andrew,

A spark of mettle! he has a brave fire in him:

I would he had my daughter, so I knew't not.

But 't must not be so, must not. − Well, young lord,

This will not do yet: if the girl be headstrong,

And will not hearken to good counsel, steal her,

And run away with her; dance galliards, do,

And frisk about the world to learn the languages:

Twill be a thriving trade; you may set up by't.

Dal.  With pardon, noble Gordon, this disdain

Suits not your daughter's virtue or my constancy.

Hunt.  You're angry. −

          [Aside]  Would he would beat me, I deserve it. −

Dalyell, thy hand; we're friends: follow thy courtship,

Take thine own time and speak; if thou prevail'st

With passion more than I can with my counsel,

She's thine; nay, she is thine: 'tis a fair match,

Free and allowed. I'll only use my tongue,

Without a father's power; use thou thine:

Self do, self have: no more words; win and wear her.

Dal.  You bless me: I am now too poor in thanks

To pay the debt I owe you.

Hunt.                                Nay, thou'rt poor

Enough. − [Aside] I love his spirit infinitely. −

Look ye, she comes: to her now, to her, to her!

Enter Lady Katherine and Jane.

Kath.  The king commands your presence, sir.

Hunt.                                                      The gallant −

This, this, this lord, this servant, Kate, of yours,

Desires to be your master.

Kath.                                 I acknowledge him

A worthy friend of mine.

Dal.                               Your humblest creature.

Hunt. [Aside] So, so! the game's a-foot; I'm in cold hunting;

The hare and hounds are parties.

Dal.                                            Princely lady,

How most unworthy I am to employ

My services in honour of your virtues,

How hopeless my desires are to enjoy

Your fair opinion, and much more your love, −

Are only matter of despair, unless

Your goodness give large warrant to my boldness,

My feeble-winged ambition.

Hunt.  [Aside]                    This is scurvy.

Kath.  My lord, I interrupt you not.

Hunt.  [Aside]                               Indeed!

Now, on my life, she'll court him. − Nay, nay, on, sir.

Dal. Oft have I tuned the lesson of my sorrows

To sweeten discord and enrich your pity;

But all in vain: here had my comforts sunk,

And never risen again to tell a story

Of the despairing lover, had not now,

Even now, the earl your father −

Hunt.  [Aside]                         He means me, sure.

Dal.  After some fit disputes of your condition,

Your highness and my lowness, given a license

Which did not more embolden than encourage

My faulting tongue.

Hunt.                     How, how? how's that? embolden!

Encourage! I encourage ye! d'ye hear, sir? −

A subtle trick, a quaint one: − will you hear, man?

What did I say to you? come, come, to the point.

Kath.  It shall not need, my lord.

Hunt.                                        Then hear me, Kate. −

Keep you on that hand of her, I on this. −

Thou stand'st between a father and a suitor,

Both striving for an interest in thy heart:

He courts thee for affection, I for duty;

He as a servant pleads, but by the privilege

Of nature though I might command, my care

Shall only counsel what it shall not force.

Thou canst but make one choice; the ties of marriage

Are tenures not at will, but during life.

Consider whose thou art, and who; a princess,

A princess of the royal blood of Scotland,

In the full spring of youth and fresh in beauty.

The king that sits upon the throne is young,

And yet unmarried, forward in attempts

On any least occasion to endanger

His person: wherefore, Kate, as I am confident

Thou dar'st not wrong thy birth and education

By yielding to a common servile rage

Of female wantonness, so I am confident

Thou wilt proportion all thy thoughts to side

Thy equals, if not equal thy superiors.

My Lord of Dalyell, young in years, is old

In honours, but nor eminent in titles

Nor in estate, that may support or add to

The expectation of thy fortunes. Settle

Thy will and reason by a strength of judgment;

For, in a word, I give thee freedom; take it.

If equal fates have not ordained to pitch

Thy hopes above my height, let not thy passion

Lead thee to shrink mine honour in oblivion:

Thou art thine own; I have done.

Dal.                                           O, you're all oracle,

The living stock and root of truth and wisdom!

Kath.  My worthiest lord and father, the indulgence

Of your sweet composition thus commands

The lowest of obedience; you have granted

A liberty so large, that I want skill

To choose without direction of example:

From which I daily learn, by how much more

You take off from the roughness of a father,

By so much more I am engaged to tender

The duty of a daughter. For respects

Of birth, degrees of title, and advancement,

I nor admire nor slight them; all my studies

Shall ever aim at this perfection only,

To live and die so, that you may not blush

In any course of mine to own me yours.

Hunt. Kate, Kate, thou grow'st upon my heart like peace,

Creating every other hour a jubilee.

Kath.  To you, my lord of Dalyell, I address

Some few remaining words: the general fame

That speaks your merit, even in vulgar tongues

Proclaims it clear; but in the best, a precedent.

Hunt.  Good wench, good girl, i' faith!

Kath.                                         For my part, trust me,

I value mine own worth at higher rate

Cause you are pleased to prize it: if the stream

Of your protested service − as you term it −

Run in a constancy more than a compliment,

It shall be my delight that worthy love

Leads you to worthy actions, and these guide ye

Richly to wed an honourable name:

So every virtuous praise in after-ages

Shall be your heir, and I in your brave mention

Be chronicled the mother of that issue,

That glorious issue.

Hunt.                     O, that I were young again!

Sh'd make me court proud danger, and suck spirit

From reputation.

Kath.                 To the present motion

Here's all that I dare answer: when a ripeness

Of more experience, and some use of time,

Resolves to treat the freedom of my youth

Upon exchange of troths, I shall desire

No surer credit of a match with virtue

Than such as lives in you: mean time my hopes are

Preserved secure in having you a friend.

Dal.  You are a blessèd lady, and instruct

Ambition not to soar a farther flight

Than in the perfumed air of your soft voice. −

My noble Lord of Huntley, you have lent

A full extent of bounty to this parley;

And for it shall command your humblest servant.

Hunt.  Enough: we are still friends, and will continue

A hearty love. − O, Kate, thou art mine own! −

No more: − my Lord of Crawford.

Enter Earl of Crawford.

Craw.                                           From the king

I come, my Lord of Huntley, who in council

Requires your present aid.

Hunt.                                Some weighty business?

Craw.  A secretary from a Duke of York,

The second son to the late English Edward,

Concealed, I know not where, these fourteen years,

Craves audience from our master; and 'tis said

The duke himself is following to the court.

Hunt. Duke upon duke; 'tis well, 'tis well; here's bustling

For majesty. − My lord, I will along with ye.

Craw.  My service, noble lady!

Kath.                                       Please ye walk, sir?

Dal.  [Aside]

Times have their changes; sorrow makes men wise;

The sun itself must set as well as rise;

Then, why not I? − Fair madam, I wait on ye.

[Exeunt.]

ACT I, SCENE III.

London.

An Apartment in the Tower.

Enter the Bishop of Durham, Sir Robert Clifford,

and Urswick. Lights.

Dur.  You find, Sir Robert Clifford, how securely

King Henry, our great master, doth commit

His person to your loyalty; you taste

His bounty and his mercy even in this,

That at a time of night so late, a place

So private as his closet, he is pleased

T' admit you to his favour. Do not falter

In your discovery; but as you covet

A liberal grace, and pardon for your follies,

So labour to deserve 't by laying open

All plots, all persons that contrive against it.

Urs. Remember not the witchcraft or the magic,

The charms and incantations, which the sorceress

Of Burgundy hath cast upon your reason:

Sir Robert, be your own friend now, discharge

Your conscience freely; all of such as love you

Stand sureties for your honesty and truth.

Take heed you do not dally with the king;

He's wise as he is gentle.

Clif.                                I am miserable,

If Henry be not merciful.

Urs.                                The king comes.

Enter King Henry.

K. Hen.  Clifford!

Clif.  [Kneels]   Let my weak knees root on the earth,

If I appear as leperous in my treacheries

Before your royal eyes, as to mine own

I seem a monster by my breach of truth.

K. Hen.  Clifford, stand up; for instance of thy safety,

I offer thee my hand.

Clif.                         A sovereign balm

For my bruised soul, I kiss it with a greediness.

[Kisses the King's hand, and rises.]

Sir, you're a just master, but I −

K. Hen.                                  Tell me,

Is every circumstance thou hast set down

With thine own hand within this paper true?

Is it a sure intelligence of all

The progress of our enemies' intents

Without corruption?

Clif.                        True, as I wish Heaven,

Or my infected honour white again.

K. Hen.  We know all, Clifford, fully, since this meteor,

This airy apparition first discradled

From Tournay into Portugal, and thence

Advanced his fiery blaze for adoration

To the superstitious Irish; since the beard

Of this wild comet, conjured into France,

Sparkled in antic flames in Charles his court;

But shrunk again from thence, and, hid in darkness,

Stole into Flanders flourishing the rag

Of painted power on the shore of Kent,

Whence he was beaten back with shame and scorn,

Contempt, and slaughter of some naked outlaws:

But tell me what new course now shapes Duke Perkin?

Clif.  For Ireland, mighty Henry; so instructed

By Stephen Frion, sometimes secretary

In the French tongue unto your sacred excellence,

But Perkin's tutor now.

K. Hen.                       A subtle villain,

That Frion, Frion, − You, my Lord of Durham,

Knew well the man.

Dur.                        French both in heart and actions.

K. Hen.  Some Irish heads work in this mine of treason;

Speak 'em.

Clif.         Not any of the best; your fortune

Hath dulled their spleens. Never had counterfeit

Such a confusèd rabble of lost bankrupts

For counsellors: first Heron, a broken mercer,

Then John a-Water, sometimes Mayor of Cork,

Skelton a tailor, and a scrivener

Called Astley: and whate'er these list to treat of,

Perkin must hearken to; but Frion, cunning

Above these dull capacities, still prompts him

To fly to Scotland to young James the Fourth,

And sue for aid to him: this is the latest

Of all their resolutions.

K. Hen.                       Still more Frion!

Pestilent adder, he will hiss-out poison

As dangerous as infectious: we must match him.

Clifford, thou hast spoke home; we give thee life:

But, Clifford, there are people of our own

Remain behind untold; who are they, Clifford?

Name those, and we are friends, and will to rest;

'Tis thy last task.

Clif.                  O, sir, here I must break

A most unlawful oath to keep a just one.

K. Hen.  Well, well, be brief, be brief.

Clif.                                                  The first in rank

Shall be John Ratcliffe, Lord Fitzwater, then

Sir Simon Mountford and Sir Thomas Thwaites,

With William Dawbeney, Chessoner, Astwood,

Worseley the Dean of Paul's, two other friars,

And Robert Ratcliffe.

K. Hen.                     Churchmen are turned devils.

These are the principal?

Clif.                             One more remains

Unnamed, whom I could willingly forget.

K. Hen.  Ha, Clifford! one more?

Clif.                                     Great sir, do not hear him;

For when Sir William Stanley, your lord chamberlain,

Shall come into the list, as he is chief,

I shall lose credit with ye; yet this lord

Last named is first against you.

K. Hen.                                    Urswick, the light! −

View well my face, sirs; is there blood left in it?

Dur.  You alter strangely, sir.

K. Hen.                                Alter, lord bishop!

Why, Clifford stabbed me, or I dreamed he stabbed me. −

Sirrah, it is a custom with the guilty

To think they set their own stains oft by laying

Aspersions on some nobler than themselves;

Lies wait on treasons, as I find it here.

Thy life again is forfeit; I recall

My word of mercy, for I know thou dar'st

Repeat the name no more.

Clif.                                 I dare, and once more,

Upon my knowledge, name Sir William Stanley

Both in his counsel and his purse the chief

Assistant to the feignèd Duke of York.

Dur.  Most strange!

Urs.                     Most wicked!

K. Hen.                                   Yet again, once more.

Clif.  Sir William Stanley is your secret enemy,

And, if time fit, will openly profess it.

K. Hen. Sir William Stanley! Who? Sir William Stanley!

My chamberlain, my counsellór, the love,

The pleasure of my court, my bosom-friend,

The charge and the controlment of my person,

The keys and secrets of my treasury,

The all of all I am! I am unhappy.

Misery of confidence, − let me turn traitor

To mine own person, yield my sceptre up

To Edward's sister and her bastard duke!

Dur.  You lose your constant temper.

K. Hen.                                         Sir William Stanley!

O, do not blame me; he, 'twas only he,

Who, having rescued me in Bosworth-field

From Richard's bloody sword, snatched from his head

The kingly crown, and placed it first on mine.

He never failed me: what have I deserved

To lose this good man's heart, or he his own?

Urs.  The night doth waste; this passion ill becomes ye;

Provide against your danger.

K. Hen.                                Let it be so.

Urswick, command straight Stanley to his chamber; −

'Tis well we are i' the Tower; − set a guard on him. −

Clifford, to bed; you must lodge here to-night;

We'll talk with you to-morrow. − My sad soul

Divines strange troubles.

Daw.  [Within]              Ho! the king, the king!

I must have entrance.

K. Hen.                    Dawbeney's voice; admit him.

What new combustions huddle next, to keep

Our eyes from rest?

Enter Lord Dawbeney.

                              The news?

Daw.                                     Ten thousand Cornish,

Grudging to pay your subsidies, have gathered

A head; led by a blacksmith and a lawyer,

They make for London, and to them is joined

Lord Audley: as they march, their number daily

Increases; they are −

K. Hen.                 Rascals! − talk no more;

Such are not worthy of my thoughts to-night.

To bed; and if I cannot sleep, I'll wake. −

When counsels fail, and there's in man no trust,

Even then an arm from Heaven fights for the just.

[Exeunt.]

ACT II.

SCENE I.

Edinburgh.

The Presence-chamber in the Palace.

Enter above the Countess of Crawford, Lady

Katherine, Jane Douglas, and other Ladies.

Countess of C.  Come, ladies, here's a solemn preparation

For entertainment of this English prince;

The king intends grace more than ordinary:

'Twere pity now if he should prove a counterfeit.

Kath.  Bless the young man, our nation would be laughed at

For honest souls through Christendom! My father

Hath a weak stomach to the business, madam,

But that the king must not be crossed.

Countess of C.                                   He brings

A goodly troop, they say, of gallants with him;

But very modest people, for they strive not

To fame their names too much; their godfathers

May be beholding to them, but their fathers

Scarce owe them thanks: they are disguisèd princes,

Brought up, it seems, to honest trades; no matter,

They will break forth in season.

Jane.                                         Or break out;

For most of 'em are broken by report. −

[A flourish.]

The king!

Kath.     Let us observe 'em and be silent.

Enter King James, Earls of Huntley and Crawford,

Lord Dalyell, and other Noblemen.

K. Ja.  The right of kings, my lords, extends not only

To the safe conservation of their own,

But also to the aid of such allíes

As change of time and state hath oftentimes

Hurled down from careful crowns to undergo

An exercise of sufferance in both fortunes:

So English Richard, surnamed Coeur-de-Lion,

So Robert Bruce, our royal ancestor,

Forced by the trial of the wrongs they felt,

Both sought and found supplies from foreign kings,

To repossess their own. Then grudge not, lords,

A much distressèd prince: King Charles of France

And Maximilian of Bohemia both

Have ratified his credit by their letters;

Shall we, then, be distrustful? No; compassion

Is one rich jewèl that shines in our crown,

And we will have it shine there.

Hunt.                                         Do your will, sir.

K. Ja.  The young duke is at hand: Dalyell, from us

First greet him, and conduct him on; then Crawford

Shall meet him next; and Huntley, last of all,

Present him to our arms. −

[Exit Lord Dalyell.]

                                      Sound sprightly music,

Whilst majesty encounters majesty.

[Hautboys.]

Re-enter Lord Dalyell with Perkin Warbeck, followed

at a distance by Frion, Heron, Skelton, Astley, and

John A-Water. The Earl of Crawford advances, and

salutes Perkin at the door, and afterwards the Earl

of Huntley, who presents him to the King: they

embrace; the Noblemen slightly salute his Followers.

War.  Most high, most mighty king! that now there stands

Before your eyes, in presence of your peers,

A subject of the rarest kind of pity

That hath in any age touched noble hearts,

The vulgar story of a prince's ruin

Hath made it too apparent: Europe knows,

And all the western world, what persecution

Hath raged in malice against us, sole heir

To the great throne of old Plantagenets.

How from our nursery we have been hurried

Unto the sanctuary, from the sanctuary

Forced to the prison, from the prison haled

By cruèl hands to the tormentor's fury,

Is registered already in the volume

Of all men's tongues; whose true relation draws

Compassion, melted into weeping eyes

And bleeding souls: but our misfortunes since

Have ranged a larger progress through strange lands,

Protected in our innocence by Heaven.

Edward the Fifth, our brother, in his tragedy

Quenched their hot thirst of blood, whose hire to murder

Paid them their wages of despair and horror;

The softness of my childhood smiled upon

The roughness of their task, and robbed them farther

Of hearts to dare, or hands to execute.

Great king, they spared my life, the butchers spared it;

Returned the tyrant, my unnatural uncle,

A truth of my dispatch: I was conveyed

With secrecy and speed to Tournay; fostered

By obscure means, taught to unlearn myself:

But as I grew in years, I grew in sense

Of fear and of disdain; fear of the tyrant

Whose powèr swayed the throne then: when disdain

Of living so unknown, in such a servile

And abject lowness, prompted me to thoughts

Of recollecting who I was, I shook off

My bondage, and made haste to let my aunt

Of Burgundy acknowledge me her kinsman,

Heir to the crown of England, snatched by Henry

From Richard's head; a thing scarce known i' the world.

K. Ja.  My lord, it stands not with your counsel now

To fly upon invectives: if you can

Make this apparent what you have discoursed

In every circumstance, we will not study

An answer, but are ready in your cause.

War.  You are a wise and just king, by the powers

Above reserved, beyond all other aids,

To plant me in mine own inheritance,

To marry these two kingdoms in a love

Never to be divorced while time is time.

As for the manner, first of my escape,

Of my conveyance next, of my life since,

The means and persons who were instruments,

Great sir, 'tis fit I over-pass in silence;

Reserving the relation to the secrecy

Of your own princely ear, since it concerns

Some great ones living yet, and others dead,

Whose issue might be questioned. For your bounty,

Royal magnificence to him that seeks it,

We vow hereafter to demean ourself

As if we were your own and natural brother,

Omitting no occasion in our person

T' express a gratitude beyond example.

K. Ja.  He must be more than subject who can utter

The language of a king, and such is thine.

Take this for answer: be what'er thou art,

Thou never shalt repent that thou hast put

Thy cause and person into my protection.

Cousin of York, thus once more we embrace thee;

Welcome to James of Scotland! for thy safety,

Know, such as love thee not shall never wrong thee.

Come, we will taste a while our court-delights,

Dream hence affliction past, and then proceed

To high attempts of honour. On, lead on! −

Both thou and thine are ours, and we will guard ye. −

Lead on!

[Exeunt all but the Ladies above.]

Countess of C.  I have not seen a gentleman

Of a more brave aspect or goodlier carriage;

His fortunes move not him. − Madam, you're passionate.

Kath.  Beshrew me, but his words have touched me home,

As if his cause concerned me: I should pity him,

If he should prove another than he seems.

Re-enter Earl of Crawford.

Craw.  Ladies, the king commands your presence instantly

For entertainment of the duke.

Kath.                                      The duke

Must, then, be entertained, the king obeyed;

It is our duty.

Countess of C.  We will all wait on him.

[Exeunt.]

ACT II, SCENE II.

London.

The Tower.

A flourish.

Enter King Henry, the Earls of Oxford, and

Surrey, and the Bishop of Durham.

K. Hen.  Have ye condemned my chamberlain?

Dur.                                                         His treasons

Condemned him, sir; which were as clear and manifest

As foul and dangerous: besides, the guilt

Of his conspiracy pressed him so nearly,

That it drew from him free confessión

Without an importunity.

K. Hen.                        O, lord bishop,

This argued shame and sorrow for his folly,

And must not stand in evidence against

Our mercy and the softness of our nature:

The rigour and extremity of law

Is sometimes too-too bitter; but we carry

A chancery of pity in our bosom.

I hope we may reprieve him from the sentence

Of death; I hope we may.

Dur.                               You may, you may;

And so persuade your subjects that the title

Of York is better, nay, more just and lawful,

Than yours of Lancaster! so Stanley holds:

Which if it be not treason in the highest,

Then we are traitors all, perjured and false,

Who have took oath to Henry and the justice

Of Henry's title; Oxford, Surrey, Dawbeney,

With all your other peers of state and church,

Forsworn, and Stanley true alone to Heaven

And England's lawful heir!

Oxf.                                  By Vere's old honours,

I'll cut his throat dares speak it.

Sur.                                         'Tis a quarrel

T' engage a soul in.

K. Hen.                 What a coil is here

To keep my gratitude sincere and perfect!

Stanley was once my friend, and came in time

To save my life; yet, to say truth, my lords,

The man stayed long enough t' endanger it: −

But I could see no more into his heart

Than what his outward actions did present;

And for 'em have rewarded him so fully,

As that there wanted nothing in our gift

To gratify his merit, as I thought,

Unless I should divide my crown with him,

And give him half; though now I well perceive

'Twould scarce have served his turn without the whole.

But I am charitable, lords; let justice

Proceed in execution, whiles I mourn

The loss of one whom I esteemed a friend.

Dur.  Sir, he is coming this way.

K. Hen.                                     If he speak to me,

I could deny him nothing; to prevent it,

I must withdraw. Pray, lords, commend my favours

To his last peace, which I with him will pray for:

That done, it doth concern us to consult

Of other following troubles.

[Exit.]

Oxf.                                     I am glad

He's gone: upon my life, he would have pardoned

The traitor, had he seen him.

Sur.                                     'Tis a king

Composed of gentleness.

Dur.                               Rare and unheard of:

But every man is nearest to himself;

And that the king observes; 'tis fit he should.

Enter Sir William Stanley, Executioner, Confessor,

Urswick, and Lord Dawbeney.

Stan.  May I not speak with Clifford ere I shake

This piece of frailty off?

Daw.                            You shall; he's sent for.

Stan. I must not see the king?

Dur.                                     From him, Sir William,

These lords and I am sent; he bade us say

That he commends his mercy to your thoughts;

Wishing the laws of England could remit

The forfeit of your life as willingly

As he would in the sweetness of his nature

Forget your trespass: but howe'er your body

Fall into dust, he vows, the king himself

Doth vow, to keep a requiem for your soul,

As for a friend close treasured in his bosom.

Oxf.  Without remembrance of your errors past,

I come to take my leave, and wish you Heaven.

Sur.  And I; good angels guard ye!

Stan.                                            O, the king,

Next to my soul, shall be the nearest subject

Of my last prayers. My grave Lord of Durham,

My Lords of Oxford, Surrey, Dawbeney, all,

Accept from a poor dying man a farewell.

I was as you are once, − great, and stood hopeful

Of many flourishing years; but fate and time

Have wheeled about, to turn me into nothing.

Daw.  Sir Robert Clifford comes, − the man, Sir William,

You so desire to speak with.

Dur.                                    Mark their meeting.

Enter Sir Robert Clifford.

Clif. Sir William Stanley, I am glad your conscience

Before your end hath emptied every burthen

Which charged it, as that you can clearly witness

How far I have proceeded in a duty

That both concerned my truth and the state's safety.

Stan.  Mercy, how dear is life to such as hug it!

Come hither; by this token think on me!

[Makes a cross on Clifford's face with his finger.]

Clif.  This token! What! I am abused?

Stan.                                                 You are not.

I wet upon your cheeks a holy sign, −

The cross, the Christian's badge, the traitor's infamy:

Wear, Clifford, to thy grave this painted emblem;

Water shall never wash it off; all eyes

That gaze upon thy face shall read there written

A state-informer's character; more ugly

Stamped on a noble name than on a base.

The heavens forgive thee! − Pray, my lords, no change

Of words; this man and I have used too many.

Clif.  Shall I be disgraced

Without reply?

Dur.              Give losers leave to talk;

His loss is irrecoverable.

Stan.                             Once more,

To all a long farewell! The best of greatness

Preserve the king! My next suit is, my lords,

To be remembered to my noble brother,

Derby, my much-grieved brother: O, persuade him

That I shall stand no blemish to his house

In chronicles writ in another age.

My heart doth bleed for him and for his sighs:

Tell him, he must not think the style of Derby,

Nor being husband to King Henry's mother,

The league with peers, the smiles of fortune, can

Secure his peace above the state of man.

I take my leave, to travel to my dust:

Subjects deserve their deaths whose kings are just. −

Come, confessor. − On with thy axe, friend, on!

[He is led off to execution.]

Clif.  Was I called hither by a traitor's breath

To be upbraided? Lords, the king shall know it.

Re-enter King Henry with a white staff.

K. Hen.  The king doth know it, sir; the king hath heard

What he or you could say. We have given credit

To every point of Clifford's information,

The only evidence 'gainst Stanley's head:

He dies for't; are you pleased?

Clif.                                        I pleased, my lord!

K. Hen.  No echoes: for your service, we dismiss

Your more attendance on the court, take ease,

And live at home; but, as you love your life,

Stir not from London without leave from us.

We'll think on your reward: away!

Clif.                                               I go, sir.

[Exit.]

K. Hen.  Die all our griefs with Stanley! Take this staff

Of office, Dawbeney; henceforth be our chamberlain.

Daw.  I am your humble servant.

K. Hen.                                     We are followed

By enemies at home, that will not cease

To seek their own confusion: 'tis most true

The Cornish under Audley are marched on

As far as Winchester; − but let them come,

Our forces are in readiness; we'll catch 'em

In their own toils.

Daw.                  Your army, being mustered,

Consists in all, of horse and foot, at least

In number six-and-twenty thousand; men

Daring and able, resolute to fight,

And loyal in their truths.

K. Hen.                       We know it, Dawbeney:

For them we order thus; Oxford in chief,

Assisted by bold Essex and the Earl

Of Suffolk, shall lead on the first battalia;

Be that your charge.

Oxf.                        I humbly thank your majesty.

K. Hen.  The next division we assign to Dawbeney:

These must be men of action, for on those

The fortune of our fortunes must rely.

The last and main ourself commands in person;

As ready to restore the fight at all times

As to consummate an assured victory.

Daw.  The king is still oraculous.

K. Hen.                                      But, Surrey,

We have employment of more toil for thee:

For our intelligence comes swiftly to us,

That James of Scotland late hath entertained

Perkin the counterfeit with more than common

Grace and respect, nay, courts him with rare favours.

The Scot is young and forward; we must look for

A sudden storm to England from the north;

Which to withstand, Durham shall post to Norham,

To fortify the castle and secure

The frontiers against an invasion there.

Surrey shall follow soon, with such an army

As may relieve the bishop, and encounter

On all occasions the death-daring Scots.

You know your charges all; 'tis now a time

To execute, not talk: Heaven is our guard still.

War must breed peace; such is the fate of kings.

[Exeunt.]

ACT II, SCENE III.

Edinburgh.

An Apartment in the Palace.

Enter Earl of Crawford and Lord Dalyell.

Craw.  'Tis more than strange; my reason cannot answer

Such argument of fine imposture, couched

In witchcraft of persuasion, that it fashions

Impossibilities, as if appearance

Could cozen truth itself: this dukeling mushroom

Hath doubtless charmed the king.

Dal.                                            He courts the ladies,

As if his strength of language chained attention

By powèr of prerogative.

Craw.                             It madded

My very soul to hear our master's motion:

What surety both of amity and honour

Must of necessity ensue upon

A match betwixt some noble of our nation

And this brave prince, forsooth!

Dal.                                          'Twill prove too fatal;

Wise Huntley fears the threatening. Bless the lady

From such a ruin!

Craw.                 How the counsel privy

Of this young Phaëthon do screw their faces

Into a gravity their trades, good people,

Were never guilty of! the meanest of 'em

Dreams of at least an office in the state.

Dal.  Sure, not the hangman's; 'tis bespoke already

For service to their rogueships − Silence!

Enter King James and Earl of Huntley.

K. Ja.                                                       Do not

Argue against our will; we have descended

Somewhat − as we may term it − too familiarly

From justice of our birthright, to examine

The force of your allegiance, − sir, we have, −

But find it short of duty.

Hunt.                            Break my heart,

Do, do, king! Have my services, my loyalty, −

Heaven knows untainted ever, − drawn upon me

Contempt now in mine age, when I but wanted

A minute of a peace not to be troubled,

My last, my long one? Let me be a dotard,

A bedlam, a poor sot, or what you please

To have me, so you will not stain your blood,

Your own blood, royal sir, though mixed with mine,

By marriáge of this girl to a straggler:

Take, take my head, sir; whilst my tongue can wag,

It cannot name him other.

K. Ja.                              Kings are counterfeits

In your repute, grave oracle, not presently

Set on their thrones with sceptres in their fists.

But use your own detraction; 'tis our pleasure

To give our cousin York for wife our kinswoman,

The Lady Katherine: instinct of sovereignty

Designs the honour, though her peevish father

Usurps our resolution.

Hunt.                         O, 'tis well,

Exceeding well! I never was ambitious

Of using congees to my daughter-queen −

A queen! perhaps a quean! − Forgive me, Dalyell,

Thou honourable gentleman; − none here

Dare speak one word of comfort?

Dal.                                            Cruèl misery!

Craw.  The lady, gracious prince, may-be hath settled

Affection on some former choice.

Dal.                                             Enforcement

Would prove but tyranny.

Hunt.                               I thank ye heartily.

Let any yeoman of our nation challenge

An interest in the girl, then the king

May add a jointure of ascent in titles,

Worthy a free consent; now he pulls down

What old desert hath builded.

K. Ja.                                     Cease persuasions.

I violate no pawns of faith, intrude not

On private loves: that I have played the orator

For kingly York to virtuous Kate, her grant

Can justify, referring her contents

To our provision. The Welsh Harry henceforth

Shall therefore know, and tremble to acknowledge,

That not the painted idol of his policy

Shall fright the lawful owner from a kingdom.

We are resolved.

Hunt.                Some of thy subjects' hearts,

King James, will bleed for this.

K. Ja.                                      Then shall their bloods

Be nobly spent. No more disputes; he is not

Our friend who contradicts us.

Hunt.                                      Farewell, daughter!

My care by one is lessened, thank the king for't:

I and my griefs will dance now.

Enter Perkin Warbeck,

leading and complimenting with Lady Katherine;

Countess of Crawford, Jane Douglas,

Frion, Astley, John A-Water, Heron, and Skelton.

                                                Look, lords, look;

Here's hand in hand already!

K. Ja.                                   Peace, old frenzy! −

How like a king he looks! Lords, but observe

The confidence of his aspect; dross cannot

Cleave to so pure a metal − royal youth!

Plantagenet undoubted!

Hunt.  [Aside]             Ho, brave! − Youth,

But no Plantagenet, by'r lady, yet,

By red rose or by white.

War.                            An union this way

Settles possession in a monarchy

Established rightly, as is my inheritance:

Acknowledge me but sovereign of this kingdom,

Your heart, fair princess, and the hand of providence

Shall crown you queen of me and my best fortunes.

Kath.  Where my obedience is, my lord, a duty

Love owes true service.

War.                             Shall I? −

K. Ja.                                       Cousin, yes,

Enjoy her; from my hand accept your bride;

[He joins their hands.]

And may they live at enmity with comfort

Who grieve at such an equal pledge of troths! −

You are the prince's wife now.

Kath.                                      By your gift, sir.

War.  Thus I take seizure of mine own.

Kath.                                                    I miss yet

A father's blessing. Let me find it; − humbly

Upon my knees I seek it.

Hunt.                             I am Huntley,

Old Alexander Gordon, a plain subject,

Nor more nor less; and, lady, if you wish for

A blessing, you must bend your knees to Heaven;

For Heaven did give me you. Alas, alas,

What would you have me say? May all the happiness

My prayers ever sued to fall upon you

Preserve you in your virtues! − Prithee, Dalyell,

Come with me; for I feel thy griefs as full

As mine; let's steal away, and cry together.

Dal.  My hopes are in their ruins.

[Exeunt Earl of Huntley and Lord Dalyell.]

K. Ja.                                        Good, kind Huntley

Is overjoyed: a fit solemnity

Shall perfect these delights. − Crawford, attend

Our order for the preparatión.

[Exeunt all but Frion,

Heron, Skelton, John A-Water, and Astley.]

Fri.  Now, worthy gentlemen, have I not followed

My undertakings with success? Here's entrance

Into a certainty above a hope.

Her.  Hopes are but hopes; I was ever confident,

when I traded but in remnants, that my stars had 

reserved me to the title of a viscount at least: honour 

is honour, though cut out of any stuffs.

Skel.  My brother Heron hath right wisely delivered

his opinion; for he that threads his needle with the

sharp eyes of industry shall in time go through-stitch

with the new suit of preferment.

Ast.  Spoken to the purpose, my fine-witted brother

Skelton; for as no indenture but has its counterpane, no

noverint but his condition or defeasance; so no right but

may have claim, no claim but may have possession, any

act of parliament to the contrary notwithstanding.

Fri.  You are all read in mysteries of state,

And quick of apprehension, deep in judgment,

Active in resolution; and 'tis pity

Such counsel should lie buried in obscurity.

But why, in such a time and cause of triumph,

Stands the judicious Mayor of Cork so silent?

Believe it, sir, as English Richard prospers,

You must not miss employment of high nature.

J. a-Wat.  If men may be credited in their mortality,

which I dare not peremptorily aver but they may or not

be, presumptions by this marriage are then, in sooth,

of fruitful expectation. Or else I must not justify other

men's belief, more than other should rely on mine.

Fri.  Pith of experience! those that have borne office

Weigh every word before it can drop from them.

But, noble counsellors, since now the present

Requires in point of honour, − pray, mistake not, −

Some service to our lord, 'tis fit the Scots

Should not engross all glory to themselves

At this so grand and eminent solemnity.

Skel.  The Scots! the motion is defied: I had rather,

for my part, without trial of my country, suffer

persecution under the pressing-iron of reproach;

or let my skin be punched full of eyelet-holes with

the bodkin of derision.

Ast.  I will sooner lose both my ears on the pillory of

forgery.

Her.  Let me first live a bankrupt, and die in the lousy

Hole of hunger, without compounding for sixpence in

the pound.

J. a-Wat.  If men fail not in their expectations, there

may be spirits also that digest no rude affronts, Master

Secretary Frion, or I am cozened; which is possible, I

grant.

Fri.  Resolved like men of knowledge: at this feast, then,

In honour of the bride, the Scots, I know,

Will in some show, some masque, or some device,

Prefer their duties: now it were uncomely

That we be found less forward for our prince

Than they are for their lady; and by how much

We outshine them in persons of account,

By so much more will our endeavours meet with

A livelier applause. Great emperors

Have for their recreations undertook

Such kind of pastimes: as for the conceit,

Refer it to my study; the performance

You all shall share a thanks in: 'twill be grateful.

Her.  The motion is allowed: I have stole to a dancing

school when I was a prentice.

Ast.  There have been Irish hubbubs, when I have

made one too.

Skel.  For fashioning of shapes and cutting a cross-caper,

turn me off to my trade again.

J. a-Wat.  Surely there is, if I be not deceived, a kind

of gravity in merriment; as there is, or perhaps ought to

be, respect of persons in the quality of carriage, which is

as it is construed, either so or so.

Fri.  Still you come home to me; upon occasion

I find you relish courtship with discretion;

And such are fit for statesmen of your merits.

Pray ye wait the prince, and in his ear acquaint him

With this design; I'll follow and direct ye.

[Exeunt all but Frion.]

O, the toil

Of humouring this abject scum of mankind,

Muddy-brained peasants! princes feel a misery

Beyond impartial sufferance, whose extremes

Must yield to such abettors: − yet our tide

Runs smoothly, without adverse winds: run on!

Flow to a full sea! time alone debates

Quarrels forewritten in the book of fates.

[Exit.]

ACT III.

SCENE I.

Westminster.

The Palace.

Enter King Henry, with his gorget on,

his sword, plume of feathers, and truncheon,

followed by Urswick.

K. Hen.  How runs the time of day?

Urs.                                              Past ten, my lord.

K. Hen.  A bloody hour will it prove to some,

Whose disobedience, like the sons o' the earth,

Throws a defiance 'gainst the face of Heaven.

Oxford, with Essex and stout De la Pole,

Have quieted the Londoners, I hope,

And set them safe from fear.

Urs.                                     They are all silent.

K. Hen. From their own battlements they may behold

Saint George's-fields o'erspread with armèd men;

Amongst whom our own royal standard threatens

Confusion to opposers: we must learn

To practise war again in time of peace,

Or lay our crown before our subjects' feet;

Ha, Urswick, must we not?

Urs.                                   The powers who seated

King Henry on his lawful throne will ever

Rise up in his defence.

K. Hen.                       Rage shall not fright

The bosom of our confidence: in Kent

Our Cornish rebels, cozened of their hopes,

Met brave resistance by that country's earl,

George Abergeny, Cobham, Poynings, Guilford,

And other loyal hearts; now, if Blackheath

Must be reserved the fatal tomb to swallow

Such stiff-necked abjects as with weary marches

Have travelled from their homes, their wives, and children,

To pay, instead of subsidies, their lives,

We may continue sovereign. Yet, Urswick,

We'll not abate one penny what in parliament

Hath freely been contributed; we must not;

Money gives soul to action. Our competitor,

The Flemish counterfeit, with James of Scotland,

Will prove what courage need and want can nourish,

Without the food of fit supplies: − but, Urswick,

I have a charm in secret that shall loose

The witchcraft wherewith young King James is bound,

And free it at my pleasure without bloodshed.

Urs.  Your majesty's a wise king, sent from Heaven,

Protector of the just.

K. Hen.                    Let dinner cheerfully

Be served in; this day of the week is ours,

Our day of providence; for Saturday

Yet never failed in all my undertakings

To yield me rest at night.

[A flourish.]

                                    − What means this warning?

Good fate, speak peace to Henry!

Enter Lord Dawbeney, Earl of Oxford,

and Attendants.

Daw.                                           Live the king,

Triumphant in the ruin of his enemies!

Oxf.  The head of strong rebellion is cut off,

The body hewed in pieces.

K. Hen.                            Dawbeney, Oxford,

Minions to noblest fortunes, how yet stands

The comfort of your wishes?

Daw.                                   Briefly thus:

The Cornish under Audley, disappointed

Of flattered expectation, from the Kentish −

Your majesty's right-trusty liegemen − flew,

Feathered by rage and heartened by presumption,

To take the field even at your palace-gates,

And face you in your chamber-royal: arrogance

Improved their ignorance; for they, supposing,

Misled by rumour, that the day of battle

Should fall on Monday, rather braved your forces

Than doubted any onset; yet this morning,

When in the dawning I, by your direction,

Strove to get Deptford-strand bridge, there I found

Such a resistance as might show what strength

Could make: here arrows hailed in showers upon us

A full yard long at least; but we prevailed.

My Lord of Oxford, with his fellow peers

Environing the hill, fell fiercely on them

On the one side, I on the other, till, great sir, −

Pardon the oversight, − eager of doing

Some memorable act, I was engaged

Almost a prisoner, but was freed as soon

As sensible of danger: now the fight

Began in heat, which quenchèd in the blood of

Two thousand rebels, and as many more

Reserved to try your mercy, have returned

A victory with safety.

K. Hen.                    Have we lost

An equal number with them?

Oxf.                                     In the total

Scarcely four hundred. Audley, Flammock, Joseph,

The ringleaders of this commotión,

Railed in ropes, fit ornaments for traitors,

Wait your determinations.

K. Hen.                          We must pay

Our thanks where they are only due: O, lords,

Here is no victory, nor shall our people

Conceive that we can triumph in their falls.

Alas, poor souls! let such as are escaped

Steal to the country back without pursuit:

There's not a drop of blood spilt but hath drawn

As much of mine; their swords could have wrought wonders

On their king's part, who faintly were unsheathed

Against their prince, but wounded their own breasts.

Lords, we are debtors to your care; our payment

Shall be both sure and fitting your deserts.

Daw.  Sir, will you please to see those rebels, heads

Of this wild monster-multitude?

K. Hen.                                     Dear friend,

My faithful Dawbeney, no; on them our justice

Must frown in terror; I will not vouchsafe

An eye of pity to them. Let false Audley

Be drawn upon an hurdle from the Newgate

To Tower-hill in his own coat of arms

Painted on paper, with the arms reversed,

Defaced and torn; there let him lose his head.

The lawyer and the blacksmith shall be hanged,

Quartered; their quarters into Cornwall sent

Examples to the rest, whom we are pleased

To pardon and dismiss from further quest. −

My Lord of Oxford, see it done.

Oxf.                                           I shall, sir.

K. Hen.  Urswick!

Urs.                   My lord?

K. Hen.                        To Dinham, our high-treasurer,

Say, we command commissions be new granted

For the collection of our subsidies

Through all the west, and that [right] speedily. −

Lords, we acknowledge our engagements due

For your most constant services.

Daw.                                         Your soldiers

Have manfully and faithfully acquitted

Their several duties.

K. Hen.                   For it we will throw

A largess free amongst them, which shall hearten

And cherish-up their loyalties. More yet

Remains of like employment; not a man

Can be dismissed, till enemies abroad,

More dangerous than these at home, have felt

The puissance of our arms. O, happy kings

Whose thrones are raisèd in their subjects' hearts!

[Exeunt.]

ACT III, SCENE II.

Edinburgh.

The Palace.

Enter Earl of Huntley and Lord Dalyell.

Hunt.  Now, sir, a modest word with you, sad gentleman:

Is not this fine, I trow, to see the gambols,

To hear the jigs, observe the frisks, be enchanted

With the rare discord of bells, pipes, and tabors,

Hotch-potch of Scotch and Irish twingle-twangles,

Like to so many quiristers of Bedlam

Trolling a catch! The feasts, the manly stomachs,

The healths in usquebaugh and bonny-clabber,

The ale in dishes never fetched from China,

The hundred-thousand knacks not to be spoken of, −

And all this for King Oberon and Queen Mab, −

Should put a soul into ye. Look ye, good man,

How youthful I am grown: but, by your leave,

This new queen-bride must henceforth be no more

My daughter; no, by'r lady, 'tis unfit:

And yet you see how I do bear this change,

Methinks courageously: then shake off care

In such a time of jollity.

Dal.                             Alas, sir,

How can you cast a mist upon your griefs?

Which, howsoe'er you shadow, but present

To any judging eye the perfect substance,

Of which mine are but counterfeits.

Hunt.                                              Foh, Dalyell!

Thou interrupt'st the part I bear in music

To this rare bridal-feast; let us be merry,

Whilst flattering calms secure us against storms:

Tempests, when they begin to roar, put out

The light of peace, and cloud the sun's bright eye

In darkness of despair; yet we are safe.

Dal.  I wish you could as easily forget

The justice of your sorrows as my hopes

Can yield to destiny.

Hunt.                       Pish! then I see

Thou dost not know the flexible condition

Of my apt nature: I can laugh, laugh heartily,

When the gout cramps my joints; let but the stone

Stop in my bladder, I am straight a-singing;

The quartan-fever, shrinking every limb,

Sets me a-capering straight; do but betray me,

And bind me a friend ever: what! I trust

The losing of a daughter, though I doted

On every hair that grew to trim her head,

Admits not any pain like one of these.

Come, thou'rt deceived in me: give me a blow,

A sound blow on the face, I'll thank thee for't;

I love my wrongs: still thou'rt deceived in me.

Dal.  Deceived! O, noble Huntley, my few years

Have learnt experience of too ripe an age

To forfeit fit credulity: forgive

My rudeness, I am bold.

Hunt.                            Forgive me first

A madness of ambition; by example

Teach me humility, for patience scorns

Lectures, which schoolmen use to read to boys

Uncapable of injuries: though old,

I could grow tough in fury, and disclaim

Allegiance to my king; could fall at odds

With all my fellow-peers that durst not stand

Defendants 'gainst the rape done on mine honour:

But kings are earthly gods, there is no meddling

With their anointed bodies; for their actions

They only are accountable to Heaven.

Yet in the puzzle of my troubled brain

One antidote's reserved against the poison

Of my distractions; 'tis in thee t' apply it.

Dal.  Name it; O, name it quickly, sir!

Hunt.                                                A pardon

For my most foolish slighting thy deserts;

I have culled out this time to beg it: prithee,

Be gentle; had I been so, thou hadst owned

A happy bride, but now a castaway,

And never child of mine more.

Dal.                                         Say not so, sir;

It is not fault in her.

Hunt.                    The world would prate

How she was handsome; young I know she was,

Tender, and sweet in her obedience:

But lost now: what a bankrupt am I made

Of a full stock of blessings! Must I hope

A mercy from thy heart?

Dal.                              A love, a service,

A friendship to posterity.

Hunt.                              Good angels

Reward thy charity! I have no more

But prayers left me now.

Dal.                               I'll lend you mirth, sir,

If you will be in consort.

Hunt.                             Thank you truly:

I must; yes, yes, I must; − here's yet some ease,

A partner in affliction: look not angry.

Dal.  Good, noble sir!

[Flourish.]

Hunt.                       O, hark! we may be quiet,

The King and all the others come; a meeting

Of gaudy sights: this day's the last of revels;

To-morrow sounds of war; then new exchange;

Fiddles must turn to swords. − Unhappy marriage!

[A flourish.]

Enter King James, Perkin Warbeck leading Lady

Katherine, Earl of Crawford and his Countess;

Jane Douglas, and other Ladies.

Earl of Huntley and Lord Dalyell fall in among them.

K. Ja.  Cousin of York, you and your princely bride

Have liberally enjoyed such soft delights

As a new-married couple could forethink;

Nor has our bounty shortened expectation:

But after all those pleasures of repose,

Of amorous safety, we must rouse the ease

Of dalliance with achievements of more glory

Than sloth and sleep can furnish: yet, for farewell,

Gladly we entertain a truce with time,

To grace the joint endeavours of our servants.

War.  My royal cousin, in your princely favour

The extent of bounty hath been so unlimited,

As only an acknowledgment in words

Would breed suspicion in our state and quality.

When we shall, in the fulness of our fate, −

Whose minister, necessity, will perfect, −

Sit on our own throne; then our arms, laid open

To gratitude, in sacred memory

Of these large benefits, shall twine them close,

Even to our thoughts and heart, without distinction.

Then James and Richard, being in effect

One person, shall unite and rule one people,

Divisible in titles only.

K. Ja.                         Seat ye. −

Are the presenters ready?

Craw.                            All are entering.

Hunt.  Dainty sport toward, Dalyell! sit; come, sit,

Sit and be quiet; here are kingly bug's-words!

Enter at one door Four Scotch Antics, accordingly

habited; at another, Warbeck's followers,

disguised as Four Wild Irish in trowsers,

long-haired, and accordingly habited.

Music. A dance by the Masquers.

K. Ja.  To all a general thanks!

War.                                      In the next room

Take your own shapes again; you shall receive

Particular acknowledgment.

[Exeunt the Masquers.]

K. Ja.                                  Enough

Of merriments. − Crawford, how far's our army

Upon the march?

Craw.              At Hedon-hall, great king;

Twelve thousand, well-prepared.

K. Ja.                                         Crawford, to-night

Post thither. We in person, with the prince,

By four o'clock to-morrow after dinner

Will be wi' ye; speed away!

Craw.                                 I fly, my lord.

[Exit.]

K. Ja.  Our business grows to head now: where's your secretary,

That he attends ye not to serve?

War.                                       With Marchmont,

Your herald.

K. Ja.         Good: the proclamation's ready;

By that it will appear how the English stand

Affected to your title. − Huntley, comfort

Your daughter in her husband's absence; fight

With prayers at home for us, who for your honours

Must toil in fight abroad.

Hunt.                             Prayers are the weapons

Which men so near their graves as I do use;

I've little else to do.

K. Ja.                   To rest, young beauties! −

We must be early stirring; quickly part:

A kingdom's rescue craves both speed and art. −

Cousins, good-night.

[A flourish.]

War.                        Rest to our cousin-king.

Kath.  Your blessing, sir.

Hunt.  Fair blessings on your highness! sure, you need 'em.

[Exeunt all but Warbeck, Lady Katherine, and Jane.]

War.  Jane, set the lights down, and from us return

To those in the next room this little purse;

Say we'll deserve their loves.

Jane.                                     It shall be done, sir.

[Exit.]

War.  Now, dearest, ere sweet sleep shall seal those eyes,

Love's precious tapers, give me leave to use

A parting ceremony; for to-morrow

It would be sacrilege t' intrude upon

The temple of thy peace: swift as the morning

Must I break from the down of thy embraces,

To put on steel, and trace the paths which lead

Through various hazards to a careful throne.

Kath.  My lord, I'd fain go wi' ye; there's small fortune

In staying here behind.

War.                          The churlish brow

Of war, fair dearest, is a sight of horror

For ladies' entertainment: if thou hear'st

A truth of my sad ending by the hand

Of some unnatural subject, thou withal

Shalt hear how I died worthy of my right,

By falling like a king; and in the close,

Which my last breath shall sound, thy name, thou fairest,

Shall sing a requiem to my soul, unwilling

Only of greater glory, 'cause divided

From such a Heaven on earth as life with thee.

But these are chimes for funerals: my business

Attends on fortune of a sprightlier triumph;

For love and majesty are reconciled,

And vow to crown thee empress of the west.

Kath.  You have a noble language, sir; your right

In me is without question, and however

Events of time may shorten my deserts

In others' pity, yet it shall not stagger

Or constancy or duty in a wife.

You must be king of me; and my poor heart

Is all I can call mine.

War.                       But we will live,

Live, beauteous virtue, by the lively test

Of our own blood, to let the counterfeit

Be known the world's contempt.

Kath.                                         Pray, do not use

That word; it carries fate in't. The first suit

I ever made, I trust your love will grant.

War.  Without denial, dearest.

Kath.                                     That hereafter,

If you return with safety, no adventure

May sever us in tasting any fortune:

I ne'er can stay behind again.

War.                                     You're lady

Of your desires, and shall command your will;

Yet 'tis too hard to promise.

Kath.                                 What our destinies

Have ruled-out in their books we must not search,

But kneel to.

War.          Then to fear when hope is fruitless,

Were to be desperately miserable;

Which poverty our greatness dares not dream of,

And much more scorns to stoop to: some few minutes

Remain yet; let's be thrifty in our hopes.

[Exeunt.]

ACT III, SCENE III.

The Palace at Westminster.

Enter King Henry, Hialas, and Urswick.

K. Hen.  Your name is Pedro Hialas, a Spaniard?

Hial.  Sir, a Castilian born.

K. Hen.                           King Ferdinand,

With wise Queen Isabel his royal consort,

Write ye a man of worthy trust and candour.

Princes are dear to Heaven who meet with subjects

Sincere in their employments; such I find

Your commendation, sir. Let me deliver

How joyful I repute the amity

With your most fortunate master, who almost

Comes near a miracle in his success

Against the Moors, who had devoured his country,

Entire now to his sceptre. We, for our part,

Will imitate his providence, in hope

Of partage in the use on't: we repute

The privacy of his advisement to us

By you, intended an ambassador

To Scotland, for a peace between our kingdoms,

A policy of love, which well becomes

His wisdom and our care.

Hial.                               Your majesty

Doth understand him rightly.

K. Hen.                                Else

Your knowledge can instruct me; wherein, sir,

To fall on ceremony would seem useless,

Which shall not need; for I will be as studious

Of your concealment in our conference

As any council shall advise.

Hial.                                   Then, sir,

My chief request is, that on notice given

At my dispatch in Scotland, you will send

Some learnèd man of powèr and experience

To join entreaty with me.

K. Hen.                          I shall do it,

Being that way well provided by a servant

Which may attend ye ever.

Hial.                                 If King James,

By any indirection, should perceive

My coming near your court, I doubt the issue

Of my employment.

K. Hen.                  Be not your own herald:

I learn sometimes without a teacher.

Hial.                                                Good days

Guard all your princely thoughts!

K. Hen.                                       Urswick, no further

Than the next open gallery attend him. −

A hearty love go with you!

Hial.                                 Your vowed beadsman.

[Exeunt Urswick and Hialas.]

K. Hen.  King Ferdinand is not so much a fox,

But that a cunning huntsman may in time

Fall on the scent: in honourable actions

Safe imitation best deserves a praise.

Re-enter Urswick.

What, the Castilian's passed away?

Urs.                                              He is,

And undiscovered; the two hundred marks

Your majesty conveyed, he gently pursed

With a right modest gravity.

K. Hen.                              What was't

he muttered in the earnest of his wisdom?

He spoke not to be heard; 'twas about −

Urs.                                                   Warbeck:

How if King Henry were but sure of subjects,

Such a wild runagate might soon be caged,

No great ado withstanding.

K. Hen.                            Nay, nay; something

About my son Prince Arthur's match.

Urs.                                                   Right, right, sir:

He hummed it out, how that King Ferdinand

Swore that the marriage 'twixt the Lady Katherine

His daughter and the Prince of Wales your son

Should never be consummated as long

As any Earl of Warwick lived in England,

Except by new creation.

K. Hen.                         I remember

'Twas so, indeed: the king his master swore it?

Urs. Directly, as he said.

K. Hen.                         An Earl of Warwick! −

Provide a messenger for letters instantly

To Bishop Fox. Our news from Scotland creeps;

It comes so slow, we must have airy spirits;

Our time requires dispatch. −

                                [Aside] The Earl of Warwick!

Let him be son to Clarence, younger brother

To Edward! Edward's daughter is, I think,

Mother to our Prince Arthur. − Get a messenger.

[Exeunt.]

ACT III, SCENE IV.

Before the Castle of Norham.

Enter King James, Perkin Warbeck, Earl of

Crawford, Lord Dalyell, Heron, Astley,

John A-Water, Skelton, and Soldiers.

K. Ja.  We trifle time against these castle-walls;

The English prelate will not yield: once more

Give him a summons.

[A parley is sounded.]

Enter on the walls the Bishop of Durham,

armed, a truncheon in his hand, with Soldiers.

War.                         See, the jolly clerk

Appears, trimmed like a ruffian!

K. Ja.                                        Bishop, yet

Set ope the ports, and to your lawful sovereign,

Richard of York, surrender up this castle,

And he will take thee to his grace; else Tweed

Shall overflow his banks with English blood,

And wash the sand that céments those hard stones

From their foundation.

Dur.                          Warlike King of Scotland,

Vouchsafe a few words from a man enforced

To lay his book aside, and clap on arms

Unsuitable to my age or my profession.

Courageous prince, consider on what grounds

You rend the face of peace, and break a league

With a confederate king that courts your amity,

For whom too? for a vagabond, a straggler,

Not noted in the world by birth or name,

An obscure peasant, by the rage of hell

Loosed from his chains to set great kings at strife.

What nobleman, what common man of note,

What ordinary subject hath come in,

Since first you footed on our territories,

To only feign a welcome? Children laugh at

Your proclamations, and the wiser pity

So great a potentate's abuse by one

Who juggles merely with the fawns and youth

Of an instructed compliment: such spoils,

Such slaughters as the rapine of your soldiers

Already have committed, is enough

To show your zeal in a conceited justice.

Yet, great king, wake not yet my master's vengeance

But shake that viper off which gnaws your entrails.

I and my fellow-subjects are resolved,

If you persist, to stand your utmost fury,

Till our last blood drop from us.

War.                                          O, sir, lend

No ear to this traducer of my honour! −

What shall I call thee, thou gray-bearded scandal,

That kick'st against the sovereignty to which

Thou ow'st allegiance? − Treason is bold-faced

And eloquent in mischief: sacred king,

Be deaf to his known malice.

Dur.                                     Rather yield

Unto those holy motions which inspire

The sacred heart of an anointed body.

It is the surest policy in princes

To govern well their own than seek encroachment

Upon another's right.

Craw.                      The king is serious,

Deep in his meditations.

Dal.                               Lift them up

To Heaven, his better genius!

War.                                      Can you study

While such a devil raves? O, sir!

K. Ja.                                         Well, bishop,

You'll not be drawn to mercy?

Dur.                                      Construe me

In like case by a subject of your own:

My resolution's fixed: King James, be counselled,

A greater fate waits on thee.

[Exeunt Bishop of Durham and Soldiers

from the walls.]

K. Ja.                                  Forage through

The country; spare no prey of life or goods.

War.  O, sir, then give me leave to yield to nature;

I am most miserable: had I been

Born what this clergyman would by defame

Baffle belief with, I had never sought

The truth of mine inheritance with rapes

Of women or of infants murdered, virgins

Deflowered, old men butchered, dwellings fired,

My land depopulated, and my people

Afflicted with a kingdom's devastation:

Show more remorse, great king, or I shall never

Endure to see such havoc with dry eyes;

Spare, spare, my dear, dear England!

K. Ja.                                          You fool your piety

Ridiculously careful of an interest

Another man possesseth. Where's your faction?

Shrewdly the bishop guessed of your adherents,

When not a petty burgess of some town,

No, not a villager hath yet appeared

In your assistance: that should make ye whine,

And not your country's sufferance, as you term it.

Dal.  The king is angry.

Craw.                        And the passionate duke

Effeminately dolent.

War.                       The experience

In former trials, sir, both of mine own

Or other princes cast out of their thrones,

Have so acquainted me how misery

Is destitute of friends or of relief,

That I can easily submit to taste

Lowest reproof without contempt or words.

K. Ja.  An humble-minded man!

Enter Frion.

                                                Now, what intelligence

Speaks Master Secretary Frion?

Fri.                                           Henry

Of England hath in open field o'erthrown

The armies who opposed him in the right

Of this young prince.

K. Ja.                       His subsidies, you mean: −

More, if you have it?

Fri.                         Howard, Earl of Surrey,

Backed by twelve earls and barons of the north,

An hundred knights and gentlemen of name,

And twenty thousand soldiers, is at hand

To raise your siege. Brooke, with a goodly navy,

Is admiral at sea; and Dawbeney follows

With an unbroken army for a second.

War.  Tis false! they come to side with us.

K. Ja.                                                       Retreat;

We shall not find them stones and walls to cope with. −

Yet, Duke of York, for such thou sayst thou art,

I'll try thy fortune to the height: to Surrey,

By Marchmont, I will send a brave defiance

For single combat; once a king will venture

His person to an earl, with condition

Of spilling lesser blood: Surrey is bold,

And James resolved.

War.                       O, rather, gracious sir,

Create me to this glory, since my cause

Doth interest this fair quarrel; valued least,

I am his equal.

K. Ja.             I will be the man. −

March softly off: where victory can reap

A harvest crowned with triumph, toil is cheap.

[Exeunt.]

ACT IV.

SCENE I.

The English Camp near Ayton,

on the Borders.

Enter Earl of Surrey, Bishop of Durham,

Soldiers, with drums and colours.

Sur.  Are all our braving enemies shrunk back,

Hid in the fogs of their distempered climate,

Not daring to behold our colours wave

In spite of this infected air? Can they

Look on the strength of Cundrestine defaced?

The glory of Hedon-hall devasted? that

Of Edington cast down?