Actus Tertius. Scena Prima.

Flourish. Enter King, Exeter, Gloster, Winchester, Warwick. Somerset, Suffolk, Richard Plantagenet. Gloster offers to put vp a Bill: Winchester snatches it, teares it.

Winch. Com'st thou with deepe premeditated Lines? With written Pamphlets, studiously deuis'd? Humfrey of Gloster, if thou canst accuse, Or ought intend'st to lay vnto my charge, Doe it without inuention, suddenly, As I with sudden, and extemporall speech, Purpose to answer what thou canst obiect

Glo. Presumptuous Priest, this place co[m]mands my patie[n]ce, Or thou should'st finde thou hast dis-honor'd me. Thinke not, although in Writing I preferr'd The manner of thy vile outragious Crymes, That therefore I haue forg'd, or am not able Verbatim to rehearse the Methode of my Penne. No Prelate, such is thy audacious wickednesse, Thy lewd, pestiferous, and dissentious prancks, As very Infants prattle of thy pride. Thou art a most pernitious Vsurer, Froward by nature, Enemie to Peace, Lasciuious, wanton, more then well beseemes A man of thy Profession, and Degree. And for thy Trecherie, what's more manifest? In that thou layd'st a Trap to take my Life, As well at London Bridge, as at the Tower. Beside, I feare me, if thy thoughts were sifted, The King, thy Soueraigne, is not quite exempt From enuious mallice of thy swelling heart

Winch. Gloster, I doe defie thee. Lords vouchsafe To giue me hearing what I shall reply. If I were couetous, ambitious, or peruerse, As he will haue me: how am I so poore? Or how haps it, I seeke not to aduance Or rayse my selfe? but keepe my wonted Calling. And for Dissention, who preferreth Peace More then I doe? except I be prouok'd. No, my good Lords, it is not that offends, It is not that, that hath incens'd the Duke: It is because no one should sway but hee, No one, but hee, should be about the King; And that engenders Thunder in his breast, And makes him rore these Accusations forth. But he shall know I am as good

Glost. As good? Thou Bastard of my Grandfather

Winch. I, Lordly Sir: for what are you, I pray, But one imperious in anothers Throne? Glost. Am I not Protector, sawcie Priest? Winch. And am not I a Prelate of the Church? Glost. Yes, as an Out-law in a Castle keepes, And vseth it, to patronage his Theft

Winch. Vnreuerent Glocester

Glost. Thou art reuerent, Touching thy Spirituall Function, not thy Life

Winch. Rome shall remedie this

Warw. Roame thither then. My Lord, it were your dutie to forbeare

Som. I, see the Bishop be not ouer-borne: Me thinkes my Lord should be Religious, And know the Office that belongs to such

Warw. Me thinkes his Lordship should be humbler, It fitteth not a Prelate so to plead

Som. Yes, when his holy State is toucht so neere

Warw. State holy, or vnhallow'd, what of that? Is not his Grace Protector to the King? Rich. Plantagenet I see must hold his tongue, Least it be said, Speake Sirrha when you should: Must your bold Verdict enter talke with Lords? Else would I haue a fling at Winchester

King. Vnckles of Gloster, and of Winchester, The speciall Watch-men of our English Weale, I would preuayle, if Prayers might preuayle, To ioyne your hearts in loue and amitie. Oh, what a Scandall is it to our Crowne, That two such Noble Peeres as ye should iarre? Beleeue me, Lords, my tender yeeres can tell, Ciuill dissention is a viperous Worme, That gnawes the Bowels of the Common-wealth.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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