Enter Duke Humfrey and his wife Elianor.

Elia. Why droopes my Lord like ouer-ripen'd Corn, Hanging the head at Ceres plenteous load? Why doth the Great Duke Humfrey knit his browes, As frowning at the Fauours of the world? Why are thine eyes fixt to the sullen earth, Gazing on that which seemes to dimme thy sight? What seest thou there? King Henries Diadem, Inchac'd with all the Honors of the world? If so, Gaze on, and grouell on thy face, Vntill thy head be circled with the same. Put forth thy hand, reach at the glorious Gold. What, is't too short? Ile lengthen it with mine, And hauing both together heau'd it vp, Wee'l both together lift our heads to heauen, And neuer more abase our sight so low, As to vouchsafe one glance vnto the ground

Hum. O Nell, sweet Nell, if thou dost loue thy Lord, Banish the Canker of ambitious thoughts: And may that thought, when I imagine ill Against my King and Nephew, vertuous Henry, Be my last breathing in this mortall world. My troublous dreames this night, doth make me sad

Eli. What dream'd my Lord, tell me, and Ile requite it With sweet rehearsall of my mornings dreame? Hum. Me thought this staffe mine Office-badge in Court Was broke in twaine: by whom, I haue forgot, But as I thinke, it was by'th Cardinall, And on the peeces of the broken Wand Were plac'd the heads of Edmond Duke of Somerset, And William de la Pole first Duke of Suffolke. This was my dreame, what it doth bode God knowes

Eli. Tut, this was nothing but an argument, That he that breakes a sticke of Glosters groue, Shall loose his head for his presumption. But list to me my Humfrey, my sweete Duke: Me thought I sate in Seate of Maiesty, In the Cathedrall Church of Westminster, And in that Chaire where Kings & Queens wer crownd, Where Henrie and Dame Margaret kneel'd to me, And on my head did set the Diadem

Hum. Nay Elinor, then must I chide outright: Presumptuous Dame, ill-nurter'd Elianor, Art thou not second Woman in the Realme? And the Protectors wife belou'd of him? Hast thou not worldly pleasure at command, Aboue the reach or compasse of thy thought? And wilt thou still be hammering Treachery, To tumble downe thy husband, and thy selfe, From top of Honor, to Disgraces feete? Away from me, and let me heare no more

Elia. What, what, my Lord? Are you so chollericke With Elianor, for telling but her dreame? Next time Ile keepe my dreames vnto my selfe, And not be check'd

Hum. Nay be not angry, I am pleas'd againe. Enter Messenger.

Mess. My Lord Protector, 'tis his Highnes pleasure, You do prepare to ride vnto S[aint]. Albons, Where as the King and Queene do meane to Hawke

Hu. I go. Come Nel thou wilt ride with vs?

Ex[it]. Hum[frey]

Eli. Yes my good Lord, Ile follow presently. Follow I must, I cannot go before, While Gloster beares this base and humble minde. Were I a Man, a Duke, and next of blood, I would remoue these tedious stumbling blockes, And smooth my way vpon their headlesse neckes. And being a woman, I will not be slacke To play my part in Fortunes Pageant. Where are you there? Sir Iohn; nay feare not man, We are alone, here's none but thee, & I. Enter Hume.

Hume. Iesus preserue your Royall Maiesty

Elia. What saist thou? Maiesty: I am but Grace

Hume. But by the grace of God, and Humes aduice, Your Graces Title shall be multiplied

Elia. What saist thou man? Hast thou as yet confer'd With Margerie Iordane the cunning Witch, With Roger Bollingbrooke the Coniurer? And will they vndertake to do me good? Hume. This they haue promised to shew your Highnes A Spirit rais'd from depth of vnder ground, That shall make answere to such Questions, As by your Grace shall be propounded him

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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