Card. Did he not, contrary to forme of Law, Deuise strange deaths, for small offences done? Yorke. And did he not, in his Protectorship, Leuie great summes of Money through the Realme, For Souldiers pay in France, and neuer sent it? By meanes whereof, the Townes each day reuolted

Buck. Tut, these are petty faults to faults vnknowne, Which time will bring to light in smooth Duke Humfrey

King. My Lords at once: the care you haue of vs, To mowe downe Thornes that would annoy our Foot, Is worthy prayse: but shall I speake my conscience, Our Kinsman Gloster is as innocent, From meaning Treason to our Royall Person, As is the sucking Lambe, or harmelesse Doue: The Duke is vertuous, milde, and too well giuen, To dreame on euill, or to worke my downefall

Qu. Ah what's more dangerous, then this fond affiance? Seemes he a Doue? his feathers are but borrow'd, For hee's disposed as the hatefull Rauen. Is he a Lambe? his Skinne is surely lent him, For hee's enclin'd as is the rauenous Wolues. Who cannot steale a shape, that meanes deceit? Take heed, my Lord, the welfare of vs all, Hangs on the cutting short that fraudfull man. Enter Somerset

Som. All health vnto my gracious Soueraigne

King. Welcome Lord Somerset: What Newes from France? Som. That all your Interest in those Territories, Is vtterly bereft you: all is lost

King. Cold Newes, Lord Somerset: but Gods will be done

Yorke. Cold Newes for me: for I had hope of France, As firmely as I hope for fertile England. Thus are my Blossomes blasted in the Bud, And Caterpillers eate my Leaues away: But I will remedie this geare ere long, Or sell my Title for a glorious Graue. Enter Gloucester.

Glost. All happinesse vnto my Lord the King: Pardon, my Liege, that I haue stay'd so long

Suff. Nay Gloster, know that thou art come too soone, Vnlesse thou wert more loyall then thou art: I doe arrest thee of High Treason here

Glost. Well Suffolke, thou shalt not see me blush, Nor change my Countenance for this Arrest: A Heart vnspotted, is not easily daunted. The purest Spring is not so free from mudde, As I am cleare from Treason to my Soueraigne. Who can accuse me? wherein am I guiltie? Yorke. 'Tis thought, my Lord, That you tooke Bribes of France, And being Protector, stay'd the Souldiers pay, By meanes whereof, his Highnesse hath lost France

Glost. Is it but thought so? What are they that thinke it? I neuer rob'd the Souldiers of their pay, Nor euer had one penny Bribe from France. So helpe me God, as I haue watcht the Night, I, Night by Night, in studying good for England. That Doyt that ere I wrested from the King, Or any Groat I hoorded to my vse, Be brought against me at my Tryall day. No: many a Pound of mine owne proper store, Because I would not taxe the needie Commons, Haue I dis-pursed to the Garrisons, And neuer ask'd for restitution

Card. It serues you well, my Lord, to say so much

Glost. I say no more then truth, so helpe me God

Yorke. In your Protectorship, you did deuise Strange Tortures for Offendors, neuer heard of, That England was defam'd by Tyrannie

Glost. Why 'tis well known, that whiles I was Protector, Pittie was all the fault that was in me: For I should melt at an Offendors teares, And lowly words were Ransome for their fault: Vnlesse it were a bloody Murtherer, Or foule felonious Theefe, that fleec'd poore passengers, I neuer gaue them condigne punishment. Murther indeede, that bloodie sinne, I tortur'd Aboue the Felon, or what Trespas else

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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