Suff. My Lord, these faults are easie, quickly answer'd: But mightier Crimes are lay'd vnto your charge, Whereof you cannot easily purge your selfe. I doe arrest you in his Highnesse Name, And here commit you to my Lord Cardinall To keepe, vntill your further time of Tryall

King. My Lord of Gloster, 'tis my speciall hope, That you will cleare your selfe from all suspence, My Conscience tells me you are innocent

Glost. Ah gracious Lord, these dayes are dangerous: Vertue is choakt with foule Ambition, And Charitie chas'd hence by Rancours hand; Foule Subornation is predominant, And Equitie exil'd your Highnesse Land. I know, their Complot is to haue my Life: And if my death might make this Iland happy, And proue the Period of their Tyrannie, I would expend it with all willingnesse. But mine is made the Prologue to their Play: For thousands more, that yet suspect no perill, Will not conclude their plotted Tragedie. Beaufords red sparkling eyes blab his hearts mallice, And Suffolks cloudie Brow his stormie hate; Sharpe Buckingham vnburthens with his tongue, The enuious Load that lyes vpon his heart: And dogged Yorke, that reaches at the Moone, Whose ouer-weening Arme I haue pluckt back, By false accuse doth leuell at my Life. And you, my Soueraigne Lady, with the rest, Causelesse haue lay'd disgraces on my head, And with your best endeuour haue stirr'd vp My liefest Liege to be mine Enemie: I, all of you haue lay'd your heads together, My selfe had notice of your Conuenticles, And all to make away my guiltlesse Life. I shall not want false Witnesse, to condemne me, Nor store of Treasons, to augment my guilt: The ancient Prouerbe will be well effected, A Staffe is quickly found to beat a Dogge

Card. My Liege, his rayling is intollerable. If those that care to keepe your Royall Person From Treasons secret Knife, and Traytors Rage, Be thus vpbrayded, chid, and rated at, And the Offendor graunted scope of speech, 'Twill make them coole in zeale vnto your Grace

Suff. Hath he not twit our Soueraigne Lady here With ignominious words, though Clarkely coucht? As if she had suborned some to sweare False allegations, to o'rethrow his state

Qu. But I can giue the loser leaue to chide

Glost. Farre truer spoke then meant: I lose indeede, Beshrew the winners, for they play'd me false, And well such losers may haue leaue to speake

Buck. Hee'le wrest the sence, and hold vs here all day. Lord Cardinall, he is your Prisoner

Card. Sirs, take away the Duke, and guard him sure

Glost. Ah, thus King Henry throwes away his Crutch, Before his Legges be firme to beare his Body. Thus is the Shepheard beaten from thy side, And Wolues are gnarling, who shall gnaw thee first. Ah that my feare were false, ah that it were; For good King Henry, thy decay I feare.

Exit Gloster.

King. My Lords, what to your wisdomes seemeth best, Doe, or vndoe, as if our selfe were here

Queene. What, will your Highnesse leaue the Parliament? King. I Margaret: my heart is drown'd with griefe, Whose floud begins to flowe within mine eyes; My Body round engyrt with miserie: For what's more miserable then Discontent? Ah Vnckle Humfrey, in thy face I see The Map of Honor, Truth, and Loyaltie: And yet, good Humfrey, is the houre to come, That ere I prou'd thee false, or fear'd thy faith. What lowring Starre now enuies thy estate? That these great Lords, and Margaret our Queene, Doe seeke subuersion of thy harmelesse Life. Thou neuer didst them wrong, nor no man wrong: And as the Butcher takes away the Calfe, And binds the Wretch, and beats it when it strayes, Bearing it to the bloody Slaughter-house; Euen so remorselesse haue they borne him hence: And as the Damme runnes lowing vp and downe, Looking the way her harmelesse young one went, And can doe naught but wayle her Darlings losse; Euen so my selfe bewayles good Glosters case With sad vnhelpefull teares, and with dimn'd eyes; Looke after him, and cannot doe him good: So mightie are his vowed Enemies. His fortunes I will weepe, and 'twixt each groane, Say, who's a Traytor? Gloster he is none. Enter.

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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