Queene. Free Lords: Cold Snow melts with the Sunnes hot Beames: Henry, my Lord, is cold in great Affaires, Too full of foolish pittie: and Glosters shew Beguiles him, as the mournefull Crocodile With sorrow snares relenting passengers; Or as the Snake, roll'd in a flowring Banke, With shining checker'd slough doth sting a Child, That for the beautie thinkes it excellent. Beleeue me Lords, were none more wise then I, And yet herein I iudge mine owne Wit good; This Gloster should be quickly rid the World, To rid vs from the feare we haue of him

Card. That he should dye, is worthie pollicie, But yet we want a Colour for his death: 'Tis meet he be condemn'd by course of Law

Suff. But in my minde, that were no pollicie: The King will labour still to saue his Life, The Commons haply rise, to saue his Life; And yet we haue but triuiall argument, More then mistrust, that shewes him worthy death

Yorke. So that by this, you would not haue him dye

Suff. Ah Yorke, no man aliue, so faine as I

Yorke. 'Tis Yorke that hath more reason for his death. But my Lord Cardinall, and you my Lord of Suffolke, Say as you thinke, and speake it from your Soules: Wer't not all one, an emptie Eagle were set, To guard the Chicken from a hungry Kyte, As place Duke Humfrey for the Kings Protector? Queene. So the poore Chicken should be sure of death

Suff. Madame 'tis true: and wer't not madnesse then, To make the Fox surueyor of the Fold? Who being accus'd a craftie Murtherer, His guilt should be but idly posted ouer, Because his purpose is not executed. No: let him dye, in that he is a Fox, By nature prou'd an Enemie to the Flock, Before his Chaps be stayn'd with Crimson blood, As Humfrey prou'd by Reasons to my Liege. And doe not stand on Quillets how to slay him: Be it by Gynnes, by Snares, by Subtletie, Sleeping, or Waking, 'tis no matter how, So he be dead; for that is good deceit, Which mates him first, that first intends deceit

Queene. Thrice Noble Suffolke, 'tis resolutely spoke

Suff. Not resolute, except so much were done, For things are often spoke, and seldome meant, But that my heart accordeth with my tongue, Seeing the deed is meritorious, And to preserue my Soueraigne from his Foe, Say but the word, and I will be his Priest

Card. But I would haue him dead, my Lord of Suffolke, Ere you can take due Orders for a Priest: Say you consent, and censure well the deed, And Ile prouide his Executioner, I tender so the safetie of my Liege

Suff. Here is my Hand, the deed is worthy doing

Queene. And so say I

Yorke. And I: and now we three haue spoke it, It skills not greatly who impugnes our doome. Enter a Poste.

Post. Great Lords, from Ireland am I come amaine, To signifie, that Rebels there are vp, And put the Englishmen vnto the Sword. Send Succours (Lords) and stop the Rage betime, Before the Wound doe grow vncurable; For being greene, there is great hope of helpe

Card. A Breach that craues a quick expedient stoppe. What counsaile giue you in this weightie cause? Yorke. That Somerset be sent as Regent thither: 'Tis meet that luckie Ruler be imploy'd, Witnesse the fortune he hath had in France

Som. If Yorke, with all his farre-fet pollicie, Had beene the Regent there, in stead of me, He neuer would haue stay'd in France so long

Yorke. No, not to lose it all, as thou hast done. I rather would haue lost my Life betimes, Then bring a burthen of dis-honour home, By staying there so long, till all were lost. Shew me one skarre, character'd on thy Skinne, Mens flesh preseru'd so whole, doe seldome winne

William Shakespeare
Classic Literature Library

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