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SCENE II. Southampton. A council-chamber.

Enter EXETER, BEDFORD, and WESTMORELAND.

Bed. 'Fore God, his grace is bold, to trust these traitors.

Exe. They shall be apprehended by and by. West. How smooth and even they do bear themselves!

As if allegiance in their bosoms sat,

Crowned with faith and constant loyalty.

Bed. The king hath note of all that they intend, By interception which they dream not of.

Exe. Nay, but the man that was his bedfellow, Whom he hath dull'd and cloy'd with gracious favours,

That he should, for a foreign purse, so sell
His sovereign's life to death and treachery.

Trumpets sound. Enter KING HENRY, SCROOP,
CAMBRIDGE, GREY, and Attendants.

K. Hen. Now sits the wind fair, and we will
aboard.

My Lord of Cambridge, and my kind Lord of
Masham,

And you, my gentle knight, give me your thoughts :
Think you not that the powers we bear with us
Will cut their passage through the force of France,
Doing the execution and the act

For which we have in head assembled them?
Scroop. No doubt, my liege, if each man do

his best.

8. the man that was his bedfellow, i.e. Lord Scroop, of whom Holinshed reports this as

10

a mark of his intimacy with the king.

18. in head, in force.

K. Hen. I doubt not that; since we are well

persuaded

We carry not a heart with us from hence

That grows not in a fair consent with ours,

Nor leave not one behind that doth not wish
Success and conquest to attend on us.

Cam. Never was monarch better fear'd and
loved

Than is your majesty: there's not, I think, a subject

That sits in heart-grief and uneasiness

Under the sweet shade of your government.

Grey. True: those that were your father's enemies

Have steep'd their galls in honey, and do serve you

With hearts create of duty and of zeal.

K. Hen. We therefore have great cause of

thankfulness;

And shall forget the office of our hand,

Sooner than quittance of desert and merit
According to the weight and worthiness.

Scroop. So service shall with steeled sinews toil,
And labour shall refresh itself with hope,
To do your grace incessant services.

K. Hen. We judge no less. Uncle of Exeter,
Enlarge the man committed yesterday,

That rail'd against our person: we consider
It was excess of wine that set him on ;
And on his more advice we pardon him.

Scroop. That's mercy, but too much security:
Let him be punish'd, sovereign, lest example
Breed, by his sufferance, more of such a kind.
K. Hen. O, let us yet be merciful.

22. consent, accord. 33. office, use.

20

30

40

43. his more advice, his thinking better of it.

Cam. So may your highness, and yet punish too.

Grey. Sir,

You show great mercy, if you give him life,

After the taste of much correction.

K. Hen. Alas, your too much love and care

of me

Are heavy orisons 'gainst this poor wretch!

If little faults, proceeding on distemper,

Shall not be wink'd at, how shall we stretch our

eye

When capital crimes, chew'd, swallow'd and digested,

Appear before us? We'll yet enlarge that man, Though Cambridge, Scroop and Grey, in their dear care

And tender preservation of our person,

Would have him punish'd. And now to our
French causes :

Who are the late commissioners ?

Cam. I one, my lord:

Your highness bade me ask for it to-day.

Scroop. So did you me, my liege.

Grey. And I, my royal sovereign.

K. Hen. Then, Richard Earl of Cambridge, there is yours;

There yours, Lord Scroop of Masham; and, sir

knight,

Grey of Northumberland, this same is yours:

Read them; and know, I know your worthiness.
My Lord of Westmoreland, and uncle Exeter,
We will aboard to night.

tlemen!

Why, how now, gen

What see you in those papers that you lose

54. proceeding on distemper, proceeding from a mental disturbance due to a physical

cause.

61. late, lately appointed. 63. it, viz. his commission.

50

60

70

[graphic]

So much complexion? Look ye, how they change! Their cheeks are paper. Why, what read you

That hath so cowarded and chased your blood
Out of appearance?

I do confess my fault;

And do submit me to your highness' mercy.

To which we all appeal.

K. Hen. The mercy that was quick in us but

By your own counsel is suppress'd and kill'd:
You must not dare, for shame, to talk of mercy;
For your own reasons turn into your bosoms,
As dogs upon their masters, worrying you.
See you, my princes and my noble peers,
These English monsters! My Lord of Cambridge
here,

You know how apt our love was to accord
To furnish him with all appertinents
Belonging to his honour; and this man
Hath, for a few light crowns, lightly conspired,
And sworn unto the practices of France,
To kill us here in Hampton: to the which
This knight, no less for bounty bound to us.
Than Cambridge is, hath likewise sworn.

But, O,

What shall I say to thee, Lord Scroop? thou cruel,

Ingrateful, savage and inhuman creature!

Thou that didst bear the key of all my counsels,
That knew'st the very bottom of my soul,
That almost mightst have coin'd me into gold,
Wouldst thou have practised on me for thy use!
May it be possible, that foreign hire

Could out of thee extract one spark of evil

91. Hampton, Southampton.

80

90

100

That might annoy my finger? 'tis so strange,
That, though the truth of it stands off as gross
As black and white, my eye will scarcely see it.
Treason and murder ever kept together,
As two yoke-devils sworn to either's purpose,
Working so grossly in a natural cause,
That admiration did not hoop at them:
But thou, 'gainst all proportion, didst bring in
Wonder to wait on treason and on murder:
And whatsoever cunning fiend it was
That wrought upon thee so preposterously
Hath got the voice in hell for excellence:
All other devils that suggest by treasons
Do botch and bungle up damnation

With patches, colours, and with forms being fetch'd

From glistering semblances of piety;

But he that temper'd thee bade thee stand up,
Gave thee no instance why thou shouldst do

treason,

Unless to dub thee with the name of traitor.

If that same demon that hath gull'd thee thus
Should with his lion gait walk the whole world,
He might return to vasty Tartar back,
And tell the legions 'I can never win
A soul so easy as that Englishman's.'
O, how hast thou with jealousy infected

The sweetness of affiance! Show men dutiful?
Why, so didst thou: seem they grave and learned?
Why, so didst thou: come they of noble family?
Why, so didst thou: seem they religious?
Why, so didst thou: or are they spare in diet

103. stands off, stands out. 108. That admiration, etc., that wonder did not cry out at them; they excited no surprise.

114. suggest, tempt.

110

120

130

119. instance, ground.
123. Tartar, Tartarus, Hell.
127. affiance, confidence.

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