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King Henry VI, Part II

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ACT I SCENE IV Gloucester's garden. 
HUMECome, my masters; the duchess, I tell you, expects
performance of your promises.
BOLINGBROKEMaster Hume, we are therefore provided: will her
ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?
HUMEAy, what else? fear you not her courage.5
BOLINGBROKEI have heard her reported to be a woman of an
invincible spirit: but it shall be convenient,
Master Hume, that you be by her aloft, while we be
busy below; and so, I pray you, go, in God's name,
and leave us.10
[Exit HUME]
Mother Jourdain, be you
prostrate and grovel on the earth; John Southwell,
read you; and let us to our work.
[Enter the DUCHESS aloft, HUME following]
DUCHESSWell said, my masters; and welcome all. To this
gear the sooner the better.15
BOLINGBROKEPatience, good lady; wizards know their times:
Deep night, dark night, the silent of the night,
The time of night when Troy was set on fire;
The time when screech-owls cry and ban-dogs howl,
And spirits walk and ghosts break up their graves,20
That time best fits the work we have in hand.
Madam, sit you and fear not: whom we raise,
We will make fast within a hallow'd verge.
[ Here they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle; BOLINGBROKE or SOUTHWELL reads, Conjuro te, &c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the Spirit riseth ]
By the eternal God, whose name and power
Thou tremblest at, answer that I shall ask;
For, till thou speak, thou shalt not pass from hence.
SpiritAsk what thou wilt. That I had said and done!
BOLINGBROKE'First of the king: what shall of him become?'30
[Reading out of a paper]
SpiritThe duke yet lives that Henry shall depose;
But him outlive, and die a violent death.
[As the Spirit speaks, SOUTHWELL writes the answer]
BOLINGBROKE'What fates await the Duke of Suffolk?'
SpiritBy water shall he die, and take his end.
BOLINGBROKE'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'35
SpiritLet him shun castles;
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand.
Have done, for more I hardly can endure.
BOLINGBROKEDescend to darkness and the burning lake!40
False fiend, avoid!
[Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit]
[ Enter YORK and BUCKINGHAM with their Guard and break in ]
YORKLay hands upon these traitors and their trash.
Beldam, I think we watch'd you at an inch.
What, madam, are you there? the king and commonweal
Are deeply indebted for this piece of pains:45
My lord protector will, I doubt it not,
See you well guerdon'd for these good deserts.
DUCHESSNot half so bad as thine to England's king,
Injurious duke, that threatest where's no cause.
BUCKINGHAMTrue, madam, none at all: what call you this?50
Away with them! let them be clapp'd up close.
And kept asunder. You, madam, shall with us.
Stafford, take her to thee.
[Exeunt above DUCHESS and HUME, guarded]
We'll see your trinkets here all forthcoming.
All, away!55
[Exeunt guard with MARGARET JOURDAIN, SOUTHWELL, &c]
YORKLord Buckingham, methinks, you watch'd her well:
A pretty plot, well chosen to build upon!
Now, pray, my lord, let's see the devil's writ.
What have we here?
'The duke yet lives, that Henry shall depose;60
But him outlive, and die a violent death.'
Why, this is just
'Aio te, AEacida, Romanos vincere posse.'
Well, to the rest:
'Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of Suffolk?65
By water shall he die, and take his end.
What shall betide the Duke of Somerset?
Let him shun castles;
Safer shall he be upon the sandy plains
Than where castles mounted stand.'70
Come, come, my lords;
These oracles are hardly attain'd,
And hardly understood.
The king is now in progress towards Saint Alban's,
With him the husband of this lovely lady:75
Thither go these news, as fast as horse can
carry them:
A sorry breakfast for my lord protector.
BUCKINGHAMYour grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York,
To be the post, in hope of his reward.80
YORKAt your pleasure, my good lord. Who's within
there, ho!
[Enter a Servingman]
Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick
To sup with me to-morrow night. Away!

Continue to 2 Henry VI, Act 2, Scene 1


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