ACT I, Scene 2 Roxborough. Before the Castle.

Enter the Countess.

 

COUNTESS Alas, how much in vain my poor eyes gaze
For succour that my sovereign should send!
Ah, cousin Mountague, I fear thou want'st
The lively spirit sharply to solicit
With vehement suit the king in my behalf:
Thou dost not tell him, what a grief it is
To be the scornful captive of a Scot,
Either to be wooed with broad untuned oaths,
Or forc'd by rough insulting barbarism.
Thou doest not tell him, if he here prevail,
How much they will deride us in the north,
And, in their wild, uncivil, skipping jigs,
Bray forth their conquest and our overthrow
Even in the barren, bleak, and fruitless air.
[Enter David and Douglas, Lorraine.]
I must withdraw, the everlasting foe
Comes to the wall; I'll closely step aside,
And list their babble, blunt and full of pride.
  [Retiring behind the works.]
KING DAVID
 
My Lord of Lorraine, to our brother of France
Commend us, as the man in Christendom
That we most reverence and entirely love.
Touching your embassage, return and say,
That we with England will not enter parley,
Nor never make fair weather, or take truce;
But burn their neighbor towns, and so persist
With eager Rods beyond their city York.
And never shall our bonny riders rest,
Nor rusting canker have the time to eat
Their light borne snaffles nor their nimble spurs,
Nor lay aside their jacks of gymold mail,
Nor hang their staves of grained Scottish ash
In peaceful wise upon their City walls,
Nor from their button'd tawny leathern belts
Dismiss their biting whinyards, till your King
Cry out, Enough, spare England now for pity!
Farewell, and tell him that you leave us here
Before this castle; say, you came from us,
Even when we had that yielded to our hands.
LORRAIN
 
I take my leave, and fairly will return
Your acceptable greeting to my king.
[Exit Lorraine.]
KING DAVID
 
Now, Douglas, to our former task again,
For the division of this certain spoil.
DOUGLAS My liege, I crave the lady, and no more.
KING DAVID
 
Nay, soft ye, sir; first I must make my choice,
And first I do bespeak her for myself.
DOUGLAS Why then, my liege, let me enjoy her jewels.
KING DAVID
 
Those are her own, still liable to her,
And who inherits her, hath those withal.
[Enter a Messenger, hastily.]
MESSENGER
 
My liege, as we were pricking on the hills,
To fetch in booty, marching hitherward,
We might descry a might host of men;
The Sun, reflecting on the armour, shewed
A field of plate, a wood of picks advanced.
Bethink your highness speedily herein:
An easy march within four hours will bring
The hindmost rank unto this place, my liege.
KING DAVID Dislodge, dislodge! it is the king of England.
DOUGLAS Jemmy, my man, saddle my bonny black.
KING DAVID Meanst thou to fight, Douglas? we are too weak.
DOUGLAS I know it well, my liege, and therefore fly.
COUNTESS My Lords of Scotland, will ye stay and drink?
[Rising from her concealment.]
KING DAVID She mocks at us, Douglas; I cannot endure it.
COUNTESS
 
Say, good my Lord, which is he must have the lady,
And which her jewels? I am sure, my Lords,
Ye will not hence, till you have shar'd the spoils.
KING DAVID
 
She heard the messenger, and heard our talk;
And now that comfort makes her scorn at us.
[Another messenger.]
MESSENGER Arm, my good Lord! O, we are all surpris'd!
COUNTESS
 
After the French ambassador, my liege,
And tell him, that you dare not ride to York;
Excuse it that your bonny horse is lame.
KING DAVID
 
She heard that too; intolerable grief!
Woman, farewell! Although I do not stay, --
[Exeunt Scots.]
COUNTESS
 
'Tis not for fear, and yet you run away.--
O happy comfort, welcome to our house!
The confident and boisterous boasting Scot,
That swore before my walls they would not back
For all the armed power of this land,
With faceless fear that ever turns his back,
Turned hence against the blasting north-east wind
Upon the bare report and name of arms.
[Enter Mountague.]
O summer's day! See where my cousin comes!
MOUNTAGUE
 
How fares my aunt? We are not Scots;
Why do you shut your gates against your friends?
COUNTESS
 
Well may I give a welcome, cousin, to thee,
For thou com'st well to chase my foes from hence.
MOUNTAGUE
 
The king himself is come in person hither;
Dear aunt, descend, and gratulate his highness.
COUNTESS
 
How may I entertain his Majesty,
To shew my duty and his dignity?
[Exit, from above.]
[Enter King Edward, Warwick, Artois, with others.]
KING EDWARD
 
What, are the stealing foxes fled and gone,
Before we could uncouple at their heels?
WARWICK
 
They are, my liege; but, with a cheerful cry,
Hot hounds and hardy chase them at the heels.
[Enter Countess.]
KING EDWARD This is the Countess Warwick, is it not?
WARWICK
 
Even she, my liege; whose beauty tyrants fear,
As a May blossom with pernicious winds,
Hath sullied, withered, overcast, and done.
KING EDWARD Hath she been fairer, Warwick, than she is?
WARWICK
 
My gracious king, fair is she not at all,
If that her self were by to stain her self,
As I have scene her when she was herself.
KING EDWARD
 
What strange enchantment lurk'd in those her eyes,
When they excell'd this excellence they have,
That now her dim decline hath power to draw
My subject eyes from piercing majesty,
To gaze on her with doting admiration?
COUNTESS
 
In duty lower than the ground I kneel,
And for my dull knees bow my feeling heart,
To witness my obedience to your highness,
With many millions of a subject's thanks
For this your Royal presence, whose approach
Hath driven war and danger from my gate.
KING EDWARD
 
Lady, stand up; I come to bring thee peace,
How ever thereby I have purchased war.
COUNTESS
 
No war to you, my liege; the Scots are gone,
And gallop home toward Scotland with their hate.
KING EDWARD
 
Least, yielding here, I pine in shameful love,
Come, we'll pursue the Scots; -- Artois, away!
COUNTESS
 
A little while, my gracious sovereign, stay,
And let the power of a mighty king
Honor our roof; my husband in the wars,
When he shall hear it, will triumph for joy;
Then, dear my liege, now niggard not thy state:
Being at the wall, enter our homely gate.
KING EDWARD
 
Pardon me, countess, I will come no near;
I dreamed to night of treason, and I fear.
COUNTESS Far from this place let ugly treason lie!
KING EDWARD
 
No farther off than her conspiring eye,
Which shoots infected poison in my heart,
Beyond repulse of wit or cure of art.
Now, in the sun alone it doth not lie,
With light to take light from a mortal eye;
For here two day-stars that mine eyes would see
More than the Sun steals mine own light from me,
Contemplative desire! desire to be
In contemplation, that may master thee!
Warwick, Artois, to horse and let's away!
COUNTESS What might I speak to make my sovereign stay?
KING EDWARD
 
What needs a tongue to such a speaking eye,
That more persuades than winning Oratory? 
COUNTESS
 
Let not thy presence, like the April sun,
Flatter our earth and suddenly be done.
More happy do not make our outward wall
Than thou wilt grace our inner house withal.
Our house, my liege, is like a country swain,
Whose habit rude and manners blunt and plain
Presageth nought, yet inly beautified
With bounties, riches and fair hidden pride.
For where the golden ore doth buried lie,
The ground, undeck'd with nature's tapestry,
Seems barren, sere, unfertile, fruitless, dry;
And where the upper turf of earth doth boast
His pride, perfumes and party-colour'd coat,
Delve there, and find this issue and their pride
To spring from ordure and corruption's side.
But, to make up my all too long compare,
These ragged walls no testimony are,
What is within; but, like a cloak, doth hide
From weather's Waste the under-garnish'd pride.
More gracious then my terms can let thee be,
Intreat thy self to stay a while with me.
KING EDWARD
 
As wise, as fair; what fond fit can be heard,
When wisdom keeps the gate as beauty's guard?--
Countess, albeit my business urgeth me,
It shall attend, while I attend on thee:
Come on, my Lords; here will I host to-night
[Exeunt.]

 

To see other scenes in the show:

Full Play Text

ACT III, SCENE 4 The Same./ACT III, SCENE 5 The Same.

ACT I, SCENE 1 London. A Room of State in the Palace. 

ACT IV, SCENE 1 Bretagne. Camp of the English/ACT IV, SCENE 2 Picardy. The English Camp before Calais.

ACT I, Scene 2 Roxborough. Before the Castle.

ACT IV, SCENE 3 Poitou. Fields near Poitiers. The French camp; Tent of the Duke of Normandy.

ACT II, SCENE 1 The Same. Gardens of the Castle.

ACT IV, SCENE 4 The same. The English Camp.

ACT II, SCENE2 The Same. A Room in the Castle.

ACT IV, SCENE 5 The same. The French Camp.

ACT III, SCENE1  Flanders. The French Camp.

ACT IV, SCENE 6  The same. A Part of the Field of Battle./ACT IV, SCENE 7  The same. Another Part of the Field of Battle.

ACT III, SCENE 2 Picardy. Fields near Cressy.

ACT IV, SCENE 8  The same. Another Part of the Field of Battle. /ACT IV, SCENE 9  The same. The English Camp.

ACT III, SCENE 3 The same. Drums.

ACT V, SCENE 1  Picardy. The English Camp before Calais.

 

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