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Scene 4

London. Gloucester’s Garden.

(Margery Jourdain; John Hume; John Southwell; Roger Bolingbrook; Duchess Eleanor of Gloucester; John Hume; Spirit; Duke of York; Duke of Buckingham; Buckingham and York’s Guard; Sir Humphrey Stafford; Gloucester’s Servingman)

Hume, Bolingbroke and Southwell, along with the witch Mother Jourdain, conjure a spirit for Eleanor, which predicts that the King shall be deposed by a Duke, yet outlive him; that Suffolk shall die by water; and that Somerset should shun castles. York and Buckingham break in and arrest them all, delighted at the prospect of facing Gloucester with his wife’s treason. York sends an invitation to dinner to Salisbury and Warwick. (74 lines)

Enter the witch, Margery Jourdain, the two priests—Hume and Southwell—and Bolingbrook.


Come, my masters, the Duchess, I tell you, expects performance of your promises.


Master Hume, we are therefore provided. Will her ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?


Ay, what else? Fear you not her courage.


I 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.

Exit Hume.

Mother Jourdain, be you prostrate and grovel on the earth.

She lies down upon her face.

John Southwell, read you; and let us to our work.

Enter Eleanor the Duchess aloft, Hume following.


Well said, my masters, and welcome all.

To this gear, the sooner the better.


Patience, 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,

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 do the ceremonies belonging, and make the circle; Bolingbrook or Southwell reads, “Conjuro te, etc.” 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.


Ask what thou wilt. That I had said, and done!


“First of the King: what shall of him become?”

Reading out of a paper.


The duke yet lives that Henry shall depose;

But him out-live, and die a violent death.

As the Spirit speaks, Bolingbrook writes the answer.


“Tell me what fate awaits the Duke of Suffolk?”


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.

Have done, for more I hardly can endure.


Descend to darkness and the burning lake!

False fiend, avoid!

Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit sinking down again.

Enter the Duke of York and the Duke of Buckingham with their Guard, Sir Humphrey Stafford as Captain, and break in.


Lay 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.

My Lord Protector will, I doubt it not,

See you well guerdon’d for these good deserts.


Not half so bad as thine to England’s king,

Injurious duke, that threatest where’s no cause.


True, madam, none at all. What call you this?

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!

Exit Guard with Jourdain, Southwell, etc.


Lord 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;

But him out-live, 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?”

“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.”

Come, come, my lords, these oracles

Are hardly attain’d, and hardly understood.

The King is now in progress towards Saint Albans,

With him the husband of this lovely lady.

Thither goes these news, as fast as horse can carry them—

A sorry breakfast for my Lord Protector.


Your Grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York,

To be the post, in hope of his reward.


At your pleasure, my good lord. Who’s within there, ho?

Enter Gloucester’s Servingman.

Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick

To sup with me tomorrow night. Away!



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