Document: All > Shakespeare > Histories > King Henry VI, part II > Act I, scene IV
[Enter MARGARET JOURDAIN, HUME, SOUTHWELL, and
HUME: Come, my masters; the duchess, I tell you, expects
performance of your promises.
BOLINGBROKE: Master Hume, we are therefore provided: will her
ladyship behold and hear our exorcisms?
HUME: Ay, what else? fear you not her courage.
BOLINGBROKE: 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.
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]
DUCHESS: Well said, my masters; and welcome all. To this
gear the sooner the better.
BOLINGBROKE: 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 they do the ceremonies belonging, and make the
circle; BOLINGBROKE or SOUTHWELL reads, Conjuro te,
&c. It thunders and lightens terribly; then the
MARGARET JOURDAIN: Asmath,
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.
Spirit: Ask what thou wilt. That I had said and done!
BOLINGBROKE: 'First of the king: what shall of him become?'
[Reading out of a paper]
Spirit: The 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?'
Spirit: By water shall he die, and take his end.
BOLINGBROKE: 'What shall befall the Duke of Somerset?'
Spirit: 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.
BOLINGBROKE: Descend to darkness and the burning lake!
False fiend, avoid!
[Thunder and lightning. Exit Spirit]
[Enter YORK and BUCKINGHAM with their Guard
and break in]
YORK: 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.
DUCHESS: Not half so bad as thine to England's king,
Injurious duke, that threatest where's no cause.
BUCKINGHAM: 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.
[Exeunt guard with MARGARET JOURDAIN, SOUTHWELL, &c]
YORK: 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 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?
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 Alban's,
With him the husband of this lovely lady:
Thither go these news, as fast as horse can
A sorry breakfast for my lord protector.
BUCKINGHAM: Your grace shall give me leave, my Lord of York,
To be the post, in hope of his reward.
YORK: At your pleasure, my good lord. Who's within
[Enter a Servingman]
Invite my Lords of Salisbury and Warwick
To sup with me to-morrow night. Away!
2 KING HENRY VI