ACT II
Scene 4.
 

London. The palace

Enter the ARCHBISHOP OF YORK, the young DUKE OF YORK, QUEEN ELIZABETH,
and the DUCHESS OF YORK

ARCHBISHOP
Last night, I hear, they lay at Stony Stratford,
And at Northampton they do rest to-night;
To-morrow or next day they will be here.

DUCHESS
I long with all my heart to see the Prince.
I hope he is much grown since last I saw him.

QUEEN ELIZABETH
But I hear no; they say my son of York
Has almost overta'en him in his growth.

YORK
Ay, mother; but I would not have it so.

DUCHESS
Why, my good cousin, it is good to grow.

YORK
Grandam, one night as we did sit at supper,
My uncle Rivers talk'd how I did grow
More than my brother. 'Ay,' quoth my uncle Gloucester
'Small herbs have grace: great weeds do grow apace.'
And since, methinks, I would not grow so fast,
Because sweet flow'rs are slow and weeds make haste.

DUCHESS
Good faith, good faith, the saying did not hold
In him that did object the same to thee.
He was the wretched'st thing when he was young,
So long a-growing and so leisurely
That, if his rule were true, he should be gracious.

ARCHBISHOP
And so no doubt he is, my gracious madam.

DUCHESS
I hope he is; but yet let mothers doubt.

YORK
Now, by my troth, if I had been rememb'red,
I could have given my uncle's Grace a flout
To touch his growth nearer than he touch'd mine.

DUCHESS
How, my young York? I prithee let me hear it.

YORK
Marry, they say my uncle grew so fast
That he could gnaw a crust at two hours old.
'Twas full two years ere I could get a tooth.
Grandam, this would have been a biting jest.

DUCHESS
I prithee, pretty York, who told thee this?

YORK
Grandam, his nurse.

DUCHESS
His nurse! Why she was dead ere thou wast
born.

YORK
If 'twere not she, I cannot tell who told me.

QUEEN ELIZABETH
A parlous boy! Go to, you are too
shrewd.

ARCHBISHOP
Good madam, be not angry with the child.

QUEEN ELIZABETH
Pitchers have ears.

Enter a MESSENGER

ARCHBISHOP
Here comes a messenger. What news?

MESSENGER
Such news, my lord, as grieves me to report.

QUEEN ELIZABETH
How doth the Prince?

MESSENGER
Well, madam, and in health.

DUCHESS
What is thy news?

MESSENGER
Lord Rivers and Lord Grey
Are sent to Pomfret, and with them
Sir Thomas Vaughan, prisoners.

DUCHESS
Who hath committed them?

MESSENGER
The mighty Dukes, Gloucester and Buckingham.

ARCHBISHOP
For what offence?

MESSENGER
The sum of all I can, I have disclos'd.
Why or for what the nobles were committed
Is all unknown to me, my gracious lord.

QUEEN ELIZABETH
Ay me, I see the ruin of my house!
The tiger now hath seiz'd the gentle hind;
Insulting tyranny begins to jet
Upon the innocent and aweless throne.
Welcome, destruction, blood, and massacre!
I see, as in a map, the end of all.

DUCHESS
Accursed and unquiet wrangling days,
How many of you have mine eyes beheld!
My husband lost his life to get the crown;
And often up and down my sons were toss'd
For me to joy and weep their gain and loss;
And being seated, and domestic broils
Clean over-blown, themselves the conquerors
Make war upon themselves-brother to brother,
Blood to blood, self against self. O, preposterous
And frantic outrage, end thy damned spleen,
Or let me die, to look on death no more!

QUEEN ELIZABETH
Come, come, my boy; we will to
sanctuary.
Madam, farewell.

DUCHESS
Stay, I will go with you.

QUEEN ELIZABETH
You have no cause.

ARCHBISHOP
[To the QUEEN] My gracious lady, go.
And thither bear your treasure and your goods.
For my part, I'll resign unto your Grace
The seal I keep; and so betide to me
As well I tender you and all of yours!
Go, I'll conduct you to the sanctuary.

Exeunt