1. SCENE I. London. An Apartment in Ely House.
The commons hath he pill'd with grievous taxes,
And quite lost their hearts: the nobles hath he fin'd
For ancient quarrels and quite lost their hearts.
And daily new exactions are devis'd;
As blanks, benevolences, and I wot not what:
But what, o' God's name, doth become of this?
Wars hath not wasted it, for warr'd he hath not,
But basely yielded upon compromise
That which his ancestors achiev'd with blows.
More hath he spent in peace than they in wars.
The Earl of Wiltshire hath the realm in farm.
The King's grown bankrupt like a broken man.
Reproach and dissolution hangeth over him.
He hath not money for these Irish wars,
His burdenous taxations notwithstanding,
But by the robbing of the banish'd Duke.
His noble kinsman: most degenerate king!
But, lords, we hear this fearful tempest sing,
Yet seek no shelter to avoid the storm;
We see the wind sit sore upon our sails,
And yet we strike not, but securely perish.
We see the very wrack that we must suffer;
And unavoided is the danger now,
For suffering so the causes of our wrack.
Not so: even through the hollow eyes of death
I spy life peering; but I dare not say
How near the tidings of our comfort is.
Nay, let us share thy thoughts as thou dost ours.
Be confident to speak, Northumberland:
We three are but thyself: and, speaking so,
Thy words are but as thoughts; therefore be bold.