1. SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house.
[Flourish. Enter King, Exeter, Gloucester, Warwick, Somerset,
and Suffolk; the Bishop of Winchester, Richard Plantagenet, and
others. Gloucester offers to put up a bill; Winchester snatches
it, tears it.]
Comest thou with deep premeditated lines,
With written pamphlets studiously devised,
Humphrey of Gloucester? If thou canst accuse,
Or aught intend'st to lay unto my charge.
Do it without invention, suddenly;
As I with sudden and extemporal speech
Purpose to answer what thou canst object.
Presumptuous priest! this place commands my patience,
Or thou shouldst find thou hast dishonor'd me.
Think not, although in writing I preferr'd
The manner of thy vile outrageous crimes,
That therefore I have forged, or am not able
Verbatim to rehearse the method of my pen:
No, prelate; such is thy audacious wickedness,
Thy lewd, pestiferous and dissentious pranks,
As very infants prattle of thy pride.
Thou art a most pernicious usurer,
Froward by nature, enemy to peace;
Lascivious, wanton, more than well beseems
A man of thy profession and degree;
And for thy treachery, what's more manifest
In that thou laid'st a trap to take my life,
As well at London-bridge as at the Tower.
Beside, I fear me, if thy thoughts are sifted
The king, thy sovereign, is not quite exempt
From envious malice of thy swelling heart.
Gloucester, I do defy thee. Lords, vouchsafe
To give me hearing what I shall reply.
If I were covetous, ambitious, or perverse,
As he will have me, how am I so poor?
Or how haps it I seek not to advance
Or raise myself, but keep my wonted calling?
And for dissension, who preferreth peace
More than I do?--except I be provoked.
No, my good lords, it is not that offends;
It is not that that hath incensed the duke:
It is, because no one should sway but he;
No one but he should be about the king;
And that engenders thunder in his breast,
And makes him roar these accusations forth.
But he shall know I am as good--
Thou bastard of my grandfather!
Aye, lordly sir; for what are you, I pray,
But one imperious in another's throne?
Am I not protector, saucy priest?