« 前へ次へ »
flourished within less than half a century of these times:—
“In this 21st year the foresaid Earl of Suffolk, which, as before is touched, had foredone the conclusion of the marriage late by the ambassadors between the King and the Earl of Armagnac's daughter, went over himself with other unto him assigned, and there in France concluded a marriage between the King and Dame Margaret, the King's daughter of Sicily and Jerusalem, as saith the English Chronicle.* And for this marriage to bring about to the said King of Sicily was delivered the duchy of Anjou and earldom of Maine, which are called the keys of Normandy. But the French writer saith in his later Chronicle, that about this time the Earl of Suffolk came unto Charles, the French king, to a town in Lorraine, named Nance or Nant, and asked of him his daughter to be Queen of England, but he giveth her no name; the which request of the said earl to the said Charles was granted: also he affirmeth little before that season a peace between both realms was concluded for the term of twenty months, which peace endured but for a while after. . . . . . . Of this marriage are of divers writers left divers remembrances,
place. But it is very doubtful whether Fabyan, who was Sheriff of London in 1493, was born in 1445. The date of Hall's birth is uncertain, but it was, at the very least, half a century after Margaret's marriage.
* I apprehend that the Chronicle here intended is Caxton's, in Leland, ii. 493.
saying that this marriage was unprofitable to the realm divers ways. For first was given up for her, out of the King's possession, the duchy of Anjou and earldom of Maine, and for the cost of her conveying into this land was acted in plain parliament a fifteen and a half by the Marquis of Suffolk, by reason whereof he grew in such hatred of the people that it finally cost him his life.” +
And this writer traces all the subsequent losses of England to
“the breaking of the promise made by the King to the Earl of Armagnac's daughter.”
Genuine or not, Gloucester's speech in the play, though not equal to some which I have cited, is Shakspearian enough to justify those who believe that he did write or alter this play, though not the preceding:— “Brave peers of England, pillars of the state, To you Duke Humphrey must unload his grief, Your grief, the common grief of all the land. What! did my brother Henry spend his youth, His valour, coin, and people, in the wars? Did he so often lodge in open field, In winter's cold, and summer's parching heat, To conquer France, his true inheritance 2 And did my brother Bedford toil his wits,
To keep by policy what Henry got?
And when he mentions the more particular cause of discontent—
“Suffolk, the new-made duke that rules the roast,
Salisbury adds, from the Chronicle—
“These counties were the keys of Normandy.” WOL. I. N
And Gloucester has the same authority for—
This subsidy was granted by the Parliament, in which Suffolk's services were acknowledged by Gloucester, who was, therefore, probably a party to the grant at which he is made to sneer; but the Recordst mention no special grant for Suffolk's expenses.
We have no authentic accounts of the cabal which, following Holinshed, the poet raises against Gloucester, in which Queen Margaret, Suffolk, the Cardinal, and Buckingham (Shakspeare adds So
merset) were concerned.
“Whilst the wars between the two nations of England and France ceased by occasion of the truce, the minds of men were not so quiet; but that such as were bent to malicious revenge sought to compass their prepensed purpose, not against foreign foes and enemies of their country, but against their own countrymen, and those that had deserved very well of the commonwealth; and this specially for overmuch mildness in the king, who, by his authority, might well have ruled both parts, and ordered all differences betwixt them, but that
# See p. 264. + Parliament at Westminster, 25 Feb. 1445. Rolls, v. 69. f P.210.
indeed he was thought too soft for governor of a kingdom. The queen, contrariwise, a lady of great wit and no less courage, desirous of honour, and furnished with the gifts of reason, policy, and wisdom; but yet sometime, (according to her kind), when she had been fully bent upon a matter, suddenly like a weathercock mutable and turning. “This lady, disdaining that her husband should be ruled rather than rule, could not abide that the Duke of Gloucester should do all things concerning the order of weighty affairs, lest it might be said that she had neither wit nor stomach, which would permit and suffer her husband, being of the most perfect age, like a young pupil to be governed by the direction of another man. Although this toy first entered into her head through her own imagination, yet was she pricked forward to the matter, both by such of her husband's council as had long time borne malice to the Duke for his plainness used in declaring their untruth (as partly ye have heard), as also by counsel from king Regnier her father, advising that she and the King should take upon them the rule of the realm, and not to be kept under, as wards and mastered orphans. - “What needeth many words The Queen, persuaded by these means, first of all excluded the Duke of Gloucester from all rule and governance, not prohibiting such as she knew to be his mortal foes to invent and imagine causes and griefs against him, insomuch that by her procurement divers noblemen con