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Stirring her baby-king against me? ha! Eleanor. The brideless Becket is thy
king and mine : I will go live and die in Aquitaine. Henry. Except I clap thee into prison
here, Lest thou shouldst play the wanton there
again. Ha, you of Aquitaine ! O you of Aqui
taine! You were but Aquitaine to Louis — no
wife; You are only Aquitaine to me — no wife, Eleanor. And why, my lord, should I
be wife to one That only wedded me for Aquitaine? Yet this no wife - her six and thirty
sail Of Provence blew you to your English
throne; And this no wife has borne you four brave
sons, And one of them at least is like to prove Bigger in our small world than thou art. Henry.
Ay — Richard, if he be mine — I hope him
mine. But thou art like enough to make him
thine. Eleanor. Becket is like enough to
make all his. Henry. Methought I had recover'd
of the Becket, That all was planed and bevell’d smooth
again, Save from some hateful cantrip of thine Eleanor. I will go live and die in
Aquitaine. I dream'd I was the consort of a king, Not one whose back his priest has broken. Henry.
What! Is the end come? You, will you crown My victor in mid-battle? I will be Sole master of my house. The end is
mine. What game, what juggle, what devilry
are you playing? Why do you thrust this Becket on me
again? Eleanor. Why? for I am true wife,
and have my fears
Lest Becket thrust you even from your
throne. Do you know this cross, my liege? Henry (turning his head). Away!
mond, worth, I think,
That? Eleanor. I gave it you, and you your
paramour; She sends it back, as being dead to
earth, So dead henceforth to you. Henry. Dead! you have murder'd
her, Found out her secret bower and murder'd
her! Eleanor. Your Becket knew the
secret of your bower. Henry (calling out). Ho there! thy
rest of life is hopeless prison. Eleanor. And what would my own
Aquitaine say to that? First, free thy captive from her hopeless
prison. Henry. O devil, can I free her from
the grave? · Eleanor. You are too tragic: both
of us are players In such a comedy as our court of Pro
Had laugh'd at. That's a delicate Latin
lay Of Walter Map: the lady holds the
cleric Lovelier than any soldier, his poor
tonsure A crown of Empire. Will you have it
again? (Offering the cross. He dashes it down.) St. Cupid, that is too irreverent. Then mine once more. (Puts it on.)
Your cleric hath your lady. Nay, what uncomely faces, could he see
you ! Foam the mouth because King
You are no King's men- -you-you
you are Becket's inen.
Will no man free me from this pestilent Thy pardon — I have still thy leave to
there are men
Henry. To put her into Godstow
Enter the four KNIGHTS.
out so furiously?
absolve the Bishops.
is my reason,
he did his best
me, obey me!
The soldier, when he lets his whole self go | Thro' all closed doors a dreadful
That thou wouldst excommunica
I could not eat, sleep, pray: I had i
The monk's disguise thou gavest speak,
my bower: Thou hast waged God's war against the I think our Abbess knew it and all. King; and yet
I fled, and found thy name a cha We are self-uncertain creatures, and we
get me may,
Food, roof, and rest.
I met a l'ea, even when we know not, mix our
I told him I was bound to see the
* Pass on,' he said, and in thy na Enter EDWARD GRIM.
From house to house. In one
Sat by his mother's hearth: he had What say ye there of Becket?
I believe bin Into the King's own woods; and
Cried out against the cruelty of Who hold King
I said it was the King's courts, not Grim.
Well, my lord, King;
But she would not believe me, an1
The Church were king: she had [Exit Grim.
the Archbishop once, So mild, so kind. The people love t
father. Becket. Alas! when I was CH
[The Knights draw their sword.
king's woman, 1.
take good counsel
thou hadst return'd to England,
world against thee.
not of this world.
this world it might be
thine enemies -
not be something
A policy of wise
A stranger monk desires access to you.
York against God!
Enter ROSAMUND as a Monk.
cellor to the King,
Come you to confess? I fear I was as cruel as the King.
Rosamund. Cruel? Oh, no - it
The customs of the realm.
Becket. The customs! custor Rosamund (throwing back the cowl). I Rosamund. My lord, you have know him; our good John of
Oh, if you have, absolve him!
Daughter. daught noviciate
Deal not with things you know not.
I know ho These wells of Marah. I am grieved, Then you have done it, and I call my daughter.
cruel. I thought that I had made a peace for
John of Salisbury. No, daughter, y thee. Rosamund. Small peace was mine in For once in France the King had b
mistake our good Archbishop; my noviciate, father.
And may there
The soldier, when he lets his whole self go Lost in the common good, the common
wrong, Strikes truest ev'n for his own self. I
Thy pardon — I have still thy leave to
speak. Thou hast waged God's war against the
King; and yet We are self-uncertain creatures, and we
may, Yea, even when we know not, mix our
spites And private hates with our defence of
Enter EDWARD GRIM.
I believe him The bravest in our roll of Primates down From Austin - there are
- for there are men Of canker'd judgment everywhere Becket.
Who hold With York, with York against me. Grim.
Well, my lord, A stranger monk desires access to you. Becket. York against Canterbury,
York against God ! I am open to him.
Come you to confess?
Then speak; this
know him; our good John of
noviciate To plunge into this bitter world again These wells of Marah. I am grieved,
my daughter. I thought that I had made a peace for
thee. Rosamund. Small peace was mine in
my noviciate, father.
Thro' all closed doors a dreadful whisper
crept That thou wouldst excommunicate the
King. I could not eat, sleep, pray: I had with me The monk's disguise thou gavest me for
my bower: I think our Abbess knew it and allow'd it. I fled, and found thy name a charm to
get me Food, roof, and rest. I met a robber
once, I told him I was bound to see the Arch
bishop; • Pass on,' he said, and in thy name I
pass'd From house to house. In one a son
stone-blind Sat by his mother's hearth: he had gone
too far Into the King's own woods; and the
poor mother, Soon as she learnt I was a friend of
thine, Cried out against the cruelty of the
King. I said it was the King's courts, not the
King; But she would not believe me, and she
wish'd The Church were king: she had seen
the Archbishop once, So mild, so kind. The people love thee,
father. Becket. Alas! when I was Chan
cellor to the King, I fear I was as cruel as the King. Rosamund. Cruel? Oh, no- it is
the law, not he; The customs of the realm.
Becket. The customs! customs !
excommunicated him? Oh, if you have, absolve him! Becket.
Daughter, daughter, Deal not with things you know not. Rosamund.
I know him. Then you have done it, and I call you
cruel. John of Salisbury. No, daughter, you
mistake our good Archbishop; For once in France the King had been
His child and mine own soul, and so
return. Becket. Pray for me too: much need of prayer have I.
(Rosamund kneels and sen. Dan John, how much we lose, we cel
bates, Lacking the love of woman and of child! John of Salisbury. More gain than
loss; for of your wives you shall Find one a slut whose fairest linen seens Foul as her dust-cloth, if she used it
He thought to excommunicate him
Thomas, You could not--old affection master'd
Rosamund. God bless him for it.
John of Salisbury,
aisle, • The King is sick and almost unto
death'? How could I excommunicate him then? Rosamund. And wilt thou
municate him now? Becket. Daughter, my time is short,
I shall not do it. And were it longer — well — I should not
do it. Rosamund. Thanks in this life, and
in the life to come. Becket. Get thee back to thy nunnery
with all haste; Let this be thy last trespass. But one
question – How fares thy pretty boy, the little
No, but saved From all that by our solitude. The
plagues That smite the city spare the solitudes. Becket. God save him from all sick
ness of the soul! Thee too, thy solitude among thy nuns, May that save thee! Doth he remember
Ay, but wait Till his nose rises; he will be very
king. Becket. Ev'n so: but think not of
the King: farewell! Rosamund. My lord, the city is full
of armed men.
Rosamund. I will but pass to vespers, And breathe one prayer for my liege-lord
So charged with tongue, that every threat
of thought Is broken ere it joins - a shrew to boot, Whose evil song far on into the night Thrills to the topmost tile — no hope but
death; One slow, fat, white, a burthen of the
hearth; And one that being thwarted ever swoors And weeps herself into the place o
power; And one an uxor pauperis Ibyci. So rare the household honeymaking
bee, Man's help! but we, we have the blessed
Virgin For worship, and our Mother Church
for bride; And all the souls we saved and father's
here Will greet us as our babes in Paradise. What noise was that? she told us !
arm'd men Here in the city. Will you not witd.
draw? Becket. I once was out with Henry
in the days When Henry loved me, and we
upon A wild-fowl sitting on her nest, so still I reach'd my hand and touch'd; she did
not stir; The snow had frozen round her, and se
sat Stone-dead upon a heap of ice-cold
eggs. Look! how this love, this mother, rits
thro' all The world God made — even the beast
-- the bird!
John of Salisbury. Ay, still a lover of
the beast and bird? But these arm'd men- – will you not hide
yourself? Perchance the fierce De Brocs from Salt
wood Castle, To assail our Holy Mother lest she
brood Too long o'er this hard egg, the world,
and send Her whole heart's heat into it, till it
break Into young angels. Pray you, hide
yourself. Becket. There was a little fair-hair'd
Norman maid Lived in my mother's house: if Rosa
mund is The world's rose, as her name imports
her -- she Was the world's lily. John of Salisbury. Ay, and what of
her? Becket. She died of leprosy. John of Salisbury. I know not why You call these old things back again, my
lord. Becket. The drowning man, they say,
remembers all The chances of his life, just ere he dies. John of Salisbury. Ay — but these
arm’d men will you drown your
self? He loses half the meed of martyrdom Who will be martyr when he might
escape. Becket. What day of the week?
Tuesday? John of Salisbury. Tuesday, my lord. Becket. On a Tuesday was I born,
and on a Tuesday Baptized; and on a Tuesday did I Ay Forth from Northampton; on a Tuesday
pass'd From England into bitter banishment; On a Tuesday at Pontigny came to
Fitzurse. My lord, we bring a message
from the King Beyond the water; will you have it
As you will.
Nay, as you will.
Why then Better perhaps to speak with them apart. Let us withdraw.
[All go out except the four Knights
and Becket. Filzurse. We are all alone with him. Shall I not smite him with his own cross
staff? De Morville. No, look! the door is
open: let him be. Fitzurse. The King condemns your
excommunicating Becket. This is no secret, but a public
matter. In here again! [John of Salisbury and Monks return.
Now, sirs, the King's commands ! Fitzurse. The King beyond the water,
thro' our voices, Commands you to be dutiful and leal To your young King on this side of the
water, Not scorn him for the foibles of his youth. What! you would make his coronation
void By cursing those who crown'd him! Out
upon you! Becket. Reginald, all men know I
loved the Prince. His father gave him to my care, and I Became his second father: he had his
faults, For which I would have laid mine own
life down To help him from them, since indeed I
loved him, And love him next after my lord his father.
The ghostly warning of my martyrdom; On a Tuesday from mine exile I return’d, And on a Tuesday
[ Tracy enters, then Fitzurse, De
Brito, and De Morville. Monks following: