Street in Northampton leading to the Castle.
ELEANOR’S RETAINERS and BECKET’S RETAINERS fighting. Enter ELEANOR and BECKET from opposite streets.
Peace, friends! what idle brawl is this?
RETAINER OF BECKET.
They said—her Grace’s people—thou wast found—
Liars! I shame to quote ’em—caught, my lord,
With a wanton in thy lodging—Hell requite ’em!
RETAINER OF ELEANOR.
My liege, the Lord Fitzurse reported this
In passing to the Castle even now.
RETAINER OF BECKET.
And then they mock’d us and we fell upon ’em,
For we would live and die for thee, my lord,
However kings and queens may frown on thee.
BECKET TO HIS RETAINERS.
Go, go—no more of this!
ELEANOR TO HER RETAINERS.
Away!—(Exeunt Retainers) Fitzurse—
Nay, let him be.
No, no, my Lord Archbishop,
’Tis known you are midwinter to all women,
But often in your chancellorship you served
The follies of the King.
No, not these follies!
My lord, Fitzurse beheld her in your lodging.
Well—you know—the minion, Rosamund.
He had good eyes!
Then hidden in the street
He watch’d her pass with John of Salisbury
And heard her cry ‘Where is this bower of mine?’
Good ears too!
You are going to the Castle,
Will you subscribe the customs?
I leave that,
Knowing how much you reverence Holy Church,
My liege, to your conjecture.
I and mine—
And many a baron holds along with me—
Are not so much at feud with Holy Church
But we might take your side against the customs—
So that you grant me one slight favour.
A sight of that same chart which Henry gave you
With the red line—‘her bower.’
And to what end?
That Church must scorn herself whose fearful Priest
Sits winking at the license of a king,
Altho’ we grant when kings are dangerous
The Church must play into the hands of kings;
Look! I would move this wanton from his sight
And take the Church’s danger on myself.
For which she should be duly grateful.
Tho’ she that binds the bond, herself should see
That kings are faithful to their marriage vow.
Ay, Madam, and queens also.
And queens also!
What is your drift?
My drift is to the Castle,
Where I shall meet the Barons and my King. [Exit.
DE BROC, DE TRACY, DE BRITO, DE MORVILLE (passing).
To the Castle?
Stir up the King, the Lords!
Set all on fire against him!
Ay, good Madam!
Fool! I will make thee hateful to thy King.
Churl! I will have thee frighted into France,
And I shall live to trample on thy grave.