William Shakespeare, 1 Henry VI (1589-90; rev. 1594-95):
Puc. First let me tell you whom you have condemn'd:
Not me begotten of a shepherd swain,
But issued from the progeny of kings;
Virtuous and holy, chosen from above,
By inspiration of celestial grace,
To work exceeding miracles on earth.
I never had to do with wicked spirits.
But you, that are polluted with your lusts,
Stain'd with the guiltless blood of innocents,
Corrupt and tainted with a thousand vices,
Because you want the grace that others have,
You judge it straight a thing impossible
To compass wonders but by help of devils. (5.4.36-48)
William Shakespeare, 2 Henry VI (1590-91):
Enter one crying 'A miracle!'
Glou. What means this noise?
Fellow, what miracle dost thou proclaim?
One. A miracle! a miracle!
Suf. Come to the king and tell him what miracle.
One. Forsooth, a blind man at Saint Alban's shrine,
Within this half-hour, hath received his sight;
A man that ne'er saw in his life before.
King. Now, God be praised, that to believing souls
Gives light in darkness, comfort in despair!...
Car. What, art thou lame?
Simp. Ay, God Almighty help me!...
[Glou.] Let me see thine eyes: wink now: now open them:
In my opinion yet thou seest not well.
Simp. Yes, master, clear as day, I thank God and Saint Alban.
Glou. Say'st thou me so? What colour is this cloak of?
Simp. Red, master; red as blood.
Glou. Why, that's well said. What colour is my gown of?
Simp. Black, forsooth: coal-black as jet.
King. Why, then, thou know'st what colour jet is of?
Suf. And yet, I think, jet did he never see….
Glou. What's thine own name?
Simp. Saunder Simpcox, an if it please you, master.
Glou. Then, Saunder, sit there, the lyingest knave
In Christendom. If thou hadst been born blind,
Thou mightest as well have known all our names as thus
To name the several colours we do wear.
Sight may distinguish of colours, but suddenly
To nominate them all, it is impossible.
My lords, Saint Alban here hath done a miracle;
And would ye not think his cunning to be great,
That could restore this cripple to his legs again?
Simp. O master, that you could!
Glou. My masters of Saint Alban's, have you not
Beadles in your town, and things call’d whips?
May. Yes, my lord, if it please your Grace.
Glou. Then send for one presently.
May. Sirrah, go fetch the beadle hither straight. Exit one.
Glou. Now fetch me a stool hither by and by. [A stool brought.] Now, sirrah, if you mean to save yourself from whipping, leap me over this stool and run away.
Simp. Alas, master, I am not able to stand alone:
You go about to torture me in vain.
Enter a Beadle with whips.
Glou. Well, sir, we must have you find your legs. Sirrah beadle, whip him till he leap over that same stool.
Bead. I will, my lord. Come on, sirrah; off with your doublet quickly.
Simp. Alas, master, what shall I do? I am not able to stand.
After the Beadle hath hit him once, he leaps over the stool and runs away; and they follow and cry, 'A miracle!' (2.1.57-150)
William Shakespeare, Henry V (1599):
Cant. It must be so; for miracles are ceased;
And therefore we must needs admit the means
How things are perfected. (1.1.65-67)
William Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well (1602-03):
Laf. They say miracles are past; and we have our philosophical persons, to make modern and familiar, things supernatural and causeless. Hence is it that we make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear. (2.3.1-6)