The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth
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DRAMATIS PERSONAE (Persons Represented):
- KING HENRY the Sixth.
- EDWARD, Prince of Wales, his son.
- LEWIS XI, King of France.
- DUKE OF SOMERSET.
- DUKE OF EXETER.
- EARL OF OXFORD.
- EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND.
- EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
- LORD CLIFFORD.
- RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
- EDWARD, Earl of March, afterwards King Edward IV., his son.
- EDMUND, Earl of Rutland, his son.
- GEORGE, afterwards Duke of Clarence, his son.
- RICHARD, afterwards Duke of Gloster, his son.
- DUKE OF NORFOLK.
- MARQUESS OF MONTAGUE.
- EARL OF WARWICK.
- EARL OF PEMBROKE.
- LORD HASTINGS.
- LORD STAFFORD.
- SIR JOHN MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York.
- SIR HUGH MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York.
- HENRY, Earl of Richmond, a youth.
- LORD RIVERS, brother to Lady Grey.
- SIR WILLIAM STANLEY.
- SIR JOHN MONTGOMERY.
- SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.
- Tutor to Rutland.
- Mayor of York.
- Lieutenant of the Tower.
- A Nobleman. Two Keepers. A Huntsman.
- A Son that has killed his father.
- A Father that has killed his son.
- QUEEN MARGARET.
- LADY GREY, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
- BONA, sister to the French Queen.
- Soldiers, Attendants, Messengers, Watchmen, etc.
SCENE: England and France.
- 1 ACT I
- 2 ACT II.
- 3 ACT III.
- 4 ACT IV.
- 5 ACT V.
SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house
[Alarum. Enter DUKE of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]
- I wonder how the king escap'd our hands.
- While we pursued the horsemen of the North,
- He slyly stole away and left his men,
- Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
- Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
- Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
- Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
- Charg'd our main battle's front, and breaking in,
- Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
- Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
- Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
- I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
- That this is true, father, behold his blood.
[Showing his bloody sword.]
- And, brother, here 's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
[To York, showing his.]
- Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.
- Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
[Throwing down the Duke of Somerset's head.]
- Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.—
- But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
- Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
- Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.
- And so do I.—Victorious Prince of York,
- Before I see thee seated in that throne
- Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
- I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
- This is the palace of the fearful king,
- And this the regal seat; possess it, York,
- For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.
- Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
- For hither we have broken in by force.
- We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
- Thanks, gentle Norfolk.—Stay by me, my lords;—
- And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
- And when the king comes, offer him no violence,
- Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
- The queen this day here holds her parliament,
- But little thinks we shall be of her council.
- By words or blows here let us win our right.
- Arm'd as we are, let 's stay within this house.
- The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
- Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
- And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
- Hath made us bywords to our enemies.
- Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute.
- I mean to take possession of my right.
- Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
- The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
- Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
- I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.—
- Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
[Warwick leads York to the throne, who seats himself.]
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest.]
- My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
- Even in the chair of state! belike he means,
- Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
- To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.—
- Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;
- And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
- On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
- If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!
- The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
- What! shall we suffer this? let 's pluck him down;
- My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.
- Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.
- Patience is for poltroons, such as he;
- He durst not sit there had your father liv'd.
- My gracious lord, here in the parliament
- Let us assail the family of York.
- Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
- Ah, know you not the city favours them,
- And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
- But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.
- Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
- To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
- Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats
- Shall be the war that Henry means to use.—
[They advance to the duke.]
- Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,
- And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
- I am thy sovereign.
- I am thine.
- For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.
- 'T was my inheritance, as the earldom was.
- Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
- Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
- In following this usurping Henry.
- Whom should he follow, but his natural king?
- True, Clifford; and that 's Richard, Duke of York.
- And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
- It must and shall be so.
- Content thyself.
- Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.
- He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
- And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
- And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
- That we are those which chas'd you from the field,
- And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
- March'd through the city to the palace gates.
- Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
- And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
- Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
- Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives
- Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
- Urge it no more; lest that instead of words
- I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
- As shall revenge his death before I stir.
- Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!
- Will you we show our title to the crown?
- If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
- What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
- Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
- Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March.
- I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
- Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop,
- And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
- Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
- The lord protector lost it, and not I;
- When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.
- You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.—
- Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
- Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
- Good brother, as thou lov'st and honourest arms,
- Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
- Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.
- Sons, peace!
- Peace thou, and give King Henry leave to speak.
- Plantagenet shall speak first; hear him, lords,
- And be you silent and attentive too,
- For he that interrupts him shall not live.
- Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
- Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
- No! first shall war unpeople this my realm;
- Ay, and their colours—often borne in France,
- And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow—
- Shall be my winding sheet.—Why faint you, lords?
- My title's good, and better far than his.
- Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
- Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
- 'T was by rebellion against his king.
- [Aside.] I know not what to say; my title's weak.—
- Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
- What then?
- An if he may, then am I lawful king;
- For Richard, in the view of many lords,
- Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth,
- Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
- He rose against him, being his sovereign,
- And made him to resign his crown perforce.
- Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
- Think you 't were prejudicial to his crown?
- No; for he could not so resign his crown
- But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
- Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
- His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
- Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
- My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
- [Aside.] All will revolt from me and turn to him.
- Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
- Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.
- Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all.
- Thou art deceiv'd; 't is not thy southern power,
- Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
- Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
- Can set the duke up in despite of me.
- King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
- Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence.
- May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
- Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
- O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
- Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.—
- What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
- Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
- Or I will fill the house with armed men,
- And over the chair of state where now he sits
- Write up his title with usurping blood.
[He stamps, and the soldiers show themselves.]
- My Lord of Warwick, hear but one word:
- Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.
- Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs,
- And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.
- I am content; Richard Plantagenet,
- Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
- What wrong is this unto the prince your son!
- What good is this to England and himself!
- Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
- How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us!
- I cannot stay to hear these articles.
- Nor I.
- Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.
- Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
- In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.
- Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
- And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
- In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
- Or live in peace abandon'd and despis'd!
[Exeunt Northumberland, Clifford, and Westmoreland.]
- Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
- They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.
- Ah, Exeter!
- Why should you sigh, my lord?
- Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
- Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.—
- But be it as it may, I here entail
- The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;
- Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
- To cease this civil war, and whilst I live
- To honour me as thy king and sovereign,
- And neither by treason nor hostility
- To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
- This oath I willingly take and will perform.
[Coming from the throne.]
- Long live King Henry!—Plantagenet, embrace him.
- And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!
- Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
- Accurs'd be he that seeks to make them foes!
[Sennet. The Lords come forward.]
YORK. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.
- And I'll keep London with my soldiers.
- And I to Norfolk with my followers.
- And I unto the sea from whence I came.
[Exeunt York and his Sons, Warwick, Norfolk, Montague, Soldiers, and Attendants.]
- And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.
[Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE OF WALES.]
- Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger.
- I'll steal away.
- Exeter, so will I.
- Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.
- Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
- Who can be patient in such extremes?
- Ah, wretched man! would I had died a maid,
- And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
- Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father!
- Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus?
- Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I,
- Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
- Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
- Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there
- Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir
- And disinherited thine only son.
- Father, you cannot disinherit me.
- If you be king, why should not I succeed?
- Pardon me, Margaret;—pardon me, sweet son;
- The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforc'd me.
- Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt be
- I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
- Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me,
- And given unto the house of York such head
- As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
- To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
- What is it but to make thy sepulchre
- And creep into it far before thy time?
- Warwick is chancellor and the lord of Calais;
Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
- The duke is made protector of the realm;
- And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
- The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
- Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
- The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes
- Before I would have granted to that act.
- But thou prefer'st thy life before thine honour;
- And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
- Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
- Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
- Whereby my son is disinherited.
- The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
- Will follow mine if once they see them spread;
- And spread they shall be to thy foul disgrace
- And utter ruin of the house of York.
- Thus do I leave thee.—Come, son, let's away:
- Our army is ready; come, we'll after them.
- Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
- Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
- Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
- Ay, to be murther'd by his enemies.
- When I return with victory from the field
- I'll see your grace; till then I'll follow her.
- Come, son, away! we may not linger thus.
[Exeunt Queen Margaret and the Prince.]
- Poor queen! how love to me and to her son
- Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
- Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke
- Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
- Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
- Tire on the flesh of me and of my son.
- The loss of those three lords torments my heart;
- I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair.—
- Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
- And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
SCENE II. Sandal Castle
[Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.]
- Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
- No; I can better play the orator.
- But I have reasons strong and forcible.
- Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
- What is your quarrel? how began it first?
- No quarrel, but a slight contention.
- About what?
- About that which concerns your grace and us—
- The crown of England, father, which is yours.
- Mine, boy? not till King Henry be dead.
- Your right depends not on his life or death.
- Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now;
- By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
- It will outrun you, father, in the end.
- I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
- But for a kingdom any oath may be broken;
- I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
- No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.
- I shall be, if I claim by open war.
- I'll prove the contrary if you'll hear me speak.
- Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
- An oath is of no moment, being not took
- Before a true and lawful magistrate
- That hath authority over him that swears.
- Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
- Then, seeing 't was he that made you to depose,
- Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
- Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
- How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,
- Within whose circuit is Elysium
- And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
- Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest
- Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
- Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
- Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.—
- Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
- And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.—
- Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk,
- And tell him privily of our intent.—
- You, Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
- With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise.
- In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
- Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.—
- While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more
- But that I seek occasion how to rise,
- And yet the king not privy to my drift,
- Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
[Enter a Messenger.]
- But stay.—What news? Why com'st thou in such post?
- The queen, with all the northern earls and lords,
- Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
- She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
- And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
- Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear
- Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
- My brother Montague shall post to London.
- Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
- Whom we have left protectors of the king,
With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
- And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
- Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
- And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
[Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER.]
- Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
- You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
- The army of the queen mean to besiege us.
- She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.
- What, with five thousand men?
- Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
- A woman-general! what should we fear?
[A march afar off.]
- I hear their drums; let's set our men in order,
- And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
- Five men to twenty!—though the odds be great,
- I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
- Many a battle have I won in France
- Whenas the enemy hath been ten to one;
- Why should I not now have the like success?
SCENE III. Plains near Sandal Castle.
[Alarums. Enter RUTLAND and his TUTOR]
- Ah! whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
- Ah, tutor! look where bloody Clifford comes.
[Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.]
- Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
- As for the brat of this accursed duke
- Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
- And I, my lord, will bear him company.
- Soldiers, away with him!
- Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
- Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
[Exit, forced off by Soldiers.]
- How now! is he dead already? Or is it fear
- That makes him close his eyes?—I'll open them.
- So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
- That trembles under his devouring paws;
- And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey,
- And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.—
- Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
- And not with such a cruel threat'ning look.
- Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die:
- I am too mean a subject for thy wrath;
- Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.
- In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
- Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.
- Then let my father's blood open it again;
- He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
- Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine
- Were not revenge sufficient for me.
- No; if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves
- And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
- It could not slake mine ire nor ease my heart.
- The sight of any of the house of York
- Is as a fury to torment my soul;
- And till I root out their accursed line
- And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
- O, let me pray before I take my death!—
- To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!
- Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
- I never did thee harm; why wilt thou slay me?
- Thy father hath.
- But 't was ere I was born.
- Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me,
- Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
- He be as miserably slain as I.
- Ah, let me live in prison all my days,
- And when I give occasion of offence,
- Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
- No cause?
- Thy father slew my father; therefore, die. [Clifford stabs him.]
- Dii faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae! [Dies.]
- Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
- And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade
- Shall rust upon my weapon till thy blood
- Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.
SCENE IV. The Same
[Alarum. Enter YORK.]
- The army of the queen hath got the field.
- My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
- And all my followers to the eager foe
- Turn back and fly like ships before the wind,
- Or lambs pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves.
- My sons—God knows what hath bechanced them;
- But this I know,—they have demean'd themselves
- Like men born to renown by life or death.
- Three times did Richard make a lane to me,
- And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out!'
- And full as oft came Edward to my side
- With purple falchion painted to the hilt
- In blood of those that had encount'red him;
- And when the hardiest warriors did retire
- Richard cried 'Charge! and give no foot of ground!'
- And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
- A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!'
- With this, we charg'd again; but, out, alas!
- We budg'd again, as I have seen a swan
- With bootless labour swim against the tide
- And spend her strength with overmatching waves.
[A short alarum within.]
- Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue,
- And I am faint and cannot fly their fury;
- And were I strong, I would not shun their fury.
- The sands are number'd that make up my life;
- Here must I stay, and here my life must end.—
[Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, and Soldiers]
- Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
- I dare your quenchless fury to more rage.
- I am your butt, and I abide your shot.
- Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
- Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm
- With downright payment show'd unto my father.
- Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car,
- And made an evening at the noontide prick.
- My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
- A bird that will revenge upon you all;
- And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven
- Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
- Why come you not?—what! multitudes, and fear?
- So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
- So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
- So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
- Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
- O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
- And in thy thought o'errun my former time;
And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face,
- And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
- Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this.
- I will not bandy with thee word for word,
- But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.
- Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes
- I would prolong awhile the traitor's life.—
- Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.
- Hold, Clifford! do not honour him so much
- To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
- What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
- For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
- When he might spurn him with his foot away?
- It is war's prize to take all vantages,
- And ten to one is no impeach of valour.
[They lay hands on York, who struggles.]
- Ay, ay; so strives the woodcock with the gin.
- So doth the cony struggle in the net.
[York is taken prisoner.]
- So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty;
- So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatch'd.
- What would your grace have done unto him now?
- Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
- Come, make him stand upon this molehill here,
- That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
- Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.—
- What! was it you that would be England's king?
- Was 't you that revell'd in our Parliament,
- And made a preachment of your high descent?
- Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
- The wanton Edward and the lusty George?
- And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
- Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
- Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
- Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
- Look, York; I stain'd this napkin with the blood
- That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point
- Made issue from the bosom of the boy,
- And, if thine eyes can water for his death,
- I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
- Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly
- I should lament thy miserable state.
- I prithee, grieve to make me merry, York;
- Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
- What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails
- That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
- Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst be mad;
- And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
- Thou wouldst be feed, I see, to make me sport;
- York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.—
- A crown for York!—and, lords, bow low to him.—
- Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on.—
[Putting a paper crown on his head.]
- Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king.
- Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair;
- And this is he was his adopted heir.—
- But how is it that great Plantagenet
- Is crown'd so soon and broke his solemn oath?
- As I bethink me, you should not be king
- Till our King Henry had shook hands with Death.
- And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
- And rob his temples of the diadem,
- Now in his life, against your holy oath?
- O, 't is a fault too too unpardonable.—
- Off with the crown, and with the crown his head!
- And whilst we breathe take time to do him dead.
- That is my office, for my father's sake.
- Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.
- She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
- Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth,
- How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
- To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
- Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
- But that thy face is, vizard-like, unchanging,
- Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
- To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd,
- Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
- Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
- Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
- Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
- Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
- It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen;
- Unless the adage must be verified,
- That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
- 'T is beauty that doth oft make women proud;
- But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small.
- 'T is virtue that doth make them most admir'd;
- The contrary doth make thee wond'red at.
- 'T is government that makes them seem divine;
- The want thereof makes thee abominable.
- Thou art as opposite to every good
- As the Antipodes are unto us,
- Or as the south to the Septentrion.
- O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide!
- How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
- To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
- And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
- Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
- Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
- Bid'st thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
- Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will;
- For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
- And when the rage allays the rain begins.
- These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies,
- And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
- 'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false Frenchwoman.
- Beshrew me, but his passion moves me so
- That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.
- That face of his the hungry cannibals
- Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood;
- But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
- O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
- See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears;
- This cloth thou dipp'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
- And I with tears do wash the blood away.
- Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this;
- And if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
- Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears,
- Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears
- And say 'Alas! it was a piteous deed!'—
- There, take the crown, and with the crown my curse;
- And in thy need such comfort come to thee
- As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!—
- Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
- My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
- Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
- I should not, for my life, but weep with him,
- To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
- What! weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
- Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
- And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
- Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.
- And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.
- Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
- My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.
- Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
- So York may overlook the town of York.
SCENE I. A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire.
[A march. Enter EDWARD and RICHARD, with their Power.]
- I wonder how our princely father scap'd,
- Or whether he be scap'd away or no
- From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit.
- Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;
- Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
- Or had he scap'd, methinks we should have heard
- The happy tidings of his good escape.—
- How fares my brother? why is he so sad?
- I cannot joy until I be resolv'd
- Where our right valiant father is become.
- I saw him in the battle range about,
- And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth.
- Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
- As doth a lion in a herd of neat;
- Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs,
- Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry,
- The rest stand all aloof and bark at him.
- So far'd our father with his enemies;
- So fled his enemies my warlike father.
- Methinks 'tis pride enough to be his son.—
- See how the morning opes her golden gates
- And takes her farewell of the glorious sun.
- How well resembles it the prime of youth,
- Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!
- Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
- Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
- Not separated with the racking clouds,
- But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
- See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
- As if they vow'd some league inviolable;
- Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
- In this the heaven figures some event.
- 'T is wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
- I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
- That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
- Each one already blazing by our meeds,
- Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together,
- And overshine the earth, as this the world.
- Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
- Upon my target three fair shining suns.
- Nay, bear three daughters; by your leave I speak it,
- You love the breeder better than the male.—
[Enter a Messenger.]
- But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
- Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
- Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on
- When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
- Your princely father and my loving lord.
- O, speak no more, for I have heard too much!
- Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
- Environed he was with many foes,
- And stood against them as the hope of Troy
- Against the Greeks that would have ent'red Troy.
- But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
- And many strokes, though with a little axe,
- Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
- By many hands your father was subdu'd,
- But only slaught'red by the ireful arm
- Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen,
- Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite,
- Laugh'd in his face, and when with grief he wept
- The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks,
- A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
- Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain.
- And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,
- They took his head, and on the gates of York
- They set the same; and there it doth remain,
- The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.
- Sweet Duke of York! our prop to lean upon,
- Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
- O Clifford! boisterous Clifford! thou hast slain
- The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
- And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
- For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee.
- Now my soul's palace is become a prison.
- Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
- Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
- For never henceforth shall I joy again,
- Never, O, never, shall I see more joy!
- I cannot weep, for all my body's moisture
- Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart;
- Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burthen,
- For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
- Is kindling coals that fires all my breast
- And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
- To weep is to make less the depth of grief;
- Tears, then, for babes, blows and revenge for me!—
- Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death,
- Or die renowned by attempting it.
- His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
- His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
- Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
- Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun;
- For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say:
- Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
[March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUE, with their Army.]
- How now, fair lords! What fare? what news abroad?
- Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount
- Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
- Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
- The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
- O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!
- O, Warwick, Warwick! that Plantagenet
- Which held thee dearly as his soul's redemption
- Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
- Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears,
- And now, to add more measure to your woes,
- I come to tell you things sith then befallen.
- After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
- Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp,
- Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
- Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
- I, then in London, keeper of the king,
- Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
- And very well appointed, as I thought,
- March'd toward Saint Alban's to intercept the queen,
- Bearing the king in my behalf along;
- For by my scouts I was advertised
- That she was coming with a full intent
- To dash our late decree in parliament
- Touching King Henry's oath and your succession.
- Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met,
- Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought;
- But, whether 't was the coldness of the king,
- Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
- That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen,
- Or whether 't was report of her success,
- Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
- Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
- I cannot judge; but, to conclude with truth,
- Their weapons like to lightning came and went,
- Our soldiers',—like the night-owl's lazy flight,
- Or like an idle thrasher with a flail—
- Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
- I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
- With promise of high pay and great rewards,
- But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
- And we in them no hope to win the day;
- So that we fled: the king unto the queen;
- Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
- In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
- For in the marches here, we heard, you were
- Making another head to fight again.
- Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
- And when came George from Burgundy to England?
- Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;
- And for your brother, he was lately sent
- From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
- With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
- 'T was odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled;
- Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
- But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.
- Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear;
- For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine
- Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head
- And wring the awful sceptre from his fist,
- Were he as famous and as bold in war
- As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.
- I know it well, Lord Warwick, blame me not;
- 'T is love I bear thy glories makes me speak.
- But in this troublous time what's to be done?
- Shall we go throw away our coats of steel
- And wrap our bodies in black mourning-gowns,
- Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads?
- Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
- Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
- If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.
- Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out,
- And therefore comes my brother Montague.
- Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
- With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
- And of their feather many moe proud birds,
- Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
- He swore consent to your succession,
- His oath enrolled in the parliament;
- And now to London all the crew are gone,
- To frustrate both his oath and what beside
- May make against the house of Lancaster.
- Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong;
- Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
- With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
- Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
- Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
- Why, Via! to London will we march amain,
- And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
- And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!'
- But never once again turn back and fly.
- Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick speak.
- Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day
- That cries 'Retire,' if Warwick bid him stay.
- Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
- And when thou fail'st—as God forbid the hour!—
- Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!
- No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York.
- The next degree is England's royal throne;
- For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
- In every borough as we pass along,
- And he that throws not up his cap for joy
- Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
- King Edward,—valiant Richard,— Montague,—
- Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
- But sound the trumpets and about our task.
- Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
- As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
- I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.
- Then strike up, drums!—God and Saint George for us!
[Enter a Messenger.]
- How now! what news?
- The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,
- The queen is coming with a puissant host,
- And craves your company for speedy counsel.
- Why then it sorts; brave warriors, let's away.
SCENE II. Before York
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, the PRINCE OF WALES, CLIFFORD, and NORTHUMBERLAND, with drums and trumpets.]
- Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
- Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy
- That sought to be encompass'd with your crown;
- Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
- Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck;
- To see this sight, it irks my very soul.—
- Withhold revenge, dear God! 't is not my fault,
- Nor wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
- My gracious liege, this too much lenity
- And harmful pity must be laid aside.
- To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
- Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
- Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
- Not his that spoils her young before her face.
- Who scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
- Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
- The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
- And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
- Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
- Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows.
- He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
- And raise his issue like a loving sire;
- Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
- Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
- Which argu'd thee a most unloving father.
- Unreasonable creatures feed their young;
- And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
- Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
- Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
- Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight,
- Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
- Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
- For shame, my liege! make them your precedent.
- Were it not pity that this goodly boy
- Should lose his birthright by his father's fault,
- And long hereafter say unto his child,
- 'What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
- My careless father fondly gave away?'
- Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy,
- And let his manly face, which promiseth
- Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
- To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.
- Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
- Inferring arguments of mighty force.
- But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
- That things ill got had ever bad success?
- And happy always was it for that son
- Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
- I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind,
- And would my father had left me no more;
- For all the rest is held at such a rate
- As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
- Than in possession any jot of pleasure.—
- Ah, cousin York! would thy best friends did know
- How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
- My lord, cheer up your spirits;
- our foes are nigh,
- And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
- You promis'd knighthood to our forward son;
- Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently.—
- Edward, kneel down.
- Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
- And learn this lesson,—draw thy sword in right.
- My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
- I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,
- And in that quarrel use it to the death.
- Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- Royal commanders, be in readiness;
- For with a band of thirty thousand men
- Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York,
- And in the towns, as they do march along,
- Proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
- Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
- I would your highness would depart the field;
- The queen hath best success when you are absent.
- Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.
- Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.
- Be it with resolution then to fight.
- My royal father, cheer these noble lords,
- And hearten those that fight in your defence.
- Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry'saint George!'
[March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers.]
- Now, perjur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace
- And set thy diadem upon my head,
- Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
- Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
- Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
- Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?
- I am his king, and he should bow his knee.
- I was adopted heir by his consent;
- Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
- You, that are king, though he do wear the crown,
- Have caus'd him by new act of parliament
- To blot out me and put his own son in.
- And reason, too;
- Who should succeed the father but the son?
- Are you there, butcher?—O, I cannot speak!
- Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer thee,
- Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
- 'T was you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?
- Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
- For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
- What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?
- Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick! dare you speak?
- When you and I met at Saint Alban's last,
- Your legs did better service than your hands.
- Then 't was my turn to fly, and now 't is thine.
- You said so much before, and yet you fled.
- 'T was not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.
- No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
- Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
- Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
- The execution of my big-swoln heart
- Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
- I slew thy father; call'st thou him a child?
- Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
- As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland,
- But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.
- Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.
- Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
- I prithee, give no limits to my tongue;
- I am a king, and privileg'd to speak.
- My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
- Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
- Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword.
- By him that made us all, I am resolv'd
- That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
- Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
- A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day
- That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.
- If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
- For York in justice puts his armour on.
- If that be right which Warwick says is right,
- There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
- Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
- For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.
- But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam,
- But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
- Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
- As venom toads or lizards' dreadful stings.
- Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
- Whose father bears the title of a king,—
- As if a channel should be call'd the sea,—
- Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
- To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
- A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns
- To make this shameless callat know herself.—
- Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
- Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
- And ne'er was Agamemmon's brother wrong'd
- By that false woman as this king by thee.
- His father revell'd in the heart of France,
- And tam'd the king, and made the dauphin stoop;
- And, had he match'd according to his state,
- He might have kept that glory to this day;
- But when he took a beggar to his bed,
- And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day,
- Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him
- That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France
- And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.
- For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy pride?
- Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
- And we, in pity of the gentle king,
- Had slipp'd our claim until another age.
- But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
- And that thy summer bred us no increase,
- We set the axe to thy usurping root;
- And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
- Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
- We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down
- Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.
- And in this resolution I defy thee;
- Not willing any longer conference,
- Since thou deniest the gentle king to speak.—
- Sound trumpets;—let our bloody colours wave,
- And either victory or else a grave!
- Stay, Edward.
- No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay;
- These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
SCENE III. A field of battle between Towton.
[Alarums. Excursions. Enter WARWICK.]
- Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
- I lay me down a little while to breathe;
- For strokes receiv'd, and many blows repaid,
- Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength,
- And, spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile.
[Enter EDWARD, running.]
- Smile, gentle heaven, or strike, ungentle death!
- For this world frowns and Edward's sun is clouded.
- How now, my lord? what hap? what hope of good?
- Our hap is lost, our hope but sad despair;
- Our ranks are broke and ruin follows us.
- What counsel give you? whither shall we fly?
- Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings;
- And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.
- Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
- Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
- Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance;
- And in the very pangs of death he cried,
- Like to a dismal clangor heard from far,
- 'Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!'
- So, underneath the belly of their steeds
- That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
- The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
- Then let the earth be drunken with our blood;
- I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
- Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
- Wailing our losses whiles the foe doth rage,
- And look upon, as if the tragedy
- Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
- Here on my knee I vow to God above,
- I'll never pause again, never stand still,
- Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine,
- Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
- O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine,
- And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!—
- And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
- I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
- Thou setter-up and plucker-down of kings,
- Beseeching thee, if with thy will it stands
- That to my foes this body must be prey,
- Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
- And give sweet passage to my sinful soul.—
- Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
- Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.
- Brother, give me thy hand;—and, gentle Warwick,
- Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
- I, that did never weep, now melt with woe,
- That winter should cut off our spring-time so.
- Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.
- Yet let us all together to our troops,
- And give them leave to fly that will not stay,
- And call them pillars that will stand to us;
- And if we thrive, promise them such rewards
- As victors wear at the Olympian games.
- This may plant courage in their quailing breasts,
- For yet is hope of life and victory.—
- Forslow no longer; make we hence amain.
SCENE IV. Another Part of the Field.
[Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD.]
- Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone.
- Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
- And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge,
- Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.
- Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone.
- This is the hand that stabbed thy father York,
- And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland;
- And here's the heart that triumphs in their death,
- And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and brother
- To execute the like upon thyself;
- And so have at thee!
[They fight. Warwick enters; Clifford flies.]
- Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase;
- For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.
SCENE V. Another Part of the Field.
[Alarum. Enter KING HENRY.]
- This battle fares like to the morning's war,
- When dying clouds contend with growing light,
- What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
- Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
- Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
- Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind;
- Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
- Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind.
- Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind,
- Now one the better, then another best,
- Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
- Yet neither conqueror nor conquered;
- So is the equal poise of this fell war.
- Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
- To whom God will, there be the victory!
- For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
- Have chid me from the battle, swearing both
- They prosper best of all when I am thence.
- Would I were dead! if God's good will were so;
- For what is in this world but grief and woe?
- O God! methinks it were a happy life,
- To be no better than a homely swain;
- To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
- To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
- Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
- How many make the hour full complete,
- How many hours brings about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
- How many years a mortal man may live.
- When this is known, then to divide the times;
- So many hours must I tend my flock;
- So many hours must I take my rest;
- So many hours must I contemplate;
- So many hours must I sport myself;
- So many days my ewes have been with young;
- So many weeks ere the poor fools will ean;
- So many years ere I shall shear the fleece.
- So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
- Pass'd over to the end they were created,
- Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
- Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!
- Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
- To shepherds looking on their silly sheep
- Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
- To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
- O, yes, it doth; a thousand-fold it doth!
- And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
- His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
- His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
- All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
- Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
- His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
- His body couched in a curious bed,
- When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.
[Alarum. Enter a Son that hath killed his father, bringing in the dead body.]
- Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
- This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
- May be possessed with some store of crowns;
- And I, that haply take them from him now,
- May yet ere night yield both my life and them
- To some man else, as this dead man doth me.—
- Who's this?—O God! it is my father's face,
- Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd.
- O heavy times, begetting such events!
- From London by the king was I press'd forth;
- My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man,
- Came on the part of York, press'd by his master;
- And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life,
- Have by my hands of life bereaved him.—
- Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did;—
- And pardon, father, for I knew not thee.—
- My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks,
- And no more words till they have flow'd their fill.
- O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
- Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
- Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
- Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear for tear;
- And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
- Be blind with tears and break o'ercharg'd with grief.
[Enter a Father who has killed his son, with the body in his arms.]
- Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
- Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold,
- For I have bought it with an hundred blows.—
- But let me see;—is this our foeman's face?
- Ah, no, no, no! it is mine only son!—
- Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
- Throw up thine eye; see, see what showers arise,
- Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
- Upon thy wounds that kill mine eye and heart!—
- O, pity, God, this miserable age!—
- What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
- Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
- This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!—
- O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
- And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!
- Woe above woe! grief more than common grief!
- O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!—
- O pity, pity! gentle heaven, pity!—
- The red rose and the white are on his face,
- The fatal colours of our striving houses;
- The one his purple blood right well resembles,
- The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth.
- Wither one rose, and let the other flourish!
- If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.
- How will my mother, for a father's death,
- Take on with me and ne'er be satisfied!
- How will my wife, for slaughter of my son,
- Shed seas of tears and ne'er be satisfied!
- How will the country, for these woeful chances,
- Misthink the king and not be satisfied!
- Was ever son so rued a father's death?
- Was ever father so bemoan'd his son?
- Was ever king so griev'd for subjects' woe?
- Much is your sorrow, mine ten times so much.
- I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill.
[Exit with the body.]
- These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet;
- My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre,
- For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go;
- My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell;
- And so obsequious will thy father be,
- Even for the loss of thee, having no more,
- As Priam was for all his valiant sons.
- I'll bear thee hence; and let them fight that will,
- For I have murder'd where I should not kill.
[Exit with the body.]
- Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
- Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
[Alarums. Excursions. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE OF WALES, and EXETER.]
- Fly, father, fly! for all your friends are fled,
- And Warwick rages like a chafed bull.
- Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit.
- Mount you, my lord; towards Berwick post amain.
- Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds,
- Having the fearful flying hare in sight,
- With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath,
- And bloody steel grasp'd in their ireful hands,
- Are at our backs; and therefore hence amain.
- Away! for vengeance comes along with them.
- Nay, stay not to expostulate; make speed,
- Or else come after; I'll away before.
- Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Exeter;
- Not that I fear to stay, but love to go
- Whither the queen intends. Forward! away!
SCENE VI. Another Part of the Field
[A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded.]
- Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
- Which whiles it lasted gave King Henry light.
- O Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow
- More than my body's parting with my soul!
- My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
- And, now I fall, thy tough commixtures melt,
- Impairing Henry, strengthening mis-proud York.
- The common people swarm like summer flies;
- And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
- And who shines now but Henry's enemies?
- O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
- That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds,
- Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth!
- And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do,
- Or as thy father and his father did,
- Giving no ground unto the house of York,
- They never then had sprung like summer flies;
- I, and ten thousand in this luckless realm,
- Had left no mourning widows for our death,
- And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
- For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
- And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
- Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
- No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight.
- The foe is merciless and will not pity,
- For at their hands I have deserv'd no pity.
- The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
- And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.—
- Come, York and Richard, Warwick, and the rest;
- I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.
[Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]
- Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids us pause,
- And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.—
- Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen
- That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
- As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust,
- Command an argosy to stem the waves.
- But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
- No, 't is impossible he should escape;
- For, though before his face I speak the words,
- Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave,
- And whereso'er he is he's surely dead.
[Clifford groans and dies.]
- Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
- A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.
- See who it is; and, now the battle's ended,
- If friend or foe, let him be gently us'd.
- Revoke that doom of mercy, for 't is Clifford,
- Who, not contented that he lopp'd the branch,
- In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
- But set his murthering knife unto the root
- From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring;
- I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
- From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
- Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;
- Instead whereof, let this supply the room.
- Measure for measure must be answered.
- Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
- That nothing sung but death to us and ours;
- Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,
- And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
[Soldiers bring the body forward.]
- I think his understanding is bereft.—
- Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?—
- Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,
- And he nor sees nor hears us, what we say.
- O, would he did! and so, perhaps, he doth;
- 'T is but his policy to counterfeit,
- Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
- Which in the time of death he gave our father.
- If so thou think'st, vex him with eager words.
- Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace.
- Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
- Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
- While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
- Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
- Thou pitiedst Rutland, I will pity thee.
- Where's Captain Margaret to fence you now?
- They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
- What! not an oath? nay then, the world goes hard
- When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.—
- I know by that he's dead; and, by my soul,
- If this right hand would buy two hours' life,
- That I in all despite might rail at him,
- This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing blood
- Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
- York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
- Ay, but he's dead. Off with the traitor's head,
- And rear it in the place your father's stands.—
- And now to London with triumphant march,
- There to be crowned England's royal king;
- From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
- And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen.
- So shalt thou sinew both these lands together,
- And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
- The scatt'red foe that hopes to rise again;
- For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
- Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
- First will I see the coronation,
- And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea
- To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
- Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
- For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
- And never will I undertake the thing
- Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.—
- Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloster;—
- And George, of Clarence.—Warwick, as ourself,
- Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
- Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloster,
- For Gloster's dukedom is too ominous.
- Tut! that's a foolish observation;
- Richard, be Duke of Gloster. Now to London,
- To see these honours in possession.
SCENE I. A Forest in the North of England.
[Enter two Keepers, with crossbows in their hands.]
- Under this thick-grown brake we'll shroud ourselves,
- For through this laund anon the deer will come;
- And in this covert will we make our stand,
- Culling the principal of all the deer.
- I'll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.
- That cannot be; the noise of thy crossbow
- Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.
- Here stand we both, and aim we at the best;
- And, for the time shall not seem tedious,
- I'll tell thee what befell me on a day
- In this self place where now we mean to stand.
- Here comes a man; let's stay till he be past.
[Enter KING HENRY, disguised, with a prayer-book.]
- From Scotland am I stolen, even of pure love,
- To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
- No, Harry, Harry, 't is no land of thine;
- Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from thee,
- Thy balm wash'd off wherewith thou wast anointed.
- No bending knee will call thee Caesar now,
- No humble suitors press to speak for right;
- No, not a man comes for redress of thee,
- For how can I help them, and not myself?
- Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a keeper's fee.
- This is the quondam king; let's seize upon him.
- Let me embrace thee, sour adversity;
- For wise men say it is the wisest course.
- Why linger we? let us lay hands upon him.
- Forbear awhile; we'll hear a little more.
- My queen and son are gone to France for aid;
- And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick
- Is thither gone to crave the French king's sister
- To wife for Edward. If this news be true,
- Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost,
- For Warwick is a subtle orator,
- And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.
- By this account then Margaret may win him,
- For she's a woman to be pitied much.
- Her sighs will make a batt'ry in his breast,
- Her tears will pierce into a marble heart;
- The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn,
- And Nero will be tainted with remorse
- To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears.
- Ay, but she's come to beg, Warwick to give;
- She on his left side craving aid for Henry,
- He on his right asking a wife for Edward.
- She weeps and says her Henry is depos'd,
- He smiles and says his Edward is install'd;
- That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more;
- Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong,
- Inferreth arguments of mighty strength,
- And, in conclusion, wins the king from her,
- With promise of his sister, and what else,
- To strengthen and support King Edward's place.
- O Margaret, thus 't will be! and thou, poor soul,
- Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn!
- Say, what art thou, that talk'st of kings and queens?
- More than I seem, and less than I was born to;
- A man at least, for less I should not be;
- And men may talk of kings, and why not I?
- Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king.
- Why, so I am, in mind; and that's enough.
- But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?
- My crown is in my heart, not on my head,
- Not deck'd with diamonds and Indian stones,
- Not to be seen; my crown is call'd content,
- A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
- Well, if you be a king crown'd with content,
- Your crown content and you must be contented
- To go along with us; for, as we think,
- You are the king King Edward hath depos'd,
- And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance,
- Will apprehend you as his enemy.
- But did you never swear, and break an oath?
- No, never such an oath; nor will not now.
- Where did you dwell when I was King of England?
- Here in this country, where we now remain.
- I was anointed king at nine months old,
- My father and my grandfather were kings,
- And you were sworn true subjects unto me;
- And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?
- For we were subjects but while you were king.
- Why, am I dead? do I not breathe, a man?
- Ah, simple men! you know not what you swear.
- Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
- And as the air blows it to me again,
- Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
- And yielding to another when it blows,
- Commanded always by the greater gust,
- Such is the lightness of you common men.
- But do not break your oaths; for of that sin
- My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty.
- Go where you will, the king shall be commanded;
- And be you kings, command, and I'll obey.
- We are true subjects to the king,—King Edward.
- So would you be again to Henry
- If he were seated as King Edward is.
- We charge you, in God's name and the king's
- To go with us unto the officers.
- In God's name lead; your king's name be obey'd;
- And what God will, that let your king perform;
- And what he will, I humbly yield unto.
SCENE II. The palace.
[Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, CLARENCE, and LADY GREY.]
- Brother of Gloster, at Saint Alban's field
- This lady's husband, Sir John Grey, was slain,
- His land then seiz'd on by the conqueror;
- Her suit is now to repossess those lands,
- Which we in justice cannot well deny,
- Because in quarrel of the house of York
- The worthy gentleman did lose his life.
- Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;
- It were dishonour to deny it her.
- It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.
- [Aside to Clarence.] Yea; is it so?
- I see the lady hath a thing to grant
- Before the king will grant her humble suit.
- [Aside to Gloster.] He knows the game;
- how true he keeps the wind!
- [Aside to Clarence.] Silence!
- Widow, we will consider of your suit,
- And come some other time to know our mind.
- Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay;
- May it please your highness to resolve me now,
- And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.
- [Aside to Clarence.] Ay, widow?
- then I'll warrant you all your lands,
- An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
- Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.
- [Aside to Gloster.] I fear her not, unless she chance to fall.
- [Aside to CLARENCE.] God forbid that, for he'll take vantages.
- How many children hast thou, widow? tell me.
- [Aside to Gloster.] I think he means to beg a child of her.
- [Aside to Clarence.] Nay, whip me then; he'll rather
- give her two.
- Three, my most gracious lord.
- [Aside to Clarence.] You shall have four if you'll be
- rul'd by him.
- 'T were pity they should lose their father's lands.
- LADY GREY.
- Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.
- Lords, give us leave; I'll try this widow's wit.
- [Aside to Clarence.] Ay, good leave have you;
- for you will have leave
- Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
[Gloster and Clarence stand apart.]
- Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?
- Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
- And would you not do much to do them good?
- To do them good I would sustain some harm.
- Then get your husband's lands to do them good.
- Therefore I came unto your majesty.
- I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.
- So shall you bind me to your highness' service.
- What service wilt thou do me if I give them?
- What you command that rests in me to do.
- But you will take exceptions to my boon.
- No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
- Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
- Why, then, I will do what your grace commands.
- He plies her hard; and much rain wears the marble.
- As red as fire! nay, then her wax must melt.
- Why stops my lord? shall I not hear my task?
- An easy task; 't is but to love a king.
- That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.
- Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.
- I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
- The match is made; she seals it with a curtsy.
- But stay thee; 't is the fruits of love I mean.
- The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
- Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
- What love, thinkst thou, I sue so much to get?
- My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;
- That love which virtue begs, and virtue grants.
- No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
- Why, then, you mean not as I thought you did.
- But now you partly may perceive my mind.
- My mind will never grant what I perceive
- Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.
- To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
- To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
- Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.
- Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower,
- For by that loss I will not purchase them.
- Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.
- Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.
- But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
- Accords not with the sadness of my suit;
- Please you dismiss me either with ay or no.
- Ay, if thou wilt say ay to my request.
- No, if thou dost say no to my demand.
- Then no, my lord. My suit is at an end.
- The widow likes him not, she knits her brows.
- He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.
- [Aside.] Her looks doth argue her replete with
- Her words doth show her wit incomparable,
- All her perfections challenge sovereignty;
- One way or other she is for a king,
- And she shall be my love, or else my queen.—
- Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
- 'T is better said than done, my gracious lord;
- I am a subject fit to jest withal,
- But far unfit to be a sovereign.
- Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee,
- I speak no more than what my soul intends;
- And that is to enjoy thee for my love.
- And that is more than I will yield unto.
- I know I am too mean to be your queen,
- And yet too good to be your concubine.
- You cavil, widow; I did mean my queen.
- 'T will grieve your grace my sons should call you
- No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
- Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
- And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
- Have other some; why, 't is a happy thing
- To be the father unto many sons.
- Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
- The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.
- When he was made a shriver, 't was for shift.
- Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
[Gloster and Clarence come forward.]
- The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
- You'd think it strange if I should marry her.
- To whom, my lord?
- Why, Clarence, to myself.
- That would be ten days' wonder, at the least.
- That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
- By so much is the wonder in extremes.
- Well, jest on, brothers; I can tell you both,
- Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.
[Enter a Nobleman.]
- My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
- And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
- See that he be convey'd unto the Tower.—
- And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
- To question of his apprehension.—
- Widow, go you along.—Lords, use her honourably.
[Exeunt King Edward, Lady Grey, Clarence, and Nobleman.]
- Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
- Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,
- That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
- To cross me from the golden time I look for!
- And yet, between my soul's desire and me—
- The lustful Edward's title buried—
- Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
- And all the unlook'd-for issue of their bodies,
- To take their rooms ere I can place myself;
- A cold premeditation for my purpose!
- Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty,
- Like one that stands upon a promontory,
- And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
- Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
- And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
- Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way.
- So do I wish the crown, being so far off,
- And so I chide the means that keeps me from it;
- And so I say I'll cut the causes off,
- Flattering me with impossibilities.—
- My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
- Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
- Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard,
- What other pleasure can the world afford?
- I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
- And deck my body in gay ornaments,
- And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
- O miserable thought! and more unlikely
- Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns.
- Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb;
- And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
- She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe
- To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
- To make an envious mountain on my back,
- Where sits deformity to mock my body;
- To shape my legs of an unequal size;
- To disproportion me in every part,
- Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp
- That carries no impression like the dam.
- And am I then a man to be belov'd?
- O, monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
- Then, since this earth affords no joy to me
- But to command, to check, to o'erbear such
- As are of better person than myself,
- I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
- And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell
- Until my mis-shap'd trunk that bear this head
- Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
- And yet I know not how to get the crown,
- For many lives stand between me and home,
- And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
- That rends the thorns, and is rent with the thorns,
- Seeking a way, and straying from the way,
- Not knowing how to find the open air,
- But toiling desperately to find it out,
- Torment myself to catch the English crown;
- And from that torment I will free myself,
- Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
- Why, I can smile, and murther while I smile,
- And cry 'Content!' to that which grieves my heart,
- And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
- And frame my face to all occasions.
- I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall,
- I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
- I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
- Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
- And like a Sinon take another Troy.
- I can add colours to the chameleon,
- Change shapes with Protheus for advantages,
- And set the murtherous Machiavel to school.
- Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
- Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
SCENE III. France. The King's Palace.
[Flourish. Enter LEWIS, the French King, and LADY BONA, attended: the King takes his state. Then enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, and the EARL OF OXFORD; LEWIS rising as she enters.]
- Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,
- Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state
- And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.
- No, mighty King of France; now Margaret
- Must strike her sail and learn a while to serve
- Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
- Great Albion's queen in former golden days;
- But now mischance hath trod my title down
- And with dishonour laid me on the ground,
- Where I must take like seat unto my fortune,
- And to my humble seat conform myself.
- Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep
- From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
- And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in cares.
- Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself,
- And sit thee by our side; yield not thy neck
[Seats her by him.]
- To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
- Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
- Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief;
- It shall be eas'd if France can yield relief.
- Those gracious words revive my drooping
- And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.
- Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis
- That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
- Is of a king become a banish'd man
- And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn,
- While proud ambitious Edward, Duke of York,
- Usurps the regal title and the seat
- Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
- This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,
- With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir,
- Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
- And if thou fail us, all our hope is done.
- Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help;
- Our people and our peers are both misled,
- Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight,
- And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
- Renowned queen, with patience calm the storm
- While we bethink a means to break it off.
- The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
- The more I stay, the more I'll succour thee.
- O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow!—
- And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
[Enter WARWICK, attended.]
- What's he approacheth boldly to our presence?
- Our Earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest friend.
- Welcome, brave Warwick. What brings thee to France?
[He descends. Queen Margaret rises.]
- Ay, now begins a second storm to rise,
- For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
- From worthy Edward, king of Albion,
- My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend,
- I come, in kindness and unfeigned love,
- First, to do greetings to thy royal person;
- And then, to crave a league of amity;
- And lastly, to confirm that amity
- With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant
- That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister,
- To England's king in lawful marriage.
- [Aside.] If that go forward, Henry's hope is
- [To BONA.] And, gracious madam, in our king's behalf,
- I am commanded, with your leave and favour,
- Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue
- To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart,
- Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears,
- Hath plac'd thy beauty's image and thy virtue.
- King Lewis,—and Lady Bona,—hear me speak
- Before you answer Warwick. His demand
- Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love,
- But from deceit, bred by necessity;
- For how can tyrants safely govern home
- Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
- To prove him tyrant this reason may suffice,—
- That Henry liveth still; but were he dead,
- Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry's son.
- Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage
- Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour;
- For though usurpers sway the rule awhile,
- Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
- Injurious Margaret!
- And why not queen?
- Because thy father Henry did usurp,
- And thou no more art prince than she is queen.
- Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,
- Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
- And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,
- Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
- And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,
- Who by his prowess conquered all France.
- From these our Henry lineally descends.
- Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse,
- You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost
- All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten?
- Methinks these peers of France should smile at that.
- But for the rest, you tell a pedigree
- Of threescore and two years,—a silly time
- To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
- Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege,
- Whom thou obeyedst thirty and six years,
- And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
- Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
- Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
- For shame Leave Henry, and call Edward king.
- Call him my king by whose injurious doom
- My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere,
- Was done to death? and more than so, my father,
- Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years,
- When nature brought him to the door of death?
- No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm,
- This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
- And I the house of York.
- Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford,
- Vouchsafe at our request to stand aside
- While I use further conference with Warwick.
- Heavens grant that Warwick's words bewitch him not!
[They stand aloof.]
- Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,
- Is Edward your true king? for I were loath
- To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
- Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honour.
- But is he gracious in the people's eye?
- The more that Henry was unfortunate.
- Then further, all dissembling set aside,
- Tell me for truth the measure of his love
- Unto our sister Bona.
- Such it seems
- As may beseem a monarch like himself.
- Myself have often heard him say and swear
- That this his love was an eternal plant,
- Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground,
- The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun,
- Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
- Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
- Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
- Your grant or your denial shall be mine.
- Yet I confess [to Warwick] that often ere this day,
- When I have heard your king's desert recounted,
- Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
- Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward's;
- And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
- Touching the jointure that your king must make,
- Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd.—
- Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness
- That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
- To Edward, but not to the English king.
- Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device
- By this alliance to make void my suit.
- Before thy coming Lewis was Henry's friend.
- And still is friend to him and Margaret;
- But if your title to the crown be weak,
- As may appear by Edward's good success,
- Then 't is but reason that I be releas'd
- From giving aid which late I promised.
- Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand
- That your estate requires and mine can yield.
- Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease,
- Where, having nothing, nothing can he lose.
- And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
- You have a father able to maintain you,
- And better 't were you troubled him than France.
- Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick,
- Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!
- I will not hence, till, with my talk and tears,
- Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
- Thy sly conveyance and thy lord's false love;
- For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.
[A horn sounded within.]
- Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.
[Enter the Post.]
- My lord ambassador, these letters are for you.
- Sent from your brother Marquess Montague.—
- These from our king unto your majesty.—
- And, madam, these for you, from whom I know not.
[They all read their letters.]
- I like it well that our fair queen and mistress
- Smiles at her news while Warwick frowns at his.
- Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled;
- I hope all's for the best.
- Warwick, what are thy news?—and yours, fair queen?
- Mine, such as fill my heart with unhop'd joys.
- Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent.
- What! has your king married the Lady Grey,
- And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
- Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
- Is this the alliance that he seeks with France?
- Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
- I told your majesty as much before;
This proveth Edward's love and Warwick's honesty.
- King Lewis, I here protest, in sight of heaven,
- And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,
- That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's;
- No more my king, for he dishonours me,
- But most himself, if he could see his shame.
- Did I forget that by the house of York
- My father came untimely to his death?
- Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece?
- Did I impale him with the regal crown?
- Did I put Henry from his native right?
- And am I guerdon'd at the last with shame?
- Shame on himself! for my desert is honour;
- And to repair my honour lost for him,
- I here renounce him and return to Henry.—
- My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
- And henceforth I am thy true servitor.
- I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona,
- And replant Henry in his former state.
- Warwick, these words have turn'd my hate to
- And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
- And joy that thou becom'st King Henry's friend.
- So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend,
- That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
- With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
- I'll undertake to land them on our coast
- And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
- 'T is not his new-made bride shall succour him;
- And as for Clarence,—as my letters tell me,—
- He's very likely now to fall from him,
- For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
- Or than for strength and safety of our country.
- Dear brother, how shall Bona be reveng'd
- But by thy help to this distressed queen?
- Renowned prince, how shall poor Henry live
- Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
- My quarrel and this English queen's are one.
- And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.
- And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.
- Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolv'd
- You shall have aid.
- Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
- Then, England's messenger, return in post
- And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
- That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
- To revel it with him and his new bride.
- Thou seest what's past; go fear thy king withal.
- Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
- I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.
- Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside,
- And I am ready to put armour on.
- Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
- And therefore I'll uncrown him ere 't be long.
- There's thy reward; be gone.
- But, Warwick,
- Thou and Oxford, with five thousand men,
- Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle;
- And, as occasion serves, this noble queen
- And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
- Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt:
- What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
- This shall assure my constant loyalty,—
- That if our queen and this young prince agree,
- I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy
- To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
- Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.—
- Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous;
- Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick,
- And with thy hand thy faith irrevocable
- That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.
- Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it;
- And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
[He gives his hand to Warwick.]
- Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,
- And thou, Lord Bourbon, our high admiral,
- Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.—
- I long till Edward fall by war's mischance
- For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
[Exeunt all but Warwick.]
- I came from Edward as ambassador,
- But I return his sworn and mortal foe;
- Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
- But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
- Had he none else to make a stale but me?
- Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
- I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown,
- And I'll be chief to bring him down again;
- Not that I pity Henry's misery,
- But seek revenge on Edward's mockery.
SCENE I. London. The Palace
[Enter GLOSTER, CLARENCE, SOMERSET, and MONTAGUE.]
- Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
- Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
- Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
- Alas! you know 't is far from hence to France;
- How could he stay till Warwick made return?
- My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the King.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, attended; LADY GREY, as Queen; PEMBROKE, STAFFORD, HASTINGS, and others.]
- And his well-chosen bride.
- I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
- Now, brother Clarence, how like you our choice
- That you stand pensive as half malcontent?
- As well as Lewis of France, or the Earl of Warwick,
- Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
- That they'll take no offence at our abuse.
- Suppose they take offence without a cause,
- They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
- Your King and Warwick's, and must have my will.
- And shall have your will, because our King;
- Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
- Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
- Not I.
- No; God forbid that I should wish them sever'd
- Whom God hath join'd together; ay, and 't were pity
- To sunder them that yoke so well together.
- Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
- Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
- Should not become my wife and England's queen.—
- And you too, Somerset and Montague,
- Speak freely what you think.
- Then this is mine opinion,—that King Lewis
- Becomes your enemy, for mocking him
- About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
- And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
- Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.
- What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeas'd
- By such invention as I can devise?
- Yet to have join'd with France in such alliance
- Would more have strength'ned this our commonwealth
- 'Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
- Why, knows not Montague that of itself
- England is safe if true within itself?
- But the safer when 't is back'd with France.
- 'T is better using France than trusting France.
- Let us be back'd with God, and with the seas
- Which he hath giv'n for fence impregnable,
- And with their helps only defend ourselves;
- In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
- For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
- To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
- Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
- And for this once my will shall stand for law.
- And yet, methinks, your grace hath not done well
- To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
- Unto the brother of your loving bride.
- She better would have fitted me or Clarence;
- But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
- Or else you would not have bestow'd the heir
- Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife's son,
- And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
- Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife
- That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
- In choosing for yourself you show'd your judgment,
- Which being shallow you shall give me leave
- To play the broker in mine own behalf;
- And to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
- Leave me or tarry, Edward will be king,
- And not be tied unto his brother's will.
- My lords, before it pleas'd his majesty
- To raise my state to title of a queen,
- Do me but right, and you must all confess
- That I was not ignoble of descent,
- And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
- But as this title honours me and mine,
- So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
- Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
- My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns.
- What danger or what sorrow can befall thee
- So long as Edward is thy constant friend
- And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
- Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
- Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
- Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
- And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
- [Aside.] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- Now, messenger, what letters or what news
- From France?
- My sovereign liege, no letters, and few words,
- But such as I, without your special pardon,
- Dare not relate.
- Go to, we pardon thee; therefore, in brief,
- Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
- What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
- At my depart these were his very words:
- 'Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
- That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
- To revel it with him and his new bride.'
- Is Lewis so brave? belike he thinks me Henry.
- But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
- These were her words, utt'red with mild disdain:
- 'Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
- I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.'
- I blame not her, she could say little less,
- She had the wrong; but what said Henry's queen?
- For I have heard that she was there in place.
- 'Tell him' quoth she 'my mourning weeds are done,
- And I am ready to put armour on.'
- Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
- But what said Warwick to these injuries?
- He, more incens'd against your majesty
- Than all the rest, discharg'd me with these words:
- 'Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
- And therefore I'll uncrown him ere 't be long.'
- Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
- Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn'd;
- They shall have wars, and pay for their presumption.
- But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
- Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so link'd in
- That young Prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.
- Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.
- Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
- For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter;
- That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
- I may not prove inferior to yourself.—
- You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
[Exit Clarence, and Somerset follows.]
- [Aside.] Not I.
- My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
- Stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.
- Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick!
- Yet am I arm'd against the worst can happen,
- And haste is needful in this desperate case.—
- Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
- Go levy men and make prepare for war;
- They are already, or quickly will be landed.
- Myself in person will straight follow you.—
[Exeunt Pembroke and Stafford.]
- But, ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
- Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest,
- Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance;
- Tell me if you love Warwick more than me?
- If it be so, then both depart to him.
- I rather wish you foes than hollow friends;
- But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
- Give me assurance with some friendly vow,
- That I may never have you in suspect.
- So God help Montague as he proves true!
- And Hastings as he favours Edward's cause!
- Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
- Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
- Why, so! then am I sure of victory.
- Now, therefore, let us hence; and lose no hour
- Till we meet Warwick with his foreign pow'r.
SCENE II. A Plain in Warwickshire
[Enter WARWICK and OXFORD with French and other Forces.]
- Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well;
- The common people by numbers swarm to us.
- But see where Somerset and Clarence comes!—
[Enter CLARENCE and SOMERSET.]
- Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends?
- Fear not that, my lord.
- Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick;—
- And welcome, Somerset.—I hold it cowardice
- To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
- Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love;
- Else might I think that Clarence, Edward's brother,
- Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings.
- But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine.
- And now what rests but, in night's coverture,
- Thy brother being carelessly encamp'd,
- His soldiers lurking in the towns about,
- And but attended by a simple guard,
- We may surprise and take him at our pleasure?
- Our scouts have found the adventure very easy;
- That as Ulysses and stout Diomede
- With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents,
- And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds,
- So we, well cover'd with the night's black mantle,
- At unawares may beat down Edward's guard,
- And seize himself,—I say not slaughter him,
- For I intend but only to surprise him.—
- You that will follow me to this attempt,
- Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
[They all cry, 'Henry!']
- Why then, let's on our way in silent sort;
- For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!
SCENE III. Edward's Camp near Warwick.
[Enter certain Watchmen, to guard the KING'S tent.]
- Come on, my masters, each man take his stand;
- The king by this is set him down to sleep.
- What, will he not to bed?
- Why, no; for he hath made a solemn vow
- Never to lie and take his natural rest
- Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress'd.
- To-morrow, then, belike shall be the day,
- If Warwick be so near as men report.
- But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
- That with the king here resteth in his tent?
- 'T is the Lord Hastings, the king's chiefest friend.
- O, is it So? But why commands the king
- That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
- While he himself keeps in the cold field?
- 'T is the more honour, because more dangerous.
- Ay, but give me worship and quietness;
- I like it better than dangerous honour.
- If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
- 'T is to be doubted he would waken him.
- Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
- Ay; wherefore else guard we his royal tent
- But to defend his person from night-foes?
[Enter WARWICK, CLARENCE, OXFORD, SOMERSET, and Forces silently.]
- This is his tent; and see where, stand his guard.
- Courage, my masters! honour now or never!
- But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
- Who goes there?
- Stay, or thou diest.
[Warwick and the rest cry all, 'Warwick! Warwick!' and set upon the guard, who fly, crying 'Arm! Arm!' Warwick and the rest following them.]
[Drum beating and trumpet sounding; enter WARWICK and the rest, bringing the KING out in his gown sitting in a chair. GLOSTER and HASTINGS fly over the stage.]
- What are they that fly there?
- Richard and Hastings. Let them go; here is the duke.
- The duke! why, Warwick, when we parted,
- Thou call'dst me king?
- Ay, but the case is alter'd;
- When you disgrac'd me in my embassade,
- Then I degraded you from being king,
- And come now to create you Duke of York.
- Alas! how should you govern any kingdom
- That know not how to use ambassadors,
- Nor how to be contented with one wife,
- Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
- Nor how to study for the people's welfare,
- Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
- Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too?
- Nay, then I see that Edward needs must down.—
- Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance
- Of thee thyself and all thy complices,
- Edward will always bear himself as king;
- Though fortune's malice overthrow my state,
- My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
- Then for his mind be Edward England's king;
[Takes off his crown.]
- But Henry now shall wear the English crown
- And be true king indeed, thou but the shadow.—
- My Lord of Somerset, at my request,
- See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey'd
- Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
- When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
- I'll follow you and tell what answer
- Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him.—
- Now, for a while farewell, good Duke of York.
- What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
- It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
[Exit King Edward, led out; Somerset with him.]
- What now remains, my lords, for us to do,
- But march to London with our soldiers?
- Ay, that's the first thing that we have to do,—
- To free King Henry from imprisonment
- And see him seated in the regal throne.
SCENE IV. London. The Palace
[Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH and RIVERS.]
- Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
- Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
- What late misfortune is befallen King Edward?
- What! loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
- No, but the loss of his own royal person.
- Then is my sovereign slain?
- Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner,
- Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard
- Or by his foe surpris'd at unawares,
- And, as I further have to understand,
- Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
- Fell Warwick's brother and by that our foe.
- These news, I must confess, are full of grief;
- Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may.
- Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.
- Till then, fair hope must hinder life's decay;
- And I the rather wean me from despair,
- For love of Edward's offspring in my womb.
- This is it that makes me bridle passion
- And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross;
- Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear,
- And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
- Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
- King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English crown.
- But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
- I am inform'd that he comes towards London,
- To set the crown once more on Henry's head.
- Guess thou the rest: King Edward's friends must down;
- But to prevent the tyrant's violence,—
- For trust not him that hath once broken faith,—
- I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary,
- To save at least the heir of Edward's right.
- There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
- Come therefore, let us fly while we may fly;
- If Warwick take us, we are sure to die.
SCENE V. A park near Middleham Castle in Yorkshire
[Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, SIR WILLIAM STANLEY, and others.]
- Now, my Lord Hastings, and Sir William Stanley,
- Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither
- Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
- Thus stands the case: you know our King, my brother,
- Is prisoner to the Bishop here, at whose hands
- He hath good usage and great liberty,
- And often, but attended with weak guard,
- Comes hunting this way to disport himself.
- I have advertis'd him by secret means
- That if about this hour he make this way,
- Under the colour of his usual game,
- He shall here find his friends, with horse and men,
- To set him free from his captivity.
[Enter KING EDWARD and a Huntsman.]
- This way, my lord, for this way lies the game.
- Nay, this way, man; see, where the huntsmen
- Now, brother of Gloster, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
- Stand you thus close to steal the bishop's deer?
- Brother, the time and case requireth haste;
- Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
- But whither shall we then?
- To Lynn, my lord, and shipt from thence to Flanders.
- Well guess'd, believe me, for that was my meaning.
- Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
- But wherefore stay we? 't is no time to talk.
- Huntsman, what say'st thou? wilt thou go along?
- Better do so than tarry and be hang'd.
- Come then; away! let's have no more ado.
- Bishop, farewell; shield thee from Warwick's frown,
- And pray that I may repossess the crown.
SCENE VI. London. The Tower
[Enter KING HENRY, CLARENCE, WARWICK, SOMERSET, Young RICHMOND, OXFORD, MONTAGUE, Lieutenant of the Tower, and Attendants.]
- Master Lieutenant, now that God and friends
- Have shaken Edward from the regal seat
- And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
- My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
- At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
- Subjects may challenge nothing of their sovereigns;
- But if an humble prayer may prevail,
- I then crave pardon of your Majesty.
- For what, lieutenant? for well using me?
- Nay, be thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness,
- For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
- Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds
- Conceive when, after many moody thoughts,
- At last by notes of household harmony
- They quite forget their loss of liberty.—
- But, Warwick, after God thou sett'st me free,
- And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
- He was the author, thou the instrument.
- Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite,
- By living low where fortune cannot hurt me,
- And that the people of this blessed land
- May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars,
- Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
- I here resign my government to thee,
- For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
- Your grace hath still been fam'd for virtuous,
- And now may seem as wise as virtuous
- By spying and avoiding fortune's malice,
- For few men rightly temper with the stars;
- Yet in this one thing let me blame your grace,
- For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
- No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
- To whom the heavens in thy nativity
- Adjudg'd an olive branch and laurel crown,
- As likely to be blest in peace and war;
- And therefore, I yield thee my free consent.
- And I choose Clarence only for protector.
- Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands.
- Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts,
- That no dissension hinder government.
- I make you both protectors of this land,
- While I myself will lead a private life
- And in devotion spend my latter days,
- To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.
- What answers Clarence to his sovereign's will?
- That he consents if Warwick yield consent,
- For on thy fortune I repose myself.
- Why, then, though loath, yet I must be content.
- We'll yoke together, like a double shadow
- To Henry's body, and supply his place,—
- I mean in bearing weight of government
- While he enjoys the honour and his ease.
- And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
- Forthwith that Edward be pronounc'd a traitor,
- And all his lands and goods confiscated.
- What else? and that succession be determin'd.
- Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
- But with the first of all your chief affairs,
- Let me entreat—for I command no more—
- That Margaret your queen, and my son Edward,
- Be sent for to return from France with speed;
- For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear
- My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
- It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
- My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that
- Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
- My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
- Come hither, England's hope.—If secret powers
[Lays his hand on his head.]
- Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
- This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
- His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
- His head by nature fram'd to wear a crown,
- His hand to wield a sceptre, and himself
- Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
- Make much of him, my lords; for this is he
- Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- What news, my friend?
- That Edward is escaped from your brother,
- And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
- Unsavoury news! but how made he escape?
- He was convey'd by Richard Duke of Gloster
- And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
- In secret ambush on the forest side,
- And from the bishop's huntsmen rescued him,
- For hunting was his daily exercise.
- My brother was too careless of his charge.—
- But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
- A salve for any sore that may betide.
[Exeunt King Henry, Warwick, Clarence, Lieutenant, and attendants.]
- My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward's,
- For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
- And we shall have more wars before 't be long.
- As Henry's late presaging prophecy
- Did glad my heart with hope of this young Richmond,
- So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts
- What may befall him, to his harm and ours;
- Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
- Forthwith we'll send him hence to Brittany
- Till storms be past of civil enmity.
- Ay; for if Edward repossess the crown,
- 'T is like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
- It shall be so; he shall to Brittany.
- Come therefore, let's about it speedily.
SCENE VII. Before York
[Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and Forces.]
- Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
- Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
- And says that once more I shall interchange
- My waned state for Henry's regal crown.
- Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas,
- And brought desired help from Burgundy.
- What then remains, we being thus arriv'd
- From Ravenspurg haven before the gates of York,
- But that we enter as into our dukedom?
- The gates made fast!—Brother, I like not this;
- For many men that stumble at the threshold
- Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
- Tush, man! abodements must not now affright us;
- By fair or foul means we must enter in,
- For hither will our friends repair to us.
- My liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.
[Enter on the walls, the Mayor of York and his Brethren.]
- My lords, we were forewarned of your coming
- And shut the gates for safety of ourselves,
- For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
- But master mayor, if Henry be your king,
- Yet Edward, at the least, is Duke of York.
- True, my good lord; I know you for no less.
- Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
- As being well content with that alone.
- [Aside.] But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
- He'll soon find means to make the body follow.
- Why, master mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
- Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.
- Ay, say you so? the gates shall then be open'd.
[Exeunt from above.]
- A wise, stout captain, and soon persuaded.
- The good old man would fain that all were well,
- So 't were not long of him; but, being enter'd,
- I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
- Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
[Enter the Mayor and two Aldermen, below.]
- So, master mayor; these gates must not be shut
- But in the night or in the time of war.
- What! fear not, man, but yield me up the keys;
[Takes his keys.]
- For Edward will defend the town and thee,
- And all those friends that deign to follow me.
[March. Enter MONTGOMERY and Forces.]
- Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
- Our trusty friend unless I be deceiv'd.
- Welcome, Sir John; but why come you in arms?
- To help King Edward in his time of storm,
- As every loyal subject ought to do.
- Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget
- Our title to the crown, and only claim
- Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.
- Then fare you well, for I will hence again;
- I came to serve a king, and not a duke.—
- Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.
[A march begun.]
- Nay, stay, Sir John, awhile, and we'll debate
- By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.
- What talk you of debating? in few words,
- If you'll not here proclaim yourself our king,
- I'll leave you to your fortune and begone
- To keep them back that come to succour you.
- Why shall we fight if you pretend no title?
- Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
- When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim;
- Till then 't is wisdom to conceal our meaning.
- Away with scrupulous wit! now arms must rule.
- And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.—
- Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand;
- The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
- Then be it as you will; for 't is my right,
- And Henry but usurps the diadem.
- Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself,
- And now will I be Edward's champion.
- Sound, trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd.—
- Come, fellow-soldier, make thou proclamation.
[Gives him a paper. Flourish.]
- [Reads.] 'Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God,
- King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland,' etc.
- And whoso'er gainsays King Edward's right,
- By this I challenge him to single fight.
[Throws down gauntlet.]
- Long live Edward the Fourth!
- Thanks, brave Montgomery, and thanks unto you all;
- If fortune serve me, I'll requite this kindness.
- Now for this night let's harbour here in York;
- And when the morning sun shall raise his car
- Above the border of this horizon
- We'll forward towards Warwick and his mates,
- For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.—
- Ah, froward Clarence! how evil it beseems thee
- To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
- Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and Warwick.—
- Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day,
- And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.
SCENE VIII. London. The Palace.
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, WARWICK, CLARENCE, MONTAGUE, EXETER, and OXFORD.]
- What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
- With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
- Hath pass'd in safety through the narrow seas,
- And with his troops doth march amain to London;
- And many giddy people flock to him.
- Let's levy men and beat him back again.
- A little fire is quickly trodden out,
- Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench.
- In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
- Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war.
- Those will I muster up;—and thou, son Clarence,
- Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent
- The knights and gentlemen to come with thee.—
- Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham,
- Northampton, and in Leicestershire shalt find
- Men well inclin'd to hear what thou command'st. —
- And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well belov'd,
- In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends.—
- My sovereign, with the loving citizens,
- Like to his island girt in with the ocean,
- Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs,
- Shall rest in London till we come to him.—
- Fair lords, take leave and stand not to reply.—
- Farewell, my sovereign.
- Farewell, my Hector, and my Troy's true hope.
- In sign of truth I kiss your highness' hand.
- Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
- Comfort, my lord;—and so I take my leave.
- And thus [kissing Henry's hand] I seal my truth, and bid
- Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
- And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
- Farewell, sweet lords; let's meet at Coventry.
[Exeunt Warwick, Clarendon, Oxford, and Montague.]
- Here at the palace will I rest a while.—
- Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
- Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
- Should not be able to encounter mine.
- The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.
- That's not my fear; my meed hath got me fame.
- I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands,
- Nor posted off their suits with slow delays;
- My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
- My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs,
- My mercy dried their water-flowing tears.
- I have not been desirous of their wealth
- Nor much oppress'd them with great subsidies,
- Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd;
- Then, why should they love Edward more than me?
- No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace;
- And when the lion fawns upon the lamb
- The lamb will never cease to follow him.
[Shout within 'A Lancaster! A Lancaster!']
- Hark, hark, my lord! what shouts are these?
[Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Soldiers.]
- Seize on the shame-fac'd Henry! bear him hence,
- And once again proclaim us king of England.—
- You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow.
- Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry
- And swell so much the higher by their ebb.—
- Hence with him to the Tower! let him not speak.—
[Exeunt some with King Henry.]
- And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course,
- Where peremptory Warwick now remains.
- The sun shines hot, and, if we use delay,
- Cold biting winter mars our hop'd-for hay.
- Away betimes, before his forces join,
- And take the great-grown traitor unawares.
- Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.
SCENE I. Coventry.
[Enter, upon the walls, WARWICK, the Mayor of Coventry, two Messengers, and others.]
- Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?—
- How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?
- By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.
- How far off is our brother Montague?
- Where is the post that came from Montague?
- By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.
[Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.]
- Say, Somerville, what says my loving son?
- And, by thy guess, how nigh is Clarence now?
- At Southam I did leave him with his forces
- And do expect him here some two hours hence.
- Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.
- It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies.
- The drum your honour hears marcheth from Warwick.
- Who should that be? belike, unlook'd-for friends.
- They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.
[March. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Forces.]
- Go, trumpet, to the walls and sound a parle.
- See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
- O, unbid spite! Is sportful Edward come?
- Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduc'd,
- That we could hear no news of his repair?
- Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates?
- Speak gentle words and humbly bend thy knee,
- Call Edward king and at his hands beg mercy?
- And he shall pardon thee these outrages.
- Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
- Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down?
- Call Warwick patron and be penitent,
- And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.
- I thought, at least, he would have said the king;
- Or did he make the jest against his will?
- Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?
- Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give;
- I'll do thee service for so good a gift.
- 'T was I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
- Why, then, 't is mine, if but by Warwick's gift.
- Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight,
- And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
- And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.
- But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner;
- And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
- What is the body when the head is off?
- Alas! that Warwick had no more forecast,
- But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
- The king was slily finger'd from the deck!
- You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace,
- And ten to one, you'll meet him in the Tower.
- 'T is even so; yet you are Warwick still.
- Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down.
- Nay, when? strike now, or else the iron cools.
- I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
- And with the other fling it at thy face,
- Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee.
- Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
- This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair,
- Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
- Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood,
- 'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'
[Enter OXFORD, with Forces.]
- O cheerful colours! see where Oxford comes.
- Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city.]
- The gates are open; let us enter too.
- So other foes may set upon our backs.
- Stand we in good array, for they no doubt
- Will issue out again and bid us battle;
- If not, the city being but of small defence,
- We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.
- O, welcome, Oxford, for we want thy help.
[Enter MONTAGUE, with Forces.]
- Montague, Montague, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city.]
- Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason,
- Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.
- The harder match'd, the greater victory;
- My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.
[Enter SOMERSET, with forces.]
- Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city.]
- Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset,
- Have sold their lives unto the House of York;
- And thou shalt be the third if this sword hold.
[Enter CLARENCE, with Forces.]
- And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps along,
- Of force enough to bid his brother battle;
- With whom an upright zeal to right prevails,
- More than the nature of a brother's love!—
[Gloster and Clarence whisper.]
- Come, Clarence, come; thou wilt if Warwick call.
- Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
[Taking the red rose out of his hat.]
- Look here, I throw my infamy at thee;
- I will not ruinate my father's house,
- Who gave his blood to lime the stones together,
- And set up Lancaster. Why, trow'st thou, Warwick,
- That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,
- To bend the fatal instruments of war
- Against his brother and his lawful king?
- Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath;
- To keep that oath were more impiety
- Than Jephtha's when he sacrific'd his daughter.
- I am so sorry for my trespass made
- That, to deserve well at my brother's hands,
- I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe,
- With resolution, whereso'er I meet thee—
- As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad—
- To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
- And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee,
- And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.—
- Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends;—
- And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults,
- For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
- Now, welcome more, and ten times more belov'd,
- Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate.
- Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.
- O passing traitor, perjur'd and unjust!
- What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the town and fight,
- Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
- Alas! I am not coop'd here for defence;
- I will away towards Barnet presently,
- And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st.
- Yes, Warwick, Edward dares and leads the way.—
- Lords, to the field! Saint George and victory!
SCENE II. A Field of Battle near Barnet.
[Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARD, bringing in WARWICK wounded.]
- So, lie thou there; die thou, and die our fear,
- For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.—
- Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee,
- That Warwick's bones may keep thine company.
- Ah! who is nigh? come to me, friend or foe,
- And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick.
- Why ask I that? my mangled body shows;
- My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows
- That I must yield my body to the earth
- And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
- Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
- Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
- Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,
- Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree,
- And kept low shrubs from winter's pow'rful wind.
- These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black veil,
- Have been as piercing as the midday sun,
- To search the secret treasons of the world;
- The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood,
- Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres,
- For who liv'd king but I could dig his grave?
- And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
- Lo, now my glory smear'd in dust and blood!
- My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
- Even now forsake me, and of all my lands
- Is nothing left me but my body's length.
- Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
- And live we how we can, yet die we must.
[Enter OXFORD and SOMERSET.]
- Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as we are,
- We might recover all our loss again.
- The queen from France hath brought a puissant power;
- Even now we heard the news. Ah, couldst thou fly!
- Why, then I would not fly.—Ah, Montague!
- If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand
- And with thy lips keep in my soul awhile.
- Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou did'st,
- Thy tears would wash this cold, congealed blood
- That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
- Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
- Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath'd his last,
- And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick,
- And said 'Commend me to my valiant brother.'
- And more he would have said, and more he spoke,
- Which sounded like a clamour in a vault,
- That might not be distinguish'd; but at last
- I well might hear, delivered with a groan,—
- 'O farewell, Warwick!'
- Sweet rest his soul!—Fly, lords, and save yourselves;
- For Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
- Away, away, to meet the queen's great power!
[Exeunt bearing off Warwick's body.]
SCENE III. Another Part of the Field
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD in triumph; with CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and the rest.]
- Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
- And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory.
- But, in the midst of this bright-shining day,
- I spy a black, suspicious, threatEning cloud,
- That will encounter with our glorious sun
- Ere he attain his easeful western bed.
- I mean, my lords, those powers that the Queen
- Hath rais'd in Gallia have arriv'd our coast
- And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
- A little gale will soon disperse that cloud
- And blow it to the source from whence it came;
- Thy very beams will dry those vapours up,
- For every cloud engenders not a storm.
- The queen is valued thirty thousand strong,
- And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her;
- If she have time to breathe, be well assur'd,
- Her faction will be full as strong as ours.
- We are advertis'd by our loving friends
- That they do hold their course toward Tewkesbury.
- We, having now the best at Barnet field,
- Will thither straight, for willingness rids way;
- And, as we march, our strength will be augmented
- In every county as we go along.—
- Strike up the drum! cry 'Courage!' and away.
SCENE IV. Plains wear Tewkesbury
[March. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, SOMERSET, OXFORD, and Soldiers.]
- Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
- But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
- What though the mast be now blown overboard,
- The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
- And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood?
- Yet lives our pilot still. Is 't meet that he
- Should leave the helm, and like a fearful lad
- With tearful eyes add water to the sea,
- And give more strength to that which hath too much,
- Whiles in his moan the ship splits on the rock,
- Which industry and courage might have sav'd?
- Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
- Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?
- And Montague our topmast; what of him?
- Our slaught'red friends the tackles; what of these?
- Why, is not Oxford here another anchor,
- And Somerset another goodly mast?
- The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
- And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
- For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge?
- We will not from the helm to sit and weep,
- But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
- From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wrack,
- As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
- And what is Edward but a ruthless sea?
- What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?
- And Richard but a ragged fatal rock?
- All these the enemies to our poor bark?
- Say you can swim; alas, 't is but a while!
- Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink;
- Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
- Or else you famish,—that's a threefold death.
- This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
- If case some one of you would fly from us,
- That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers
- More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks.
- Why, courage then! what cannot be avoided
- 'T were childish weakness to lament or fear.
- Methinks, a woman of this valiant spirit
- Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,
- Infuse his breast with magnanimity,
- And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
- I speak not this as doubting any here;
- For, did I but suspect a fearful man,
- He should have leave to go away betimes,
- Lest in our need he might infect another
- And make him of the like spirit to himself.
- If any such be here—as God forbid!—
- Let him depart before we need his help.
- Women and children of so high a courage,
- And warriors faint! why, 't were perpetual shame.—
- O, brave young prince! thy famous grandfather
- Doth live again in thee; long mayst thou live
- To bear his image and renew his glories!
- And he that will not fight for such a hope,
- Go home to bed, and like the owl by day,
- If he arise, be mock'd and wonder'd at.
- Thanks, gentle Somerset.—Sweet Oxford, thanks.
- And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
[Enter a Messenger.]
- Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand
- Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
- I thought no less; it is his policy
- To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
- But he's deceiv'd; we are in readiness.
- This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.
- Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
[Flourish and march. Enter KING EDWARD, CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and Forces.]
- Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood
- Which, by the heaven's assistance and your strength,
- Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
- I need not add more fuel to your fire,
- For, well I wot, ye blaze to burn them out.
- Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.
- Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say,
- My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
- Ye see I drink the water of my eyes.
- Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,
- Is prisoner to the foe, his state usurp'd,
- His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
- His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent;
- And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
- You fight in justice; then, in God's name, lords,
- Be valiant and give signal to the fight.
[Exeunt both armies.]
SCENE V. Another part of the Field.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and Forces; With QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD, and SOMERSET, as prisoners.]
- Now, here a period of tumultuous broils.
- Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight;
- For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
- Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
- For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.
- Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune.
[Exeunt Oxford and Somerset, guarded.]
- So part we sadly in this troublous world,
- To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
- Is proclamation made that who finds Edward
- Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
- It is; and lo, where youthful Edward comes!
[Enter soldiers with PRINCE EDWARD.]
- Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak.
- What! can so young a man begin to prick?—
- Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
- For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
- And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
- Speak like a subject, proud, ambitious York!
- Suppose that I am now my father's mouth;
- Resign thy chair, and where I stand kneel thou,
- Whilst I propose the selfsame words to thee
- Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
- Ah, thy father had been so resolv'd!
- That you might still have worn the petticoat,
- And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.
- Let Aesop fable in a winter's night;
- His currish riddle sorts not with this place.
- By heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that word.
- Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
- For God's sake, take away this captive scold.
- Nay, take away this scolding crook-back rather.
- Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
- Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
- I know my duty; you are all undutiful.
- Lascivious Edward,—and thou perjur'd George,—
- And thou misshapen Dick,—I tell ye all,
- I am your better, traitors as ye are;—
- And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
- Take that, the likeness of this railer here.
- Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony.
- And there's for twitting me with perjury.
- O, kill me too!
- Marry, and shall.
[Offers to kill her.]
- Hold, Richard, hold! for we have done to much.
- Why should she live to fill the world with words?
- What! doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.
- Clarence, excuse me to the king, my brother.
- I'll hence to London on a serious matter;
- Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
- What? what?
- The Tower! the Tower!
- O Ned! sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy.
- Canst thou not speak?—O traitors! murtherers!
- They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all,
- Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
- If this foul deed were by to equal it.
- He was a man: this, in respect, a child,
- And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
- What's worse than murtherer, that I may name it?
- No, no, my heart will burst, an if I speak;
- And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.—
- Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals!
- How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
- You have no children, butchers! if you had,
- The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse;
- But, if you ever chance to have a child,
- Look in his youth to have him so cut off
- As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!
- Away with her! go, bear her hence perforce.
- Nay, never bear me hence, dispatch me here;
- Here sheathe thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death.
- What! wilt thou not?—then, Clarence, do it thou.
- By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
- Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do
- Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
- Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself;
- 'T was sin before, but now 't is charity.
- What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's butcher,
- Hard-favour'd Richard?—Richard, where art thou?
- Thou art not here; murther is thy alms-deed,
- Petitioners for blood thou ne'er putt'st back.
- Away, I say! I charge ye, bear her hence.
- So come to you and yours as to this prince!
[She is taken out.]
- Where's Richard gone?
- To London, all in post, and, as I guess,
- To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
- He's sudden if a thing comes in his head.
- Now march we hence; discharge the common sort
- With pay and thanks, and let's away to London,
- And see our gentle queen how well she fares.
- By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.
SCENE VI. London. The Tower.
[KING HENRY is discovered sitting with a book in his hand, the Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER.]
- Good day, my lord. What! at your book so hard?
- Ay, my good lord;—my lord, I should say rather.
- 'T is sin to flatter; 'good' was little better.
- Good Gloster and good devil were alike,
- And both preposterous; therefore, not good lord.
- Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.
- So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
- So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece,
- And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.—
- What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
- Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
- The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
- The bird that hath been limed in a bush
- With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
- And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
- Have now the fatal object in my eye
- Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and kill'd.
- Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete
- That taught his son the office of a fowl!
- And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
- I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
- Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
- The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy,
- Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea
- Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
- Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
- My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
- Than can my ears that tragic history.
- But wherefore dost thou come? is 't for my life?
- Think'st thou I am an executioner?
- A persecutor, I am sure, thou art;
- If murdering innocents be executing,
- Why, then thou are an executioner.
- Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
- Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume,
- Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
- And thus I prophesy,—that many a thousand,
- Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
- And many an old man's sigh and many a widow's,
- And many an orphan's water-standing eye,—
- Men for their sons', wives for their husbands' fate,
- And orphans for their parents' timeless death,—
- Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
- The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
- The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
- Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
- The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
- And chatt'ring pies in dismal discord sung.
- Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
- And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
- An indigested and deformed lump,
- Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
- Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
- To signify thou cam'st to bite the world;
- And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
- Thou cam'st—
- I'll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech.
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
- Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
- O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!
- What! will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
- Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
- See, how my sword weeps for the poor King's death!
- O, may such purple tears be always shed
- From those that wish the downfall of our house!—
- If any spark of life be yet remaining,
- Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither,
[Stabs him again.]
- I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
- Indeed, 't is true that Henry told me of;
- For I have often heard my mother say
- I came into the world with my legs forward.
- Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste
- And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
- The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried
- 'O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!'
- And so I was, which plainly signified
- That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.
- Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
- Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
- I have no brother, I am like no brother,
- And this word 'love,' which greybeards call divine,
- Be resident in men like one another,
- And not in me! I am myself alone.—
- Clarence, beware! thou keep'st me from the light;
- But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
- For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
- That Edward shall be fearful of his life,
- And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
- King Henry and the prince his son are gone;
- Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,
- Counting myself but bad till I be best.
- I'll throw thy body in another room,
- And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
[Exit with the body.]
SCENE VII. London. The Palace.
[KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his throne; QUEEN ELIZABETH with the infant Prince, CLARENCE, Gloster, HASTINGS, and others, near him.]
- Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
- Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
- What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
- Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride!
- Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
- For hardy and undoubted champions;
- Two Cliffords, as the father and the son;
- And two Northumberlands,—two braver men
- Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound;
- With them the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
- That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion
- And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
- Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat
- And made our footstool of security.—
- Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.—
- Young Ned, for thee thine uncles and myself
- Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
- Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
- That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
- And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
- [Aside.] I'll blast his harvest if your head were laid;
- For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
- This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
- And heave it shall some weight or break my back.—
- Work thou the way,—and that shall execute.
- Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely queen;
- And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
- The duty that I owe unto your Majesty
- I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
- Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.
- And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,
- Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.—
- [Aside.] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his Master,
- And cried, all hail! when as he meant all harm.
- Now am I seated as my soul delights;
- Having my country's peace and brothers' loves.
- What will your Grace have done with Margaret?
- Reignier, her father, to the King of France
- Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
- And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
- Away with her and waft her hence to France.—
- And now what rests but that we spend the time
- With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
- Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
- Sound drums and trumpets!—farewell sour annoy!
- For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.