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THE HISTORY OF KING HENRY THE SIXTHTHIRD PART
by William Shakespeare
KING HENRY the Sixth.
EDWARDPrince of Waleshis son.
LEWIS XIKing of France.
DUKE OF SOMERSET.
DUKE OF EXETER.
EARL OF OXFORD.
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND.
EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
RICHARD PLANTAGENETDuke of York.
EDWARDEarl of Marchafterwards King Edward IV.his son.
EDMUNDEarl of Rutlandhis son.
GEORGEafterwards Duke of Clarencehis son.
RICHARDafterwards Duke of Glosterhis son.
DUKE OF NORFOLK.
MARQUESS OF MONTAGUE.
EARL OF WARWICK.
EARL OF PEMBROKE.
SIR JOHN MORTIMERuncle to the Duke of York.
SIR HUGH MORTIMERuncle to the Duke of York.
HENRYEarl of Richmonda youth.
LORD RIVERSbrother 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.
LADY GREYafterwards Queen to Edward IV.
BONAsister to the French Queen.
SCENE: England and France.
SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house
[Alarum. Enter DUKE of YORKEDWARDRICHARDNORFOLK
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 Cliffordand Lord Staffordall abreast
Charg'd our main battle's frontand breaking in
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
Lord Stafford's fatherDuke of Buckingham
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
That this is truefatherbehold his blood.
[Showing his bloody sword.]
Andbrotherhere 's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood
[To Yorkshowing his.]
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.
Speak thou for meand 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 deadmy 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 itYork
For this is thineand not King Henry's heirs'.
Assist methensweet Warwickand I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
Thanksgentle Norfolk.--Stay by memy lords;--
Andsoldiersstay and lodge by me this night.
And when the king comesoffer 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 arelet 's stay within this house.
The bloody parliament shall this be call'd
Unless PlantagenetDuke of Yorkbe king
And bashful Henry depos'dwhose cowardice
Hath made us bywords to our enemies.
Then leave me notmy lords; be resolute.
I mean to take possession of my right.
Neither the kingnor he that loves him best
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster
Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
I'll plant Plantagenetroot him up who dares.--
Resolve theeRichard; claim the English crown.
[Warwick leads York to the thronewho seats himself.]
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRYCLIFFORDNORTHUMBERLAND
WESTMORELANDEXETERand the rest.]
My lordslook where the sturdy rebel sits
Even in the chair of state! belike he means
Back'd by the power of Warwickthat false peer
To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.--
Earl of Northumberlandhe slew thy father;
And thineLord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On himhis sonshis favouritesand his friends.
If I be notheavens 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 patientgentle Earl of Westmoreland.
Patience is for poltroonssuch as he;
He durst not sit there had your father liv'd.
My gracious lordhere in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.
Well hast thou spokencousin; be it so.
Ahknow you not the city favours them
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
But when the duke is slainthey'll quickly fly.
Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart
To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
Cousin of Exeterfrownswordsand threats
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.--
[They advance to the duke.]
Thou factious Duke of Yorkdescend my throne
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.
I am thine.
For shamecome down; he made thee Duke of York.
'T was my inheritanceas the earldom was.
Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
Exeterthou art a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.
Whom should he followbut his natural king?
TrueClifford; and that 's RichardDuke of York.
And shall I standand thou sit in my throne?
It must and shall be so.
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 fathersand with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.
YesWarwickI remember it to my grief;
Andby his soulthou and thy house shall rue it.
Plantagenetof theeand these thy sons
Thy kinsmenand thy friendsI'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 theeWarwicksuch 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 notour swords shall plead it in the field.
What title hast thoutraitorto the crown?
Thy father wasas thou artDuke of York;
Thy grandfatherRoger MortimerEarl 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 Francesith thou hast lost it all.
The lord protector lost itand not I;
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.
You are old enough nowand yetmethinksyou lose.--
Fathertear the crown from the usurper's head.
Sweet fatherdo so; set it on your head.
Good brotheras thou lov'st and honourest arms
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.
Sound drums and trumpetsand the king will fly.
Peace thouand give King Henry leave to speak.
Plantagenet shall speak first; hear himlords
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;
Ayand their colours--often borne in France
And now in Englandto our heart's great sorrow--
Shall be my winding sheet.--Why faint youlords?
My title's goodand better far than his.
Prove itHenryand 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 memay not a king adopt an heir?
An if he maythen am I lawful king;
For Richardin the view of many lords
Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth
Whose heir my father wasand I am his.
He rose against himbeing his sovereign
And made him to resign his crown perforce.
Supposemy lordshe 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 usDuke of Exeter?
His is the rightand therefore pardon me.
Why whisper youmy lordsand answer not?
My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
[Aside.] All will revolt from me and turn to him.
Plantagenetfor all the claim thou lay'st
Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.
Depos'd he shall bein despite of all.
Thou art deceiv'd; 't is not thy southern power
Of EssexNorfolkSuffolknor of Kent
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud
Can set the duke up in despite of me.
King Henrybe 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 Cliffordhow thy words revive my heart!
Henry of Lancasterresign thy crown.--
What mutter youor what conspire youlords?
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 stampsand the soldiers show themselves.]
My Lord of Warwickhear but one word:
Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.
Confirm the crown to meand 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!
Basefearfuland despairing Henry!
How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us!
I cannot stay to hear these articles.
Comecousinlet us tell the queen these news.
Farewellfaint-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 NorthumberlandCliffordand Westmoreland.]
Turn this wayHenryand regard them not.
They seek revengeand therefore will not yield.
Why should you sighmy lord?
Not for myselfLord Warwickbut my son
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.--
But be it as it mayI here entail
The crown to theeand to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionallythat here thou take an oath
To cease this civil warand 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!--Plantagenetembrace him.
And long live thouand 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. Farewellmy 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 SonsWarwickNorfolkMontague
And Iwith grief and sorrowto the court.
[Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE OF WALES.]
Here comes the queenwhose looks bewray her anger.
I'll steal away.
Exeterso will I.
Naygo not from me; I will follow thee.
Be patientgentle queenand I will stay.
Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ahwretched man! would I had died a maid
And never seen theenever 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.
Fatheryou cannot disinherit me.
If you be kingwhy should not I succeed?
Pardon meMargaret;--pardon mesweet son;
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforc'd me.
Enforc'd thee! art thou kingand wilt be
I shame to hear thee speak. Ahtimorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyselfthy sonand 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 therewhich 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 dostI here divorce myself
Both from thy tableHenryand 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.--Comesonlet's away:
Our army is ready; comewe'll after them.
Staygentle Margaretand hear me speak.
Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
Gentle son Edwardthou wilt stay with me?
Ayto 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.
Comesonaway! 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 spiritwinged with desire
Will cost my crownand 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 themand entreat them fair.--
Comecousinyou shall be the messenger.
And II hopeshall reconcile them all.
SCENE II. Sandal Castle
[Enter EDWARDRICHARDand MONTAGUE.]
Brotherthough I be youngestgive me leave.
No; I can better play the orator.
But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Whyhow nowsons and brother! at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?
No quarrelbut a slight contention.
About that which concerns your grace and us--
The crown of Englandfatherwhich is yours.
Mineboy? not till King Henry be dead.
Your right depends not on his life or death.
Now you are heirtherefore enjoy it now;
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe
It will outrun youfatherin 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 beif I claim by open war.
I'll prove the contrary if you'll hear me speak.
Thou canst notson; it is impossible.
An oath is of no momentbeing not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate
That hath authority over him that swears.
Henry had nonebut did usurp the place;
Thenseeing 't was he that made you to depose
Your oathmy lordis vain and frivolous.
Thereforeto arms! Andfatherdo 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.
Richardenough; I will be kingor die.--
Brotherthou shalt to London presently
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.--
ThouRichardshalt to the Duke of Norfolk
And tell him privily of our intent.--
YouEdwardshall unto my Lord Cobham
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise.
In them I trust; for they are soldiers
Wittycourteousliberalfull of spirit.--
While you are thus employ'dwhat 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 queenwith 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 holdmy lord.
Aywith my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear
Edward and Richardyou shall stay with me;
My brother Montague shall post to London.
Let noble WarwickCobhamand the rest
Whom we have left protectors of the king
With powerful policy strengthen themselves
And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
BrotherI go; I'll win themfear it not:
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
[Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER.]
Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimermine 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.
Whatwith five thousand men?
Aywith five hundredfatherfor 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 notuncleof 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?
Ahtutor! look where bloody Clifford comes.
[Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.]
Chaplainaway! thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of this accursed duke
Whose father slew my fatherhe shall die.
And Imy lordwill bear him company.
Soldiersaway with him!
AhCliffordmurder not this innocent child
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
[Exitforced 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 walksinsulting o'er his prey
And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.--
Ahgentle Cliffordkill me with thy sword
And not with such a cruel threat'ning look.
Sweet Cliffordhear me speak before I die:
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath;
Be thou reveng'd on menand let me live.
In vain thou speak'stpoor 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 manandCliffordcope with him.
Had I thy brethren heretheir 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 aliveI live in hell.
Olet me pray before I take my death!--
To thee I pray; sweet Cliffordpity 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 thereofsith God is just
He be as miserably slain as I.
Ahlet me live in prison all my days
And when I give occasion of offence
Then let me diefor now thou hast no cause.
Thy father slew my father; thereforedie. [Clifford stabs him.]
Dii faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae! [Dies.]
Plantagenet! I comePlantagenet!
And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade
Shall rust upon my weapon till thy blood
Congeal'd with thisdo 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 'Couragefather! 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 crownor else a glorious tomb!
A sceptreor an earthly sepulchre!'
With thiswe charg'd again; butoutalas!
We budg'd againas I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with overmatching waves.
[A short alarum within.]
Ahhark! the fatal followers do pursue
And I am faint and cannot fly their fury;
And were I strongI would not shun their fury.
The sands are number'd that make up my life;
Here must I stayand here my life must end.--
[Enter QUEEN MARGARETCLIFFORD
Comebloody Cliffordrough Northumberland
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage.
I am your buttand I abide your shot.
Yield to our mercyproud Plantagenet.
Ayto 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 ashesas the phoenixmay 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! multitudesand fear?
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
So desperate thievesall hopeless of their lives
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
O Cliffordbut bethink thee once again
And in thy thought o'errun my former time;
Andif thou canst for blushingview this face
And bite thy tonguethat 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 blowstwice two for one.
Holdvaliant Clifford! for a thousand causes
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life.--
Wrath makes him deaf; speak thouNorthumberland.
HoldClifford! do not honour him so much
To prick thy fingerthough to wound his heart.
What valour were itwhen 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 Yorkwho struggles.]
Ayay; 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 yieldwith robbers so o'ermatch'd.
What would your grace have done unto him now?
Brave warriorsClifford and Northumberland
Comemake 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 boythat with his grumbling voice
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Orwith the restwhere is your darling Rutland?
LookYork; I stain'd this napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point
Made issue from the bosom of the boy
Andif thine eyes can water for his death
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alaspoor York! but that I hate thee deadly
I should lament thy miserable state.
I pritheegrieve to make me merryYork;
Stampraveand fretthat I may sing and dance.
Whathath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails
That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
Why art thou patientman? thou shouldst be mad;
And Ito make thee maddo mock thee thus.
Thou wouldst be feedI seeto make me sport;
York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.--
A crown for York!--andlordsbow low to him.--
Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on.--
[Putting a paper crown on his head.]
Aymarrysirnow looks he like a king.
Aythis 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 meyou 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 lifeagainst your holy oath?
O't is a fault too too unpardonable.--
Off with the crownand with the crown his head!
And whilst we breathe take time to do him dead.
That is my officefor my father's sake.
Naystay; let's hear the orisons he makes.
She-wolf of Francebut worse than wolves of France
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumphlike an Amazonian trull
Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face isvizard-likeunchanging
Made impudent with use of evil deeds
I would assayproud queento make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou cam'stof whom deriv'd
Were shame enough to shame theewert 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 notnor it boots thee notproud queen;
Unless the adage must be verified
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
'T is beauty that doth oft make women proud;
ButGod he knowsthy 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 softmildpitifuland flexible;
Bid'st thou me rage? whynow thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? whynow 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 theefell Cliffordand theefalse Frenchwoman.
Beshrew mebut 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'dwould not have stain'd with blood;
But you are more inhumanmore inexorable
Oten times morethan tigers of Hyrcania.
Seeruthless queena 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 napkinand go boast of this;
And if thou tell'st the heavy story right
Upon my soulthe hearers will shed tears
Yeaeven my foes will shed fast-falling tears
And say 'Alas! it was a piteous deed!'--
Theretake the crownand 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 Cliffordtake me from the world;
My soul to heavenmy blood upon your heads!
Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin
I should notfor my lifebut weep with him
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
What! weeping-ripemy Lord Northumberland?
Think but upon the wrong he did us all
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
Here's for my oathhere's for my father's death.
And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.
Open thy gate of mercygracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.
Off with his headand 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 RICHARDwith 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'enwe should have heard the news;
Had he been slainwe should have heard the news;
Or had he scap'dmethinks 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 bearencompass'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 eyesor do I see three suns?
Three glorious sunseach one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
Seesee! they joinembraceand seem to kiss
As if they vow'd some league inviolable;
Now are they but one lampone lightone sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.
'T is wondrous strangethe like yet never heard of.
I think it cites usbrotherto the field
That wethe sons of brave Plantagenet
Each one already blazing by our meeds
Shouldnotwithstandingjoin our lights together
And overshine the earthas this the world.
Whate'er it bodeshenceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.
Naybear three daughters; by your leave I speak it
You love the breeder better than the male.--
[Enter a Messenger.]
But what art thouwhose heavy looks foretell
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
Ahone that was a woeful looker-on
When as the noble Duke of York was slain
Your princely father and my loving lord.
Ospeak no morefor I have heard too much!
Say how he diedfor 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 strokesthough 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 faceand when with grief he wept
The ruthless queen gave himto dry his cheeks
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutlandby rough Clifford slain.
Andafter many scornsmany foul taunts
They took his headand 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 gonewe have no staffno 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.
Ahwould she break from hencethat this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
For never henceforth shall I joy again
NeverOnevershall I see more joy!
I cannot weepfor 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;
Tearsthenfor babesblows and revenge for me!--
RichardI 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.
Nayif thou be that princely eagle's bird
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun;
For chair and dukedomthrone and kingdom say:
Either that is thineor else thou wert not his.
[March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUEwith their Army.]
How nowfair lords! What fare? what news abroad?
Great Lord of Warwickif we should recount
Our baleful newsand 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 lordthe Duke of York is slain!
OWarwickWarwick! 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 nowto 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
Tidingsas swiftly as the posts could run
Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
Ithen in Londonkeeper of the king
Muster'd my soldiersgather'd flocks of friends
And very well appointedas 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 makewe at Saint Alban's met
Our battles join'dand both sides fiercely fought;
Butwhether '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; butto 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 downas 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 brotherNorfolkand myself
In hastepost-hasteare come to join with you;
For in the marches herewe heardyou were
Making another head to fight again.
Where is the Duke of Norfolkgentle Warwick?
And when came George from Burgundy to England?
Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;
And for your brotherhe was lately sent
From your kind auntDuchess of Burgundy
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
'T was oddsbelikewhen valiant Warwick fled;
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit
But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.
Nor now my scandalRicharddost thou hear;
For thou shalt knowthis 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 mildnesspeaceand prayer.
I know it wellLord Warwickblame 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 lastsay ayand to itlords.
Whytherefore Warwick came to seek you out
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend melords. 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 powerI thinkis thirty thousand strong;
Nowif the help of Norfolk and myself
With all the friends that thoubrave Earl of March
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure
Will but amount to five and twenty thousand
WhyVia! 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.
AynowmethinksI hear great Warwick speak.
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day
That cries 'Retire' if Warwick bid him stay.
Lord Warwickon thy shoulder will I lean;
And when thou fail'st--as God forbid the hour!--
Must Edward fallwhich peril heaven forfend!
No longer Earl of Marchbut 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.
ThenCliffordwere thy heart as hard as steel
As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds
I come to pierce itor to give thee mine.
Then strike updrums!--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 warriorslet's away.
SCENE II. Before York
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRYQUEEN MARGARETthe
PRINCE OF WALESCLIFFORDand NORTHUMBERLAND
with drums and trumpets.]
Welcomemy lordto 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 heartmy lord?
Ayas the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck;
To see this sightit irks my very soul.--
Withhold revengedear God! 't is not my fault
Nor wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
My gracious liegethis 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 turnbeing 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.
Hebut a dukewould have his son a king
And raise his issue like a loving sire;
Thoubeing a kingblest 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
Yetin protection of their tender ones
Who hath not seen themeven 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 shamemy 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?'
Ahwhat a shame were this! Look on the boy
And let his manly facewhich promiseth
Successful fortunesteel thy melting heart
To hold thine ownand leave thine own with him.
Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
ButCliffordtell medidst 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.--
Ahcousin York! would thy best friends did know
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
My lordcheer 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 Plantagenetarise a knight;
And learn this lesson--draw thy sword in right.
My gracious fatherby your kingly leave
I'll draw it as apparent to the crown
And in that quarrel use it to the death.
Whythat is spoken like a toward prince.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Royal commandersbe in readiness;
For with a band of thirty thousand men
Comes Warwickbacking of the Duke of York
And in the townsas they do march along
Proclaims him kingand many fly to him.
Darraign your battlefor they are at hand.
I would your highness would depart the field;
The queen hath best success when you are absent.
Aygood my lordand leave us to our fortune.
Whythat's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.
Be it with resolution then to fight.
My royal fathercheer these noble lords
And hearten those that fight in your defence.
Unsheathe your swordgood father; cry'saint George!'
[March. Enter EDWARDGEORGERICHARDWARWICK
Nowperjur'd Henrywilt thou kneel for grace
And set thy diadem upon my head
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
Gorate thy minionsproud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?
I am his kingand he should bow his knee.
I was adopted heir by his consent;
Since whenhis oath is broke; foras I hear
Youthat are kingthough he do wear the crown
Have caus'd him by new act of parliament
To blot out me and put his own son in.
Who should succeed the father but the son?
Are you therebutcher?--OI cannot speak!
Aycrook-back; here I standto answer thee
Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
'T was you that kill'd young Rutlandwas it not?
Ayand old Yorkand yet not satisfied.
For God's sakelordsgive signal to the fight.
What say'st thouHenrywilt thou yield the crown?
Whyhow nowlong-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 flyand now 't is thine.
You said so much beforeand yet you fled.
'T was not your valourClifforddrove me thence.
Nonor your manhood that durst make you stay.
NorthumberlandI hold thee reverently.
Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Cliffordthat cruel child-killer.
I slew thy father; call'st thou him a child?
Aylike 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 wordsmy lordsand hear me speak.
Defy them thenor else hold close thy lips.
I pritheegive no limits to my tongue;
I am a kingand privileg'd to speak.
My liegethe wound that bred this meeting here
Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
Thenexecutionerunsheathe thy sword.
By him that made us allI am resolv'd
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
SayHenryshall I have my rightor no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day
That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.
If thou denytheir blood upon thy head;
For York in justice puts his armour on.
If that be right which Warwick says is right
There is no wrongbut every thing is right.
Whoever got theethere thy mother stands;
Forwell I wotthou 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 notknowing 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 kingand made the dauphin stoop;
Andhad 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 meekour title still had slept;
And wein 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
Yetknow thousince 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!
Nowrangling womanwe'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 toilas runners with a race
I lay me down a little while to breathe;
For strokes receiv'dand many blows repaid
Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength
Andspite of spiteneeds must I rest awhile.
Smilegentle heavenor strikeungentle death!
For this world frowns and Edward's sun is clouded.
How nowmy lord? what hap? what hope of good?
Our hap is lostour hope but sad despair;
Our ranks are broke and ruin follows us.
What counsel give you? whither shall we fly?
Bootless is flightthey follow us with wings;
And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.
AhWarwickwhy 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
'Warwickrevenge! brotherrevenge my death!'
Sounderneath 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 horsebecause I will not fly.
Why stand we like soft-hearted women here
Wailing our losses whiles the foe doth rage
And look uponas if the tragedy
Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above
I'll never pause againnever stand still
Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
O WarwickI do bend my knee with thine
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!--
Andere my knee rise from the earth's cold face
I throw my handsmine eyesmy heart to thee
Thou setter-up and plucker-down of kings
Beseeching theeif 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.--
Nowlordstake leave until we meet again
Where'er it bein heaven or in earth.
Brothergive me thy hand;--andgentle Warwick
Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
Ithat did never weepnow melt with woe
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.
Awayaway! Once moresweet lordsfarewell.
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 thrivepromise 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.]
NowCliffordI 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.
NowRichardI 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.]
NayWarwicksingle 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 shepherdblowing of his nails
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this waylike a mighty sea
Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that waylike the selfsame sea
Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind.
Sometime the flood prevailsand then the wind
Now one the betterthen another best
Both tugging to be victorsbreast 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 willthere be the victory!
For Margaret my queenand Clifford too
Have chid me from the battleswearing 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 hillas I do now
To carve out dials quaintlypoint 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 knownthen 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 minuteshoursdaysmonthsand years
Pass'd over to the end they were created
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ahwhat 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?
Oyesit doth; a thousand-fold it doth!
And to concludethe 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 caremistrustand treason wait on him.
[Alarum. Enter a Son that hath killed his fatherbringing in the
Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
This manwhom hand to hand I slew in fight
May be possessed with some store of crowns;
And Ithat haply take them from him now
May yet ere night yield both my life and them
To some man elseas 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 timesbegetting such events!
From London by the king was I press'd forth;
My fatherbeing the Earl of Warwick's man
Came on the part of Yorkpress'd by his master;
And Iwho at his hands receiv'd my life
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.--
Pardon meGodI knew not what I did;--
And pardonfatherfor 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.
Weepwretched manI'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts and eyeslike civil war
Be blind with tears and break o'ercharg'd with grief.
[Enter a Father who has killed his sonwith the body in his
Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me
Give me thy goldif thou hast any gold
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.--
But let me see;--is this our foeman's face?
Ahnonono! it is mine only son!--
Ahboyif any life be left in thee
Throw up thine eye; seesee what showers arise
Blown with the windy tempest of my heart
Upon thy wounds that kill mine eye and heart!--
OpityGodthis miserable age!--
What stratagemshow fellhow butcherly
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!--
O boythy 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 pitypity! gentle heavenpity!--
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 cheeksmethinkspresenteth.
Wither one roseand let the other flourish!
If you contenda thousand lives must wither.
How will my motherfor a father's death
Take on with me and ne'er be satisfied!
How will my wifefor slaughter of my son
Shed seas of tears and ne'er be satisfied!
How will the countryfor 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 sorrowmine ten times so much.
I'll bear thee hencewhere I may weep my fill.
[Exit with the body.]
These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet;
My heartsweet boyshall 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 theehaving 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 menmuch overgone with care
Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
[Alarums. Excursions. Enter QUEEN MARGARET
PRINCE OF WALESand EXETER.]
Flyfatherfly! for all your friends are fled
And Warwick rages like a chafed bull.
Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit.
Mount youmy lord; towards Berwick post amain.
Edward and Richardlike a brace of greyhounds
Having the fearful flying hare in sight
With fiery eyessparkling 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.
Naystay not to expostulate; make speed
Or else come after; I'll away before.
Naytake me with theegood sweet Exeter;
Not that I fear to staybut love to go
Whither the queen intends. Forward! away!
SCENE VI. Another Part of the Field
[A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORDwounded.]
Here burns my candle out; ayhere 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;
Andnow I fallthy tough commixtures melt
Impairing Henrystrengthening 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 Phoebushadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds
Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth!
AndHenryhadst 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;
Iand 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 plaintsand cureless are my wounds;
No way to flynor 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.--
ComeYork and RichardWarwickand the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosomssplit my breast.
[Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARDGEORGERICHARD
Now breathe welords; good fortune bids us pause
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.--
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen
That led calm Henrythough he were a king
As doth a sailfill'd with a fretting gust
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think youlordsthat Clifford fled with them?
No't is impossible he should escape;
Forthough 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 groanlike life and death's departing.
See who it is; andnow the battle's ended
If friend or foelet him be gently us'd.
Revoke that doom of mercyfor 't is Clifford
Whonot 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 fatherDuke of York.
From off the gates of York fetch down the head
Your father's headwhich Clifford placed there;
Instead whereoflet 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.--
SpeakClifforddost thou know who speaks to thee?--
Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life
And he nor sees nor hears uswhat we say.
Owould he did! and soperhapshe 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'stvex him with eager words.
Cliffordask mercyand obtain no grace.
Cliffordrepent in bootless penitence.
Clifforddevise excuses for thy faults.
While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
Thou didst love Yorkand I am son to York.
Thou pitiedst RutlandI will pity thee.
Where's Captain Margaret to fence you now?
They mock theeClifford; swear as thou wast wont.
What! not an oath? nay thenthe world goes hard
When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.--
I know by that he's dead; andby 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 offand with the issuing blood
Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
Aybut 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
Andhaving France thy friendthou 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 marriageso it please my lord.
Even as thou wiltsweet Warwicklet 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.--
RichardI will create thee Duke of Gloster;--
And Georgeof Clarence.--Warwickas ourself
Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
Let me be Duke of ClarenceGeorge of Gloster
For Gloster's dukedom is too ominous.
Tut! that's a foolish observation;
Richardbe Duke of Gloster. Now to London
To see these honours in possession.
SCENE I. A Forest in the North of England.
[Enter two Keeperswith 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 hillso both may shoot.
That cannot be; the noise of thy crossbow
Will scare the herdand so my shoot is lost.
Here stand we bothand aim we at the best;
Andfor 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 HENRYdisguisedwith a prayer-book.]
From Scotland am I stoleneven of pure love
To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
NoHarryHarry't is no land of thine;
Thy place is fill'dthy 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;
Nonot a man comes for redress of thee
For how can I help themand not myself?
Ayhere's a deer whose skin's a keeper's fee.
This is the quondam king; let's seize upon him.
Let me embrace theesour 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;
Andas I hearthe 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 sonyour 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 plaintsher brinish tears.
Aybut she's come to begWarwick 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 shepoor wretchfor grief can speak no more;
Whiles Warwick tells his titlesmooths the wrong
Inferreth arguments of mighty strength
Andin conclusionwins the king from her
With promise of his sisterand what else
To strengthen and support King Edward's place.
O Margaretthus 't will be! and thoupoor soul
Art then forsakenas thou went'st forlorn!
Saywhat art thouthat talk'st of kings and queens?
More than I seemand less than I was born to;
A man at leastfor less I should not be;
And men may talk of kingsand why not I?
Aybut thou talk'st as if thou wert a king.
Whyso I amin mind; and that's enough.
Butif thou be a kingwhere is thy crown?
My crown is in my heartnot 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.
Wellif you be a king crown'd with content
Your crown content and you must be contented
To go along with us; foras we think
You are the king King Edward hath depos'd
And we his subjectssworn in all allegiance
Will apprehend you as his enemy.
But did you never swearand break an oath?
Nonever such an oath; nor will not now.
Where did you dwell when I was King of England?
Here in this countrywhere 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 methenhave you not broke your oaths?
For we were subjects but while you were king.
Whyam I dead? do I not breathea man?
Ahsimple men! you know not what you swear.
Lookas 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 willthe king shall be commanded;
And be you kingscommandand 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 youin 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 willthat let your king perform;
And what he willI humbly yield unto.
SCENE II. The palace.
[Enter KING EDWARDGLOSTERCLARENCEand LADY GREY.]
Brother of Glosterat Saint Alban's field
This lady's husbandSir John Greywas 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!
Widowwe will consider of your suit
And come some other time to know our mind.
Right gracious lordI cannot brook delay;
May it please your highness to resolve me now
And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.
[Aside to Clarence.] Aywidow?
then I'll warrant you all your lands
An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
Fight closerorgood faithyou'll catch a blow.
[Aside to Gloster.] I fear her notunless she chance
[Aside to CLARENCE.] God forbid thatfor he'll take
How many children hast thouwidow? tell me.
[Aside to Gloster.] I think he means to beg a child of
[Aside to Clarence.] Naywhip me then; he'll rather
give her two.
Threemy 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.
Be pitifuldread lordand grant it then.
Lordsgive us leave; I'll try this widow's wit.
[Aside to Clarence.] Aygood 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 memadamdo you love your children?
Ayfull 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.
Nogracious lordexcept I cannot do it.
Aybut thou canst do what I mean to ask.
WhythenI will do what your grace commands.
He plies her hard; and much rain wears the marble.
As red as fire! naythen 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'dbecause I am a subject.
Whythenthy 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 meanmy loving liege.
AybutI fear mein another sense.
What lovethinkst thouI sue so much to get?
My love till deathmy humble thanksmy prayers;
That love which virtue begsand virtue grants.
Noby my trothI did not mean such love.
Whythenyou 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 atif I aim aright.
To tell thee plainI aim to lie with thee.
To tell you plainI had rather lie in prison.
Whythen thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.
Whythen 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.
Butmighty lordthis merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness of my suit;
Please you dismiss me either with ay or no.
Ayif thou wilt say ay to my request.
Noif thou dost say no to my demand.
Then nomy lord. My suit is at an end.
The widow likes him notshe 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 loveor else my queen.--
Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
'T is better said than donemy gracious lord;
I am a subject fit to jest withal
But far unfit to be a sovereign.
Sweet widowby 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 cavilwidow; 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 widowand thou hast some children;
Andby God's motherIbeing but a bachelor
Have other some; why't is a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
Answer no morefor thou shalt be my queen.
The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.
When he was made a shriver't was for shift.
Brothersyou muse what chat we two have had.
[Gloster and Clarence come forward.]
The widow likes it notfor she looks very sad.
You'd think it strange if I should marry her.
To whommy lord?
That would be ten days' wonderat the least.
That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
By so much is the wonder in extremes.
Welljest onbrothers; I can tell you both
Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.
[Enter a Nobleman.]
My gracious lordHenry your foe is taken
And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
See that he be convey'd unto the Tower.--
And go webrothersto the man that took him
To question of his apprehension.--
Widowgo you along.--Lordsuse her honourably.
[Exeunt King EdwardLady GreyClarenceand Nobleman.]
AyEdward will use women honourably.
Would he were wastedmarrowbonesand all
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring
To cross me from the golden time I look for!
And yetbetween my soul's desire and me--
The lustful Edward's title buried--
Is ClarenceHenryand 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!
Whythen 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
Sayinghe'll lade it dry to have his way.
So do I wish the crownbeing 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 quickmy heart o'erweens too much
Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
Wellsay 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.
Whylove forswore me in my mother's womb;
Andfor 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 chaosor an unlick'd bear-whelp
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be belov'd?
Omonstrous faultto harbour such a thought!
Thensince this earth affords no joy to me
But to commandto checkto o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself
I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown
Andwhiles I liveto 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 Ilike one lost in a thorny wood
That rends the thornsand is rent with the thorns
Seeking a wayand 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.
WhyI can smileand 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 thisand cannot get a crown?
Tutwere it farther offI'll pluck it down.
SCENE III. France. The King's Palace.
[Flourish. Enter LEWISthe French Kingand LADY BONAattended:
the King takes his state. Then enter QUEEN MARGARETPRINCE
EDWARDand the EARL OF OXFORD; LEWIS rising as she enters.]
Fair Queen of Englandworthy Margaret
Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state
And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.
Nomighty King of France; now Margaret
Must strike her sail and learn a while to serve
Where kings command. I wasI 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.
Whysayfair queenwhence springs this deep
From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
And stops my tonguewhile heart is drown'd in cares.
Whate'er it bebe thou still like thyself
And sit thee by our side; yield not thy neck
[Seats her by him.]
To fortune's yokebut let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
Be plainQueen Margaretand 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.
Nowthereforebe it known to noble Lewis
That Henrysole 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 EdwardDuke of York
Usurps the regal title and the seat
Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
This is the cause that Ipoor Margaret
With this my sonPrince EdwardHenry's heir
Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
And if thou fail usall our hope is done.
Scotland hath will to helpbut cannot help;
Our people and our peers are both misled
Our treasure seiz'dour soldiers put to flight
Andas thou seestourselves in heavy plight.
Renowned queenwith patience calm the storm
While we bethink a means to break it off.
The more we staythe stronger grows our foe.
The more I staythe more I'll succour thee.
Obut impatience waiteth on true sorrow!--
And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
What's he approacheth boldly to our presence?
Our Earl of WarwickEdward's greatest friend.
Welcomebrave Warwick. What brings thee to France?
[He descends. Queen Margaret rises.]
Aynow begins a second storm to rise
For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
From worthy Edwardking of Albion
My lord and sovereignand thy vowed friend
I comein kindness and unfeigned love
Firstto do greetings to thy royal person;
And thento crave a league of amity;
And lastlyto confirm that amity
With nuptial knotif thou vouchsafe to grant
That virtuous Lady Bonathy fair sister
To England's king in lawful marriage.
[Aside.] If that go forwardHenry's hope is
[To BONA.] Andgracious madamin our king's behalf
I am commandedwith your leave and favour
Humbly to kiss your handand with my tongue
To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart
Where famelate 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 deceitbred 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 standsKing Henry's son.
Look thereforeLewisthat by this league and marriage
Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour;
For though usurpers sway the rule awhile
Yet heavens are justand time suppresseth wrongs.
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;
Andafter John of GauntHenry the Fourth
Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
Andafter that wise princeHenry the Fifth
Who by his prowess conquered all France.
From these our Henry lineally descends.
Oxfordhow 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 restyou tell a pedigree
Of threescore and two years--a silly time
To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
WhyWarwickcanst thou speak against thy liege
Whom thou obeyedst thirty and six years
And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
Can Oxfordthat did ever fence the right
Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
For shame Leave Henryand call Edward king.
Call him my king by whose injurious doom
My elder brotherthe Lord Aubrey Vere
Was done to death? and more than somy father
Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years
When nature brought him to the door of death?
NoWarwickno; while life upholds this arm
This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
And I the house of York.
Queen MargaretPrince Edwardand Oxford
Vouchsafe at our request to stand aside
While I use further conference with Warwick.
Heavens grant that Warwick's words bewitch him
[They stand aloof.]
NowWarwicktell meeven 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 furtherall 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 envybut not from disdain
Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
Nowsisterlet 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.
ThenWarwickthus: 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 nearQueen Margaretand be a witness
That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
To Edwardbut 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 Scotlandat his ease
Wherehaving nothingnothing can he lose.
And as for you yourselfour quondam queen
You have a father able to maintain you
And better 't were you troubled him than France.
Peaceimpudent and shameless Warwick
Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!
I will not hencetillwith my talk and tears
Both full of truthI 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.]
Warwickthis is some post to us or thee.
[Enter the Post.]
My lord ambassadorthese letters are for you.
Sent from your brother Marquess Montague.--
These from our king unto your majesty.--
Andmadamthese for youfrom 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.
Naymark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled;
I hope all's for the best.
Warwickwhat are thy news?--and yoursfair queen?
Minesuch as fill my heart with unhop'd joys.
Minefull of sorrow and heart's discontent.
What! has your king married the Lady Grey
And nowto 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 LewisI here protestin 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 kingfor he dishonours me
But most himselfif 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 queenlet 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.
Warwickthese 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 friendayhis 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 brotherhow shall Bona be reveng'd
But by thy help to this distressed queen?
Renowned princehow shall poor Henry live
Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
My quarrel and this English queen's are one.
And minefair Lady Bonajoins with yours.
And mine with hersand thineand Margaret's.
Thereforeat lastI firmly am resolv'd
You shall have aid.
Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
ThenEngland's messengerreturn in post
And tell false Edwardthy 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 himin 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.
Thou and Oxfordwith five thousand men
Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle;
Andas occasion servesthis noble queen
And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
Yetere thou gobut 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.
YesI agreeand thank you for your motion.--
Son Edwardshe is fair and virtuous;
Therefore delay notgive thy hand to Warwick
And with thy hand thy faith irrevocable
That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.
YesI accept herfor she well deserves it;
And hereto pledge my vowI give my hand.
[He gives his hand to Warwick.]
Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied
And thouLord Bourbonour 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 GLOSTERCLARENCESOMERSETand MONTAGUE.]
Now tell mebrother Clarencewhat 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 lordsforbear this talk; here comes the King.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARDattended; LADY GREYas Queen;
And his well-chosen bride.
I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
Nowbrother Clarencehow like you our choice
That you stand pensive as half malcontent?
As well as Lewis of Franceor 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'sand must have my will.
And shall have your willbecause our King;
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
Yeabrother Richardare you offended too?
No; God forbid that I should wish them sever'd
Whom God hath join'd together; ayand '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 tooSomerset and Montague
Speak freely what you think.
Then this is mine opinion--that King Lewis
Becomes your enemyfor mocking him
About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
And Warwickdoing 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.
Whyknows 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 Godand 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.
Aywhat of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.
And yetmethinksyour 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.
Alaspoor 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 tarryEdward will be king
And not be tied unto his brother's will.
My lordsbefore it pleas'd his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen
Do me but rightand 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 dislikesto whom I would be pleasing
Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
My loveforbear to fawn upon their frowns.
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee
So long as Edward is thy constant friend
And their true sovereignwhom they must obey?
Naywhom they shall obeyand love thee too
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they doyet will I keep thee safe
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
[Aside.] I hearyet say not muchbut think the more.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Nowmessengerwhat letters or what news
My sovereign liegeno lettersand few words
But such as Iwithout your special pardon
Dare not relate.
Go towe pardon thee; thereforein 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 Edwardthy 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 wordsutt'red with mild disdain:
'Tell himin hope he'll prove a widower shortly
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.'
I blame not hershe 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?
Hemore incens'd against your majesty
Than all the restdischarg'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?
WellI will arm mebeing thus forewarn'd;
They shall have warsand pay for their presumption.
But sayis Warwick friends with Margaret?
Aygracious sovereign; they are so link'd in
That young Prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.
Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.
Nowbrother kingfarewelland sit you fast
For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter;
Thatthough I want a kingdomyet in marriage
I may not prove inferior to yourself.--
You that love me and Warwickfollow me.
[Exit Clarenceand Somerset follows.]
[Aside.] Not I.
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for the love of Edwardbut 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 Staffordyou in our behalf
Go levy men and make prepare for war;
They are alreadyor quickly will be landed.
Myself in person will straight follow you.--
[Exeunt Pembroke and Stafford.]
Butere I goHastings and Montague
Resolve my doubt. You twainof all the rest
Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance;
Tell me if you love Warwick more than me?
If it be sothen 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!
Nowbrother Richardwill you stand by us?
Ayin despite of all that shall withstand you.
Whyso! then am I sure of victory.
Nowthereforelet 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 memy lordall hitherto goes well;
The common people by numbers swarm to us.
But see where Somerset and Clarence comes!--
[Enter CLARENCE and SOMERSET.]
Speak suddenlymy lordsare we all friends?
Fear not thatmy lord.
Thengentle Clarencewelcome unto Warwick;--
And welcomeSomerset.--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 ClarenceEdward's brother
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings.
But welcomesweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine.
And now what rests butin 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 wewell 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 thenlet's on our way in silent sort;
For Warwick and his friendsGod and Saint George!
SCENE III. Edward's Camp near Warwick.
[Enter certain Watchmento guard the KING'S tent.]
Come onmy masterseach man take his stand;
The king by this is set him down to sleep.
Whatwill he not to bed?
Whyno; for he hath made a solemn vow
Never to lie and take his natural rest
Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress'd.
To-morrowthenbelike shall be the day
If Warwick be so near as men report.
But sayI praywhat nobleman is that
That with the king here resteth in his tent?
'T is the Lord Hastingsthe king's chiefest friend.
Ois 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 honourbecause more dangerous.
Aybut 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?
and Forces silently.]
This is his tent; and see wherestand his guard.
Couragemy masters! honour now or never!
But follow meand Edward shall be ours.
Who goes there?
Stayor thou diest.
[Warwick and the rest cry all'Warwick! Warwick!' and
set upon the guardwho flycrying 'Arm! Arm!' Warwick
and the rest following them.]
[Drum beating and trumpet sounding; enter WARWICK
and the restbringing 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! whyWarwickwhen we parted
Thou call'dst me king?
Aybut 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?
Yeabrother of Clarenceart thou here too?
Naythen I see that Edward needs must down.--
YetWarwickin 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 indeedthou but the shadow.--
My Lord of Somersetat my request
See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey'd
Unto my brotherArchbishop 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.--
Nowfor a while farewellgood Duke of York.
What fates imposethat men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
[Exit King Edwardled out; Somerset with him.]
What now remainsmy lordsfor us to do
But march to London with our soldiers?
Aythat'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.]
Madamwhat makes you in this sudden change?
Whybrother Riversare you yet to learn
What late misfortune is befallen King Edward?
What! loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
Nobut the loss of his own royal person.
Then is my sovereign slain?
Ayalmost slainfor he is taken prisoner
Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard
Or by his foe surpris'd at unawares
Andas I further have to understand
Is new committed to the Bishop of York
Fell Warwick's brother and by that our foe.
These newsI must confessare full of grief;
Yetgracious madambear it as you may.
Warwick may losethat now hath won the day.
Till thenfair 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;
Ayayfor 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 fruittrue heir to the English crown.
Butmadamwhere 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 thereforelet us fly while we may fly;
If Warwick take uswe are sure to die.
SCENE V. A park near Middleham Castle in Yorkshire
[Enter GLOSTERHASTINGSSIR WILLIAM STANLEYand others.]
Nowmy Lord Hastingsand 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 Kingmy brother
Is prisoner to the Bishop hereat whose hands
He hath good usage and great liberty
And oftenbut 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 friendswith horse and men
To set him free from his captivity.
[Enter KING EDWARD and a Huntsman.]
This waymy lordfor this way lies the game.
Naythis wayman; seewhere the huntsmen
Nowbrother of GlosterLord Hastingsand the rest
Stand you thus close to steal the bishop's deer?
Brotherthe time and case requireth haste;
Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
But whither shall we then?
To Lynnmy lordand shipt from thence to Flanders.
Well guess'dbelieve mefor that was my meaning.
StanleyI will requite thy forwardness.
But wherefore stay we? 't is no time to talk.
Huntsmanwhat 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.
Bishopfarewell; shield thee from Warwick's frown
And pray that I may repossess the crown.
SCENE VI. London. The Tower
[Enter KING HENRYCLARENCEWARWICKSOMERSETYoung
RICHMONDOXFORDMONTAGUELieutenant of the Towerand
Master Lieutenantnow that God and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat
And turn'd my captive state to liberty
My fear to hopemy 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 whatlieutenant? for well using me?
Naybe thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness
For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
Aysuch a pleasure as incaged birds
Conceive whenafter many moody thoughts
At last by notes of household harmony
They quite forget their loss of liberty.--
ButWarwickafter God thou sett'st me free
And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
He was the authorthou the instrument.
Thereforethat 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
Warwickalthough 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.
NoWarwickthou 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 thereforeI yield thee my free consent.
And I choose Clarence only for protector.
Warwick and Clarencegive me both your hands.
Now join your handsand 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.
Whythenthough loathyet I must be content.
We'll yoke togetherlike a double shadow
To Henry's bodyand supply his place--
I mean in bearing weight of government
While he enjoys the honour and his ease.
AndClarencenow 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.
Aytherein 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 queenand my son Edward
Be sent for to return from France with speed;
Fortill I see them hereby doubtful fear
My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
It shall be donemy sovereignwith all speed.
My Lord of Somersetwhat youth is that
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
My liegeit is young HenryEarl of Richmond.
Come hitherEngland'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 sceptreand himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
Make much of himmy lords; for this is he
Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
[Enter a Messenger.]
What newsmy friend?
That Edward is escaped from your brother
And fledas he hears sinceto Burgundy.
Unsavoury news! but how made he escape?
He was convey'd by Richard Duke of Gloster
And the Lord Hastingswho 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 hencemy sovereignto provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.
[Exeunt King HenryWarwickClarenceLieutenantand
My lordI 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 mein these conflicts
What may befall himto his harm and ours;
ThereforeLord Oxfordto 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 thereforelet's about it speedily.
SCENE VII. Before York
[Enter KING EDWARDGLOSTERHASTINGSand Forces.]
Nowbrother RichardLord Hastingsand 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 remainswe being thus arriv'd
From Ravenspurg haven before the gates of York
But that we enter as into our dukedom?
The gates made fast!--BrotherI like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
Tushman! abodements must not now affright us;
By fair or foul means we must enter in
For hither will our friends repair to us.
My liegeI'll knock once more to summon them.
[Enter on the wallsthe Mayor of York and his Brethren.]
My lordswe were forewarned of your coming
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
But master mayorif Henry be your king
Yet Edwardat the leastis Duke of York.
Truemy good lord; I know you for no less.
Whyand 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.
Whymaster mayorwhy stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.
Aysay you so? the gates shall then be open'd.
[Exeunt from above.]
A wisestout captainand soon persuaded.
The good old man would fain that all were well
So 't were not long of him; butbeing enter'd
I doubt notIbut we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
[Enter the Mayor and two Aldermenbelow.]
Somaster mayor; these gates must not be shut
But in the night or in the time of war.
What! fear notmanbut 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.]
Brotherthis is Sir John Montgomery
Our trusty friend unless I be deceiv'd.
WelcomeSir John; but why come you in arms?
To help King Edward in his time of storm
As every loyal subject ought to do.
Thanksgood Montgomery; but we now forget
Our title to the crownand only claim
Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.
Then fare you wellfor I will hence again;
I came to serve a kingand not a duke.--
Drummerstrike upand let us march away.
[A march begun.]
NaystaySir Johnawhileand 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?
Whybrotherwherefore stand you on nice points?
When we grow strongerthen 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.--
Brotherwe 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.
Aynow my sovereign speaketh like himself
And now will I be Edward's champion.
Soundtrumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd.--
Comefellow-soldiermake thou proclamation.
[Gives him a paper. Flourish.]
[Reads.] 'Edward the Fourthby the grace of God
King of England and Franceand 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!
Thanksbrave Montgomeryand thanks unto you all;
If fortune serve meI'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.--
Ahfroward Clarence! how evil it beseems thee
To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
Yetas we maywe'll meet both thee and Warwick.--
Come onbrave soldiers; doubt not of the day
Andthat once gottendoubt not of large pay.
SCENE VIII. London. The Palace.
[Flourish. Enter KING HENRYWARWICKCLARENCEMONTAGUE
What counsellords? 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
Whichbeing suffer'drivers cannot quench.
In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends
Not mutinous in peaceyet bold in war.
Those will I muster up;--and thouson Clarence
Shalt stir up in SuffolkNorfolkand in Kent
The knights and gentlemen to come with thee.--
Thoubrother Montaguein Buckingham
Northamptonand in Leicestershire shalt find
Men well inclin'd to hear what thou command'st. --
And thoubrave Oxfordwondrous well belov'd
In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends.--
My sovereignwith 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 lordstake leave and stand not to reply.--
Farewellmy Hectorand my Troy's true hope.
In sign of truth I kiss your highness' hand.
Well-minded Clarencebe thou fortunate!
Comfortmy lord;--and so I take my leave.
And thus [kissing Henry's hand] I seal my truthand bid
Sweet Oxfordand my loving Montague
And all at onceonce more a happy farewell.
Farewellsweet lords; let's meet at Coventry.
[Exeunt WarwickClarendonOxfordand Montague.]
Here at the palace will I rest a while.--
Cousin of Exeterwhat 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 revengethough they much err'd;
Thenwhy should they love Edward more than me?
NoExeterthese 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!']
Harkharkmy lord! what shouts are these?
[Enter KING EDWARDGLOSTERand 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.]
Andlordstowards Coventry bend we our course
Where peremptory Warwick now remains.
The sun shines hotandif we use delay
Cold biting winter mars our hop'd-for hay.
Away betimesbefore his forces join
And take the great-grown traitor unawares.
Brave warriorsmarch amain towards Coventry.
SCENE I. Coventry.
[Enterupon the wallsWARWICKthe Mayor of Coventrytwo
Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?--
How far hence is thy lordmine honest fellow?
By this at Dunsmoremarching hitherward.
How far off is our brother Montague?
Where is the post that came from Montague?
By this at Daintrywith a puissant troop.
[Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.]
SaySomervillewhat says my loving son?
Andby thy guesshow 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 hismy lord; here Southam lies.
The drum your honour hears marcheth from Warwick.
Who should that be? belikeunlook'd-for friends.
They are at handand you shall quickly know.
[March. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARDGLOSTERand Forces.]
Gotrumpetto the walls and sound a parle.
See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
Ounbid spite! Is sportful Edward come?
Where slept our scoutsor how are they seduc'd
That we could hear no news of his repair?
NowWarwickwilt 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.
Nayratherwilt 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 thoughtat leasthe would have said the king;
Or did he make the jest against his will?
Is not a dukedomsira goodly gift?
Ayby my faithfor 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.
Whythen't is mineif but by Warwick's gift.
Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight
AndweaklingWarwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my kingWarwick his subject.
But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner;
Andgallant Warwickdo but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?
Alas! that Warwick had no more forecast
Butwhiles 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 oneyou'll meet him in the Tower.
'T is even so; yet you are Warwick still.
ComeWarwicktake the time; kneel downkneel down.
Naywhen? strike nowor 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 sailto strike to thee.
Sail how thou cansthave wind and tide thy friend
This handfast wound about thy coal-black hair
Shallwhiles 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 OXFORDwith Forces.]
O cheerful colours! see where Oxford comes.
[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 arrayfor they no doubt
Will issue out again and bid us battle;
If notthe city being but of small defence
We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.
OwelcomeOxfordfor we want thy help.
[Enter MONTAGUEwith Forces.]
[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'dthe greater victory;
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.
[Enter SOMERSETwith forces.]
[He and his forces enter the city.]
Two of thy nameboth Dukes of Somerset
Have sold their lives unto the House of York;
And thou shalt be the third if this sword hold.
[Enter CLARENCEwith Forces.]
And lowhere 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.]
ComeClarencecome; thou wilt if Warwick call.
Father of Warwickknow you what this means?
[Taking the red rose out of his hat.]
Look hereI 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. Whytrow'st thouWarwick
That Clarence is so harshso bluntunnatural
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
Thatto deserve well at my brother's hands
I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe
With resolutionwhereso'er I meet thee--
As I will meet theeif thou stir abroad--
To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
And soproud-hearted WarwickI defy thee
And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.--
Pardon meEdwardI will make amends;--
AndRicharddo not frown upon my faults
For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
Nowwelcome moreand ten times more belov'd
Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate.
Welcomegood Clarence; this is brother-like.
O passing traitorperjur'd and unjust!
WhatWarwickwilt 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 battleEdwardif thou dar'st.
YesWarwickEdward dares and leads the way.--
Lordsto the field! Saint George and victory!
SCENE II. A Field of Battle near Barnet.
[Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARDbringing in
Solie thou there; die thouand die our fear
For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.--
NowMontaguesit fast; I seek for thee
That Warwick's bones may keep thine company.
Ah! who is nigh? come to mefriend or foe
And tell me who is victorYork or Warwick.
Why ask I that? my mangled body shows;
My bloodmy want of strengthmy sick heart shows
That I must yield my body to the earth
Andby my fallthe 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 eyesthat 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 browsnow 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?
Lonow my glory smear'd in dust and blood!
My parksmy walksmy manors that I had
Even now forsake meand of all my lands
Is nothing left me but my body's length.
Whywhat is pomprulereignbut earth and dust?
And live we how we canyet die we must.
[Enter OXFORD and SOMERSET.]
AhWarwickWarwick! 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. Ahcouldst thou fly!
Whythen I would not fly.--AhMontague!
If thou be theresweet brothertake my hand
And with thy lips keep in my soul awhile.
Thou lov'st me not; forbrotherif thou did'st
Thy tears would wash this coldcongealed blood
That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
Come quicklyMontagueor I am dead.
AhWarwickMontague 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 saidand more he spoke
Which sounded like a clamour in a vault
That might not be distinguish'd; but at last
I well might heardelivered with a groan--
Sweet rest his soul!--Flylordsand save yourselves;
For Warwick bids you all farewellto meet in heaven.
Awayawayto 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 CLARENCEGLOSTER
and the rest.]
Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course
And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory.
Butin the midst of this bright-shining day
I spy a blacksuspiciousthreatEning cloud
That will encounter with our glorious sun
Ere he attain his easeful western bed.
I meanmy lordsthose powers that the Queen
Hath rais'd in Gallia have arriv'd our coast
Andas we hearmarch 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 Somersetwith Oxfordfled to her;
If she have time to breathebe 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.
Wehaving now the best at Barnet field
Will thither straightfor willingness rids way;
Andas we marchour 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 MARGARETPRINCE EDWARDSOMERSET
Great lordswise 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 brokethe 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 helmand 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?
Ahwhat a shame! ahwhat 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?
Whyis not Oxford here another anchor
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
Andthough unskilfulwhy 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 coursethough 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; whythere you quickly sink;
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off
Or else you famish--that's a threefold death.
This speak Ilordsto 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 waveswith sandsand rocks.
Whycourage then! what cannot be avoided
'T were childish weakness to lament or fear.
Methinksa woman of this valiant spirit
Shouldif a coward heard her speak these words
Infuse his breast with magnanimity
And make himnakedfoil a man at arms.
I speak not this as doubting any here;
Fordid 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.--
Obrave 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 bedand like the owl by day
If he arisebe mock'd and wonder'd at.
Thanksgentle Somerset.--Sweet Oxfordthanks.
And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Prepare youlordsfor Edward is at hand
Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
I thought no less; it is his policy
To haste thus fastto find us unprovided.
But he's deceiv'd; we are in readiness.
This cheers my heartto see your forwardness.
Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
[Flourish and march. Enter KING EDWARDCLARENCE
Brave followersyonder stands the thorny wood
Whichby 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
Forwell I wotye blaze to burn them out.
Give signal to the fightand to itlords.
Lordsknightsand gentlemenwhat I should say
My tears gainsay; for every word I speak
Ye see I drink the water of my eyes.
Thereforeno more but this: Henryyour sovereign
Is prisoner to the foehis state usurp'd
His realm a slaughter-househis subjects slain
His statutes cancell'dand his treasure spent;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice; thenin God's namelords
Be valiant and give signal to the fight.
[Exeunt both armies.]
SCENE V. Another part of the Field.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARDCLARENCEGLOSTERand Forces;
With QUEEN MARGARETOXFORDand SOMERSETas prisoners.]
Nowhere a period of tumultuous broils.
Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight;
For Somersetoff with his guilty head.
Gobear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
For my partI'll not trouble thee with words.
Nor Ibut stoop with patience to my fortune.
[Exeunt Oxford and Somersetguarded.]
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 rewardand he his life?
It is; and lowhere 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?--
Edwardwhat satisfaction canst thou make
For bearing armsfor stirring up my subjects
And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
Speak like a subjectproudambitious York!
Suppose that I am now my father's mouth;
Resign thy chairand where I stand kneel thou
Whilst I propose the selfsame words to thee
Whichtraitorthou wouldst have me answer to.
Ahthy 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 heavenbratI'll plague you for that word.
Aythou wast born to be a plague to men.
For God's saketake away this captive scold.
Naytake away this scolding crook-back rather.
Peacewilful boyor I will charm your tongue.
Untutor'd ladthou 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 bettertraitors as ye are;--
And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
Take thatthe likeness of this railer here.
Sprawl'st thou? take thatto end thy agony.
And there's for twitting me with perjury.
Okill me too!
[Offers to kill her.]
HoldRichardhold! 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.
Clarenceexcuse me to the kingmy brother.
I'll hence to London on a serious matter;
Ere ye come therebe sure to hear some news.
The Tower! the Tower!
O Ned! sweet Ned! speak to thy motherboy.
Canst thou not speak?--O traitors! murtherers!
They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all
Did not offendnor were not worthy blame
If this foul deed were by to equal it.
He was a man: thisin respecta child
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murthererthat I may name it?
Nonomy heart will burstan if I speak;
And I will speakthat so my heart may burst.--
Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals!
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
You have no childrenbutchers! if you had
The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse;
Butif you ever chance to have a child
Look in his youth to have him so cut off
Asdeathsmenyou have rid this sweet young prince!
Away with her! gobear her hence perforce.
Naynever bear me hencedispatch me here;
Here sheathe thy swordI'll pardon thee my death.
What! wilt thou not?--thenClarencedo it thou.
By heavenI will not do thee so much ease.
Good Clarencedo; sweet Clarencedo thou do
Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
Aybut thou usest to forswear thyself;
'T was sin beforebut now 't is charity.
What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's butcher
Hard-favour'd Richard?--Richardwhere art thou?
Thou art not here; murther is thy alms-deed
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er putt'st back.
AwayI say! I charge yebear her hence.
So come to you and yours as to this prince!
[She is taken out.]
Where's Richard gone?
To Londonall in postandas 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 thanksand let's away to London
And see our gentle queen how well she fares.
By thisI hopeshe hath a son for me.
SCENE VI. London. The Tower.
[KING HENRY is discovered sitting with a book in his handthe
Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER.]
Good daymy lord. What! at your book so hard?
Aymy good lord;--my lordI should say rather.
'T is sin to flatter; 'good' was little better.
Good Gloster and good devil were alike
And both preposterous; thereforenot good lord.
Sirrahleave 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 Ithe hapless male to one sweet bird
Have now the fatal object in my eye
Where my poor young was lim'dwas caughtand kill'd.
Whywhat a peevish fool was that of Crete
That taught his son the office of a fowl!
And yetfor all his wingsthe fool was drown'd.
IDaedalus; my poor boyIcarus;
Thy fatherMinosthat denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy
Thy brother Edward; and thyselfthe sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ahkill me with thy weaponnot 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 persecutorI am surethou art;
If murdering innocents be executing
Whythen 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 birthan evil sign;
The night-crow criedaboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'dand 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;
Andif the rest be true which I have heard
I'll hear no more. Dieprophetin thy speech.
For thisamongst the restwas I ordain'd.
Ayand for much more slaughter after this.
OGod forgive my sinsand pardon thee!
What! will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
Seehow my sword weeps for the poor King's death!
Omay such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfall of our house!--
If any spark of life be yet remaining
Downdown to hell; and say I sent thee thither
[Stabs him again.]
Ithat have neither pitylovenor 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 reasonthink yeto make haste
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried
'OJesus bless ushe is born with teeth!'
And so I waswhich plainly signified
That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.
Thensince the heavens have shap'd my body so
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brotherI 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.--
Clarencebeware! 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 thento purge his fearI'll be thy death.
King Henry and the prince his son are gone;
Clarencethy turn is nextand then the rest
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room
And triumphHenryin thy day of doom.
[Exit with the body.]
SCENE 7. London. The Palace.
[KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his throne; QUEEN ELIZABETH
with the infant PrinceCLARENCEGlosterHASTINGSand
Once more we sit in England's royal throne
Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemenlike to autumn's corn
Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride!
Three Dukes of Somersetthreefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffordsas 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 bearsWarwick 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 hitherBessand let me kiss my boy.--
Young Nedfor 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 Glosterlove my lovely queen;
And kiss your princely nephewbrothers both.
The duty that I owe unto your Majesty
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
Thanksnoble Clarence; worthy brotherthanks.
Andthat I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.--
[Aside.] To say the truthso Judas kiss'd his Master
And criedall 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?
Reignierher fatherto 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 triumphsmirthful comic shows
Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
Sound drums and trumpets!--farewell sour annoy!
For hereI hopebegins our lasting joy.