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SCENE I-London. The Parliament House. Drums. Some soldiers of York's party break in. Then, enter the Duke of York, Edward, Richard, Norfolk, Montague, Warwick, and others, with white roses in their hats.
I WONDER, how the king escap'd our hands. York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north,
He slily stole away, and left his men : Whereat the great lord of Northumberland, Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat, 'Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself, 'Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breast, 'Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in, Were by the swords of common soldiers slain. Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham, Is either slain, or wounded dangerous: I cleft his beaver with a downright blow; "That this is true, father, behold his blood. [Showing his bloody sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood, [To York, showing his. Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did. [Throwing down the duke of Somerset's head. *York. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my
What, is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ?
Sir John Mortimer, uncles to the duke of York. Sir Hugh Mortimer, Henry, earl of Richmond, a youth. Lord Rivers, brother to Lady Grey. Sir William Stanley. Sir John Montgomery. Sir John Somerville. Tutor to Rutland. Mayor of York. Lieutenant of the Tower. A Nobleman. Two Keepers. A Huntsman. A Son that has killed his father. A Father that has killed his son.
Lady Grey, afterwards queen to Edward IV. Bona, sister to the French queen.
Soldiers, and other attendants on King Henry and King Edward, Messengers, Watchmen, &c.
Scene, during part of the third act, in France, during all the rest of the play, in England.
War. And so do I.-Victorious prince of York, Before I see thee seated in that throne Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, vow by heaven, these eyes shall never close. This is the palace of the fearful king, And this the regal seat: possess it, York: For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs'. York. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will; For hither we have broken in by force. Norf. We'll all assist you; he, that flies, shall die. York. Thanks, gentle Norfolk.-Stay by me, my lords;
And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night. War. And, when the king comes, offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.
But little thinks we shall be of her council:
War. The bloody parliament shall this Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king; And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
York. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute; I mean to take possession of my right.
War. Neither the king, nor he that loves him best, The proudest he that holds up Lancaster, Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells,
(1) Hawks had sometimes little bells hung on them, perhaps to dare the birds; that is, to fright them from rising.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. [Warwick leads York to the throne, who seats himself.
York. Will you, we show our title to the crown?
red roses in their hats.
Enter King Henry, Clifford, Northum-Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York; berland, Westmoreland, Exeter, and others, with Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, earl of March: I am the son of Henry the Fifth, Who made the dauphin and the French to stoop, And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces. War. Talk not of France, sith' thou hast lost it all. K. Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I; When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old. Rich. You are old enough now, and yet, methinks you lose :
K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
West. What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:
My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it.
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural
K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
'York. It must and shall be so. Content thyself. War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king. West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster: And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
K. Hen. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave to speak.
War. Plantagenet shall beak first :-hear him,
And be you silent and attentive too,
Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat?
Ay, and their colours-often borne in France;
War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
York. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.
'K. Hen. An if he may, then am I lawful king:
York. He rose against him, being his sovereign,
War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Exe. No; for he could not so resign his crown,
'K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my
York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown :-
[He stamps, and the soldiers show themselves. 'K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word;
'Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs, And thou shalt reign in quiet whilst thou liv'st.
K. Hen. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Clif. What wrong is this unto the prince your son?
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these
*West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate
* In whose cold blood no spark of honour 'bides.
Exe. They seek revenge, and therefore will not
K. Hen. Ah, Exeter!
Why should you sigh, my lord?
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;
York. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
War. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers.
Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me, I will follow thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay
'Q. Mar. Who can be patient in such extremes? * Ah, wretched man! would I had died a maid, *And never seen thee, never borne thee son, *Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father! Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus? * Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I; *Or felt that pain which I did for him once; *Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood; Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there,
Rather than made that savage duke thine heir, *And disinherited thine only son.
*Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me:
*The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
*Q. Mar. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt be forc'd?
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours,
Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already; get
Enter Queen Margaret and the Prince of Wales.
I'll see your grace: till then, I'll follow her.
Q. Mur. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies. Prince. When I return with victory from the field,
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!. Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke; Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle, *Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire, Tire on the flesh of me, and of my son! *The loss of those three lords torments my heart: *I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair;Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger. *Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. [Exeunt.
SCENE 11-A room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire. Enter Edward, Richard, and Montague.
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me ;My brother Montague shall post to London : *Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest, *Whom we have left protectors of the king,
• Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me With powerful policy strengthen themselves, *And trust not simple Henry, nor his oaths.
Edw. No, I can better play the orator.
*Mont. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not: * And thus most humbly I do take my leave. [Ex.
'York. Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife?
'What is your quarrel? how began it first? Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention. York. About what?
'Rich. About that which concerns your grace, and us;
The crown of England, father, which is yours.
York. Mine, boy? not till king Henry be dead. *Rich. Your right depends not on his life, or death.
*Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now: *By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe, *It will outrun you, father, in the end.
York. I took an oath, that he should quietly
Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be broken:
I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year. 'Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn.
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war. Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
• York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible. Rich An oath is of no moment, being not took 'Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place; Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose, Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous. Therefore, to arms. * And, father, do but think, *How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown; * Within whose circuit is Elysium, *And all that poets feign of bliss and joy. *Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest, *Until the white rose, that I wear, be died Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart. York. Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.
'Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.-
But that I seek occasion how to rise;
Enter a Messenger.
t But, stay What news? Why com'st thou in such post?
• Mess. The queen, with all the northern earls and lords,
Intend here to besiege you in your castle : She is hard by with twenty thousand men; And therefore fortify your hold, my lord. *York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou, that we fear them?
(1) Of sound judgment.
Enter Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer.
York. Sir John, and sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles!
You are come to Sandal in a happy hour; The army of the queen mean to besiege us. Sir John. She shail not need, we'll meet her in the field.
Enter Clifford, and Soldiers.
Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy
life. As for the brat of this accursed duke, Whose father slew my father, he shall die, Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him company. Clif. Soldiers, away with him.
Tut. Ah, Clifford! murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man. [Exit, forced off by Soldiers. Clif How now! is he dead already? Or, is it fear, That makes him close his eyes?—I'll open them.
Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch That trembles under his devouring paws: And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey; And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword, And not with such a cruel threat'ning look. I am too mean a subject for thy wrath, Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die ;
Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live. Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should
Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again; He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and thine,
Were not revenge sufficient for me;
And till I root out their accursed line, 'And leave not one alive, I live in hell. Therefore
[Lifting his hand. Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death :To thee I pray; Sweet Clifford, pity me! Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords. 'Rut. I never did thee harm; Why wilt thou slay me? Clif. Thy father hath.
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons; So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives, Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
York. O, Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.
Clif. Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet! And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade, Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood, Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.
SCENE IV.-The same. Alarum. Enter York.
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,
My sons-God knows, what hath bechanced them:
Three times did Richard make a lane to me;
In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
And cried,-A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
Why come you not? what! multitudes, and fear? Clif. So cowards fight, when they can fly no further;
'Come, bloody Clifford,-rough Northumberland,--
North. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
And, in that hope, I throw mine eyes to heaven, Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
(2) Heaven grant this may be your greatest boast. Ovid. Epist.
[Draws. Q. Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes,
I would prolong a while the traitor's life :-
North. Hold, Clifford; do not honour him so
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart:
[They lay hands on York, who struggles. Clif Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin. North. So doth the coney struggle in the net. [York is taken prisoner. York. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty;
So true mens yield, with robbers so o'er-match'd. North. What would your grace have done unto him now?
Q. Mar. Brave warriors, Clifford, and Northum. berland,
Come, make him stand upon this mole-hill here;
I pr'ythee, grieve, to make me merry, York:
Why art thou patient, man? thou should'st be mad;
(3) i. e. We boggled, made bad or bungling work of our attempt to rally.
(4) Noontide point on the dial. (5) Honest men, (6) Reached. (7) Handkerchief,