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Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
Ay, this is he that took king Henry's chair;
And this is he was his adopted heir.-
But how is it that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
Asi bethink me, you should not be king,
Till our king Henry had shook hands with death.
And will you palel your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable !--
Off with the crown; and, with the crown, his head: || Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.2|| My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
Clif. That is my office, for my father's sake. North. Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
Q. Mar. Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons heI should not for my life but weep with him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
York. She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Q. Mar. What, weeping-ripe, my lord Northum-
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex,
To triumph like an Amazonian trull,
Thy father bears the type of king of Naples,
Of both the Sicils, and Jerusalem;
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen;
Unless the adage must be verified,---
That beggars, mounted, run their horse to death.
'Tis beauty, that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is smail:
'Tis virtue, that doth make them most admir'd;
The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at:
'Tis government,4 that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable:
Thou art as opposite to every good,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:
[He gives back the handkerchief.
And, if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say,-Alas, it was a piteous deed!-
There, take the crown, and, with the crown, my
And, in thy need, such comfort come to thee,
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!—
Upon their woes, whom fortune captivates?
But that thy face is, visor-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush:
To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd,'
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the septentrion.5
O, tiger's heart, wrapp'd in a woman's hide!
How could'st thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou, stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bid'st thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Would'st have me weep? why, now thou hast thy
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears..
Clif. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's
Q. Mar. And here's to right our gentle-hearted
York. Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out
Q. Mar. Off with his head, and set it on York
So York may overlook the town of York. [Exeunt.
(1) Impale, encircle with a crown.
(2) Kill him. (3) The distinguishing mark. (4) Government, in the language of the time, signified evenness of temper, and decency of manners. (5) The north. (6) Sufferings.
SCENE I—A plain near Mortimer's Cross, in
Herefordshire. Drums. Enter Edward, and
Richard, with their forces, marching.
*Edw. I wonder, how our princely father 'scap'd;
* Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no,
*From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit ;
*Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the
Had he been slain, we should have heard the news; *Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks, we should have heard
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
And, when the rage allays, the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies;
And every drop cries vengeance for his death,—
'Gainst thee, fell Clifford,-and thee, false French-*
*The happy tidings of his good escape.--
How fares my brother? why is he so sad?
Rich. 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 :8
North. Beshrew me, but his passions move me so, That hardly.can I check my eyes from tears.
York. That face of his the hungry cannibals Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd* with blood:
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,-
O, ten times more,-than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears:
This cloth thou dipp'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
*Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs;
*Who having pinch'd a few, and made them cry,
*The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
So far'd our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father;
Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.
See, how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!9
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
*Trimm'd like a younker, prancing to his love!
Edw. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Rich. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect
Not separated with the racking clouds,10
(7) Demeaned himself.
(8) Neat cattle; cows, oxen, &c.
(9) Aurora takes for a time her farewell of the sun, when she dismisses him to his diurnal course.
(10) i. e. The clouds in rapid tumultuary motion.
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable :
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.
* Edw. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never
I think, it cites us, brother, to the field;
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,!
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights
'And over-shine the earth, as this the world.
'Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.
Our baleful news, and, at each word's deliverance,
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
* Rich. Nay, bear three daughters;-by your The words would add more anguish than the
leave I speak it,
*You love the breeder better than the male.
Enter a Messenger.
'But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretel "Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
Mess. Ah, one that was a woful fooker-on, When as the noble duke of York was slain, *Your princely father, and my loving lord.
Edw. O, speak no more! for I have heard too much.
'Rich. Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
Mess. Environed he was with many foes; *And stood against them as the hope of Troy2 * Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd * But Hercules himself must yield to odds; * And many strokes, though with a little axe, *Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
By many hands your father was subdu'd; But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm 'Of unrelenting Clifford, and the queen : "Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite; Laugh'd in his face; and, when with grief he wept, The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks, A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford
And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York They set the same; and there it doth remain, The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd. Edw. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean upon; Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay!*O Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain *The flower of Europe for his chivalry; * And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him, *For, hand to hand, he would have vanquish'd thee!
Now my soul's palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence! that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest:
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
'Never, O never, shall I see more joy.
And now, to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things since then befall'n.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss, and his depart.
I then in London, keeper of the king,
Troy.Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
And very well appointed, as I thought,
March'd towards Saint Albans, to intercept the
'Rich. I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart: *Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden;
*For self-same wind, that I should speak withal, * Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast,
* And burn me up with flames, that tears would
*To weep, is to make less the depth of grief:
*Tears, then, for babes; biows, and revenge, for
His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
Rich. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun :
For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say;
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
March. Enter Warwick and Montague, with
Richard, I bear thy name, I'll venge thy death,
• Or die renowned by attempting it.
Edw. His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
Short tale to make,-we at Saint Albans met,
slain:Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their hated spleen;
Or whether 'twas report of her success;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives-blood and death,
I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers'-like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like a lazy thrasher with a flail,—
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay, and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
So that we fled; the king, unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard, you were,
Making another head to fight again.
Edw. Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle
And when came George from Burgundy to Eng-
'War. Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers:
War. How now,
fair lords? What fare? what
'Rich. Great lord of Warwick, if we should
O valiant lord, the duke of York is slain.
Edw. O Warwick! Warwick! that Plantagenet, Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption, Is by the stern lord Clifford done to death.3
War. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in
Bearing the king in my behalf along:
For by my scouts I was advértised,
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament,
Touching king Henry's oath, and your succes
And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war,
Rich. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant War-
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire.
And when thou fall'st (as God forbid the hour!) Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend! War. No longer earl of March, but duke of York;
The next degree is, England's royal throne: For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd In every borough as we pass along; And he that throws not up his cap for joy, Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head. King Edward,-valiant Richard,-Montague,Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets, and about our task. * Rich. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard
*(As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,) * I come to pierce it,-or to give thee mine. *Edw. Then strike up, drums ;-God, and Saint George, for us!
SCENE II-Before York. Enter King Henry, Queen Margaret, the Prince of Wales, Clifford, and Northumberland, with forces.
The queen is coming with a puissant host? And craves your company for speedy counsel. 'War. Why then it sorts,2 brave warriors: Let's away. [Exeunt.
(1) Lofty. (2) Why then things are as they should be.
Q. Mar. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town
Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy,
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown:
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
K. Hen. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear
their wreck ;-
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.-
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
Not wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity,
And harmful pity, must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks.?
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Not his, that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on;
And doves will peck, in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, bless'd with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argued thee a most unloving father.
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Unreasonable creatures feed their young:
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them (even with those wings
Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight,)
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
Were it not pity that this goodly boy
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault;
And long hereafter say unto his child,-
My careless father fondly gave away?
What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
And let his manly face, which promiseth
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart,
Enter a Messenger. War. How now? what news?
Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by Edward, kneel down.
K. Hen. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator, Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,That things ill got had ever bad success? And happy always was it for that son, Whose father for his hoarding went to hell? I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind; And 'would, my father had left me no more! For all the rest is held at such a rate,
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep, 'Than in possession any jot of pleasure. Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did know, How it doth grieve me that thy head is here! 'Q. Mar. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are nigh, And this soft courage makes your followers faint. 'You promis'd knighthood to our forward son; Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently.
K. Hen. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight; And learn this lesson,-Draw thy sword in right. Prince. My gracious father, by your kingly leave, I'll draw it as apparent to the crown, And in that quarrel use it to the death. Clif. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry! wilt thou kneel for grace,
And set thy diadem upon my head; *Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
K. Hen. Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.
Q. Mar. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.
K. Hen. I pr'ythee, give no limits to my tongue; I am a king, and privileg❜d to speak.
Clif. My liege, the wound, that bred this meeting here,
Clif Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer thee, 'Or any he the proudest of thy sort. Rich. 'Twas you that killed young Rutland, was
Clif. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied. Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield
Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword:
By him that made us all, I am resolv'd,2
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
Edw. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,
That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown.
For York in justice puts his armour on.
War. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
'Prince. If that be right, which Warwick says
There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Q. Mar. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms,
'Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king?
Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his knee;(As
I was adopted heir by his consent:
Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You-that are king, though he do wear the crown,—
Have caus'd him, by new act of parliament,
To blot out me, and put his own son in.
Clif And reason too;
Who should succeed the father, but the son?
Rich. Are you there, butcher?-O, I cannot
Gilt is a superficial covering of gold.
Rich. Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.
Q Mar. But thou art neither like thy sire, nor
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?6
Edw. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand
To make this shameless callet? know herself.-
*Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
*Although thy husband may be Menelaus;8
*And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman, as this king by thee.
His father revell'd in the heart of France,
And tam'd the king, and made the dauphin stoop;
And, had he match'd according to his state,
He might have kept that glory to this day:
But, when he took a beggar to his bed,
And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day;
Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him,
That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France,
And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.
War-Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
For what hath broach'd this tumult, but thy pride?
And we, in pity of the gentle king,
Had slipp'd our claim until another age.
'Geo. But, when we saw our sunshine made thy
We set the axe to thy usurping root:
And that thy summer bred us no increase,
And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
We'll never leave, till we have hewn thee down,
Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.
Edw. And, in this resolution, I defy thee;
Not willing any longer conference,
Since thou deny'st the gentle king to speak.-
Sound trumpets !-let our bloody colours wave!—
And either victory, or else a grave.
Q. Mar. Stay, Edward.
Edw. No, wrangling woman; we'll no longer
Q. Mur. Why, how now, long-tongued wick? dare you speak? When you and I met at Saint Albans last, Your legs did better service than your hands. War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled.
War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me
'North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make
Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently;-
Break off the parle; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy father: Call'st thou him a child?
Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed.
But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.
Rich. Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt,4
Whose father bears the title of a king
if a channel5 should be call'd the sea,) Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
(1) i. e. Arrange your host, put your host in order. (2) It is my firm persuasion.
(3) One branded by nature.
(5) Kennel was then pronounced channel. (6) To show thy meanness of birth by thy indecent railing. (7) Drab.
(8) i. e. A cuckold,
*Geo. Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair; "Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us : "What counsel give you, whither shall we fly? Edw. Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings; 'And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit. Enter Richard.
Edw. Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle death!
Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance:
For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded.
War. How now, my lord? what hap? what hope of good?
And, in the very pangs of death, he cried,'Like to a dismal clangor heard from far,
Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!
So underneath the belly of their steeds,
That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
War. Then let the earth be drunken with our
Rich. Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
*Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
*Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
*And look upon, as if the tragedy
*Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting
"Here on my knee I vow to God above,
I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine,
'Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
Edw. O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine
And, in this vow, do chain my soul to thine.-
*And ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
*I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings!
Beseeching thee, if with thy will it stands,
That to my foes this body must be
Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope, And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!Now, lords, take leave until we meet again, Where'er it be, in heaven, or on earth.
'Rich. Brother, give me thy hand;—and, gentle Warwick,
'Let me embrace thee in my weary arms:-
'I, that did never weep, now melt with wo,
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.
War. Away, away! Once more, sweet lords,
'Geo. Yet let us all together to our troops, And give them leave to fly that will not stay; And call them pillars, that will stand to us;
And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards 'As victors wear at the Olympian games:
(1) And are mere spectators.
[They fight. Warwick enters; Clifford flies. Rich. Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase;
For I myself will hunt this wolf to death. [Exe. SCENE V-Another part of the field. Alarum. Enter King Henry.
*K. Hen. This battle fares like to the morning's
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 wo?
* O God! methinks, it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely/swain;
;* To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
*To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
* Thereby to see the minutes how they run:
* How many make the hour full complete,
* How many hours bring about the day,
* How many days will finish up the year,
* How many years a mortal man may live.
*When this is known, then to divide the times:
*So many hours must I tend my flock;
*So many hours must I take my rest;
*So many hours must I contemplate;
* So many hours must I sport myself;
* So many days my ewes have been with young;
* So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean;
*So many years ere I shall shear the fleece:
*So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
*Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
*Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!
* Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
*To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
*Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
When dying clouds contend with growing light;
*What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
* Can neither call it perfect day, nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea,
Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the self-same sea
Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind:
Sometime, the flood prevails; and then, the wind;
Now, one the better; then, another best;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror, nor conquered:
So is the equal poise of this fell war.
*Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
* To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle; swearing both,
(2) Sinking into dejection.
(3) To fore-slow is to be dilatory, to loiter.