Henry VI, Part 3 - Entire Play
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The English crown changes hands often in Henry VI, Part 3. At first, Richard, Duke of York, is allied with Warwick. York invades the throne-room of Henry VI with Warwick’s army, but allows Henry to remain king if he makes York his heir—thus disinheriting Henry’s son, Prince Edward.
Infuriated, Henry’s queen, Margaret, raises an army. York breaks his oath to Henry and fights for the crown. After Margaret and her supporters kill York, Warwick proclaims that York’s son Edward is king. Edward, now Edward IV, captures Henry.
Warwick breaks with King Edward and joins with Margaret to raise a French army. King Edward’s brother Clarence joins with Warwick to capture Edward and free King Henry.
Richard, now Duke of Gloucester, rescues his brother, King Edward, who returns, captures King Henry, and leads an army against Warwick. When Clarence abandons Warwick, Warwick is defeated and killed. King Edward captures Margaret and helps to kill her son, Prince Edward. Richard murders King Henry and begins to plot his way to the crown.
Edward; Richard; Norfolk; Montague; Warwick; and
Soldiers, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
0001 I wonder how the King escaped our hands.
0002 While we pursued the horsemen of the north,
0003 He slyly stole away and left his men;
0004 Whereat the great lord of Northumberland,
0005 5 Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
0006 Cheered up the drooping army; and himself,
0007 Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
0008 Charged our main battle’s front and, breaking in,
0009 Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
0010 10 Lord Stafford’s father, Duke of Buckingham,
0011 Is either slain or wounded dangerous.
0012 I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
0013 That this is true, father, behold his blood.
⌜He shows his bloody sword.⌝
MONTAGUE, ⌜to York, showing his sword⌝
0014 And, brother, here’s the Earl of Wiltshire’s blood,
0015 15 Whom I encountered as the battles joined.
RICHARD, ⌜holding up a severed head⌝
0016 Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
0017 Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
0018 But is your Grace dead, my lord of Somerset?
0019 Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!
0020 20 Thus do I hope to shake King Henry’s head.
0021 And so do I, victorious prince of York.
0022 Before I see thee seated in that throne
0023 Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
0024 I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
0025 25 This is the palace of the fearful king,
0026 And this the regal seat. Possess it, York,
0027 For this is thine and not King Henry’s heirs’.
0028 Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will,
0029 For hither we have broken in by force.
0030 30 We’ll all assist you. He that flies shall die.
0031 Thanks, gentle Norfolk. Stay by me, my lords.—
0032 And soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.
They go up ⌜onto a dais or platform.⌝
0033 And when the King comes, offer him no violence
0034 Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
⌜Soldiers exit or retire out of sight.⌝
0035 35 The Queen this day here holds her parliament,
0036 But little thinks we shall be of her council.
0037 By words or blows, here let us win our right.
0038 Armed as we are, let’s stay within this house.
0039 “The Bloody Parliament” shall this be called
0041 And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
0042 Hath made us bywords to our enemies.
0043 Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute.
0044 I mean to take possession of my right.
0045 45 Neither the King nor he that loves him best,
0046 The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
0047 Dares stir a wing if Warwick shake his bells.
0048 I’ll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.
0049 Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.
⌜York sits in the chair of state.⌝
Flourish. Enter King Henry, Clifford, Northumberland,
Westmorland, Exeter, and the rest, ⌜all wearing
the red rose.⌝
0050 50 My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
0051 Even in the chair of state! Belike he means,
0052 Backed by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
0053 To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
0054 Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father,
0055 55 And thine, Lord Clifford, and you both have vowed
0057 On him, his sons, his favorites, and his friends.
0058 If I be not, heavens be revenged on me!
0059 The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
0060 60 What, shall we suffer this? Let’s pluck him down.
0061 My heart for anger burns. I cannot brook it.
0062 Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmorland.
0063 Patience is for poltroons such as he.
0064 He durst not sit there had your father lived.
0065 65 My gracious lord, here in the Parliament
0066 Let us assail the family of York.
0067 Well hast thou spoken, cousin. Be it so.
0068 Ah, know you not the city favors them,
0069 And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
0070 70 But when the Duke is slain, they’ll quickly fly.
0071 Far be the thought of this from Henry’s heart,
0072 To make a shambles of the Parliament House!
0073 Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats
0074 Shall be the war that Henry means to use.—
0075 75 Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne
0076 And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet.
0077 I am thy sovereign.
YORK 0078 I am thine.
0079 For shame, come down. He made thee Duke of
0080 80 York.
0081 It was my inheritance, as the earldom was.
0082 Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
0083 Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
0084 In following this usurping Henry.
0085 85 Whom should he follow but his natural king?
0086 True, Clifford, that’s Richard, Duke of York.
0087 And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
0088 It must and shall be so. Content thyself.
WARWICK, ⌜to King Henry⌝
0089 Be Duke of Lancaster. Let him be king.
0090 90 He is both king and Duke of Lancaster,
0091 And that the lord of Westmorland shall maintain.
0092 And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
0093 That we are those which chased you from the field
0094 And slew your fathers and, with colors spread,
0095 95 Marched through the city to the palace gates.
0096 Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
0097 And by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
0098 Plantagenet, of thee and these thy sons,
0099 Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I’ll have more lives
0100 100 Than drops of blood were in my father’s veins.
0101 Urge it no more, lest that, instead of words,
0102 I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
0103 As shall revenge his death before I stir.
0104 Poor Clifford, how I scorn his worthless threats!
0105 105 Will you we show our title to the crown?
0106 If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
0107 What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
0108 ⌜Thy⌝ father was as thou art, Duke of York;
0109 Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March.
0110 110 I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
0112 And seized upon their towns and provinces.
0113 Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
0114 The Lord Protector lost it and not I.
0115 115 When I was crowned, I was but nine months old.
0116 You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you
0118 Father, tear the crown from the usurper’s head.
0119 Sweet father, do so. Set it on your head.
MONTAGUE, ⌜to York⌝
0120 120 Good brother, as thou lov’st and honorest arms,
0121 Let’s fight it out and not stand caviling thus.
0122 Sound drums and trumpets, and the King will fly.
YORK 0123 Sons, peace!
0124 Peace thou, and give King Henry leave to speak!
0125 125 Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him, lords,
0126 And be you silent and attentive too,
0127 For he that interrupts him shall not live.
0128 Think’st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
0129 Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
0130 130 No. First shall war unpeople this my realm;
0131 Ay, and their colors, often borne in France,
0132 And now in England to our heart’s great sorrow,
0133 Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
0134 My title’s good, and better far than his.
0135 135 Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
0136 Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
0137 ’Twas by rebellion against his king.
KING HENRY, ⌜aside⌝
0138 I know not what to say; my title’s weak.—
0139 Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
YORK 0140 140What then?
0141 An if he may, then am I lawful king;
0142 For Richard, in the view of many lords,
0143 Resigned the crown to Henry the Fourth,
0144 Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
0145 145 He rose against him, being his sovereign,
0146 And made him to resign his crown perforce.
0147 Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrained,
0148 Think you ’twere prejudicial to his crown?
0149 No, for he could not so resign his crown
0150 150 But that the next heir should succeed and reign.
0151 Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?
0152 His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
0153 Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
0154 My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
KING HENRY, ⌜aside⌝
0155 155 All will revolt from me and turn to him.
NORTHUMBERLAND, ⌜to York⌝
0156 Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay’st,
0157 Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.
0158 Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.
0159 Thou art deceived. ’Tis not thy southern power
0160 160 Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
0161 Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
0162 Can set the Duke up in despite of me.
0163 King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
0164 Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defense.
0165 165 May that ground gape and swallow me alive
0166 Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father.
0167 O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
0168 Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.—
0169 What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
WARWICK, ⌜to King Henry⌝
0170 170 Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
0171 Or I will fill the house with armèd men,
0172 And over the chair of state, where now he sits,
0173 Write up his title with usurping blood.
He stamps with his foot,
and the Soldiers show themselves.
0174 My lord of Warwick, hear but one word:
0175 175 Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.
0176 Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
0177 And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv’st.
0178 I am content. Richard Plantagenet,
0179 Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
0180 180 What wrong is this unto the Prince your son!
0181 What good is this to England and himself!
0182 Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
0183 How hast thou injured both thyself and us!
0184 I cannot stay to hear these articles.
NORTHUMBERLAND 0185 185Nor I.
0186 Come, cousin, let us tell the Queen these news.
0187 Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
0188 In whose cold blood no spark of honor bides.
0189 Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
0190 190 And die in bands for this unmanly deed.
0191 In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
0192 Or live in peace abandoned and despised!
⌜Westmorland, Northumberland, Clifford,
and their Soldiers exit.⌝
0193 Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
0194 They seek revenge and therefore will not yield.
0195 195 Ah, Exeter!
WARWICK 0196 Why should you sigh, my lord?
0197 Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
0198 Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
0199 But be it as it may. (⌜To York.⌝) I here entail
0200 200 The crown to thee and to thine heirs forever,
0201 Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
0202 To cease this civil war and, whilst I live,
0204 And neither by treason nor hostility
0205 205 To seek to put me down and reign thyself.
0206 This oath I willingly take and will perform.
0207 Long live King Henry! Plantagenet, embrace him.
⌜York stands, and King Henry ascends the dais.⌝
KING HENRY, ⌜to York⌝
0208 And long live thou and these thy forward sons!
0209 Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.
0210 210 Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes.
Sennet. Here they come down.
YORK, ⌜to King Henry⌝
0211 Farewell, my gracious lord. I’ll to my castle.
0212 And I’ll keep London with my soldiers.
0213 And I to Norfolk with my followers.
0214 And I unto the sea, from whence I came.
⌜York, Edward, Richard, Warwick, Norfolk,
Montague, and their Soldiers exit.⌝
0215 215 And I with grief and sorrow to the court.
Enter Queen ⌜Margaret, with Prince Edward.⌝
0216 Here comes the Queen, whose looks bewray her
0218 I’ll steal away.
KING HENRY 0219 Exeter, so will I.
⌜They begin to exit.⌝
0220 220 Nay, go not from me. I will follow thee.
0221 Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
0222 Who can be patient in such extremes?
0223 Ah, wretched man, would I had died a maid
0224 And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
0225 225 Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father.
0226 Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
0227 Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,
0228 Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
0229 Or nourished him as I did with my blood,
0230 230 Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood
0232 Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir
0233 And disinherited thine only son.
0234 Father, you cannot disinherit me.
0235 235 If you be king, why should not I succeed?
0236 Pardon me, Margaret.—Pardon me, sweet son.
0237 The Earl of Warwick and the Duke enforced me.
0238 Enforced thee? Art thou king and wilt be forced?
0239 I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch,
0240 240 Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me,
0241 And giv’n unto the house of York such head
0242 As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance!
0243 To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
0244 What is it but to make thy sepulcher
0245 245 And creep into it far before thy time?
0246 Warwick is Chancellor and the lord of Callice;
0247 Stern Falconbridge commands the Narrow Seas;
0248 The Duke is made Protector of the realm;
0249 And yet shalt thou be safe? Such safety finds
0251 Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
0252 The soldiers should have tossed me on their pikes
0253 Before I would have granted to that act.
0254 But thou preferr’st thy life before thine honor.
0255 255 And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself
0256 Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
0257 Until that act of Parliament be repealed
0258 Whereby my son is disinherited.
0259 The northern lords that have forsworn thy colors
0260 260 Will follow mine if once they see them spread;
0261 And spread they shall be, to thy foul disgrace
0262 And utter ruin of the house of York.
0263 Thus do I leave thee.—Come, son, let’s away.
0264 Our army is ready. Come, we’ll after them.
0265 265 Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
0266 Thou hast spoke too much already. Get thee gone.
0267 Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay ⌜with⌝ me?
0268 Ay, to be murdered by his enemies!
0269 When I return with victory ⌜from⌝ the field,
0270 270 I’ll see your Grace. Till then, I’ll follow her.
0271 Come, son, away. We may not linger thus.
⌜Queen Margaret and Prince Edward exit.⌝
0272 Poor queen! How love to me and to her son
0273 Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
0274 Revenged may she be on that hateful duke,
0275 275 Whose haughty spirit, wingèd with desire,
0276 Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
0277 Tire on the flesh of me and of my son.
0279 I’ll write unto them and entreat them fair.
0280 280 Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
0281 And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
Flourish. ⌜They⌝ exit.
⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
0282 Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
0283 No, I can better play the orator.
0284 But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Enter the Duke of York.
0285 Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife?
0286 5 What is your quarrel? How began it first?
0287 No quarrel, but a slight contention.
YORK 0288 About what?
0289 About that which concerns your Grace and us:
0290 The crown of England, father, which is yours.
0291 10 Mine, boy? Not till King Henry be dead.
0292 Your right depends not on his life or death.
0293 Now you are heir; therefore enjoy it now.
0295 It will outrun you, father, in the end.
0296 15 I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
0297 But for a kingdom any oath may be broken.
0298 I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
0299 No, God forbid your Grace should be forsworn.
0300 I shall be, if I claim by open war.
0301 20 I’ll prove the contrary, if you’ll hear me speak.
0302 Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
0303 An oath is of no moment, being not took
0304 Before a true and lawful magistrate
0305 That hath authority over him that swears.
0306 25 Henry had none, but did usurp the place.
0307 Then, seeing ’twas he that made you to depose,
0308 Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
0309 Therefore, to arms! And, father, do but think
0310 How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown,
0311 30 Within whose circuit is Elysium
0312 And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
0313 Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest
0314 Until the white rose that I wear be dyed
0315 Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry’s heart.
0316 35 Richard, enough. I will be king or die.—
0317 Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
0318 And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.—
0319 Thou, Richard, shalt to the Duke of Norfolk
0320 And tell him privily of our intent.—
0321 40 You, Edward, shall unto my Lord Cobham,
0323 In them I trust, for they are soldiers
0324 Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
0325 While you are thus employed, what resteth more
0326 45 But that I seek occasion how to rise,
0327 And yet the King not privy to my drift,
0328 Nor any of the house of Lancaster.
Enter ⌜a Messenger.⌝
0329 But stay, what news? Why com’st thou in such post?
0330 The Queen with all the northern earls and lords
0331 50 Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
0332 She is hard by with twenty thousand men.
0333 And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.⌜He exits.⌝
0334 Ay, with my sword. What, think’st thou that we fear
0336 55 Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
0337 My brother Montague shall post to London.
0338 Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
0339 Whom we have left Protectors of the King,
0340 With powerful policy strengthen themselves
0341 60 And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.
0342 Brother, I go. I’ll win them, fear it not.
0343 And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
Enter ⌜Sir John⌝ Mortimer, and his brother,
⌜Sir Hugh Mortimer.⌝
0344 Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
0345 You are come to Sandal in a happy hour.
0346 65 The army of the Queen mean to besiege us.
0347 She shall not need; we’ll meet her in the field.
YORK 0348 What, with five thousand men?
0349 Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
0350 A woman’s general; what should we fear?
A march afar off.
0351 70 I hear their drums. Let’s set our men in order,
0352 And issue forth and bid them battle straight.
0353 Five men to twenty: though the odds be great,
0354 I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
0355 Many a battle have I won in France
0356 75 Whenas the enemy hath been ten to one.
0357 Why should I not now have the like success?
Alarum. ⌜They⌝ exit.
0358 Ah, whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
Enter Clifford ⌜with Soldiers, all wearing the red rose.⌝
0359 Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes.
0360 Chaplain, away. Thy priesthood saves thy life.
0361 As for the brat of this accursèd duke,
0362 5 Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
0363 And I, my lord, will bear him company.
CLIFFORD 0364 Soldiers, away with him.
0365 Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
0366 Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
He exits, ⌜dragged off by Soldiers.⌝
CLIFFORD, ⌜approaching Rutland⌝
0367 10 How now? Is he dead already? Or is it fear
0368 That makes him close his eyes? I’ll open them.
0369 So looks the pent-up lion o’er the wretch
0370 That trembles under his devouring paws;
0371 And so he walks, insulting o’er his prey;
0372 15 And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.
0373 Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword
0374 And not with such a cruel threat’ning look.
0375 Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die.
0376 I am too mean a subject for thy wrath.
0377 20 Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.
0378 In vain thou speak’st, poor boy. My father’s blood
0379 Hath stopped the passage where thy words should
0381 Then let my father’s blood open it again;
0382 25 He is a man and, Clifford, cope with him.
0383 Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine
0384 Were not revenge sufficient for me.
0385 No, if I digged up thy forefathers’ graves
0386 And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
0387 30 It could not slake mine ire nor ease my heart.
0388 The sight of any of the house of York
0389 Is as a fury to torment my soul,
0390 And till I root out their accursèd line
0391 And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
0392 35 Therefore—⌜He raises his rapier.⌝
0393 O, let me pray before I take my death!
0394 To thee I pray: sweet Clifford, pity me!
0395 Such pity as my rapier’s point affords.
0396 I never did thee harm. Why wilt thou slay me?
0397 40 Thy father hath.
RUTLAND 0398 But ’twas ere I was born.
0399 Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me,
0400 Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
0401 He be as miserably slain as I.
0402 45 Ah, let me live in prison all my days,
0403 And when I give occasion of offense
0404 Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
0405 No cause? Thy father slew my father; therefore die.
⌜He stabs Rutland.⌝
0406 Di faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae!⌜He dies.⌝
0407 50 Plantagenet, I come, Plantagenet!
0408 And this thy son’s blood, cleaving to my blade,
0409 Shall rust upon my weapon till thy blood,
0410 Congealed with this, do make me wipe off both.
He exits, ⌜with Soldiers carrying off Rutland’s body.⌝
0411 The army of the Queen hath got the field.
0412 My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
0414 Turn back and fly like ships before the wind,
0415 5 Or lambs pursued by hunger-starvèd wolves.
0416 My sons, God knows what hath bechancèd them;
0417 But this I know: they have demeaned themselves
0418 Like men borne to renown by life or death.
0419 Three times did Richard make a lane to me
0420 10 And thrice cried “Courage, father, fight it out!”
0421 And full as oft came Edward to my side,
0422 With purple falchion painted to the hilt
0423 In blood of those that had encountered him;
0424 And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
0425 15 Richard cried “Charge, and give no foot of ground!”
0426 And cried “A crown or else a glorious tomb;
0427 A scepter or an earthly sepulcher!”
0428 With this we charged again; but, out alas,
0429 We ⌜budged⌝ again, as I have seen a swan
0430 20 With bootless labor swim against the tide
0431 And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
A short alarum within.
0432 Ah, hark, the fatal followers do pursue,
0433 And I am faint and cannot fly their fury;
0434 And were I strong, I would not shun their fury.
0435 25 The sands are numbered that makes up my life.
0436 Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Enter Queen ⌜Margaret,⌝ Clifford, Northumberland,
the young Prince ⌜Edward,⌝ and Soldiers,
⌜all wearing the red rose.⌝
0437 Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
0438 I dare your quenchless fury to more rage.
0439 I am your butt, and I abide your shot.
0440 30 Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
0441 Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm
0443 Now Phaëton hath tumbled from his car
0444 And made an evening at the noontide prick.
0445 35 My ashes, as the Phoenix’, may bring forth
0446 A bird that will revenge upon you all;
0447 And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
0448 Scorning whate’er you can afflict me with.
0449 Why come you not? What, multitudes, and fear?
0450 40 So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
0451 So doves do peck the falcon’s piercing talons;
0452 So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
0453 Breathe out invectives ’gainst the officers.
0454 O Clifford, but bethink thee once again
0455 45 And in thy thought o’errun my former time;
0456 And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face
0457 And bite thy tongue that slanders him with cowardice
0458 Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this.
0459 I will not bandy with thee word for word,
0460 50 But buckler with thee blows twice two for one.
0461 Hold, valiant Clifford, for a thousand causes
0462 I would prolong a while the traitor’s life.—
0463 Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.
0464 Hold, Clifford, do not honor him so much
0465 55 To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
0466 What valor were it when a cur doth grin
0467 For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
0468 When he might spurn him with his foot away?
0469 It is war’s prize to take all vantages,
0470 60 And ten to one is no impeach of valor.
⌜They attack York.⌝
0471 Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin.
0472 So doth the coney struggle in the net.
0473 So triumph thieves upon their conquered booty;
0474 So true men yield with robbers, so o’ermatched.
⌜York is overcome.⌝
NORTHUMBERLAND, ⌜to Queen Margaret⌝
0475 65 What would your Grace have done unto him now?
0476 Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
0477 Come, make him stand upon this molehill here
0478 That raught at mountains with outstretchèd arms,
0479 Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
⌜They place York on a small prominence.⌝
0480 70 What, was it you that would be England’s king?
0481 Was ’t you that reveled in our parliament
0482 And made a preachment of your high descent?
0483 Where are your mess of sons to back you now,
0484 The wanton Edward and the lusty George?
0485 75 And where’s that valiant crookback prodigy,
0486 Dickie, your boy, that with his grumbling voice
0487 Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
0488 Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
0489 Look, York, I stained this napkin with the blood
0490 80 That valiant Clifford with his rapier’s point
0491 Made issue from the bosom of the boy;
0492 And if thine eyes can water for his death,
0493 I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
⌜She gives him a bloody cloth.⌝
0494 Alas, poor York, but that I hate thee deadly
0495 85 I should lament thy miserable state.
0496 I prithee grieve to make me merry, York.
0497 What, hath thy fiery heart so parched thine entrails
0498 That not a tear can fall for Rutland’s death?
0500 90 And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
0501 Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
0502 Thou would’st be fee’d, I see, to make me sport.—
0503 York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.
0504 A crown for York!⌜She is handed a paper crown.⌝
0505 95 And, lords, bow low to him.
0506 Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on.
⌜She puts the crown on York’s head.⌝
0507 Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king.
0508 Ay, this is he that took King Henry’s chair,
0509 And this is he was his adopted heir.
0510 100 But how is it that great Plantagenet
0511 Is crowned so soon and broke his solemn oath?—
0512 As I bethink me, you should not be king
0513 Till our King Henry had shook hands with Death.
0514 And will you pale your head in Henry’s glory
0515 105 And rob his temples of the diadem
0516 Now, in his life, against your holy oath?
0517 O, ’tis a fault too too unpardonable.
0518 Off with the crown and, with the crown, his head;
0519 And whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.
0520 110 That is my office, for my father’s sake.
0521 Nay, stay, let’s hear the orisons he makes.
0522 She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of
0524 Whose tongue more poisons than the adder’s tooth:
0525 115 How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
0526 To triumph like an Amazonian trull
0527 Upon their woes whom Fortune captivates.
0528 But that thy face is vizard-like, unchanging,
0529 Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
0530 120 I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
0532 Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not
0534 Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
0535 125 Of both the Sicils, and Jerusalem,
0536 Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
0537 Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
0538 It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
0539 Unless the adage must be verified
0540 130 That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
0541 ’Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud,
0542 But God He knows thy share thereof is small.
0543 ’Tis virtue that doth make them most admired;
0544 The contrary doth make thee wondered at.
0545 135 ’Tis government that makes them seem divine;
0546 The want thereof makes thee abominable.
0547 Thou art as opposite to every good
0548 As the Antipodes are unto us
0549 Or as the south to the Septentrion.
0550 140 O, tiger’s heart wrapped in a woman’s hide,
0551 How couldst thou drain the lifeblood of the child
0552 To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
0553 And yet be seen to bear a woman’s face?
0554 Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
0555 145 Thou, stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
0556 Bidd’st thou me rage? Why, now thou hast thy wish.
0557 Wouldst have me weep? Why, now thou hast thy will;
0558 For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
0559 And when the rage allays, the rain begins.
0560 150 These tears are my sweet Rutland’s obsequies,
0561 And every drop cries vengeance for his death
0562 ’Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false
0564 Beshrew me, but his passions moves me so
0565 155 That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.
0566 That face of his the hungry cannibals
0567 Would not have touched, would not have stained
0568 with blood;
0569 But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
0570 160 O, ten times more than tigers of Hyrcania.
0571 See, ruthless queen, a hapless father’s tears.
0572 This cloth thou dipped’st in blood of my sweet boy,
0573 And I with tears do wash the blood away.
⌜He hands her the cloth.⌝
0574 Keep thou the napkin and go boast of this;
0575 165 And if thou tell’st the heavy story right,
0576 Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears.
0577 Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears
0578 And say “Alas, it was a piteous deed.”
⌜He hands her the paper crown.⌝
0579 There, take the crown and, with the crown, my
0580 170 curse,
0581 And in thy need such comfort come to thee
0582 As now I reap at thy too cruel hand.—
0583 Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world,
0584 My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads.
0585 175 Had he been slaughterman to all my kin,
0586 I should not for my life but weep with him
0587 To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
0588 What, weeping ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
0589 Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
0590 180 And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
CLIFFORD, ⌜stabbing York twice⌝
0591 Here’s for my oath; here’s for my father’s death!
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜stabbing York⌝
0592 And here’s to right our gentle-hearted king.
0593 Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God.
0595 185 Off with his head, and set it on York gates,
0596 So York may overlook the town of York.
Flourish. ⌜They⌝ exit, ⌜Soldiers carrying York’s body.⌝
⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
0597 I wonder how our princely father scaped,
0598 Or whether he be scaped away or no
0599 From Clifford’s and Northumberland’s pursuit.
0600 Had he been ta’en, we should have heard the news;
0601 5 Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
0602 Or had he scaped, methinks we should have heard
0603 The happy tidings of his good escape.
0604 How fares my brother? Why is he so sad?
0605 I cannot joy until I be resolved
0606 10 Where our right valiant father is become.
0607 I saw him in the battle range about
0608 And watched him how he singled Clifford forth.
0609 Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
0610 As doth a lion in a herd of neat,
0611 15 Or as a bear encompassed round with dogs,
0612 Who having pinched a few and made them cry,
0613 The rest stand all aloof and bark at him;
0614 So fared our father with his enemies;
0615 So fled his enemies my warlike father.
0616 20 Methinks ’tis prize enough to be his son.
0617 See how the morning opes her golden gates
0619 How well resembles it the prime of youth,
0620 Trimmed like a younker, prancing to his love!
0621 25 Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
0622 Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun,
0623 Not separated with the racking clouds
0624 But severed in a pale clear-shining sky.
0625 See, see, they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
0626 30 As if they vowed some league inviolable.
0627 Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun;
0628 In this, the heaven figures some event.
0629 ’Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
0630 I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
0631 35 That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
0632 Each one already blazing by our meeds,
0633 Should notwithstanding join our lights together
0634 And overshine the earth, as this the world.
0635 Whate’er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
0636 40 Upon my target three fair shining suns.
0637 Nay, bear three daughters: by your leave I speak it,
0638 You love the breeder better than the male.
Enter ⌜a Messenger,⌝ blowing.
0639 But what art thou whose heavy looks foretell
0640 Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
0641 45 Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on
0642 Whenas the noble Duke of York was slain,
0643 Your princely father and my loving lord.
0644 O, speak no more, for I have heard too much!
0645 Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
0646 50 Environèd he was with many foes,
0647 And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
0648 Against the Greeks that would have entered Troy.
0649 But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
0650 And many strokes, though with a little axe,
0651 55 Hews down and fells the hardest-timbered oak.
0652 By many hands your father was subdued,
0653 But only slaughtered by the ireful arm
0654 Of unrelenting Clifford and the Queen,
0655 Who crowned the gracious duke in high despite,
0656 60 Laughed in his face; and when with grief he wept,
0657 The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks
0658 A napkin steepèd in the harmless blood
0659 Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain.
0660 And after many scorns, many foul taunts,
0661 65 They took his head and on the gates of York
0662 They set the same, and there it doth remain,
0663 The saddest spectacle that e’er I viewed.⌜He exits.⌝
0664 Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean upon,
0665 Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
0666 70 O Clifford, boist’rous Clifford, thou hast slain
0667 The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
0668 And treacherously hast thou vanquished him,
0669 For hand to hand he would have vanquished thee.
0670 Now my soul’s palace is become a prison;
0671 75 Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
0672 Might in the ground be closèd up in rest,
0673 For never henceforth shall I joy again.
0674 Never, O never, shall I see more joy!⌜He weeps.⌝
0675 I cannot weep, for all my body’s moisture
0676 80 Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart;
0678 For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
0679 Is kindling coals that fires all my breast
0680 And burns me up with flames that tears would
0681 85 quench.
0682 To weep is to make less the depth of grief:
0683 Tears, then, for babes; blows and revenge for me.
0684 Richard, I bear thy name. I’ll venge thy death
0685 Or die renownèd by attempting it.
0686 90 His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
0687 His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
0688 Nay, if thou be that princely eagle’s bird,
0689 Show thy descent by gazing ’gainst the sun;
0690 For “chair” and “dukedom,” “throne” and
0691 95 “kingdom” say;
0692 Either that is thine or else thou wert not his.
March. Enter Warwick, Marquess Montague, and their
army, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
0693 How now, fair lords? What fare, what news abroad?
0694 Great lord of Warwick, if we should recount
0695 Our baleful news, and at each word’s deliverance
0696 100 Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
0697 The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
0698 O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain.
0699 O Warwick, Warwick, that Plantagenet
0700 Which held thee dearly as his soul’s redemption
0701 105 Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
0702 Ten days ago I drowned these news in tears.
0703 And now to add more measure to your woes,
0705 After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
0706 110 Where your brave father breathed his latest gasp,
0707 Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
0708 Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
0709 I, then in London, keeper of the King,
0710 Mustered my soldiers, gathered flocks of friends,
0711 115 Marched toward Saint Albans to intercept the
0713 Bearing the King in my behalf along;
0714 For by my scouts I was advertisèd
0715 That she was coming with a full intent
0716 120 To dash our late decree in Parliament
0717 Touching King Henry’s oath and your succession.
0718 Short tale to make, we at Saint Albans met,
0719 Our battles joined, and both sides fiercely fought.
0720 But whether ’twas the coldness of the King,
0721 125 Who looked full gently on his warlike queen,
0722 That robbed my soldiers of their heated spleen,
0723 Or whether ’twas report of her success
0724 Or more than common fear of Clifford’s rigor,
0725 Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
0726 130 I cannot judge; but to conclude with truth,
0727 Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
0728 Our soldiers’, like the night owl’s lazy flight
0729 Or like ⌜an idle⌝ thresher with a flail,
0730 Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
0731 135 I cheered them up with justice of our cause,
0732 With promise of high pay and great rewards,
0733 But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
0734 And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
0735 So that we fled: the King unto the Queen;
0736 140 Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself
0737 In haste, posthaste, are come to join with you;
0738 For in the Marches here we heard you were,
0739 Making another head to fight again.
0740 Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
0741 145 And when came George from Burgundy to England?
0742 Some six miles off the Duke is with the soldiers,
0743 And, for your brother, he was lately sent
0744 From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
0745 With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
0746 150 ’Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled.
0747 Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
0748 But ne’er till now his scandal of retire.
0749 Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear?
0750 For thou shalt know this strong right hand of mine
0751 155 Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry’s head
0752 And wring the awful scepter from his fist,
0753 Were he as famous and as bold in war
0754 As he is famed for mildness, peace, and prayer.
0755 I know it well, Lord Warwick; blame me not.
0756 160 ’Tis love I bear thy glories make me speak.
0757 But in this troublous time, what’s to be done?
0758 Shall we go throw away our coats of steel
0759 And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
0760 Numb’ring our Ave Marys with our beads?
0761 165 Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
0762 Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
0763 If for the last, say “Ay,” and to it, lords.
0764 Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out,
0765 And therefore comes my brother Montague.
0766 170 Attend me, lords: the proud insulting queen,
0767 With Clifford and the haught Northumberland
0768 And of their feather many more proud birds,
0769 Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
0771 175 His oath enrollèd in the Parliament.
0772 And now to London all the crew are gone
0773 To frustrate both his oath and what beside
0774 May make against the house of Lancaster.
0775 Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong.
0776 180 Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
0777 With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
0778 Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
0779 Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
0780 Why, via, to London will we march,
0781 185 And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
0782 And once again cry “Charge!” upon our foes,
0783 But never once again turn back and fly.
0784 Ay, now methinks I hear great Warwick speak.
0785 Ne’er may he live to see a sunshine day
0786 190 That cries “Retire!” if Warwick bid him stay.
0787 Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean,
0788 And when thou fail’st—as God forbid the hour!—
0789 Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend.
0790 No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York;
0791 195 The next degree is England’s royal throne:
0792 For King of England shalt thou be proclaimed
0793 In every borough as we pass along,
0794 And he that throws not up his cap for joy
0795 Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
0796 200 King Edward, valiant Richard, Montague,
0797 Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
0798 But sound the trumpets and about our task.
0799 Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
0800 As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
0801 205 I come to pierce it or to give thee mine.
0802 Then strike up drums! God and Saint George for us!
Enter a Messenger.
WARWICK 0803 How now, what news?
0804 The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,
0805 The Queen is coming with a puissant host,
0806 210 And craves your company for speedy counsel.
0807 Why, then it sorts. Brave warriors, let’s away!
They all exit.
Clifford, Northumberland, and young Prince ⌜Edward,
all wearing the red rose⌝ with Drum and Trumpets,
⌜the head of York fixed above them.⌝
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜to King Henry⌝
0808 Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
0809 Yonder’s the head of that arch-enemy
0810 That sought to be encompassed with your crown.
0811 Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
0812 5 Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wrack!
0813 To see this sight, it irks my very soul.
0814 Withhold revenge, dear God! ’Tis not my fault,
0815 Nor wittingly have I infringed my vow.
0816 My gracious liege, this too much lenity
0817 10 And harmful pity must be laid aside.
0818 To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
0819 Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
0820 Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
0822 15 Who scapes the lurking serpent’s mortal sting?
0823 Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
0824 The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
0825 And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
0826 Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
0827 20 Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows.
0828 He, but a duke, would have his son a king
0829 And raise his issue like a loving sire;
0830 Thou being a king, blest with a goodly son,
0831 Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
0832 25 Which argued thee a most unloving father.
0833 Unreasonable creatures feed their young;
0834 And though man’s face be fearful to their eyes,
0835 Yet in protection of their tender ones,
0836 Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
0837 30 Which sometime they have used with fearful flight,
0838 Make war with him that climbed unto their nest,
0839 Offering their own lives in their young’s defense?
0840 For shame, my liege, make them your precedent.
0841 Were it not pity that this goodly boy
0842 35 Should lose his birthright by his father’s fault,
0843 And long hereafter say unto his child
0844 “What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
0845 My careless father fondly gave away”?
0846 Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy,
0847 40 And let his manly face, which promiseth
0848 Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
0849 To hold thine own and leave thine own with him.
0850 Full well hath Clifford played the orator,
0851 Inferring arguments of mighty force.
0852 45 But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
0853 That things ill got had ever bad success?
0854 And happy always was it for that son
0855 Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
0857 50 And would my father had left me no more;
0858 For all the rest is held at such a rate
0859 As brings a thousandfold more care to keep
0860 Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
0861 Ah, cousin York, would thy best friends did know
0862 55 How it doth grieve me that thy head is here.
0863 My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are nigh,
0864 And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
0865 You promised knighthood to our forward son.
0866 Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently.—
0867 60 Edward, kneel down.⌜He kneels.⌝
KING HENRY, ⌜dubbing him knight⌝
0868 Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight,
0869 And learn this lesson: draw thy sword in right.
PRINCE EDWARD, ⌜rising⌝
0870 My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
0871 I’ll draw it as apparent to the crown
0872 65 And in that quarrel use it to the death.
0873 Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger.
0874 Royal commanders, be in readiness,
0875 For with a band of thirty thousand men
0876 Comes Warwick backing of the Duke of York,
0877 70 And in the towns as they do march along
0878 Proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
0879 Deraign your battle, for they are at hand.⌜He exits.⌝
0880 I would your Highness would depart the field.
0881 The Queen hath best success when you are absent.
0882 75 Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.
0883 Why, that’s my fortune too; therefore I’ll stay.
0884 Be it with resolution, then, to fight.
0885 My royal father, cheer these noble lords
0886 And hearten those that fight in your defense.
0887 80 Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry “Saint
March. Enter Edward, Warwick, Richard,
⌜George,⌝ Norfolk, Montague, and Soldiers,
⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
0889 Now, perjured Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace
0890 And set thy diadem upon my head,
0891 Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
0892 85 Go rate thy minions, proud insulting boy.
0893 Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
0894 Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?
0895 I am his king, and he should bow his knee.
0896 I was adopted heir by his consent.
0897 90 Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
0898 You that are king, though he do wear the crown,
0899 Have caused him, by new act of Parliament,
0900 To blot out me and put his own son in.
CLIFFORD 0901 And reason too:
0902 95 Who should succeed the father but the son?
0903 Are you there, butcher? O, I cannot speak!
0904 Ay, crookback, here I stand to answer thee,
0905 Or any he, the proudest of thy sort.
0906 ’Twas you that killed young Rutland, was it not?
0907 100 Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
0908 For God’s sake, lords, give signal to the fight!
0909 What sayst thou, Henry? Wilt thou yield the crown?
0910 Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick, dare you
0912 105 When you and I met at Saint Albans last,
0913 Your legs did better service than your hands.
0914 Then ’twas my turn to fly, and now ’tis thine.
0915 You said so much before, and yet you fled.
0916 ’Twas not your valor, Clifford, drove me thence.
0917 110 No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.
0918 Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.—
0919 Break off the parley, for scarce I can refrain
0920 The execution of my big-swoll’n heart
0921 Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
0922 115 I slew thy father; call’st thou him a child?
0923 Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
0924 As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland.
0925 But ere sunset I’ll make thee curse the deed.
0926 Have done with words, my lords, and hear me
0927 120 speak.
0928 Defy them, then, or else hold close thy lips.
0929 I prithee, give no limits to my tongue.
0930 I am a king and privileged to speak.
0931 My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
0932 125 Cannot be cured by words; therefore, be still.
0933 Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword.
0934 By Him that made us all, I am resolved
0935 That Clifford’s manhood lies upon his tongue.
0936 Say, Henry, shall I have my right or no?
0937 130 A thousand men have broke their fasts today
0938 That ne’er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.
0939 If thou deny, their blood upon thy head,
0940 For York in justice puts his armor on.
0941 If that be right which Warwick says is right,
0942 135 There is no wrong, but everything is right.
0943 Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands,
0944 For well I wot thou hast thy mother’s tongue.
0945 But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam,
0946 But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
0947 140 Marked by the Destinies to be avoided,
0948 As venom toads or lizards’ dreadful stings.
0949 Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt,
0950 Whose father bears the title of a king,
0951 As if a channel should be called the sea,
0954 To let thy tongue detect thy baseborn heart?
0955 A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns
0956 To make this shameless callet know herself.—
0957 150 Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
0958 Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
0959 And ne’er was Agamemnon’s brother wronged
0960 By that false woman as this king by thee.
0961 His father reveled in the heart of France,
0962 155 And tamed the King, and made the Dauphin stoop;
0963 And had he matched according to his state,
0964 He might have kept that glory to this day.
0965 But when he took a beggar to his bed
0966 And graced thy poor sire with his bridal day,
0967 160 Even then that sunshine brewed a shower for him
0968 That washed his father’s fortunes forth of France
0969 And heaped sedition on his crown at home.
0970 For what hath broached this tumult but thy pride?
0971 Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept,
0972 165 And we, in pity of the gentle king,
0973 Had slipped our claim until another age.
0974 But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
0975 And that thy summer bred us no increase,
0976 We set the axe to thy usurping root;
0977 170 And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
0978 Yet know thou, since we have begun to strike,
0979 We’ll never leave till we have hewn thee down
0980 Or bathed thy growing with our heated bloods.
0981 And in this resolution, I defy thee,
0982 175 Not willing any longer conference,
0983 Since thou denied’st the gentle king to speak.—
0985 And either victory or else a grave!
QUEEN MARGARET 0986 Stay, Edward!
0987 180 No, wrangling woman, we’ll no longer stay.
0988 These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.
They all exit.
⌜wearing the white rose.⌝
WARWICK, ⌜lying down⌝
0989 Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
0990 I lay me down a little while to breathe,
0991 For strokes received and many blows repaid
0992 Have robbed my strong-knit sinews of their strength;
0993 5 And spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile.
Enter Edward, ⌜wearing the white rose,⌝ running.
0994 Smile, gentle heaven, or strike, ungentle death,
0995 For this world frowns and Edward’s sun is clouded.
Enter ⌜George, wearing the white rose.⌝
0996 How now, my lord, what hap? What hope of good?
0997 Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair;
0998 10 Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us.
0999 What counsel give you? Whither shall we fly?
1000 Bootless is flight; they follow us with wings,
1001 And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.
1002 Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
1003 15 Thy brother’s blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
1004 Broached with the steely point of Clifford’s lance,
1005 And in the very pangs of death he cried,
1006 Like to a dismal clangor heard from far,
1007 “Warwick, revenge! Brother, revenge my death!”
1008 20 So, underneath the belly of their steeds,
1009 That stained their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
1010 The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
1011 Then let the earth be drunken with our blood!
1012 I’ll kill my horse because I will not fly.
1013 25 Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
1014 Wailing our losses whiles the foe doth rage,
1015 And look upon, as if the tragedy
1016 Were played in jest by counterfeiting actors?
1017 Here on my knee I vow to God above
1018 30 I’ll never pause again, never stand still,
1019 Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine
1020 Or Fortune given me measure of revenge.
1021 O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine,
1022 And in this vow do chain my soul to thine
1023 35 And, ere my knee rise from the Earth’s cold face,
1024 I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to Thee,
1025 Thou setter up and plucker down of kings,
1026 Beseeching Thee, if with Thy will it stands
1027 That to my foes this body must be prey,
1028 40 Yet that Thy brazen gates of heaven may ope
1029 And give sweet passage to my sinful soul.
⌜Edward and Warwick stand.⌝
1031 Where’er it be, in heaven or in Earth.
1032 Brother, give me thy hand.—And, gentle Warwick,
1033 45 Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
1034 I that did never weep now melt with woe
1035 That winter should cut off our springtime so.
1036 Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.
1037 Yet let us all together to our troops
1038 50 And give them leave to fly that will not stay,
1039 And call them pillars that will stand to us;
1040 And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards
1041 As victors wear at the Olympian Games.
1042 This may plant courage in their quailing breasts,
1043 55 For yet is hope of life and victory.
1044 Forslow no longer; make we hence amain.
the white rose,⌝ and Clifford, ⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
1045 Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone.
1046 Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
1047 And this for Rutland, both bound to revenge,
1048 Wert thou environed with a brazen wall.
1049 5 Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone.
1050 This is the hand that stabbed thy father York,
1051 And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland,
1052 And here’s the heart that triumphs in their death
1053 And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and brother
1055 And so, have at thee!
They fight; Warwick comes; Clifford flies.
1056 Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase,
1057 For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.
1058 This battle fares like to the morning’s war,
1059 When dying clouds contend with growing light,
1060 What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
1061 Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
1062 5 Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
1063 Forced by the tide to combat with the wind;
1064 Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
1065 Forced to retire by fury of the wind.
1066 Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
1067 10 Now one the better, then another best,
1068 Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
1069 Yet neither conqueror nor conquerèd.
1070 So is the equal poise of this fell war.
1071 Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
⌜He sits on a small prominence.⌝
1072 15 To whom God will, there be the victory;
1073 For Margaret my queen and Clifford too
1074 Have chid me from the battle, swearing both
1075 They prosper best of all when I am thence.
1076 Would I were dead, if God’s good will were so,
1077 20 For what is in this world but grief and woe?
1078 O God! Methinks it were a happy life
1080 To sit upon a hill as I do now,
1081 To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
1082 25 Thereby to see the minutes how they run:
1083 How many makes the hour full complete,
1084 How many hours brings about the day,
1085 How many days will finish up the year,
1086 How many years a mortal man may live.
1087 30 When this is known, then to divide the times:
1088 So many hours must I tend my flock,
1089 So many hours must I take my rest,
1090 So many hours must I contemplate,
1091 So many hours must I sport myself,
1092 35 So many days my ewes have been with young,
1093 So many weeks ere the poor fools will ean,
1094 So many years ere I shall shear the fleece;
1095 So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
1096 Passed over to the end they were created,
1097 40 Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
1098 Ah, what a life were this! How sweet, how lovely!
1099 Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
1100 To shepherds looking on their silly sheep
1101 Than doth a rich embroidered canopy
1102 45 To kings that fear their subjects’ treachery?
1103 O yes, it doth, a thousandfold it doth.
1104 And to conclude, the shepherd’s homely curds,
1105 His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
1106 His wonted sleep under a fresh tree’s shade,
1107 50 All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
1108 Is far beyond a prince’s delicates—
1109 His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
1110 His body couchèd in a curious bed—
1111 When care, mistrust, and treason waits on him.
Alarum. Enter at one door a Son that hath killed his
Father, ⌜carrying the body.⌝
1112 55 Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
1113 This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
1114 May be possessèd with some store of crowns,
1115 And I, that haply take them from him now,
1116 May yet ere night yield both my life and them
1117 60 To some man else, as this dead man doth me.
1118 Who’s this? O God! It is my father’s face,
1119 Whom in this conflict I unwares have killed.
1120 O heavy times, begetting such events!
1121 From London by the King was I pressed forth.
1122 65 My father, being the Earl of Warwick’s man,
1123 Came on the part of York, pressed by his master.
1124 And I, who at his hands received my life,
1125 Have by my hands of life bereavèd him.
1126 Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did;
1127 70 And pardon, father, for I knew not thee.
1128 My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks,
1129 And no more words till they have flowed their fill.
1130 O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
1131 Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
1132 75 Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
1133 Weep, wretched man. I’ll aid thee tear for tear,
1134 And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
1135 Be blind with tears and break, o’ercharged with grief.
Enter at another door a Father that hath killed his Son,
bearing of his ⌜Son’s body.⌝
1136 Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
1137 80 Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold,
1138 For I have bought it with an hundred blows.
1139 But let me see: is this our foeman’s face?
1140 Ah, no, no, no, it is mine only son!
1142 85 Throw up thine eye! See, see, what showers arise,
1143 Blown with the windy tempest of my heart
1144 Upon thy wounds, that kills mine eye and heart!
1145 O, pity God this miserable age!
1146 What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
1147 90 Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural
1148 This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!
1149 O, boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
1150 And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!
1151 Woe above woe, grief more than common grief!
1152 95 O, that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!
1153 O pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity!
1154 The red rose and the white are on his face,
1155 The fatal colors of our striving houses;
1156 The one his purple blood right well resembles,
1157 100 The other his pale cheeks methinks presenteth.
1158 Wither one rose and let the other flourish;
1159 If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.
1160 How will my mother for a father’s death
1161 Take on with me and ne’er be satisfied!
1162 105 How will my wife for slaughter of my son
1163 Shed seas of tears and ne’er be satisfied!
1164 How will the country for these woeful chances
1165 Misthink the King and not be satisfied!
1166 Was ever son so rued a father’s death?
1167 110 Was ever father so bemoaned his son?
1168 Was ever king so grieved for subjects’ woe?
1169 Much is your sorrow, mine ten times so much.
1170 I’ll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill.
⌜He exits, bearing the body.⌝
1171 These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet;
1172 115 My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulcher,
1173 For from my heart thine image ne’er shall go.
1174 My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell;
1175 And so obsequious will thy father be
1176 ⌜E’en⌝ for the loss of thee, having no more,
1177 120 As Priam was for all his valiant sons.
1178 I’ll bear thee hence, and let them fight that will,
1179 For I have murdered where I should not kill.
He exits, ⌜bearing the body.⌝
1180 Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
1181 Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
Alarums. Excursions. Enter Queen ⌜Margaret,⌝ Prince
⌜Edward,⌝ and Exeter, ⌜all wearing the red rose.⌝
1182 125 Fly, father, fly, for all your friends are fled,
1183 And Warwick rages like a chafèd bull.
1184 Away, for Death doth hold us in pursuit.
1185 Mount you, my lord; towards Berwick post amain.
1186 Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds
1187 130 Having the fearful flying hare in sight,
1188 With fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath
1189 And bloody steel grasped in their ireful hands,
1190 Are at our backs, and therefore hence amain.
1191 Away, for Vengeance comes along with them.
1192 135 Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed;
1193 Or else come after; I’ll away before.
1194 Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Exeter;
1195 Not that I fear to stay, but love to go
1196 Whither the Queen intends. Forward, away!
⌜wearing the red rose,⌝ wounded.
1197 Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
1198 Which whiles it lasted gave King Henry light.
1199 O Lancaster, I fear thy overthrow
1200 More than my body’s parting with my soul!
1201 5 My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
1202 And now I fall, thy tough commixtures melts,
1203 Impairing Henry, strength’ning misproud York;
1204 And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
1205 And who shines now but Henry’s enemies?
1206 10 O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
1207 That Phaëton should check thy fiery steeds,
1208 Thy burning car never had scorched the Earth!
1209 And Henry, hadst thou swayed as kings should do,
1210 Or as thy father and his father did,
1211 15 Giving no ground unto the house of York,
1212 They never then had sprung like summer flies;
1213 I and ten thousand in this luckless realm
1214 Had left no mourning widows for our death,
1215 And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
1216 20 For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
1217 And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
1218 Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
1219 No way to fly, no strength to hold out flight.
1220 The foe is merciless and will not pity,
1222 The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
1223 And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
1224 Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest.
1225 I stabbed your fathers’ bosoms; split my breast.
Alarum and retreat. Enter Edward, Warwick,
Richard, and Soldiers, Montague, and ⌜George,⌝
⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
1226 30 Now breathe we, lords. Good fortune bids us pause
1227 And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.
1228 Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen
1229 That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
1230 As doth a sail filled with a fretting gust
1231 35 Command an argosy to stem the waves.
1232 But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
1233 No, ’tis impossible he should escape,
1234 For, though before his face I speak the words,
1235 Your brother Richard marked him for the grave,
1236 40 And wheresoe’er he is, he’s surely dead.
Clifford groans, ⌜and dies.⌝
1237 Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
1238 A deadly groan, like life and death’s departing.
1239 See who it is; and, now the battle’s ended,
1240 If friend or foe, let him be gently used.
1241 45 Revoke that doom of mercy, for ’tis Clifford,
1242 Who not contented that he lopped the branch
1243 In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
1244 But set his murd’ring knife unto the root
1246 50 I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
1247 From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
1248 Your father’s head, which Clifford placèd there;
1249 Instead whereof let this supply the room.
1250 Measure for measure must be answerèd.
1251 55 Bring forth that fatal screech owl to our house
1252 That nothing sung but death to us and ours;
1253 Now death shall stop his dismal threat’ning sound,
1254 And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
1255 I think ⌜his⌝ understanding is bereft.—
1256 60 Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to
1258 Dark cloudy death o’ershades his beams of life,
1259 And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
1260 O, would he did—and so, perhaps, he doth!
1261 65 ’Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
1262 Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
1263 Which in the time of death he gave our father.
1264 If so thou think’st, vex him with eager words.
1265 Clifford, ask mercy and obtain no grace.
1266 70 Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
1267 Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
1268 While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
1269 Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
1270 Thou pitied’st Rutland; I will pity thee.
1271 75 Where’s Captain Margaret to fence you now?
1272 They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
1273 What, not an oath? Nay, then, the world goes hard
1274 When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
1275 I know by that he’s dead; and, by my soul,
1276 80 If this right hand would buy ⌜but⌝ two hours’ life
1277 That I in all despite might rail at him,
1278 This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing
1280 Stifle the villain whose unstaunchèd thirst
1281 85 York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
1282 Ay, but he’s dead. Off with the traitor’s head,
1283 And rear it in the place your father’s stands.
1284 And now to London with triumphant march,
1285 There to be crownèd England’s royal king,
1286 90 From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France
1287 And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen;
1288 So shalt thou sinew both these lands together,
1289 And having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
1290 The scattered foe that hopes to rise again;
1291 95 For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
1292 Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
1293 First will I see the coronation,
1294 And then to Brittany I’ll cross the sea
1295 To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
1296 100 Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
1297 For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
1298 And never will I undertake the thing
1299 Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.—
1301 105 And George, of Clarence. Warwick as ourself
1302 Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
1303 Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloucester,
1304 For Gloucester’s dukedom is too ominous.
1305 Tut, that’s a foolish observation.
1306 110 Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,
1307 To see these honors in possession.
They exit, ⌜with Clifford’s body.⌝
with crossbows in their hands.
1308 Under this thick-grown brake we’ll shroud ourselves,
1309 For through this laund anon the deer will come;
1310 And in this covert will we make our stand,
1311 Culling the principal of all the deer.
1312 5 I’ll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.
1313 That cannot be. The noise of thy crossbow
1314 Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.
1315 Here stand we both, and aim we at the best.
1316 And for the time shall not seem tedious,
1317 10 I’ll tell thee what befell me on a day
1318 In this self place where now we mean to stand.
1319 Here comes a man; let’s stay till he be past.
Enter King ⌜Henry, in disguise,⌝ with a prayer book.
1320 From Scotland am I stol’n, even of pure love,
1321 To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
1322 15 No, Harry, Harry, ’tis no land of thine!
1323 Thy place is filled, thy scepter wrung from thee,
1325 No bending knee will call thee Caesar now,
1326 No humble suitors press to speak for right,
1327 20 No, not a man comes for redress of thee;
1328 For how can I help them an not myself?
FIRST GAMEKEEPER, ⌜aside to Second Gamekeeper⌝
1329 Ay, here’s a deer whose skin’s a keeper’s fee.
1330 This is the quondam king. Let’s seize upon him.
1331 Let me embrace the sour adversaries,
1332 25 For wise men say it is the wisest course.
SECOND GAMEKEEPER, ⌜aside to First Gamekeeper⌝
1333 Why linger we? Let us lay hands upon him.
FIRST GAMEKEEPER, ⌜aside to Second Gamekeeper⌝
1334 Forbear awhile; we’ll hear a little more.
1335 My queen and son are gone to France for aid,
1336 And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick
1337 30 Is thither gone to crave the French king’s sister
1338 To wife for Edward. If this news be true,
1339 Poor queen and son, your labor is but lost,
1340 For Warwick is a subtle orator,
1341 And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.
1342 35 By this account, then, Margaret may win him,
1343 For she’s a woman to be pitied much.
1344 Her sighs will make a batt’ry in his breast,
1345 Her tears will pierce into a marble heart.
1346 The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn,
1347 40 And Nero will be tainted with remorse
1348 To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears.
1349 Ay, but she’s come to beg, Warwick to give;
1350 She on his left side craving aid for Henry;
1351 He on his right asking a wife for Edward.
1352 45 She weeps and says her Henry is deposed;
1353 He smiles and says his Edward is installed;
1354 That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more,
1356 Inferreth arguments of mighty strength,
1357 50 And in conclusion wins the King from her
1358 With promise of his sister and what else
1359 To strengthen and support King Edward’s place.
1360 O Margaret, thus ’twill be, and thou, poor soul,
1361 Art then forsaken, as thou went’st forlorn.
1362 55 Say, what art thou ⌜that⌝ talk’st of kings and queens?
1363 More than I seem, and less than I was born to:
1364 A man at least, for less I should not be;
1365 And men may talk of kings, and why not I?
1366 Ay, but thou talk’st as if thou wert a king.
1367 60 Why, so I am in mind, and that’s enough.
1368 But if thou be a king, where is thy crown?
1369 My crown is in my heart, not on my head;
1370 Not decked with diamonds and Indian stones,
1371 Nor to be seen. My crown is called content;
1372 65 A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
1373 Well, if you be a king crowned with content,
1374 Your crown content and you must be contented
1375 To go along with us. For, as we think,
1376 You are the king King Edward hath deposed;
1377 70 And we his subjects sworn in all allegiance
1378 Will apprehend you as his enemy.
1379 But did you never swear and break an oath?
1380 No, never such an oath, nor will not now.
1381 Where did you dwell when I was King of England?
1382 75 Here in this country, where we now remain.
1383 I was anointed king at nine months old.
1384 My father and my grandfather were kings,
1385 And you were sworn true subjects unto me.
1386 And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?
1387 80 No, for we were subjects but while you were king.
1388 Why, am I dead? Do I not breathe a man?
1389 Ah, simple men, you know not what you swear.
1390 Look as I blow this feather from my face
1391 And as the air blows it to me again,
1392 85 Obeying with my wind when I do blow
1393 And yielding to another when it blows,
1394 Commanded always by the greater gust,
1395 Such is the lightness of you common men.
1396 But do not break your oaths, for of that sin
1397 90 My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty.
1398 Go where you will, the King shall be commanded,
1399 And be you kings: command, and I’ll obey.
1400 We are true subjects to the King, King Edward.
1401 So would you be again to Henry
1402 95 If he were seated as King Edward is.
1403 We charge you in God’s name and the King’s
1404 To go with us unto the officers.
1405 In God’s name, lead. Your king’s name be obeyed,
1406 And what God will, that let your king perform.
1407 100 And what he will, I humbly yield unto.
⌜George, Duke of⌝ Clarence, Lady Grey,
1408 Brother of Gloucester, at Saint Albans field
1409 This lady’s husband, Sir Richard Grey, was slain,
1410 His land then seized on by the conqueror.
1411 Her suit is now to repossess those lands,
1412 5 Which we in justice cannot well deny,
1413 Because in quarrel of the house of York
1414 The worthy gentleman did lose his life.
1415 Your Highness shall do well to grant her suit;
1416 It were dishonor to deny it her.
1417 10 It were no less, but yet I’ll make a pause.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝ 1418 Yea, is it so?
1419 I see the lady hath a thing to grant
1420 Before the King will grant her humble suit.
CLARENCE, ⌜formerly GEORGE, aside to Richard⌝
1421 He knows the game; how true he keeps the wind!
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝ 1422 15Silence!
1423 Widow, we will consider of your suit,
1424 And come some other time to know our mind.
1425 Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay.
1426 May it please your Highness to resolve me now,
1427 20 And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1428 Ay, widow? Then I’ll warrant you all your lands,
1429 An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
1430 Fight closer, or, good faith, you’ll catch a blow.
1431 I fear her not, unless she chance to fall.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1432 25 God forbid that, for he’ll take vantages.
1433 How many children hast thou, widow? Tell me.
CLARENCE, ⌜aside to Richard⌝
1434 I think he means to beg a child of her.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1435 Nay, then, whip me; he’ll rather give her two.
LADY GREY 1436 Three, my most gracious lord.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1437 30 You shall have four if you’ll be ruled by him.
1438 ’Twere pity they should lose their father’s lands.
1439 Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.
1440 Lords, give us leave. I’ll try this widow’s wit.
⌜Richard and Clarence stand aside.⌝
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1441 Ay, good leave have you, for you will have leave
1442 35 Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
1443 Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?
1444 Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
1445 And would you not do much to do them good?
1446 To do them good I would sustain some harm.
1447 40 Then get your husband’s lands to do them good.
1448 Therefore I came unto your Majesty.
1449 I’ll tell you how these lands are to be got.
1450 So shall you bind me to your Highness’ service.
1451 What service wilt thou do me if I give them?
1452 45 What you command that rests in me to do.
1453 But you will take exceptions to my boon.
1454 No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
1455 Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
1456 Why, then, I will do what your Grace commands.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1457 50 He plies her hard, and much rain wears the marble.
CLARENCE, ⌜aside to Richard⌝
1458 As red as fire! Nay, then, her wax must melt.
1459 Why stops my lord? Shall I not hear my task?
1460 An easy task; ’tis but to love a king.
1461 That’s soon performed because I am a subject.
1462 55 Why, then, thy husband’s lands I freely give thee.
1463 I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
⌜She curtsies and begins to exit.⌝
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1464 The match is made; she seals it with a cursy.
1465 But stay thee; ’tis the fruits of love I mean.
1466 The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
1467 60 Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
1468 What love, think’st thou, I sue so much to get?
1469 My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers,
1470 That love which virtue begs and virtue grants.
1471 No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
1472 65 Why, then, you mean not as I thought you did.
1473 But now you partly may perceive my mind.
1474 My mind will never grant what I perceive
1475 Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.
1476 To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
1477 70 To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
1478 Why, then, thou shalt not have thy husband’s lands.
1479 Why, then, mine honesty shall be my dower,
1480 For by that loss I will not purchase them.
1481 Therein thou wrong’st thy children mightily.
1482 75 Herein your Highness wrongs both them and me.
1483 But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
1484 Accords not with the sadness of my suit.
1485 Please you dismiss me either with ay or no.
1486 Ay, if thou wilt say “ay” to my request;
1487 80 No, if thou dost say “no” to my demand.
1488 Then no, my lord; my suit is at an end.
RICHARD, ⌜aside to Clarence⌝
1489 The widow likes him not; she knits her brows.
CLARENCE, ⌜aside to Richard⌝
1490 He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.
KING EDWARD, ⌜aside⌝
1491 Her looks doth argue her replete with modesty;
1492 85 Her words doth show her wit incomparable;
1493 All her perfections challenge sovereignty.
1494 One way or other, she is for a king,
1495 And she shall be my love or else my queen.—
1496 Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
1497 90 ’Tis better said than done, my gracious lord.
1498 I am a subject fit to jest withal,
1499 But far unfit to be a sovereign.
1500 Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee
1501 I speak no more than what my soul intends,
1502 95 And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.
1503 And that is more than I will yield unto.
1504 I know I am too mean to be your queen
1505 And yet too good to be your concubine.
1506 You cavil, widow; I did mean my queen.
1507 100 ’Twill grieve your Grace my sons should call you
1509 No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
1510 Thou art a widow and thou hast some children,
1511 And, by God’s mother, I, being but a bachelor,
1512 105 Have other some. Why, ’tis a happy thing
1513 To be the father unto many sons.
1514 Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
1515 The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.
CLARENCE, ⌜aside to Richard⌝
1516 When he was made a shriver, ’twas for shift.
1517 110 Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
1518 The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
1519 You’d think it strange if I should marry her.
1520 To who, my lord?
KING EDWARD 1521 Why, Clarence, to myself.
1522 115 That would be ten days’ wonder at the least.
1523 That’s a day longer than a wonder lasts.
1524 By so much is the wonder in extremes.
1525 Well, jest on, brothers. I can tell you both
1526 Her suit is granted for her husband’s lands.
Enter a Nobleman.
1527 120 My gracious lord, Henry, your foe, is taken
1528 And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
1529 See that he be conveyed unto the Tower.
1530 And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
1531 To question of his apprehension.—
1532 125 Widow, go you along.—Lords, use her ⌜honorably.⌝
1533 Ay, Edward will use women honorably!
1534 Would he were wasted—marrow, bones, and all—
1535 That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring
1536 To cross me from the golden time I look for.
1537 130 And yet, between my soul’s desire and me,
1538 The lustful Edward’s title burièd,
1539 Is Clarence, Henry, and his son, young Edward,
1540 And all the unlooked-for issue of their bodies
1541 To take their rooms ere I can place myself.
1542 135 A cold premeditation for my purpose.
1543 Why, then, I do but dream on sovereignty
1544 Like one that stands upon a promontory
1545 And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
1546 Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
1547 140 And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
1548 Saying he’ll lade it dry to have his way.
1549 So do I wish the crown, being so far off,
1550 And so I chide the means that keeps me from it,
1551 And so, I say, I’ll cut the causes off,
1552 145 Flattering me with impossibilities.
1553 My eye’s too quick, my heart o’erweens too much,
1554 Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
1555 Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard,
1556 What other pleasure can the world afford?
1557 150 I’ll make my heaven in a lady’s lap
1558 And deck my body in gay ornaments,
1559 And ’witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
1560 O miserable thought, and more unlikely
1561 Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
1562 155 Why, Love forswore me in my mother’s womb,
1563 And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
1564 She did corrupt frail Nature with some bribe
1565 To shrink mine arm up like a withered shrub;
1566 To make an envious mountain on my back,
1568 To shape my legs of an unequal size;
1569 To disproportion me in every part,
1570 Like to a chaos, or an unlicked bear-whelp,
1571 That carries no impression like the dam.
1572 165 And am I then a man to be beloved?
1573 O monstrous fault to harbor such a thought!
1574 Then, since this Earth affords no joy to me
1575 But to command, to check, to o’erbear such
1576 As are of better person than myself,
1577 170 I’ll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
1578 And, whiles I live, t’ account this world but hell
1579 Until my misshaped trunk that bears this head
1580 Be round impalèd with a glorious crown.
1581 And yet I know not how to get the crown,
1582 175 For many lives stand between me and home;
1583 And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
1584 That rents the thorns and is rent with the thorns,
1585 Seeking a way and straying from the way,
1586 Not knowing how to find the open air,
1587 180 But toiling desperately to find it out,
1588 Torment myself to catch the English crown.
1589 And from that torment I will free myself
1590 Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
1591 Why, I can smile, and murder whiles I smile,
1592 185 And cry “Content” to that which grieves my heart,
1593 And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
1594 And frame my face to all occasions.
1595 I’ll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
1596 I’ll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
1597 190 I’ll play the orator as well as Nestor,
1598 Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
1599 And, like a Sinon, take another Troy.
1600 I can add colors to the chameleon,
1601 Change shapes with Proteus for advantages,
1603 Can I do this and cannot get a crown?
1604 Tut, were it farther off, I’ll pluck it down.
⌜the Lady⌝ Bona, his Admiral called Bourbon,
Prince Edward, Queen Margaret, and the Earl of Oxford,
⌜the last three wearing the red rose.⌝
Lewis sits, and riseth up again.
1605 Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,
1606 Sit down with us. It ill befits thy state
1607 And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis
1608 doth sit.
1609 5 No, mighty King of France. Now Margaret
1610 Must strike her sail and learn awhile to serve
1611 Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
1612 Great Albion’s queen in former golden days,
1613 But now mischance hath trod my title down
1614 10 And with dishonor laid me on the ground,
1615 Where I must take like seat unto my fortune
1616 And to my humble seat conform myself.
1617 Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep
1619 15 From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
1620 And stops my tongue, while heart is drowned in cares.
1621 Whate’er it be, be thou still like thyself,
1622 And sit thee by our side.Seats her by him.
1623 Yield not thy neck
1624 20 To Fortune’s yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
1625 Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
1626 Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief.
1627 It shall be eased if France can yield relief.
1628 Those gracious words revive my drooping thoughts
1629 25 And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.
1630 Now therefore be it known to noble Lewis
1631 That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
1632 Is, of a king, become a banished man
1633 And forced to live in Scotland a forlorn;
1634 30 While proud ambitious Edward, Duke of York,
1635 Usurps the regal title and the seat
1636 Of England’s true-anointed lawful king.
1637 This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,
1638 With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry’s heir,
1639 35 Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
1640 And if thou fail us, all our hope is done.
1641 Scotland hath will to help but cannot help;
1642 Our people and our peers are both misled,
1643 Our treasure seized, our soldiers put to flight,
1644 40 And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
1645 Renownèd queen, with patience calm the storm
1646 While we bethink a means to break it off.
1647 The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
1648 The more I stay, the more I’ll succor thee.
1649 45 O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow.
1650 And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
1651 What’s he approacheth boldly to our presence?
1652 Our Earl of Warwick, Edward’s greatest friend.
KING LEWIS, ⌜standing⌝
1653 Welcome, brave Warwick. What brings thee to France?
He descends. She ariseth.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
1654 50 Ay, now begins a second storm to rise,
1655 For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
1656 From worthy Edward, King of Albion,
1657 My lord and sovereign and thy vowèd friend,
1658 I come in kindness and unfeignèd love,
1659 55 First, to do greetings to thy royal person,
1660 And then to crave a league of amity,
1661 And, lastly, to confirm that amity
1662 With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant
1663 That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister,
1664 60 To England’s king in lawful marriage.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
1665 If that go forward, Henry’s hope is done.
WARWICK, speaking to ⌜Lady⌝ Bona
1666 And, gracious madam, in our king’s behalf,
1667 I am commanded, with your leave and favor,
1668 Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue
1669 65 To tell the passion of my sovereign’s heart,
1670 Where fame, late ent’ring at his heedful ears,
1671 Hath placed thy beauty’s image and thy virtue.
1672 King Lewis and Lady Bona, hear me speak
1673 Before you answer Warwick. His demand
1674 70 Springs not from Edward’s well-meant honest love,
1676 For how can tyrants safely govern home
1677 Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
1678 To prove him tyrant, this reason may suffice:
1679 75 That Henry liveth still; but were he dead,
1680 Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry’s son.
1681 Look, therefore, Lewis, that by this league and
1683 Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonor;
1684 80 For though usurpers sway the rule awhile,
1685 Yet heav’ns are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
1686 Injurious Margaret!
PRINCE EDWARD 1687 And why not “Queen”?
1688 Because thy father Henry did usurp,
1689 85 And thou no more art prince than she is queen.
1690 Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,
1691 Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
1692 And after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,
1693 Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
1694 90 And after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,
1695 Who by his prowess conquerèd all France.
1696 From these our Henry lineally descends.
1697 Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse
1698 You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost
1699 95 All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten.
1700 Methinks these peers of France should smile at that.
1701 But, for the rest: you tell a pedigree
1702 Of threescore and two years, a silly time
1703 To make prescription for a kingdom’s worth.
1704 100 Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege,
1705 Whom thou obeyed’st thirty and six years,
1706 And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
1707 Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
1708 Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
1709 105 For shame, leave Henry, and call Edward king.
1710 Call him my king, by whose injurious doom
1711 My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere,
1712 Was done to death? And more than so, my father,
1713 Even in the downfall of his mellowed years,
1714 110 When nature brought him to the door of death?
1715 No, Warwick, no. While life upholds this arm,
1716 This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
WARWICK 1717 And I the house of York.
1718 Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford,
1719 115 Vouchsafe, at our request, to stand aside
1720 While I use further conference with Warwick.
They stand aloof.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜aside⌝
1721 Heavens grant that Warwick’s words bewitch him
1723 Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,
1724 120 Is Edward your true king? For I were loath
1725 To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
1726 Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honor.
1727 But is he gracious in the people’s eye?
1728 The more that Henry was unfortunate.
1729 125 Then further, all dissembling set aside,
1730 Tell me for truth the measure of his love
1731 Unto our sister Bona.
1733 As may beseem a monarch like himself.
1734 130 Myself have often heard him say and swear
1735 That this his love was an ⌜eternal⌝ plant,
1736 Whereof the root was fixed in virtue’s ground,
1737 The leaves and fruit maintained with beauty’s sun,
1738 Exempt from envy but not from disdain,
1739 135 Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
1740 Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
1741 Your grant or your denial shall be mine.
1742 (Speaks to Warwick.) Yet I confess that often ere this
1744 140 When I have heard your king’s desert recounted,
1745 Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
1746 Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward’s.
1747 And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
1748 Touching the jointure that your king must make,
1749 145 Which with her dowry shall be counterpoised.—
1750 Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness
1751 That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
1752 To Edward, but not to the English king.
1753 Deceitful Warwick, it was thy device
1754 150 By this alliance to make void my suit.
1755 Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry’s friend.
1756 And still is friend to him and Margaret.
1757 But if your title to the crown be weak,
1758 As may appear by Edward’s good success,
1759 155 Then ’tis but reason that I be released
1760 From giving aid which late I promisèd.
1762 That your estate requires and mine can yield.
1763 Henry now lives in Scotland at his ease,
1764 160 Where, having nothing, nothing can he lose.—
1765 And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
1766 You have a father able to maintain you,
1767 And better ’twere you troubled him than France.
1768 Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick,
1769 165 Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!
1770 I will not hence till with my talk and tears,
1771 Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
1772 Thy sly conveyance and thy lord’s false love,
1773 For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.
Post blowing a horn within.
1774 170 Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.
Enter the Post.
POST speaks to Warwick.
1775 My lord ambassador, these letters are for you,
1776 Sent from your brother, Marquess Montague.
1777 (To Lewis.) These from our king unto your Majesty.
1778 (To Margaret.) And, madam, these for you—from
1779 175 whom, I know not.They all read their letters.
1780 I like it well that our fair queen and mistress
1781 Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.
PRINCE EDWARD, ⌜aside⌝
1782 Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled.
1783 I hope all’s for the best.
1784 180 Warwick, what are thy news? And yours, fair queen?
1785 Mine, such as fill my heart with unhoped joys.
1786 Mine, full of sorrow and heart’s discontent.
1787 What, has your king married the Lady Grey,
1788 And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
1789 185 Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
1790 Is this th’ alliance that he seeks with France?
1791 Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
1792 I told your Majesty as much before.
1793 This proveth Edward’s love and Warwick’s honesty.
1794 190 King Lewis, I here protest in sight of heaven
1795 And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,
1796 That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward’s—
1797 No more my king, for he dishonors me,
1798 But most himself, if he could see his shame.
1799 195 Did I forget that by the house of York
1800 My father came untimely to his death?
1801 Did I let pass th’ abuse done to my niece?
1802 Did I impale him with the regal crown?
1803 Did I put Henry from his native right?
1804 200 And am I guerdoned at the last with shame?
1805 Shame on himself, for my desert is honor!
1806 And to repair my honor lost for him,
1807 I here renounce him and return to Henry.
⌜He removes the white rose.⌝
1808 My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
1809 205 And henceforth I am thy true servitor.
1810 I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona
1811 And replant Henry in his former state.
1812 Warwick, these words have turned my hate to love,
1813 And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
1814 210 And joy that thou becom’st King Henry’s friend.
1815 So much his friend, ay, his unfeignèd friend,
1816 That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
1817 With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
1818 I’ll undertake to land them on our coast
1819 215 And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
1820 ’Tis not his new-made bride shall succor him.
1821 And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me,
1822 He’s very likely now to fall from him
1823 For matching more for wanton lust than honor,
1824 220 Or than for strength and safety of our country.
1825 Dear brother, how shall Bona be revenged
1826 But by thy help to this distressèd queen?
1827 Renownèd prince, how shall poor Henry live
1828 Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
1829 225 My quarrel and this English queen’s are one.
1830 And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.
1831 And mine with hers and thine and Margaret’s.
1832 Therefore at last I firmly am resolved
1833 You shall have aid.
1834 230 Let me give humble thanks for all, at once.
1835 Then, England’s messenger, return in post,
1836 And tell false Edward, thy supposèd king,
1837 That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
1838 To revel it with him and his new bride.
1839 235 Thou seest what’s passed; go fear thy king withal.
1840 Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly,
1841 I wear the willow garland for his sake.
1842 Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside
1843 And I am ready to put armor on.
1844 240 Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
1845 And therefore I’ll uncrown him ere ’t be long.
1846 There’s thy reward.⌜Gives money.⌝
1847 Be gone.Post exits.
KING LEWIS 1848 But, Warwick,
1849 245 Thou and Oxford with five thousand men
1850 Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle;
1851 And as occasion serves, this noble queen
1852 And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
1853 Yet ere thou go, but answer me one doubt:
1854 250 What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
1855 This shall assure my constant loyalty:
1856 That if our queen and this young prince agree,
1857 I’ll join mine eldest daughter, and my joy,
1858 To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
1859 255 Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
1860 Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous.
1861 Therefore, delay not; give thy hand to Warwick,
1862 And with thy hand, thy faith irrevocable,
1863 That only Warwick’s daughter shall be thine.
1864 260 Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it,
1865 And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
He gives his hand to Warwick.
1866 Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,
1867 And thou, Lord Bourbon, our High Admiral,
1868 Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.
1869 265 I long till Edward fall by war’s mischance
1870 For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
1871 I came from Edward as ambassador,
1872 But I return his sworn and mortal foe.
1873 Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
1874 270 But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
1875 Had he none else to make a stale but me?
1876 Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
1877 I was the chief that raised him to the crown,
1878 And I’ll be chief to bring him down again:
1879 275 Not that I pity Henry’s misery,
1880 But seek revenge on Edward’s mockery.
and Montague, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
1881 Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
1882 Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
1883 Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
1884 Alas, you know ’tis far from hence to France.
1885 5 How could he stay till Warwick made return?
1886 My lords, forbear this talk. Here comes the King.
RICHARD 1887 And his well-chosen bride.
1888 I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
Enter King Edward, ⌜with Attendants,⌝
Lady Grey, ⌜now Queen Elizabeth,⌝ Pembroke, Stafford,
Hastings, ⌜and others, all wearing the white rose.⌝
Four stand on one side, and four on the other.
1889 Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice,
1890 10 That you stand pensive, as half malcontent?
1891 As well as Lewis of France or the Earl of Warwick,
1893 That they’ll take no offense at our abuse.
1894 Suppose they take offense without a cause,
1895 15 They are but Lewis and Warwick; I am Edward,
1896 Your king and Warwick’s, and must have my will.
1897 And shall have your will because our king.
1898 Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
1899 Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
RICHARD 1900 20Not I.
1901 No, God forbid that I should wish them severed
1902 Whom God hath joined together. Ay, and ’twere pity
1903 To sunder them that yoke so well together.
1904 Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
1905 25 Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
1906 Should not become my wife and England’s queen?
1907 And you too, Somerset and Montague,
1908 Speak freely what you think.
1909 Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis
1910 30 Becomes your enemy for mocking him
1911 About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
1912 And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
1913 Is now dishonorèd by this new marriage.
1914 What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeased
1915 35 By such invention as I can devise?
1916 Yet to have joined with France in such alliance
1917 Would more have strengthened this our
1919 ’Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
1920 40 Why, knows not Montague that of itself
1921 England is safe, if true within itself?
1922 But the safer when ’tis backed with France.
1923 ’Tis better using France than trusting France.
1924 Let us be backed with God and with the seas
1925 45 Which He hath giv’n for fence impregnable,
1926 And with their helps only defend ourselves.
1927 In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
1928 For this one speech, Lord Hastings well deserves
1929 To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
1930 50 Ay, what of that? It was my will and grant,
1931 And for this once my will shall stand for law.
1932 And yet methinks your Grace hath not done well
1933 To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
1934 Unto the brother of your loving bride.
1935 55 She better would have fitted me or Clarence;
1936 But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
1937 Or else you would not have bestowed the heir
1938 Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife’s son,
1939 And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
1940 60 Alas, poor Clarence, is it for a wife
1941 That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
1942 In choosing for yourself you showed your judgment,
1943 Which, being shallow, you shall give me leave
1944 To play the broker in mine own behalf.
1945 65 And to that end, I shortly mind to leave you.
1946 Leave me or tarry, Edward will be king
1947 And not be tied unto his brother’s will.
1948 My lords, before it pleased his Majesty
1949 To raise my state to title of a queen,
1950 70 Do me but right and you must all confess
1951 That I was not ignoble of descent,
1952 And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
1953 But as this title honors me and mine,
1954 So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
1955 75 Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
1956 My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns.
1957 What danger or what sorrow can befall thee
1958 So long as Edward is thy constant friend
1959 And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
1960 80 Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
1961 Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
1962 Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
1963 And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
1964 I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
Enter a Post.
1965 85 Now, messenger, what letters or what news from
1967 My sovereign liege, no letters and few words
1968 But such as I without your special pardon
1969 Dare not relate.
1970 90 Go to, we pardon thee. Therefore, in brief,
1971 Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
1972 What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
1973 At my depart, these were his very words:
1974 “Go tell false Edward, the supposèd king,
1975 95 That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
1976 To revel it with him and his new bride.”
1977 Is Lewis so brave? Belike he thinks me Henry.
1978 But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
1979 These were her words, uttered with mild disdain:
1980 100 “Tell him, in hope he’ll prove a widower shortly,
1981 I’ll wear the willow garland for his sake.”
1982 I blame not her; she could say little less;
1983 She had the wrong. But what said Henry’s queen?
1984 For I have heard that she was there in place.
1985 105 “Tell him,” quoth she, “my mourning weeds are
1987 And I am ready to put armor on.”
1988 Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
1989 But what said Warwick to these injuries?
1990 110 He, more incensed against your Majesty
1991 Than all the rest, discharged me with these words:
1992 “Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
1993 And therefore I’ll uncrown him ere ’t be long.”
1994 Ha! Durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
1995 115 Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarned.
1996 They shall have wars and pay for their presumption.
1997 But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
1998 Ay, gracious sovereign, they are so linked in
2002 Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.—
2003 Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
2004 For I will hence to Warwick’s other daughter,
2005 125 That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
2006 I may not prove inferior to yourself.
2007 You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
Clarence exits, and Somerset follows.
2008 Not I. My thoughts aim at a further matter:
2009 I stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.
2010 130 Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick?
2011 Yet am I armed against the worst can happen,
2012 And haste is needful in this desp’rate case.
2013 Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
2014 Go levy men and make prepare for war.
2015 135 They are already, or quickly will be, landed.
2016 Myself in person will straight follow you.
Pembroke and Stafford exit.
2017 But ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
2018 Resolve my doubt: you twain, of all the rest,
2019 Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance.
2020 140 Tell me if you love Warwick more than me.
2021 If it be so, then both depart to him.
2022 I rather wish you foes than hollow friends.
2023 But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
2024 Give me assurance with some friendly vow,
2025 145 That I may never have you in suspect.
2026 So God help Montague as he proves true!
2027 And Hastings as he favors Edward’s cause!
2028 Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
2029 Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
2030 150 Why, so. Then am I sure of victory.
2031 Now therefore let us hence and lose no hour
2032 Till we meet Warwick with his foreign power.
⌜wearing the red rose,⌝ with French Soldiers.
2033 Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well.
2034 The common people by numbers swarm to us.
Enter Clarence and Somerset.
2035 But see where Somerset and Clarence comes.—
2036 Speak suddenly, my lords: are we all friends?
CLARENCE 2037 5Fear not that, my lord.
2038 Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick,
2039 And welcome, Somerset. I hold it cowardice
2040 To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
2041 Hath pawned an open hand in sign of love;
2042 10 Else might I think that Clarence, Edward’s brother,
2043 Were but a feignèd friend to our proceedings.
2044 But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be
2046 And now, what rests but, in night’s coverture
2047 15 Thy brother being carelessly encamped,
2048 His soldiers lurking in the town about,
2049 And but attended by a simple guard,
2051 Our scouts have found the adventure very easy;
2052 20 That, as Ulysses and stout Diomed
2053 With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus’ tents
2054 And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds,
2055 So we, well covered with the night’s black mantle,
2056 At unawares may beat down Edward’s guard
2057 25 And seize himself. I say not “slaughter him,”
2058 For I intend but only to surprise him.
2059 You that will follow me to this attempt,
2060 Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
They all cry “Henry!”
2061 Why then, let’s on our way in silent sort.
2062 30 For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!
⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
2063 Come on, my masters, each man take his stand.
2064 The King by this is set him down to sleep.
SECOND WATCH 2065 What, will he not to bed?
2066 Why, no, for he hath made a solemn vow
2067 5 Never to lie and take his natural rest
2068 Till Warwick or himself be quite suppressed.
2069 Tomorrow, then, belike shall be the day,
2070 If Warwick be so near as men report.
2071 But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
2072 10 That with the King here resteth in his tent?
2073 ’Tis the Lord Hastings, the King’s chiefest friend.
2074 O, is it so? But why commands the King
2075 That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
2076 While he himself keeps in the cold field?
2077 15 ’Tis the more honor, because more dangerous.
2078 Ay, but give me worship and quietness;
2079 I like it better than a dangerous honor.
2080 If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
2081 ’Tis to be doubted he would waken him.
2082 20 Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
2083 Ay, wherefore else guard we his royal tent
2084 But to defend his person from night foes?
Enter Warwick, Clarence, Oxford, Somerset, ⌜all wearing
the red rose,⌝ and French Soldiers, silent all.
2085 This is his tent, and see where stand his guard.
2086 Courage, my masters. Honor, now or never!
2087 25 But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
FIRST WATCH 2088 Who goes there?
SECOND WATCH 2089 Stay, or thou diest!
Warwick and the rest cry all “Warwick, Warwick!”
and set upon the guard, who fly, crying “Arm, Arm!”
Warwick and the rest following them.
The drum playing and trumpet sounding,
enter Warwick, Somerset, and the rest, bringing
King ⌜Edward⌝ out in his gown, sitting in a chair.
Richard and Hastings flies over the stage.
2090 What are they that fly there?
WARWICK 2091 Richard and Hastings.
2092 30 Let them go. Here is the Duke.
KING EDWARD 2093 The Duke?
2094 Why, Warwick, when we parted, thou call’dst me king.
WARWICK 2095 Ay, but the case is altered.
2096 When you disgraced me in my embassade,
2097 35 Then I degraded you from being king
2098 And come now to create you Duke of York.
2099 Alas, how should you govern any kingdom
2100 That know not how to use ambassadors,
2101 Nor how to be contented with one wife,
2102 40 Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
2103 Nor how to study for the people’s welfare,
2104 Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
2105 Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too?
2106 Nay, then, I see that Edward needs must down.
2107 45 Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance,
2108 Of thee thyself and all thy complices,
2109 Edward will always bear himself as king.
2110 Though Fortune’s malice overthrow my state,
2111 My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
2112 50 Then for his mind be Edward England’s king,
Takes off his crown.
2113 But Henry now shall wear the English crown
2114 And be true king indeed, thou but the shadow.—
2115 My lord of Somerset, at my request,
2116 See that forthwith Duke Edward be conveyed
2117 55 Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
2118 When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
2119 I’ll follow you and tell what answer
2120 Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him.—
2121 Now for awhile farewell, good Duke of York.
2122 60 What Fates impose, that men must needs abide;
2123 It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
⌜Somerset and Soldiers⌝ exit, ⌜guarding King Edward.⌝
2124 What now remains, my lords, for us to do
2125 But march to London with our soldiers?
2126 Ay, that’s the first thing that we have to do,
2127 65 To free King Henry from imprisonment
2128 And see him seated in the regal throne.
wearing the white rose.⌝
2129 Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
2130 Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
2131 What late misfortune is befall’n King Edward?
2132 What, loss of some pitched battle against Warwick?
2133 5 No, but the loss of his own royal person.
RIVERS 2134 Then is my sovereign slain?
2135 Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner,
2136 Either betrayed by falsehood of his guard
2137 Or by his foe surprised at unawares;
2138 10 And, as I further have to understand,
2139 Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
2140 Fell Warwick’s brother and by that our foe.
2141 These news I must confess are full of grief;
2142 Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may.
2143 15 Warwick may lose that now hath won the day.
2144 Till then fair hope must hinder life’s decay;
2145 And I the rather wean me from despair
2146 For love of Edward’s offspring in my womb.
2147 This is it that makes me bridle passion
2148 20 And bear with mildness my misfortune’s cross.
2149 Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear
2150 And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
2151 Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
2152 King Edward’s fruit, true heir to th’ English crown.
2153 25 But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
2154 I am informèd that he comes towards London
2155 To set the crown once more on Henry’s head.
2156 Guess thou the rest: King Edward’s friends must
2158 30 But to prevent the tyrant’s violence—
2159 For trust not him that hath once broken faith—
2160 I’ll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary
2161 To save at least the heir of Edward’s right.
2162 There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
2163 35 Come, therefore, let us fly while we may fly.
2164 If Warwick take us, we are sure to die.
and Sir William Stanley, ⌜with Soldiers,
all wearing the white rose.⌝
2165 Now, my Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley,
2166 Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither
2167 Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
2168 Thus ⌜stands⌝ the case: you know our king, my brother,
2169 5 Is prisoner to the Bishop here, at whose hands
2170 He hath good usage and great liberty,
2171 And, often but attended with weak guard,
2172 ⌜Comes⌝ hunting this way to disport himself.
2173 I have advertised him by secret means
2174 10 That, if about this hour he make this way
2175 Under the color of his usual game,
2176 He shall here find his friends with horse and men
2177 To set him free from his captivity.
Enter King Edward, ⌜wearing the white rose,⌝
and a Huntsman with him.
2178 This way, my lord, for this way lies the game.
2179 15 Nay, this way, man. See where the huntsmen stand.—
2180 Now, brother of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and the
2182 Stand you thus close to steal the Bishop’s deer?
2183 Brother, the time and case requireth haste.
2184 20 Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
KING EDWARD 2185 But whither shall we then?
2186 To Lynn, my lord, and shipped from thence
2187 to Flanders.
2188 Well guessed, believe me, for that was my meaning.
2189 25 Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
2190 But wherefore stay we? ’Tis no time to talk.
2191 Huntsman, what sayst thou? Wilt thou go along?
2192 Better do so than tarry and be hanged.
2193 Come then, away! Let’s ha’ no more ado.
2194 30 Bishop, farewell; shield thee from Warwick’s frown,
2195 And pray that I may repossess the crown.
Warwick, Somerset, young Henry ⌜Earl of Richmond,⌝
Oxford, Montague, ⌜all wearing the red rose,⌝
and Lieutenant ⌜of the Tower.⌝
2196 Master lieutenant, now that God and friends
2197 Have shaken Edward from the regal seat
2198 And turned my captive state to liberty,
2199 My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
2200 5 At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
2201 Subjects may challenge nothing of their sov’reigns,
2202 But, if an humble prayer may prevail,
2203 I then crave pardon of your Majesty.
2204 For what, lieutenant? For well using me?
2206 For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure,
2207 Ay, such a pleasure as encagèd birds
2208 Conceive when, after many moody thoughts,
2209 At last by notes of household harmony
2210 15 They quite forget their loss of liberty.—
2211 But, Warwick, after God thou sett’st me free,
2212 And chiefly, therefore, I thank God and thee.
2213 He was the author, thou the instrument.
2214 Therefore, that I may conquer Fortune’s spite
2215 20 By living low where Fortune cannot hurt me,
2216 And that the people of this blessèd land
2217 May not be punished with my thwarting stars,
2218 Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
2219 I here resign my government to thee,
2220 25 For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
2221 Your Grace hath still been famed for virtuous
2222 And now may seem as wise as virtuous
2223 By spying and avoiding Fortune’s malice,
2224 For few men rightly temper with the stars.
2225 30 Yet, in this one thing let me blame your Grace:
2226 For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
2227 No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
2228 To whom the heav’ns in thy nativity
2229 Adjudged an olive branch and laurel crown
2230 35 As likely to be blest in peace and war;
2231 And therefore I yield thee my free consent.
2232 And I choose Clarence only for Protector.
2233 Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands.
2234 Now join your hands, and with your hands your
2235 40 hearts,
2236 That no dissension hinder government.
2237 I make you both Protectors of this land,
2238 While I myself will lead a private life
2239 And in devotion spend my latter days,
2240 45 To sin’s rebuke and my Creator’s praise.
2241 What answers Clarence to his sovereign’s will?
2242 That he consents, if Warwick yield consent,
2243 For on thy fortune I repose myself.
2244 Why, then, though loath, yet must I be content.
2245 50 We’ll yoke together like a double shadow
2246 To Henry’s body, and supply his place—
2247 I mean, in bearing weight of government—
2248 While he enjoys the honor and his ease.
2249 And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
2250 55 Forthwith that Edward be pronounced a traitor
2251 And all his lands and goods ⌜be⌝ confiscate.
2252 What else? And that succession be determinèd.
2253 Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
2254 But with the first of all your chief affairs
2255 60 Let me entreat—for I command no more—
2256 That Margaret your queen and my son Edward
2257 Be sent for, to return from France with speed,
2258 For till I see them here, by doubtful fear
2259 My joy of liberty is half eclipsed.
2260 65 It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
2261 My lord of Somerset, what youth is that
2262 Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
2263 My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
KING HENRY, ⌜to Richmond⌝
2264 Come hither, England’s hope.
Lays his hand on ⌜Richmond’s⌝ head.
2265 70 If secret powers
2266 Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
2267 This pretty lad will prove our country’s bliss.
2268 His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
2269 His head by nature framed to wear a crown,
2270 75 His hand to wield a scepter, and himself
2271 Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
2272 Make much of him, my lords, for this is he
2273 Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
Enter a Post.
WARWICK 2274 What news, my friend?
2275 80 That Edward is escapèd from your brother
2276 And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
2277 Unsavory news! But how made he escape?
2278 He was conveyed by Richard, Duke of Gloucester,
2279 And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
2280 85 In secret ambush on the forest side
2281 And from the Bishop’s huntsmen rescued him,
2282 For hunting was his daily exercise.
2283 My brother was too careless of his charge.
2284 But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
2285 90 A salve for any sore that may betide.
All but Somerset, Richmond, and Oxford exit.
SOMERSET, ⌜to Oxford⌝
2286 My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward’s,
2287 For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
2289 As Henry’s late presaging prophecy
2290 95 Did glad my heart with hope of this young
2292 So doth my heart misgive me in these conflicts
2293 What may befall him, to his harm and ours.
2294 Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
2295 100 Forthwith we’ll send him hence to Brittany
2296 Till storms be past of civil enmity.
2297 Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown,
2298 ’Tis like that Richmond, with the rest, shall down.
2299 It shall be so. He shall to Brittany.
2300 105 Come, therefore, let’s about it speedily.
and Soldiers, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
2301 Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest:
2302 Yet thus far Fortune maketh us amends,
2303 And says that once more I shall interchange
2304 My wanèd state for Henry’s regal crown.
2305 5 Well have we passed, and now re-passed, the seas,
2306 And brought desirèd help from Burgundy.
2307 What then remains, we being thus arrived
2308 From Ravenspurgh Haven before the gates of York,
2309 But that we enter as into our dukedom?
⌜Hastings knocks at the gate.⌝
2310 10 The gates made fast? Brother, I like not this.
2312 Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
2313 Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us.
2314 By fair or foul means we must enter in,
2315 15 For hither will our friends repair to us.
2316 My liege, I’ll knock once more to summon them.
Enter on the walls the Mayor of York and his brethren,
2317 My lords, we were forewarnèd of your coming,
2318 And shut the gates for safety of ourselves,
2319 For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
2320 20 But, master mayor, if Henry be your king,
2321 Yet Edward, at the least, is Duke of York.
2322 True, my good lord, I know you for no less.
2323 Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
2324 As being well content with that alone.
2325 25 But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
2326 He’ll soon find means to make the body follow.
2327 Why, master mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
2328 Open the gates. We are King Henry’s friends.
2329 Ay, say you so? The gates shall then be opened.
He descends ⌜with the Aldermen.⌝
2330 30 A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded.
2331 The good old man would fain that all were well,
2332 So ’twere not long of him; but being entered,
2333 I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
2334 Both him and all his brothers unto reason.
Enter the Mayor and two Aldermen.
2335 35 So, master mayor, these gates must not be shut
2336 But in the night or in the time of war.
2337 What, fear not, man, but yield me up the keys.
Takes his keys.
2338 For Edward will defend the town and thee
2339 And all those friends that deign to follow me.
March. Enter Montgomery, with Drum and Soldiers.
2340 40 Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
2341 Our trusty friend, unless I be deceived.
2342 Welcome, Sir John. But why come you in arms?
2343 To help King Edward in his time of storm,
2344 As every loyal subject ought to do.
2345 45 Thanks, good Montgomery. But we now forget
2346 Our title to the crown, and only claim
2347 Our dukedom, till God please to send the rest.
2348 Then fare you well, for I will hence again.
2349 I came to serve a king and not a duke.—
2350 50 Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.
The Drum begins to march.
2351 Nay, stay, Sir John, a while, and we’ll debate
2352 By what safe means the crown may be recovered.
2353 What talk you of debating? In few words,
2354 If you’ll not here proclaim yourself our king,
2355 55 I’ll leave you to your fortune and be gone
2356 To keep them back that come to succor you.
2357 Why shall we fight if you pretend no title?
2358 Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
2359 When we grow stronger, then we’ll make our claim.
2360 60 Till then ’tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.
2361 Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule.
2362 And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
2363 Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand;
2364 The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
2365 65 Then be it as you will, for ’tis my right,
2366 And Henry but usurps the diadem.
2367 Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself,
2368 And now will I be Edward’s champion.
2369 Sound, trumpet! Edward shall be here proclaimed.—
2370 70 Come, fellow soldier, make thou proclamation.
SOLDIER ⌜reads⌝ 2371 Edward the Fourth, by the Grace of
2372 God, King of England and France, and Lord of
2373 Ireland, &c.
2374 And whosoe’er gainsays King Edward’s right,
2375 75 By this I challenge him to single fight.
Throws down his gauntlet.
ALL 2376 Long live Edward the Fourth!
2377 Thanks, brave Montgomery, and thanks unto you all.
2378 If fortune serve me, I’ll requite this kindness.
2379 Now, for this night let’s harbor here in York,
2380 80 And when the morning sun shall raise his car
2381 Above the border of this horizon,
2382 We’ll forward towards Warwick and his mates;
2383 For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.
2384 Ah, froward Clarence, how evil it beseems thee
2385 85 To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
2386 Yet, as we may, we’ll meet both thee and Warwick.
2387 Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day;
2388 And that once gotten, doubt not of large pay.
Clarence, Oxford, and ⌜Exeter, all wearing the red rose.⌝
2389 What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
2390 With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
2391 Hath passed in safety through the Narrow Seas,
2392 And with his troops doth march amain to London,
2393 5 And many giddy people flock to him.
2394 Let’s levy men and beat him back again.
2395 A little fire is quickly trodden out,
2396 Which, being suffered, rivers cannot quench.
2397 In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
2398 10 Not mutinous in peace yet bold in war.
2399 Those will I muster up; and thou, son Clarence,
2400 Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent
2402 Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham,
2403 15 Northampton, and in Leicestershire shalt find
2404 Men well inclined to hear what thou command’st.—
2405 And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well beloved,
2406 In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends.—
2407 My sovereign, with the loving citizens,
2408 20 Like to his island girt in with the ocean,
2409 Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs,
2410 Shall rest in London till we come to him.
2411 Fair lords, take leave, and stand not to reply.—
2412 Farewell, my sovereign.
2413 25 Farewell, my Hector and my Troy’s true hope.
2414 In sign of truth, I kiss your Highness’ hand.
2415 Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate.
2416 Comfort, my lord; and so I take my leave.
2417 And thus I seal my truth, and bid adieu.
⌜He kisses Henry’s hand.⌝
2418 30 Sweet Oxford and my loving Montague
2419 And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
2420 Farewell, sweet lords. Let’s meet at Coventry.
⌜All but King Henry and Exeter⌝ exit.
2421 Here at the palace will I rest awhile.
2422 Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your Lordship?
2423 35 Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
2424 Should not be able to encounter mine.
2425 The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.
2426 That’s not my fear. My meed hath got me fame.
2427 I have not stopped mine ears to their demands,
2428 40 Nor posted off their suits with slow delays.
2429 My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
2430 My mildness hath allayed their swelling griefs,
2431 My mercy dried their water-flowing tears.
2432 I have not been desirous of their wealth
2433 45 Nor much oppressed them with great subsidies,
2434 Nor forward of revenge, though they much erred.
2435 Then why should they love Edward more than me?
2436 No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace;
2437 And when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
2438 50 The lamb will never cease to follow him.
Shout within “À ⌜York!⌝ À ⌜York!⌝”
2439 Hark, hark, my lord, what shouts are these?
Enter ⌜King⌝ Edward ⌜and Richard⌝ and Soldiers,
⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
2440 Seize on the shamefaced Henry, bear him hence,
2441 And once again proclaim us King of England.—
2442 You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow.
2443 55 Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry
2444 And swell so much the higher by their ebb.—
2445 Hence with him to the Tower. Let him not speak.
⌜Soldiers⌝ exit with King Henry ⌜and Exeter.⌝
2446 And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course,
2447 Where peremptory Warwick now remains.
2448 60 The sun shines hot, and if we use delay,
2449 Cold biting winter mars our hoped-for hay.
2450 Away betimes, before his forces join,
2451 And take the great-grown traitor unawares.
2452 Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry.
Coventry, two Messengers, and others, upon the walls.
2453 Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?—
2454 How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?
2455 By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.
2456 How far off is our brother Montague?
2457 5 Where is the post that came from Montague?
2458 By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.⌜He exits.⌝
Enter, ⌜upon the walls,⌝ Somerville
⌜wearing the red rose.⌝
2459 Say, Somerville, what says my loving son?
2460 And, by thy guess, how nigh is Clarence now?
2461 At Southam I did leave him with his forces
2462 10 And do expect him here some two hours hence.
2463 Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.
2464 It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies.
2465 The drum your Honor hears marcheth from Warwick.
2466 Who should that be? Belike unlooked-for friends.
2467 15 They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.
March. Flourish. Enter ⌜below, King⌝ Edward,
Richard, and Soldiers, ⌜including a Trumpeter,
all wearing the white rose.⌝
2468 Go, Trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.
2469 See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
2470 O unbid spite, is sportful Edward come?
2471 Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduced,
2472 20 That we could hear no news of his repair?
2473 Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates,
2474 Speak gentle words, and humbly bend thy knee?
2475 Call Edward king, and at his hands beg mercy,
2476 And he shall pardon thee these outrages.
2477 25 Nay, rather wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
2478 Confess who set thee up and plucked thee down,
2479 Call Warwick patron, and be penitent,
2480 And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.
2481 I thought at least he would have said “the King.”
2482 30 Or did he make the jest against his will?
2483 Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?
2484 Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give.
2485 I’ll do thee service for so good a gift.
2486 ’Twas I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
2487 35 Why, then, ’tis mine, if but by Warwick’s gift.
2488 Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight;
2489 And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again,
2490 And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.
2491 But Warwick’s king is Edward’s prisoner.
2492 40 And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
2493 What is the body when the head is off?
2494 Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast,
2495 But whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
2496 The King was slyly fingered from the deck.
2497 45 You left poor Henry at the Bishop’s palace,
2498 And ten to one you’ll meet him in the Tower.
2499 ’Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.
2500 Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel
2502 50 Nay, when? Strike now, or else the iron cools.
2503 I had rather chop this hand off at a blow
2504 And with the other fling it at thy face
2505 Than bear so low a sail to strike to thee.
2506 Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
2507 55 This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair,
2508 Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
2509 Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood:
2510 “Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.”
with ⌜Soldiers,⌝ Drum and Colors.
2511 O, cheerful colors, see where Oxford comes!
OXFORD 2512 60Oxford, Oxford for Lancaster!
⌜Oxford and his troops exit as through a city gate.⌝
2513 The gates are open; let us enter too.
2514 So other foes may set upon our backs.
2515 Stand we in good array, for they no doubt
2516 Will issue out again and bid us battle.
2517 65 If not, the city being but of small defense,
2518 We’ll quickly rouse the traitors in the same.
⌜Oxford enters aloft.⌝
2519 O welcome, Oxford, for we want thy help.
Enter Montague, ⌜below, wearing the red rose,⌝
with ⌜Soldiers,⌝ Drum and Colors.
MONTAGUE 2520 Montague, Montague for Lancaster!
2521 Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason
2522 70 Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear!
⌜Montague and his troops exit as through a city gate.⌝
2523 The harder matched, the greater victory.
2524 My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.
Enter Somerset, ⌜below, wearing the red rose,⌝
with ⌜Soldiers,⌝ Drum and Colors.
SOMERSET 2525 Somerset, Somerset for Lancaster!
2526 Two of thy name, both dukes of Somerset,
2527 75 Have sold their lives unto the house of York,
2528 And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold.
⌜Somerset and his troops exit as through a city gate.⌝
Enter Clarence, ⌜below, wearing the red rose,⌝
with ⌜Soldiers,⌝ Drum and Colors.
2529 And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps along,
2530 Of force enough to bid his brother battle,
2531 With whom ⌜an⌝ upright zeal to right prevails
2532 80 More than the nature of a brother’s love.—
2533 Come, Clarence, come; thou wilt, if Warwick call.
2534 Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
⌜He removes the red rose.⌝
2535 Look, here I throw my infamy at thee.
⌜He throws the rose at Warwick.⌝
2536 I will not ruinate my father’s house,
2537 85 Who gave his blood to lime the stones together
2538 And set up Lancaster. Why, trowest thou, Warwick,
2539 That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,
2540 To bend the fatal instruments of war
2541 Against his brother and his lawful king?
2542 90 Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath.
2543 To keep that oath were more impiety
2544 Than Jephthah when he sacrificed his daughter.
2545 I am so sorry for my trespass made
2546 That, to deserve well at my brother’s hands,
2547 95 I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe,
2548 With resolution, wheresoe’er I meet thee—
2549 As I will meet thee if thou stir abroad—
2550 To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
2551 And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee
2552 100 And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.—
2554 And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults,
2555 For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
2556 Now, welcome more, and ten times more beloved,
2557 105 Than if thou never hadst deserved our hate.
2558 Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.
2559 O, passing traitor, perjured and unjust.
2560 What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the town and fight?
2561 Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
2562 110 Alas, I am not cooped here for defense.
2563 I will away towards Barnet presently
2564 And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar’st.
2565 Yes, Warwick, Edward dares, and leads the way.—
⌜Warwick exits from the walls and descends.⌝
2566 Lords, to the field! Saint George and victory!
They exit. March. Warwick and his company follows.
⌜wearing the white rose,⌝ bringing forth Warwick,
⌜wearing the red rose,⌝ wounded.
2567 So, lie thou there. Die thou, and die our fear,
2568 For Warwick was a bug that feared us all.
2569 Now, Montague, sit fast. I seek for thee,
2570 That Warwick’s bones may keep thine company.
2571 5 Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend or foe,
2572 And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick?
2573 Why ask I that? My mangled body shows,
2574 My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows
2575 That I must yield my body to the earth
2576 10 And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
2577 Thus yields the cedar to the axe’s edge,
2578 Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
2579 Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,
2580 Whose top branch overpeered Jove’s spreading tree
2581 15 And kept low shrubs from winter’s pow’rful wind.
2582 These eyes, that now are dimmed with death’s black
2584 Have been as piercing as the midday sun
2585 To search the secret treasons of the world.
2586 20 The wrinkles in my brows, now filled with blood,
2587 Were likened oft to kingly sepulchers,
2588 For who lived king but I could dig his grave?
2589 And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
2590 Lo, now my glory smeared in dust and blood!
2591 25 My parks, my walks, my manors that I had
2592 Even now forsake me; and of all my lands
2593 Is nothing left me but my body’s length.
2594 Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
2595 And live we how we can, yet die we must.
Enter Oxford and Somerset, ⌜both wearing the red rose.⌝
2596 30 Ah, Warwick, Warwick, wert thou as we are,
2597 We might recover all our loss again.
2598 The Queen from France hath brought a puissant
2600 Even now we heard the news. Ah, could’st thou fly—
2601 35 Why, then, I would not fly. Ah, Montague,
2603 And with thy lips keep in my soul awhile.
2604 Thou lov’st me not, for, brother, if thou didst,
2605 Thy tears would wash this cold congealèd blood
2606 40 That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
2607 Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
2608 Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breathed his last,
2609 And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick,
2610 And said “Commend me to my valiant brother.”
2611 45 And more he would have said, and more he spoke,
2612 Which sounded like a cannon in a vault,
2613 That mought not be distinguished, but at last
2614 I well might hear, delivered with a groan,
2615 “O, farewell, Warwick.”
2616 50 Sweet rest his soul! Fly, lords, and save yourselves,
2617 For Warwick bids you all farewell to meet in heaven.
2618 Away, away, to meet the Queen’s great power!
Here they bear away his body. They exit.
Clarence, and the rest, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
2619 Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
2620 And we are graced with wreaths of victory.
2621 But in the midst of this bright-shining day,
2622 I spy a black suspicious threat’ning cloud
2623 5 That will encounter with our glorious sun
2624 Ere he attain his easeful western bed.
2625 I mean, my lords, those powers that the Queen
2627 And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
2628 10 A little gale will soon disperse that cloud
2629 And blow it to the source from whence it came;
2630 Thy very beams will dry those vapors up,
2631 For every cloud engenders not a storm.
2632 The Queen is valued thirty thousand strong,
2633 15 And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her.
2634 If she have time to breathe, be well assured
2635 Her faction will be full as strong as ours.
2636 We are advertised by our loving friends
2637 That they do hold their course toward Tewkesbury.
2638 20 We having now the best at Barnet Field
2639 Will thither straight, for willingness rids way,
2640 And, as we march, our strength will be augmented
2641 In every county as we go along.
2642 Strike up the drum, cry “Courage!” and away.
young ⌜Prince⌝ Edward, Somerset, Oxford,
and Soldiers, ⌜all wearing the red rose.⌝
2643 Great lords, wise men ne’er sit and wail their loss
2644 But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
2645 What though the mast be now blown overboard,
2646 The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
2647 5 And half our sailors swallowed in the flood?
2648 Yet lives our pilot still. Is ’t meet that he
2649 Should leave the helm and, like a fearful lad,
2651 And give more strength to that which hath too much,
2652 10 Whiles in his moan the ship splits on the rock,
2653 Which industry and courage might have saved?
2654 Ah, what a shame, ah, what a fault were this!
2655 Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?
2656 And Montague our topmast; what of him?
2657 15 Our slaughtered friends the tackles; what of these?
2658 Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?
2659 And Somerset another goodly mast?
2660 The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
2661 And, though unskillful, why not Ned and I
2662 20 For once allowed the skillful pilot’s charge?
2663 We will not from the helm to sit and weep,
2664 But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
2665 From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wrack.
2666 As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
2667 25 And what is Edward but a ruthless sea?
2668 What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?
2669 And Richard but a ragged fatal rock—
2670 All these the enemies to our poor bark?
2671 Say you can swim: alas, ’tis but awhile;
2672 30 Tread on the sand: why, there you quickly sink;
2673 Bestride the rock: the tide will wash you off
2674 Or else you famish; that’s a threefold death.
2675 This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
2676 If case some one of you would fly from us,
2677 35 That there’s no hoped-for mercy with the brothers
2678 More than with ruthless waves, with sands and rocks.
2679 Why, courage then! What cannot be avoided
2680 ’Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
2681 Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit
2682 40 Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,
2683 Infuse his breast with magnanimity
2684 And make him, naked, foil a man-at-arms.
2686 For did I but suspect a fearful man,
2687 45 He should have leave to go away betimes,
2688 Lest in our need he might infect another
2689 And make him of like spirit to himself.
2690 If any such be here, as God forbid,
2691 Let him depart before we need his help.
2692 50 Women and children of so high a courage,
2693 And warriors faint? Why, ’twere perpetual shame!
2694 O, brave young prince, thy famous grandfather
2695 Doth live again in thee. Long mayst thou live
2696 To bear his image and renew his glories!
2697 55 And he that will not fight for such a hope,
2698 Go home to bed and, like the owl by day,
2699 If he arise, be mocked and wondered at.
2700 Thanks, gentle Somerset.—Sweet Oxford, thanks.
2701 And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
Enter a Messenger.
2702 60 Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand,
2703 Ready to fight. Therefore be resolute.⌜He exits.⌝
2704 I thought no less. It is his policy
2705 To haste thus fast to find us unprovided.
2706 But he’s deceived. We are in readiness.
2707 65 This cheers my heart to see your forwardness.
2708 Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
Clarence, and Soldiers, ⌜all wearing the white rose.⌝
KING EDWARD, ⌜to his army⌝
2709 Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood
2710 Which by the heavens’ assistance and your strength
2711 Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
2712 70 I need not add more fuel to your fire,
2713 For, well I wot, you blaze to burn them out.
2714 Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords!
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜to her army⌝
2715 Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say
2716 My tears gainsay, for every word I speak
2717 75 You see I drink the water of my eye.
2718 Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,
2719 Is prisoner to the foe, his state usurped,
2720 His realm a slaughterhouse, his subjects slain,
2721 His statutes cancelled and his treasure spent,
2722 80 And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
2723 You fight in justice. Then, in God’s name, lords,
2724 Be valiant, and give signal to the fight!
Alarum, retreat, excursions. They exit.
Clarence, ⌜all wearing the white rose, with Soldiers
guarding⌝ Queen ⌜Margaret,⌝ Oxford, ⌜and⌝ Somerset,
⌜all wearing the red rose, prisoners.⌝
2725 Now here a period of tumultuous broils.
2726 Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight.
2727 For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
2728 Go bear them hence. I will not hear them speak.
2729 5 For my part, I’ll not trouble thee with words.
2730 Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune.
2731 So part we sadly in this troublous world
2732 To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
⌜Oxford and Somerset⌝ exit, ⌜under guard.⌝
2733 Is proclamation made that who finds Edward
2734 10 Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
2735 It is, and lo where youthful Edward comes.
Enter Prince ⌜Edward, wearing the red rose,
2736 Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak.
2737 What, can so young a thorn begin to prick?—
2738 Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
2739 15 For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
2740 And all the trouble thou hast turned me to?
2741 Speak like a subject, proud ambitious York.
2742 Suppose that I am now my father’s mouth:
2743 Resign thy chair, and where I stand, kneel thou,
2744 20 Whilst I propose the selfsame words to thee
2745 Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
2746 Ah, that thy father had been so resolved!
2747 That you might still have worn the petticoat
2748 And ne’er have stol’n the breech from Lancaster.
2749 25 Let Aesop fable in a winter’s night;
2750 His currish riddles sorts not with this place.
2751 By heaven, brat, I’ll plague you for that word.
2752 Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
2753 For God’s sake, take away this captive scold.
2754 30 Nay, take away this scolding crookback, rather.
2755 Peace, willful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
CLARENCE, ⌜to Prince Edward⌝
2756 Untutored lad, thou art too malapert.
2757 I know my duty. You are all undutiful.
2758 Lascivious Edward, and thou perjured George,
2759 35 And thou misshapen Dick, I tell you all
2760 I am your better, traitors as you are,
2761 And thou usurp’st my father’s right and mine.
2762 Take that, the likeness of this railer here!Stabs him.
2763 Sprawl’st thou? Take that to end thy agony!
Richard stabs him.
2764 40 And there’s for twitting me with perjury.
Clarence stabs him.
QUEEN MARGARET 2765 O, kill me too!
RICHARD 2766 Marry, and shall.Offers to kill her.
2767 Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done too much.
2768 Why should she live to fill the world with words?
⌜Queen Margaret faints.⌝
2769 45 What, doth she swoon? Use means for her recovery.
⌜They attempt to revive her.⌝
2770 Clarence, excuse me to the King my brother.
2771 I’ll hence to London on a serious matter.
2772 Ere you come there, be sure to hear some news.
CLARENCE 2773 What? What?
RICHARD 2774 50⌜The⌝ Tower, the Tower!He exits.
QUEEN MARGARET, ⌜rising from her swoon⌝
2775 O Ned, sweet Ned, speak to thy mother, boy.
2776 Canst thou not speak? O traitors, murderers!
2777 They that stabbed Caesar shed no blood at all,
2778 Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
2779 55 If this foul deed were by to equal it.
2780 He was a man; this, in respect, a child,
2781 And men ne’er spend their fury on a child.
2782 What’s worse than murderer, that I may name it?
2783 No, no, my heart will burst an if I speak,
2784 60 And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.
2785 Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals,
2786 How sweet a plant have you untimely cropped!
2787 You have no children, butchers. If you had,
2788 The thought of them would have stirred up remorse.
2789 65 But if you ever chance to have a child,
2790 Look in his youth to have him so cut off
2791 As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young prince.
2792 Away with her. Go bear her hence perforce.
2793 Nay, never bear me hence! Dispatch me here.
2794 70 Here sheathe thy sword; I’ll pardon thee my death.
2795 What, wilt thou not?—Then, Clarence, do it thou.
2796 By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
2797 Good Clarence, do! Sweet Clarence, do thou do it.
2798 Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
2799 75 Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself.
2800 ’Twas sin before, but now ’tis charity.
2801 What, wilt thou not? Where is that devil’s butcher,
2803 Hard-favored Richard? Richard, where art thou?
2804 80 Thou art not here. Murder is thy alms-deed;
2805 Petitioners for blood thou ne’er putt’st back.
2806 Away, I say! ⌜(To Soldiers.)⌝ I charge you bear her
2808 So come to you and yours as to this prince!
Queen ⌜Margaret⌝ exits ⌜under guard.
Soldiers carry off Prince Edward’s body.⌝
KING EDWARD 2809 85Where’s Richard gone?
2810 To London all in post, and, as I guess,
2811 To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
2812 He’s sudden if a thing comes in his head.
2813 Now march we hence. Discharge the common sort
2814 90 With pay and thanks, and let’s away to London
2815 And see our gentle queen how well she fares.
2816 By this I hope she hath a son for me.
and Richard ⌜of Gloucester, wearing the white rose,⌝
with the Lieutenant ⌜above⌝ on the ⌜Tower⌝ walls.
2817 Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?
2818 Ay, my good lord—“my lord,” I should say rather.
2819 ’Tis sin to flatter; “good” was little better:
2820 “Good Gloucester” and “good devil” were alike,
2821 5 And both preposterous: therefore, not “good lord.”
RICHARD, ⌜to Lieutenant⌝
2822 Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.
2823 So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
2824 So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece
2825 And next his throat unto the butcher’s knife.
2826 10 What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
2827 Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
2828 The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
2829 The bird that hath been limèd in a bush,
2830 With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
2831 15 And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
2832 Have now the fatal object in my eye
2833 Where my poor young was limed, was caught, and
2835 Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete
2836 20 That taught his son the office of a fowl!
2837 And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drowned.
2838 I Daedalus, my poor boy Icarus,
2839 Thy father Minos, that denied our course;
2840 The sun that seared the wings of my sweet boy
2841 25 Thy brother Edward, and thyself the sea
2842 Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
2843 Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
2844 My breast can better brook thy dagger’s point
2846 30 But wherefore dost thou come? Is ’t for my life?
2847 Think’st thou I am an executioner?
2848 A persecutor I am sure thou art.
2849 If murdering innocents be executing,
2850 Why, then, thou art an executioner.
2851 35 Thy son I killed for his presumption.
2852 Hadst thou been killed when first thou didst presume,
2853 Thou hadst not lived to kill a son of mine.
2854 And thus I prophesy: that many a thousand
2855 Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
2856 40 And many an old man’s sigh, and many a widow’s
2857 And many an orphan’s water-standing eye,
2858 Men for their sons, wives for their husbands,
2859 Orphans for their parents’ timeless death,
2860 Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
2861 45 The owl shrieked at thy birth, an evil sign;
2862 The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
2863 Dogs howled, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
2864 The raven rooked her on the chimney’s top;
2865 And chatt’ring pies in dismal discords sung;
2866 50 Thy mother felt more than a mother’s pain,
2867 And yet brought forth less than a mother’s hope:
2868 To wit, an indigested and deformèd lump,
2869 Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
2870 Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born
2871 55 To signify thou cam’st to bite the world.
2872 And if the rest be true which I have heard,
2873 Thou cam’st—
2874 I’ll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech;
2875 For this amongst the rest was I ordained.
2876 60 Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
2877 O God, forgive my sins, and pardon thee.Dies.
2878 What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
2879 Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
2880 See how my sword weeps for the poor king’s death.
2881 65 O, may such purple tears be always shed
2882 From those that wish the downfall of our house.
2883 If any spark of life be yet remaining,
2884 Down, down to hell, and say I sent thee thither—
Stabs him again.
2885 I that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
2886 70 Indeed, ’tis true that Henry told me of,
2887 For I have often heard my mother say
2888 I came into the world with my legs forward.
2889 Had I not reason, think you, to make haste
2890 And seek their ruin that usurped our right?
2891 75 The midwife wondered, and the women cried
2892 “O Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!”
2893 And so I was, which plainly signified
2894 That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
2895 Then, since the heavens have shaped my body so,
2896 80 Let hell make crook’d my mind to answer it.
2897 I have no brother, I am like no brother;
2898 And this word “love,” which graybeards call divine,
2899 Be resident in men like one another
2900 And not in me. I am myself alone.
2901 85 Clarence, beware; thou keep’st me from the light,
2902 But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
2903 For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
2904 That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
2905 And then to purge his fear, I’ll be thy death.
2906 90 King Henry and the Prince his son are gone.
2908 Counting myself but bad till I be best.
2909 I’ll throw thy body in another room,
2910 And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
He exits, ⌜carrying out the body.⌝
Clarence, Richard ⌜of Gloucester,⌝ Hastings, Nurse,
⌜carrying infant Prince Edward,⌝ and Attendants.
2911 Once more we sit in England’s royal throne,
2912 Repurchased with the blood of enemies.
2913 What valiant foemen, like to autumn’s corn,
2914 Have we mowed down in tops of all their pride!
2915 5 Three dukes of Somerset, threefold ⌜renowned⌝
2916 For hardy and undoubted champions;
2917 Two Cliffords, as the father and the son;
2918 And two Northumberlands; two braver men
2919 Ne’er spurred their coursers at the trumpet’s sound.
2920 10 With them the two brave bears, Warwick and
2922 That in their chains fettered the kingly lion
2923 And made the forest tremble when they roared.
2924 Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat
2925 15 And made our footstool of security.—
2926 Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.—
2927 Young Ned, for thee, thine uncles and myself
2928 Have in our armors watched the winter’s night,
2929 Went all afoot in summer’s scalding heat,
2930 20 That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace,
2931 And of our labors thou shalt reap the gain.
2932 I’ll blast his harvest, if your head were laid;
2933 For yet I am not looked on in the world.
2934 This shoulder was ordained so thick to heave,
2935 25 And heave it shall some weight or break my back.
2936 Work thou the way and that shalt execute.
2937 Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen,
2938 And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
2939 The duty that I owe unto your Majesty
2940 30 I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
⌜He kisses the infant.⌝
2941 Thanks,⌝ noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.
2942 And that I love the tree from whence thou sprang’st,
2943 Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.
⌜He kisses the infant.⌝
2944 ⌜Aside.⌝ To say the truth, so Judas kissed his master
2945 35 And cried “All hail!” whenas he meant all harm.
2946 Now am I seated as my soul delights,
2947 Having my country’s peace and brothers’ loves.
2948 What will your Grace have done with Margaret?
2949 Reignier, her father, to the King of France
2950 40 Hath pawned the Sicils and Jerusalem,
2951 And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
2952 Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
2953 And now what rests but that we spend the time
2954 With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
2955 45 Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
2956 Sound drums and trumpets! Farewell, sour annoy,
2957 For here I hope begins our lasting joy.
⌜Flourish.⌝ They all exit.