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GEORGE, Duke of Clarence,
RICHARD, Duke of Gloster,
Of the Duke of York's Party.
Lord RIVERS, Brother to the Lady Gray.
Sir JOHN MONTGOMERY, Lieutenant of the Tower,
Mayor of York, Sir JOHN SOMErville.
HUMPHREY and SINKLO, two Huntsmen.
LEWIS XI. King of France.
BONA, Sister to the French King.
Lady GRAY, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
Soldiers and other Attendants on King Henry and King Edward, &c.
In part of the Third Act, the Scene is laid in France; during all the rest of the Play in England.
London. The Parliament House.
Alarum. Enter Duke of York, Edward, Richard, Norfolk, Montague, Warwick, and others, with 5 white roses in their hats.
Wonder, how the king escap'd our hands.
York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of
He slily stole away, and left his men:
Whereat the great lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Chear'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all a-breast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buck-
Is either slain, or wounded dangerously:
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow;
That this is true, father, behold his blood. [Shewing his bloody sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood,
[To Warwick, shewing his, Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.
[Throwing down the Duke of Somerset's head. York.Richard hath best deserv'dofallmy sons. Is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ? Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of
Rich. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry's
War. And so do I.-Victorious prince of York,
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven, these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
20 And this the regal seat: possess it, York;
'The action of this play opens just after the first battle at Saint Albans, wherein the York faction carried the day; and closes with the murder of king Henry VI. and the birth of prince Edward, afterwards king Edward V. So that this history takes in the space of full sixteen years.
For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs'.
York. Assist me then,sweet Warwick, and I will
For hither are we broken in by force.
Norf. We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.
York. Thanks, gentle Norfolk.-Stay by me, 5
And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night.
War. And, when the king comes, offer him no
Unless he seek to put us out by force. [ment; 10
York. The queen, this day, here holds her parlia-
But little thinks, we shall be of her council:
By words, or blows, here let us win our right.
Rich.Arm'd as we are, let's staywithin this house.
War. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd, 15
Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king;
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
York. Then leave me not, my lords; beresolute;
I mean to take possession of my right.
War.Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells'.
I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares:-
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. 25
[Warwick leads York to the throne, who seatshimself.
Enter King Henry, Clifford, Northumberland,
Westmoreland, Exeter, and others, at the fur-
ther end of the stage.
K. Henry. My lords, look where the sturdy 30
Even in the chair of state! belike he means
(Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer)
To aspire unto the crown, and reign as king.—
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;-35
And thine, lord Clifford; and you both vow'd
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.
North. If I be not, heavens, be reveng'd on me!
Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn 40
West.What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him
My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it.
K.Hen. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmoreland.
Clif. Patience is for poltroons, and such as he:45
He durst not sit there, had your father liv'd.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
K. Henry. Ah, know you not, the city favours 50
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
Exe. But, when the duke is slain, they'll
K. Henry. Farbe it from the thoughts of Henry's 55
To make a shambles of the parliament house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats,
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.—
[They advance to the duke.
Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne,
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
York. Thou art deceived, I am thine.
Exe. For shame, come down; he made thee
duke of York.
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the kingdom is.
Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown,
In following this usurping Henry. [king?
Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural
War. True, Clifford; and that's Richard, duke
K. Henry. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my
York. It must and shall be so.-Content thyself.
War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king.
West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster;
And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
War. AndWarwick shall disprove it. You forget,
That we are those, which chas'd you from the field,
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace-gates,
North. No, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
West. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives,
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Clif. Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger,
As shall revenge his death, before I stir.
War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless
York. Will you, we shew our title to the crown? If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
K. Henry. What title hast thou, traitor, to the
Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, earl of March:
I am the son of Henry the fifth,
Who made the dauphin and the French to stoop,
And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
War. Talk not of France,sith thou hast lost it all.
K. Henry. The lord protector lost it, and not I;
When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old.
Rich. You are old enough now, and yet, me-
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
Mont.Good brother, as thou lov'st and honour'st
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king
York. Sons, peace!
[leave to speak. K. Henry. Peace, thou! and give king Henry War. Plantagenet shall speak first:-hear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he, that interrupts him, shall not live.
K. Henry. Think'st thou, that I will leave my
Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat?
60 No: first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours often borne in France-
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow,--
The allusion is to falconry. The hawks had sometimes little bells hung upon them, perhaps to fright the birds from rising.
Shall be my winding-sheet.-Why faint you,lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.
War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
K. Henry. Henry the fourth by conquest got
York. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.
K. Henry. I know not what to say; my title's
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides. North. Be thou a prey unto the house of York, 5 And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
K. Henry. An if he may, then am I lawful king:
For Richard, in the view of many lords,
Resign'd the crown to Henry the fourth;
Whose heir my father was, and I am his.
York. He rose against him, being his sovereign, 15
And made him to resign the crown perforce.
War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Think you, 'twere prejudicial to the crown'?
Ere. No; for he could not so resign his crown,
But that the next heir should succeed and reign. 20
K. Henry. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter?
Exe. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer
Ere. My conscience tells me, he is lawful king. 25
K. Henry. All will revolt from me, and turn to
North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.
War Depos'd he shall be, in despight of all. 30
North. Thou art deceiv'd: 'tis not thy southern
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,-
Which makes theethuspresumptuousandproud,
Can set the duke up, in despight of me.
Clif King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
K. Henry, O Clifford, how thy words revive 40
York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown:-
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?
War. Doright unto this princely duke of York;
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.
[He stamps, and the soldiers shew themselves. K. Henry. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word;
Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me,andtomineheirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.
K.Henry. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
Clif.What wrong is this unto the prince your son?
War. What good is this to England, and himself?
West. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
Clif. How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us!
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
North. Nor I.
Clif. Come, cousin, let's go tell the queen these
Clif. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandon'd, and despis'd! [Exeunt Northumberland, Clifford,&Westmoreland. War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them [yield. Exe. They seek revenge, and therefore will not K. Henry. Ah, Exeter!
War. Why should you sigh, my lord? [son,
K.Henry. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But, be it as it may :—I here entail
The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign; and
Neither by treason, nor hostility,
To seek to put me down, and reign thyself.
York. This oath I willingly take,andwillperform.
War. Long live king Henry-Plantagenet,
K.Henry. Be patient, gentle queen, andIwill stay.
Queen. Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ah, wretched man! 'would I had died a maid,.
50 And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father!
Hath he deserv'd to lose his birth-right thus ?
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I;
Or felt that pain which I did for him once;
55 Or nourish'd him, as I did with my blood;
Rather than made that savage duke thine heir,
And disinherited thine only son.
Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me :
If you be king, why should not I succeed?
K. Henry. Pardon me, Margaret;-pardon me,
i. c. to the prerogative of the crown,
The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me.
Queen. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;
And given unto the house of York such head,
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it, but to make thy sepulchre,
into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor, and the lord of Calais;
Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm:
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb, environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And, seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd,
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours,
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread: 25
And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace,
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee :-Come, son, let's away;
Our army's ready; come, we'll after them.
K. Henry. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me
Queen. Thou hast spoke too much already; get
K. Henry. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay
Queen. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.
Prince. When I return with victory fromthefield,
I'll see your grace: 'till then, I'll follow her.
Queen. Come, son, away; we may not linger
[Exeunt Queen and Prince.
What is your quarrel? how began it first?
Edw. No quarrel, but a sweet contention.
York. About what?
Rich. About that which concerns your grace
The crown of England, father, which is yours.
York. Mine, boy? not till king Henry be dead.
Rich. Your right depends not on his life or death.
Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will out-run you, father, in the end.
K. Henry. Poor queen! how love to me, and to 40
York. I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be
I'd break a thousand oaths to reign one year. Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn!
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke;
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will coast my crown', and, like an empty eagle, 45
Tire on the flesh of me, and of my son!
The loss of those three lords3 torments my heart:
I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair;-
Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. 50
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me
York. Thou can'st not, son; it is impossible.
Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms: And, father, do but think,
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium,
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest,
Until the white rose, that I wear, be dy'd
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
York. Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.-
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprize.—
Thou, Richard, shalt to the duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privily of our intent.
You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentish men will willingly rise:
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, and courteous, liberal, full of spirit.-
While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more,
But that I seek occasion how to rise;
And yet the king not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Lancaster?
Enter a Messenger.
But, stay; What news? Why com'st thou in such
Gab. The queen, with all the northern earls and
Intend here to besiege you in your castle :
She is hard by with twenty thousand men ;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st
thou, that we fear them?-
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;-
My brother Montague shall post to London;
Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
Whom we have left protectors of the king,
With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
And trust not simple Henry, nor his oaths.
Mont. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
i.e. hover over or range about my crown. To tire may either mean to fasten, to fix the talons, from the French tirer; or to peck. ' viz. Northumberland, Westmoreland, and Clifford. * Meaning, that the argument of their dispute was upon a grateful topic, viz. the question of their father's immediate right to the crown. Witty would here seem to mean, of sound judgement.
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
Enter Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer.
York. Sir John, and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine
You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
The army of the queen means to besiege us.
Sir John. She shall not need, we'll meet her
in the field.
York. What, with five thousand men?
Rich. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
A woman's general; What should we fear?
[A march afar off
Edw. I hear their drums; let's set our men in
Enter Rutland, and his Tutor.
Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly, to 'scape their hands!
Ah, tutor! look where bloody Clifford comes!
Enter Clifford and Soldiers.
It could not slake mine ire, nor case my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul;
And 'till I root out their accursed line,
5 And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
[Lifting his hand.
Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death:-
To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!
Clif Such pity as my rapier's point affords. [me
Rut. I never did thee harm; why wilt thou slay
Clif. Thy father hath.
Rut. But 'twas ere I was born.
Thou hast one son, for his sake pity me;
Lest, in revenge thereof,-sith God is just,--
15 He be as miserably slain as I.
Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
And when I give occasion of offence,
Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
Clif. No cause!
20 Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.
[Clifford stabs him.
Rut. 'Dii fuciant, laudis summa sit ista tuæ !
Clif. Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
25 And this thy son's blood, cleaving to my blade,
Shall rust upon my weapon, 'till thy blood,
Congeal'd with this, do inake me wipe off both.
Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy
As for the brat of this accursed duke,-
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
Tutor. And I, my lord, will bear him company. 35
Clif. Soldiers, away, and drag him hence per-
Tutor. Ah, Clifford! murder not this innocent
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
[Exit, dragg'd off
Clif. How now! is he dead already? Or, is it
That makes him close his eyes?-I'll open them.
Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws:
And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey:
And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder.—
Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
And not with such a cruel threat'ning look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die ;-
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath,
Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.
Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my fa-
Alarum. Enter Richard Duke of York.
York. The army of the queen hath got the field:
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back, and fly, like ships before the wind,
Or lambs pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons-God knows what hath bechanced them:
But this I know,-they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown, by life, or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me;
And thrice cry'd-Courage, father! fight it out!
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple faulchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
45 And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richardcry'd-Charge! and give no foot of ground!
And cry'd-A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre !
With this, we charg'd again: but, out, alas! 50 We bodg'd' again; as I have seen a swan With bootless labour swim against the tide, And spend her strength with over-matching [A short alarum, within. Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue; And I am faint, and cannot fly their fury: And, were I strong, I would not shun their fury. The sands are number'd, that make up my life; Here must I stay, and here my life must end. Enter the Queen, Clifford, Northumberland, and Soldiers. Come,bloody Clifford,rough Northumberland, 2 These were two bastard uneles by ?i e. we failed or miscarried again. I dare
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should 55
Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again;
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him. [thine,
Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and
Were not revenge sufficient for me:
No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves,
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
This line is in Ovid's Epistle from Phillis to Demophoon. the mother's side, Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer.