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King Henry VI, Third Part by William Shakespeare [Rolfe edition]

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THE HISTORY OF KING HENRY THE SIXTH, THIRD PART

by William Shakespeare

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

KING HENRY the Sixth.
EDWARD, Prince of Wales, his son.
LEWIS XI, King of France.
DUKE OF SOMERSET.
DUKE OF EXETER.
EARL OF OXFORD.
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND.
EARL OF WESTMORELAND.
LORD CLIFFORD.
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
EDWARD, Earl of March, afterwards King Edward IV., his son.
EDMUND, Earl of Rutland, his son.
GEORGE, afterwards Duke of Clarence, his son.
RICHARD, afterwards Duke of Gloster, his son.
DUKE OF NORFOLK.
MARQUESS OF MONTAGUE.
EARL OF WARWICK.
EARL OF PEMBROKE.
LORD HASTINGS.
LORD STAFFORD.
SIR JOHN MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York.
SIR HUGH MORTIMER, uncle to the Duke of York.
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, a youth.
LORD RIVERS, brother to Lady Grey.
SIR WILLIAM STANLEY.
SIR JOHN MONTGOMERY.
SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.
Tutor to Rutland.
Mayor of York.

Lieutenant of the Tower.
A Nobleman. Two Keepers. A Huntsman.
A Son that has killed his father.
A Father that has killed his son.

QUEEN MARGARET.
LADY GREY, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
BONA, sister to the French Queen.

Soldiers, Attendants, Messengers, Watchmen, etc.

SCENE: England and France.

ACT I

SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house

[Alarum. Enter DUKE of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK,
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]

WARWICK.
I wonder how the king escap'd our hands.

YORK.
While we pursued the horsemen of the North,
He slyly stole away and left his men,
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

EDWARD.
Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
That this is true, father, behold his blood.

[Showing his bloody sword.]

MONTAGUE.
And, brother, here 's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,

[To York, showing his.]

Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.

RICHARD.
Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.

[Throwing down the Duke of Somerset's head.]

YORK.
Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.--
But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?

NORFOLK.
Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!

RICHARD.
Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.

WARWICK.
And so do I.--Victorious Prince of York,
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
And this the regal seat; possess it, York,
For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.

YORK.
Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.

NORFOLK.
We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.

YORK.
Thanks, gentle Norfolk.--Stay by me, my lords;--
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.

WARWICK.
And when the king comes, offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.

[They retire.]

YORK.
The queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council.
By words or blows here let us win our right.

RICHARD.
Arm'd as we are, let 's stay within this house.

WARWICK.
The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us bywords to our enemies.

YORK.
Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute.
I mean to take possession of my right.

WARWICK.
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.

[Warwick leads York to the throne, who seats himself.]

[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND,
WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest.]

KING HENRY.
My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
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;
And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!

CLIFFORD.
The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

WESTMORELAND.
What! shall we suffer this? let 's pluck him down;
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.

KING HENRY.
Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.

CLIFFORD.
Patience is for poltroons, such as he;
He durst not sit there had your father liv'd.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.

KING HENRY.
Ah, know you not the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?

EXETER.
But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.

KING HENRY.
Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
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;
I am thy sovereign.

YORK.
I am thine.

EXETER.
For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.

YORK.
'T was my inheritance, as the earldom was.

EXETER.
Thy father was a traitor to the crown.

WARWICK.
Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.

CLIFFORD.
Whom should he follow, but his natural king?

WARWICK.
True, Clifford; and that 's Richard, Duke of York.

KING HENRY.
And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?

YORK.
It must and shall be so.
Content thyself.

WARWICK.
Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.

WESTMORELAND.
He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.

WARWICK.
And Warwick 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.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.

WESTMORELAND.
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.

CLIFFORD.
Urge it no more; lest that instead of words
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.

WARWICK.
Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!

YORK.
Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.

KING HENRY.
What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
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.

WARWICK.
Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.

KING HENRY.
The lord protector lost it, and not I;
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.

RICHARD.
You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.--
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.

EDWARD.
Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.

MONTAGUE.
Good brother, as thou lov'st and honourest arms,
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.

RICHARD.
Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.

YORK.
Sons, peace!

KING HENRY.
Peace thou, and give King Henry leave to speak.

WARWICK.
Plantagenet shall speak first; hear him, lords,
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.

KING HENRY.
Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No! first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours--often borne in France,
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow--
Shall be my winding sheet.--Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.

WARWICK.
Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.

KING HENRY.
Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.

YORK.
'T was by rebellion against his king.

KING HENRY.
[Aside.] I know not what to say; my title's weak.--
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?

YORK.
What then?

KING 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,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.

WARWICK.
Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Think you 't were prejudicial to his crown?

EXETER.
No; for he could not so resign his crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.

KING HENRY.
Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?

EXETER.
His is the right, and therefore pardon me.

YORK.
Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?

EXETER.
My conscience tells me he is lawful king.

KING HENRY.
[Aside.] All will revolt from me and turn to him.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.

WARWICK.
Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Thou art deceiv'd; 't is not thy southern power,
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the duke up in despite of me.

CLIFFORD.
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!

KING HENRY.
O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!

YORK.
Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.--
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

WARWICK.
Do right unto this princely Duke of York,
Or I will fill the house with armed men,
And over the chair of state where now he sits
Write up his title with usurping blood.

[He stamps, and the soldiers show themselves.]

KING HENRY.
My Lord of Warwick, hear but one word:
Let me for this my lifetime reign as king.

YORK.
Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.

KING HENRY.
I am content; Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.

CLIFFORD.
What wrong is this unto the prince your son!

WARWICK.
What good is this to England and himself!

WESTMORELAND.
Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!

CLIFFORD.
How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us!

WESTMORELAND.
I cannot stay to hear these articles.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Nor I.

CLIFFORD.
Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.

WESTMORELAND.
Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
And die in bands for this unmanly deed!

CLIFFORD.
In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
Or live in peace abandon'd and despis'd!

[Exeunt Northumberland, Clifford, and Westmoreland.]

WARWICK.
Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.

EXETER.
They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.

KING HENRY.
Ah, Exeter!

WARWICK.
Why should you sigh, my lord?

KING HENRY.
Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
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 and will perform.

[Coming from the throne.]

WARWICK.
Long live King Henry!--Plantagenet, embrace him.

KING HENRY.
And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!

YORK.
Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.

EXETER.
Accurs'd be he that seeks to make them foes!

[Sennet. The Lords come forward.]

YORK. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.

WARWICK.
And I'll keep London with my soldiers.

NORFOLK.
And I to Norfolk with my followers.

MONTAGUE.
And I unto the sea from whence I came.

[Exeunt York and his Sons, Warwick, Norfolk, Montague,
Soldiers, and Attendants.]

KING HENRY.
And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.

[Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE OF WALES.]

EXETER.
Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger.
I'll steal away.

KING HENRY.
Exeter, so will I.
[Going.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.

KING HENRY.
Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Who can be patient in such extremes?
Ah, wretched man! would I had died a maid,
And never seen thee, never borne thee son,
Seeing thou hast prov'd so unnatural a father!
Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there
Rather than have 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?

KING HENRY.
Pardon me, Margaret;--pardon me, sweet son;
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforc'd me.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt be
forc'd?
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
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor and the lord of Calais;

Stern Falconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb environed with wolves.
Had I been 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 prefer'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;
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 is ready; come, we'll after them.

KING HENRY.
Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.

KING HENRY.
Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?

QUEEN MARGARET.
Ay, to be murther'd by his enemies.

PRINCE.
When I return with victory from the field
I'll see your grace; till then I'll follow her.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Come, son, away! we may not linger thus.

[Exeunt Queen Margaret and the Prince.]

KING HENRY.
Poor queen! how love to me and to her son
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son.
The loss of those three lords torments my heart;
I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair.--
Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.

EXETER.
And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. Sandal Castle

[Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.]

RICHARD.
Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.

EDWARD.
No; I can better play the orator.

MONTAGUE.
But I have reasons strong and forcible.

[Enter YORK.]

YORK.
Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?

EDWARD.
No quarrel, but a slight contention.

YORK.
About what?

RICHARD.
About that which concerns your grace and us--
The crown of England, father, which is yours.

YORK.
Mine, boy? not till King Henry be dead.

RICHARD.
Your right depends not on his life or death.

EDWARD.
Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now;
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.

YORK.
I took an oath that he should quietly reign.

EDWARD.
But for a kingdom any oath may be broken;
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

RICHARD.
No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.

YORK.
I shall be, if I claim by open war.

RICHARD.
I'll prove the contrary if you'll hear me speak.

YORK.
Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.

RICHARD.
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 't was 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 dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.

YORK.
Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.--
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.--
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 Kentishmen will willingly rise.
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, 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 post?

MESSENGER.
The queen, with all the northern earls and lords,
Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

YORK.
Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear
them?--
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.

MONTAGUE.
Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.

[Exit.]

[Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER.]

YORK.
Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
The army of the queen mean to besiege us.

SIR JOHN.
She shall not need; we'll meet her in the field.

YORK.
What, with five thousand men?

RICHARD.
Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
A woman-general! what should we fear?

[A march afar off.]

EDWARD.
I hear their drums; let's set our men in order,
And issue forth and bid them battle straight.

YORK.
Five men to twenty!--though the odds be great,
I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France
Whenas the enemy hath been ten to one;
Why should I not now have the like success?

[Alarum. Exeunt.]

SCENE III. Plains near Sandal Castle.

[Alarums. Enter RUTLAND and his TUTOR]

RUTLAND.
Ah! whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
Ah, tutor! look where bloody Clifford comes.

[Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.]

CLIFFORD.
Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
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.

CLIFFORD.
Soldiers, away with him!

TUTOR.
Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.

[Exit, forced off by Soldiers.]

CLIFFORD.
How now! is he dead already? Or is it fear
That makes him close his eyes?--I'll open them.

RUTLAND.
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.

CLIFFORD.
In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.

RUTLAND.
Then let my father's blood open it again;
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.

CLIFFORD.
Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine
Were not revenge sufficient for me.
No; if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul;
And till I root out their accursed line
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore--

RUTLAND.
O, let me pray before I take my death!--
To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!

CLIFFORD.
Such pity as my rapier's point affords.

RUTLAND.
I never did thee harm; why wilt thou slay me?

CLIFFORD.
Thy father hath.

RUTLAND.
But 't was ere I was born.
Thou hast one son; for his sake pity me,
Lest in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
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.

CLIFFORD.
No cause?
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die. [Clifford stabs him.]

RUTLAND.
Dii faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae! [Dies.]

CLIFFORD.
Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade
Shall rust upon my weapon till thy blood
Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.

[Exit.]

SCENE IV. The Same

[Alarum. Enter YORK.]

YORK.
The army of the queen hath got the field.
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back and fly like ships before the wind,
Or lambs pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons--God knows what hath bechanced them;
But this I know,--they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me,
And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out!'
And full as oft came Edward to my side
With purple falchion painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encount'red him;
And when the hardiest warriors did retire
Richard cried 'Charge! and give no foot of ground!'
And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!'
With this, we charg'd again; but, out, alas!
We budg'd again, as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with overmatching waves.

[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 QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD,
NORTHUMBERLAND, and Soldiers]

Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage.
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.

CLIFFORD.
Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm
With downright payment show'd unto my father.
Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.

YORK.
My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all;
And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
Why come you not?--what! multitudes, and fear?

CLIFFORD.
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons;
So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives,
Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.

YORK.
O Clifford, but bethink thee once again,
And in thy thought o'errun my former time;

And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face,
And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice
Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this.

CLIFFORD.
I will not bandy with thee word for word,
But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life.--
Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Hold, Clifford! do not honour him so much
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he might spurn him with his foot away?
It is war's prize to take all vantages,
And ten to one is no impeach of valour.

[They lay hands on York, who struggles.]

CLIFFORD.
Ay, ay; so strives the woodcock with the gin.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
So doth the cony struggle in the net.

[York is taken prisoner.]

YORK.
So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty;
So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatch'd.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
What would your grace have done unto him now?

QUEEN MARGARET.
Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
Come, make him stand upon this molehill here,
That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.--
What! was it you that would be England's king?
Was 't you that revell'd in our Parliament,
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons to back you now?
The wanton Edward and the lusty George?
And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Look, York; I stain'd this napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point
Made issue from the bosom of the boy,
And, if thine eyes can water for his death,
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prithee, grieve to make me merry, York;
Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails
That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst be mad;
And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Thou wouldst be feed, I see, to make me sport;
York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.--
A crown for York!--and, lords, bow low to him.--
Hold you his hands whilst I do set it on.--

[Putting a paper crown on his head.]

Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king.
Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair;
And this is he was his adopted heir.--
But how is it that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soon and broke his solemn oath?
As I bethink me, you should not be king
Till our King Henry had shook hands with Death.
And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 't is a fault too too unpardonable.--
Off with the crown, and with the crown his head!
And whilst we breathe take time to do him dead.

CLIFFORD.
That is my office, for my father's sake.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.

YORK.
She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth,
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face is, vizard-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,

I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
Thy father bears the type of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils and Jerusalem,
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen;
Unless the adage must be verified,
That beggars mounted run their horse to death.
'T is beauty that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small.
'T is virtue that doth make them most admir'd;
The contrary doth make thee wond'red at.
'T is government that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable.
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the Septentrion.
O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's hide!
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bid'st thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will;
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
And when the rage allays the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies,
And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, false Frenchwoman.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Beshrew me, but his passion moves me so
That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.

YORK.
That face of his the hungry cannibals
Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood;
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,
O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears;
This cloth thou dipp'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this;
And if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears,
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears
And say 'Alas! it was a piteous deed!'--
There, take the crown, and with the crown my curse;
And in thy need such comfort come to thee
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!--
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
I should not, for my life, but weep with him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.

QUEEN MARGARET.
What! weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.

CLIFFORD.
Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.

[Stabbing him.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.

[Stabbing him.]

YORK.
Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.

[Dies.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
So York may overlook the town of York.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]

ACT II.

SCENE I. A plain near Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire.

[A march. Enter EDWARD and RICHARD, with their Power.]

EDWARD.
I wonder how our princely father scap'd,
Or whether he be scap'd away or no
From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit.
Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news;
Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
Or had he scap'd, methinks we should have heard
The happy tidings of his good escape.--
How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

RICHARD.
I cannot joy until I be resolv'd
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about,
And watch'd him how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought he bore him in the thickest troop
As doth a lion in a herd of neat;
Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs,
Who having pinch'd a few and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof and bark at him.
So far'd our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father.
Methinks 'tis pride enough to be his son.--
See how the morning opes her golden gates
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun.
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a younker prancing to his love!

EDWARD.
Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

RICHARD.
Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable;
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.

EDWARD.
'T is wondrous strange, the like yet never heard of.
I think it cites us, brother, to the field,
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together,
And overshine the earth, as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.

RICHARD.
Nay, bear three daughters; by your leave I speak it,
You love the breeder better than the male.--

[Enter a Messenger.]

But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?

MESSENGER.
Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on
When as the noble Duke of York was slain,
Your princely father and my loving lord.

EDWARD.
O, speak no more, for I have heard too much!

RICHARD.
Say how he died, for I will hear it all.

MESSENGER.
Environed he was with many foes,
And stood against them as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks that would have ent'red Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
By many hands your father was subdu'd,
But only slaught'red by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen,
Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite,
Laugh'd in his face, and when with grief he wept
The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks,
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain.
And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same; and there it doth remain,
The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

EDWARD.
Sweet Duke of York! our prop to lean upon,
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay.
O Clifford! boisterous Clifford! thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
For hand to hand he would have vanquish'd thee.
Now my soul's palace is become a prison.
Ah, would she break from hence, that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest!
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
Never, O, never, shall I see more joy!

RICHARD.
I cannot weep, for all my body's moisture
Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart;
Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burthen,
For selfsame wind that I should speak withal
Is kindling coals that fires all my breast
And burns me up with flames that tears would quench.
To weep is to make less the depth of grief;
Tears, then, for babes, blows and revenge for me!--
Richard, I bear thy name; I'll venge thy death,
Or die renowned by attempting it.

EDWARD.
His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;
His dukedom and his chair with me is left.

RICHARD.
Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun;
For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say:
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.

[March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUE, with their Army.]

WARWICK.
How now, fair lords! What fare? what news abroad?

RICHARD.
Great Lord of Warwick, if we should recount
Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
The words would add more anguish than the wounds.
O valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain!

EDWARD.
O, Warwick, Warwick! that Plantagenet
Which held thee dearly as his soul's redemption
Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.

WARWICK.
Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears,
And now, to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things sith then befallen.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss and his depart.
I, then in London, keeper of the king,
Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
And very well appointed, as I thought,
March'd toward Saint Alban's to intercept the queen,
Bearing the king in my behalf along;
For by my scouts I was advertised
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament
Touching King Henry's oath and your succession.
Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met,
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought;
But, whether 't was the coldness of the king,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen,
Or whether 't was report of her success,
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives blood and death,
I cannot judge; but, to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went,
Our soldiers',--like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like an idle thrasher with a flail--
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay and great rewards,
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we in them no hope to win the day;
So that we fled: the king unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard, you were
Making another head to fight again.

EDWARD.
Where is the Duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
And when came George from Burgundy to England?

WARWICK.
Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;
And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, Duchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.

RICHARD.
'T was odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled;
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er till now his scandal of retire.

WARWICK.
Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear;
For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine
Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head
And wring the awful sceptre from his fist,
Were he as famous and as bold in war
As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.

RICHARD.
I know it well, Lord Warwick, blame me not;
'T is love I bear thy glories makes me speak.
But in this troublous time what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel
And wrap our bodies in black mourning-gowns,
Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
If for the last, say ay, and to it, lords.

WARWICK.
Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you out,
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
And of their feather many moe proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament;
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong;
Now, if the help of Norfolk and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave Earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London will we march amain,
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry 'Charge upon our foes!'
But never once again turn back and fly.

RICHARD.
Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick speak.
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day
That cries 'Retire,' if Warwick bid him stay.

EDWARD.
Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
And when thou fail'st--as God forbid the hour!--
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!

WARWICK.
No longer Earl of March, but Duke of York.
The next degree is England's royal throne;
For King of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In every borough as we pass along,
And he that throws not up his cap for joy
Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
King Edward,--valiant Richard,-- Montague,--
Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets and about our task.

RICHARD.
Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.

EDWARD.
Then strike up, drums!--God and Saint George for us!

[Enter a Messenger.]

WARWICK.
How now! what news?

MESSENGER.
The Duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,
The queen is coming with a puissant host,
And craves your company for speedy counsel.

WARWICK.
Why then it sorts; brave warriors, let's away.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE II. Before York

[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, QUEEN MARGARET, the
PRINCE OF WALES, CLIFFORD, and NORTHUMBERLAND,
with drums and trumpets.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown;
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?

KING HENRY.
Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear their wreck;
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.--
Withhold revenge, dear God! 't is not my fault,
Nor wittingly have I infring'd my vow.

CLIFFORD.
My gracious liege, this too much lenity
And harmful pity must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his that spoils her young before her face.
Who scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling while he knit his angry brows.
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argu'd thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young;
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them, even with those wings
Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight,
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
For shame, my liege! make them your precedent.
Were it not pity that this goodly boy
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault,
And long hereafter say unto his child,
'What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
My careless father fondly gave away?'
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy,
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.

KING HENRY.
Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear
That things ill got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind,
And would my father had left me no more;
For all the rest is held at such a rate
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.--
Ah, cousin York! would thy best friends did know
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

QUEEN MARGARET.
My lord, cheer up your spirits;
our foes are nigh,
And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promis'd knighthood to our forward son;
Unsheathe your sword and dub him presently.--
Edward, kneel down.

KING HENRY.
Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
And learn this lesson,--draw thy sword in right.

PRINCE.
My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,
And in that quarrel use it to the death.

CLIFFORD.
Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.

[Enter a Messenger.]

MESSENGER.
Royal commanders, be in readiness;
For with a band of thirty thousand men
Comes Warwick, backing of the Duke of York,
And in the towns, as they do march along,
Proclaims him king, and many fly to him.
Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.

CLIFFORD.
I would your highness would depart the field;
The queen hath best success when you are absent.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.

KING HENRY.
Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Be it with resolution then to fight.

PRINCE.
My royal father, cheer these noble lords,
And hearten those that fight in your defence.
Unsheathe your sword, good father; cry'saint George!'

[March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK,
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers.]

EDWARD.
Now, perjur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for grace
And set thy diadem upon my head,
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?

QUEEN MARGARET.
Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms
Before thy sovereign and thy lawful king?

EDWARD.
I am his king, and he should bow his knee.
I was adopted heir by his consent;
Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You, that are king, though he do wear the crown,
Have caus'd him by new act of parliament
To blot out me and put his own son in.

CLIFFORD.
And reason, too;
Who should succeed the father but the son?

RICHARD.
Are you there, butcher?--O, I cannot speak!

CLIFFORD.
Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer thee,
Or any he the proudest of thy sort.

RICHARD.
'T was you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?

CLIFFORD.
Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.

RICHARD.
For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.

WARWICK.
What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?

QUEEN MARGARET.
Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick! dare you speak?
When you and I met at Saint Alban's last,
Your legs did better service than your hands.

WARWICK.
Then 't was my turn to fly, and now 't is thine.

CLIFFORD.
You said so much before, and yet you fled.

WARWICK.
'T was not your valour, Clifford, drove me thence.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
No, nor your manhood that durst make you stay.

RICHARD.
Northumberland, I hold thee reverently.
Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.

CLIFFORD.
I slew thy father; call'st thou him a child?

RICHARD.
Ay, like a dastard and a treacherous coward,
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland,
But ere sunset I'll make thee curse the deed.

KING HENRY.
Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

KING HENRY.
I prithee, give no limits to my tongue;
I am a king, and privileg'd to speak.

CLIFFORD.
My liege, the wound that bred this meeting here
Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.

RICHARD.
Then, executioner, unsheathe thy sword.
By him that made us all, I am resolv'd
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.

EDWARD.
Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day
That ne'er shall dine unless thou yield the crown.

WARWICK.
If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
For York in justice puts his armour on.

PRINCE.
If that be right which Warwick says is right,
There is no wrong, but every thing is right.

RICHARD.
Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.

QUEEN MARGARET.
But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam,
But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom toads or lizards' dreadful stings.

RICHARD.
Iron of Naples hid with English gilt,
Whose father bears the title of a king,--
As if a channel should be call'd the sea,--
Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?

EDWARD.
A wisp of straw were worth a thousand crowns
To make this shameless callat know herself.--
Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
And ne'er was Agamemmon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman as this king by thee.
His father revell'd in the heart of France,
And tam'd the king, and made the dauphin stoop;
And, had he match'd according to his state,
He might have kept that glory to this day;
But when he took a beggar to his bed,
And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day,
Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him
That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France
And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.
For what hath broach'd this tumult but thy pride?
Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
And we, in pity of the gentle king,
Had slipp'd our claim until another age.

GEORGE.
But when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,
And that thy summer bred us no increase,
We set the axe to thy usurping root;
And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
We'll never leave till we have hewn thee down
Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.

EDWARD.
And in this resolution I defy thee;
Not willing any longer conference,
Since thou deniest the gentle king to speak.--
Sound trumpets;--let our bloody colours wave,
And either victory or else a grave!

QUEEN MARGARET.
Stay, Edward.

EDWARD.
No, wrangling woman, we'll no longer stay;
These words will cost ten thousand lives this day.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE III. A field of battle between Towton.

[Alarums. Excursions. Enter WARWICK.]

WARWICK.
Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
I lay me down a little while to breathe;
For strokes receiv'd, and many blows repaid,
Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength,
And, spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile.

[Enter EDWARD, running.]

EDWARD.
Smile, gentle heaven, or strike, ungentle death!
For this world frowns and Edward's sun is clouded.

WARWICK.
How now, my lord? what hap? what hope of good?

[Enter GEORGE.]

GEORGE.
Our hap is lost, our hope but sad despair;
Our ranks are broke and ruin follows us.
What counsel give you? whither shall we fly?

EDWARD.
Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings;
And weak we are and cannot shun pursuit.

[Enter RICHARD.]

RICHARD.
Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?
Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance;
And in the very pangs of death he cried,
Like to a dismal clangor heard from far,
'Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my death!'
So, underneath the belly of their steeds
That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.

WARWICK.
Then let the earth be drunken with our blood;
I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
Wailing our losses whiles the foe doth rage,
And look upon, as if the tragedy
Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above,
I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine,
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.

EDWARD.
O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine,
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine!--
And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter-up and plucker-down of kings,
Beseeching thee, if with thy will it stands
That to my foes this body must be prey,
Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul.--
Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.

RICHARD.
Brother, give me thy hand;--and, gentle Warwick,
Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
I, that did never weep, now melt with woe,
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.

WARWICK.
Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.

GEORGE.
Yet let us all together to our troops,
And give them leave to fly that will not stay,
And call them pillars that will stand to us;
And if we thrive, promise them such rewards
As victors wear at the Olympian games.
This may plant courage in their quailing breasts,
For yet is hope of life and victory.--
Forslow no longer; make we hence amain.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE IV. Another Part of the Field.

[Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD.]

RICHARD.
Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone.
Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge,
Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.

CLIFFORD.
Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone.
This is the hand that stabbed thy father York,
And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland;
And here's the heart that triumphs in their death,
And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and brother
To execute the like upon thyself;
And so have at thee!

[They fight. Warwick enters; Clifford flies.]

RICHARD.
Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase;
For I myself will hunt this wolf to death.

[Exeunt.]

SCENE V. Another Part of the Field.

[Alarum. Enter KING HENRY.]

KING HENRY.
This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light,
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the selfsame sea
Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind.
Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind,
Now one the better, then another best,
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror nor conquered;
So is the equal poise of this fell war.
Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle, swearing both
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead! if God's good will were so;
For what is in this world but grief and woe?
O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours brings about the day,

How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times;
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will ean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece.
So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds looking on their silly sheep
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
O, yes, it doth; a thousand-fold it doth!
And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.

[Alarum. Enter a Son that hath killed his father, bringing in the
dead body.]

SON.
Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
May be possessed with some store of crowns;
And I, that haply take them from him now,
May yet ere night yield both my life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.--
Who's this?--O God! it is my father's face,
Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd.
O heavy times, begetting such events!
From London by the king was I press'd forth;
My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man,
Came on the part of York, press'd by his master;
And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life,
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.--
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did;--
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee.--
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks,
And no more words till they have flow'd their fill.

KING HENRY.
O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
Be blind with tears and break o'ercharg'd with grief.

[Enter a Father who has killed his son, with the body in his
arms.]

FATHER.
Thou that so stoutly hath resisted me,
Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold,
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.--
But let me see;--is this our foeman's face?
Ah, no, no, no! it is mine only son!--
Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw up thine eye; see, see what showers arise,
Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
Upon thy wounds that kill mine eye and heart!--
O, pity, God, this miserable age!--
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!--
O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!

KING HENRY.
Woe above woe! grief more than common grief!
O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!--
O pity, pity! gentle heaven, pity!--
The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colours of our striving houses;
The one his purple blood right well resembles,
The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth.
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish!
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.

SON.
How will my mother, for a father's death,
Take on with me and ne'er be satisfied!

FATHER.
How will my wife, for slaughter of my son,
Shed seas of tears and ne'er be satisfied!

KING HENRY.
How will the country, for these woeful chances,
Misthink the king and not be satisfied!

SON.
Was ever son so rued a father's death?

FATHER.
Was ever father so bemoan'd his son?

KING HENRY.
Was ever king so griev'd for subjects' woe?
Much is your sorrow, mine ten times so much.

SON.
I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill.

[Exit with the body.]

FATHER.
These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet;
My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre,
For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go;
My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell;
And so obsequious will thy father be,
Even for the loss of thee, having no more,
As Priam was for all his valiant sons.
I'll bear thee hence; and let them fight that will,
For I have murder'd where I should not kill.

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