Part 2 out of 3
[Exit with the body.]
Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
[Alarums. Excursions. Enter QUEEN MARGARET,
PRINCE OF WALES, and EXETER.]
Fly, father, fly! for all your friends are fled,
And Warwick rages like a chafed bull.
Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit.
Mount you, my lord; towards Berwick post amain.
Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds,
Having the fearful flying hare in sight,
With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath,
And bloody steel grasp'd in their ireful hands,
Are at our backs; and therefore hence amain.
Away! for vengeance comes along with them.
Nay, stay not to expostulate; make speed,
Or else come after; I'll away before.
Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Exeter;
Not that I fear to stay, but love to go
Whither the queen intends. Forward! away!
SCENE VI. Another Part of the Field
[A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded.]
Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies,
Which whiles it lasted gave King Henry light.
O Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow
More than my body's parting with my soul!
My love and fear glued many friends to thee;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixtures melt,
Impairing Henry, strengthening mis-proud York.
The common people swarm like summer flies;
And whither fly the gnats but to the sun?
And who shines now but Henry's enemies?
O Phoebus, hadst thou never given consent
That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth!
And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do,
Or as thy father and his father did,
Giving no ground unto the house of York,
They never then had sprung like summer flies;
I, and ten thousand in this luckless realm,
Had left no mourning widows for our death,
And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.
For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air?
And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight.
The foe is merciless and will not pity,
For at their hands I have deserv'd no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.--
Come, York and Richard, Warwick, and the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.
[Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD,
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]
Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.--
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
No, 't is impossible he should escape;
For, though before his face I speak the words,
Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave,
And whereso'er he is he's surely dead.
[Clifford groans and dies.]
Whose soul is that which takes her heavy leave?
A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.
See who it is; and, now the battle's ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently us'd.
Revoke that doom of mercy, for 't is Clifford,
Who, not contented that he lopp'd the branch,
In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
But set his murthering knife unto the root
From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring;
I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
From off the gates of York fetch down the head,
Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;
Instead whereof, let this supply the room.
Measure for measure must be answered.
Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
That nothing sung but death to us and ours;
Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,
And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
[Soldiers bring the body forward.]
I think his understanding is bereft.--
Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?--
Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,
And he nor sees nor hears us, what we say.
O, would he did! and so, perhaps, he doth;
'T is but his policy to counterfeit,
Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
Which in the time of death he gave our father.
If so thou think'st, vex him with eager words.
Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace.
Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
Thou pitiedst Rutland, I will pity thee.
Where's Captain Margaret to fence you now?
They mock thee, Clifford; swear as thou wast wont.
What! not an oath? nay then, the world goes hard
When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.--
I know by that he's dead; and, by my soul,
If this right hand would buy two hours' life,
That I in all despite might rail at him,
This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing blood
Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
York and young Rutland could not satisfy.
Ay, but he's dead. Off with the traitor's head,
And rear it in the place your father's stands.--
And now to London with triumphant march,
There to be crowned England's royal king;
From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen.
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together,
And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
The scatt'red foe that hopes to rise again;
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
First will I see the coronation,
And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea
To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be;
For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
And never will I undertake the thing
Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.--
Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloster;--
And George, of Clarence.--Warwick, as ourself,
Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of Gloster,
For Gloster's dukedom is too ominous.
Tut! that's a foolish observation;
Richard, be Duke of Gloster. Now to London,
To see these honours in possession.
SCENE I. A Forest in the North of England.
[Enter two Keepers, with crossbows in their hands.]
Under this thick-grown brake we'll shroud ourselves,
For through this laund anon the deer will come;
And in this covert will we make our stand,
Culling the principal of all the deer.
I'll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.
That cannot be; the noise of thy crossbow
Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.
Here stand we both, and aim we at the best;
And, for the time shall not seem tedious,
I'll tell thee what befell me on a day
In this self place where now we mean to stand.
Here comes a man; let's stay till he be past.
[Enter KING HENRY, disguised, with a prayer-book.]
From Scotland am I stolen, even of pure love,
To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
No, Harry, Harry, 't is no land of thine;
Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from thee,
Thy balm wash'd off wherewith thou wast anointed.
No bending knee will call thee Caesar now,
No humble suitors press to speak for right;
No, not a man comes for redress of thee,
For how can I help them, and not myself?
Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a keeper's fee.
This is the quondam king; let's seize upon him.
Let me embrace thee, sour adversity;
For wise men say it is the wisest course.
Why linger we? let us lay hands upon him.
Forbear awhile; we'll hear a little more.
My queen and son are gone to France for aid;
And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick
Is thither gone to crave the French king's sister
To wife for Edward. If this news be true,
Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost,
For Warwick is a subtle orator,
And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.
By this account then Margaret may win him,
For she's a woman to be pitied much.
Her sighs will make a batt'ry in his breast,
Her tears will pierce into a marble heart;
The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn,
And Nero will be tainted with remorse
To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears.
Ay, but she's come to beg, Warwick to give;
She on his left side craving aid for Henry,
He on his right asking a wife for Edward.
She weeps and says her Henry is depos'd,
He smiles and says his Edward is install'd;
That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more;
Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong,
Inferreth arguments of mighty strength,
And, in conclusion, wins the king from her,
With promise of his sister, and what else,
To strengthen and support King Edward's place.
O Margaret, thus 't will be! and thou, poor soul,
Art then forsaken, as thou went'st forlorn!
Say, what art thou, that talk'st of kings and queens?
More than I seem, and less than I was born to;
A man at least, for less I should not be;
And men may talk of kings, and why not I?
Ay, but thou talk'st as if thou wert a king.
Why, so I am, in mind; and that's enough.
But, if thou be a king, where is thy crown?
My crown is in my heart, not on my head,
Not deck'd with diamonds and Indian stones,
Not to be seen; my crown is call'd content,
A crown it is that seldom kings enjoy.
Well, if you be a king crown'd with content,
Your crown content and you must be contented
To go along with us; for, as we think,
You are the king King Edward hath depos'd,
And we his subjects, sworn in all allegiance,
Will apprehend you as his enemy.
But did you never swear, and break an oath?
No, never such an oath; nor will not now.
Where did you dwell when I was King of England?
Here in this country, where we now remain.
I was anointed king at nine months old,
My father and my grandfather were kings,
And you were sworn true subjects unto me;
And tell me, then, have you not broke your oaths?
For we were subjects but while you were king.
Why, am I dead? do I not breathe, a man?
Ah, simple men! you know not what you swear.
Look, as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust,
Such is the lightness of you common men.
But do not break your oaths; for of that sin
My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty.
Go where you will, the king shall be commanded;
And be you kings, command, and I'll obey.
We are true subjects to the king,--King Edward.
So would you be again to Henry
If he were seated as King Edward is.
We charge you, in God's name and the king's
To go with us unto the officers.
In God's name lead; your king's name be obey'd;
And what God will, that let your king perform;
And what he will, I humbly yield unto.
SCENE II. The palace.
[Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, CLARENCE, and LADY GREY.]
Brother of Gloster, at Saint Alban's field
This lady's husband, Sir John Grey, was slain,
His land then seiz'd on by the conqueror;
Her suit is now to repossess those lands,
Which we in justice cannot well deny,
Because in quarrel of the house of York
The worthy gentleman did lose his life.
Your highness shall do well to grant her suit;
It were dishonour to deny it her.
It were no less; but yet I'll make a pause.
[Aside to Clarence.] Yea; is it so?
I see the lady hath a thing to grant
Before the king will grant her humble suit.
[Aside to Gloster.] He knows the game;
how true he keeps the wind!
[Aside to Clarence.] Silence!
Widow, we will consider of your suit,
And come some other time to know our mind.
Right gracious lord, I cannot brook delay;
May it please your highness to resolve me now,
And what your pleasure is shall satisfy me.
[Aside to Clarence.] Ay, widow?
then I'll warrant you all your lands,
An if what pleases him shall pleasure you.
Fight closer, or, good faith, you'll catch a blow.
[Aside to Gloster.] I fear her not, unless she chance
[Aside to CLARENCE.] God forbid that, for he'll take
How many children hast thou, widow? tell me.
[Aside to Gloster.] I think he means to beg a child of
[Aside to Clarence.] Nay, whip me then; he'll rather
give her two.
Three, my most gracious lord.
[Aside to Clarence.] You shall have four if you'll be
rul'd by him.
'T were pity they should lose their father's lands.
Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then.
Lords, give us leave; I'll try this widow's wit.
[Aside to Clarence.] Ay, good leave have you;
for you will have leave
Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
[Gloster and Clarence stand apart.]
Now tell me, madam, do you love your children?
Ay, full as dearly as I love myself.
And would you not do much to do them good?
To do them good I would sustain some harm.
Then get your husband's lands to do them good.
Therefore I came unto your majesty.
I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.
So shall you bind me to your highness' service.
What service wilt thou do me if I give them?
What you command that rests in me to do.
But you will take exceptions to my boon.
No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
Ay, but thou canst do what I mean to ask.
Why, then, I will do what your grace commands.
He plies her hard; and much rain wears the marble.
As red as fire! nay, then her wax must melt.
Why stops my lord? shall I not hear my task?
An easy task; 't is but to love a king.
That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.
Why, then, thy husband's lands I freely give thee.
I take my leave with many thousand thanks.
The match is made; she seals it with a curtsy.
But stay thee; 't is the fruits of love I mean.
The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense.
What love, thinkst thou, I sue so much to get?
My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers;
That love which virtue begs, and virtue grants.
No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
Why, then, you mean not as I thought you did.
But now you partly may perceive my mind.
My mind will never grant what I perceive
Your Highness aims at, if I aim aright.
To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.
Why, then mine honesty shall be my dower,
For by that loss I will not purchase them.
Therein thou wrong'st thy children mightily.
Herein your highness wrongs both them and me.
But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness of my suit;
Please you dismiss me either with ay or no.
Ay, if thou wilt say ay to my request.
No, if thou dost say no to my demand.
Then no, my lord. My suit is at an end.
The widow likes him not, she knits her brows.
He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.
[Aside.] Her looks doth argue her replete with
Her words doth show her wit incomparable,
All her perfections challenge sovereignty;
One way or other she is for a king,
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.--
Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
'T is better said than done, my gracious lord;
I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.
Sweet widow, by my state I swear to thee,
I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is to enjoy thee for my love.
And that is more than I will yield unto.
I know I am too mean to be your queen,
And yet too good to be your concubine.
You cavil, widow; I did mean my queen.
'T will grieve your grace my sons should call you
No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
Have other some; why, 't is a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
The ghostly father now hath done his shrift.
When he was made a shriver, 't was for shift.
Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
[Gloster and Clarence come forward.]
The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
You'd think it strange if I should marry her.
To whom, my lord?
Why, Clarence, to myself.
That would be ten days' wonder, at the least.
That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
By so much is the wonder in extremes.
Well, jest on, brothers; I can tell you both,
Her suit is granted for her husband's lands.
[Enter a Nobleman.]
My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
And brought your prisoner to your palace gate.
See that he be convey'd unto the Tower.--
And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
To question of his apprehension.--
Widow, go you along.--Lords, use her honourably.
[Exeunt King Edward, Lady Grey, Clarence, and Nobleman.]
Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
To cross me from the golden time I look for!
And yet, between my soul's desire and me--
The lustful Edward's title buried--
Is Clarence, Henry, and his son young Edward,
And all the unlook'd-for issue of their bodies,
To take their rooms ere I can place myself;
A cold premeditation for my purpose!
Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty,
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye,
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying, he'll lade it dry to have his way.
So do I wish the crown, being so far off,
And so I chide the means that keeps me from it;
And so I say I'll cut the causes off,
Flattering me with impossibilities.--
My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard,
What other pleasure can the world afford?
I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
O miserable thought! and more unlikely
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns.
Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb;
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
Where sits deformity to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part,
Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be belov'd?
O, monstrous fault, to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me
But to command, to check, to o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I'll make my heaven to dream upon the crown,
And, whiles I live, to account this world but hell
Until my mis-shap'd trunk that bear this head
Be round impaled with a glorious crown.
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home,
And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rends the thorns, and is rent with the thorns,
Seeking a way, and straying from the way,
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,
Torment myself to catch the English crown;
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murther while I smile,
And cry 'Content!' to that which grieves my heart,
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall,
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slyly than Ulysses could,
And like a Sinon take another Troy.
I can add colours to the chameleon,
Change shapes with Protheus for advantages,
And set the murtherous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut, were it farther off, I'll pluck it down.
SCENE III. France. The King's Palace.
[Flourish. Enter LEWIS, the French King, and LADY BONA, attended:
the King takes his state. Then enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE
EDWARD, and the EARL OF OXFORD; LEWIS rising as she enters.]
Fair Queen of England, worthy Margaret,
Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state
And birth that thou shouldst stand while Lewis doth sit.
No, mighty King of France; now Margaret
Must strike her sail and learn a while to serve
Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
Great Albion's queen in former golden days;
But now mischance hath trod my title down
And with dishonour laid me on the ground,
Where I must take like seat unto my fortune,
And to my humble seat conform myself.
Why, say, fair queen, whence springs this deep
From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears
And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in cares.
Whate'er it be, be thou still like thyself,
And sit thee by our side; yield not thy neck
[Seats her by him.]
To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
Be plain, Queen Margaret, and tell thy grief;
It shall be eas'd if France can yield relief.
Those gracious words revive my drooping
And give my tongue-tied sorrows leave to speak.
Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis
That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
Is of a king become a banish'd man
And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn,
While proud ambitious Edward, Duke of York,
Usurps the regal title and the seat
Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
This is the cause that I, poor Margaret,
With this my son, Prince Edward, Henry's heir,
Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
And if thou fail us, all our hope is done.
Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help;
Our people and our peers are both misled,
Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight,
And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
Renowned queen, with patience calm the storm
While we bethink a means to break it off.
The more we stay, the stronger grows our foe.
The more I stay, the more I'll succour thee.
O, but impatience waiteth on true sorrow!--
And see where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
[Enter WARWICK, attended.]
What's he approacheth boldly to our presence?
Our Earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest friend.
Welcome, brave Warwick. What brings thee to France?
[He descends. Queen Margaret rises.]
Ay, now begins a second storm to rise,
For this is he that moves both wind and tide.
From worthy Edward, king of Albion,
My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend,
I come, in kindness and unfeigned love,
First, to do greetings to thy royal person;
And then, to crave a league of amity;
And lastly, to confirm that amity
With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant
That virtuous Lady Bona, thy fair sister,
To England's king in lawful marriage.
[Aside.] If that go forward, Henry's hope is
[To BONA.] And, gracious madam, in our king's behalf,
I am commanded, with your leave and favour,
Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue
To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart,
Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears,
Hath plac'd thy beauty's image and thy virtue.
King Lewis,--and Lady Bona,--hear me speak
Before you answer Warwick. His demand
Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love,
But from deceit, bred by necessity;
For how can tyrants safely govern home
Unless abroad they purchase great alliance?
To prove him tyrant this reason may suffice,--
That Henry liveth still; but were he dead,
Yet here Prince Edward stands, King Henry's son.
Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and marriage
Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour;
For though usurpers sway the rule awhile,
Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
And why not queen?
Because thy father Henry did usurp,
And thou no more art prince than she is queen.
Then Warwick disannuls great John of Gaunt,
Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the Fourth,
Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest;
And, after that wise prince, Henry the Fifth,
Who by his prowess conquered all France.
From these our Henry lineally descends.
Oxford, how haps it in this smooth discourse,
You told not how Henry the Sixth hath lost
All that which Henry the Fifth had gotten?
Methinks these peers of France should smile at that.
But for the rest, you tell a pedigree
Of threescore and two years,--a silly time
To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against thy liege,
Whom thou obeyedst thirty and six years,
And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
For shame Leave Henry, and call Edward king.
Call him my king by whose injurious doom
My elder brother, the Lord Aubrey Vere,
Was done to death? and more than so, my father,
Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years,
When nature brought him to the door of death?
No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm,
This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
And I the house of York.
Queen Margaret, Prince Edward, and Oxford,
Vouchsafe at our request to stand aside
While I use further conference with Warwick.
Heavens grant that Warwick's words bewitch him
[They stand aloof.]
Now, Warwick, tell me, even upon thy conscience,
Is Edward your true king? for I were loath
To link with him that were not lawful chosen.
Thereon I pawn my credit and mine honour.
But is he gracious in the people's eye?
The more that Henry was unfortunate.
Then further, all dissembling set aside,
Tell me for truth the measure of his love
Unto our sister Bona.
Such it seems
As may beseem a monarch like himself.
Myself have often heard him say and swear
That this his love was an eternal plant,
Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground,
The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun,
Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
Your grant or your denial shall be mine.
Yet I confess [to Warwick] that often ere this day,
When I have heard your king's desert recounted,
Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward's;
And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
Touching the jointure that your king must make,
Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd.--
Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness
That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
To Edward, but not to the English king.
Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device
By this alliance to make void my suit.
Before thy coming Lewis was Henry's friend.
And still is friend to him and Margaret;
But if your title to the crown be weak,
As may appear by Edward's good success,
Then 't is but reason that I be releas'd
From giving aid which late I promised.
Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand
That your estate requires and mine can yield.
Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease,
Where, having nothing, nothing can he lose.
And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
You have a father able to maintain you,
And better 't were you troubled him than France.
Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick,
Proud setter-up and puller-down of kings!
I will not hence, till, with my talk and tears,
Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
Thy sly conveyance and thy lord's false love;
For both of you are birds of selfsame feather.
[A horn sounded within.]
Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.
[Enter the Post.]
My lord ambassador, these letters are for you.
Sent from your brother Marquess Montague.--
These from our king unto your majesty.--
And, madam, these for you, from whom I know not.
[They all read their letters.]
I like it well that our fair queen and mistress
Smiles at her news while Warwick frowns at his.
Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled;
I hope all's for the best.
Warwick, what are thy news?--and yours, fair queen?
Mine, such as fill my heart with unhop'd joys.
Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent.
What! has your king married the Lady Grey,
And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
Is this the alliance that he seeks with France?
Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
I told your majesty as much before;
This proveth Edward's love and Warwick's honesty.
King Lewis, I here protest, in sight of heaven,
And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,
That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's;
No more my king, for he dishonours me,
But most himself, if he could see his shame.
Did I forget that by the house of York
My father came untimely to his death?
Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece?
Did I impale him with the regal crown?
Did I put Henry from his native right?
And am I guerdon'd at the last with shame?
Shame on himself! for my desert is honour;
And to repair my honour lost for him,
I here renounce him and return to Henry.--
My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
And henceforth I am thy true servitor.
I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona,
And replant Henry in his former state.
Warwick, these words have turn'd my hate to
And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
And joy that thou becom'st King Henry's friend.
So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend,
That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
I'll undertake to land them on our coast
And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
'T is not his new-made bride shall succour him;
And as for Clarence,--as my letters tell me,--
He's very likely now to fall from him,
For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
Or than for strength and safety of our country.
Dear brother, how shall Bona be reveng'd
But by thy help to this distressed queen?
Renowned prince, how shall poor Henry live
Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
My quarrel and this English queen's are one.
And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.
And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.
Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolv'd
You shall have aid.
Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
Then, England's messenger, return in post
And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
To revel it with him and his new bride.
Thou seest what's past; go fear thy king withal.
Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.
Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside,
And I am ready to put armour on.
Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
And therefore I'll uncrown him ere 't be long.
There's thy reward; be gone.
Thou and Oxford, with five thousand men,
Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle;
And, as occasion serves, this noble queen
And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt:
What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
This shall assure my constant loyalty,--
That if our queen and this young prince agree,
I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy
To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.--
Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous;
Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick,
And with thy hand thy faith irrevocable
That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.
Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it;
And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
[He gives his hand to Warwick.]
Why stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied,
And thou, Lord Bourbon, our high admiral,
Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.--
I long till Edward fall by war's mischance
For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
[Exeunt all but Warwick.]
I came from Edward as ambassador,
But I return his sworn and mortal foe;
Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
Had he none else to make a stale but me?
Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown,
And I'll be chief to bring him down again;
Not that I pity Henry's misery,
But seek revenge on Edward's mockery.
SCENE I. London. The Palace
[Enter GLOSTER, CLARENCE, SOMERSET, and MONTAGUE.]
Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
Alas! you know 't is far from hence to France;
How could he stay till Warwick made return?
My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the King.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, attended; LADY GREY, as Queen;
PEMBROKE, STAFFORD, HASTINGS, and others.]
And his well-chosen bride.
I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
Now, brother Clarence, how like you our choice
That you stand pensive as half malcontent?
As well as Lewis of France, or the Earl of Warwick,
Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
That they'll take no offence at our abuse.
Suppose they take offence without a cause,
They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
Your King and Warwick's, and must have my will.
And shall have your will, because our King;
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
No; God forbid that I should wish them sever'd
Whom God hath join'd together; ay, and 't were pity
To sunder them that yoke so well together.
Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
Should not become my wife and England's queen.--
And you too, Somerset and Montague,
Speak freely what you think.
Then this is mine opinion,--that King Lewis
Becomes your enemy, for mocking him
About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.
What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeas'd
By such invention as I can devise?
Yet to have join'd with France in such alliance
Would more have strength'ned this our commonwealth
'Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
Why, knows not Montague that of itself
England is safe if true within itself?
But the safer when 't is back'd with France.
'T is better using France than trusting France.
Let us be back'd with God, and with the seas
Which he hath giv'n for fence impregnable,
And with their helps only defend ourselves;
In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.
And yet, methinks, your grace hath not done well
To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride.
She better would have fitted me or Clarence;
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
Or else you would not have bestow'd the heir
Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife's son,
And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife
That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
In choosing for yourself you show'd your judgment,
Which being shallow you shall give me leave
To play the broker in mine own behalf;
And to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
Leave me or tarry, Edward will be king,
And not be tied unto his brother's will.
My lords, before it pleas'd his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Do me but right, and you must all confess
That I was not ignoble of descent,
And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
But as this title honours me and mine,
So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns.
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee
So long as Edward is thy constant friend
And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
[Aside.] I hear, yet say not much, but think the more.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Now, messenger, what letters or what news
My sovereign liege, no letters, and few words,
But such as I, without your special pardon,
Dare not relate.
Go to, we pardon thee; therefore, in brief,
Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
At my depart these were his very words:
'Go tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
To revel it with him and his new bride.'
Is Lewis so brave? belike he thinks me Henry.
But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
These were her words, utt'red with mild disdain:
'Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake.'
I blame not her, she could say little less,
She had the wrong; but what said Henry's queen?
For I have heard that she was there in place.
'Tell him' quoth she 'my mourning weeds are done,
And I am ready to put armour on.'
Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
But what said Warwick to these injuries?
He, more incens'd against your majesty
Than all the rest, discharg'd me with these words:
'Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
And therefore I'll uncrown him ere 't be long.'
Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn'd;
They shall have wars, and pay for their presumption.
But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so link'd in
That young Prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.
Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.
Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter;
That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
I may not prove inferior to yourself.--
You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
[Exit Clarence, and Somerset follows.]
[Aside.] Not I.
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for the love of Edward, but the crown.
Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick!
Yet am I arm'd against the worst can happen,
And haste is needful in this desperate case.--
Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
Go levy men and make prepare for war;
They are already, or quickly will be landed.
Myself in person will straight follow you.--
[Exeunt Pembroke and Stafford.]
But, ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest,
Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance;
Tell me if you love Warwick more than me?
If it be so, then both depart to him.
I rather wish you foes than hollow friends;
But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
Give me assurance with some friendly vow,
That I may never have you in suspect.
So God help Montague as he proves true!
And Hastings as he favours Edward's cause!
Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
Why, so! then am I sure of victory.
Now, therefore, let us hence; and lose no hour
Till we meet Warwick with his foreign pow'r.
SCENE II. A Plain in Warwickshire
[Enter WARWICK and OXFORD with French and other Forces.]
Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well;
The common people by numbers swarm to us.
But see where Somerset and Clarence comes!--
[Enter CLARENCE and SOMERSET.]
Speak suddenly, my lords, are we all friends?
Fear not that, my lord.
Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick;--
And welcome, Somerset.--I hold it cowardice
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love;
Else might I think that Clarence, Edward's brother,
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings.
But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine.
And now what rests but, in night's coverture,
Thy brother being carelessly encamp'd,
His soldiers lurking in the towns about,
And but attended by a simple guard,
We may surprise and take him at our pleasure?
Our scouts have found the adventure very easy;
That as Ulysses and stout Diomede
With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents,
And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds,
So we, well cover'd with the night's black mantle,
At unawares may beat down Edward's guard,
And seize himself,--I say not slaughter him,
For I intend but only to surprise him.--
You that will follow me to this attempt,
Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
[They all cry, 'Henry!']
Why then, let's on our way in silent sort;
For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George!
SCENE III. Edward's Camp near Warwick.
[Enter certain Watchmen, to guard the KING'S tent.]
Come on, my masters, each man take his stand;
The king by this is set him down to sleep.
What, will he not to bed?
Why, no; for he hath made a solemn vow
Never to lie and take his natural rest
Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress'd.
To-morrow, then, belike shall be the day,
If Warwick be so near as men report.
But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
That with the king here resteth in his tent?
'T is the Lord Hastings, the king's chiefest friend.
O, is it So? But why commands the king
That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
While he himself keeps in the cold field?
'T is the more honour, because more dangerous.
Ay, but give me worship and quietness;
I like it better than dangerous honour.
If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
'T is to be doubted he would waken him.
Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
Ay; wherefore else guard we his royal tent
But to defend his person from night-foes?
[Enter WARWICK, CLARENCE, OXFORD, SOMERSET,
and Forces silently.]
This is his tent; and see where, stand his guard.
Courage, my masters! honour now or never!
But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
Who goes there?
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.]
[Drum beating and trumpet sounding; enter WARWICK
and the rest, bringing the KING out in his gown sitting in
a chair. GLOSTER and HASTINGS fly over the stage.]
What are they that fly there?
Richard and Hastings. Let them go; here is the duke.
The duke! why, Warwick, when we parted,
Thou call'dst me king?
Ay, but the case is alter'd;
When you disgrac'd me in my embassade,
Then I degraded you from being king,
And come now to create you Duke of York.
Alas! how should you govern any kingdom
That know not how to use ambassadors,
Nor how to be contented with one wife,
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
Nor how to study for the people's welfare,
Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too?
Nay, then I see that Edward needs must down.--
Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance
Of thee thyself and all thy complices,
Edward will always bear himself as king;
Though fortune's malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
Then for his mind be Edward England's king;
[Takes off his crown.]
But Henry now shall wear the English crown
And be true king indeed, thou but the shadow.--
My Lord of Somerset, at my request,
See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey'd
Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
I'll follow you and tell what answer
Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him.--
Now, for a while farewell, good Duke of York.
What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
[Exit King Edward, led out; Somerset with him.]
What now remains, my lords, for us to do,
But march to London with our soldiers?
Ay, that's the first thing that we have to do,--
To free King Henry from imprisonment
And see him seated in the regal throne.
SCENE IV. London. The Palace
[Enter QUEEN ELIZABETH and RIVERS.]
Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
What late misfortune is befallen King Edward?
What! loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
No, but the loss of his own royal person.
Then is my sovereign slain?
Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner,
Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard
Or by his foe surpris'd at unawares,
And, as I further have to understand,
Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
Fell Warwick's brother and by that our foe.
These news, I must confess, are full of grief;
Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may.
Warwick may lose, that now hath won the day.
Till then, fair hope must hinder life's decay;
And I the rather wean me from despair,
For love of Edward's offspring in my womb.
This is it that makes me bridle passion
And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross;
Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear,
And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
King Edward's fruit, true heir to the English crown.
But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
I am inform'd that he comes towards London,
To set the crown once more on Henry's head.
Guess thou the rest: King Edward's friends must down;
But to prevent the tyrant's violence,--
For trust not him that hath once broken faith,--
I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary,
To save at least the heir of Edward's right.
There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
Come therefore, let us fly while we may fly;
If Warwick take us, we are sure to die.
SCENE V. A park near Middleham Castle in Yorkshire
[Enter GLOSTER, HASTINGS, SIR WILLIAM STANLEY, and others.]
Now, my Lord Hastings, and Sir William Stanley,
Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither
Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
Thus stands the case: you know our King, my brother,
Is prisoner to the Bishop here, at whose hands
He hath good usage and great liberty,
And often, but attended with weak guard,
Comes hunting this way to disport himself.
I have advertis'd him by secret means
That if about this hour he make this way,
Under the colour of his usual game,
He shall here find his friends, with horse and men,
To set him free from his captivity.
[Enter KING EDWARD and a Huntsman.]
This way, my lord, for this way lies the game.
Nay, this way, man; see, where the huntsmen
Now, brother of Gloster, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Stand you thus close to steal the bishop's deer?
Brother, the time and case requireth haste;
Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
But whither shall we then?
To Lynn, my lord, and shipt from thence to Flanders.
Well guess'd, believe me, for that was my meaning.
Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
But wherefore stay we? 't is no time to talk.
Huntsman, what say'st thou? wilt thou go along?
Better do so than tarry and be hang'd.
Come then; away! let's have no more ado.
Bishop, farewell; shield thee from Warwick's frown,
And pray that I may repossess the crown.
SCENE VI. London. The Tower
[Enter KING HENRY, CLARENCE, WARWICK, SOMERSET, Young
RICHMOND, OXFORD, MONTAGUE, Lieutenant of the Tower, and
Master Lieutenant, now that God and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat
And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
Subjects may challenge nothing of their sovereigns;
But if an humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your Majesty.
For what, lieutenant? for well using me?
Nay, be thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness,
For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds
Conceive when, after many moody thoughts,
At last by notes of household harmony
They quite forget their loss of liberty.--
But, Warwick, after God thou sett'st me free,
And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
He was the author, thou the instrument.
Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite,
By living low where fortune cannot hurt me,
And that the people of this blessed land
May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars,
Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
I here resign my government to thee,
For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
Your grace hath still been fam'd for virtuous,
And now may seem as wise as virtuous
By spying and avoiding fortune's malice,
For few men rightly temper with the stars;
Yet in this one thing let me blame your grace,
For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
To whom the heavens in thy nativity
Adjudg'd an olive branch and laurel crown,
As likely to be blest in peace and war;
And therefore, I yield thee my free consent.
And I choose Clarence only for protector.
Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands.
Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts,
That no dissension hinder government.
I make you both protectors of this land,
While I myself will lead a private life
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.
What answers Clarence to his sovereign's will?
That he consents if Warwick yield consent,
For on thy fortune I repose myself.
Why, then, though loath, yet I must be content.
We'll yoke together, like a double shadow
To Henry's body, and supply his place,--
I mean in bearing weight of government
While he enjoys the honour and his ease.
And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
Forthwith that Edward be pronounc'd a traitor,
And all his lands and goods confiscated.
What else? and that succession be determin'd.
Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
But with the first of all your chief affairs,
Let me entreat--for I command no more--
That Margaret your queen, and my son Edward,
Be sent for to return from France with speed;
For, till I see them here, by doubtful fear
My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
Come hither, England's hope.--If secret powers
[Lays his hand on his head.]
Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty,
His head by nature fram'd to wear a crown,
His hand to wield a sceptre, and himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
Make much of him, my lords; for this is he
Must help you more than you are hurt by me.
[Enter a Messenger.]
What news, my friend?
That Edward is escaped from your brother,
And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
Unsavoury news! but how made he escape?
He was convey'd by Richard Duke of Gloster
And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
In secret ambush on the forest side,
And from the bishop's huntsmen rescued him,
For hunting was his daily exercise.
My brother was too careless of his charge.--
But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.
[Exeunt King Henry, Warwick, Clarence, Lieutenant, and
My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward's,
For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
And we shall have more wars before 't be long.
As Henry's late presaging prophecy
Did glad my heart with hope of this young Richmond,
So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts
What may befall him, to his harm and ours;
Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
Forthwith we'll send him hence to Brittany
Till storms be past of civil enmity.
Ay; for if Edward repossess the crown,
'T is like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
It shall be so; he shall to Brittany.
Come therefore, let's about it speedily.
SCENE VII. Before York
[Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, HASTINGS, and Forces.]
Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry's regal crown.
Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas,
And brought desired help from Burgundy.
What then remains, we being thus arriv'd
From Ravenspurg haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter as into our dukedom?
The gates made fast!--Brother, I like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
Tush, man! abodements must not now affright us;
By fair or foul means we must enter in,
For hither will our friends repair to us.
My liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.
[Enter on the walls, the Mayor of York and his Brethren.]
My lords, we were forewarned of your coming
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves,
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.