Page images
PDF
EPUB

War. Plantagenet sball speak first :-lear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he, that interrupts himn, shall not live. [throne,

K. Hen. Think'st thou, that I will leave my kingly
Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat?.
No: first shall war anpeople 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.

War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
K. Hen. Henry the fourth by conquest got the crown.
York. 'Twas by rebellion against his king:

K. Hen. I know not what to say; my litle's weak.
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?
York. What then;

K. Hen. 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 persorce.

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

Ere. No; for he could not so resign his crown,
Bat that the next heir should succeed and reign.

K. Hen. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter?
Exe. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
K. Hen. All will revolt from me, and turn to him.
North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not, that Henry shall be so depos’d.

War. Depos'd be shall be, in despite of all.
North. Thou art deceiv'd: ’lis 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.

Cliff. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:

11.

ak

May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!

K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
York. Henry of Lancaster resign thy crown:
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

War. Do right unto this princely duke of York ; Or I will fill the house with armed men, And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits, Write up his title with usurping blood.

[He Stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves. K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word ;Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king.

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

K. Hen. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
Cliff

. What wrong is this onto the prince your son?
War. What good is this to England, and himself?
West. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
Cliff. How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us!
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
North. Nor I.
Cliff. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.

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

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

Cliff. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandon'd, and despis'd!

[Exeunt North, Cliff. and West. War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not. Exe. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield. K. Hen. Ah, Exeter! War.

Why should you sigh, my lord ? K. Hen. 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,

[blocks in formation]

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.
War. Long live king Henry!-Plantagenet embrace
him.

[sons !
R. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward
York. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
Exe. Accurs'd be he, that seeks to make them foes !

[Senet. The Lords come forward.
York. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.
War. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers.
Norf. And I to Norfolk, with my followers.
Mont. And I unto the sea, from whence I came.
[Exeunt York and his Sons, Warwick, Norfolk,

Montague, Soldiers, and Attendants.
K. Hen. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.
Enter Queen MARGARET and the PRINCE of Wales.
Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her

[anger:
K. Hen. Exeter, so will I.

(Going
Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me, I will follow thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentlo queen, and I will stay.
Q. Mar. 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 deservd to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but lov'd bim 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;
Thon wouldst bave left thy dearest heart-blood there,
Rather than made that savage duke thine heir,
And disinberited thine only son.

Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me :
If you be king, why should not I succeed? [son :

K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret ;-pardon me, sweet
The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me.

us!

I'll steal away.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[ocr errors]

Q. Mur. Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt be

forcod?
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 bim 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 Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb, environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr’st thy life before thine honour:
And, seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that aci of parliament be repeald,
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 :-Coine, son, let's

away: Our army's ready; come, we'll after them.

K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak. Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee

gone. K. Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me? Q. Mar. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies. Prince. When I return with victory from the field, I'll see your grace: till then, I'll follow her. Q. Mar. Come, son, away; we may not linger thus,

[Exeunt Queen Margaret and the Prince. K. Hen. 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;

[ocr errors][merged small]

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.

Exé. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. (Exeunt.

1

[ocr errors]

SCENE II. A Room in SANDAL CASTLE, near

WAKEFIELD, in YORKSHIRE.
Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.
Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave,
Edw. No, I can better play the orator.
Mont. 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?

Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
York. About what?

Rich. 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.
Rich. Your right depends not on his life, or death.

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

York. I took an oath, that he should quietly reign.
Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be broken :
Pd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year.

Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn.
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.

Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry bad none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas be that made you to depose,

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »