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SCENE IV. Plains near Tewksbury.
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, Somerset, OXFORD, and Soldiers.
* Q. Mar. Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,1
* But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
And give more strength to that which hath too much * Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock, * Which industry and courage might have saved? * Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say, Warwick was our anchor; what of that? 'And Montague our top-mast; what of him? 'Our slaughtered friends the tackles; what of these? 'Why, is not Oxford here another anchor? 'And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings? And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I For once allowed the skilful pilot's charge? 'We will not from the helm, to sit and weep; * But keep our course, though the rough wind say—no, * From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck.
* As good to chide the waves, as speak them fair.
* And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea?
* What Clarence, but a quicksand of deceit?
* And Richard, but a ragged, fatal rock ?
* All these the enemies to our poor bark.
* Say, you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while:
1 This speech, in the original play, is expressed in eleven lines. Malone thinks its extraordinary expansion into thirty-seven lines a decisive proof that the old play was the production of some writer who preceded Shak
*Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink: *Bestride the rock; the tide will wash off, * Or else you famish; that's a threefold death. *This speak I, lords, to let you understand, *In case some one of you would fly from us, * That there's no hoped-for mercy with the brothers, * More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks. Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided,
* "Twere childish weakness to lament, or fear.
* Prince. Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit, Should, if a coward heard her speak these words, * Infuse his breast with magnanimity, * And make him, naked, foil a man at arms. 'I speak not this as doubting any here. For, did I but suspect a fearful man, 'He should have leave to go away betimes; 'Lest, in our need, he might infect another, 'And make him of like spirit to himself. 'If any such be here, as God forbid !
'Let him depart, before we need his help.
Oxf. Women and children of so high a courage! And warriors faint! why, 'twere perpetual shame.'O, brave young prince! thy famous grandfather Doth live again in thee. Long mayst thou live, To bear his image, and renew his glories!
'Som. And he, that will not fight for such a hope, 'Go home to bed, and like the owl by day, 'If he arise, be mocked and wondered at.
Q. Mar. Thanks, gentle Somerset ;-sweet Oxford, thanks.
* Prince. And take his thanks, that yet hath nothing else.
Enter a Messenger.
'Mess. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand, Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
Oxf. I thought no less; it is his policy,
To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
Som. But he's deceived; we are in readiness.
Q. Mar. This cheers my heart, to see your forward
Oxf. Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
March. Enter, at a distance, KING EDWARD, CLARence, Gloster, and Forces.
K. Edw. Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood,
Which, by the Heavens' assistance, and your strength, Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
* I need not add more fuel to your fire,
*For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out.
* Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.
Q. Mar. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say,
My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
[Exeunt both Armies.
SCENE V. Another part of the same.
Alarums: Excursions: and afterwards a
K. Edw. Now, here a period of tumultuous broils. Away with Oxford to Hammes castle' straight: For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
1 A castle in Picardy, where Oxford was confined for many years. 67
Oxf. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words. Som. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune. [Exeunt OxF. and Soм., guarded. Q. Mar. So part we sadly in this troublous world, *To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
*K. Edw. Is proclamation made,—that who finds Edward,
* Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
* Glo. It is; and lo, where youthful Edward comes.
Enter Soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD.
*K. Edw. Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak.
*What! can so young a thorn begin to prick? Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make, For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects, *And all the trouble thou hast turned me to?
Prince. Speak like a subject, proud, ambitious York! Suppose that I am now my father's mouth ; Resign thy chair, and, where I stand, kneel thou, Whilst I propose the self-same words to thee, Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
Q. Mar. Ah, that thy father had been so resolved!
Glo. That you might still have worn the petticoat, And ne'er have stolen the breech from Lancaster.
Prince. Let Esop1 fable in the winter's night; His currish riddles sort not with this place.
Glo. By Heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that word. Q. Mar. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men. Glo. For God's sake, take away this captive scold. Prince. Nay, take away this scolding crook-back rather.
K. Edw. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your
Clar. Untutored lad, thou art too malapert.
The prince calls Richard Esop for his crookedness; and the Poet, following nature, makes Richard highly incensed at the reproach.
Lascivious Edward,—and thou perjured George, And thou misshapen Dick,-I tell ye all, I am your better, traitors as ye are ;* And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine. K. Edw. Take that, the likeness of this railer here.1 [Stabs him. * Glo. Sprawl'st thou ? take that, to end thy agony. [GLO. stabs him.
*Cla. And there's for twitting me with perjury. [CLA. stabs him.
Q. Mar. O, kill me too!
Glo. Marry, and shall.
[Offers to kill her.
· K. Edw. Hold, Richard, hold, for we have done too much.
Glo. Why should she live, to fill the world with words?
K. Edw. What! doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.
Glo. Clarence, excuse me to the king my brother. I'll hence to London on a serious matter;
'Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news. Clar. What? what?
'Glo. The Tower, the Tower!
'Q. Mar. O, Ned, sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy!
'Canst thou not speak ?-O traitors! murderers !— They that stabbed Cæsar, shed no blood at all, Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame, *If this foul deed were by, to equal it. 'He was a man; this, in respect, a child; And men ne'er spend their fury on a child. What's worse than murderer, that I may name it? *No, no; my heart will burst, an if I speak ;* And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.Butchers and villains, bloody cannibals!
* How sweet a plant have you untimely cropped!
1 That is, "thou who art the likeness," &c. The old copies describe Edward as striking the first blow, and Gloster the next; and this is according to history, which informs us that Edward smote the prince with his gauntlet, on which the rest despatched him.