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KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
KING HENRY VI.
DUKE OF SOMERset,
EARL OF OXFORD,
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND, EARL OF WEStmoreland, LORD CLIFFORD,
THIRD PART OF
Lords on King Henry's side.
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
EDMUND, Earl of Rutland,
Sir JOHN MORTIMER,
HENRY, Earl of Richmond, a youth.
Mayor of York.
SCENE I.. London. The Parliament-House. Drums. Some Soldiers of YORK's Party break in. Then, enter the Duke of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and others, with white roses in their hats.
War. I wonder, how the king escap'd our hands. York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north, He slily 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 a-breast, Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in, Were by the swords of common soldiers slain. Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham,
uncles to the Duke of York
A Son that has killed his Father. A Father that has killed his Son.
Lady GREY, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
of the Duke of York's BONA, sister to the French Queen.
Soldiers, and other Attendan on King Henry and
SCENE,- during part of the third Act, in FRANCE; during all the rest of the Play, in ENGLAND.
Is either slain, or wounded dangerous: cleft his beaver with a downright blow; That this is true, father, behold his blood. [Showing his bloody sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood, [To YORK, showing his. Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd. Rich. Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did. [Throwing down the DUKE OF SOMERSET's head. York. Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.What, is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ?
Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt' Rich. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry s head. War. And so do I. - Victorious prince of York, Before I see thee seated in that throne Which now the house of Lancaster usurps, I vow by heaven, these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
Norf. 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. War. And, when the king comes, offer him no violence, Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.
They retire. York. The queen, this day, here holds her parliament,
But little thinks, we shall be of her council :
Rich. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
York. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute;
War. Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red roses in their hats.
Even in the chair of state! belike, he means,
North. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!
Clif. Urge it no more: lest that, instead of words,
War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless
York. Will you, we show our title to the crown? If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
K. Hen. What title hast thou, traitor, to the
K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York;
War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
West. What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:
My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmoreland.
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.
K. Hen. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural
War. True, Clifford; and that's Richard, duke of York.
K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
York. It must and shall be so. Content thyself. War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king. West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster ; And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain. War. And Warwick shall disprove it. You
That we are those, which chas'd you from the field,
North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
West. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons, Thy kinsmen and thy friends, I'll have more lives, Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head. Mont. Good brother, [to YORK.] as thou lov'st and honour'st arms,
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
K. Hen. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave
K. Hen. Think'st thou, that I will leave my
War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be
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.
Clif. What wrong is this unto the prince your
War. What good is this to England, and himself?
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these
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!
War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them
Exe. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.
Clif. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandon'd, and despis'd!
[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND.
K. Hen. Ah, Exeter!
Why should you sigh, my lord? K. Hen. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever;
K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!
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
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 1, with grief and sorrow, to the
Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE OF WALES.
Exeter, so will I.
Going. Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me, I will follow thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will
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 deserv'd to lose his birthright thus? Had'st 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 made that savage duke thine heir, And disinherited thine only son.
Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me : If you be king, why should not I succeed?
K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret; - pardon me,
Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas;
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'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; 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,
Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. [Exeunt. 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.
York. Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?
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 :
I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year.
Rich. No; God forbid, your grace shoud 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 had none, but did usurp the place; Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose, Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous. Therefore, to arms. And, father, do but think, How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown; Within whose circuit is Elysium,
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
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 unto the duke of Norfolk, And tell him privily of our intent. You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham, With whom the Kentish men will willingly rise: In them I trust; for they are soldiers, Witty, 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?
Mess. 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.
Mont. 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;
Sir John. She shall not need, we'll meet her in the field.
York. What, with five thousand men ? Rich. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need. A woman's general; what should we fear?
[A march afar off. Edw. I hear their drums; let's set our men in 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,
Clif. Thy father hath.
[Exit, forced off by Soldiers. Clif. How now! is he dead already? Or, is it fear, That makes him close his eyes? - I'll open them. Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch That trembles under his devouring paws: And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey; And so he comes, to rend his limbs asunder, Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword, And not with such a cruel threat'ning look. Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die; I am too mean a subject for thy wrath, Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.
Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should
Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again; He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and thine
Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
But 'twas 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. Clif. No cause?
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die. [CLIFFORD stabs him. Rut. Di faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuæ ! [Dies.
Clif. 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 hungry starved wolves. My sons- God knows, what hath bechanced themi: 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 faulchion, painted to the hilt In blood of those that had encounter'd 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 bodg'd again; as I have seen a swan With bootless labour swim against the tide, And spend her strength with over-matching 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,—
North. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
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? Clif. So cowards fight, when they can fly no further; So doves do peck the faicon'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'er-run 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 cre this. Clif. I will not bandy with thee word for word; But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.
[Draws. Q. Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes,
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life: -
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?