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- ACT I. * SCENEL-4 Garden in the Tower. Enter Lieutenant and OFFIcER.
Lieut. Has King Henry walk'd forth this morning 2
Now so the gate. [Knocking within.
- Enter Lord SrANLEY. My noble lord, you're welcome to the Tower: I heard last night you late arrived with news Of Edward's victory to his joyful queen. Stanley. Yes, sir; and I am proud to be the man, That first brought home the last of civil broils: The houses now of York and Lancaster, Like bloody-brothers, fighting for a birthright, No more shall wound the parent, that would part them: Edward now sits secure on England's throne. Lieut. Near Tewksbury, my lord, I think they fought; Has the enemy lost any men of note? Sir, I was posted hone, Ere an account was taken of the slain: But, as I left the field, a proclamation, From the king, was made in search of Edward, Son to your prisoner, King Henry the Sixth, Which gave reward to those discovering him, And him his life, if he'd surrender. Lieut. Those young prince, I fear, 's unlike his father, Too high of heart, to brook submissive life: This will be heavy news to Henry's ear, For on this battle's cast his all was set. Stanley. King Henry and ill fortune are familiar; . He ever threw with an indifferent hand, But never yet was known to lose his patience. How does he pass the time in his confinement? Lieut. As one whose wishes never reach'd a crown. The king seems dead in him—but, as a man, He sighs sometimes in want of liberty. Sometimes he reads, and walks, and wishes, That fate had blessed him with an humbler birth, Not to have felt the alliuso a throne. - 2
Stanley. Were it not possible to see this king? They say, he'll freely §: with Edward's friends, And even treats them with respect and honour. Lieut. This is his usual time of walking forth (For he's allow'd the freedom of the garden) After his morning prayer; he seldom fails; Behind this arbour we, unseen, may stand Awhile to observe him. [They retire. Enter KING HENRY. K. Hen. By this time the decisive blow is struck; Either my queen and son are bless'd with victory, Or l’m the cause no more of civil broils. *Would I were dead, if Heaven's good will were so; For what is in this world but grief and care 2 What noise and bustle do kings make to find it; When life's but a short chase, our game content, Which, most pursued, is most compell'd to fly; And he, that mounts him on the swiftest hope, Shall often run his courser to a stand; While the poor peasant, from some distant hill, Undanger'd and at ease, views all the sport, And sees content take shelter in his cottage. Stanley. He seems extremely moved. Lieut. Does he know wou? Stanley. No.; nor would I have him. Lieut. We'll show ourselves. [They come forward. K. Hen. Why, there's another check to proud ambition? That man received his charge from me, and now I’m his prisoner—he locks me to my rest. Such an unlook'd-for change who could suppose, That saw him kneel to kiss the hand that raised him? But that I should not now complain of, Since I to that, 'tis possible, may owe His civil treatment of me—"Morrow, Lieutenant; Is any news arrived?—Who's that with you? Lieut. A gentleman, that came last night express From Tewksbury—We’ve had a battle. K. Hen. Comes he to me with letters, or advice? Lieut. Sir, he's King Edward's officer, your foe. K. Hen. Then he won't flatter me—You're welcome"
Not less because you are King Edward's friend,
For I have almost learn'd myself to be so;
Could I but once forget I was a king,
I might be truly happy, and his subject.
You've gain’d a battle: is't not so?
Stanley. Since my arrival, sir, another post Came in, which brought us word, your queen and son Were prisoners now at Tewksbury. K. Hen. Heav'n's will be done !—the hunter's have them now, And I have only sighs and prayers to help them! Stanley. King Edward, sir, depends upon his sword, Yet prays heartily when the battle's won; And soldiers love a bold and active leader. Fortune, like women, will be close pursued; The English are high-mettled, sir, and ’tis No easy part to sit them well–King Edward Feels their temper, and 'twill be hard to throw him K. Hen. Alas! I thought them men, and rather hoped To win their hearts by mildness than severity. My soul was never form'd for cruelty; In my eyes, justice has teem'd bloody ; When, on the city gates, I have beheld A traitor's quarters parching in the sun, My blood has turn'd with horror at the sight: I took them down, and buried, with his limbs, The memory of the dead man's deeds.—Perhaps That pity made me look less terrible, Giving the mind of weak rebellion spirit; For kings are put in trust for all mankind, And when themselves take injuries, who is safe 2 If so, I have deserved these frowns of fortune. Enter Office R. Offi. Sir, here's a gentleman brings a warrant, For his access to King Henry's presence. Lieut. I come to him. [Exit with Officer. Stanley. His business may require your privacy; I'll leave you, sir, wishing you all the goo That can be wish'd—not wronging him. I serve. [Erit. K. Hen. Farewell ! Who can this he? a sudden coldness, Like the damp hand of death, has seized my limbs: 1 fear some heavy news! Enter LIEUTENANT. Who is it, good Lieutenant? Lieut. A gentleman, sir, from Tewksbury : he seems A melancholy messenger—for, when I ask'd What news, his answer was a deep-fetch'd sigh: I could not urge him, but I fear ’tis fatal. [Exit. nter TR essel. K. Hen. Fatal indeed!, his brow's the title-page, That speaks the nature of a tragic volume.— Say, friend, how does my queen? my son 2 Thou tremblest, and the whiteness of thy cheek ls apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand. Ev’n such a man, so faint, oil.”