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KING HENRY THE SIXTH.
DUKE OF EXETER,
EARL OF OXFORD,
EARL OF NORTHUMBERLAND,
Lords on King
RICHARD PLANTAGENET, Duke of York.
MARQUIS OF MONTAGUE,
EDMUND, Earl of Rutland,
GEORGE, afterwards Duke of Clarence,
of the Duke of York's
SCENE I.-London. The Parliament-House.
Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Bucking[ham, Is either slain, or wounded dangerous: I cleft his beaver with a downright blow; That this is true, father, behold his blood. (Shewing his bloody sword.) Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood, (To York, shewing 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.)
SIR JOHN MORTIMER,
SIR JOHN MONTGOMERY.
Mayor of York.
A Son that has killed his Father.
Uncles to the Duke of York.
LADY GREY, afterwards Queen to Edward IV.
Soldiers, and other Attendants on King Henry and
SCENE,-During part of the third Act, in France; during all the rest of the Play, in England.
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
Rich. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry's head.
For hither we have broken in by force.
And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night.
But little thinks we shall be of her council:
War. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd, Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king; And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice Hath made us by-words to our enemies. York. Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute; I mean to take possession of my right.
War. Neither the king, nor he that loves him The proudest he that holds up Lancaster, [best, Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells. I'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown. (Warwick leads York to the throne, who seats himself.)
Flourish. Enter King HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTH-Father,
UMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red roses in their hats.
K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel Even in the chair of state! belike, he means, [sits, (Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,) To aspire unto the crown, and reign as king.Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;And thine, lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends. North. If I be not, heavens, be reveng'd on me! Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel. [him down: West. What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck My heart for anger burns, I cannot brook it.
K.Hen. Be patient, gentle earl of Westmoreland. Clif. Patience is for poltroons, and such as he : He durst not sit there, had your father liv'd. My gracious lord, here in the parliament Let us assail the family of York.
North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so. K. Hen. Ah, know you not, the city favours them, And they have troops of soldiers at their beck? Exe. But, when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly. [heart, K. Hen. Far be the thought of this from Henry's To make a shambles of the parliament-house! Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats, Shall be the war that Henry means to use.(They advance to the Duke.) Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne, And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet; I am thy sovereign. York. Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine. Exe. For shame, come down; he made thee duke of York.
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger,
War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!
York. Will you, we shew our title to the crown? If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
K.Hen. What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown? Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York; Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, earl of March: I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop, And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.
War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all. K. Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I; When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old. Rich. You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose :
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. Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king York. Sons, peace! [will fly. K. Hen. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave to speak.
War. Plantagenet shall speak first :-hear him,
Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat?
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 perforce.
War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd, Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
Exe. No; for he could not so resign his crown, But 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
KING HENRY VI.
And o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
(He stamps, and the Soldiers shew themselves.) K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word;
K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret;-pardon me,
The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me.
Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king.
Clif. What wrong is this unto the prince your
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
[Exeunt Northumberland, Clifford, and
War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them
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 Q. Marg. and the Prince. K.Hen. Poor queen! how love to me, and to her son,
War. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers.
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
[Exeunt. Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. SCENE II-A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.
Enter Queen MARGARET and the Prince of WALES.
Exeter, so will I.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will
Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me:
Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.
Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
[and us; Rich. About that, which concerns your grace, 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.
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. Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest, Until the white rose, that I wear, be dyed Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
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 Kentishmen will willingly rise: In them I trust; for they are soldiers, Witty and 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
that we fear them?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;-
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 You are come to Sandal in a happy hour; [uncles! The army of the queen mean to besiege us.
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 drams; let's set our men in order;
And issue forth, and bid them battle straight.
Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands? Ah, tutor! look, where bloody Clifford comes! Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
Cliy. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and Were not revenge sufficient for me! [thine, No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves, And hung their rotten coffins up in chains, It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart. The sight of any of the house of York Is as a fury to torment my soul; And till I root out their accursed line, And leave not one alive, I live in hell. Therefore(Lifting his hand.)
Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death:To thee I pray; Sweet Clifford, pity me!
Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords. Rut. I never did thee harm; Why wilt thou Clif. Thy father hath. [slay me? Rut. 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. Dii faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuæ!
Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy As for the brat of this accursed duke, Whose father slew my father, he shall die. Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him company. Clif. Soldiers, away with him. Tut. Ab, Clifford! murder not this innocent child,
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 hunger-starved wolves. My sons-God knows what hath bechanced them : 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! A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre! And cried,-A crown, or else a glorious tomb! 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.
So doves do peck the falcon'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 bath made thee faint and fly ere this. Clif. I will not bandy with thee word for word; But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.
Q. Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life:Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumberland. [much,
North. Hold, Clifford; do not honour him so 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? It is war's prize to take all vantages; And ten to one is no impeach of valour.
(They lay hands on York, who struggles.) Clif. Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin. North. So doth the coney struggle in the net. (York is taken prisoner.) York. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty; So true men yield, with robbers so o'er-match'd. North. What would your grace have done unto him now? [berland,
Q.Mar. Brave warriors, Clifford, and NorthumCome, make him stand upon this molehill here; That raught at mountains with outstretched arms, Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.What! was it yon, that would be England's king? Was't you, that revell'd in our parliament, And made a preachment of your high descent? Where are your mess of sons to back you now? The wanton Edward, and the lusty George? And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy, Dicky, your boy, that, with his grumbling voice, Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.-
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
Q. Mar. Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he
Thy father bears the type of king of Naples,
For raging wind blows up incessant showers,
North. Beshrew me, but his passions move me so, That hardly can I check my eyes from tears. York. That face of his the hungry cannibals Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood:
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,-