Page images

Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
North. Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
I should not for my life but weep with him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul. [berland?
Q. Mar. What, weeping-ripe, my lord Northum-
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
Clif. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's
(Stabbing him.)
Q. Mar. And here's to right our gentle-hearted
(Stabbing him.)
York. Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.
Q.Mar. Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
So York may overlook the town of York. [Exeunt.



SCENE I.-A Plain near Mortimer's Cross in

Drums. Enter EDWARD, and RICHARD, with their
Forces, marching.

Edw. I wonder, how our princely father 'scap'd; Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no, From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit: Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news; Had he been slain, we should have heard the news; Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks, we should have heard The happy tidings of his good escape.How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

Rich. I cannot joy, until I be resolv'd
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about;

And watch'd him, how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought, he bore him in the thickest troop,
As doth a lion in a herd of neat:

Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs;
Who having pinch'd a few, and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
So far'd our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father:
Methinks, 'tis prize enough to be his son.
See how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a younker, prancing to his love!

Edw. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Rich. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect sun;
Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.

[heard of. Edw. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never I think, it cites us, brother, to the field; That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet, Each one already blazing by our meeds, Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together, And over-shine the earth, as this the world. Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear Upon my target three fair shining suns. Rich. Nay, bear three daughters;-by your leave I speak it,

You love the breeder better than the male.

Enter a Messenger.

But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretel
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
Mess. Ah, one that was a woeful looker on,
When as the noble duke of York was slain,
Your princely father, and my loving lord. [much.
Edw. O, speak no more! for I have heard too
Rich. Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
Mess. Environed he was with many foes;
And stood against them as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,

Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
By many hands your father was subdu'd;
But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford, and the queen:
Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despite;
Laugh'd in his face; and, when with grief he wept,
The ruthless queen gave him, to dry his cheeks,
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain:
And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same; and there it doth remain,
The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.

Edw. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean upon;
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay!-
O Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
For, hand to hand, he would have vanquish'd thee!-
Now my soul's palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence! that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest:
Never, O never, shall I see more joy.
For never henceforth shall I joy again,

Rich. I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart: Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden; For self-same wind that I should speak withal, Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast, And burn me up with flames, that tears would quench. To weep, is to make less the depth of grief: Tears, then, for babes; blows, and revenge, for me!Richard, I bear thy name, I'll venge thy death, Or die renowned by attempting it. [thee;

Edw. His name that valiant duke hath left with His dukedom and his chair with me is left.

Rich. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird, Shew thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun: For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say; Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his. March. Enter WARWICK and MONTAGUE, with Forces.

War. How now, fair lords? What fare? what

news abroad?

Rich. Great lord of Warwick, if we should recount Our baleful news, and, at each word's deliverance, Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told, O valiant lord, the duke of York is slain. The words would add more anguish than the wounds.

Edw. O Warwick! Warwick! that Plantagenet, Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption, Is by the stern lord Clifford done to death.

War. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears: And now, to add more measure to your woes, I come to tell you things since then befall'n. After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought, Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp, Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run, Were brought me of your loss, and his depart. I then in London, keeper of the king, Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends, And very well appointed, as I thought, [queen, Bearing the king in my behalf along : March'd towards Saint Alban's to intercept the For by my scouts I was advértised, That she was coming with a full intent To dash our late decree in parliament, Touching king Henry's oath, and your succession. Short tale to make,-we at Saint Alban's met, Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought: But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king, Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen, That robb'd my soldiers of their hated spleen; Or whether 'twas report of her success; Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour, Who thunders to his captives-blood and death, I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth, Their weapons like to lightning came and went; Our soldiers-like the night-owl's lazy flight,



Or like a lazy thrasher with a flail,—
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay, and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
So that we fled; the king, unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard, you were,
Making another head to fight again. [Warwick?
Edw. Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle
And when came George from Burgundy to England?
War. Some six miles off the duke is with the

And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
Rich. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit.
But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire.
War. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou
For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine
Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
And wring the awful sceptre from his fist;
Were he as famous and as bold in war,
As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.
Rich. I know it well, lord Warwick: blame me not;
'Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak.
But, in this troublous time, what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
Numbering our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
If for the last, say-Ay, and to it, lords.
War. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
With Clifford and the haught Northumberland,
And of their feather many more proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament;
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath, and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong:
Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself,


With all the friends that thou, brave earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London we will march amain;
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry-Charge upon our foes!
But never once again turn back, and fly. [speak:
Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,
That cries-Retire, if Warwick bid him stay.

Edw. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
And when thou fall'st, (as God forbid the hour!)
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!
War. No longer earl of March, but duke of York;
The next degree is, England's royal throne:
For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In every borough as we pass along;

And he, that throws not up his cap for joy,
Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
King Edward,-valiant Richard,-Montague,-
Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets, and about our task.
Rich. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as

(As thou hast shewn it flinty by thy deeds,)
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.
Edw. Then strike up, drums;-God, and Saint
George, for us!

Enter a Messenger.
War. How now? what news!

Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,
The queen is coming with a puissant host;
And craves your company for speedy counsel.
War. Why then it sorts, brave warriors: Let's


SCENE II.-Before York.

Enter King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, the
BERLAND, with Forces.

Q. Mar. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town
of York.

Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy,
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown:
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?

K. Hen. Ay, as the rocks cheer them, that fear
their wreck ;-

To see this sight, it irks my very soul.-
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
Not wittingly have I infring'd my vow.

Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity
And harmful pity, must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his, that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on;
And doves will peck, in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, bless'd with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argued thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young:
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,

Who hath not seen them (even with those wings
Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight,)
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
Were it not pity, that this goodly boy
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault;
And long hereafter say unto his child,—
What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
My careless father fondly gave away?
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart,
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.
K. Hen. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,
Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,-
That things ill got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son,
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind
And 'would, my father had left me no more
For all the rest is held at such a rate,
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep,
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did know,
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!

Q. Mar. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes

are nigh,

And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promis'd knighthood to our forward son;
Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently.
Edward, kneel down.

K. Hen. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
And learn this lesson,-Draw thy sword in right.
Prince. My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,
And in that quarrel use it to the death.

Clif. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.

Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Royal commanders, be in readiness; For, with a band of thirty thousand men, Comes Warwick, backing of the duke of York; And, in the towns as they do march along, Proclaims him king, and many fly to him: Darraign your battle, for they are at hand. [field; Clif. I would, your highness would depart the The queen hath best success, when you are absent, Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune, [I'll stay. K. Hen. Why, that's my fortune too; therefore North. Be it with resolution then to fight. Prince. My royal father, cheer these noble lords, And hearten those that fight in your defence: Unsheath your sword,good father; cry Saint George! March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers. Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry, wilt thou kneel for And set thy diadem upon my head; Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?



Q. Mar. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms, Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king?

Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his knee; I was adopted heir by his consent:

Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You-that are king, though he do wear the crown,-
Have caus'd him, by new act of parliament,
To blot out me, and put his own son in.

Clif. And reason too;

Who should succeed the father, but the son? Rich. Are you there, butcher?-O, I cannot speak! [thee, Clif. Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer Or any he the proudest of thy sort. [it not?

Rich. 'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was
Clif. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied.
Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the
[the crown?
War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield
Q.Mar. Why, how now, long-tongu'd Warwick?
dare you speak?

When you and I met at Saint Alban's last,
Your legs did better service than your hands.
War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine.
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled.
War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me
[you stay.
North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make
Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently;
Break off the parle; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.

Clif. I slew thy father: Call'st thou him a child?
Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous coward,
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed.
K. Hen. Have done with words, my lords, and
hear me speak.
Q. Mar. Defy them then, or else hold close thy
H.Hen. I prythee, give no limits to my tongue;
I am a king, and privileg'd to speak. [here,
Clif. My liege, the wound, that bred this meeting
Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword:
By Him that made us all, I am resolv'd,
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
Edw. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,
That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown.
War. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
For York in justice puts his armour on. [right,
Prince. If that be right, which Warwick says is
There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Rich. Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.
Q.Mar. But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam;

But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.
Rich. Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt,
Whose father bears the title of a king,
(As if a channel should be call'd the sea,)
Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art ex-

To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
Edw. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand


To make this shameless callet know herself.-
Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman, as this king by thee.
His father revell'd in the heart of France,
And tam'd the king, and made the Dauphin stoop;
And, had he match'd according to his state,
He might have kept that glory to this day:
But, when he took a beggar to his bed,
And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day;
Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him,
That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France,
And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.
For what hath broach'd this tumult, but thy pride?
Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept;
And we, in pity of the gentle king,

Had slipp'd our claim until another age. [spring,
Geo. But, when we saw our sunshine made thy
And that thy summer bred us no increase,
We set the axe to thy usurping root:
And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
Yet know thou, since we have begun to strike,
We'll never leave, till we have hewn thee down,
Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.
Edw. And, in this resolution, I defy thee;
Not willing any longer conference,
Since thou deny'st the gentle king to speak.-
Sound trumpets!-let our bloody colours wave!—
And either victory, or else a grave.


Q. Mar. Stay, Edward. Edw. No, wrangling woman; we'll no longer These words will cost ten thousand lives to-day. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.-A Field of Battle between Towton and Saxton, in Yorkshire.

Alarums: Excursions. Enter WARWICK. War. Forspent with toil, as runners with a race, I lay me down a little while to breathe: For strokes receiv'd, and many blows repaid, Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength, And, spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile. Enter EDWARD, running. Edw. Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded. War. How now, my lord? what hap? what hope of good?


Enter GEORGE. Geo. Our hap is lost, our hope but sad despair: Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us: What counsel give you, whither shall we fly? And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit. Edw. Bootless is flight, they follow us with wings;


Rich. Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn thyself?

Thy brother's blood the thirsty earth hath drunk,
Broach'd with the steely point of Clifford's lance:
And, in the very pangs of death, he cry'd,—
Like to a dismal clangour heard from far,-
Warwick, revenge! brother, revenge my
So underneath the belly of their steeds,
That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost. [blood:

War. Then let the earth be drunken with our I'll kill my horse, because I will not fly.


Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
And look upon, as if the tragedy.
Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above,
I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine,
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
Edw. O Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine;
And, in this vow, do chain my soul to thine.-
And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold face,
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings!
Beseeching thee,-if with thy will it stands,
That to my foes this body must be prey,—
Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
Now, lords, take leave, until we meet again,
Where-e'er it be, in heaven, or on earth.
Rich. Brother, give me thy hand;-and, gentle

Let me embrace thee in my weary arms:-
I, that did never weep, now melt with woe,
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.
War. Away, away! Once more, sweet lords,

Geo. Yet let us all together to our troops,
And give them leave to fly, that will not stay;
And call them pillars, that will stand to us;
And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards
As victors wear at the Olympian games:
This may plant courage in their quailing breasts;
For yet is hope of life, and victory.-
Fore-slow no longer, make we hence amain.[Exeunt.
SCENE IV.-The same. Another part of the Field.

Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD.
Rich. Now, Clifford, I have singled thee alone:
Suppose, this arm is for the duke of York,
And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge,
Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.

Clif. Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone:
This is the hand, that stabb'd thy father York;
And this the hand, that slew thy brother Rutland;
And here's the heart, that triumphs in their death,
And cheers these hands, that slew thy sire and bro-

To execute the like upon thyself;
And so, have at thee.

(They fight. WARWICK enters; CLIFFORD flies.) Rich. Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase; For I myself will hunt this wolf to death. [Exeunt.

SCENE V.-Another Part of the Field.
́Alarum. Enter KING HENRY.
K.Hen. This battle fares like to the morning's war,
When dying clouds contend with growing light;
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day, nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea,
Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the self-same sea;
Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind:

Sometime, the flood prevails; and then, the wind;
Now, one the better; then, another best;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror, nor conquered:
So is the equal poise of this fell war.
Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle; swearing both,
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
'Would I were dead! if God's good will were so :
For what is in this world, but grief and woe?
O God! methinks, it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain;
To sit upon a hill, as I do now,

To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes, how they run:


How many make the hour full complete,
How many hours bring about the day,
How many days will finish up the year,
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece;
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how lovely!
Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds, looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy

To kings, that fear their subjects' treachery?
O, yes, it doth; a thousand-fold it doth.
And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.
Alarum. Enter a Son that has killed his Father,
dragging in the dead body.

Son. Ill blows the wind, that profits nobody.-
May be possessed with some store of crowns:
This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
And I, that haply take them from him now,
May yet, ere night, yield both my life and them
To some man else, as this dead man doth me.-
Who's this?-O God! it is my father's face,
Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd.
O heavy times, begetting such events!
From London by the king was I press'd forth;
My father, being the earl of Warwick's man,
Came on the part of York, press'd by his master;
And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life,
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.—
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did!-
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee !-
And no more words, till they have flow'd their fill.
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks;

Whilst lions war, and battle for their dens,
K. Hen. O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.-
Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts, and eyes, like civil war,
Be blind with tears, and break o'ercharg'd with grief.
Enter a Father, who has killed his Son, with the body
in his arms.

Fath. Thou, that so stoutly hast resisted me,
Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold;
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.
Ah, no, no, no, it is mine only son!-
But let me see:-is this our foeman's face?
Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw up thine

Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
eye; see, see, what showers arise,
Upon thy wounds, that kill mine eye and heart!-
O, pity, God, this miserable age!-
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!-
O boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late!

K. Hen. Woe above woe! grief more than com-
mon grief!

O, that my death would stay these ruthful deeds!-
O pity, pity, gentle heaven, pity!—
The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colours of our striving houses:

The one,
his purple blood right well resembles ;
The other, his pale cheeks, methinks, present:
Wither, one rose, and let the other flourish!
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.
Son. How will my mother, for a father's death,
Take on with me, and ne'er be satisfied?

Fath. How will my wife, for slaughter of my son, Shed seas of tears, and ne'er be satisfied?

K. Hen. How will the country, for these woeful chances,

Mis-think the king, and not be satisfied?

Son. Was ever son, so ru'd a father's death? Fath. Was ever father, so bemoan'd a son? K.Hen. Was ever king, so griev'd for subjects' woe?

Much is your sorrow; mine, ten times so much.
Son. I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my
[Exit, with the body.
Fath. These arms of mine shall be thy winding-

My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre;
For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go.
My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell:
And so obsequious will thy father be,
Sad for the loss of thee, having no more,
As Priam was for all his valiant sons.
I'll bear thee hence: and let them fight that will,
For I have murder'd where I should not kill.
[Exit, with the body.
K.Hen. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with


Here sits a king more woeful than you are.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter Queen MARGARET,
Prince of WALES, and EXETer.
Prince. Fly, father, fly! for all your friends are
And Warwick rages like a chafed bull: [fled,
Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit.
Q.Mar. Mount you, my lord, towards Berwick
post amain:

Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds
Having the fearful flying hare in sight,
With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath,
And bloody steel grasp'd in their ireful hands,
Are at our backs; and therefore hence amain.
Exe. Away! for vengeance comes along with them:
Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed;
Or else come after, I'll away before.

K. Hen. Nay, take me with thee, good sweet
Not that I fear to stay, but love to go
Whither the queen intends. Forward; away!

SCENE VI.-The same.


A loud Alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded. Clif. Here burns my candle out, ay, here it dies, Which, while it lasted, gave king Henry light. O, Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow, More than my body's parting with my soul. My love, and fear, glew'd many friends to thee; And now I fall, thy tough commixtures melt. Impairing Henry, strength'ning mis-proud York, The common people swarm like summer flies: And whither fly the guats, but to the sun? And who shines now but Henry's enemies? O Phoebus! hadst thou never given consent That Phaeton should check thy fiery steeds, Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth: And Henry, had'st thou sway'd as kings should do, Or as thy father, and his father, did, Giving no ground unto the house of York, They never then had sprung like summer flies; I, and ten thousand in this luckless realm, Had left no mourning widows for our death, And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace. For what doth cherish weeds, but gentle air? And what makes robbers bold, but too much lenity? Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds; No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight: The foe is merciless, and will not pity;

For, at their hands, I have deserv'd no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds.
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint:
Come, York, and Richard, Warwick, and the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.
(He faints.)
Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE,
Edw. Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids

us pause,

And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.-
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen ;-
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them?
War. No, 'tis impossible he should escape:
For, though before his face I speak the words,
Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave:
And, wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.

(Clifford groans, and dies.) Edw. Whose soul is that which takes her heavy [parting.


Rich. A deadly groan, like life and death's deEdw. See who it is: and, now the battle's ended, If friend, or foe, let him be gently us'd. [ford; Rich. Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis ClifWho, not contented that he lopp'd the branch In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth, But set his murdering kuife unto the root From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring, I mean, our princely father, duke of York. [head, War. From off the gates of York fetch down the Your father's head, which Clifford placed there: Instead whereof, let this supply the room; Measure for measure must be answered.


Edw. Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our
That nothing sung but death to us and ours:
Now death shall stop his dismal threatening sound,
And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
(Attendants bring the body forward.)
War. I think his understanding is bereft :-
Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to

And he nor sees, nor hears us what we say.
Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,

Rich. O,'would he did! and so, perhaps, he doth; "Tis but his policy to counterfeit,

Because he would avoid such bitter taunts,
Which in the time of death he gave our father.
Geo. If so thou think 'st, vex him with eager words.
Rich. Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace.
Edw. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
War. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
Geo. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
Rich. Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
Edw. Thou pitied'st Rutland, I will pity thee.
Geo. Where's captain Margaret, to fence you now?
War. They mock thee, Clifford! swear as thou
[goes bard,

wast wont.

Rich. What, not an oath? nay, then the world When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath :I know by that, he's dead; And, by my soul, If this right hand would buy two hours' life, That I in all despite might rail at him, This hand should chop it off; and with the issuing Stifle the villain, whose unstaunched thirst York and young Rutland could not satisfy.


War. Ay, but he's dead: Off with the traitor's


And rear it in the place your father's stands.-
And now to London with triumphant march,
There to be crowned England's royal king.
From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
And ask the lady Bona for thy queen:
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together;
And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread
The scatter'd foe, that hopes to rise again;
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,

« PreviousContinue »