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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 can procure,
Will but amount to five-and-twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London will we march amain;
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry-Charge upon the foe!
But never once again turn back, and fly.
Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I heard great War-
Ne'er may he live to see a sun-shine day,
That cries-Retire, when Warwick bids him stay.
Edw. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.—
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
Nor wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity,
5 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.
10 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,
15 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, blest with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
20 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 in 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
And when thou fail'st, (as God forbid the hour!) 25
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend!
War. No longer earl of March, but duke of
The next degree is, England's royal king:
For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In every borough as we pass along:
And he, that casts not up his cap for joy,
Shall for the offence 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 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!
30 Should lose his birth-right 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;
35 And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart,
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.
K. Henry. Full well hath Clifford play'd the
40 Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,—
That things ill got had ever bad success è
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. [know,
50Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
War. How now? what news? [me, Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by 45 The queen is coming with a puissant host; And craves your company for speedy counsel. War. Why then it sorts, brave warriors: Let's [Exeunt.
Enter King Henry, the Queen, the Prince of Wales,
Clifford, and Northumberland, with forces.
Queen. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town
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. Henry. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear
their wreck ;-
Queen. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes
And this soft courage makes your followers faint. 55 You promis'd knighthood to our forward son; Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently.— Edward, kneel down.
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; 5
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.
Clif. I would, your highness would depart the
queen hath best success when you are absent.
Queen. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our
K.Henry. Why, that's my fortune too: therefore
North. Be it with resolution then to fight.
Prince. My royal father, cheer these noble
And hearten those that fight in your defence:
Unsheath your sword, good father; cry, Saint
March. Enter Edward, Clarence, Richard, War-
wick, Norfolk, Montagu, and Soldiers.
Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry! wilt thou kneel
And set thy diadem upon my head;
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
Queen. Gorate thy minions, proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms,
Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king?
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled."
War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove
North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make
Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently;
Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford there, that cruel child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy father; Call'st thou him a child?
Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed,
K. Henry. Have done with words, my lords,
and hear me speak.
Queen. Defy them then, or else hold close thy
K. Henry. I pr'ythee, give no limits to my
Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword:
By Him that made us all, Í am resolv’d3,
25 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;
Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his 30 For York in justice puts his armour on.
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.
Who should succeed the father, but the son?
Rich. Art thou there, butcher-O, I cannot
Clif. Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
Prince. If that be right, which Warwick says
There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Rich. Whoever got thee, there thy mother
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue.
Queen. But thou art neither like thy sire, nor
But like a foul mis-shapen stigmatic,
[thee, 40 Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom'd 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,) [traught,
Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art ex-
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
Rich. "Twas you that kill'd young Rutland,
was it not?
Clif. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfy'd. 45
Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the
War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield
Queen. 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 2.
War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis
Edw. A wisp of straw were worth a thou-
To make this shameless callat' know herself.-
50 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,
That is, Range your host. Alluding to the proverb, "One pair of heels is worth two pair of hands." i. e. it is my firm persuasion. 4A stigmatic is said to have been a notorious lewd fellow, who hath been burnt with a hot iron, or beareth other marks about him as a token of his punishment. Gilt is a superficial covering of gold. "Mr. Steevens comments on this passage thus: Barrett in his Alvearic, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, interprets the word wispe by peniculus, which signifies any thing to wipe or cleanse with; a cook's linen apron, &c. Pewter is still scoured by a wispe of straw, or hay. Perhaps, Edward means one of these wisps, as the denotement of a menial servant. Barrett adds, that, like a wase, it signifies " a wreath to be laied under the vessel that is borne upon the head, as women use." If this be its true sense, the prince may think that such a wisp would better become the head of Margaret, than a crown. Mr. Steevens afterwards adds, that « a wispe was the punishment of a scold." Callat, a lewd woman, a drab.
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 sun-shine 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 slipt our claim until another age.
Cla. But, when we saw our sun-shine made thy spring,
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.
Edo. And, in this resolution, I defy thee;
Not willing any further conference,
Since thou deny'st the gentle king to speak.-
Sound trumpets! let our bloody colours wave!-
And either victory, or else a grave.
Edw. No, wrangling woman, I'll no longer
Thy words will cost ten thousand lives to-day. [Exeunt.
A Field of Battle, near Towton in Yorkshire.
Alarum. Excursions. Enter Warwick.
So underneath the belly of their steeds,
That stain'd their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.
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
10 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
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,
20 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!--
25 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:30, that did never weep, now melt with woe, That winter should cut off our spring-time so. War. Away, away! Once more, sweet lords, farewell.
Cla. Yet let us all together to our troops;
War. Forspent with toil, as runners with a 35 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; 40 For yet is hope of life, and victory.Fore-slow no longer, make we hence amain. [Exeunt.
For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded. 45|
War. How now, my lord? what hap? what
Cla. Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair;
Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us:
What counsel give you? whither shall we fly?
Edw. Bootless is flight, they follow us with
And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit.
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 clangor heard from far,-
"Warwick,revenge! brother,revenge my death!"
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, 50 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, 55 And cheers these hands, that slew thy sire and broTo execute the like upon thyself; [ther,
Alarum, Enter King Henry.
K. Henry. This battle fares like to the morn-
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 mole-hill 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 time:
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean;
So many months ere I shall sheer the fleece:
So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,
Past over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah, what a life were this! how sweet! how
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,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
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 waits on him.
May be possessed of some And I, that haply take ther May yet ere night yield b To some man else, as this Who's this?-Oh God! it Whom in this conflict I un 10Oh heavy times, begetting From London by the king My father, being the earl Came on the part of York, And I, who at his hands r 15 Have by my hands of life Pardon me, God, I knew And pardon, father, for I My tears shall wipe away t And no more words, 'till fill.
K. Henry. O piteous Whilst lions war, and battl Poor harmless lambs abide Weep, wretched man, I'll a 25 And let our hearts, and ey Be blind with tears, and b grief'.
Enter a Father, be
Fath. Thou that so stout
30 Give me thy gold, if thou
For I have bought it with a
But let me see:-Is this o
Ah, no, no, no, it is mine o
Ah, boy, if any life be left
35 Throw up thine eye; see, se
Blown with the windy tem
Upon thy wounds, that kill
O, pity, God, this miserab
What stratagems, how fell,
10 Erroneous, mutinous, and
This deadly quarrel daily d
O boy, thy father gave
And hath bereft thee of thy
K. Henry. Woe above
O,that my death would stay
O pity, pity, gentle heaven
The red rose and the white
The fatal colours of our str
50 The one, his purple blood
The other, his pale cheek,
Wither one rose, and let th
you contend, a thousand
Son. How will my mothe
Take on with me, and ne'
Fath. How will my wife, f
Shed seas of tears, and ne'e
K. Henry. How will th
CoMis-think the king, and n
'The meaning of the king is, that the state of their hearts and eyes shall be lik in a civil war, all shall be destroyed by a power formed within themselves. done it by not bringing thee into being, to make both father and son thus miseral is to think ill, unfavourably.
Son. Was ever son, so ru'd a father's death?
Fath. Was ever father, so bemoan'd his son?
K. Henry. Was ever king, so griev'd for sub-
Much is your sorrow; mine, ten times so much.
Son. I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep
[Exit, with the body.
Fath. These arms of mine shall be thy wind-
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. Henry. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
Here sits a king more woeful than you are. Alarums. Excursions. Enter the Queen, Prince of Wales, and Exeter.
Prince. Fly, father, fly! for all your friends are And Warwick rages like a chafed bull: Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit. Queen. Mount you, my lord, towards Berwick
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
Nay, stay not to expostulate, make speed;
Or else come after, I'll away before.
K. Henry. Nay, take me with thee, good sweet Not that I fear to stay, but love to go Whither the queen intends. Forward; away! [Exeunt.
A loud Alarum. Enter Clifford, wounded. Clif. Here burns my candle out, ay, here it dics, Which, while it lasted, gave king Henry light. Ah, Lancaster! I fear thine overthrow, More than my body's parting with my soul. My love and fear glew'd many triends to thee; And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts, Impairing Henry, strength'ning mis-proud York. The common people swarm like sunimer flies: And whither fly the gnats, but to the sun? And who shines now, but Henry's enemy? O Phœbus! hadst thou never given consent That Phaeton should check thy fiery steeds, Thy, burning car had never scorch'd the earth: And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd as kings should do, And as thy father, and his father, did, Giving no ground unto the house of York, They never then had sprung like summer fliesI, and ten thousand in this luckless realin, Had left no mourning widows for our deaths,
And thou this day had'st kept thy throne 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; And, 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:10 Come, York, and Richard, Warwick, and the rest; I stabb'd your father's bosoms, split my breast. [He faints. Alarum and Retreat. Enter Edward, Clarence, Richard, Montague, Warwick, and Soldiers. Edw. Now breathe we, lords; good fortune bids us pause, [looks.And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen ;That led calm Henry, though he were a king, 20 As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust, Command an argosy to stem the waves. But think you, lords, that Clifford flew with them? War. No, 'tis impossible he should escape: For, though before his face I speak the word, 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 leave? [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.
Rich. Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis
35 Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch
In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
But set his murdering knife unto the root
From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring,
I mean, our princely father, duke of York.
War. From off the gates of York fetch down
Your father's head, which Clifford placed there: Instead whereof, let his supply the room: Measure for measure must be answered. [house, 45 Edw. Bring forth that fatal scritch-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:Say, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee?— Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life, And he nor sees, nor hears us what we say.
Rich. O, would he did! and so, perhaps, he doth; 'Tis but his policy to counterfeit, Because he would avoid such bitter taunts As in the time of death he gave our father. Cla. If so thou think'st, vex him with eager2 words.
Rich. Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace.
Edw. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.
War. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.
Cla. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
Obsequious here implies careful of obsequies, or of funeral rites. 2 i. e. Sour, harsh words.