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Exe. He is the right, and therefore pardon me.
York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
K. Hen. All will revolt from me, and turn to him.
North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so deposed.
War. Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.
North. Thou art deceived: 'tis not thy southern power,
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,-
Which makes thee thus presumptuous
Can set the duke up in despite of me.
Clif. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence:
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!
K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
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 lifetime, 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 son?
War. What good is this to England, and himself?
West. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
Clif. How hast thou injured both thyself and us!
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
North. Nor I.
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news. 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!
Clif. In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandon'd and despised!
[Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and WESTMORELAND.
War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
Ere. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.
K. Hen. Ah, Exeter.
War. Why should you sigh, my lord?
K. Hen. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my son,
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But, be it as it may:-I here entail
The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign;
And neither by treason, nor hostility,
To seek to put me down, and reign thyself.
York. This oath I willingly take, and will perform.
[Coming from the Throne.
War. Long live king Henry !-Plantagenet, embrace him.
K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!
York. Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.
Exe. Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes!
[Senet. The Lords come forward.
York. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.
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 I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.
K. Hen. Exeter, so will I.
[ar. Nay, go not from me, I will follow thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
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 proved so unnatural a father.
Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus ?
Hadst thou but loved 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.
Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the Prince of WALES.
Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray * her anger: I'll steal away.
Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me: If you be king, why should not I succeed?
K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret;-pardon me, sweet son;The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforced me.
Q. Mar. Enforced thee! art thou king, and wilt be forced? I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch ! Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me; And given unto the house of York such head, As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance. To entail him and his heirs unto the crown, What is it, but to make thy sepulchre, And creep into it far before thy time? Warwick is chancellor, and the lord of Calais; Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas; The duke is made protector of the realm; And yet shalt thou be safe? such safety finds
The trembling lamb, environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd,
Whereby my son is disinherited.
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.
QMar. 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! Revenged 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.
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.
Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
Fork. Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife
What is your quarrel? how began it first?"
Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
York. About what?
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 should be forsworn.
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. prove the contrary, 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 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.
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,
York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou, that we
fear them ?
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.
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;
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 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,
When as the enemy hath been ten to one;
Why should I not now have the like success? [Alarum. Exeunt.
Enter CLIFFORD, and Soldiers.
Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
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. Ah, Clifford! murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
SCENE III-Plains near Sandal Castle.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter RUTLAND, and his TUTOR.
Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands! Ah, tutor! look where bloody Clifford comes!
[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 revenged 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 enter.
Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again; He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.