« PreviousContinue »
'Tis not enough our foes are this time fied,
Being opposites of such repairing nature.*
York. I know, our safety is to follow them;
For, as I hear, the king is fled to London,
To call a present court of parliament.
Let us pursue him, ere the writs go forth:
What says lord Warwick; shall we after them?
War. After them! nay, before them, if we can.
Now by my faith, lords, 'twas a glorious day:
Saint Albans battle, won by famous York,
Shall be eternized in all age to come.-
Sound, drums and trumpets;-and to London all:
And more such days as these to us befall!
* Enemies likely soon to recover.
SCENE, during part of the third Act, in France; during all the
rest of the Play, in England.
SCENE I-London. The Parliament-House.
Drums. Some Soldiers of YORK's party break in. Then, Enter the Duke of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and others, with White Roses in their Hats.
War. I wonder how the king escaped our hands.
York. While we pursued the horsemen of the north, He slily stole away, and left his men:
Whereat the great lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford, and lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charged our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
Edw. Lord Stafford's father, duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain, or wounded dangerous:
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow;
That this is true, father, behold his blood.
[Showing his bloody sword. Mont. And, brother, here's the earl of Wiltshire's blood, [To YORK, showing 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
York. Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.-
What, is your grace dead, my lord of Somerset ?
Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt?
Rich. Thus do I hope to shake king Henry's head.
War. And so do I.-Victorious prince of York,
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven, these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
And this the regal seat: possess it, York:
For this is thine, and not king Henry's heirs.
York. Assist me then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
Norf. We'll all assist you; he, that flies, shall die.
York. Thanks, gentle Norfolk,-Stay by me, my lords;-
And, soldiers, stay, and lodge by me this night.
War. And when the king comes, offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out by force.
York. The queen, this day, here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council:
By words, or blows, here let us win our right.
Rich. Arm'd as we are, let's stay within this house.
War. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king;
And bashful Henry deposed, 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 best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
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.
*Hawks had sometimes little bells hung on them, perhaps to dare the birds.
Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red Roses in their
K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
Even in the chair of state! belike he means
(Backd 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 revenged on me!
Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.
West. What, shall we suffer this? let's pluck him down:
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 lived.
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?
Ere. But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.
K. Hen. Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
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 deceived, I am thine.
Ere. For shame, come down; he made thee duke of York. York. "Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown,
In following this usurping Henry.
Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural king?
War. True, Clifford, and that's Richard, duke of York.
K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
York. It must, and shall be so. Content thyself.
War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king.
West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster:
And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.
War. And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget,
That we are those, which chased you from the field,
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.
North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
West. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives,
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Clif. Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words, I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger,
As shall revenge his death, before I stir."
War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!
York. Will you, we show 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 seized 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 :Father, 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
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.
York. Sons, peace!
K. Hen. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave to speak.
War. Plantagenet shall speak first-hear him, lords;
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he, that interrupts him, shall not live.
K. Hen. Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne, Wherein my grandsire, and my father, sat?
No, first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours-often borne in France;
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow,
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords?
My title 's good, and better far than his.
War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
K. Hen. Henry the fourth by conquest got the crown.
York. "Twas by rebellion against his king.
K. Hen. I know not what to say; my title 's weak
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir ?
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 ?