The Complete Works of William Shakespeare The Third Part of King Henry the Sixth

Part 2 out of 2

LEWIS. Then further: all dissembling set aside,
Tell me for truth the measure of his love
Unto our sister Bona.
WARWICK. Such it seems
As may beseem a monarch like himself.
Myself have often heard him say and swear
That this his love was an eternal plant
Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground,
The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun,
Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
Unless the Lady Bona quit his pain.
LEWIS. Now, sister, let us hear your firm resolve.
BONA. Your grant or your denial shall be mine.
[To WARWICK] Yet I confess that often ere this day,
When I have heard your king's desert recounted,
Mine ear hath tempted judgment to desire.
LEWIS. Then, Warwick, thus: our sister shall be Edward's.
And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
Touching the jointure that your king must make,
Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd.
Draw near, Queen Margaret, and be a witness
That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
PRINCE OF WALES. To Edward, but not to the English king.
QUEEN MARGARET. Deceitful Warwick, it was thy device
By this alliance to make void my suit.
Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry's friend.
LEWIS. And still is friend to him and Margaret.
But if your title to the crown be weak,
As may appear by Edward's good success,
Then 'tis but reason that I be releas'd
From giving aid which late I promised.
Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand
That your estate requires and mine can yield.
WARWICK. Henry now lives in Scotland at his case,
Where having nothing, nothing can he lose.
And as for you yourself, our quondam queen,
You have a father able to maintain you,
And better 'twere you troubled him than France.
QUEEN MARGARET. Peace, impudent and shameless Warwick,
Proud setter up and puller down of kings!
I will not hence till with my talk and tears,
Both full of truth, I make King Lewis behold
Thy sly conveyance and thy lord's false love;
For both of you are birds of self-same feather.
[POST blowing a horn within]
LEWIS. Warwick, this is some post to us or thee.

Enter the POST

POST. My lord ambassador, these letters are for you,
Sent from your brother, Marquis Montague.
These from our King unto your Majesty.
And, madam, these for you; from whom I know not.
[They all read their letters]
OXFORD. I like it well that our fair Queen and mistress
Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his.
PRINCE OF WALES. Nay, mark how Lewis stamps as he were nettled.
I hope all's for the best.
LEWIS. Warwick, what are thy news? And yours, fair Queen?
QUEEN MARGARET. Mine such as fill my heart with unhop'd joys.
WARWICK. Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent.
LEWIS. What, has your king married the Lady Grey?
And now, to soothe your forgery and his,
Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
Is this th' alliance that he seeks with France?
Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
QUEEN MARGARET. I told your Majesty as much before.
This proveth Edward's love and Warwick's honesty.
WARWICK. King Lewis, I here protest in sight of heaven,
And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,
That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's-
No more my king, for he dishonours me,
But most himself, if he could see his shame.
Did I forget that by the house of York
My father came untimely to his death?
Did I let pass th' abuse done to my niece?
Did I impale him with the regal crown?
Did I put Henry from his native right?
And am I guerdon'd at the last with shame?
Shame on himself! for my desert is honour;
And to repair my honour lost for him
I here renounce him and return to Henry.
My noble Queen, let former grudges pass,
And henceforth I am thy true servitor.
I will revenge his wrong to Lady Bona,
And replant Henry in his former state.
QUEEN MARGARET. Warwick, these words have turn'd my hate to
And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
And joy that thou becom'st King Henry's friend.
WARWICK. So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned friend,
That if King Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
I'll undertake to land them on our coast
And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
'Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him;
And as for Clarence, as my letters tell me,
He's very likely now to fall from him
For matching more for wanton lust than honour
Or than for strength and safety of our country.
BONA. Dear brother, how shall Bona be reveng'd
But by thy help to this distressed queen?
QUEEN MARGARET. Renowned Prince, how shall poor Henry live
Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
BONA. My quarrel and this English queen's are one.
WARWICK. And mine, fair Lady Bona, joins with yours.
LEWIS. And mine with hers, and thine, and Margaret's.
Therefore, at last, I firmly am resolv'd
You shall have aid.
QUEEN MARGARET. Let me give humble thanks for all at once.
LEWIS. Then, England's messenger, return in post
And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,
That Lewis of France is sending over masquers
To revel it with him and his new bride.
Thou seest what's past; go fear thy king withal.
BONA. Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow-garland for his sake.
QUEEN MARGARET. Tell him my mourning weeds are laid aside,
And I am ready to put armour on.
WARWICK. Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong,
And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.
There's thy reward; be gone. Exit POST
LEWIS. But, Warwick,
Thou and Oxford, with five thousand men,
Shall cross the seas and bid false Edward battle:
And, as occasion serves, this noble Queen
And Prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt:
What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
WARWICK. This shall assure my constant loyalty:
That if our Queen and this young Prince agree,
I'll join mine eldest daughter and my joy
To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
QUEEN MARGARET. Yes, I agree, and thank you for your motion.
Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous,
Therefore delay not- give thy hand to Warwick;
And with thy hand thy faith irrevocable
That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine.
PRINCE OF WALES. Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves it;
And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
[He gives his hand to WARWICK]
LEWIS. stay we now? These soldiers shall be levied;
And thou, Lord Bourbon, our High Admiral,
Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.
I long till Edward fall by war's mischance
For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
Exeunt all but WARWICK
WARWICK. I came from Edward as ambassador,
But I return his sworn and mortal foe.
Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
Had he none else to make a stale but me?
Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown,
And I'll be chief to bring him down again;
Not that I pity Henry's misery,
But seek revenge on Edward's mockery. Exit


London. The palace


GLOUCESTER. Now tell me, brother Clarence, what think you
Of this new marriage with the Lady Grey?
Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
CLARENCE. Alas, you know 'tis far from hence to France!
How could he stay till Warwick made return?
SOMERSET. My lords, forbear this talk; here comes the King.

Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, attended; LADY
and others. Four stand on one side, and four on the other

GLOUCESTER. And his well-chosen bride.
CLARENCE. I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
KING EDWARD. Now, brother of Clarence, how like you our choice
That you stand pensive as half malcontent?
CLARENCE. As well as Lewis of France or the Earl of Warwick,
Which are so weak of courage and in judgment
That they'll take no offence at our abuse.
KING EDWARD. Suppose they take offence without a cause;
They are but Lewis and Warwick: I am Edward,
Your King and Warwick's and must have my will.
GLOUCESTER. And shall have your will, because our King.
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well.
KING EDWARD. Yea, brother Richard, are you offended too?
No, God forbid that I should wish them sever'd
Whom God hath join'd together; ay, and 'twere pity
To sunder them that yoke so well together.
KING EDWARD. Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,
Tell me some reason why the Lady Grey
Should not become my wife and England's Queen.
And you too, Somerset and Montague,
Speak freely what you think.
CLARENCE. Then this is mine opinion: that King Lewis
Becomes your enemy for mocking him
About the marriage of the Lady Bona.
GLOUCESTER. And Warwick, doing what you gave in charge,
Is now dishonoured by this new marriage.
KING EDWARD. What if both Lewis and Warwick be appeas'd
By such invention as I can devise?
MONTAGUE. Yet to have join'd with France in such alliance
Would more have strength'ned this our commonwealth
'Gainst foreign storms than any home-bred marriage.
HASTINGS. Why, knows not Montague that of itself
England is safe, if true within itself?
MONTAGUE. But the safer when 'tis back'd with France.
HASTINGS. 'Tis better using France than trusting France.
Let us be back'd with God, and with the seas
Which He hath giv'n for fence impregnable,
And with their helps only defend ourselves.
In them and in ourselves our safety lies.
CLARENCE. For this one speech Lord Hastings well deserves
To have the heir of the Lord Hungerford.
KING EDWARD. Ay, what of that? it was my will and grant;
And for this once my will shall stand for law.
GLOUCESTER. And yet methinks your Grace hath not done well
To give the heir and daughter of Lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride.
She better would have fitted me or Clarence;
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
CLARENCE. Or else you would not have bestow'd the heir
Of the Lord Bonville on your new wife's son,
And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
KING EDWARD. Alas, poor Clarence! Is it for a wife
That thou art malcontent? I will provide thee.
CLARENCE. In choosing for yourself you show'd your judgment,
Which being shallow, you shall give me leave
To play the broker in mine own behalf;
And to that end I shortly mind to leave you.
KING EDWARD. Leave me or tarry, Edward will be King,
And not be tied unto his brother's will.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. My lords, before it pleas'd his Majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Do me but right, and you must all confess
That I was not ignoble of descent:
And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
But as this title honours me and mine,
So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
Doth cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
KING EDWARD. My love, forbear to fawn upon their frowns.
What danger or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend
And their true sovereign whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
Unless they seek for hatred at my hands;
Which if they do, yet will I keep thee safe,
And they shall feel the vengeance of my wrath.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] I hear, yet say not much, but think the

Enter a POST

KING EDWARD. Now, messenger, what letters or what news
From France?
MESSENGER. My sovereign liege, no letters, and few words,
But such as I, without your special pardon,
Dare not relate.
KING EDWARD. Go to, we pardon thee; therefore, in brief,
Tell me their words as near as thou canst guess them.
What answer makes King Lewis unto our letters?
MESSENGER. At my depart, these were his very words:
'Go tell false Edward, the supposed king,
That Lewis of France is sending over masquers
To revel it with him and his new bride.'
KING EDWARD. IS Lewis so brave? Belike he thinks me Henry.
But what said Lady Bona to my marriage?
MESSENGER. These were her words, utt'red with mild disdain:
'Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower shortly,
I'll wear the willow-garland for his sake.'
KING EDWARD. I blame not her: she could say little less;
She had the wrong. But what said Henry's queen?
For I have heard that she was there in place.
MESSENGER. 'Tell him' quoth she 'my mourning weeds are done,
And I am ready to put armour on.'
KING EDWARD. Belike she minds to play the Amazon.
But what said Warwick to these injuries?
MESSENGER. He, more incens'd against your Majesty
Than all the rest, discharg'd me with these words:
'Tell him from me that he hath done me wrong;
And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.'
KING EDWARD. Ha! durst the traitor breathe out so proud words?
Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn'd.
They shall have wars and pay for their presumption.
But say, is Warwick friends with Margaret?
MESSENGER. Ay, gracious sovereign; they are so link'd in
That young Prince Edward marries Warwick's daughter.
CLARENCE. Belike the elder; Clarence will have the younger.
Now, brother king, farewell, and sit you fast,
For I will hence to Warwick's other daughter;
That, though I want a kingdom, yet in marriage
I may not prove inferior to yourself.
You that love me and Warwick, follow me.
Exit, and SOMERSET follows
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] Not I.
My thoughts aim at a further matter; I
Stay not for the love of Edward but the crown.
KING EDWARD. Clarence and Somerset both gone to Warwick!
Yet am I arm'd against the worst can happen;
And haste is needful in this desp'rate case.
Pembroke and Stafford, you in our behalf
Go levy men and make prepare for war;
They are already, or quickly will be landed.
Myself in person will straight follow you.
But ere I go, Hastings and Montague,
Resolve my doubt. You twain, of all the rest,
Are near to Warwick by blood and by alliance.
Tell me if you love Warwick more than me?
If it be so, then both depart to him:
I rather wish you foes than hollow friends.
But if you mind to hold your true obedience,
Give me assurance with some friendly vow,
That I may never have you in suspect.
MONTAGUE. So God help Montague as he proves true!
HASTINGS. And Hastings as he favours Edward's cause!
KING EDWARD. Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us?
GLOUCESTER. Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you.
KING EDWARD. Why, so! then am I sure of victory.
Now therefore let us hence, and lose no hour
Till we meet Warwick with his foreign pow'r. Exeunt

A plain in Warwickshire

Enter WARWICK and OXFORD, with French soldiers

WARWICK. Trust me, my lord, all hitherto goes well;
The common people by numbers swarm to us.


But see where Somerset and Clarence comes.
Speak suddenly, my lords- are we all friends?
CLARENCE. Fear not that, my lord.
WARWICK. Then, gentle Clarence, welcome unto Warwick;
And welcome, Somerset. I hold it cowardice
To rest mistrustful where a noble heart
Hath pawn'd an open hand in sign of love;
Else might I think that Clarence, Edward's brother,
Were but a feigned friend to our proceedings.
But welcome, sweet Clarence; my daughter shall be thine.
And now what rests but, in night's coverture,
Thy brother being carelessly encamp'd,
His soldiers lurking in the towns about,
And but attended by a simple guard,
We may surprise and take him at our pleasure?
Our scouts have found the adventure very easy;
That as Ulysses and stout Diomede
With sleight and manhood stole to Rhesus' tents,
And brought from thence the Thracian fatal steeds,
So we, well cover'd with the night's black mantle,
At unawares may beat down Edward's guard
And seize himself- I say not 'slaughter him,'
For I intend but only to surprise him.
You that will follow me to this attempt,
Applaud the name of Henry with your leader.
[They all cry 'Henry!']
Why then, let's on our way in silent sort.
For Warwick and his friends, God and Saint George! Exeunt

Edward's camp, near Warwick

Enter three WATCHMEN, to guard the KING'S tent

FIRST WATCHMAN. Come on, my masters, each man take his stand;
The King by this is set him down to sleep.
SECOND WATCHMAN. What, will he not to bed?
FIRST WATCHMAN. Why, no; for he hath made a solemn vow
Never to lie and take his natural rest
Till Warwick or himself be quite suppress'd.
SECOND WATCHMAN. To-morrow then, belike, shall be the day,
If Warwick be so near as men report.
THIRD WATCHMAN. But say, I pray, what nobleman is that
That with the King here resteth in his tent?
FIRST WATCHMAN. 'Tis the Lord Hastings, the King's chiefest
THIRD WATCHMAN. O, is it So? But why commands the King
That his chief followers lodge in towns about him,
While he himself keeps in the cold field?
SECOND WATCHMAN. 'Tis the more honour, because more dangerous.
THIRD WATCHMAN. Ay, but give me worship and quietness;
I like it better than dangerous honour.
If Warwick knew in what estate he stands,
'Tis to be doubted he would waken him.
FIRST WATCHMAN. Unless our halberds did shut up his passage.
SECOND WATCHMAN. Ay, wherefore else guard we his royal tent
But to defend his person from night-foes?

and French soldiers, silent all

WARWICK. This is his tent; and see where stand his guard.
Courage, my masters! Honour now or never!
But follow me, and Edward shall be ours.
FIRST WATCHMAN. Who goes there?
SECOND WATCHMAN. Stay, or thou diest.

WARWICK and the rest cry all 'Warwick! Warwick!' and
set upon the guard, who fly, crying 'Arm! Arm!' WARWICK
and the rest following them

The drum playing and trumpet sounding, re-enter WARWICK
and the rest, bringing the KING out in his gown,
sitting in a chair. GLOUCESTER and HASTINGS fly over the stage

SOMERSET. What are they that fly there?
WARWICK. Richard and Hastings. Let them go; here is the Duke.
KING EDWARD. The Duke! Why, Warwick, when we parted,
Thou call'dst me King?
WARWICK. Ay, but the case is alter'd.
When you disgrac'd me in my embassade,
Then I degraded you from being King,
And come now to create you Duke of York.
Alas, how should you govern any kingdom
That know not how to use ambassadors,
Nor how to be contented with one wife,
Nor how to use your brothers brotherly,
Nor how to study for the people's welfare,
Nor how to shroud yourself from enemies?
KING EDWARD. Yea, brother of Clarence, art thou here too?
Nay, then I see that Edward needs must down.
Yet, Warwick, in despite of all mischance,
Of thee thyself and all thy complices,
Edward will always bear himself as King.
Though fortune's malice overthrow my state,
My mind exceeds the compass of her wheel.
WARWICK. Then, for his mind, be Edward England's king;
[Takes off his crown]
But Henry now shall wear the English crown
And be true King indeed; thou but the shadow.
My Lord of Somerset, at my request,
See that forthwith Duke Edward be convey'd
Unto my brother, Archbishop of York.
When I have fought with Pembroke and his fellows,
I'll follow you and tell what answer
Lewis and the Lady Bona send to him.
Now for a while farewell, good Duke of York.
KING EDWARD. What fates impose, that men must needs abide;
It boots not to resist both wind and tide.
[They lead him out forcibly]
OXFORD. What now remains, my lords, for us to do
But march to London with our soldiers?
WARWICK. Ay, that's the first thing that we have to do;
To free King Henry from imprisonment,
And see him seated in the regal throne. Exeunt

London. The palace


RIVERS. Madam, what makes you in this sudden change?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Why, brother Rivers, are you yet to learn
What late misfortune is befall'n King Edward?
RIVERS. What, loss of some pitch'd battle against Warwick?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. No, but the loss of his own royal person.
RIVERS. Then is my sovereign slain?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Ay, almost slain, for he is taken prisoner;
Either betray'd by falsehood of his guard
Or by his foe surpris'd at unawares;
And, as I further have to understand,
Is new committed to the Bishop of York,
Fell Warwick's brother, and by that our foe.
RIVERS. These news, I must confess, are full of grief;
Yet, gracious madam, bear it as you may:
Warwick may lose that now hath won the day.
QUEEN ELIZABETH. Till then, fair hope must hinder life's decay.
And I the rather wean me from despair
For love of Edward's offspring in my womb.
This is it that makes me bridle passion
And bear with mildness my misfortune's cross;
Ay, ay, for this I draw in many a tear
And stop the rising of blood-sucking sighs,
Lest with my sighs or tears I blast or drown
King Edward's fruit, true heir to th' English crown.
RIVERS. But, madam, where is Warwick then become?
QUEEN ELIZABETH. I am inform'd that he comes towards London
To set the crown once more on Henry's head.
Guess thou the rest: King Edward's friends must down.
But to prevent the tyrant's violence-
For trust not him that hath once broken faith-
I'll hence forthwith unto the sanctuary
To save at least the heir of Edward's right.
There shall I rest secure from force and fraud.
Come, therefore, let us fly while we may fly:
If Warwick take us, we are sure to die. Exeunt

A park near Middleham Castle in Yorkshire


GLOUCESTER. Now, my Lord Hastings and Sir William Stanley,
Leave off to wonder why I drew you hither
Into this chiefest thicket of the park.
Thus stands the case: you know our King, my brother,
Is prisoner to the Bishop here, at whose hands
He hath good usage and great liberty;
And often but attended with weak guard
Comes hunting this way to disport himself.
I have advertis'd him by secret means
That if about this hour he make this way,
Under the colour of his usual game,
He shall here find his friends, with horse and men,
To set him free from his captivity.

Enter KING EDWARD and a HUNTSMAN with him

HUNTSMAN. This way, my lord; for this way lies the game.
KING EDWARD. Nay, this way, man. See where the huntsmen stand.
Now, brother of Gloucester, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Stand you thus close to steal the Bishop's deer?
GLOUCESTER. Brother, the time and case requireth haste;
Your horse stands ready at the park corner.
KING EDWARD. But whither shall we then?
HASTINGS. To Lynn, my lord; and shipt from thence to Flanders.
GLOUCESTER. Well guess'd, believe me; for that was my meaning.
KING EDWARD. Stanley, I will requite thy forwardness.
GLOUCESTER. But wherefore stay we? 'Tis no time to talk.
KING EDWARD. Huntsman, what say'st thou? Wilt thou go along?
HUNTSMAN. Better do so than tarry and be hang'd.
GLOUCESTER. Come then, away; let's ha' no more ado.
KING EDWARD. Bishop, farewell. Shield thee from Warwick's
And pray that I may repossess the crown. Exeunt

London. The Tower


KING HENRY. Master Lieutenant, now that God and friends
Have shaken Edward from the regal seat
And turn'd my captive state to liberty,
My fear to hope, my sorrows unto joys,
At our enlargement what are thy due fees?
LIEUTENANT. Subjects may challenge nothing of their sov'reigns;
But if an humble prayer may prevail,
I then crave pardon of your Majesty.
KING HENRY. For what, Lieutenant? For well using me?
Nay, be thou sure I'll well requite thy kindness,
For that it made my imprisonment a pleasure;
Ay, such a pleasure as incaged birds
Conceive when, after many moody thoughts,
At last by notes of household harmony
They quite forget their loss of liberty.
But, Warwick, after God, thou set'st me free,
And chiefly therefore I thank God and thee;
He was the author, thou the instrument.
Therefore, that I may conquer fortune's spite
By living low where fortune cannot hurt me,
And that the people of this blessed land
May not be punish'd with my thwarting stars,
Warwick, although my head still wear the crown,
I here resign my government to thee,
For thou art fortunate in all thy deeds.
WARWICK. Your Grace hath still been fam'd for virtuous,
And now may seem as wise as virtuous
By spying and avoiding fortune's malice,
For few men rightly temper with the stars;
Yet in this one thing let me blame your Grace,
For choosing me when Clarence is in place.
CLARENCE. No, Warwick, thou art worthy of the sway,
To whom the heav'ns in thy nativity
Adjudg'd an olive branch and laurel crown,
As likely to be blest in peace and war;
And therefore I yield thee my free consent.
WARWICK. And I choose Clarence only for Protector.
KING HENRY. Warwick and Clarence, give me both your hands.
Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts,
That no dissension hinder government.
I make you both Protectors of this land,
While I myself will lead a private life
And in devotion spend my latter days,
To sin's rebuke and my Creator's praise.
WARWICK. What answers Clarence to his sovereign's will?
CLARENCE. That he consents, if Warwick yield consent,
For on thy fortune I repose myself.
WARWICK. Why, then, though loath, yet must I be content.
We'll yoke together, like a double shadow
To Henry's body, and supply his place;
I mean, in bearing weight of government,
While he enjoys the honour and his ease.
And, Clarence, now then it is more than needful
Forthwith that Edward be pronounc'd a traitor,
And all his lands and goods confiscated.
CLARENCE. What else? And that succession be determin'd.
WARWICK. Ay, therein Clarence shall not want his part.
KING HENRY. But, with the first of all your chief affairs,
Let me entreat- for I command no more-
That Margaret your Queen and my son Edward
Be sent for to return from France with speed;
For till I see them here, by doubtful fear
My joy of liberty is half eclips'd.
CLARENCE. It shall be done, my sovereign, with all speed.
KING HENRY. My Lord of Somerset, what youth is that,
Of whom you seem to have so tender care?
SOMERSET. My liege, it is young Henry, Earl of Richmond.
KING HENRY. Come hither, England's hope.
[Lays his hand on his head]
If secret powers
Suggest but truth to my divining thoughts,
This pretty lad will prove our country's bliss.
His looks are full of peaceful majesty;
His head by nature fram'd to wear a crown,
His hand to wield a sceptre; and himself
Likely in time to bless a regal throne.
Make much of him, my lords; for this is he
Must help you more than you are hurt by me.

Enter a POST

WARWICK. What news, my friend?
POST. That Edward is escaped from your brother
And fled, as he hears since, to Burgundy.
WARWICK. Unsavoury news! But how made he escape?
POST. He was convey'd by Richard Duke of Gloucester
And the Lord Hastings, who attended him
In secret ambush on the forest side
And from the Bishop's huntsmen rescu'd him;
For hunting was his daily exercise.
WARWICK. My brother was too careless of his charge.
But let us hence, my sovereign, to provide
A salve for any sore that may betide.
SOMERSET. My lord, I like not of this flight of Edward's;
For doubtless Burgundy will yield him help,
And we shall have more wars befor't be long.
As Henry's late presaging prophecy
Did glad my heart with hope of this young Richmond,
So doth my heart misgive me, in these conflicts,
What may befall him to his harm and ours.
Therefore, Lord Oxford, to prevent the worst,
Forthwith we'll send him hence to Brittany,
Till storms be past of civil enmity.
OXFORD. Ay, for if Edward repossess the crown,
'Tis like that Richmond with the rest shall down.
SOMERSET. It shall be so; he shall to Brittany.
Come therefore, let's about it speedily. Exeunt

Before York

Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, HASTINGS, and soldiers

KING EDWARD. Now, brother Richard, Lord Hastings, and the rest,
Yet thus far fortune maketh us amends,
And says that once more I shall interchange
My waned state for Henry's regal crown.
Well have we pass'd and now repass'd the seas,
And brought desired help from Burgundy;
What then remains, we being thus arriv'd
From Ravenspurgh haven before the gates of York,
But that we enter, as into our dukedom?
GLOUCESTER. The gates made fast! Brother, I like not this;
For many men that stumble at the threshold
Are well foretold that danger lurks within.
KING EDWARD. Tush, man, abodements must not now affright us.
By fair or foul means we must enter in,
For hither will our friends repair to us.
HASTINGS. My liege, I'll knock once more to summon them.

Enter, on the walls, the MAYOR OF YORK and

MAYOR. My lords, we were forewarned of your coming
And shut the gates for safety of ourselves,
For now we owe allegiance unto Henry.
KING EDWARD. But, Master Mayor, if Henry be your King,
Yet Edward at the least is Duke of York.
MAYOR. True, my good lord; I know you for no less.
KING EDWARD. Why, and I challenge nothing but my dukedom,
As being well content with that alone.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] But when the fox hath once got in his nose,
He'll soon find means to make the body follow.
HASTINGS. Why, Master Mayor, why stand you in a doubt?
Open the gates; we are King Henry's friends.
MAYOR. Ay, say you so? The gates shall then be open'd.
[He descends]
GLOUCESTER. A wise stout captain, and soon persuaded!
HASTINGS. The good old man would fain that all were well,
So 'twere not long of him; but being ent'red,
I doubt not, I, but we shall soon persuade
Both him and all his brothers unto reason.

Enter, below, the MAYOR and two ALDERMEN

KING EDWARD. So, Master Mayor. These gates must not be shut
But in the night or in the time of war.
What! fear not, man, but yield me up the keys;
[Takes his keys]
For Edward will defend the town and thee,
And all those friends that deign to follow me.

March. Enter MONTGOMERY with drum and soldiers

GLOUCESTER. Brother, this is Sir John Montgomery,
Our trusty friend, unless I be deceiv'd.
KING EDWARD. Welcome, Sir john! But why come you in arms?
MONTGOMERY. To help King Edward in his time of storm,
As every loyal subject ought to do.
KING EDWARD. Thanks, good Montgomery; but we now forget
Our title to the crown, and only claim
Our dukedom till God please to send the rest.
MONTGOMERY. Then fare you well, for I will hence again.
I came to serve a king and not a duke.
Drummer, strike up, and let us march away.
[The drum begins to march]
KING EDWARD. Nay, stay, Sir John, a while, and we'll debate
By what safe means the crown may be recover'd.
MONTGOMERY. What talk you of debating? In few words:
If you'll not here proclaim yourself our King,
I'll leave you to your fortune and be gone
To keep them back that come to succour you.
Why shall we fight, if you pretend no title?
GLOUCESTER. Why, brother, wherefore stand you on nice points?
KING EDWARD. When we grow stronger, then we'll make our claim;
Till then 'tis wisdom to conceal our meaning.
HASTINGS. Away with scrupulous wit! Now arms must rule.
GLOUCESTER. And fearless minds climb soonest unto crowns.
Brother, we will proclaim you out of hand;
The bruit thereof will bring you many friends.
KING EDWARD. Then be it as you will; for 'tis my right,
And Henry but usurps the diadem.
MONTGOMERY. Ay, now my sovereign speaketh like himself;
And now will I be Edward's champion.
HASTINGS. Sound trumpet; Edward shall be here proclaim'd.
Come, fellow soldier, make thou proclamation.
[Gives him a paper. Flourish]
SOLDIER. [Reads] 'Edward the Fourth, by the grace of God,
King of England and France, and Lord of Ireland, &c.'
MONTGOMERY. And whoso'er gainsays King Edward's right,
By this I challenge him to single fight.
[Throws down gauntlet]
ALL. Long live Edward the Fourth!
KING EDWARD. Thanks, brave Montgomery, and thanks unto you all;
If fortune serve me, I'll requite this kindness.
Now for this night let's harbour here in York;
And when the morning sun shall raise his car
Above the border of this horizon,
We'll forward towards Warwick and his mates;
For well I wot that Henry is no soldier.
Ah, froward Clarence, how evil it beseems the
To flatter Henry and forsake thy brother!
Yet, as we may, we'll meet both thee and Warwick.
Come on, brave soldiers; doubt not of the day,
And, that once gotten, doubt not of large pay. Exeunt

London. The palace


WARWICK. What counsel, lords? Edward from Belgia,
With hasty Germans and blunt Hollanders,
Hath pass'd in safety through the narrow seas
And with his troops doth march amain to London;
And many giddy people flock to him.
KING HENRY. Let's levy men and beat him back again.
CLARENCE. A little fire is quickly trodden out,
Which, being suffer'd, rivers cannot quench.
WARWICK. In Warwickshire I have true-hearted friends,
Not mutinous in peace, yet bold in war;
Those will I muster up, and thou, son Clarence,
Shalt stir up in Suffolk, Norfolk, and in Kent,
The knights and gentlemen to come with thee.
Thou, brother Montague, in Buckingham,
Northampton, and in Leicestershire, shalt find
Men well inclin'd to hear what thou command'st.
And thou, brave Oxford, wondrous well belov'd,
In Oxfordshire shalt muster up thy friends.
My sovereign, with the loving citizens,
Like to his island girt in with the ocean
Or modest Dian circled with her nymphs,
Shall rest in London till we come to him.
Fair lords, take leave and stand not to reply.
Farewell, my sovereign.
KING HENRY. Farewell, my Hector and my Troy's true hope.
CLARENCE. In sign of truth, I kiss your Highness' hand.
KING HENRY. Well-minded Clarence, be thou fortunate!
MONTAGUE. Comfort, my lord; and so I take my leave.
OXFORD. [Kissing the KING'S band] And thus I seal my truth and
KING HENRY. Sweet Oxford, and my loving Montague,
And all at once, once more a happy farewell.
WARWICK. Farewell, sweet lords; let's meet at Coventry.
Exeunt all but the KING and EXETER
KING HENRY. Here at the palace will I rest a while.
Cousin of Exeter, what thinks your lordship?
Methinks the power that Edward hath in field
Should not be able to encounter mine.
EXETER. The doubt is that he will seduce the rest.
KING HENRY. That's not my fear; my meed hath got me fame:
I have not stopp'd mine ears to their demands,
Nor posted off their suits with slow delays;
My pity hath been balm to heal their wounds,
My mildness hath allay'd their swelling griefs,
My mercy dried their water-flowing tears;
I have not been desirous of their wealth,
Nor much oppress'd them with great subsidies,
Nor forward of revenge, though they much err'd.
Then why should they love Edward more than me?
No, Exeter, these graces challenge grace;
And, when the lion fawns upon the lamb,
The lamb will never cease to follow him.
[Shout within 'A Lancaster! A Lancaster!']
EXETER. Hark, hark, my lord! What shouts are these?

Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, and soldiers

KING EDWARD. Seize on the shame-fac'd Henry, bear him hence;
And once again proclaim us King of England.
You are the fount that makes small brooks to flow.
Now stops thy spring; my sea shall suck them dry,
And swell so much the higher by their ebb.
Hence with him to the Tower: let him not speak.
Exeunt some with KING HENRY
And, lords, towards Coventry bend we our course,
Where peremptory Warwick now remains.
The sun shines hot; and, if we use delay,
Cold biting winter mars our hop'd-for hay.
GLOUCESTER. Away betimes, before his forces join,
And take the great-grown traitor unawares.
Brave warriors, march amain towards Coventry. Exeunt



and others upon the walls

WARWICK. Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?
How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?
FIRST MESSENGER. By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.
WARWICK. How far off is our brother Montague?
Where is the post that came from Montague?
SECOND MESSENGER. By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.


WARWICK. Say, Somerville, what says my loving son?
And by thy guess how nigh is Clarence now?
SOMERVILLE. At Southam I did leave him with his forces,
And do expect him here some two hours hence.
[Drum heard]
WARWICK. Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.
SOMERVILLE. It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies.
The drum your Honour hears marcheth from Warwick.
WARWICK. Who should that be? Belike unlook'd for friends.
SOMERVILLE. They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.

March. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER,
and soldiers

KING EDWARD. Go, trumpet, to the walls, and sound a parle.
GLOUCESTER. See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
WARWICK. O unbid spite! Is sportful Edward come?
Where slept our scouts or how are they seduc'd
That we could hear no news of his repair?
KING EDWARD. Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates,
Speak gentle words, and humbly bend thy knee,
Call Edward King, and at his hands beg mercy?
And he shall pardon thee these outrages.
WARWICK. Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down,
Call Warwick patron, and be penitent?
And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.
GLOUCESTER. I thought, at least, he would have said the King;
Or did he make the jest against his will?
WARWICK. Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?
GLOUCESTER. Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give.
I'll do thee service for so good a gift.
WARWICK. 'Twas I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
KING EDWARD. Why then 'tis mine, if but by Warwick's gift.
WARWICK. Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight;
And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my King, Warwick his subject.
KING EDWARD. But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner.
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?
GLOUCESTER. Alas, that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slily finger'd from the deck!
You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace,
And ten to one you'll meet him in the Tower.
KING EDWARD. 'Tis even so; yet you are Warwick still.
GLOUCESTER. Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel
Nay, when? Strike now, or else the iron cools.
WARWICK. I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
And with the other fling it at thy face,
Than bear so low a sail to strike to thee.
KING EDWARD. Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy
This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair,
Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood:
'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'

Enter OXFORD, with drum and colours

WARWICK. O cheerful colours! See where Oxford comes.
OXFORD. Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city]
GLOUCESTER. The gates are open, let us enter too.
KING EDWARD. So other foes may set upon our backs.
Stand we in good array, for they no doubt
Will issue out again and bid us battle;
If not, the city being but of small defence,
We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.
WARWICK. O, welcome, Oxford! for we want thy help.

Enter MONTAGUE, with drum and colours

MONTAGUE. Montague, Montague, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city]
GLOUCESTER. Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.
KING EDWARD. The harder match'd, the greater victory.
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.

Enter SOMERSET, with drum and colours

SOMERSET. Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city]
GLOUCESTER. Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset,
Have sold their lives unto the house of York;
And thou shalt be the third, if this sword hold.

Enter CLARENCE, with drum and colours

WARWICK. And lo where George of Clarence sweeps along,
Of force enough to bid his brother battle;
With whom an upright zeal to right prevails
More than the nature of a brother's love.
CLARENCE. Clarence, Clarence, for Lancaster!
KING EDWARD. Et tu Brute- wilt thou stab Caesar too?
A parley, sirrah, to George of Clarence.
[Sound a parley. RICHARD and CLARENCE whisper]
WARWICK. Come, Clarence, come. Thou wilt if Warwick call.
CLARENCE. [Taking the red rose from his hat and throwing
it at WARWICK]
Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
Look here, I throw my infamy at thee.
I will not ruinate my father's house,
Who gave his blood to lime the stones together,
And set up Lancaster. Why, trowest thou, Warwick,
That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,
To bend the fatal instruments of war
Against his brother and his lawful King?
Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath.
To keep that oath were more impiety
Than Jephtha when he sacrific'd his daughter.
I am so sorry for my trespass made
That, to deserve well at my brother's hands,
I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe;
With resolution whereso'er I meet thee-
As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad-
To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee,
And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.
Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends;
And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults,
For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
KING EDWARD. Now welcome more, and ten times more belov'd,
Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate.
GLOUCESTER. Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.
WARWICK. O passing traitor, perjur'd and unjust!
KING EDWARD. What, Warwick, wilt thou leave die town and fight?

Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
WARWICK. Alas, I am not coop'd here for defence!
I will away towards Barnet presently
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st.
KING EDWARD. Yes, Warwick, Edward dares and leads the way.
Lords, to the field; Saint George and victory!
[March. WARWICK and his company follow]

A field of battle near Barnet

Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARD, bringing forth WARWICK,

KING EDWARD. So, lie thou there. Die thou, and die our fear;
For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.
Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee,
That Warwick's bones may keep thine company. Exit
WARWICK. Ah, who is nigh? Come to me, friend or foe,
And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick?
Why ask I that? My mangled body shows,
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows,
That I must yield my body to the earth
And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,
Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree
And kept low shrubs from winter's pow'rful wind.
These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black veil,
Have been as piercing as the mid-day sun
To search the secret treasons of the world;
The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood,
Were lik'ned oft to kingly sepulchres;
For who liv'd King, but I could dig his grave?
And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
Lo now my glory smear'd in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors, that I had,
Even now forsake me; and of all my lands
Is nothing left me but my body's length.
what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And live we how we can, yet die we must.


SOMERSET. Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as we are,
We might recover all our loss again.
The Queen from France hath brought a puissant power;
Even now we heard the news. Ah, couldst thou fly!
WARWICK. Why then, I would not fly. Ah, Montague,
If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand,
And with thy lips keep in my soul a while!
Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou didst,
Thy tears would wash this cold congealed blood
That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
SOMERSET. Ah, Warwick! Montague hath breath'd his last;
And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick,
And said 'Commend me to my valiant brother.'
And more he would have said; and more he spoke,
Which sounded like a clamour in a vault,
That mought not be distinguish'd; but at last,
I well might hear, delivered with a groan,
'O farewell, Warwick!'
WARWICK. Sweet rest his soul! Fly, lords, and save yourselves:
For Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
OXFORD. Away, away, to meet the Queen's great power!
[Here they bear away his body]

Another part of the field

Flourish. Enter KING in triumph; with GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and
the rest

KING EDWARD. Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory.
But in the midst of this bright-shining day
I spy a black, suspicious, threat'ning cloud
That will encounter with our glorious sun
Ere he attain his easeful western bed-
I mean, my lords, those powers that the Queen
Hath rais'd in Gallia have arriv'd our coast
And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
CLARENCE. A little gale will soon disperse that cloud
And blow it to the source from whence it came;
Thy very beams will dry those vapours up,
For every cloud engenders not a storm.
GLOUCESTER. The Queen is valued thirty thousand strong,
And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her.
If she have time to breathe, be well assur'd
Her faction will be full as strong as ours.
KING EDWARD. are advertis'd by our loving friends
That they do hold their course toward Tewksbury;
We, having now the best at Barnet field,
Will thither straight, for willingness rids way;
And as we march our strength will be augmented
In every county as we go along.
Strike up the drum; cry 'Courage!' and away. Exeunt

Plains wear Tewksbury


QUEEN MARGARET. Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood;
Yet lives our pilot still. Is't meet that he
Should leave the helm and, like a fearful lad,
With tearful eyes add water to the sea
And give more strength to that which hath too much;
Whiles, in his moan, the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have sav'd?
Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?
And Montague our top-mast; what of him?
Our slaught'red friends the tackles; what of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor?
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge?
We will not from the helm to sit and weep,
But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wreck,
As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
And what is Edward but a ruthless sea?
What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?
And Richard but a ragged fatal rock?
All these the enemies to our poor bark.
Say you can swim; alas, 'tis but a while!
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink.
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
Or else you famish- that's a threefold death.
This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
If case some one of you would fly from us,
That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers
More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks.
Why, courage then! What cannot be avoided
'Twere childish weakness to lament or fear.
PRINCE OF WALES. Methinks a woman of this valiant spirit
Should, if a coward hear her speak these words,
Infuse his breast with magnanimity
And make him naked foil a man-at-arms.
I speak not this as doubting any here;
For did I but suspect a fearful man,
He should have leave to go away betimes,
Lest in our need he might infect another
And make him of the like spirit to himself.
If any such be here- as God forbid!-
Let him depart before we need his help.
OXFORD. Women and children of so high a courage,
And warriors faint! Why, 'twere perpetual shame.
O brave young Prince! thy famous grandfather
Doth live again in thee. Long mayst thou Eve
To bear his image and renew his glories!
SOMERSET. And he that will not fight for such a hope,
Go home to bed and, like the owl by day,
If he arise, be mock'd and wond'red at.
QUEEN MARGARET. Thanks, gentle Somerset; sweet Oxford, thanks.
PRINCE OF WALES. And take his thanks that yet hath nothing


MESSENGER. Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand
Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
OXFORD. I thought no less. It is his policy
To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
SOMERSET. But he's deceiv'd; we are in readiness.
QUEEN MARGARET. This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.
OXFORD. Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.

Flourish and march. Enter, at a distance, KING EDWARD,

KING EDWARD. Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood
Which, by the heavens' assistance and your strength,
Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
I need not add more fuel to your fire,
For well I wot ye blaze to burn them out.
Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.
QUEEN MARGARET. Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should
My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
Ye see, I drink the water of my eye.
Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,
Is prisoner to the foe; his state usurp'd,
His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice. Then, in God's name, lords,
Be valiant, and give signal to the fight.
Alarum, retreat, excursions. Exeunt

Another part of the field

Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and forces,

KING EDWARD. Now here a period of tumultuous broils.
Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight;
For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
OXFORD. For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.
SOMERSET. Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune.
Exeunt OXFORD and SOMERSET, guarded
QUEEN MARGARET. So part we sadly in this troublous world,
To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
KING EDWARD. Is proclamation made that who finds Edward
Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
GLOUCESTER. It is; and lo where youthful Edward comes.

Enter soldiers, with PRINCE EDWARD

KING EDWARD. Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak.
What, can so young a man begin to prick?
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
PRINCE OF WALES. Speak like a subject, proud ambitious York.
Suppose that I am now my father's mouth;
Resign thy chair, and where I stand kneel thou,
Whilst I propose the self-same words to the
Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
QUEEN MARGARET. Ah, that thy father had been so resolv'd!
GLOUCESTER. That you might still have worn the petticoat
And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.
PRINCE OF WALES. Let Aesop fable in a winter's night;
His currish riddle sorts not with this place.
GLOUCESTER. By heaven, brat, I'll plague ye for that word.
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
GLOUCESTER. For God's sake, take away this captive scold.
PRINCE OF WALES. Nay, take away this scolding crookback rather.
KING EDWARD. Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
CLARENCE. Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
PRINCE OF WALES. I know my duty; you are all undutiful.
Lascivious Edward, and thou perjur'd George,
And thou misshapen Dick, I tell ye all
I am your better, traitors as ye are;
And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
KING EDWARD. Take that, the likeness of this railer here.
[Stabs him]
GLOUCESTER. Sprawl'st thou? Take that, to end thy agony.
[Stabs him]
CLARENCE. And there's for twitting me with perjury.
[Stabs him]
QUEEN MARGARET. O, kill me too!
GLOUCESTER. Marry, and shall. [Offers to kill her]
KING EDWARD. Hold, Richard, hold; for we have done to much.
GLOUCESTER. Why should she live to fill the world with words?
KING EDWARD. What, doth she swoon? Use means for her recovery.
GLOUCESTER. Clarence, excuse me to the King my brother.
I'll hence to London on a serious matter;
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
CLARENCE. What? what?
GLOUCESTER. The Tower! the Tower! Exit
QUEEN MARGARET. O Ned, sweet Ned, speak to thy mother, boy!
Canst thou not speak? O traitors! murderers!
They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all,
Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
If this foul deed were by to equal it.
He was a man: this, in respect, a child;
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murderer, that I may name it?
No, no, my heart will burst, an if I speak-
And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.
Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals!
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
You have no children, butchers, if you had,
The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse.
But if you ever chance to have a child,
Look in his youth to have him so cut off
As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!
KING EDWARD. Away with her; go, bear her hence perforce.
QUEEN MARGARET. Nay, never bear me hence; dispatch me here.
Here sheathe thy sword; I'll pardon thee my death.
What, wilt thou not? Then, Clarence, do it thou.
CLARENCE. By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
QUEEN MARGARET. Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do
CLARENCE. Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
QUEEN MARGARET. Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself.
'Twas sin before, but now 'tis charity.
What! wilt thou not? Where is that devil's butcher,
Hard-favour'd Richard? Richard, where art thou?
Thou art not here. Murder is thy alms-deed;
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er put'st back.
KING EDWARD. Away, I say; I charge ye bear her hence.
QUEEN MARGARET. So come to you and yours as to this prince.
Exit, led out forcibly
KING EDWARD. Where's Richard gone?
CLARENCE. To London, all in post; and, as I guess,
To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
KING EDWARD. He's sudden, if a thing comes in his head.
Now march we hence. Discharge the common sort
With pay and thanks; and let's away to London
And see our gentle queen how well she fares.
By this, I hope, she hath a son for me. Exeunt

London. The Tower

Enter KING HENRY and GLOUCESTER with the LIEUTENANT, on the walls

GLOUCESTER. Good day, my lord. What, at your book so hard?
KING HENRY. Ay, my good lord- my lord, I should say rather.
'Tis sin to flatter; 'good' was little better.
'Good Gloucester' and 'good devil' were alike,
And both preposterous; therefore, not 'good lord.'
GLOUCESTER. Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.
KING HENRY. So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece,
And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
GLOUCESTER. Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind:
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
KING HENRY. The bird that hath been limed in a bush
With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye
Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and kill'd.
GLOUCESTER. Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete
That taught his son the office of a fowl!
And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
KING HENRY. I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy,
Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
Than can my ears that tragic history.
But wherefore dost thou come? Is't for my life?
GLOUCESTER. Think'st thou I am an executioner?
KING HENRY. A persecutor I am sure thou art.
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou are an executioner.
GLOUCESTER. Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
KING HENRY. Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy, that many a thousand
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh, and many a widow's,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye-
Men for their sons, wives for their husbands,
Orphans for their parents' timeless death-
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth- an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chatt'ring pies in dismal discords sung;
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
To wit, an indigest deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
To signify thou cam'st to bite the world;
And if the rest be true which I have heard,
Thou cam'st-
GLOUCESTER. I'll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech.
[Stabs him]
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
KING HENRY. Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
O, God forgive my sins and pardon thee! [Dies]
GLOUCESTER. What, will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
See how my sword weeps for the poor King's death.
O, may such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfall of our house!
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither-
[Stabs him again]
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 'tis true that Henry told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say
I came into the world with my legs forward.
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried
'O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!'
And so I was, which plainly signified
That I should snarl, and bite, and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother;
And this word 'love,' which greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me! I am myself alone.
Clarence, beware; thou keep'st me from the light,
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
That Edward shall be fearful of his life;
And then to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry and the Prince his son are gone.
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest;
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room,
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
Exit with the body

London. The palace

HASTINGS, NURSE, with the Young PRINCE, and attendants

KING EDWARD. Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
Repurchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride!
Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son;
And two Northumberlands- two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound;
With them the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat
And made our footstool of security.
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.
Young Ned, for thee thine uncles and myself
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou might'st repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
GLOUCESTER. [Aside] I'll blast his harvest if your head were
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
And heave it shall some weight or break my back.
Work thou the way- and that shall execute.
KING EDWARD. Clarence and Gloucester, love my lovely queen;
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
CLARENCE. The duty that I owe unto your Majesty
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
KING EDWARD. Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.
GLOUCESTER. And that I love the tree from whence thou
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.
[Aside] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his master
And cried 'All hail!' when as he meant all harm.
KING EDWARD. Now am I seated as my soul delights,
Having my country's peace and brothers' loves.
CLARENCE. What will your Grace have done with Margaret?
Reignier, her father, to the King of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
KING EDWARD. Away with her, and waft her hence to France.
And now what rests but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
Sound drums and trumpets. Farewell, sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy. Exeunt




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