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North. What would your grace have done | I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush: unto him now? To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd, Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.

Q. Mar. Brave warriors, Clifford, and Northumberland,

Come, make him stand upon this molehill here; That raught at mountains with outstretched arms, Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.What! was it you, that would be England's king?

Thy father bears the type of king of Naples,
Of both the Sicils, and Jerusalem;
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen;
Unless the adage must be verified,-
That beggars, mounted, run their horse to death.

Was't you, that revell'd in our parliament,
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons to back you now?"Tis beauty, that doth oft make women proud;

The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky, your boy, that, with his grumbling voice,
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Look, York; I stain'd this napkin with the blood,
That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point
Made issue from the bosom of the boy:
And, if thine eyes can water for his death,
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly,
I should lament thy miserable state.

I pr'ythee, grieve, to make me merry, York;
Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine en-
trails,

That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death? Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst be mad;

And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Thou wouldst be fee'd, I see, to make me sport;
York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown.-
A crown for York; and, lords, bow low to him.
Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.-

[Putting a paper crown on his head.
Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
Ay, this is he that took king Henry's chair;
And this is he was his adopted heir.—
But how is it, that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath?
As I bethink me, you should not be king,
Till our king Henry had shook hands with death.
And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 'tis a fault, too too unpardonable!-
Off with the crown; and, with the crown, his
head;

And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead. Clif. That is my office, for my father's sake. Q. Mar. Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.

York. She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,

Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!

How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex,
To triumph like an Amazonian trull,
Upon their woes whom fortune captivates?
But that thy face is, visor-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,

But God, he knows, thy share thereof is small: 'Tis virtue, that doth make them most admir'd; The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at: 'Tis government, that makes them seem divine; The want thereof makes thee abominable: Thou art as opposite to every good, As the Antipodes are unto us,

Or as the south to the septentrion.

O, tiger's heart, wrapp'd in a woman's hide! How could'st thou drain the life-blood of the child,

To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bid'st thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy
wish :

Would'st have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will:

For raging wind blows up incessant showers, And when the rage allays, the rain begins. These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies; And every drop cries vengeance for his death,'Gainst thee, fell Clifford,-and thee, false French-woman.

North. Beshrew me, but his passions move

me so,

That hardly can I check my eyes from tears. York. That face of his the hungry cannibals Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd with blood:

But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,-
O, ten times more,-than tygers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears:
This cloth thou dipp'dst in blood of my sweet
boy,

And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:

[He gives back the handkerchief.
And, if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say,-Alas, it was a piteous deed
There, take the crown, and with the crown, my

curse;

And, in thy need, such comfort come to thee,
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!-
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
North. Had he been slaughter-man to all my

kin,

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SCENE I-A plain near MORTIMER's Cross, in Herefordshire.

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

Edw. I wonder, how our princely father 'scap'd;

Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no,
From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit:
Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the

news;

Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;

Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks, we should have heard

The happy tidings of his good escape.~
How fares my brother? why is he so sad?

Rich. I cannot joy, until I be resolv'd
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about;
And watch'd him, how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought, he bore him in the thickest troop,
As doth a lion in a herd of neat:

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

sun;

Not separated with the racking clouds,
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable :
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.
Edw. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet
never heard of.

I think, it cites us, brother, to the field;
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds,

1

Should, notwithstanding, join our lights to

gether,

And over-shine the carth, as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.

Rich. Nay, bear three daughters;-by your leave I speak it,

You love the breeder better than the male.
Enter a Messenger.

But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretel
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?

Mess. Ah, one that was a woful looker on, When as the noble duke of York was slain, Your princely father, and my loving lord.

Edw. O, speak no more! for I have heard too much.

Rich. Say how he died, for I will hear it all. Mess. Environed he was with many foes; And stood against them as the hope of Troy Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd Troy.

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

Edu. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean

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Might in the ground be closed up in rest:
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
Never, O never, shall I see more joy.
Rich. I cannot weep; for all my body's mois-

ture

Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart:

Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden;

For self-same wind that I should speak withal,
Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast,
And burn me up with flames, that tears would
quench.

To weep, is to make less the depth of grief: Tears, then, for babes; blows, and revenge, for me!

Richard, I bear thy name, I'll venge thy death, Or die renowned by attempting it.

Edw. His name that valiant duke hath left with thee;

His dukedom and his chair with me is left.

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

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

Rich. Great lord of Warwick, if we should recount

Our baleful news, and, at each word's deliverance,
Stab poniards in our flesh till all were told,
The words would add more anguish than the
wounds.

O valiant lord, the duke of York is slain.
Edu. O Warwick! Warwick! that Planta-
genet,

Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption,

Is by the stern lord Clifford done to death.
War. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in

tears:

And now, to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things since then befall'n.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your brave father breathed his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss, and his depart.
I then in London, keeper of the king,
Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
And very well appointed, as I thought,
March'd towards Saint Alban's to intercept the
queen,

Bearing the king in my behalf along:
For by my scouts I was advértised,
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament,
Touching king Henry's oath, and your succession.
Short tale to make,—we at St Alban's met,
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king,

Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their hated spleen;
Or whether 'twas report of her success;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives-blood and death,
I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers'-like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like a lazy thrasher with a flail,-
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay, and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
So that we fled; the king, unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard, you were,
Making another head to fight again.

Edw. Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle

Warwick?

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War. Some six miles off the duke is with the soldiers;

And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war.

Rich. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick fled:

Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire.

War. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou hear:

For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine

Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
And wring the awful sceptre from his fist;
Were he as famous and as bold in war,
As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.
Rich. I know it well, lord Warwick: blame

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Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave earl of
March,

Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London we will march amain;
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry-Charge upon our foes!
But never once again turn back, and fly.
Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I hear great War-
wick speak:

Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,
That cries-Retire, if Warwick bid him stay.
Edw. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I
lean;

And when thou fall'st, (as God forbid the hour!)
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forfend!
War. No longer earl of March, but duke of
York;

The next degree is, England's royal throne:
For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In every borough as we pass along ;
And he, that throws not up
his cap
for joy,
Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head.
King Edward,-valiant Richard,-Montague,-
Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets, and about our task.
Rich. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard
as steel,

(As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds,)
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.

Edw. Then strike up, drums;—God, and
Saint George, for us!

Enter a Messenger.

War. How now? what news?

Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by me,

The queen is coming with a puissant host;
And craves your company for speedy counsel.
War. Why then it sorts, brave warriors:
Let's away.
[Exeunt.

SCENE II.-Before York.
Enter King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, the
Prince of WALES, CLIFFORD, and NORTHUM-
BERLAND, with Forces.

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

Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy,
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown:
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
K. Hen. Ay, as the rocks cheer them, that
fear their wreck ;-

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

Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity And harmful pity, must be laid aside. To whom do lions cast their gentle looks? Not to the beast that would usurp their den. Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?

Not his, that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on;
And doves will peck, in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, bless'd with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
Which argued thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young:
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them (even with those
wings

Which sometime they have us'd with fearful flight,)

Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
Were it not pity, that this goodly boy
Should lose his birthright by his father's fault;
And long hereafter say unto his child,—
What my great-grandfather and grandsire got,
My careless father fondly gave away?
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart,
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with
him.

K. Hen. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator,

Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,—
That things ill got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son,
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell?
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And 'would, my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate,
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep,
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did
know,

How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
Q. Mar. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our

foes are nigh,

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sent.

Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our fortune.

K. Hen. Why, that's my fortune too; therefore I'll stay:

North. Be it with resolution then to fight. Prince. My royal father, cheer these noble lords,

And hearten those that fight in your defence: Unsheath your sword, good father; cry Saint George!

March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers.

Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry! wilt thou kneel "for grace,

And set thy diadem upon my head;
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?

Q. Mar. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting boy!

Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms,
Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king?
Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his
knee;

I was adopted heir by his consent:

Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear, You-that are king, though he do wear the

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North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make you stay.

Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently ;

Break off the parle; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy father: Call'st thou him a
child?

Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous coward,

As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland; But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed. K. Hen. Have done with words, my lords, and hear me speak.

Q. Mar. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips.

K. Hen. I pr'ythee, give no limits to my tongue;

I am a king, and privileg'd to speak.

Clif. My liege, the wound, that bred this

meeting here,

Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.

Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword: By him that made us all, I am resolv'd, That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue. Edw. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?

A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day, That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown. War. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head; For York in justice puts his armour on.

Prince. If that be right, which Warwick says is right,

There is no wrong, but every thing is right. Rich. Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands;

For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue. Q. Mar. But thou art neither like thy sire nor dam ;

But like a foul mishapen stigmatick,
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,
As venom toads; or lizards' dreadful stings.

Rich. Iron of Naples, hid with English gilt, Whose father bears the title of a king, (As if a channel should be call'd the sea,) Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art extraught,

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

crowns,

To make this shameless callat know herself.-
Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman, as this king by thee.
His father revell'd in the heart of France,
And tam'd the king, and made the Dauphin
stoop;

And, had he match'd according to his state,
He might have kept that glory to this day:
But, when he took a beggar to his bed,
And grac'd thy poor sire with his bridal day;

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