Puslapio vaizdai


UMBERLAND, and Soldiers.

Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NORTH- | 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.
bloody Clifford,-rough Northumber-Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly,



I dare your quenchless fury to more rage;
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.

North. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Clif. Ay, to such mercy, as his ruthless arm,
With downright payment, show'd unto my father.
Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.'
York. My ashes, as the Phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all:
And, in that hope, I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? what! multitudes, and fear?
Clif. So cowards fight, when they can fly no

So doves do peck the falcon's piercing talons; So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives, Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.

York. O, Clifford, but bethink thee once again, And, in thy thought o'errun my former time: * And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face; And bite thy tongue that slanders him with cowardice,

Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this. Clif. I will not bandy with thee word for word; But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.


Q. Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand

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North. Hold, Clifford; do not honour him so much, To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart: What valour were it, when a cur doth grin, For one to thrust his hand between his teeth, When he might spurn him with his foot away? It is war's prize to take all vantages; And ten to one is no impeach of valour.

[They lay hands on YORK, who struggles. Clif. Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin. North. So doth the coney struggle in the net. YORK is taken prisoner. York. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty

So true men3 yield, with robbers so o'ermatch'd. North. What would your grace have done unto him now?

Q. Mar. Brave warriors, Clifford and Northum


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?
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?
The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?

And where's that valiant crookback 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,

1 Noontide point on the dial.

2 Prize here must have the same meaning as prise in French, or presu in Italian, 1. e. a hold or advantage that may be taken. Unless we can imagine that it sig. nifies licitum est, 'it is prized or esteemed lawful in war,' &c. Price, prise, and prize were used indiscriminately by our ancestors.

3 Honest men.

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 entrails,
That not a tear can fall for Rutland's death?
*Why art thou patient, man? thou should'st be

Thou would'st be fee'd, I see, to make me sport;
And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
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 Heads
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 rob his temples of the diadem,
And will you pale' your head in Henry's glory
O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable!-
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
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

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

How ill beseeming is it in thy sex,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth!

To triumph like an Amazonian trull,

Upon their woes, whom fortune captivates? But that thy face is, visorlike, unchanging, Made impudent with use of evil deeds,

I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush: To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd, Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not


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, -

"Tis beauty, that doth oft make women proud
That beggars, mounted, run their horse to death.
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 :
The want thereof makes thee abominable:
'Tis government, 10 that makes them seem divine;
Thou art as opposite to every good,
As the Antipodes are unto us,

Or as the south to the septentrion."1
O, tyger'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.

upon a molehill, on whose heade they put a garland instead of a crown, which they had fashioned and made of segges or bulrushes, and having so crowned him with that garlande, they kneeled down afore him, as the Jews did to Christe, in scorne, saying to him, Hayle king without rule, hayle, king without heritage, hayle, duke and prince without people or possessions. And, at length, having thus scorned hym with these and diverse other the like despitefull woordes, they strooke to the queen.'

4 Reached. Vide note on Part II. of this play, Act ii. off his heade, which (as ye have heard) they presented

Sc. 8.

5 Handkerchief.

6 According to Hall the paper crown was not placed on York's head till after he was dead; but Holinshed, after having copied Hall, says: Some write that the duke was taken alive and in derision caused to stand

7 Impale, encircle with a crown.

8 Kill him. 9 i. e. the crown, the emblem or symbol of royalty. 10 Government, in the language of the time signified evenness of temper, and decency of manners. 11 The north.

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'Bidd'st thou me rage, why, now thou hast thy |* Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks, we should have


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-



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:6

North. Beshrew me, but his passions2 move me*

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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 tigers 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;3
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,



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 slaughterman to all my kin,
'I should not for my life but weep for him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.

Q. Mar. What, weeping-ripe, my Lord


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:

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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,

sun -9

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
Not separated with the racking clouds, 10
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,"
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together,
And overshine the earth, as this the world.
North-Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.

Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
Clif. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's*
[Stabbing him.
Q. Mar. And here's to right our gentle-hearted
[Stabbing him.
York. Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out
Q. Mar. Off with his head, and set it on York gate;
So York may overlook the town of York.^




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;
1 We meet with the same thought in Shakspeare's
Rape of Lucrece :-

This windy tempest, till it blow up rain,
Held back his sorrow's tide, to make it more:
At last it rains, and busy winds give o'er,
Then son and father weep with equal strife,
Who should weep most for daughter or for wife.'
2 Passions for griefs.

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 foretell '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.12

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 Troy13
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,

6 Neat cattle, cows, oxen, &c.

7 Prize is here again used for estimation.

8 Aurora takes for a time her farewell of the sun, when she dismisses him to his diurnal course.

9 This circumstance is mentioned both by Hall and Holinshed. At which tyme the sun (as some write) appeared to the earl of March like three sunnes, and sodainely joyned altogether in one; upon whiche sight hee tooke such courage, that he fiercely setting on his enemyes put them to flight; and for this cause menne ymagined that he gave the sun in his full bryghtnesse for his badge or cognizance.'-Holinshed.

Tell thou the lamentable tale of me, And send the hearers weeping to their beds.' 4 This gallant prince fell by his own imprudence, in consequence of leading an army of only five thousand men to engage with twenty thousand, and not waiting 10 i. e. the clouds floating before the wind like a reek for the arrival of his son the earl of March, with a large or vapour. This verb, though now obsolete, was for. body of Welshme. He and Cecily his wife, with his merly in common use; and it is now provincially com. son Edmund, earl of Rutland, were originally buried in mon to speak of the rack of the weather. the chancel of Fotheringay church. Peacham, in his 11 Meed anciently signified merit as well as reward; Complete Gentleman, 1627, p. 153, gives an account of and is so explained by Cotgrave, Philips, and others. the destruction of their monuments, of the disinterment, 12 The generous tenderness of Edward, and savage &c.; and of their reinterment in the church, by command fortitude of Richard, are well distinguished by their dif of Queen Elizabeth, under a mean monument of plaster.ferent reception of their father's death.

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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.

Edw. Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean upon;
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay!-
*O Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain
*The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
*And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
For, hand to hand, he would have vanquish'd

Now my soul's palace is become a prison:

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;

Ah, would she break from hence! that this my body Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,

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 moisture Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart: Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great burden;

*For selfsame wind, that I should speak withal,
* Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast,
*And burn me up with flames that tears would

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

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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.

Edw. O Warwick! Warwick! that Plantagenet, Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption, Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.3

War. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in


And now to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things since then befall'n.
After the bloody fray at Wal field fought,
Where your brave father breath'd 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 Albans to intercept the queen,
Bearing the king in my behalf along:
For by my scouts I was advertised,
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 Saint Albans 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,

1 Thus in Spenser's Hymn of Heavenly Beauty :like the native bird of eagle's kind, On that bright sun of glory fix thine eyes.' 2 This meeting was at Chipping Norton, according to W. Wyrcester, p. 488.

3 A common ancient expression for killed; from the French faire mourir.

4 The ages of the duke of York's children will show how far historic truth is departed from in the present play. The battle of Wakefield was fought on the 29th

In haste, posthaste, 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

And when came George from Burgundy to England? 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.5
Rich. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick

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

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 me


'Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak.
But, in this troublous time, what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
Numb'ring our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
If for the last, say-Ay, and to it, lords.

War. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you


And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
With Clifford, and the haught Northumberland,
And of their feather, many more proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament;
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath, and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.

Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong:
Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,

Will but amount to five and twenty thousand, Why, Via! to London will we march amain; And once again bestride our foaming steeds,

And once again cry-Charge upon our foes!
But never once again turn back, and fly.
Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick

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;

of December, 1460, when Edward was in his nineteenth year, Rutland in his eighteenth, George of York, afterwards duke of Clarence, in his twelfth, and Richard only in his ninth year.

5 This circumstance is not warranted by history. Clarence and Gloster (as they were afterwards created) were sent into Flanders immediately after the battle of Wakefield, and did not return until their brother Edward had got possession of the crown. The duchess of Burgundy was not their aunt, but a third cousin.

And when thou fall'st, (as God forbid the hour!) Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend! 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 every borough as we pass along; And he that throws not up his cap for joy,

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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

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


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,

George, for us, drums ;-God, and Saint Than in possession any jot of pleasure.

Enter a Messenger.

War. How now? what news?

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,

Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by And this soft courage makes your followers faint.


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


[Exeunt. SCENE II. Before York. Enter KING HEnry, QUEEN MARGARET, the PRINCE of WALES, CLIFFORD and NORTHUMBERLAND, 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 vield 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 used 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,

You promis'd knighthood to our forward son;
Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently,-
Edward, kneel down.

K. Hen. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight;
And learn this lesson,-Draw thy sword in right.
Prince. My gracious father, by your kingly leave,
I'll draw it as apparent to the crown,
And in that quarrel use it to the death.
Clif. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger.

Mess. Royal commanders, be in readiness:
For, with a band of thirty thousand men,
Comes Warwick, backing of the duke of York;
And, in the towns as they do march along,
Proclaims him king, and many fly to him:
'Darraign your battle, for they are at hand.
Clif. I would, your highness would depart the



The queen hath best success when you are absent.
Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our


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


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



And set thy diadem upon my head;

*Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
Q. Mar. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting

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;

Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms,

Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear,
You-that are king, though he do wear the crown,-
Have caus'd him, by new act of parliament,
To blot out me, and put his own son in.

1 Why, then, things are as they should be; it falls from him to the other parte.'-Hall's Chronicle. Henry out right.

2 Foolishly.

3 The king quotes two proverbs; the one- Ill gotten goods never prosper; the other- Happy the child whose father went to the devil.' This last he must be supposed to use interrogatively, as disputing the truth of it: Was it always happy for that son ? &c. This interpretation sets the king's reasoning right.

VI. fol. c. Drayton has enlarged upon this superstitious belief in his Miseries of Queen Margaret.

6 Edward's argument is founded on an article said to have been in the compact between Henry and the duke of York: That if the king did closely or apertly studye or go about to compass or imagine the death or destruction of the sayde duke or his blood, then he to forfet the crowne, and the duke of Yorke to take it.'— Dar-Hall. If this had been one of the articles of the com

4. e. arrange your host, put your host in order. raign is used by Chaucer, Skelton, and Spenser. 5Happy was the queene in her two battayls, but unfortunate was the king in all his enterprises; for where his person was present the victorie fledde ever

pact, the duke having been killed at Wakefield, his eldest son would now have a title to the crown; but Malone doubts whether it ever made part of that agreement. The poet followed Hall.

Clif. And reason too;

Who should succeed the father, but the son? Rich. Are you there, butcher?-O, I cannot speak!

'Clif. Ay, crookback; here I stand to answer thee,

Or any he the proudest of thy sort.

Rich. "Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was it not?

Clif. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied. Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.

War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield the crown?

Q. Mar. Why, how now, long-tongued Warwick? dare you speak?

When you and I met at St. Albans last,
Your legs did better service than your hands.
War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis


Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled. War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me


'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 sunset, 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,i

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


But like a foul misshapen stigmatic,
Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided,2

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 ?5

1 It is my firm persuasion.

2 See the Second Part of King Henry VI. Act v. Sc. 1. 3 Gilt is a superficial covering of gold. 4 A channel in the poet's time signified what we now call a kennel; which word is still pronounced channel in the north.

5 To show thy meanness of birth by thy indecent railing.

6 A wisp of straw was often applied as a mark of opprobrium to an immodest woman, a scold, or similar offenders; even showing it to a woman was, therefore, considered as a grievous affront. A callet was a lewd woman; but a term often given to a scold.

7 i. e. a cuckold. In Troilus and Cressida, Thersites, speaking of Menelaus, calls him The goodly transformation of Jupiter there, the primitive statue and oblique memorial of cuckolds.'

Edw. A wisp of strawe were worth a thousand crowns,

To make this shameless callet 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,
Even then that sunshine brew'd a shower for him,
That wash'd his father's fortunes forth of France,
And heap'd sedition on his crown at home.

For what hath broach'd this tumult, but thy pride? Hadst thou been meek, our title still had slept; And we, in pity of the gentle king,

Had slipp'd our claim until another age.

"Geo. But, when we saw our sunshine made thy spring,

And that thy summer bred us no increase, We set the axe to thy usurping root: And though the edge hath something hit ourselves, Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike, 'We'll never leave, till we have hewn thee down, Or bath'd thy growing with our heated bloods.

Edw. And, in this resolution, I defy thee; Not willing any longer conference, Since thou deny'st the gentle king to speak.Sound trumpets!-let our bloody colours wave!— And either victory, or else a grave.

Q. Mar. Stay, Edward.

Edw. No,wrangling woman; we'll no longer stay: These words will cost ten thousand lives to-day. [Exeunt

SCENE III. A Field of Battle between Towton and Saxton, in Yorkshire." Alarums: Excursions. Enter WARWICK.

'War. Forspent with toil, as runners with a race, I lay me down a little while to breathe : For strokes receiv'd, and many blows repaid, Have robb'd my strong-knit sinews of their strength, And spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile.

Enter EDWARD, running.

Edw. Smile, gentle heaven! or strike, ungentle death!

For this world frowns, and Edward's sun is clouded. War. How now, my lord? what hap? what hope of good?


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