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The trembling lamb, environed with wolves.
Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes,
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd,
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colours,
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread :
And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace,
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee:-Come, son, let's away;
Our army's ready; come, we'll after them.
K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
K. Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?
Q. Mar. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.
Prince. When I return with victory from the field,
I'll see your grace: till then, I'll follow her.
Q. Mar. Come, son, away; we may not linger thus. [Exeunt QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE. K. Hen. Poor queen! how love to me, and to her son, Hath made her break out into terms of rage! Revenged may she be on that hateful duke; Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire, Will cost my crown, and, like an empty eagle, Tire* on the flesh of me, and of my son! The loss of those three lords torments my heart: I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair;Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.
Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
SCENE II.-A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.
Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.
Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
Edw. No, I can better play the orator.
Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
York. Why, how now, sons and brother, at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?
Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
York. About what?
Rich. About that which concerns your grace and us;
The crown of England, father, which is yours.
York. Mine, boy? not till king Henry be dead.
Rich. Your right depends not on his life, or death.
Edw. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now:
By giving the house of Lancaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.
York. I took an oath, that he should quietly reign.
Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be broken:
I'd break a thousand oaths, to reign one year.
Rich. No; God forbid, your grace should be forsworn.
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears:
Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
Therefore, to arms. And, father, do but think,
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown;
Within whose circuit is Elysium,
And all that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why do we linger thus? I cannot rest,
Until the white rose, that I wear, be dyed
Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
York. Richard, enough; I will be king, or die.--
Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.-
Thou, Richard, shalt unto the duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privily of our intent.--
You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise:
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty and courteous, liberal, full of spirit.-
While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more,
But that I seek occasion how to rise;
And yet the king not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Lancaster.
Enter a MESSENGER.
But, stay; What news? Why com'st thou in such post?
Mess. The queen, with all the northern earls and lords,
Intend here to besiege you in your castle:
She is hard by with twenty thousand men ;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou, that we
fear them ?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me ;-
My brother Montague shall post to London:
Let noble Warwick, Cobham, and the rest,
Whom we have left protectors of the king,
With powerful policy strengthen themselves,
And trust not simple Henry, nor his oaths.
Mont. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not :
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
And issue forth, and bid them battle straight.
York. Five men to twenty!-though the odds be great, I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France,
Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER.
York. Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles!
You are come to Sandal in a happy hour;
The army of the queen mean to besiege us.
Sir John. She shall not need, we'll meet her in the field.
York. What, with five thousand men?
Rich. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
A woman's general; What should we fear? [A march afar off. Edw. I hear their drums; let's set our men in order;
When as the enemy hath been ten to one;
Why should I not now have the like success? [Alarum. Exeunt.
Enter CLIFFORD, and Soldiers.
Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of this accursed duke,
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him company.
Clif. Soldiers, away with him.
Tut. Ah, Clifford ! murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.
SCENE III.-Plains near Sandal Castle.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter RUTLAND, and his TUTOR.
Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands! Ah, tutor! look where bloody Clifford comes !
[Exit, forced off by Soldiers. Clif. How now! is he dead already? Or, is it fear, That makes him close his eyes ?-I'll open them.
Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws:
And so he walks, insulting o'er his prey;
And so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.-
Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
And not with such a cruel threat'ning look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die;-
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath,
Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.
Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.
Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again; He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.
Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine,
Were not revenge sufficient for me;
No, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves,
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul;
And till I root out their accursed line,
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death.
To thee I pray; Sweet Clifford, pity me!
Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
Rut. I never did thee harm; Why wilt thou slay me?
Clif. Thy father hath.
Rut. But 'twas ere I was born.
Thou hast one son, for his sake pity me;
Lest, in revenge thereof,-sith* God is just,-
He be as miserably slain as I.
Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
And when I give occasion of offence,
Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.
Clif. No cause?
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.
[CLIFFORD stabs him.
Rut. Dii faciant, laudis summa sit ista tua! †
Clif. Plantagenet! I come, Plantagenet!
And this thy son's blood cleaving to my blade,
Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood,
Congeal'd with this, do make me wipe off both.
SCENE IV.-The same.
York. The army of the queen hath got the field:
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back, and fly, like ships before the wind,
Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons-God knows, what hath bechanced them:
But this I know,-they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown, by life, or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me;
And thrice cried,-Courage, father! fight it out!
And full as oft came Edward to my side,
With purple faulchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter'd him:
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried,-Charge! and give no foot of ground!
And cried,-A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
† Heaven grant this may be your greatest boast!
A sceptre! or an earthly sepulchre!
With this, we charged again: but, out, alas!
We bodged again; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide,
And spend her strength with over-matching waves.
Ah, hark! the fatal followers do pursue;
And I am faint, and cannot fly their fury:
And, were I strong, I would not shun their fury:
The sands are number'd, that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.
Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, and Soldiers.
Come, bloody Clifford,-rough Northumberland,—
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 farther;
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'er-run 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 causes,
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life :-
Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumberland.
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.
† Point on the dial.