Page images
PDF
EPUB

War. Why then it sorts, brave warriors : Let's away.

[Exeunt.

SCENE II.

York. Enter King Henry, the Queen, the Prince of

WALES, CLIFFORD, and NorTHUMBERLAND, with Forces.

210

Queen. 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. Henry. 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,
Nor 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

220

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, 230
And raise his issue, like a loving sire ;
Thou, being a king, blest 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 in fearful flight)
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest, 240
Offering their own lives in their young's defence ?
For shame, my liege, make them your precedenti
Were it not pity, that this goodly boy
Should lose his birth-right by his father's fault រ
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, 250*
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.

K. Henry. 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 ?

a

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, .

260
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!
Queen. My. lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes

are nigh,
And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promis'd knighthood to our forward son;
Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently:-
Edward, kneel down.,

269 K. Henry. 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. Mes. Royal commanders, be in readiness : Eor, 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 : , 280 Darraign your battle, for they are at hand,

Clif. I would, your highness would depart the

a

field;

The queen hath best success when you are abseņt...

Queen. Queen. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our for.

tune.

K. Henry. 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, CLARENCE, Richard, WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers. Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry! wilt thou kneel for grace,

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

Queen. 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 crownHave caus'd him, by new act of parliament, 300 To blot out me, and put his own son in.

Clif. And reason too ; Who should succeed the father, but the son? Rich. Art thou there, butcher? -- 0, I cannot

speak! Clif. Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer

thee,

Or When you

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 satisfy'd. Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the

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

310 Queen. Why, how now, long-tongu’d Warwick ?

dare you speak?

and I met at Saint Alban's last, Your legs did better service than your hands.

War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis thine. Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled. War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me

thence. North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make

you stay. Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently ;Break off the parley ; for scarce I can refrain The execution of my big-swoln heart Upon that Clifford there, 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, l'll make thee curse the deed. K. Henry. Have done with words, my lords, and

hear me speak. Queen. Defy them then, or else hold close thy lips. K. Henry. I pr’ythee, give no limits to my tongue ;

320

a

« PreviousContinue »