« PreviousContinue »
War. Then let the earth be drunken with our
I'll kill my horse because I will not fly.
Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,
Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage;
And look upon, as if the tragedy
Were play'd in jest by counterfeiting actors?
Here on my knee I vow to God above,
I'll never pause again, never stand still,
Till either death hath clos'd these eyes of mine,
Or fortune given me measure of revenge.
Ed. O Warwick! I do bend my knee with
And in this vow do chain my soul to thine.
And, ere my knee rise from the earth's cold
I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings,
Beseeching thee, if with thy will it stands
That to my foes this body must be prey,
SCENE V. Another Part of the Field.
Alarum. Enter King HENRY.
K. Hen. This battle fares like to the morning's
When dying clouds contend with growing light,
What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,
Can neither call it perfect day nor night.
Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea
Forc'd by the tide to combat with the wind;
Now sways it that way, like the self-same sea
Forc'd to retire by fury of the wind:
Sometime the flood prevails, and then the wind;
Now one the better, then another best ;
Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,
Yet neither conqueror nor conquered:
So is the equal poise of this fell war.
Here on this molehill will I sit me down.
To whom God will, there be the victory!
For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,
Have chid me from the battle; swearing both
They prosper best of all when I am thence.
Would I were dead! if God's good will were so ;
For what is in this world but grief and woe? 20
O God! methinks it were a happy life,
To be no better than a homely swain ;
Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope, 40 To sit upon a hill, as I do now,
And give sweet passage to my sinful soul!
Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
Where'er it be, in heaven or in earth.
Rich. Brother, give me thy hand; and, gentle
Let me embrace thee in my weary arms:
I, that did never weep, now melt with woe
That winter should cut off our spring-time so.
War. Away, away! Once more, sweet lords,
Geo. Yet let us all together to our troops,
And give them leave to fly that will not stay, 50
And call them pillars that will stand to us;
And if we thrive promise them such rewards
As victors wear at the Olympian games.
This may plant courage in their quailing breasts;
For yet is hope of life and victory.
Forslow no longer; make we hence amain.
SCENE IV. Another Part of the Field.
Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD.
Rich. Now, Clifford, I have singled thec alone.
Suppose this arm is for the Duke of York,
And this for Rutland; both bound to revenge,
Wert thou environ'd with a brazen wall.
Clif. Now, Richard, I am with thee here
This is the hand that stabb'd thy father York,
And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland;
And here's the heart that triumphs in their death
And cheers these hands that slew thy sire and
To execute the like upon thyself;
And so, have at thee!
To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,
Thereby to see the minutes how they run,
How many make the hour full complete ;
How many hours bring about the day;
How many days will finish up the year;
How many years a mortal man may live.
When this is known, then to divide the times:
So many hours must I tend my flock;
So many hours must I take my rest;
So many hours must I contemplate;
So many hours must I sport myself;
So many days my ewes have been with young;
So many weeks ere the poor fools will ean;
So many years ere I shall shear the fleece:
So minutes, hours, days, months, and years,
Pass'd over to the end they were created,
Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.
Ah! what a life were this; how sweet! how
Gives not the hawthorn-bush a sweeter shade
To shepherds looking on their silly sheep,
Than doth a rich embroider'd canopy
To kings that fear their subjects' treachery?
O yes! it doth; a thousand-fold it doth.
And to conclude, the shepherd's homely curds,
His cold thin drink out of his leather bottle,
His wonted sleep under a fresh tree's shade,
All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,
Is far beyond a prince's delicates,
His viands sparkling in a golden cup,
His body couched in a curious bed,
When care, mistrust, and treason waits on him.
Alarum. Enter a Son that has killed his Father,
with the dead body.
Son. Ill blows the wind that profits nobody. This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight, May be possessed with some store of crowns; And I, that haply take them from him now, May yet ere night yield both my life and them To some man else, as this dead man doth me. co Who's this? O God! it is my father's face,
Whom in this conflict I unwares have kill'd.
O heavy times! begetting such events.
From London by the king was I press'd forth;
My father, being the Earl of Warwick's man,
Came on the part of York, press'd by his master;
And I, who at his hands receiv'd my life,
Have by my hands of life bereaved him.
Pardon me, God, I knew not what I did!
And pardon, father, for I knew not thee!
My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks;
And no more words till they have flow'd their fill.
K. Hen. O piteous spectacle! O bloody times!
Whiles lions war and battle for their dens,
Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
Weep, wretched man, I'll aid thee tear for tear;
And let our hearts and eyes, like civil war,
Be blind with tears, and break o'ercharg'd with
Enter a Father who has killed his Son, with the body in his arms.
Fath. Thou that so stoutly hast resisted me,
Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold,
For I have bought it with an hundred blows.
But let me see: is this our foeman's face?
Ah! no, no, no; it is mine only son.
Ah! boy, if any life be left in thee,
Throw up thine eye: see, see! what showers
Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,
Upon thy wounds, that kill mine eye and heart.
O! pity, God, this miserable age.
What stratagems, how fell, how butcherly,
Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
This deadly quarrel daily doth beget!
O boy! thy father gave thee life too soon,
And hath bereft thee of thy life too late.
K. Hen. Woe above woe! grief more than common grief!
O! that my death would stay these ruthful deeds.
O! pity, pity; gentle heaven, pity.
The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colours of our striving houses:
The one his purple blood right well resembles;
The other his pale cheeks, methinks, presenteth:
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish! 101
If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.
Son. How will my mother for a father's death
Take on with me and ne'er be satisfied!
Fath. How will my wife for slaughter of my son Shed seas of tears and ne'er be satisfied!
K. Hen. How will the country for these woeful chances
Misthink the king and not be satisfied!
Son. Was ever son so rued a father's death? Fath. Was ever father so bemoan'd his son? K. Hen. Was ever king so griev'd for subjects' woe? Much is your sorrow; mine ten times so much. Son. I'll bear thee hence, where I may weep my fill. Exit with the body. Fath. These arms of mine shall be thy winding-sheet;
My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre,
For from my heart thine image ne'er shall go:
My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell;
And so obsequious will thy father be,
Son, for the loss of thee, having no more,
As Priam was for all his valiant sons.
I'll bear thee hence; and let them fight that will,
For I have murder'd where I should not kill. Exit with the body.
K. Hen. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with care,
Here sits a king more woeful than you are. Alarum. Excursions. Enter Queen MARGARET, the Prince of WALES, and EXETER. Prince. Fly, father, fly! for all your friends are fled,
And Warwick rages like a chafed bull.
Away! for death doth hold us in pursuit.
Q. Mar. Mount you, my lord; towards Berwick post amain.
Edward and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds
Having the fearful flying hare in sight,
With fiery eyes sparkling for very wrath,
And bloody steel grasp'd in their ireful hands,
Are at our backs; and therefore hence amain!
Exe. Away for vengeance comes along with
Nay, stay not to expostulate; make speed,
Or else come after: I'll away before.
K. Hen. Nay, take me with thee, good sweet
Not that I fear to stay, but love to go Whither the queen intends. Forward! away! Exeunt.
SCENE VI. Another Part of the Field. A loud alarum. Enter CLIFFORD, wounded. Clif. Here burns my candle out; ay, here it dies, Which, whiles it lasted, gave King Henry light. O Lancaster! I fear thy overthrow More than my body's parting with my soul. My love and fear glued many friends to thee; And, now I fall, thy tough commixture melts, Impairing Henry, strengthening misproud York : The common people swarm like summer flies; And whither fly the gnats but to the sun? And who shines now but Henry's enemies? O Phoebus! hadst thou never given consent That Phaethon should check thy fiery steeds, Thy burning car never had scorch'd the earth; And, Henry, hadst thou sway'd askings should do, Or as thy father and his father did, Giving no ground unto the house of York, They never then had sprung like summer flies; I and ten thousand in this luckless realm Had left no mourning widows for our death, And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace. For what doth cherish weeds but gentle air? 21 And what makes robbers bold but too much lenity?
Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds;
No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight:
The foe is merciless, and will not pity;
For at their hands I have deserv'd no pity.
The air hath got into my deadly wounds,
And much effuse of blood doth make me faint.
Come, York and Richard, Warwick and the rest;
I stabb'd your fathers' bosoms, split my breast.
He faints. 31
Alarum and retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE,
RICHARD, MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.
Edw. Now breathe we, lords: good fortune
bids us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful | York and young Rutland could not satisfy. looks.
Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen,
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
As doth a sail, fill'd with a fretting gust,
Command an argosy to stem the waves.
But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with
War. No, 'tis impossible he should escape;
For, though before his face I speak the words,
Your brother Richard mark'd him for the grave;
And wheresoe'er he is, he's surely dead.
CLIFFORD groans and dies.
Edw. Whose soul is that which takes her
Rich. A deadly groan, like life and death's departing.
Edw. See who it is: and, now the battle's ended,
If friend or foe let him be gently us'd.
Rich. Revoke that doom of mercy, for 'tis
Who not contented that he lopp'd the branch
In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
But set his murdering knife unto the root
From whence that tender spray did sweetly
I mean our princely father, Duke of York.
War. From off the gates of York fetch down
Your father's head, which Clifford placed there;
Instead whereof let this supply the room:
Measure for measure must be answered.
Edw. Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to
That nothing sung but death to us and ours:
Now death shall stop his-dismal threatening
And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.
Attendants bring the body forward.
War. I think his understanding is bereft.
Speak, Clifford; dost thou know who speaks to
Dark cloudy death o'ershades his beams of life,
And he nor sees nor hears us what we say.
Rich. O! would he did; and so perhaps he
'Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
Because he would avoid such bitter taunts
Which in the time of death he gave our father.
Geo. If so thou think'st, vex him with eager
Rich. Clifford ! ask mercy and obtain no grace.
Edw. Clifford! repent in bootless penitence. 70
War. Clifford ! devise excuses for thy faults.
Geo. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.
Rich. Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.
Edw. Thou pitied'st Rutland; I will pity thee.
Geo. Where's Captain Margaret, to fence you
War. They mock thee, Clifford: swear as thou
Rich. What! not an oath? nay, then the world
When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath.
I know by that he's dead; and, by my soul,
If this right hand would buy two hours' life, 80
That I in all despite might rail at him,
This hand should chop it off, and with the issuing
Stifle the villain whose unstanched thirst
War. Ay, but he's dead: off with the traitor's
And rear it in the place your father's stands.
And now to London with triumphant march,
There to be crowned England's royal king.
From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to
And ask the Lady Bona for thy queen.
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together;
And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not
The scatter'd foe that hopes to rise again ;
For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,
Yet look to have them buzz to offend thine ears.
First will I see the coronation;
And then to Brittany I'll cross the sea,
To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.
Edw. Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let
For in thy shoulder do I build my seat,
And never will I undertake the thing
Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
Richard, I will create thee Duke of Gloucester;
And George, of Clarence; Warwick, as ourself,
Shall do and undo as him pleaseth best.
Rich. Let me be Duke of Clarence, George of
For Gloucester's dukedom is too ominons.
War. Tut! that's a foolish observation:
Richard, be Duke of Gloucester. Now to London,
To see these honours in possession. Excunt. 110
SCENE I-A Chase in the North of England.
Enter two Keepers, with cross-bows in their hands.
First Keep. Under this thick-grown brake we'll
For through this laund anon the deer will come;
And in this covert will we make our stand,
Culling the principal of all the deer.
Second Keep. I'll stay above the hill, so both
First Keep. That cannot be; the noise of
Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.
Here stand we both, and aim we at the best :
And, for the time shall not seem tedious,
I'll tell thee what befell me on a day
In this self place where now we mean to stand.
Second Keep. Here comes a man; let's stay
Enter King HENRY, disguised, with a prayer-book.
K. Hen. From Scotland am I stol'n, even of
To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
No, Harry, Harry, 'tis no land of thine;
Thy place is fill'd, thy sceptre wrung from thee,
Thy balm wash'd off wherewith thou wast
No bending knee will call thee Cæsar now,
No humble suitors press to speak for right,
No, not a man comes for redress of thee;
For how can I help them, and not myself?
First Keep. Ay, here's a deer whose skin's a
This is the quondam king; let's seize upon him.
K. Hen. Let me embrace thee, sour adversity, For wise men say it is the wisest course. Second Keep. Why linger we? let us lay hands upon him.
First Keep. Forbear awhile; we 'll hear a little
K. Hen. My queen and son are gone to France for aid;
And, as I hear, the great commanding Warwick
Is thither gone, to crave the French king's sister
To wife for Edward. If this news be true,
Poor queen and son, your labour is but lost;
For Warwick is a subtle orator,
And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.
By this account then Margaret may win him,
For she's a woman to be pitied much:
Her sighs will make a battery in his breast;
Her tears will pierce into a marble heart;
The tiger will be mild whiles she doth mourn;
And Nero will be tainted with remorse,
To hear and see her plaints, her brinish tears.
Ay, but she's come to beg; Warwick, to give ;
She on his left side craving aid for Henry,
He on his right asking a wife for Edward.
She weeps, and says her Henry is depos'd;
He smiles, and says his Edward is install'd;
That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no
And you were sworn true subjects unto me : And tell me then, have you not broke your caths? First Keep. No;
For we were subjects but while you were king. K. Ilen. Why, am I dead? do I not breathe a man?
Ah! simple men, you know not what you swear.
Look! as I blow this feather from my face,
And as the air blows it to me again,
Obeying with my wind when I do blow,
And yielding to another when it blows,
Commanded always by the greater gust;
Such is the likeness of you common men.
But do not break your oaths; for of that sin s
My mild entreaty shall not make you guilty.
Go where you will, the king shall be commanded;
And be you kings: command, and I'll obey.
First Keep. We are true subjects to the king,
K. Hen. So would you be again to Henry,
If he were seated as King Edward is.
First Keep. We charge you, in God's name, and the king's,
To go with us unto the officers.
K. Hen. In God's name, lead; your king's name be obey'd:
And what God will, that let your king perform; And what he will, I humbly yield unto. Exeunt,
SCENE II.-London. A Room in the Palace. Enter King EDWARD, GLOUCESTER, CLARENCE, and Lady GREY.
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. Nay, whip me then; | Your highness aims at, if I aim aright.
he'll rather give her two.
L. Grey. Three, my most gracious lord.
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. You shall have
four, if you 'll be rul'd by him.
K. Edw. "Twere pity they should lose their father's lands.
L. Grey. Be pitiful, dread lord, and grant it then. K. Edw. Lords, give us leave: I'll try this widow's wit.
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. Ay, good leave have
you; for you will have leave,
Till youth take leave and leave you to the crutch.
GLOUCESTER and CLARENCE stand apart.
K. Edw. Now tell me, madam, do you love
L. Grey. Ay, full as dearly as I love myself. K. Edw. And would you not do much to do them good?
L. Grey. To do them good I would sustain some harm.
K. Edw. Then get your husband's lands, to do them good.
L. Grey. Therefore I came unto your majesty. K. Edw. I'll tell you how these lands are to be got.
L. Grey. The fruits of love I mean, my loving
K. Edw. Ay, but, I fear me, in another sense. What love think'st thou I sue so much to get?
L. Grey. My love till death, my humble thanks, my prayers:
That love which virtue begs and virtue grants. K. Edw. No, by my troth, I did not mean such love.
L. Grey. Why, then you mean not as I thought you did.
K. Edw. But now you partly may perceive my mind.
L. Grey. My mind will never grant what I perceive
K. Edw. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
L. Grey. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
K. Edw. Why, then thou shalt not have thy husband's lands.
L. Grey. Why, then mine honesty shall be
For by that loss I will not purchase them.
K. Edw. Therein thou wrong'st thy children
L. Grey. Herein your highness wrongs both
them and me.
L. Grey. So shall you bind me to your highness' service.
K. Edw. What service wilt thou do me, if I give them?
L. Grey. What you command, that rests in
me to do.
K. Edw. But you will take exceptions to my boon.
L. Grey. No, gracious lord, except I cannot do it.
K. Edw. Ay, but thou canst do what I mean
L. Grey. Why, then I will do what your grace
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. He plies her hard;
and much rain wears the marble.
Clar. Aside to GLOUCESTER. As red as fire!
nay, then her wax must melt.
L. Grey. Why stops my lord? shall I not hear
K. Edw. An easy task: 'tis but to love a king. L. Grey. That's soon perform'd, because I am a subject.
K. Edw. Why then, thy husband's lands I
freely give thee.
L. Grey. I take my leave with many thousand
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. The match is
made; she seals it with a court'sy.
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a bachelor,
Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
K. Edw. But stay thee; 'tis the fruits of love Answer no more, for thou shalt be my queen.
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. The ghostly father
now hath done his shrift.
Clar. Aside to GLOUCESTER. When he was
made a shriver, 'twas for shift.
K. Edw. Brothers, you muse what chat we two have had.
Glou. The widow likes it not, for she looks very sad.
K. Edw. You'd think it strange if I should
But, mighty lord, this merry inclination
Accords not with the sadness of my suit:
Please you dismiss me, either with 'ay' or 'no.'
K. Edw. Ay, if thou wilt say 'ay' to my request;
No, if thou dost say 'no' to my demand.
L. Grey. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at
Glou. Aside to CLARENCE. The widow likes
him not, she knits her brows.
Clar. Aside to GLOUCESTER. He is the
bluntest wooer in Christendom.
K. Edw. Aside. Her looks do argue her replete
Her words do show her wit incomparable;
All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
One way or other, she is for a king;
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.
Say that King Edward take thee for his queen?
L. Grey. "Tis better said than done, my
I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.
K. Edw. Sweet widow, by my state I swear
I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.
L. Grey. And that is more than I will yield unto.
I know I am too mean to be your queen,
And yet too good to be your concubine.
K. Edw. You cavil, widow: I did mean, my
L. Grey. "Twill grieve your grace my sons should call you father.
K. Edw. No more than when my daughters call thee mother.
Clar. To whom, my lord?
Why, Clarence, to myself.
Glou. That would be ten days' wonder at the
Clar. That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
Glou. By so much is the wonder in extremes.