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[K. Edward.] Suppose they take offence without a cause,

They are but Lewi's and Warwick; I am Edward,
Your king and Warwick's, and must have my will.

What, brother Richard, you offended too ? [Gloster.] Not I:

No, heaven forbid that I should wish them sever'd
Whom God hath join'd together: nay, 'twere pity

To sunder such as yoke so well together. [K. Edward.] Setting your scorns and your mislike aside,

Give me some reason why the lady Grey
Should not have been my wife, and England's queen:

Say, Clarence, if you can. [Clarence.] Full well I can.

Because a French alliance would have strengthen'd

Our commonwealth ; this homebred marriage cannot. [K. Edward.] England is safe, if true within itself. [Clarence.] Yes; but the safer, being back’d by France.

Hastings advances and speaks. [Hastings.] Let us be back'd by heaven and by the seas,

Which heave'n hath given for fence impregnable ;
And with no other help defend ourselves :

In those, and in ourselves, our safety lies. [Clarence.) For that one speech, lord Hastings well de

The heiress of the lands of Hungerford. (serves
So does the brother of the royal bride
Deserve the wealthy daughter of lord Scales :

So does her son deserve lord Bonville's daughter. [K. Edward.] Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife

That thou art malecontent ? I will provide thee. (Clarence.] In choosing for yourself, you show'd a judge

Which, by your leave, shall not decide for me. (ment
I'll play the broker in mine own behalf,
And, to that end, I shortly mean to leave you.



[K. Edward.] Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be king.

- Make way there : let that man approach, and speak. Now, messenger, what letters, or what news

From France ? [Messenger.] My sovereign liege, no letters; and the words

Are such as I, without your special pardon,

Dare not repeat.
[K. Edward.) Go to; we pardon thee: be brief.
[Messenger.] Warwick, incens'd against your majesty,

E’en more than lady Bona, or king Lewis,
Dismiss'd me with these words :-“ Tell him from me

That he hath done me wrong; and I 'll uncrown him." [K. Edward.) Ha! durst the traitor breathe out words so

Well, I will arm me, being thus forewarn'd. (proud ?

But say, are Margaret and Warwick friends ? [Messenger.) Ay, gracious sovereign; and so link'd are

That young prince Edward is to marry Anne, [they,

His second daughter. At this moment, Clarence, following Somerset, hastily quits the presence : saying, [Clarence.] Brother mine, farewell! Clarence shall hence to Warwick's other daughter.

(a pause.) [K. Edward.] I rather would have foes than hollow friends,

Now, brother Richard, will you stand by us ? [Gloster.] Ay, in despite of all that shall withstand you. [K. Edward.] Hastings, will you ? and Montague, will you ?

And you ? and you? I ask of each, -will you ?
Why so; then I am sure of victory.
Now, therefore, let us hence; nor lose an hour

Till Warwick meet us with his foreign power.
We must pass by the intervening events,-the landing of
Warwick in England with Clarence, who had become his
son-in-law ; the near capture, and sudden escape of Ed-

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ward to Flanders ; the march of Warwick to London, and the reseating of Henry on the throne; the return of Edward, and the events which immediately followed his reappearance in arms ;—we must pass all this, till we reach a scene in which the poet places us on the walls of Coventry, at which spot the earl of Warwick is awaiting the junction of those who are pledged to make common cause with him against Edward: he speaks to the messengers and others : [Warwick.] Where is the post that came from valiant Ox

How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow ? [ford ? [Messenger.] By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward. [Warwick.] There was another post from brother Montague. (Second Mess.] 'Tis I, my lord : and I do bring you word,

He is by this at Da’ntry with his troop. [Warwick.] 'Tis well: and here is sír John Somerville.

-Speak, Somerville, what says my loving son;

And, by thy guess, how near us is he now? [Somerville.] My gracious lord, I left the duke of Clarence

At Southam; only two hours march from hence. (Warwick.] Then is he close at hand: hark! that's his

drum. [Somerville.] It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies :

The drum ,your lordship hears, marches from Warwick. [Warwick.] Who should it be? perchance, unlook’d-for They are at hand, and we shall quickly know. [friends.

[a pause.]
The colours look not of a friendly kind;
'Tis not the red rose which that banner spreads:
Oh, unbid spite! the sportful Edward comes.
Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduc'd,
That we have had no news of his approach ?
Stand we in good array: for they, no doubt,
Will bid us battle: hark! more foes, or friends :
Oh, cheerful colours ! see, where Oxford comes;
D’you hear that cry—“Oxford, Oxford for Lancaster.”


Oh, welcome, Oxford ! for we want thy help.
Another friendly cry ;-'tis Montague :
And see, just now in sight the valiant Somerset.
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.
And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps along,
Of force enough to bid his brother battle ;
With whom an ardent zeal for right prevails,
More than the nature of a brother's love. [a pause.]
Why doth he stay his force ? what would he now?
Come, Clarence, come: thou wilt, if Warwick calls.
There's something he would have us understand.
Can it be so ? The red rose in his cap
He hath remov’d; and see, he throws it at me.
Oh, passing traitor, perjur'd and unjust!
He joins his brother :-say, what counsel, lords ?
You know this city is of small defence:
Were it not best to march towa’rd Barnet, lords,

And there to bid them battle ? Say, lord Somerset. [Somerset.] Yes, Warwick; yes. No words: but lead the

Lords, to the field; and still hope victory. [way: Leaving the event of the next battle to be told by those who meet on the field of Tewkesbury to make the last struggle for the house of Lancaster, we now hasten to that event, and imagine queen Margaret and her son Edward surrounded by those who still adhere to their falling fortunes, on the morning of the fourth of May, in the year fourteen hundred and seventy-one. The queen addresses the noblemen around her :-prince Edward, Oxford, and Somerset are the other speakers. [Q. Margaret.] Wise men, my lords, ne'er sit and wail But cheerly seek redress.

[their loss,
Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?
And Montague our topmast; what of him ?
Why is not Oxford, here, another anchor ?
And Somerset, another goodly mast?
And though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge ?
We will not from the helm to sit and weep,

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But keep our course, though the rough winds say—no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with death.
As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
And what is Edward, but a ruthless sea ?
And Clarence, but a quicksand of deceit ?
And Richard, but a rugged fatal rock ?
And these the enemies of our poor bark.
Say you can swim; alas ! 'tis but awhile :
Tread on the sand; why there you quickly sink :
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
Or else you famish. Would you fly from us?
There is no hop'd-for mercy in the brothers
More than with ruthless waves, and sands, and rocks.
Why, courage, then! what cannot be avoided,

'Twere childish weakness to lament or fear. [P. Edward.] Methinks a coward, hearing words like these,

And from a woman too, must feel his breast
Swell with infused magnanimity.
I speak not this as doubting any here :
For did I but suspect a fearful man,
He should have leave to go away betimes,

Lest, in our need, he might infect another.
[Oxford.] Women and children of so high a courage,

And warriors faint ! why, 'twere perpetual shame.
O brave young prince! thy famous grandfather
Doth live again in thee: long may'st thou live

To bear his image, and renew his glories !
[Somerset.] Ay, my lord Oxford: he that will not fight

For such a hope, let him go home to bed. [Q. Margaret.] Thanks, gentle Somerset, and Oxford,

A mother's thanks, and his, who yet hath nothing,
Nothing but thanks to give! The foe comes on.
Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say
My tears impede: for every word I speak,
You see I drink the water of mine eyes :
Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,

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