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And disinherited thine only son.
Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me. If you be king, why should not I succeed ?
K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret ; pardon me, sweet
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforc'd me.
Q. Mar. Enforc'd thee ! art thou king, and wilt be
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah ! timorous wretch;
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me;
And given unto the house of York such head
As thou shalt reign but by their sufferance.
To entail him and his heirs unto the crown,
What is it but to make thy sepulchre,
And creep into it far before thy time?
Warwick is chancellor and the lord of Calais;
Stern Faulconbridge commands the narrow seas ;
The duke is made protector of the realm;
And yet shalt thou be safe ? such safety finds
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 repeald
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 is ready ; come, we 'll after them.
K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me
Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already: get
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 of WALES. K. Hen. Poor queen! how love to me and to her son Hath made her break out into terms of rage. Reveng'd 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.
ne, cousin ; you shall be the messenger. Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.
SCENE II.-A Room in Sandal Castle, near
Wakefield. 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 would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
Rich. No; God forbid your grace should be for
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you 'll hear me
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 to 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, 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
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. Exit.
Enter Sir John and Sir Hugh MORTIMER.
York. Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine
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
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, 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, When as the enemy hath been ten to one: Why should I not now have the like success?
SCENE III.-Field of Battle between Sandal Castle
and Wakefield. Alarums. Excursions. Enter RUTLAND and his
Rut. Ah ! whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands? Ah ! tutor, look, where bloody Clifford comes.
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.
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 threatening look.
Sweet Clifford ! hear me speak before I die :
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath;
Be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live.