Page images

K. Hen. Ah, know you not, the city favours them, And they have troops of soldiers at their beck ? Exe. But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly

K. Hen. Far be the thought of this from Henry's

To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats,
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.

[They advance to the duke.
Thou factious duke of York, descend my throne,
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.

Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine. · Ere. For shame, come down; he made thee duke

of York. York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was. Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown. War. Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, In following this usurping Henry. Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural

king? · War. True, Clifford ; and that's Richard, duke

of York. K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my · throne ?

York. It must and shall be so. Content thyself. War. Be duke of Lancaster, let him be king. -- West. He is both king and duke of Lancaster; And that the lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.

War. And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget, That we are those, which chas'd you from the field, And slew your fathers, and with colours spread Mareh'd through the city to the palace gates. • North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my

'grief; And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.

West. Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons, Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives, Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.

*Clif. Urge it no more : lest that, instead of words, I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger, As shall revenge his death, before I stir. War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless

threats: York. Will you, we show our title to the crown? If not, our swords shall plead it in the field. · K. Hen. What title hast thou, traitor, to the

crown? Thy father was, as thou art, duke of York ; Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, earl of March : I am the son of Henry the fifth, Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop, And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces. War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it

all. K. Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I; When I was crown'd, I was but nine months old. Rich. You are old enough now, and yet, methinks

you lose : Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.

Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head. Mont. Good brother, [To York.] as thou loy’st

• and honour'st arms, Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus. Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king

will fly. York. Sons, peace ! K. Hen. Peace thou! and give king Henry leave

to speak. War. Plantagenet shall speak first :- hear him,

lords ;

[blocks in formation]

And be you silent and attentive too,
For he, that interrupts him, shall not live.
K. Hen. Think'st thou, that I will leave my kingly

throne, Wherein my grandsire, and my father sat? No: first shall war unpeople this my realm; • Ay, and their colours often borne in France; And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow, Shall be my winding sheet.—Why faint you, lords? • My title's good, and better far than his. War. But prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king. K. Hen. Henry the fourth by conquest got the

crown. York. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.

K. Hen. I know not what to say ; my title's weak. Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?

York. What then? ir K. Hen. An if he may, then am I lawful king : • For Richard, in the view of many lords, Resign'd the crown to Henry the fourth ; Whose heir my father was, and I am his.

York. He rose against him, being his sovereign, And made him to resign his crown perforce.

War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd, Think you, 'twere prejudicial to his crown?

Exe. No; for he could not so resign his crown, But that the next heir should succeed and reign.

K. Hen. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter? Ere. His is the right, and therefore pardon me. * York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer

not? Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful king. K. Hen. All will revolt from me, and turn to him. North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st, Think not, that Henry shall be so depos’d. "_ prejudicial to his crown?] i. e. to the prerogative of the


War. Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all. North. Thou art deceiv'd : 'tis not thy southern

power, • Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent, Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud, Can set the duke up, in despite of me.

Clif. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong, Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence: May that ground gape, and swallow me alive, • Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father! K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my

heart! York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown :What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

War. Do right unto this princely duke of York; Or I will fill the house with armed men, And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits, Write up his title with usurping blood.

[He stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves. K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one

word; Let me, for this my life-time, reign as king. York, Confirm the crown to me, and to mine

heirs, And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.

K. Hen. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy my kingdom after my decease.

Clif. What wrong is this unto the prince your son ?
War. What good is this to England, and himself?
West. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry !
Clif. How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us?
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
North. Nor I.
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell thequeen these news.
* West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate

king, * In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.

[EveL WESTMORF, Henry, a

North. Be thou a prey unto the house of York, "And die in bands for this unmanly deed!..

Clif. In dreadful war may’st thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandon'd, and despis'd ! [Exeunt NORTHUMBERLAND, CLIFFORD, and

WESTMORELAND. *War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not. Ere. They seek revenge, and therefore will not

yield. K. Hen. Ah, Exeter! War.

Why should you sigh, my lord ? K. Hen. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my son, Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit. But, be it as it may :-I here entail · The crown to thee, and to thine heirs for ever; Conditionally, that here thou take an oath To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live, To honour me as thy king and sovereign ; * And neither by treason, nor hostility, * To seek to put me down, and reign thyself. . York. This oath I willingly take, and will perform.

ming from the Throne. · War. Long live king Henry !--Plantagenet, em

brace him. 'K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy for

ward sons! York. Now York and Lancaster are reconcild. : Exe. Accurs'd be he, that seeks to make them

foes ! [Senet. The Lords come forward. *York. Farewell, my gracious lord ; I'll to my

castle. War. And I'll keep London, with my soldiers.

5 They seek revenge,] They go away, not because they doubt the justice of this determination, but because they have been conquered, and seek to be revenged. They are not influenced by principle, but passion.

I'll to my castle.] Sandal Castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.

« PreviousContinue »