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War. I love no colours;" and, without all colour Of base insinuating flattery, I pluck this white rose, with Plantagenet. Suf. I pluck this red rose, with


And say withal, I think he held the right.
Ver. Stay, lords, and gentlemen; and pluck no

Till you conclude—that he, upon whose side
The fewest roses are cropp'd from the tree,
Shall yield the other in the right opinion.

Som. Good master Vernon, it is well objected;8 If I have fewest, I subscribe in silence.

Plan. And I.

Ver. Then, for the truth and plainness of the case, I pluck this pale, and maiden blossom here, Giving my verdict on the white rose side.

Som. Prick not your finger as you pluck it off;
Lest, bleeding, you do paint the white rose red,
And fall on my side so against your will.

Ver. If I, my lord, for my opinion bleed,
Opinion shall be surgeon to my hurt,
And keep me on the side where still I am.

Som. Well, well, come on: Who else?

Law. Unless my study and my books be false, The argument you held, was wrong in you;

[TO SOMERSET. In sign whereof, I pluck a white rose too.

Plan. Now, Somerset, where is your argument?

Som. Here, in my scabbard; meditating that, Shall die your white rose in a bloody red. Plan. Mean time, your cheeks do counterfeit our

roses; For pale they look with fear, as witnessing

7 I love no colours ;] Colours is here used ambiguously for tints and deceits.

8 — well objected ;) Properly thrown in our way, justly proposed.

The truth on our side.

No, Plantagenet,
'Tis not for fear; but anger,—that thy cheeks
Blush for pure shame, to counterfeit our roses;
And yet thy tongue will not confess thy error.

Plan. Hath not thy rose a canker, Somerset ?
Som. Hath not thy rose a thorn, Plantagenet?
Plan. Ay, sharp and piercing, to maintain his

truth; Whiles thy consuming canker eats his falsehood. Som. Well, I'll find friends to wear iny bleeding

roses, That shall maintain what I have said is true, Where false Plantagenet dare not be seen.

Plan. Now, by this maiden blossom in my hand, I scorn thee and thy fashion, peevish boy.

Suf. Turn not thy scorns this way, Plantagenet. Plan. Proud Poole, I will; and scorn both him

and thee.
Suf. I'll turn my part thereof into thy throat.
Som. Away, away, good William De-la-Poole!
We grace the yeoman, by conversing with him.
War. Now, by God's will, thou wrong'st him,

His grandfather was Lionel, duke of Clarence,
Third son to the third Edward king of England;
Spring crestless yeomen' from so deep a root?

Plan. He bears him on the place's privilege,
Or durst not, for his craven heart, say thus.
Som. By him that made me, I'll maintain my

words On any plot of ground in Christendom: Was not thy father, Richard, earl of Cambridge, For treason executed in our late king's days?

Crestless yeomen -] i. e. those who have no right to arms.

' He bears him on the place's privilege,) The Temple, being a religious house, was an asylum, a place of exemption, from violence, revenge, and bloodshed. Johnson.

And, by his treason, stand'st not thou attainted,
Corrupted, and exempt’ from ancient gentry?
His trespass yet lives guilty in thy blood;
And, till thou be restor'd, thou art a yeoman.

Plan. My father was attached, not attainted;
Condemn’d to die for treason, but no traitor;
And that I'll prove on better men than Somerset,
Were growing time once ripen'd to my will.
For your partaker Poole, and you yourself,
I'll note you in my book of memory,
To scourge you for this apprehension : *
Look to it well; and say you are well warn'd.

Som. Ay, thou shalt find us ready for thee still:
And know us, by these colours, for thy foes;
For these my friends, in spite of thee, shall wear.

Plan. And, by my soul, this pale and angry rose, As cognizance of my blood-drinking hate, , Will I for ever, and my faction, wear; Until it wither with me to my grave, Or flourish to the height of my degree. Suf. Go forward, and be chok'd with thy ambi

tion ! And so farewell, until I meet thee next. [Exit. Som. Have with thee, Poole.-Farewell, ambitious Richard.

[Exit. Plan. How I am brav'd, and must perforce en

dure it! War. This blot, that they object against your

Shall be wip'd out in the next parliament,
Call’d for the truce of Winchester and Gloster:
And, if thou be not then created York,

Corrupted, and exempt -) Exempt for excluded.

For your partaker Poole,] Partaker in ancient language sig. nifies one who takes part with another, an accomplice, a confederate.

* To scourge you for this apprehension:] Apprehension, i. e. opinion.

I will not live to be accounted Warwick.
Mean time, in signal of my love to thee,
Against proud Somerset, and William Poole,
Will I upon thy party wear this rose:
And here I prophecy,—This brawl to-day,
Grown to this faction, in the Temple garden,
Shall send, between the red rose and the white,
A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Plan. Good master Vernon, I am bound to you, That you on my behalf would pluck a flower.

Ver. In your behalf still will I wear the same.
Law. And so will I.

Plan. Thanks, gentle sir.
Come, let us four to dinner: I dare

say, This quarrel will drink blood another day. (Exeunt.

[blocks in formation]

Enter MORTIMER, brought in a Chair by Two

Keepers. Mor. Kind keepers of my weak decaying age, Let dying Mortimer here rest himself.Even like a man new haled from the rack, So fare my limbs with long imprisonment: And these grey locks, the pursuivants of death, Nestor-like aged, in an age of care, Argue the end of Edmund Mortimer. These eyes,-like lamps whose wasting oil is spent,Wax dim, as drawing to their exigent: Weak shoulders, overborne with burd’ning grief; And pithless arms, like to a wither'd vine

— pursuivants of death,] Pursuivants. The heralds that, forerunning death, proclaim its approach.

as drawing to their exigent:) Erigent, end.

That droops his sapless branches to the ground.-
Yet are these feet-whose strengthless stay is numb,
Unable to support this lump of clay,-
Swift-winged with desire to get a grave,
As witting I no other comfort have.-
But tell me, keeper, will my nephew come.

1 Keep. Richard Plantagenet, my lord, will come: We sent unto the Temple, to his chamber; And answer was return'd that he will come.

Mor. Enough; my soul shall then be satisfied.Poor gentleman! his wrong doth equal mine. Since Henry Monmouth first began to reign, (Before whose glory I was great in arms,) This loathsome sequestration have I had; And even since then hath Richard been obscur'd, Depriv'd of honour and inheritance: But now, the arbitrator of despairs, Just death, kind umpire? of men's miseries, With sweet enlargement doth dismiss me hence; I would, his troubles likewise were expir'd, That so he might recover what was lost.


Enter RICHARD PLANTAGENET. 1 Keep. My lord, your loving nephew now is Mor. Richard Plantagenet, my friend? Is he

come? Plan. Ay, noble uncle, thus ignobly us’d, Your nephew, late-despised® Richard, comes.

Mor. Direct mine arms, I may embrace his neck, And in his bosom spend my latter gasp: O, tell me, when my lips do touch his cheeks,


the arbitrator of despairs, Just death, kind umpire – ] That is, he that terminates or concludes misery. The expression is harsh, and forced. Johnson.

late-despised --] i. e. lately despised.


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