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I dare your quenchless fury to more rage;
I am your butt, and I abide your shot,
North. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Clif. Ay, to such mercy, as his ruthless arm,
With downright payment, shew'd unto my father.
Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noon-tide prick'.
York. My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you
And, in that hope, I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whate'er you can afflict me with.
Why come you not? what! multitudes, and fear?|
Clif. So cowards fight, when they can fly no
So doves do peck the faulcon's piercing talons: So desperate thieves, all hopeless of their lives, Breathe out invectives 'gainst the officers.
York. O, Clifford, but bethink thee once again, And in thy thought o'er-run my former time: And, if thou can'st for blushing, view this face; And bite thy tongue, that slanders him with cowardice,
Made issue from the bosom of the boy: And, if thine eyes can water for his death, I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal. Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly, I should lament thy miserable state. pr'ythee, grieve, to make me merry, York. What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd thine entrails, That not a tear could fall for Rutland's death? Why art thou patient,man? thou should'st be mad; And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus. Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance. Thou wouldst be fee'd, I see, to make me sport; York cannot speak, unless he wear a crown.A crown for York;-and, lords, bow low to him.15 Hold up his hands, whilst I do set it on.
Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere
Clif. I will not bandy with thee word for word;
But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.
Queen. Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand
I would prolong a while the traitor's life:-[causes,
Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northum-
North. Hold, Clifford ! do not honour him so
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart:
What valour were it, when a cur doth grin,
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he might spurn him with his foot away?
It is war's prize to take all vantages;
And ten to one is no impeach of valour.
[Putting a paper crown on his head.
Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king!
Ay, this is he that took king Henry's chair;
And this is he was his adopted heir.-
But how is it, that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath ?
As I bethink me, you should not be king,
'Till our king Henry had shook hands with death.
And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 'tis a fault too too unpardonable!—
Off with the crown; and, with the crown, his head ;
And, whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.
Clif. That is my office, for my father's death.
Queen. Nay,stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.
York. She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's
35 How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex,
To triumph, like an Amazonían trull,
Upon their woes, whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face is, vizor-like, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
[They lay hands on York, who struggles. Clif.Ay,ay,so strives the woodcock with the gin. North. So doth the coney struggle in the net. 40 [York is taken prisoner.
York. So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd
So true men yield, with robbers so o'er-match'd. North. What would your grace have done unto 45 [berland,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush:
To tell thee whence thou cam'st, of whom deriv'd,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou
Thy father bears the type of king of Naples,
Of both the Sicils, and Jerusalem;
Yet not so wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hath that poor monarch taught thee to insult?
It needs not, nor it boots thee not, proud queen,
Unless the adage must be verify'd,-
50 That beggars, mounted, run their horse to death.
'Tis beauty, that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small:
'Tis virtue that doth make them most admir'd;
The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at;
55 'Tis government, that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable:
Thou art as opposite to every good,
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Queen. Brave warriors, Clifford and Northum-
Come make him stand upon this mole-hill here;
Thatraught at mountains with out-stretched arms
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.—
What! was it you, that would be England's king?
Was't you, that revell'd in our parliament,
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons, to back you now?
The wanton Edward, and the lusty George?
And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky your boy, that, with his grumbling voice,
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland
Look, York; I stain'd this napkin' with the blood 60
That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point,
Or, noon-tide point on the dial. participle passive of reach. of temper, and decency of manners.
Or as the south to the septentrion.
Oh, tyger's heart, wrapp'd in a woman's hide!
How could'st thou dram the life-blood of the child,
i. e. that reach'd, raught being the ancient preterite and ? A napkin is a handkerchief. Government here signifies evenness To
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal,
And yet be seen to bear a woman's face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bidst thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy
Forraging wind blows up incessant showers, [will.
And, when the rage allays, the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies;
And every drop cries vengeance for his death.10I
'Gainst thee,fell Clifford,-and thee, false French-
North. Beshrew me, but his passions move me so,
That hardly can I check mine eyes from tears.
York. That face of his the hungry cannibals
Would not have touch'd, would not have stain'd
But you are more inhuman, more inexorable,-
O, ten times more,-than tygers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears:
This cloth thou dipp'st in blood of my sweet boy,
And lo! with tears I wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this:
He gives back the handkerchief.
And, if thou tell'st the heavy story right,
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears;
Yea, even my foe will shed fast-falling tears,
And say,-Alas, it was a piteous deed! [curse;
There, take the crown, and with the crown, my
And, in thy need, such comfort come to thee,
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand !---
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!
North. Had he been slaughter-man to all my kin,
should not for my life but weep with him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.
Queen. What, weeping ripe, my lord Northum-
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
Clif. Here's for my oath, here's for my father's
[Stabbing him. Queen. And here's to right our gentle-hearted king. [Stubs him. York. Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!— My soul flies through these wounds to seek out [Dies.
Queen. Off with his head, and set it on York gates; So York may overlook the town of York.
Edw. Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?
Rich. Three glorious suns, each one a perfect
Not separated by the racking clouds',
But sever'd in a pale clear-shining sky.
See, see! they join, embrace, and seem to kiss,
As if they vow'd some league inviolable:
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event. [heard of.
Edw. 'Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never
I think, it cites us, brother, to the field;
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Each one already blazing by our meeds',
45 Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together,
And over-shine the earth, as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, henceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.
Near Mortimer's Cross in Wales.
Amarch. Enter Edward, Richard,and their power.
Edw. Wonder, how our princely father 'scap'd;
Or whether he be 'scap'd away, or no,
From Clifford's and Northumberland's pursuit:
Had he been ta'en, we should have heard the news; 40
Had he been slain, we should have heard the news;
Or, had he 'scap'd, methinks we should have heard
The happy tidings of his good escape.—
How fares our brother? why is he so sad?
Rich. I cannot joy, until I be resolv'd
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle range about;
And watch'd him, how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought he bore him in the thickest troop,
As doth a lion in a herd of neat ;
Or as a bear, encompass'd round with dogs;
Who having pinch'd a few, and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
So far'd our father with his enemies;
So fled his enemies my warlike father;
Methinks, 'tis prize' enough to be his son.
See, how the morning opes her golden gates,
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun!
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a yonker, prancing to his love!
Rich. Nay, bear three daughters;-by your
leave I speak it,
You love the breeder better than the male.
Enter a Messenger.
But what art thou, whose heavy looks foretel
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue?
Mes. Ah, one that was a woeful looker-on,
When as the noble duke of York was slain,
Your princely father, and my loving lord.
Edw. Oh, speak no more! for I have heard too much.
Rich. Say how he died, for I will hear it all.
Meaning, the clouds as they are driven by the winds; from racke,
Belg. a track. i. e. illustrious and shining by the armorial ensigns granted us as meeds or rewards
Mes. Environed he was with many foes;
And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks, that would have enter'd Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber'd oak.
By many hands your father was subdu'd;
But only slaughter'd by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford, and the queen:
Who crown'd the gracious duke in high despight;
Laugh'd in his face; and, when with grief he wept,
The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks,
A napkin, steep'd in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutland, by rough Clifford slain
And, after many scorns, many foul taunts,
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same; and there it doth remain,
The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.
Edw.Sweet duke of York, our prop to lean upon;
Now thou art gone, we have no staff, no stay!-
Oh Clifford, boist'rous Clifford, thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his chivalry;
And treacherously hast thou vanquish'd him,
For, hand to hand, he would have vanquish'dthee!--
soul's palace is become a prison:
Ah, would she break from hence! that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest:
For never henceforth shall I joy again,
Never, O never, shall I see more joy.
Where your brave father breath'd his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the post could run,
Were brought me of your loss, and his depart.
I then in London, keeper of the king,
5 Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
And very well appointed, as I thought, [queen,
March'd towards Saint Alban's to intercept the
Bearing the king in my behalf along:
For by my scouts I was advertised,
10 That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament,
Touching king Henry's oath, and your succession.
Short tale to make, we at Saint Alban's met,
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen;
Or whether 'twas report of her success;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
20 Who thunders to his captives-blood and death,
I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers'-like the night owl's lazy flight,
Or like an idle thresher with a flail,-
Rich. I cannot weep; for all my body's moisture 30
Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart:
Nor can my tongue unload my heart'sgreatburden;
For self-saine wind, that I should speak withal,
Is kindling coals, that fire all my breast, [quench.
And burn me up with flames, that tears would 35
To weep, is to make less the depth of grief:
Tears, then, for babes; blows and revenge, for
Richard, I bear thy name, I'll venge thy death,
Or die renowned by attempting it. [thee; 40
Edw. His name that valiant duke hath left with
His dukedom and his chair with me is left.
Rich. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird,
Shew thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun:
For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say;45)
Either that is thine, or else thou wert not his.
March. Enter Warwick, Marquis of Montague,
and their army.
War. How now, fair lords? What fare? what
Rich. Great lord of Warwick, if we should re-
Ourbaneful news, and, at each word's deliverance,
Stab poniards in our flesh, 'till all were told,
Thewordswould add moreanguishthanthewounds.
O valiant lord, the duke of York is slain.
Edw. O Warwick! Warwick! that Plantagenet,
Which held thee dearly, as his soul's redemption,
Is by the stern lord Clifford done to death 1.
War.Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears:
And now, to add more measure to your woes,
I come to tell you things since then befall'n.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
▸ Done to death for killed, was a common
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of the cause,
With promise of high pay, and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
So that we fled; the king, unto the queen;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard, you were,
Making another head to fight again. [wick?
Edu. Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle War-
And when came George from Burgundy to Eng-
War. Some six miles off the duke is with his
And for your brother, he was lately sent
From your kind aunt, dutchess of Burgundy,
With aid of soldiers to this needful war. [iled:
Rich.'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire. [hear;
War. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou
For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine
Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
And wring the awful sceptre from his fist,
Were he as famous and as bold in war,
As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.
Rich. I know it well, lord Warwick: blame
Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak.
But, in this troublous time, what's to be done?
55 Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns
Numb'ring our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
60 If for the last, say-Ay, and to it, lords. [you out;
War. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
expression long before Shakspeare's time.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
With Clifford, and the haught' Northumberland,
And, of their feather, many more proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament:
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath, and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong:
Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen can procure,
Will but amount to five-and-twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London will we march amain;
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
And once again cry-Charge upon the foe!
But never once again turn back, and tiy.
Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I heard great War-
Ne'er may he live to see a sun-shine day,
That cries-Retire, when Warwick bids him stay.
Edw. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.—
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
Nor wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity,
5 And harmful pity, must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that, the forest bear doth lick?
Not his, that spoils her young before her face.
10 Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on;
And doves will peck, in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
And when thou fail'st, (as God forbid the hour!) 25
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend!
War. No longer earl of March, but duke of
The next degree is, England's royal king:
Por king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd
In every borough as we pass along:
And he, that casts not up his cap for joy,
Shall for the offence make forfeit of his head.
King Edward,-valiant Richard,-Montague,-
Stay we no longer dreaming of renown,
But sound the trumpets, and about our task.
Rich. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard
(As thou hast shewn it flinty by thy deeds)
I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.
Edw. Then strike up, drums;-God, and Saint
George, for us!
Enter a Messenger.
War. How now? what news?
Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by
The queen is coming with a puissant host;
And craves your company for speedy counsel.
War. Why then it sorts, brave warriors: Let's
Enter King Henry, the Queen, the Prince of Wales,
Clifford, and Northumberland, with forces.
Queen. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town
Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy,
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown;
Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord
K. Henry. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear
their wreck ;-
15 Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;
Thou, being a king, blest with a goodly son,
Didst yield consent to disinherit him,
20 Which argued thee a most unloving father.
Unreasonable creatures feed their young:
And though man's face be fearful to their eyes,
Yet, in protection of their tender ones,
Who hath not seen them (even with those wings
Which sometime they have us'd in fearful flight)
Make war with him that climb'd unto their nest,
Offering their own lives in their young's defence?
For shame, my liege, make them your precedent!
Were it not pity, that this goodly boy
30 Should lose his birth-right by his father's fault;
And long hereafter say unto his child,—
"What my great grandfather and grandsire got,
"My careless father fondly gave away?"
Ah, what a shame were this! Look on the boy;
35 And let his manly face, which promiseth
Successful fortune, steel thy melting heart,
To hold thine own, and leave thine own with him.
K. Henry. Full well hath Clifford play'd the
40 Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,—
That things ill got had ever bad success?
And happy always was it for that son,
Whose father for his hoarding went to hell??
I'll leave my son my virtuous deeds behind;
And 'would, my father had left me no more!
For all the rest is held at such a rate,
As brings a thousand fold more care to keep,
Than in possession any jot of pleasure.- [know,
50 Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did
How it doth grieve me that thy head is here!
Queen. My lord, cheer up your spirits; our foes are nigh,
And this soft courage makes your followers faint. 55 You promis'd knighthood to our forward son; Unsheath your sword, and dub him presently.Edward, kneel down.
2 Meaning, Why then things are as they should be. This alludes to the common proverb of "Happy the child whose father went to the devil."
Clif. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Royal commanders, be in readiness:
For, with a band of thirty thousand men,
Comes Warwick, backing of the duke of York; 5
And, in the towns as they do march along,
Proclaims him king, and many fly to him:
Darraign' your battle, for they are at hand.
Clif. I would, your highness would depart the
queen hath best success when you are absent.
Queen. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our
K.Henry.Why, that's my fortune too: therefore
North. Be it with resolution then to fight.
Prince. My royal father, cheer these noble
And hearten those that fight in your defence:
Unsheath your sword, good father; cry, Saint
March. Enter Edward, Clarence, Richard, War-
wick, Norfolk, Montagu, and Soldiers.
Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry! wilt thou kneel
And set thy diadem upon my head;
Or bide the mortal fortune of the field?
Queen.Gorate thy minions,proud insulting boy!
Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms,
Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king?
Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled. War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove [you stay.
North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make
Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently;
Break off the parley; for scarce I can refrain
The execution of my big-swoln heart
Upon that Clifford there, that cruel child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy father; Call'st thou him a child?
Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and treacherous
As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland;
But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed,
K. Henry. Have done with words, my lords,
and hear me speak.
Queen. Defy them then, or else hold close thy
K. Henry. I pr'ythee, give no limits to my
I am a king, and privileg'd to speak.
Clif. My liege, the wound, that bred this meet-
Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword:
By Him that made us all, I am resolv’d',
That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
Edw. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no?
A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day,
That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown.
War. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head;
Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his 30 For York in justice puts his armour on.
Prince. If that be right, which Warwick says
There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Rich. Whoever got thee, there thy mother
For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue. Queen. But thou art neither like thy sire, nor dam;
But like a foul mis-shapen stigmatic, [thee, 40 Mark'd by the destinies to be avoided, As venom'd toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.
Clif. Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer Or any he the proudest of thy sort.
Rich. "Twas you that kill'd young Rutland,
Clif Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfy'd. 45
Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the
War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield
Queen. Why, how now, long-tongu'd Warwick?
dare you speak?
When you and I met at Saint Alban's last,
Your legs did better service than your hands'.
War. Then 'twas my turn to fly, and now 'tis
Rich. Iron of Naples, bid with English gilt,
Whose father bears the title of a king,
(As if a channel should be call'd the sea,) [traught,
Sham'st thou not, knowing whence thou art ex-
To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?
Edw. A wisp of straw were worth a thou
To make this shameless callat' know herself.|50|Helen of Greece was fairer far than thou,
Although thy husband may be Menelaus;
And ne'er was Agamemnon's brother wrong'd
By that false woman, as this king by thee.
His father revell'd in the heart of France,
That is, Range your host. Alluding to the proverb, " One pair of heels is worth two pair of hands." i. e. it is my firm persuasion. A stigmatic is said to have been a notorious lewd fellow, who hath been burnt with a hot iron, or beareth other marks about him as a token of his punishment. Gilt is a superficial covering of gold. Mr. Steevens comments on this passage thus: Barrett in his Alvearic, or Quadruple Dictionary, 1580, interprets the word wispe by peniculus, which signifies any thing to wipe or cleanse with; a cook's linen apron, &c. Pewter is still scoured by a wispe of straw, or hay. Perhaps, Edward means one of these wisps, as the denotement of a menial servant. Barrett adds, that, like a wase, it signifies "a wreath to be laied under the vessel that is borne upon the head, as women use." If this be its true sense, the prince may think that such a wisp would better become the head of Margaret, than a crown. Mr. Steevens afterwards adds, that “ a wispe was the punishment of a scold.” Callat, a lewd woman, a drab,