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Grey. The fruits of love I mean, my loving liege.
K. Edw. Ay, but I fear me, in another sense.
What love, thinkst thou, I sue so much to get? 10
Grey. My love 'till death, my humble thanks,
[did. 15 Grey. Why, then you mean not as I thought you K.Edw. But now you partly may perceive my mind.
Grey. My mind will never grant what I perceive
Your highness aims at, if I aim aright.
K. Edw. To tell thee plain, I aim to lie with thee.
Grey. To tell you plain, I had rather lie in prison.
K. Edw. Why, then thou shalt not have thy
[er; Grey.Why, then mine honesty shall be my dow-25 For by that loss I will not purchase them.
K. Edw. Herein thou wrong'st thy children mightily. [and me. Grey. Herein your highness wrongs both them But, mighty lord, this merry inclination Accords not with the sadness of my suit; Please you dismiss me, either with ay, or no.
Glo. The widow likes it not, for she looks sad.
K. Ed. You'd think it strange, if I should
Clar. To whom, my lord? [marry her.
K. Edw. Why, Clarence, to myself.
Glo. That would be tendays' wonder,at the least.
Clar. That's a day longer than a wonder lasts.
Glo. By so much is the wonder in extremes.
K. Edw. Well, jest on, brothers: I can tell you
Her suit is granted for her husband's lands. [both,
Enter a Nobleman.
Nob. My gracious lord, Henry your foe is taken,
And brought as prisoner to your palace gate.
K. Edw. See that he be convey'd unto the
And go we, brothers, to the man that took him,
To question of his apprehension.— [ably.
Widow, go you along:-Lords, use her honour-
[Exeunt King, Lady, Clarence, and Lords.
Glo. Ay, Edward will use women honourably.
Would he were wasted, marrow, bones, and all,
That from his loins no hopeful branch may spring,
To cross me from the golden time I look for!
30 And yet, between my soul's desire and me,
(The lustful Edward's title buried)
K.Edw. Ay; if thou wilt say ay, to my request:
No; if thou dost say no, to my demand.
Grey. Then, no, my lord. My suit is at an end. 35
Glo. The widow likes him not, she knits her
Clar. He is the bluntest wooer in Christendom.
K. Edw. [Aside.] Her looks do argue her re-40
plete with modesty;
Her words do shew her wit incomparable;
All her perfections challenge sovereignty:
One way, or other, she is for a king;
Is Clarence, Henry, and his young son Edward,
And all the unlook'd-for issue of their bodies,
To take their rooms, ere I can place myself:
A cold premeditation for my purpose!
Why, then I do but dream on sovereignty;
Like one that stands upon a promontory,
And spies a far-off shore where he would tread,
Wishing his foot were equal with his eye;
And chides the sea that sunders him from thence,
Saying-he'll lade it dry to have his way:
So do I wish the crown, being so far off;
And so I chide the means that keep me from it;
And so I say-I'll cut the causes off,
Flattering me with impossibilities.-
My eye's too quick, my heart o'erweens too much,
Unless my hand and strength could equal them.
Well, say there is no kingdom then for Richard;
What other pleasure can the world afford?
50 I'll make my heaven in a lady's lap,
And she shall be my love, or else my queen.-45
Say, that king Edward take thee for his queen?
Grey.'Tis better said than done, my gracious lord;
I am a subject fit to jest withal,
But far unfit to be a sovereign.
K.Edw.Sweetwidow, by my stateIswear to thee,
I speak no more than what my soul intends;
And that is, to enjoy thee for my love.
Grey. And that is more than I will yield unto :
I know, I am too mean to be your queen;
And yet too good to be your concubine.
K. Edw. You cavil, widow; I did mean, my
Grey. "Twill grieve your grace, my sons should
K. Edw. No more, than when my daughters call
Thou art a widow, and thou hast some children;
And, by God's mother, I, being but a batchelor,
Have other some: why, 'tis a happy thing
To be the father unto many sons.
And deck my body in gay ornaments,
And witch sweet ladies with my words and looks.
O miserable thought, and more unlikely,
Than to accomplish twenty golden crowns!
55 Why, love forswore me in my mother's womb:
And, for I should not deal in her soft laws,
She did corrupt frail nature with some bribe
To shrink mine arm up like a wither'd shrub;
To make an envious mountain on my back,
60 Where sits deformity to mock my body;
To shape my legs of an unequal size;
To disproportion me in every part,
Like to a chaos, or an unlick'd bear-whelp,
That carries no impression like the dam.
And am I then a man to be belov'd;
O, monstrous fault to harbour such a thought!
Then, since this earth affords no joy to me,
But to command, to check, to o'erbear such
As are of better person than myself,
I'll make my heaven-to dream upon the crown;
And, while I live, to account this world but hell,
Until my mis-shap'd trunk that bears this head,
Be round impaled' with a glorious crown,
And yet I know not how to get the crown,
For many lives stand between me and home:
And I, like one lost in a thorny wood,
That rents the thorns, and is rent with the thorns;
Seeking a way, and straying from the way;
Not knowing how to find the open air,
But toiling desperately to find it out,—
Torment myself to catch the English crown:
And from that torment I will free myself,
Or hew my way out with a bloody axe.
Why, I can smile, and murder while I smile;
And cry, content, to that which grieves my heart;
And wet my cheeks with artificial tears,
And frame my face to all occasions.
I'll drown more sailors than the mermaid shall;
I'll slay more gazers than the basilisk;
I'll play the orator as well as Nestor,
Deceive more slily than Ulysses could,
And, like a Sinon, take another Troy:
I can add colours to the cameleon;
Change shapes, with Proteus, for advantages,
And set the murd'rous Machiavel to school.
Can I do this, and cannot get a crown?
Tut! were it further off, I'll pluck it down.
And sit thee by our side: yield not thy neck
[Seats her by him.
To fortune's yoke, but let thy dauntless mind
Still ride in triumph over all mischance.
Be plain, queen Margaret, and tell thy grief;
It shall be eas'd, if France can yield relief.
Queen. Those gracious words revive my droop-
And give my tongue-ty'd sorrows leave to speak. 10 Now, therefore, be it known to noble Lewis,That Henry, sole possessor of my love,
Is, of a king, become a banish'd man,
And forc'd to live in Scotland a forlorn;
While proud ambitious Edward, duke of York,
15 Usurps the regal title, and the seat
Of England's true-anointed lawful king.
This is the cause, that I, poor Margaret,-
With this my son, prince Edward, Henry's heir,-
Am come to crave thy just and lawful aid;
20 And, if thou fail us, all our hope is done:
Flourish. Enter Lewis the French King, Lady
Bona, Bourbon, Queen Margaret, Prince Ed
ward her Son, and the Earl of Oxford. Lewis 40
sits, and riseth up again.
K. Lewis. Fair queen of England, worthy
Sit down with us; it ill befits thy state,
And birth, that thou shouldst stand, while Lewis 45 doth sit.
Queen. No, mighty king of France; now Mar-
Must strike her sail, and learn a while to serve,
Where kings command. I was, I must confess,
Great Albion's queen in former golden days:
But now mischance hath trod iny title down,
And with dishonour laid me on the ground;
Where I must take like seat unto my fortune,
And to my humble seat conform myself.
K. Lewis, Why say, fair queen, whence springs
this deep despair?
Scotland hath will to help, but cannot help;
Our people and our peers are both mis-led,
Our treasure seiz'd, our soldiers put to flight,
And, as thou seest, ourselves in heavy plight.
K. Lewis. Renowned queen, with patience calm
While we bethink a means to break it off.
Queen. The more we stay, the stronger grows
K.Lewis. The more I stay, the more I'll succour
Queen.O,but impatience waiteth on true sorrow:
And see, where comes the breeder of my sorrow.
K. Lewis. What's he approacheth boldly to
Queen. Our earl of Warwick, Edward's greatest
K. Lewis. Welcome, brave Warwick! What
brings thee to France?
[He descends. She ariseth.
Queen. Ay, now begins a second storm to rise:
For this is he, that moves both wind and tide.
War. From worthy Edward, king of Albion,
My lord and sovereign, and thy vowed friend,
I come,-in kindness and unfeigned love,-
First, to do greetings to thy royal person;
And, then, to crave a league of amity;
And, lastly, to confirm that amity
50 With nuptial knot, if thou vouchsafe to grant
That virtuous lady Bona, thy fair sister,
To England's king in lawful marriage.
Queen. From such a cause as fills mine eyes with tears, [cares. And stops my tongue, while heart is drown'd in 60 K. Lewis. Whate'er it be, be thou still like
Queen. If that go forward, Henry's hope is done.
War. And, gracious madam., in our king's be-
[Speaking to Bona.
I am commanded, with your leave and favour,
Humbly to kiss your hand, and with my tongue
To tell the passion of my sovereign's heart;
Where fame, late entering at his heedful ears,
Hath plac'd thy beauty's image, and thy virtue.
Queen. King Lewis,-and lady Bona,-hear me
Before you answer Warwick. His demand
Springs not from Edward's well-meant honest love,
But from deceit, bred by necessity:
For how can tyrants safely govern home,
Unless abroad they purchase great alliance!
To prove him tyrant, this reason may suffice,-
That Henry liveth still: but were he dead,
Yet here prince Edward stands, king Henry's son.
Look therefore, Lewis, that by this league and
Thou draw not on thy danger and dishonour:
For though usurpers sway the rule a while,
Yet heavens are just, and time suppresseth wrongs.
War. Injurious Margaret!
Prince. And why not queen?
War. Because thy father Henry did usurp;
And thou no more art prince, than she is queen.
Oxf. Then Warwick disannuls great John of
Which did subdue the greatest part of Spain;
And, after John of Gaunt, Henry the fourth,
Whose wisdom was a mirror to the wisest ;
And, after that wise prince, Henry the fifth,
Who by his prowess conquered all France:
From these our Henry lineally descends.
War. Oxford, how haps it, in this smooth
You told not, how Henry the sixth hath lost
All that which Henry the fifth had gotten?
K. Lewis. But is he gracious in the people's eye?
War. The more, that Henry was unfortunate.
K. Lewis. Then further,-åll dissembling set
5 Tell me for truth the measure of his love
Unto our sister Bona.
As may beseem a monarch like himself. Myself have often heard him say, and swear,10 That this his love was an eternal plant;
Whereof the root was fix'd in virtue's ground,
The leaves and fruit maintain'd with beauty's sun;
Exempt from envy, but not from disdain,
Unless the lady Bona quit his pain.
K. Lewis. Now, sister, let us hear your firm
Bona. Yourgrant,oryourdenial,shall be mine:Yet I confess, that often ere this day,
[Speaking to Warwick. 20 When I have heard your king's desert recounted, Mine ear hath tempted judgement to desire.
K. Lewis. Then, Warwick, this,-Our sister
shall be Edward's;
And now forthwith shall articles be drawn
25 Touching the jointure that your king must make,
Which with her dowry shall be counterpois'd:---
Draw near, queen Margaret; and be a witness,
That Bona shall be wife to the English king.
Prince. To Edward, but not to the English king.
Methinks, these peers of France should smile at 30 Queen. Deceitful Warwick! it was thy device
But for the rest,-You tell a pedigree
Of threescore and two years; a silly time
To make prescription for a kingdom's worth.
Orf. Why, Warwick, canst thou speak against
Whom thou obeyed'st thirty and six years,
And not bewray thy treason with a blush?
War. Can Oxford, that did ever fence the right,
Now buckler falsehood with a pedigree?
For shame, leave Henry, and call Edward king.
Orf. Call him my king, by whose injurious doom
My elder brother, the lord Aubrey Vere,
Was done to death! and more than so, my father,
Even in the downfall of his mellow'd years,
When nature brought him to the door of death!
No, Warwick, no; while life upholds this arm,
This arm upholds the house of Lancaster.
War. And I the house of York.
By this alliance to make void my suit;
Before thy coming, Lewis was Henry's friend.
K. Lewis. And still is friend to him and Mar-
35 But if your title to the crown be weak,—
As may appear by Edward's good success,-
Then 'tis but reason, that I be releas'd
From giving aid, which late I promised.
Yet shall you have all kindness at my hand,
40 That your estate requires, and mine can yield.
War. Henry now lives in Scotland, at his ease;
Where having nothing, nothing he can lose.
And as for yourself, our quondam queen,—
You have a father able to maintain you;
And better 'twere, you troubled him than France.
Queen. Peace, impudent and shameless War-
Proud setter-up and puller down of kings!
I will not hence, 'till with my talk and tears,
K.Lewis. Queen Margaret, prince Edward, and 30 Both full of truth, I make king Lewis behold
Thy sly conveyance, and thy lord's false love;
[Post, blowing a horn within.
For both of you are birds of self-same feather.
K. Lewis. Warwick, this is some post to us, or
Post. My lord ambassador, these letters are for
you; Sent from your brother, marquis Montague.
War. Thereon I pawn my credit and mine 60 These from our king unto your majesty. honour.
'Envy in this place seems to be put for malice or hatred.
2 This seems to be spoken ironically;
the poverty of Margaret's father being a very frequent topic of reproach. put for artifice and fraud.
And, madam, these for you; from whom I know
[To the Queen. They all read their letters. Orf. I like it well, that our fair queen and
mistress Smiles at her news, while Warwick frowns at his. Prince. Nay, mark, how Lewis stamps as he I hope, all's for the best. [were nettled: K. Lew. Warwick, what are thy news? and yours, fair queen? [joys. 10 Queen. Mine, such as fills my heart with unhop'd War. Mine, full of sorrow and heart's discontent. K. Lew. What! has your king marry'd the lady Grey?
And now, to sooth your forgery and his,
Sends me a paper to persuade me patience?
Is this the alliance that he seeks with France?
Dare he presume to scorn us in this manner?
Queen. I told your majesty as much before:
This proveth Edward's love, and Warwick's ho-20
War. King Lewis, I here protest,-in sight of
And by the hope I have of heavenly bliss,-
That I am clear from this misdeed of Edward's;
No more my king, for he dishonours me;
But most himself, if he could see his shame.—
Did I forget, that by the house of York
My father came untimely to his death?
Did I let pass the abuse done to my niece'?
Did I impale him with the regal crown?
Did I put Henry from his native right;
And am I guerdon'd at the last with shame?
Shame on himself! for my desert is honour.
And, to repair my honour lost for him,
And tell false Edward, thy supposed king,-
That Lewis of France is sending over maskers
To revel it with him and his new bride:
Thou seest what's past, go fear' thy king withal.
Bona. Tell him, in hope he'll prove a widower
I'll wear the willow garland for his sake. [aside,
Queen. Tell him, my mourning weeds are laid
And I am ready to put armour on. [wrong;
War. Tell him from me, that he hath done me
And therefore I'll uncrown him ere't be long.
There's thy reward; be gone.
K. Lew. But, Warwick;
Thyself, and Oxford, with five thousand men,
25 Shall cross the seas, and bid false Edward battle:
And, as occasion serves, this noble queen
And prince shall follow with a fresh supply.
Yet, ere thou go, but answer me one doubt;—
What pledge have we of thy firm loyalty?
I here renounce him, and return to Henry:-
My noble queen, let former grudges pass,
And henceforth I am thy true servitor;
I will revenge his wrong to lady Bona,
And replant Henry in his former state.
Queen. Warwick, these words have turn'd my 40
hate to love;
And I forgive and quite forget old faults,
And joy that thou becom'st king Henry's friend.
War. So much his friend, ay, his unfeigned
That, if king Lewis vouchsafe to furnish us
With some few bands of chosen soldiers,
I'll undertake to land them on our coast,
And force the tyrant from his seat by war.
"Tis not his new-made bride shall succour him:
And as for Clarence,-as my letters tell me,
He's very likely now to fall from him;
For matching more for wanton lust than honour,
Or than for strength and safety of our country.
Bona. Dear brother, how shall Bona be reveng'd, 55
But by thy help to this distressed queen?
Queen. Renowned prince, how shall poor Henry
Unless thou rescue him from foul despair?
War. This shall assure my constant loyalty;-
That if our queen and this young prince agree,
I'll join my younger daughter, and my joy,
To him forthwith in holy wedlock bands.
Queen. Yes, I agree, and thank you for your
Son Edward, she is fair and virtuous,
Therefore delay not, give thy hand to Warwick;
And, with thy hand, thy faith irrevocable,
That only Warwick's daughter shall be thine. [it;
Prince. Yes, I accept her, for she well deserves
And here, to pledge my vow, I give my hand.
[He gives his hand to Warwick.
K. Lew. Why stay we now? These soldiers
shall be levy'd,`
45 And thou, lord Bourbon, our high admiral,
Shall waft them over with our royal fleet.---
I long, 'till Edward fall by war's mischance,
For mocking marriage with a dame of France.
[Exeunt. Manet Warwick.
War. I came from Edward as embassador,
But I return his sworn and mortal foe:
Matter of marriage was the charge he gave me,
But dreadful war shall answer his demand.
Had he none else to make a stale, but me?
Then none but I shall turn his jest to sorrow.
I was the chief that rais'd him to the crown,
And I'll be chief to bring him down again:
Not that I pity Henry's misery,
But seek revenge on Edward's mockery. [Exit.
We learn from Holinshed, "That king Edward did attempt a thing once in the earles house which was much against the earles honestie, (whether he would have defloured his daughter or his niece, the certaintie was not for both their honours revealed,) for surely such a thing was attempted by king Edward." i. e. fright thy king.
The Palace in England.
Enter Gloster, Clarence, Somerset, and Montague.
Glo. NOW tell me, brother Clarence, what think 5
Of this new marriage with the lady Grey?
Hath not our brother made a worthy choice?
Clar. Alas, you know, 'tis far from hence to
How could he stay till Warwick made return?
Som. My lords, forbear this talk; here comes
Would more have strengthened this our common-wealth
'Gainst foreign storms, than any home-bred marriage.
Hast. Why, knows not Montague, that of itself, England is safe, if true within itself?
Mont. Yes; but the safer, when 'tis back'd with France. [France: Hast. 'Tis better using France, than trusting 10 Let us be back'd with God, and with the seas', Which he hath given for fence impregnable, And with their helps alone defend ourselves; In them, and in ourselves, our safety lies. Clar. For this one speech, lord Hastings well deserves
Flourish. Enter King Edward, Lady Grey, as
Queen; Pembroke, Stafford, and Hastings.15
Four stand on one side, and four on the other.
Glo. And his well chosen bride.
Clar. I mind to tell him plainly what I think.
K. Edw. Now, brother of Clarence, how like
you our choice,
That you stand pensive, as half malecontent?
Clar. As well as Lewis of France, or the earl
Which are so weak of courage, and in judgement,
That they'll take no offence at our abuse.
K. Edw. Suppose they take offence without a
They are but Lewis and Warwick; I am Edward,
Your king and Warwick's, and must have my will.
Glo. And you shall have your will, because our 30
Yet hasty marriage seldom proveth well. [king:
K. Edw. Yea, brother Richard, are you offend-
Glo. Not I:
No; God forbid, that I should wish them sever'd,
Whom God hath join'd together: ay, and 'twere 35
To sunder them that yoke so well together. [pity
K. Edw. Setting your scorns, and your mislike,
Tell me some reason, why the lady Grey
Should not become my wife, and England's queen: 40
And you too, Somerset, and Montague,
Speak freely what you think.
Clar. Then this is my opinion,-that king Lewis
Becomes your enemy for mocking him
About the marriage of the lady Bona.
Glo. And Warwick, doing what you gave in
Is now dishonour'd by this new marriage.
K. Edw. What, if both Lewis and Warwick be
By such invention as I can devise?
Mont. Yet to have join'd with France in such alliance,
To have the heir of the lord Hungerford.
K. Edw. Ay, what of that? it was my will,
And, for this once, my will shall stand for law.
Glo. And yet, methinks, your grace hath not
To give the heir and daughter of lord Scales
Unto the brother of your loving bride;
She better would have fitted me, or Clarence;
But in your bride you bury brotherhood.
Clar. Or else you would not have bestow'd
Of the lord Bonville on your new wife's son',
And leave your brothers to go speed elsewhere.
K. Edw. Alas, poor Clarence! is it for a wife,
That thou art malecontent? I will provide thee.
Clar. In choosing for yourself, you shew'd
Which being shallow, you shall give me leave
To play the broker in mine own behalf;
And, to that end, I shortly mind to leave you.
K. Edw. Leave me, or tarry, Edward will be
And not be ty'd unto his brother's will.
Queen. My lords, before it pleas'd his majesty
To raise my state to title of a queen,
Do me but right, and you must all confess
That I was not ignoble of descent,
And meaner than myself have had like fortune.
45 But as this title honours me and mine,
So your dislikes, to whom I would be pleasing,
Do cloud my joys with danger and with sorrow.
K. Edw. My love, forbear to fawn upon their
50 What danger, or what sorrow can befall thee,
So long as Edward is thy constant friend,
And their true sovereign, whom they must obey?
Nay, whom they shall obey, and love thee too,
1 ́Dr. Johnson observes, that this has been the advice of every man who in any age understood and favoured the interest of England. Prior to the Restoration, the heiresses of great estates were in the wardship of the king, who in their minority gave them up to plunder, and afterwards matched them to his favourites.-Dr. Johnson remarks on this passage, that he knows not when liberty gained more than by the abolition of the court of wards.