William Shakespeare.

The dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) online

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to speak.
War. Plantagenet shall speak first. Hear him,

lords ;

And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.

i K. Hen. Think st thou that I will leave rny

kingly throne,

Wherein my grandsire and my father sat ?
No ; first shall war unpeople this my realm ;
4 Ay, and their colors often borne in France,

1 Another mistake of the author of the old play. York s father was
earl of Cambridge, and was beheaded in the lifetime of his elder brother,
Edward duke of York.

2 Since. A contraction of sithence.


And now in England, to our heart s great sorrow
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you, lords ?
4 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

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 ?

K. Hen. An if he may, then am I lawful king.
For Richard, in the view of many lords,
Resigned 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 unconstrained,
Think you twere prejudicial to his crown ? 1

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 ?

Exe. 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 deposed.

< War. Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.

North. Thou art deceived. Tis not thy southern


< 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,
4 Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father !

1 i. e. detrimental to the general rights of hereditary royalty.


4 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.

i K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one

word ;
4 Let me, for this my lifetime reign as king.

York. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet whilst thou liv st.

K. Hen. I am content. Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the 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 !

4 Clif. How hast thou injured both thyself and us !

West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.

North. Nor I.

Clif, Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these

* West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
* In whose cold blood no spark of honor bides.

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

Clif. In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome !
Or live in peace, abandoned, and despised !


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


K. Hen. Ah, Exeter !

War. Why should you sigh, my lord?

K. Hen. Not for myself, lord Warwick, but my


Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
VOL. iv. 56


But be it as it may : I here entail
i The crown to thee, and to thine heirs forever ;
Conditionally, that here thou take an oath,
To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honor 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.

[Coming from the throne.

War. Long live king Henry ! Plantagenet, em
brace him.

4 K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy for
ward sons!

York. Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.
Exe. Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes !
[Senet. The Lords come forward.
York. Farewell, my gracious lord ; I ll to my

castle. 1

War. And I ll keep London, with my soldiers.
Norf. And I to Norfolk, with my followers.
Mont. And I unto the sea, from whence I came.

[Exeunt YORK, and his Sons, WARWICK,
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, Soldiers, and

* K. Hen. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the


Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray

her anger.
I ll steal away.

K. Hen. Exeter, so will I. [Going. |

Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me ; I will follow thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
4 Q. Mar. Who can be patient in such extremes ?

* Ah, wretched man ! would I had died a maid,

* And never seen thee, never borne thee son,

1 Sandal castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.


* Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father !

* Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus ?


* Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,

* Or felt that pain which I did for him once ;

* Or nourished him, as I did with my blood ;
*Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood


* Rather than have made that savage duke thine heir,

* 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 son ;

* The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforced me.

Q. Mar. Enforced thec ! Art thou king, and wilt

be forced ?

I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch!
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son and me,
i And given unto the house of York such head,
c " 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 1 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,

4 The soldiers should have tossed me on their pikes,

1 The person here meant was Thomar Nevil, bastard son to the lord
Faulconbridge, "a man (says Hall) of no lesse corage than audacitie, who
for his cruel condicions was such an apte person, that a more meter could
not be chosen to set all the world in a broyle, and to put the estate of the
realme on an ill hazard." Pie had been appointed by Warwick, vice-ad
miral of the sea, and had in charge so to keep tne passage between Dover
and Calais, that none which either favored king Henry or his friends,
should escape untaken or undrowned ; such, at least, were his instructions
with respect to the friends and favorers of king Edward after the rupture
between him and Warwick. On Warwick s death, he fell into poverty,
and robbed, both by sea and land, as well friends as enemies. After rov
ing on the sea some little time longer, he ventured to land at Southampton,
where he was taken and beheaded. See Hall and Holinshed. Ritson.


Before I would have granted to that act.

* But thou preferr st thy life before thine honor;
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,

Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,

c Until that act of parliament be repealed,

Whereby my son is disinherited.

The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colors,

Will follow mine, if once they see them spread.

And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace,

4 And utter ruin of the house of York.

i Thus do I leave thee. Come, son, let s away ;

1 Our army s ready; come, we ll after them.

K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.

Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already ; get
thee gone.

K. Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with

Q. Mar. Ay, to be murdered 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.

K. Hen. Poor queen! how love to me, and to

her son,

Hath made her break out into terms of rage !
Revenged may she be on that hateful duke;

* Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,

* Will coast 1 my crown, and, like an empty eagle,

* Tire 2 on the flesh of me, and of my son!

"The loss of those three lords 3 torments my heart;

* I ll write unto them, and entreat them fair.

* Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger,

* Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.


1 To coast is, apparently, to pursue, to hover about any thing. The
old form of the word appears to have been costoyej or costoic, from the
French costoycr, to pursue a course alongside an object, to watch it.

2 To tire is to tear; to feed like a bird of prey.

3 i. e. of Northumberland, Westmoreland, and Clifford, who had left him
in disgust.


SCENE II. A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wake-
field in Yorkshire.


< Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me


Ediv. No, I can better play the orator.
Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.

Enter YORK.

York. Why, how now, sons and brother, 1 at a

strife ?
4 What is your quarrel? How began it first?

< Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention.
York. About what?

i Rich. About that which concerns your grace and

us ;

< The crown of England, father, which is yours.
4 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.

4 Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be

broken ;
4 I d break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

4 Rich. No ; God forbid your grace should be for

York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.

4 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

1 Shakspeare seems to have thought York and Montague brothers-in-
law. But Montague was brother to Warwick ; Warwick s daughter was
married to a son of York, but not during the life of York.


* Before a true and lawful magistrate,

That hath authority over him that swears,

4 Henry had none, but did usurp the place ;

4 Then, seeing twas he that made you to depose,

4 Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.

i 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.
*Whj 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.

6 York. Richard, enough ; I will be king, or die.
4 Brother, thou shalt to London presently,
6 And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
Thou, Richard, shalt unto 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.
i In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
c Witty, 1 courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While you are thus employed, what resteth more,
4 But that I seek occasion how to rise ;
4 And yet the king not privy to my drift,
4 Nor any of the house of Lancaster?

Enter a Messener. 2

1 But, stay what news? Why com st thou in such

1 Mess. The queen, with all the northern earls and


4 Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
She is hard by with twenty thousand men ;
i And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

*York. Ay, with my sword. What! think st thou
that we fear them?

1 Of sound judgment

2 The folio reads " Enter Gabrid" It was the name of the actor,
probably Gabriel Singer, who played this insignificant part The emen
dation is from the old play, and was made by Theobald.


4 Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
4 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.


York. Sir John, and sir Hugh Mortimer, mine

uncles !

4 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


4 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.

Edto. I hear their drums ; let s set our men in order ;
4 And issue forth, and bid them battle straight.

4 York. Five men to twenty! though the odds be


4 I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
4 Many a battle have I won in France,
4 When as the enemy hath been ten to one ;
4 Why should I not now have the like success ?

[Alarum. Exeunt.

SCENE III. Plains near Sandal Castle.

Alarums: Excursions. Enter RUTLAND, and his

Tutor. 1

4 Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
Ah, tutor! look, where bloody Clifford comes!

1 A priest called sir Robert Aspall." Hall, fo. 99.


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, 1 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,
4 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
4 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, threat ning look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die ;
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath ;
Be thou revenged on men, and let me live.


Clif. In vain thou speak st, poor boy; my father s


Hath stopped the passage where thy words should

Rut. Then let my father s blood open it again ;
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.

Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and


Were not revenge sufficient for me.
No, if I digged up thy forefathers graves,
And hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the house of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul ;
4 And till I root out their accursed line,
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore [Lifting his hand.

i i. e. the father of which brat, namely, the duke of York.


Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death.
To thee I pray ; sweet Clifford, pity me !

Clif. Such pity as my rapier s point affords.

Rut. I never did thee harm ; why wilt thou slay me ?

Clif. Thy father hath.

Rut. But twas ere I was born. 1

Thou hast one son ; for his sake pity me ;
Lest, in revenge thereof, sith God is just,
He be as miserably slain as I.
Ah, let me live in prison all my days ;
And when I give occasion of offence,
Then let me die, for now thou hast no cause.

Clif. No cause?
Thy father slew my father ; therefore, die.

[CLIFFORD stabs him.

Rut. Dii faciantj laudis summa sit ista tuce! 2


Clif. Plantagenet ! I come, Plantagenet !
And this thy son s blood, cleaving to my blade,
Shall rust upon my weapon, till thy blood,
Congealed with thisj do make me wipe off both.


SCENE W. The same.

Alarum. Enter YORK.

4 York. The army of the queen hath got the field.
* My uncles both are slain in rescuing me ; 3
4 And all my followers to the eager foe
4 Turn back, and fly, like ships before the wind,
4 Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
4 My sons God knows what hath bechanced them ;

1 Rutland was born in 1443; or at latest, according to Hall, in 1448,
and Clifford s father was slain at the battle of St. Albans, in 1455. Con
sequently Rutland was then at least seven years old, more probably

2 This line is in Ovid s Epistle from Phillis to Demophoon. The same
quotation is in Nash s Have with you to Saffron Walden, 1596.

3 These were two bastard uncles by the mother s side, sir John and sir
Hugh Mortimer. See Grafton s Chronicle, p. 649.

VOL. iv. 57


But this I know, they have demeaned themselves

Like men born to renown, by life, or death.

Three times did Richard make a lane to me ;

And thrice cried, Courage, father, fght it out!

6 And full as oft came Edward to my side,

With purple falchion, painted to the hilt

In blood of those that had encountered him ;

c And when the hardiest warriors did retire,

4 Richard cried, Charge! and give no foot of ground!

c And cried, A crown, or else a glorious tomb !

1 A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre !

With this we charged again ; but, out, alas !

6 We bodged 1 again ; as I have seen a swan

6 With bootless labor swim against the tide,

6 And spend her strength w T ith overmatching waves.

[A short alarum within.

Ah, hark ! the fatal followers do pursue ;

* And I am faint, and cannot fly their fury :

* And, were I strong, I would not shun their fury.
4 The sands are numbered that make up my life ;

* Here must I stay, and here my life must end.

LAND, and Soldiers.

* Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,

* 1 dare your quenchless fury to more rage ;
fc J 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, showed unto my father.
Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick. 2

York. My ashes, as the Phoenix, may bring forth

1 Bodged is probably the same as budged, from longer ( French). In
the following passage, Coriolanus speaks of his army who had fled from
their adversaries.

" The mouse ne er shunned the cat, as they did budge
From rascals worse than they."

2 Noontide point on the dial.


* A bird that will revenge upon you all ;

4 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 further ;
c So doves do peck xhe falcon 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 errun my former time.

* And, if thou canst for blushing, view this face ;

And bite thy tongue that slanders him with cowardice,
4 Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this.

Clif. I will not bandy with thee word for word ;
But buckle with thee blows, twice two for one.

Q. Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford ! for a thousand


I would prolong awhile the traitor s life.
Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.
North. Hold, Clifford ; do not honor him so much,
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart.
What valor 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 1 to take all vantages ;
6 And ten to one is no impeach of valor.

[They lay hands on YORK, ivho struggles.
Clif. Ay, ay, so strives the woodcock with the gin.
North. So doth the cony struggle in the net.

[YORK is taken prisoner.
York. So triumph thieves upon their conquered

booty ;
So true men yield, with robbers so o ermatched.

North. What would your grace have done unto him
now ?

1 Prize here means an advantage that may be taken ; unless we can
imagine that it may signify licitum est, " it is prized or esteetned lawful
in war," &c. Price, prise, and prize, were used indiscriminately by our


Q. Mar. Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumber

Come make him stand upon this molehill here ;
6 That raught 1 at mountains with outstretched arms,
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.

* What ! was it you that would be England s king ?
Was t you that revelled in our parliament,

And made a preachment of jour high descent ?

Where are jour mess of sons to back jou now ?

The wanton Edward, and the lustj George ?

And where s that valiant, crookback prodigy,

Dickj, jour boj, that, with his grumbling voice,

Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies ?

Or, with the rest, where is jour darling Rutland ?

Look, York ; I stained this napkin with the blood

That valiant Clifford, with his rapier s point,

Made issue from the bosom of the boj ;

And, if thine ejcs can water for his death,

I give thee this to drj thj cheeks withal.

Alas, poor York ! but that I hate thee deadlj,

I should lament thj miserable state.

I pr jthee, grieve, to make me merry, York;

Stamp, rave, and fret, that I maj sing and dance.

What, hath thj fierj heart so parched thine entrails,

That not a tear can fall for Rutland s death ?

* Why art thou patient, man ? thou shouldst be mad ;

* And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Thou wouldst be feed, I see, to make me sport ;
York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.

A crown for York ; and, lords, bow low to him.
Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.

[Putting a paper crown on his head.~

1 Reached.

2 According- to Hall, the paper crown was not placed on York s head
till after he was dead ; but Ilolinshed, after having 1 copied Hall, says :
" Some write that the duke was taken alive and in derision caused to
stand upon a molehill, on whose heade they put a garland instead of a crown,
which they had fashioned and made of segges or bulrushes, and having so
crowned him with that garlande, they kneeled down afore him, as the
Jews did to Christe, in scorne, saying to him, Hayle, king without rule,
ha le, king without heritage, hayle, "duke and prince without people or


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 crowned 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 1 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 sake.

Q. Mar. Nay, stay; let s hear the orisons he makes.

York. She wolf of France, but worse than wolves of


Whose tongue more poisons than the adder s tooth !
How ill-beseeming is it, in thy sex,
To triumph like an Amazonian trull,
i Upon their woes, whom fortune captivates !
But that thy face is, visorlike, unchanging,
Made impudent with use of evil deeds,
I would assay, proud queen, to make thee blush.
To tell thee whence thou cam st, of whom derived,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not


Thy father bears the type 2 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 verified,
That beggars, mounted, run their horse to death.
Tis beauty that doth oft make women proud ;

possessions. And, at length having thus scorned hym with these and
diverse other the like despitefull woordes, they strooke off his heade,
which (as ye have heard) they presented to the queen."

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 32 of 38)