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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modest woman, a scold, or similar offenders. A callet was a lewd woman,
but a term often given to a scold.


i And that thy summer bred us no increase,
We set the axe to thy usurping root ;
And though the edge hath something hit ourselves,
4 Yet, know thou, since we have begun to strike,
4 We ll never leave, till we have hewn thee down,
Or bathed thy growing with our heated bloods.

Edw. And, in this resolution, I defy thee ;
Not willing any longer conference,
Since thou deny st the gentle king to speak.
Sound trumpets ! let our bloody colors wave !
And either victory, or else a grave.

Q. Mar. Stay, Edward.

Edw. No, wrangling woman ; we ll no longer stay .
These words will cost ten thousand lives to-day.


SCENE III. A Field of Battle between Towton and
Saxton, in Yorkshire. 1

Alarums: Excursions. Enter WARWICK.

4 War. Forspent with toil, as runners with a race,
I lay me down a little while to breathe ;
For strokes received, and many blows repaid,
Have robbed my strong-knit sinews of their strength,
4 And, spite of spite, needs must I rest awhile.

Enter EDWARD, running.

Edw. Smile, gentle Heaven ! or strike, ungentle


4 For this world frowns, and Edward s sun is clouded.
War. How now, my lord ? what hap ? what hope
of good ?

1 Shakspeare has here, perhaps, intentionally thrown three different
actions into one. The principal action took place on the eve of Palm
Sunday, 14G1. "This battle (says Carte) decided the fate of the house
of Lancaster, overturning in one day an usurpation strengthened by sixty-
two years continuance, and established Edward on the throne of England."



* Geo. Our hap is loss, our hope but sad despair ;
1 Our ranks are broke, and ruin follows us.
4 What counsel give you ? whither shall we fly ?

i Edw. Bootless is flight; they follow us with wings ;
And weak we are, and cannot shun pursuit.


6 Rich. Ah, Warwick, why hast thou withdrawn


4 Thy brother s blood the thirsty earth hath drunk, 1
1 Broached with the steely point of Clifford s lance ;
i And, in the very pangs of death, he cried,
Like to a dismal clangor heard from far,

< WarwicJc, revenge ! Brother, revenge my death !
1 So, underneath the belly of their steeds,

< That stained their fetlocks in his smoking blood,
4 The noble gentleman gave up the ghost.

War. Then let the earth be drunken with our

blood ;

I ll kill my horse, because I will not fly.
*Why stand we like soft-hearted women here,

* Wailing our losses, whiles the foe doth rage ;

* And look upon, 2 as if the tragedy

*Were played in jest by counterfeiting actors?

< Here on my knee I vow to God above,

< I ll never pause again, never stand still,

; Till either death hath closed these eyes of mine,
4 Or fortune given me measure of revenge.

Edw. O, Warwick, I do bend my knee with thine ;
4 And, in this vow, do chain my soul to thine.

* And, ere my knee rise from the earth s cold face,

* I throw my hands, mine eyes, my heart to thee,
Thou setter up and plucker down of kings !

1 The brother here mentioned is no person in the drama, but a natural
son of Salisbury. Ilolinshed, relating the death of lord Clifford in this
action at Ferry-bridge, on the 28th of March, 14(31, says, " He was slaine,
and with him the bastard of Salisbury, brother to the earl of Warwick, a
valiant young gentleman, and of great audacitie."

2 Look upon for look on ; i. e. are mere spectators.


4 Beseeching thee, if with thy will it stands,
4 That to my foes this body must be prey,
4 Yet that thy brazen gates of heaven may ope,
4 And give sweet passage to my sinful soul !
4 Now, lords, take leave until we meet again,
Where er it be, in heaven, or on earth.

4 Rich. Brother, give me thy hand ; and, gentle


4 Let me embrace thee in my weary arms.
4 I, that did never weep, now melt, with woe,
4 That winter should cut off our spring-time so.

4 War. Away, away ! Once more, sweet lords,

4 Geo. Yet let us all together to our troops,
4 And give them leave to fly that will not stay ;
And call them pillars, that will stand to us ;
4 And, if we thrive, promise them such rewards
4 As victors wear at the Olympian games ;

* This may plant courage in their quailing breasts ;

* For yet is hope of life, and victory.

* Fore-slow 1 no longer ; make we hence amain.


SCENE IV. The same. Another Part of the Field.

Excursions. Enter RICHARD and CLIFFORD.

4 Rich. Now, Clifford, I have singled thte alone ;
4 Suppose this arm is for the duke of York,
4 And this for Rutland ; both bound to revenge,
4 Wert thou environed with a brazen wall.

4 Clif. Now, Richard, I am with thee here alone ;
This is the hand that stabbed thy father York ;
And this the hand that slew thy brother Rutland ;
And here s the heart that triumphs in their death,
And cheers these hands, that slew thy sire and brother,

1 To fore-slow is to delay, to loiter.

" Fore-slow no time ; sweet Lancaster, let s march."

Marlowe s Edward III.


To execute the like upon thyself.
And so, have at thee.

[They fight. WAR wick enters ; CLIF
FORD flies.

1 Rich. Nay, Warwick, single out some other chase :
For I myself will hunt this wolf to death. [Exeunt.

SCENE V. Another Part of the Field.

Alarum. Enter KING HENRY.

* K. Hen. This battle fares like to the morning s

* When dying clouds contend with growing light ;

* What time the shepherd, blowing of his nails,

* Can neither call it perfect day nor night.

1 Now sways it this way, like a mighty sea

4 Forced by the tide to combat with the wind ;

4 Now sways it that way, like the self-same sea

4 Forced to retire by fury of the wind ;

4 Sometime the flood prevails ; and then the wind ;

4 Now, one the better ; then, another best ;

4 Both tugging to be victors, breast to breast,

4 Yet neither conqueror, nor conquered ;

4 So is the equal poise of this fell war.

* Here on this molehill will I sit me down.

* To whom God will, there be the victory !
4 For Margaret my queen, and Clifford too,

4 Have chid me from the battle ; swearing, both,
4 They prosper best of all when I am thence.
4 Would I were dead ! if God s good will were so ;
4 For what is in this world, but grief and woe ?

* O, God ! methinks it were a happy life, 1

i This speech is exquisitely suited to the character of the king. There
are some verses preserved of Henry VI. which are in a strain of the same
pensive, moralizing character. The reader may not be displeased to have
them here subjoined, that he may compare them with the congenial
thoughts the Poet has attributed to him :

" Kingdoms are but cares ;
State is devoid of stay ;


To be no better than a homely swain ;

* To sit upon a hill, as I do now,

* To carve out dials quaintly, point by point,

* Thereby to see the minutes how they rim ;

* How many make the hour full complete,

* How many hours bring about the day,

* How many days will finish up the year,

* How many years a mortal man may live.

* When this is known, then to divide the times :

* So many hours must I tend my flock ;

* So many hours must I take my rest ;

* So many hours must I contemplate ;
*So many hours must I sport myself;

* So many days my ewes have been with young ;

* So many weeks ere the poor fools will yean ;

* So many years ere I shall shear the fleece :

* So minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, and years,

* Passed over to the end they were created,

* Would bring white hairs unto a quiet grave.

* Ah, what a life were this ! how sweet ! how lovely !

* Gives not the hawthorn bush a sweeter shade

* To shepherds looking on their silly sheep,
*Than doth a rich, embroidered canopy

* To kings, that fear their subjects treachery ?

* O, yes it doth ; a thousand fold it doth.

* And to conclude, the shepherd s homely curds,

* His cold, thin drink out of his leather bottle,

* His wonted sleep under a fresh tree s shade,

* All which secure and sweetly he enjoys,

* Is far beyond a prince s delicates,

* His viands sparkling in a golden cup,

Riches are ready snares,
And hasten to decay.

Pleasure is a privy [game],
Which vice doth still provoke ;
Pomp unprompt ; and fame a flame ;
Power a smouldering smoke.

Who meaneth to remove the rock
Out of his slimy mud,
Shall mire himself, and hardly scape
The swelling of the flood."


* His body couched in a curious bed,

*When care, mistrust, and treason wait on him.

Alarum. Enter a Son that has killed his Father,
dragging in the dead body.

Son. Ill blows the wind that profits nobody.
4 This man, whom hand to hand I slew in fight,
4 May be possessed with some store of crowns ;
*And I, that haply take them from him now,

* May yet ere night yield both my life and them

* To some man else, as this dead man doth me.
4 Who s this ? O God ! it is my father s face,

4 Whom in this conflict I unawares have killed.

4 O heavy time, begetting such events !

4 From London by the king was I pressed forth ;

4 My father, being the earl of Warwick s man,

4 Came on the part of York, pressed by his master ;

4 And I, who at his hands received my life,

4 Have by my hands of life bereaved him.

4 Pardon me, God ; I knew not what I did !

And pardon, father, for I knew not thee !

*My tears shall wipe away these bloody marks;

* And no more words, till they have flowed their fill.

4 K. Hen. O piteous spectacle ! O bloody times !
Whilst lions war, and battle for their dens,
4 Poor harmless lambs abide their enmity.
*Weep, wretched man ; I ll aid thee tear for tear;

* And let our hearts, and eyes, like civil war,

*Be blind with tears and break, o ercharged with grief.

Enter a Father, who has killed his Son, with the body
in his arms.

4 Path. Thou that so stoutly hast resisted me,
4 Give me thy gold, if thou hast any gold ;
4 For I have bought it with a hundred blows.
4 But let me see : is this our foeman s face ?
4 Ah, no, no, no, it is mine only son !
* Ah, boy, if any life be left in thee,
VOL. iv. 60


* Throw up thine eye ; see, see, what showers arise,

* Blown with the windy tempest of my heart,

* Upon thy wounds, that kill mine eye and heart !
4 O, pity, God, this miserable age !

4 What stratagems, 1 how fell, how butcherly,
4 Erroneous, mutinous, and unnatural,
4 This deadly quarrel daily doth beget !
4 O, boy, thy father gave thee life too soon,
4 And hath bereft thee of thy life too late ! 2

K. Hen. Woe above woe ! grief more than common

4 O that my death would stay these ruthful deeds !

* O, pity, pity, gentle Heaven, pity !

The red rose and the white are on his face,
The fatal colors of our striving houses :

* The one, his purple blood right well resembles ;

* The other, his pale cheeks, methinks, present !
Wither one rose, and let the other flourish!

4 If you contend, a thousand lives must wither.

Son. How will my mother, for a father s death,
Take on 3 with me, and ne er be satisfied!

Path. How will my wife, for slaughter of my son,
4 Shed seas of tears, and ne er be satisfied !

4 K. Hen. How will the country, for these woful

4 Misthink 4 the king, and not be satisfied !

4 Son. Was ever son, so rued a father s death ?

4 Path. Was ever father, so bemoaned a son ?

4 K. Hen. Was ever king, so grieved for subjects

woe ?
4 Much is your sorrow ; mine, ten times so much.

4 Son. I ll bear thee hence, where I may weep my
fill. [Exit with the body.

1 Stratagems here means direful events.

2 Of these obscure lines the following explanation by Henley is the
most probable which has been offered : Had the son been younger, he
would have been precluded from the levy which brought him to the field ;
and had the father recognized him before their mortal encounter, it would
not have been too late to have saved him from death.

3 To take on is a phrase still in use in common parlance, and signifies
to persist in clamorous lamentations.

4 Think unfavorably of.


* Path. These arms of mine shall be thy winding-
sheet ;

* My heart, sweet boy, shall be thy sepulchre ;

* For from my heart thine image ne er shall go.

* My sighing breast shall be thy funeral bell ;

* And so obsequious 1 will thy father be,

* Sad for the loss of thee, having no more,

* As Priam was for all his valiant sons.

I ll bear thee hence ; and let them fight that will,
For I have murdered where I should not kill.

[Exit with the body.
1 K. Hen. Sad-hearted men, much overgone with

Here sits a king more woful than you are.

Alarums: Excursions. Enter QUEEN MARGARET,

; Prince. Fly, father, fly ! for all your friends are


And Warwick rages like a chafed bull :
Away ! for death doth hold us in pursuit.

4 Q. Mar. Mount you, my lord ; towards Berwick

post amain ;

Edw^ard and Richard, like a brace of greyhounds,
6 Having the fearful, flying hare in sight,
With fiery eyes, sparkling for very wrath,
6 And bloody steel grasped in their ireful hands,
Are at our backs ; and, therefore, hence amain.
< Exe. Away! for vengeance comes along with

them ;

Nay, stay not to expostulate ; make speed ;
Or else come after, I ll away before.

i K. Hen. Nay, take me with thee, good, sweet
Exeter ;

* Not that I fear to stay, but love to go

4 Whither the queen intends. Forward ; away !


1 Obsequious is here careful of obsequies or funeral rites.


SCENE VI. The same. A loud Alarum.

Enter CLIFFORD, wounded 1

i Clif. Here burns my candle out, ay, here it dies,
Which, while it lasted, gave king Henry light.
O, Lancaster ! I fear thy overthrow,
More than my body s parting with my soul.
My love and fear glued many friends to thee ;
And, now I fall, thy tough commixtures melt.
Impairing Henry, strengthening mis-proud York,
The common people swarm like summer flies ;
And whither fly the gnats, but to the sun ?
And who shines now but Henry s enemies ?
O, Phoebus ! hadst thou never given consent
That Phaeton should check thy fiery steeds,
Thy burning car never had scorched the earth :
And, Henry, hadst thou swayed as kings should do,
Or as thy father, and his father, did,
Giving no around unto the house of York,

O o

*They never then had sprung like summer flies:

< I, and ton thousand in this luckless realm,

Had loft no mourning widows for our death,

And thou this day hadst kept thy chair in peace.

For what doth cherish woods, but gentle air?

4 And what makes robbers bold, but too much lenity ?

Bootless are plaints, and cureless are my wounds ;

4 No way to fly, nor strength to hold out flight ;

The foe is merciless, and will not pity ;

For at their hands I have deserved no pity.

The air hath got into my deadly wounds,

And much effuse of blood doth make me faint :

Come, York, and Richard, Warwick, and the rest ;

I stabbed your fathers bosoms, split my breast.

[He faints.

1 In the old play the stage direction adds, iviih an arrow in his neck.
It is thought that Beaumont and Fletcher ridiculed this, by introducing
Ralph, the grocer s prentice, in the Knight of the Burning Pestle, with
a forked arrow through his head. The circumstance is related by Holin-
shed, p. 6(14 : " The lord Cliiford, either for heat or paine, putting off his
gorget suddenlie, with an arrow (as some saie) without a head, was stricken
into the throte, and immediately rendered his spirit."


Alarum and Retreat. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE,

Edw. Now breathe we, lords ; good fortune bids

us pause,
And smooth the frowns of war with peaceful looks.

* Some troops pursue the bloody-minded queen,
That led calm Henry, though he were a king,
i As doth a sail, filled with a fretting gust,

4 Command an argosy to stem the waves.

< But think you, lords, that Clifford fled with them ?

War. No, tis impossible he should escape ;
For, though before his face I speak the words,
Your brother Richard marked him for the grave ;
4 And, wheresoe er he is, he s surely dead.

[CLIFFORD groans, and dies.

Edw. Whose soul is that which takes her heavy
leave ?

Rich. A deadly groan, like life and death s de
parting. 1

Edw. See who it is ; and now the battle s ended,
If friend or foe, let him be gently used.

4 Rich. Revoke that doom of mercy, for tis Clifford ;
{ Who not contented that he lopped the branch
In hewing Rutland when his leaves put forth,
i But set his murdering knife unto the root
1 From whence that tender spray did sweetly spring ;
4 I mean our princely father, duke of York.

War. From off the gates of York fetch down the


Your father s head, which Clifford placed there ;
Instead whereof, let this supply the room ;
Measure for measure must be answered.

Edw. Bring forth that fatal screech-owl to our house,
4 That nothing sung but death to us and ours ;
4 Now death shall stop his dismal, threatening sound,

* And his ill-boding tongue no more shall speak.

[Attendants bring the body forward.

1 Departing for separation.


War. I think his understanding is bereft :
Speak, Clifford, dost thou know who speaks to thee ?
Dark, cloudy death o ershades his beams of life,
And he nor sees, nor hears us what we say.

Rich. O, would he did ! and so, perhaps, he doth ;
< Tis but his policy to counterfeit,
6 Because he would avoid such bitter taunts,
4 Which in the time of death he gave our father.

Geo. If so thou think st, vex him with eager words. 1

Rich. Clifford, ask mercy, and obtain no grace.

Ediv. Clifford, repent in bootless penitence.

War. Clifford, devise excuses for thy faults.

Geo. While we devise fell tortures for thy faults.

i Rich. Thou didst love York, and I am son to York.

Edw. Thou pitied st Rutland, I will pity thee.

Geo. Where s captain Margaret, to fence you now ?

War. They mock thee, Clifford ! swear as thou
wast wont.

Rich. What, not an oath ? nay, then the world

goes hard,

When Clifford cannot spare his friends an oath ;
I know by that he s dead ; and, by my soul,
6 If this right hand would buy two hours life,
That I in all despite might rail at him,
This hand should chop it off; and with the issuing


Stifle the villain, whose unstanched thirst
York and young Rutland could not satisfy.

War. Ay, but he s dead. Off with the traitor s


And rear it in the place your father s stands.
And now to London with triumphant march,
There to be crowned England s royal king.
From whence shall Warwick cut the sea to France,
And ask the lady Bona for thy queen ;
So shalt thou sinew both these lands together ;
1 And, having France thy friend, thou shalt not dread

1 Sour words ; words of asperity. " Verie eagre or sowre : peracer-
bous." Bard.


The scattered foe, that hopes to rise again ;

For though they cannot greatly sting to hurt,

Yet look to have them buzz, to offend thine ears.

First, will I see the coronation ;

1 And then to Brittany I ll cross the sea,

To effect this marriage, so it please my lord.

Edw. Even as thou wilt, sweet Warwick, let it be ;

* For on thy shoulder do I build my seat ;

* And never will I undertake the thing,

* Wherein thy counsel and consent is wanting.
< Richard, I will create thee duke of Gloster ;

4 And George, of Clarence ; Warwick, as ourself,
4 Shall do, and undo, as him pleaseth best.

Rich. Let me be duke of Clarence ; George, of

Gloster ;
For Gloster s dukedom is too ominous. 1

War. Tut, that s a foolish observation ;
Richard, be duke of Gloster. Now to London,
To see these honors in possession. [Exeunt.


SCENE I. A Chase in the North of England.

Enter two Keepers, 2 with crossbows in their hands.

1 Keep. Under this thick-grown brake we ll shroud
ourselves ;

1 Alluding to the deaths of Thomas of Woodstock and Humphrey, dukes
of Gloster. The author of the old play, in which this line is found, had a
passage of Hall s Chronicle in his thoughts, in which the unfortunate ends
of those who had borne the title is recounted: he thus concludes: "So
that this name of Gloucester is taken for an unhappie and unfortunate
stile, as the proverb speaks of Segane s horse, whose ryder was ever un
horsed, and whose possessor was ever brought to miserie."

2 In the folio copy, instead of two keepers, we have, through negligence,
the names of the persons who represented these characters, Sincklo and
Humphrey. Humphrey was probably Humphrey Jeaffes, mentioned in




4 For through this laund 1 anon the deer will come ;
4 And in this covert will we make our stand,
c Culling the principal of all the deer.

* 2 Keep. I ll stay above the hill, so both may shoot.

* 1 Keep. That cannot be ; the noise of thy cross


* Will scare the herd, and so my shoot is lost.

* Here stand we both, and aim we at the best ;

* And, for the time shall not seem tedious,

* I ll tell thee what befell me on a day,

* In this self-place where now we mean to stand.

2 Keep. Here comes a man ; let s stay till he be

Enter KING HENRY, disguised, with a prayer-book.

K. Hen. From Scotland am I stolen, even of pure


To greet mine own land with my wishful sight.
4 No, Harry, Harry, tis no land of thine ;
*Thy place is filled, thy sceptre wrung from thee,
*Thy balm washed off, wherewith thou wast anointed:
No bending knee will call thee Caesar now,
No humble suitors press to speak for right,
*No, not a man corncs for redress of thee ;
For how can I help them, and not myself?

4 1 Keep. Ay, here s a deer whose skin s a keeper s

fee :
c This is the quondam king ; let s seize upon him.

Mr. Henslowe s manuscript ; SincJdo we have before mentioned, his name
being prefixed to some speeches in the Induction to The Taming of the
Shrew. Hall and Holinshed tell us that Henry VI. "was no sooner
entered into England but he was known and taken of one Cantlow, and
brought to the king." It appears, hoAvever, from records in the duchy
office, that king Edward granted a rent-charge of one hundred pounds to
sir James Harington, in recompense of his great and laborious diligence
about the capture and detention of the king s great traitor, rebel, and
enemy, lately called Henry the Sixth, made by the said James ; and like
wise annuities to Richard and Thomas Talbot, esquires, Talbot, and
Levesey, for their services in the same capture. Henry had been for
some time harbored by James Maychell of Crakenthorpe, Westmoreland.
See Rymer s Foedera, xi. 548, 575.
1 A lawn.


* K. Hen. Let me embrace these our adversities ;

* For wise men say, it is the wisest course.

* 2 Keep. Why linger we ? let us lay hands upon


* 1 Keep. Forbear awhile ; we ll hear a little more.
K. Hen. My queen and son are gone to France

for aid ;

And, as I hear, the great, commanding Warwick
4 Is thither gone, to crave the French king s sister
4 To wife for Edward. If this news be true,
4 Poor queen, and, son, your labor is but lost ;
4 For Warwick is a subtle orator,

* And Lewis a prince soon won with moving words.
4 By this account, then, Margaret may win him ;

4 For she s a woman to be pitied much ;

* Her sighs will make a battery in his breast ;

* Her tears will pierce into a marble heart ;

* The tiger will be mild, while she doth mourn ;

* And Nero will be tainted with remorse,

* To hear, and see, her plaints, her brinish tears.

* Ay, but she s come to beg ; Warwick, to give ;
She, on his left side, craving aid for Henry ;
He, on his right, asking a wife for Edward.
She weeps, and says her Henry is deposed ;
He smiles, and says his Edward is installed ;

* That she, poor wretch, for grief can speak no more ;

* Whiles Warwick tells his title, smooths the wrong,

* Infer re th arguments of mighty strength ;
*And, in conclusion, wins the king from her,
*With promise of his sister, and what else,

* To strengthen and support king Edward s place.

* O, Margaret, thus twill be ; and thou, poor soul,

* Art then forsaken, as thou went st forlorn.

2 Keep. Say, what art thou, that talk st of kings

and queens ?
4 K. Hen. More than I seem, and less than I was

born to ;

4 A man at least, for less I should not be ;
And men may talk of kings, and why not I ?

2 Keep. Ay, but thou talk st as if thou wert a king

Online LibraryWilliam ShakespeareThe dramatic works of William Shakspeare... embracing a life of the poet, and notes, original and selected (Volume 4) → online text (page 34 of 38)