of his rights and proud of his merits, the aspiring dispo-
sition was moderated into a more legitimate form. At the
death of his son Rutland his better nature bursts forth
forcibly to hght. He is honest enough, upon the pre-
tended disgrace of his enemy Somerset, to dismiss his
*'powers" and to give his sons as pledges ; had he not been
led away by his sons, he is moderate enough, and is even
ready to suspend his claims to the throne until Henry's
death, whom, in the course of nature, he was not likely to
survive ; ho labored for his house, and not as his son, for
himself. His claims and those of his house, which he as-
serts in opposition to the helpless and inactive Henry, he
grounds not upon the malicious consciousness of personal
superiority, as his son Richard does subsequently ; but
upon a good right, upon his favor with the people, upon
his services in France and Ireland. Contrasted with
Henry, he feels himself more kingly in birth, nature, and
disposition. When he exercises his retaliation on the Lan-
castrians, he utters those words which Bolingbroke had
before more cunningly applied to Richard II: "Let them
obey, that know not how to rule." — Gervinus, Shakespeare
In all three parts we have a reflection of the same law,
of the same conception of history, which again is but a
modification of the fundamental theme of the whole tril-
ogy; all the parts gather round one central point and
arrange themselves into one great whole. . . . We
Comments THE THIRD PART OF
have history represented in its degeneration into civil war,
which is the consequence of the original disturbance of its
course and of the general demoralization which increases
with it. This is the theme upon which the whole trilogy
is based, and which exhibits the two sides of life according
to Shakespeare's conception. The three parts then show
the principal stages in the development of such a state of
things. History, when so degenerate, first of all casts out
those that are good and noble but who are nevertheless not
wholly unaffected by the spirit of their age, and at the
same time shows that the great and pure are not understood
and that they cannot keep themselves entirely pure. This
is exhibited in the First Part by the events belonging to
it (and hence, because appropriate here only, Shakespeare
introduces Talbot's death into this first part in violation of
the laws of chronology). History then continues falling
into a wild state of chaos, where right and wrong flow
into one another and can no longer be distinguished, and
consequently where the bad and the good, or, to speak more
correctly, the bad and those that are less bad are drawn
into the general vortex. This is the second stage of which
we have a representation in the Second Part. Having ar-
rived at this climax, history demands that man shall not
interfere with its course, and refrain from having any de-
termination of his own, and that he shall leave all action to
that man whom it has itself chosen to restore order. It
therefore punishes every uncalled-for interference as un-
authorized presumption, whereas the submissive spirit is in-
wardly exalted and glorified through suffering and death.
This is the thought which connects the events of the Third
Part into an organic unity. — Ulrici, Shakespeare's Dra-
In leaving these plays I would draw attention to the
parallel not only of incident but expression, of the slaugh-
ter of young Rutland by Clifford, and that of Lycaon by
Achilles in the Iliad. The resemblance may be due to the
KING HENRY VI Comments
classical knowledge of the original English dramatist-, or
to the sympathy of poetic minds. The rendering of this
passage is one of the worthiest in Pope's translation. Clif-
ford and Achilles are here merciless alike, and yet not ut-
terly pitiless : —
"Clifford. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter."
And thus the Greek:—
"Die then, my friend, what boots it to deplore,
The great, the good Patroclus is no more."
— Lloyd, Critical Essays.
THE THIRD PART OF
KING HENRY VI
— KixG Hexry the sixth
Edwaro, Prince of Wales, his son
Lewis XI, King of France
Duke of Somerset
Duke of Exeter
Earl of Oxford
Earl of Northumberlakd
Earl of Westmoreland
Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York
Edward, Earl of March, afterwards King Edward IV,
Edmund, Earl of Rvtl<ind, l^/^j^. ^q^^
George, afterioards Duke of Clarence,
Richard, afterwards Duke of Gloucester,
Duke of Norfolk
Marquess of Montague
Earl of Warwick
Earl of Pemijroke
Sir Jorn Mortimer, T ^^^^^^^ ^^ ,^^ p„^g 0/ York
Sir Hugh Mortimer, J
Henry, Earl of Richmond, a youth
Lord Ritors, brother to Lady Grey
Sir William Stanley
Sir John Montgomery
Sir John Somerville
Tutor to Rutland. Mayor of York
Lieutenant of the Tower. A Nobleman
Two Keepers. A Huntsman
A Son that has killed his father
A Father that has killed his son
Lady Grey, afterwards Queen to Edward IV
Bona, sister to the French Queen
Soldiers, Attendants, Mes;«ngers, W^itchmen, &C,
Scene: England and France
Before Henry VI reaches London, the Duke of York is
there and is seated on the throne by the Earl of Warwick.
The king enters the Parhament-house and finding threats
of no avail to make York give up the throne, promises
that York shall be his heir. Margaret is very angry that
her son should thus be denied the succession and she her-
self raises an army. A battle takes place between the
forces of the queen and those of York, in which the latter
is defeated and slain.
Edward and Richard, York's sons, are much disheart-
''' encd over the death of their father, but are encouraged
when Warwick joins them. Another battle is fought near
^ Towton and Henry's forces are routed. Edward and his
followers then proceed to London, there to crown Edward
After Edward's coronation, Warwick journeys to
France to arrange a marriage between the new king and
the Princess Bona, sister of the queen of France. King
Hcnr,y is taken prisoner and carried to the London Tower.
At the French court Warwick meets ?Jargiiret; both plead
with Lewis, the first for the hand of Bona for his king and
the latter for aid to restore Henry to his throne. Lewis
has just promised to accede to Warwick's wishes when a
post enters bringing letters. They contain the news of
Synopsis KING HENRY VI
Edward's marriage with Lady Elizabeth Grey. Angry
with Edward for his broken faith, Warwick and Lewis both
turn to Margaret ; Warwick is reconciled to her and Lewis
promises her the French troops she so much needs.
Warwick hastens to England, by forced marches sur-
prises Edward, deposes him, and restores the crown to
Henry. Edward escapes from his captors and flees to
Burgundy, where he succeeds in recruiting fresh troops.
He returns to his dukedom of York in England and is
there joined by his own friends and their followers. They
march upon London and Henry is again seized and im-
prisoned in the Tower.
Warwick "the King-maker" and Edward meet in battle
near Barnet and the forces of the Earl are defeated, he
himself being killed. The king then proceeds to Tewks-
bury, where he meets Margaret and her French troops.
The queen is taken prisoner, and the prince, her son,
stabbed to death by York's brother. Edward's brother,
the Duke of Gloucester, hastens to London and kills Henry.
Edward ascends the throne with every prospect of peace
and security for the future were it not for the mutterings
of the Duke of Gloucester,
THE THIRD PART OF
KING HENRY VI
London. The Parliament-house.
Alarum. Enter the Duke of York, Edward,
Richard, Norfolk, Montague, Wai^ick, and
War. I wonder how the king escaped our hands.
York. While we pursued the horsemen of the
He shly stole away and left his men :
Whereat the great Lord of Northumherland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford and Lord Stafford, all a-breast,
Charged our main battle's front, and breaking
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.
9. It was seen in the note to 1. 30 of Act. v. sc. 2, of the preceding
play, that the circumstances of old Clifford's death are here stated
as they really were. As the representation is in both cases the same
in the quartia as in the folio, it is obvious that on the principle of
Malone's reasoning this discrepancy proves the two parts of the
Act I. Sc. i. THE THIRD PART OF
Edw. Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Bucking-
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow:
That this is true, father, behold his blood
Mont.- And, brother, here's the Earl of V/iltshire's
Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.
Rich. Speak thou for me and tell them what I did.
^Throwing down the Duke of Somerset's head.
York. Richard hath best deserved of all my sons.
But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?
Norf. Such hope have all the line of John of
quarto to have been by different hands. Of course the personal
fight of York and Clifford in the former play was for dramatic
effect; and here the Poet probably fell back upon the historical
facts without thinking of his preceding fiction. — In the present
scene Shakespeare brings into close juxtaposition events that were
in fact more than five years asunder. The first battle of St. Al-
bans was fought May 23, 1455, and the parliament at Westminster,
whose proceedings are here represented, was opened October 7,
1560. In October, 1459, the Yorkists had been dispersed, and the
duke himself with his son Edmund had fled to Ireland; but they
soon rallied again, and in July, 1460, a terrible battle v/as fought
at Northampton, wherein the Yorkists were again victorious, and got
the king into their hands, and compelled him soon after to call the
parliament in question. — H. N. H.
11. "damjerously," Theobald's correction (from Qq.); Ff., "darir-
gerovs." — I. G.
14. In this play York and Montague are made to address each
other several times as brothers. Perhaps the Poet thought that
John Nevil, marquess of Montague, was brother to York's wife,
whereas he was her nephew. Montague was brother to the earl of
Warwick; and the duchess of York was half-sister to their father,
the earl of Salisbury.— H. N. H.
18. "But is your grace"; Pope, "Is his grace"; Capell, "Is your
grace"; Malone (from Qq.), "What, is your grace"; Steevens, "What,
's your grace"; Lettsom, "What., Is your grace." — I. G.
19. "hope"; Capell, "enci"; Dyce (Anon, conj.), "hap."—l. G.
KING HENRY VI Act i. Sc. i.
Rich. Thus do I hoi)e to shake King Henry's head.
War. And so do 1. Victorious Prince of York, ^1
Before I see thee seated in that throne
Which now the house of Lancaster usurps,
I vow by heaven these eyes shall never close.
This is the palace of the fearful king,
And this the regal seat: possess it, York;
For this is thine, and not King Henry's heirs'.
York. Assist me, then, sweet Warwick, and I will;
For hither we have broken in by force.
Norf. We '11 all assist you ; he that flies shall die. 30
York. Thanks, gentle Norfolk: stay by me, my
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night
[They go up.
War. And when the king comes, offer him no
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.
York. The queen this day here holds her parlia-
But little thinks we shall be of her council :
By words or blows here let us win our right.
Rich. Arm'd as we are, let 's stay within this house.
War. The bloody parliament shall this be call'd.
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king, 40
And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.
34. "thrust you out perforce"; Rowe, "thrust you out by force";
Capell (from Qq.)» "put vs out by force." — I. G.
36. "council"; Pope's emendation of Ff. 1, 2, "counsaile"; F. 3,
"coumeU"; F. 4, "coMmeV'—l. G.
41. "And bashful Henry deposed, whose cowardice" ; Qq., "b«
deposde"; as the line stands in the Ff. "Henry" must be either dis-
syllabic or monosyllabic. — I. G.
Act I. Sc. i. THE THIRD PART OF
York, Then leave me not, my lords ; be resolute :
I mean to take possession of my right.
Wa7\ Neither the king, nor he that loves him best,
The proudest he that holds up Lancaster,
Dares stir a wing, if Warwick shake his bells.
I '11 jilant Plantagenet, root him up who dares :
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English
Flourish. Enter King Henry, Clifford, North-
umberlandj Westmoreland , Exeter, and the
K. Hen. My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits.
Even in the chair of state : belike he means, 51
Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false
To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father,
And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have
On him, his sons, his favorites and his friends.
North. If I be not, heavens be revenged on me!
Clif. The hope thereof makes CliiFord mourn in
West. What, shall we suffer this? let 's pluck him
47. The allusion is to falconry. Hawks had sometimes little bells
hung on them, perhaps to dare the birds; that is, to fright them
from rising. The quarto has "the proudest bird that holds up Lan-
caster."— H. N. H.
55. "You both have vow'd"; F. 4, "yoii have both voio^d" ; Pope,
"you vow'd"; Collier MS., "you have voiv'd"; Collier conj. "both
have vow'd"; Vaughan conj. "you bolh vow'd." — I. G.
56, "favorites"; Capell, "favorers."— J. G.
KING HENRY VI Act i. Sc. i.
My heart for anger burns ; I cannot brook it. GO
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmore-
Clif. Patience is for poltroons, such as he:
He durst not sit there, had your father lived.
My gracious lord, here in the i^arliament
Let us assail the family of York.
Noj'th. Well hast thou spoken, cousin: be it so.
K. Hen. Ah, know you not the city favors them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?
Ea:e, But when the duke is slam, they '11 quickly
K, Hen. Far be the thought of this from Henry's
To make a shambles of the parliament-house I
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words and threats
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.
Thou factious Duke of York, descend my
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet ;
I am thy sovereign.
York. I am thine.
Ecve. For shame, come down: he made thee Duke
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
62. "poltroons, such as he"; F. 1, "PoiiUroones, such as he"; Ff.
2, 3, "Poitltroones, and such is he"; F. 4, "Poltroons, and such w
he"; Capell, "poltroons, and such as he" — I. G.
70. "Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart"; Capell (from
Qq.), "Far be it from the thoughts of Ilenrt/s heart."— 1. G.
76. "/ am thine"; Howe, "Henry, I am thine"; Theobald (from
Qq.), "Thou'rt deceiv'd, I'm, thine."— I. G.
78. "The earldom was/' i. e. the earldom of March, by which he
claimed tlie throne; Theobald (from Qq.), "The kingdom is."
Act I. Sc. i. THE THIRD PART OF
Eive. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.
War, Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown, 80
In following this usurping Henry.
Clif. Whom should he follow but his natural king?
War, True, ChfFord; and that 's Richard Duke of
K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my
York, It must and shall be so : content thyself.
War. Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.
West. He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall
War. And Warwick shall disprove it. You for-
That we are those which chased you from the
And slew your fathers, and with colors spread
^larch'd through the city to the palace gates.
North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.
West. Plantagenet, of thee and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen and thy friends, I '11 have more
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
Clif. Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir. 100
War. Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless
83. "and that's," the reading of Ff. 2, 3, 4; F. 1, "that's"; Qq.»
"and that is"; Collier, "that is"
KING HENRY VI Act I. Sc. L
York. Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.
K, Hen. What title hast thou, traitor, to the
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger 3iortimer, Earl of
I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Daxiphin and the French to
And seized upon their towns and provinces.
War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
105. "Thy father"; "Thy," Rowe's correction (from Qq.) of Ff.,
"My"; "father"; Capeil conj. "uncle."— I. G.
It will be renicinbered tliat his fatlier was 7iot duke of York,
but earl of Cambridge, and tliat even that title was forfeited, leav-
ing the present duke plain Richard Plantagenet, until he was ad-
vanced by the present king. Accordingly, Exeter has said, a few
lines before, — "He viude thee duke of York." So that here we
have another discre])ancy, and that not in different plays or scenes,
but in dilTerent parts of the same scene. — H. N. H.
110. "Sith," since; a contraction of silhcnce. — The fallowing ex-
tracts from the Chronicles will show tlie historical basis of these
proceedings. "During the time of this parlement, the duke of Yorke
with a bold countenance entered into the cliauiber of tlie peeres,
and sat downe in the throne roiall, under the cloth of estate, which
is the kings peculiar seat, and in the presence of the nobilitie, as
well spirituall as temporall, after a pause made, he began to de-
clare his title to the ciowne." llien follows the speech which York
was said to have made, after which the chroniclers add, — "When
the duke had made an end of his oration, tlie lords sat still as
men striken into a certeine amazedncsse, neitiier whispering nor
speaking foorth a word, as though their mouthes had been sowed
up. The duke, not verie well content with their silence, advised
them to consider throughlie, and ponder the whole effect of his
words and saiengs; and so neitiier fullie displeased, nor yet alto-
gither content, departed to his lodgings in the kings palace. ITie
lords forgot not the dukes demand, and, to take some direction
therein, diverse of them as spirituall and temporall, with manie grave
and sage persons of tlie coramonaltie, dailie assembled at the Blacke-
Act I. Sc. i. THE THIRD PART OF
K, Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I : HI
.When I was crown'd I was but nine months
Rich, You are old enough now, and yet, me-
thinks, you lose.
Father, tear the crown from the usurj^er's
Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
3Iont. Good brother, as thou lovest and honorest
Let 's fight it out and not stand cavihng thus.
Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king
York. Sons, peace!
K. Hen. Peace, thou! and give King Henry leave
War, Plantagenet shall speak first: hear him,
And be you silent and attentive too.
For he that interrupts him shall not live.
K. Hen. Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No: first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colors, often borne in France,
And now in England to our heart's great sor-
friers and other places, to treat of this matter. During which time
the duke of Yorke, although he and the king were both lodged
in the palace of Westminster, would not for anie praiers or re-
quests once visit the king, till some conclusion were taken in this
matter; saieng that he was subject to no man, but only to God,
under whose mercie none here superiour but he." — H. N. H.
KING HENRY VI Act I Sc. i.
Shall be my winding-sheet. Why faint you,
My title 's good, and better far than his. 130
War. 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. [Adde] 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,
Resign'd the crown to Henry the Fourth,
Whose heir my father was, and I am his. 140
York. He rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.
War. Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown?
Ea^e. 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?
Eire. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer
Ecve. My conscience tells me he is lawful king. 150
K. Hen. [Aside] All will revolt from m.e, and turn
North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
144. "his crown"; Johnson, "his son"; Dr. Percy pointed out that
Richard II had no son; Capell (from Qq.), "the crown"; Vaughan,
"his line"; Wordsworth, "the throne."— I. G.
Act I. Sc. i. THE THIRD PART OF
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
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 defense: 160
May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father I
K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my
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 over the chair of state, where now he sits.
Write up his title with usurping blood.
[He stamps with his foot, and the Soldiers
K. Hen. My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one
Let me for this my life-time reign as king. 171
York. Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs,
And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou livest.
King. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
171. "for this my life-time reign as king," the reading of F. 1;
Ff. 2, 3, 4, "for this time," &c.; Theobald (from Qq.)» "^ut reign in
quiet, while I live." — I. G.
KING HENRY VI Act I. Sc. i.
Clif, What wrong is this unto the prince your son!
War. Wliat good is this to England and himself!
West. Base, fearful and despairing Henry!
Clif. How hast thou injured both thyself and us!
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles. 180
North. Nor I.
Clif, Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.
West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate
In whose cold blood no spark of honor bides.
North. Be thou a prey unto the house of York,
And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
Clif. In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome.
Or live in peace abandon'd and despised!
[Eojeunt North., Cliff,, and West.
War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
Ea^e. 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.
But be it as it may : I here entail
The crown to thee and to thine heirs for ever;
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. 200
York. This oath I Millingly take and will perform,
Act I. Sc. i. THE THIRD PART OF
War. Long live King Henry! Plantagenet, em-
K. Hen. And long live thou and these thy forward
York. Now York and Lancaster are reconciled.
Ecce, Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes !
[Seniiet. Here they come down.
York, Farewell, my gracious lord; I '11 to my
JVar. And I '11 keep London with my soldiers.
Norf. And I to Norfolk with my followers.