William Michael Rossetti William Shakespeare.

The complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography online

. (page 124 of 224)
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[Smet, The Lords camejorvxard.
York. Farewell, my gracious lord ; ill to my

War, And 111 keep London, with my soldiers
Norf, And 1 to Norfolk, with my followers.
Mont, And I unto the sea, from whence i came.
\Exewni York and hia Sons, War., Norf,,
MONTAOUB, Soldiers, and Attendants.
JL Hen. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the

Enter Queen Margaret and the Prince of Walbs.

Ext, Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray

her anger:
111 steal away.
K. Hen, Exeter, so will I. [Qoing.

Q. Mar. Nay, go not firom me, I will follow

K. Hen, Be patient, gentle queen, and I will

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,
Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father !
Hath lie deserved to lose his birthright thus?
lladst thou but lov'd him half so well as I;
Or felt that pain which I did for him onoe;
Or nourished him, as I did with my blood ;
Thou wonldst have left thy dearest heart-blood

Kather than have made that savage duke thine

And disinherited thine only son.

Prince. Father, you cannot disinherit me :
If you be king, why should not I succeed?
aI Hen, Pardon me, Margaret ; pardon me,

sweet son ;
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforced me.
Q, Mar. Enfore'd thee ! art thou king, and wilt

be forcd?
I shame to hear thee speak. Ah, timorous wretch !
Thou hast undone thyself, thy son, and me ;
And given unto the house of York such head,
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;
Stem Faulconbridge 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,
The soldiers should have toss'd me on their pikes.
Before I would have granted to that act.
But thou preferr'st thy life before thine honour:
And, seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself.
Both fix>m thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parluiment be repealed,
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords, which have forsworn thy

Will follow mine if once they see them spread :
And spread they shall be ; to thy foul disgrace,
And utter ruin of the house of York.
Thus do I leave thee :— Come, son, let's away ;
Our army is ready ; come, we'll after them.
K. Hen, Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me

Q, Mar, Thou hast spoke too much already;

get thee gone. (^r\r\c^\o

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K. Hen, Gentle son Edward thou wilt stajwitb

O. Mcar, Ay, to be marther'd bjr hU enemies.
rtinot. When I retarn with Tiotorr from the
111 see your gimee : till then, 111 foUow her.
Q, Mar, Come, son, awaj; we may not linger
\Eaaemi Qaeen Mabgabet (mi the Prinoe.
K, Mau Poor qaeen I how love to me, and to
her son,
Hath made her break out into terms of ragel
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful dake ;
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and, like an emp^ eagle,
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son f
The loss of those three lords torments m^ heart :
111 write unto them, and entreat them fair ;—
Come, oonsin, yoa shall be my messenger.
E/oe, And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.


SCENE II.— il Boom m Sandal CasUe, near
Wakefield, m Yorkshire.

Enter Edwabd, Righakd, ami Momtaqub.

Bieh. Brother, thoagh I be youngest, give me

SAo. No, I can better play the orator.
MoaL But I have reasons strong and forcible.

Enter Yobk.

York. Why, how now, sons and brother, at b
What is your quarrel ? how began it first ?

Edw, No quarrel, but a slight contention.

York. About what?

Bkh. About that which concerns your grace,
and us;
The crown of England, fistther, which b yours.

York, Mine, boy? not till King Henry be dead.

Bith, Your right depends not on his life, or

Echo. Now you are heir, therefore enjoy it now :
By ^ying the house of Lsncaster leave to breathe,
It will outrun you, father, in the end.

York. 1 took an oath that he should quietly reign.

Echo, But for a kingdom any oath may be
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

Bkk, No; God forbid your grace should be

York. 1 shall be, if I claim by open war.

Bic^ 111 prove the contrary, if yonll hear me

York. Thou canst not, son ; it is impossible.

Bkh. An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority over him that swears :
Henry had none, but did usurp the place ;
Then, seeing twas he that made von to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and nrivolous.
Therefore, to arms. And, &ther, do but think
How sweet a thing it is to wear a crown ;
Within whose circuit is Elysium,
And fdl that poets feign of bliss and joy.
Why 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.

York. Richard, enough ; I will be king or die.
Brother, thou shalt to London presently.
And whet on Warwick to this enterprise.
Then, Richard, thalt onto tha Doke of Norfolk,

And tell him privily of our intent.
You, Edward, shall unto my Lord CoUiam,
Witli whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise:
In them I trust ; for they are soldiers.
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.
While yoa are thus employed, what restetli mora
But that I seek occasion how to rise.
And yet the king not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Liancaster ?

Enter a Messenger.

But, stay; What news? why com^ &oo in aoch
Jfess. The queen, with all the northern earls
and lords.
Intend here to besiege yoa in your castle :
She is hard by with twenty thousand men;
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

York. Ay, with my sword. What I think^t
thou that we fear them ?
Edward and Richard, you shall stay with me;
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 themsdvea,
And trust not simple Henry, nor his oaths.

Mont. Brotlier, I go ; 111 win them, fear it not:
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.


Enter Sir Johh and Sir Hugh Mobtimeb.
York. Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine
You are come to Sandal in a happy hoar;
The army of the queen mean to besiege as.
Sir John. She shall not need, well meet her in

the field.
York. What, with five thousand men?
Bkh. Ay, with five hundred, &ther, for a need.
A woman% general; what should we fear?

[A march qfar qf*
Edw. I hear their drums ; let'a set onr men m
And issue forth, and bid them battle straifffat.
York. Five men to twenty 1— thoagh the odds
be great,
I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won m France,
When as the enemy hath been ten to one ;
Why should I not now have the like success?

[AUxrum. BxemiL

SCENE HL-ftotfis near S«idal CasUe.
Alarwm: Ewwrthna. £^i<er Eutlahd, oncf Am
But. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'toape theb
Ah, tutor I look where bloody Clifford oomea I

Enter Clifpobd and Soldiers.
OZ|f. Chaplain, away ! thy priesthood aavea thy
As for the brat of this accursed duke.
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.
Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him company.
Cltf, Soldiers, away with him.
TuJL Ah, Clifford 1 murther not this inoocenft
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.

[ExU. forced offUi SokBera.

Cl^f. Hownowl ishedeadahready? Orisitfinr

That makes him close hia avei^?— Ill omn tiiauk

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JhL 80 looks the pentmp lion o'er the wretch
That trembles ander liis devouring jmiws:
And so he walks, insulting o*er his prey ;
And so he oomes to rend his limbs asonderr
Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thj sword,
And not with such a crael threatening look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die :
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath ;
Be thoa reveng'd on men, and let me live.

Clif, In vain thoa ipeak'st, poor boy; my
father's blood
Hath stopped the passage where thy words should

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

Oltfi. Had I thy brethren here, their lives sad
Were not revenge sii£9cient for me ;
No, if I digged up thy forefathers' graves.
And hung their rotten cofAns up in chains,
It could not slake mine ire nor ease my heart.
The sight of any of the liouse of York
Is as a fury to torment my soul ;
And till I root out their accursed line.
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore — [L{fting his hand.

But. O, let me pray before I take my death i —
To thee I pray : Sweet Clifford, pit^ me !

Olif. Such pity as my rapier's pomt affords.

BuL I never did tliee harm: Why wilt thou
slay me?

Olif. Thy father hath.

BwL But 'twas ere I was bom.

Thou hast one son, for his sake pity me ;
Lest in revenge thereof— sith Qod 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 utther slew my father; therefore, die.

J[Clif. ttaU hm.

BmL DufsKiantylcatdUiwnmaiUistatwBl [Dies,

Cfh^, Plantagenetl I come, Plantagenetl
And this thy son's blood, cleavinff to my blade,
Shall rust upon m^ weapon, till thy blood,
CoDgetl'd with this, do make me wipe off both.


SCENE iy«— TAs sosia.

JJarum, EfUer Tobk.

Tcrk The army of the queen hath got the field;
My uncles both are slain in rescuing me ;
And all my followers to the eager foe
Turn back, and fly. like ships before the wind,
Or lambs pursued by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons— God knows what hath bechanced them :
But this I know,— they have demean'd themselves
Like men bom to renown, bv life, or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me;
And thrice eried,— ** Courage, father I fight it oat I"
And full as oft came Edward to my side.
With purple &nlchion, painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encounter'd him :
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Riehard cried,— ** Charge I and give no foot of

ground r
And cried,—** A crown, or else a glorious tomb I
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre 1"
With this, we charged again : but, out, alas I
We bodg'd again ; as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide



And spend ber strength with over-matcbug waves.
[A short alarum ufUkm.
Ah, hark t the fatal followers do pursue ;
Ana I am faint, and cannot fly their fury :
And were I strong I would not shun their fhry:
The sands are numbered that make up my life ;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.

EnUr Queen Mahoaret, Cufford, Nobtb
UMBEKLAMD, and Boldiers.

Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,—
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage ;
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.
North, Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet
CUf. Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm.
With downright payment, show'd unto my &ther«
Now Phaeton hath tumbled from his car^
And made an evening at the noontide pnck.
York. My ashes, as the phooniz, may bring
A bird that will revenge upon you all :
And in that hope I throw mine eyes to heaven,
Scorning whatever you can afflict me with.
Why oome you not? what I multitudes, and fear?
V^f, So cowards fight, when they can fly no
further ;
So doves do peck the fSalcon'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

Whose frown hath made thee fiiint and fly ere this.
CUf, I will not bandy with thee word for word ;
Bat Duckle with thee blows, twice two for one.

Q, Mar. Hold, valiant Clifford ! for a thousand
I would prolong awhile the traitor%life:—
Wrath makes him deaf: speak thou, Northumber-
North, Hold, Clifford; do not honour Um so
To prick thy finger, though to wound his heart:
What valour were it when a cur doth grin
For one to thrust his hand between his teeth,
When he mi^ht spurn him with his foot away?
It is war's prixe to take all vantages;
And ten to one Is no impeach of valour.

[They lay hand» on York, who ttrugglei,
Clffi Ajr, ay, so strives the woodcock with the

North, So doth the ooney straggle in the net.

[York u taken pruoner,
York. So triumph thieves upon their oonquer'd
So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatoh'd.
North, What would your grace have done ante

him now ?
Q, Mar. Brave warriors, Clifford and North-
Come, make him stand upon this molehill here;
That raught at mountains with outstretched arms,
Yet parted but the shadow with his hand.
What! was it you that would be England's king?
Wast you that revell'd in our parliament,
And made a preachment of your high descent?
Where are your mess of sons, to back you now ?
The wanton Edward, and the lusty Ueoree?
And where*^ that valiant crook-back prodigy.


Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?

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

Look, York ; I stain 'd this na])kin with the blood

That valiant Clifford, with his rapier's point,

Made issue from the bosom of the boy :

And, if thine ejes can water for his death,

I give thee this to dry thy cheek!> withal.

Alas, poor York I but that I hate thee deadly,

I should lament thj miserable state.

I prithee, grieve, to make me meny, York ;

Stamp, rave, and fret, that 1 may sing and dance.

What hath thy fiery heart so parched thine

That not a tt;ar can fall for Rutland's death ?
Why art thou patient, man? thou shouldst bemad;
And I, to make thee mad, do mock thee thus.
Thou wouldst be lee'd, I see, to make me sport ;
York cannot speak unless he wear a crown.
A crown for York ;— and, lords, bow low to him.
Hold you his hands, whilst I do set it on.

[Putting a paper croum on hia head.
Ay, marry, sir, now looks he like a king !
Ay, this is he that took King Henry's chair ;
And this is he was his adop^ heir.
But how is it that great Plantagenet
Is crown'd so soon, and broke his solemn oath ?
As I bethink me yon should not be king
Till our King Henry bad shook hands with death.
And will you pale your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem.
Now in his life, against your holy oath ?
O, 'tis a fault too, too unpardonable!
Off with the crown; and, with the crown, his

And. whilst we breathe, take time to do him dead.
Ciif That is my office, for my father's sake.
Q, Mar, Nay, stay ; let's hear the orisons he

TorL She-wolf of France, bat worse than wolves

of France,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth I
How ill-beseeming is it in th^ sex
To triumph, like an Amazonian trull.
Upon theur woes whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face is, vizor-like, unchanging,
Hade 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 fiither bears the tvne of King of Naples,
Of both the Sicils, ana Jerusalem,
Yet not so .wealthy as an English yeoman.
Hatl) 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;
But God he knows thy share thereof is small :
Tis virtue that doth make them most admir'd ;
The contrary doth make thee wonder'd at :


'TIS government that makes them seem ^vine)
The want thereof makes thee abominable :
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are upto us.
Or as the south to the septentrion.
O, tiger's heart, wrapp'd m a woman^ hide.
How couldst thou drain the life-blood of the child,
To bid the father wipe his eyes withal.
And yet be seen to bear a woman's fiice?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou, stem, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bidd'st thou me rage? why, now thoa hast thy

Woaldst have me weep ? why, now thoa hast thy

For raging Mrind blows up incessant showers,
And when the rage allays the rain begins.
These tears are my sweet Rutland's obsequies ;
And every drop cries vengeance for his death,
'Gainst thee, fell Clifford, and thee, £alse Frendi
Iwrth, Beshrew me, but his passions move meso
That hardly can I check my eyes from tears.

York. That face of his the hungry cannibals.
Would not have touch 'd, would not have stain'd

with blood:
But yoa are more inhuman, more inexorable,
O, ten times more, than tigers of Hyrcania.
See, ruthless queen, a hapless father's tears :
This cloth thou dipp'st in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this :

[He gives back the handkerdArf.
And, if thou tell'st the heavy story right.
Upon my soul, the hearers will shed tears :
Yea, even my foes will shed fast-falling tears,
And say,— Alas it was a piteous deed I—
There, take the crown, and with the crown my

And, in thy need, such comfort come to thee
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand I
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world ;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon year heads!

North, Had he been slaughterman to all my kin,
I should not for my life but weep with him,
To see how inly sorrow gripes his soul.

Q. Mar, What, weeping-ripe, my Lord Nortb-
Think but upon the wrong he did us all.
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.
Cltf, Here's for my oath, here's for my fiather't

[Stabbimg km.
Q. Mar, And here^ to right oar gentle-hearted
king. [£!to66tii^ km.

Fork. Open thy gate of mercy, gracioos God !
My soal flies ttirough these wounds to seek out
thee. [DkL

Q, Mar. Off with his head, and set it on York
So York may overlook the town of York.





AOT n.

8CEKB L— ii Ftain near Mortimer's Cross m

Drumi* Enter Edward and Biohabd, loith their
Forces, marching.

Echo. I wonder how our princelj father *scapVl ;
Or whether he be ^Bcap*d away, or no,
From Clifford's and Northumberland's porsoit;
Had he been ta'en, we should have neard the

Had he been sbdn, we should hsTe heard the

Or, had he ^soi^'d, methinks we should have heard
The happ7 tidings of his good escape.
How Cures my brother? why b he so sad?

Bith, I cannot joy. until I be resoly'd
Where our right valiant father is become.
I saw him in the battle ran^ about ;
And watoh'd him, how he singled Clifford forth.
Methought, be bore him in the thickest troop
At doth a lion in a herd of neat :
Or as a bear, encompassed round with dogs ;
Who having pinch'da few, and made them cry,
The rest stand all aloof, and bark at him.
80 ftr'd our fiither with his enemies ;
80 fled his enemies my warlike £iUier ;
Methinks, tis prize enough to be his son.
Bee how the morning opes her eolden gates.
And takes her farewell of the glorious sun I
How well resembles it the prime of youth,
Trimm'd like a younker, prancinff to his love !

Edw, Dazzle mine eyes, or do I see three suns?

Ak^ Three glorious suns, each one a perfect


Not separated with the racking clouds.
But sever'd in a pale dear-shining sky.
See, see I they join, embrace, and seem to kiss.
As if they vow'd some league inviolable :
Now are they but one lamp, one light, one sun.
In this the heaven figures some event.

JEA0. Tis wondrous strange, the like yet never
heard oil
I think it cites us, brother, to the field ;
That we, the sons of brave Plantagenet,
Eaoh one already bUmng by our meeds.
Should, notwithstanding, join our lights together.
And overshine the earth, as this the world.
Whate'er it bodes, haiceforward will I bear
Upon my target three fair shining suns.

JtiA, Nay, bear three daughters;— by your
leave I speak it.
Ton loTe the breeder better than the

Enter a Messenger.

Bat what art thou, whose heavy looks foretell
Some dreadful story hanging on thy tongue ?

Mem, Ah, one tliat was a woefhl looker on.
When as the noble Duke of York was slain.
Your princely father, and my loving lord.

Edw, 0, speak no morel for I have heard too

Bick. Say how he died, for I wUl hear it alL
Meu. Environed he was with many foes;
And stood against them, as the hope of Troy
Against the Greeks that would have enter'd Troy.
But Hercules himself must yield to odds ;
And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fell the hardest-timber d oak.
By many hands jour fiiOher was subdued;

But only slaughtered by the ireful arm
Of unrelenting Clifford and the queen:
Who crown'd the gracious duke, in high despite;
Laugh'd in his face ; and, when with erief he wept,
The ruthless queen gave him to dry his cheeks,
A napkin steeped in the harmless blood
Of sweet young Rutkmd, by rough Clifford slain :
And, after many sooms. many foul taunts.
They took his head, and on the gates of York
They set the same, and there it doth remain.
The saddest spectacle that e'er I view'd.
Edw, Sweet Duke of York, our prop to lean

Now thou art gone, we have no sta£^ no stay 1
O Clifford, boist*rous Clifford, thou hast slain
The flower of Europe for his diivalry ;
And treacherously bast thou vanquished him.
For, hand to hand, he would have vanquished thee 1
Now my souPs palace is become a prison :
Ah, would she break from henoel that this my body
Might in the ground be closed up in rest:
For never henceforth shall 1 joy again,
Never, never, shall I see more joy.

Hich. I cannot weep ; for all my body ^ moisture
Scarce serves to quench my furnace-burning heart:
Nor can my tongue unload my heart's great

For self-same wind, that I should speak withal«
Is kindling coals that fire all my breast.
And bum me up with flames that tears would

To weep is to make less the depth of grief:
Tears, then, for babes; blows and revenge for

me I —
Richard, I bear thy name. 111 venge thy death,
Or die renowned by attempting it.
Edw, His name that valiant duke hath left with

Hb dukedom and his chair with me is left

Eich. Nay, if thou be that princely eagle's bird.
Show thy descent by gazing 'gainst the sun:
For chair and dukedom, throne and kingdom say ;
£Uther that is tbme, or else thou wert not his.

ilarcA. J^Uer Wabwiok ani MONTAOUB, toifA .

War, How now, fair lords? What fare? what

news abroad?
Eieh, Great Lord ofi Warwick, if we should
Our baleful news, and at each word's deliverance
Stab poniards in our flesh, till all were twld.
The words would add more anguish than the

valiant lord, the Duke of York is slain.
Edw, Warwick 1 Warwick 1 that Plantagenet

Which held thee dearly as his soul's redemption.
Is by the stern Lord Clifford done to death.
War, Ten days ago I drown'd these news hi
And now, to add more measure to your woes,

1 come to tell you thmgs sith then befallen.
After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought,
Where your brave father breath'd his latest gaspi
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run.
Were brought me of your loss, and his depart.

I then in London, keeper of the king,

Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,! p>

And very well appointed, as I thought, L^



Marched towards SL Alban'k to intercept the

le king in my behalf along :
For by'my sooats I was advertised
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash oar late decree in parliament,
Touching King Henry's oath and yoar snccession.
Short tale to make,— we at St. Alban's met,
Our battles joiu'd, and both sides fiercely foaght :
But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king, •
Who iook'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their heated spleen;
Or whether twas report of her success ;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour.
Who thunders to his captives— blood and death,
I cannot judge : but, to conclude with truth,
Their weajions like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers -like the night-owl's lazy flight,
Or like a lazv thresher with a flail-
Pell gently down, as if they struck their friends.

Online LibraryWilliam Michael Rossetti William ShakespeareThe complete works of Shakespeare: With a critical biography → online text (page 124 of 224)