Henry VI, Part 3 eText - Act I

Act I

Act I, Scene 1

ACT I

SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house

[Alarum. Enter DUKE of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK,
MONTAGUE, WARWICK, and Soldiers.]

WARWICK.
I wonder how the king escap'd our hands.

YORK.
While we pursued the horsemen of the North,
He slyly stole away and left his men,
Whereat the great Lord of Northumberland,
Whose warlike ears could never brook retreat,
Cheer'd up the drooping army; and himself,
Lord Clifford, and Lord Stafford, all abreast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

EDWARD.
Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerously;
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow.
That this is true, father, behold his blood.

[Showing his bloody sword.]

MONTAGUE.
And, brother, here 's the Earl of Wiltshire's blood,

[To York, showing his.]

Whom I encounter'd as the battles join'd.

RICHARD.
Speak thou for me, and tell them what I did.

[Throwing down the Duke of Somerset's head.]

YORK.
Richard hath best deserv'd of all my sons.--
But is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?

NORFOLK.
Such hope have all the line of John of Gaunt!

RICHARD.
Thus do I hope to shake King Henry's head.

WARWICK.
And so do I.--Victorious Prince of York,
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.

NORFOLK.
We'll all assist you; he that flies shall die.

YORK.
Thanks, gentle Norfolk.--Stay by me, my lords;--
And, soldiers, stay and lodge by me this night.

WARWICK.
And when the king comes, offer him no violence,
Unless he seek to thrust you out perforce.

[They retire.]

YORK.
The queen this day here holds her parliament,
But little thinks we shall be of her council.
By words or blows here let us win our right.

RICHARD.
Arm'd as we are, let 's stay within this house.

WARWICK.
The bloody parliament shall this be call'd,
Unless Plantagenet, Duke of York, be king,
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us bywords to our enemies.

YORK.
Then leave me not, my lords; be resolute.
I mean to take possession of my right.

WARWICK.
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'll plant Plantagenet, root him up who dares.--
Resolve thee, Richard; claim the English crown.

[Warwick leads York to the throne, who seats himself.]

[Flourish. Enter KING HENRY, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND,
WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and the rest.]

KING HENRY.
My lords, look where the sturdy rebel sits,
Even in the chair of state! belike he means,
Back'd by the power of Warwick, that false peer,
To aspire unto the crown and reign as king.--
Earl of Northumberland, he slew thy father;
And thine, Lord Clifford; and you both have vow'd revenge
On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!

CLIFFORD.
The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

WESTMORELAND.
What! shall we suffer this? let 's pluck him down;
My heart for anger burns; I cannot brook it.

KING HENRY.
Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.

CLIFFORD.
Patience is for poltroons, such as he;
He durst not sit there had your father liv'd.
My gracious lord, here in the parliament
Let us assail the family of York.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Well hast thou spoken, cousin; be it so.

KING HENRY.
Ah, know you not the city favours them,
And they have troops of soldiers at their beck?

EXETER.
But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly fly.

KING HENRY.
Far be the thought of this from Henry's heart,
To make a shambles of the parliament-house!
Cousin of Exeter, frowns, words, and threats
Shall be the war that Henry means to use.--

[They advance to the duke.]

Thou factious Duke of York, descend my throne,
And kneel for grace and mercy at my feet;
I am thy sovereign.

YORK.
I am thine.

EXETER.
For shame, come down; he made thee Duke of York.

YORK.
'T was my inheritance, as the earldom was.

EXETER.
Thy father was a traitor to the crown.

WARWICK.
Exeter, thou art a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.

CLIFFORD.
Whom should he follow, but his natural king?

WARWICK.
True, Clifford; and that 's Richard, Duke of York.

KING HENRY.
And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?

YORK.
It must and shall be so.
Content thyself.

WARWICK.
Be Duke of Lancaster; let him be king.

WESTMORELAND.
He is both king and Duke of Lancaster;
And that the Lord of Westmoreland shall maintain.

WARWICK.
And Warwick shall disprove it. You forget
That we are those which chas'd you from the field,
And slew your fathers, and with colours spread
March'd through the city to the palace gates.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Yes, Warwick, I remember it to my grief;
And, by his soul, thou and thy house shall rue it.

WESTMORELAND.
Plantagenet, of thee, and these thy sons,
Thy kinsmen, and thy friends, I'll have more lives
Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.

CLIFFORD.
Urge it no more; lest that instead of words
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger
As shall revenge his death before I stir.

WARWICK.
Poor Clifford! how I scorn his worthless threats!

YORK.
Will you we show our title to the crown?
If not, our swords shall plead it in the field.

KING HENRY.
What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father was, as thou art, Duke of York;
Thy grandfather, Roger Mortimer, Earl of March.
I am the son of Henry the Fifth,
Who made the Dauphin and the French to stoop,
And seiz'd upon their towns and provinces.

WARWICK.
Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.

KING HENRY.
The lord protector lost it, and not I;
When I was crown'd I was but nine months old.

RICHARD.
You are old enough now, and yet, methinks, you lose.--
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.

EDWARD.
Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.

MONTAGUE.
Good brother, as thou lov'st and honourest arms,
Let's fight it out and not stand cavilling thus.

RICHARD.
Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.

YORK.
Sons, peace!

KING HENRY.
Peace thou, and give King Henry leave to speak.

WARWICK.
Plantagenet shall speak first; hear him, lords,
And be you silent and attentive too,
For he that interrupts him shall not live.

KING HENRY.
Think'st thou that I will leave my kingly throne,
Wherein my grandsire and my father sat?
No! first shall war unpeople this my realm;
Ay, and their colours--often borne in France,
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow--
Shall be my winding sheet.--Why faint you, lords?
My title's good, and better far than his.

WARWICK.
Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.

KING HENRY.
Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.

YORK.
'T was by rebellion against his king.

KING HENRY.
[Aside.] I know not what to say; my title's weak.--
Tell me, may not a king adopt an heir?

YORK.
What then?

KING HENRY.
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.

YORK.
He rose against him, being his sovereign,
And made him to resign his crown perforce.

WARWICK.
Suppose, my lords, he did it unconstrain'd,
Think you 't were prejudicial to his crown?

EXETER.
No; for he could not so resign his crown
But that the next heir should succeed and reign.

KING HENRY.
Art thou against us, Duke of Exeter?

EXETER.
His is the right, and therefore pardon me.

YORK.
Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?

EXETER.
My conscience tells me he is lawful king.

KING HENRY.
[Aside.] All will revolt from me and turn to him.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st,
Think not that Henry shall be so depos'd.

WARWICK.
Depos'd he shall be, in despite of all.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Thou art deceiv'd; 't is not thy southern power,
Of Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, nor of Kent,
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,
Can set the duke up in despite of me.

CLIFFORD.
King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
Lord Clifford vows to fight in thy defence.
May that ground gape and swallow me alive,
Where I shall kneel to him that slew my father!

KING HENRY.
O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!

YORK.
Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.--
What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords?

WARWICK.
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, and the soldiers show themselves.]

KING HENRY.
My Lord of Warwick, hear but one word:
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 while thou liv'st.

KING HENRY.
I am content; Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.

CLIFFORD.
What wrong is this unto the prince your son!

WARWICK.
What good is this to England and himself!

WESTMORELAND.
Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!

CLIFFORD.
How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us!

WESTMORELAND.
I cannot stay to hear these articles.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Nor I.

CLIFFORD.
Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.

WESTMORELAND.
Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour bides.

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

CLIFFORD.
In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome,
Or live in peace abandon'd and despis'd!

[Exeunt Northumberland, Clifford, and Westmoreland.]

WARWICK.
Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.

EXETER.
They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.

KING HENRY.
Ah, Exeter!

WARWICK.
Why should you sigh, my lord?

KING HENRY.
Not for myself, Lord Warwick, but my son,
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 honour 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.]

WARWICK.
Long live King Henry!--Plantagenet, embrace him.

KING HENRY.
And long live thou, and these thy forward sons!

YORK.
Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.

EXETER.
Accurs'd be he that seeks to make them foes!

[Sennet. The Lords come forward.]

YORK. Farewell, my gracious lord; I'll to my castle.

WARWICK.
And I'll keep London with my soldiers.

NORFOLK.
And I to Norfolk with my followers.

MONTAGUE.
And I unto the sea from whence I came.

[Exeunt York and his Sons, Warwick, Norfolk, Montague,
Soldiers, and Attendants.]

KING HENRY.
And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.

[Enter QUEEN MARGARET and the PRINCE OF WALES.]

EXETER.
Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger.
I'll steal away.

KING HENRY.
Exeter, so will I.
[Going.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.

KING HENRY.
Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.

QUEEN MARGARET.
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 prov'd so unnatural a father!
Hath he deserv'd to lose his birthright thus?
Hadst thou but lov'd him half so well as I,
Or felt that pain which I did for him once,
Or nourish'd him as I did with my blood,
Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood there
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?

KING HENRY.
Pardon me, Margaret;--pardon me, sweet son;
The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforc'd me.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Enforc'd thee! art thou king, and wilt be
forc'd?
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;

Stern Falconbridge 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 prefer'st thy life before thine honour;
And seeing thou dost, I here divorce myself,
Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
Until that act of parliament be repeal'd
Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords that have forsworn thy colours
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.

KING HENRY.
Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.

KING HENRY.
Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with me?

QUEEN MARGARET.
Ay, to be murther'd by his enemies.

PRINCE.
When I return with victory from the field
I'll see your grace; till then I'll follow her.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Come, son, away! we may not linger thus.

[Exeunt Queen Margaret and the Prince.]

KING HENRY.
Poor queen! how love to me and to her son
Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
Reveng'd may she be on that hateful duke
Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
Will cost my crown, and like an empty eagle
Tire on the flesh of me and of my son.
The loss of those three lords torments my heart;
I'll write unto them, and entreat them fair.--
Come, cousin, you shall be the messenger.

EXETER.
And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all.

[Exeunt.]

Act I, Scene 2

SCENE II. Sandal Castle

[Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.]

RICHARD.
Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.

EDWARD.
No; I can better play the orator.

MONTAGUE.
But I have reasons strong and forcible.

[Enter YORK.]

YORK.
Why, how now, sons and brother! at a strife?
What is your quarrel? how began it first?

EDWARD.
No quarrel, but a slight contention.

YORK.
About what?

RICHARD.
About that which concerns your grace and us--
The crown of England, father, which is yours.

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

RICHARD.
Your right depends not on his life or death.

EDWARD.
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.

EDWARD.
But for a kingdom any oath may be broken;
I would break a thousand oaths to reign one year.

RICHARD.
No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.

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

RICHARD.
I'll prove the contrary if you'll hear me speak.

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

RICHARD.
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 't was he that made you to depose,
Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
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.
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.--
Thou, Richard, shalt to 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.
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, courteous, liberal, full of spirit.--
While you are thus employ'd, what resteth more
But that I seek occasion how to rise,
And yet the king not privy to my drift,
Nor any of the house of Lancaster?

[Enter a Messenger.]

But stay.--What news? Why com'st thou in such post?

MESSENGER.
The queen, with all the northern earls and lords,
Intend here to besiege you in your castle.
She is hard by with twenty thousand men,
And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.

YORK.
Ay, with my sword. What! think'st 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 themselves,
And trust not simple Henry nor his oaths.

MONTAGUE.
Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.

[Exit.]

[Enter SIR JOHN and SIR HUGH MORTIMER.]

YORK.
Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles,
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 field.

YORK.
What, with five thousand men?

RICHARD.
Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need.
A woman-general! what should we fear?

[A march afar off.]

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

YORK.
Five men to twenty!--though the odds be great,
I doubt not, uncle, of our victory.
Many a battle have I won in France
Whenas the enemy hath been ten to one;
Why should I not now have the like success?

[Alarum. Exeunt.]

Act I, Scene 3

SCENE III. Plains near Sandal Castle.

[Alarums. Enter RUTLAND and his TUTOR]

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

[Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.]

CLIFFORD.
Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of this accursed duke
Whose father slew my father, he shall die.

TUTOR.
And I, my lord, will bear him company.

CLIFFORD.
Soldiers, away with him!

TUTOR.
Ah, Clifford, murder not this innocent child,
Lest thou be hated both of God and man.

[Exit, forced off by Soldiers.]

CLIFFORD.
How now! is he dead already? Or is it fear
That makes him close his eyes?--I'll open them.

RUTLAND.
So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
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 reveng'd on men, and let me live.

CLIFFORD.
In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood
Hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter.

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

CLIFFORD.
Had I thy brethren here, their lives and thine
Were not revenge sufficient for me.
No; if I digg'd 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;
And till I root out their accursed line
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore--

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

CLIFFORD.
Such pity as my rapier's point affords.

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

CLIFFORD.
Thy father hath.

RUTLAND.
But 't was ere I was born.
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.

CLIFFORD.
No cause?
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die. [Clifford stabs him.]

RUTLAND.
Dii faciant laudis summa sit ista tuae! [Dies.]

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

[Exit.]

Act I, Scene 4

SCENE IV. The Same

[Alarum. Enter YORK.]

YORK.
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 pursu'd by hunger-starved wolves.
My sons--God knows what hath bechanced them;
But this I know,--they have demean'd themselves
Like men born to renown by life or death.
Three times did Richard make a lane to me,
And thrice cried 'Courage, father! fight it out!'
And full as oft came Edward to my side
With purple falchion painted to the hilt
In blood of those that had encount'red him;
And when the hardiest warriors did retire
Richard cried 'Charge! and give no foot of ground!'
And cried 'A crown, or else a glorious tomb!
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre!'
With this, we charg'd again; but, out, alas!
We budg'd again, as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide
And spend her strength with 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.
The sands are number'd that make up my life;
Here must I stay, and here my life must end.--

[Enter QUEEN MARGARET, CLIFFORD,
NORTHUMBERLAND, and Soldiers]

Come, bloody Clifford, rough Northumberland,
I dare your quenchless fury to more rage.
I am your butt, and I abide your shot.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.

CLIFFORD.
Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm
With downright payment show'd unto my father.
Now Phaethon hath tumbled from his car,
And made an evening at the noontide prick.

YORK.
My ashes, as the phoenix, may bring forth
A bird that will revenge upon you all;
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?

CLIFFORD.
So cowards fight when they can fly no further;
So doves do peck the 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
Whose frown hath made thee faint and fly ere this.

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

QUEEN MARGARET.
Hold, valiant Clifford! for a thousand causes
I would prolong awhile the traitor's life.--
Wrath makes him deaf; speak thou, Northumberland.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Hold, Clifford! do not honour him so much
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 might spurn him with his foot away?
It is war's prize to take all vantages,
And ten to one is no impeach of valour.

[They lay hands on York, who struggles.]

CLIFFORD.
Ay, ay; so strives the woodcock with the gin.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
So doth the cony struggle in the net.

[York is taken prisoner.]

YORK.
So triumph thieves upon their conquer'd booty;
So true men yield, with robbers so o'ermatch'd.

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

QUEEN MARGARET.
Brave warriors, Clifford and Northumberland,
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?
Was 't 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 George?
And where's that valiant crook-back prodigy,
Dicky your boy, that with his grumbling voice
Was wont to cheer his dad in mutinies?
Or, with the rest, where is your darling Rutland?
Look, York; I stain'd this napkin with the blood
That valiant Clifford with his rapier's point
Made issue from the bosom of the boy,
And, if thine eyes can water for his death,
I give thee this to dry thy cheeks withal.
Alas, poor York! but that I hate thee deadly
I should lament thy miserable state.
I prithee, grieve to make me merry, York;
Stamp, rave, and fret, that I may sing and dance.
What, hath thy fiery heart so parch'd 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.]

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 crown'd 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 your head in Henry's glory,
And rob his temples of the diadem,
Now in his life, against your holy oath?
O, 't is 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.

CLIFFORD.
That is my office, for my father's sake.

QUEEN MARGARET.
Nay, stay; let's hear the orisons he makes.

YORK.
She-wolf of France, but worse than wolves of France,
Whose tongue more poisons than the adder's tooth,
How ill-beseeming is it in thy sex
To triumph, like an Amazonian trull,
Upon their woes whom fortune captivates!
But that thy face is, vizard-like, 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 deriv'd,
Were shame enough to shame thee, wert thou not shameless.
Thy father bears the type 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.
'T is beauty that doth oft make women proud;
But, God he knows, thy share thereof is small.
'T is virtue that doth make them most admir'd;
The contrary doth make thee wond'red at.
'T is government that makes them seem divine;
The want thereof makes thee abominable.
Thou art as opposite to every good
As the Antipodes are unto us,
Or as the south to the Septentrion.
O tiger's heart wrapp'd in a woman's 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 face?
Women are soft, mild, pitiful, and flexible;
Thou stern, obdurate, flinty, rough, remorseless.
Bid'st thou me rage? why, now thou hast thy wish:
Wouldst have me weep? why, now thou hast thy will;
For raging wind 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, false Frenchwoman.

NORTHUMBERLAND.
Beshrew me, but his passion moves me so
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 you 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'dst in blood of my sweet boy,
And I with tears do wash the blood away.
Keep thou the napkin, and go boast of this;
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!'--
There, take the crown, and with the crown my curse;
And in thy need such comfort come to thee
As now I reap at thy too cruel hand!--
Hard-hearted Clifford, take me from the world;
My soul to heaven, my blood upon your heads!

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

QUEEN MARGARET.
What! weeping-ripe, my Lord Northumberland?
Think but upon the wrong he did us all,
And that will quickly dry thy melting tears.

CLIFFORD.
Here's for my oath, here's for my father's death.

[Stabbing him.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
And here's to right our gentle-hearted king.

[Stabbing him.]

YORK.
Open thy gate of mercy, gracious God!
My soul flies through these wounds to seek out thee.

[Dies.]

QUEEN MARGARET.
Off with his head, and set it on York gates;
So York may overlook the town of York.

[Flourish. Exeunt.]