SCENE I. Coventry.
[Enter, upon the walls, WARWICK, the Mayor of Coventry, two
Messengers, and others.]
Where is the post that came from valiant Oxford?--
How far hence is thy lord, mine honest fellow?
By this at Dunsmore, marching hitherward.
How far off is our brother Montague?
Where is the post that came from Montague?
By this at Daintry, with a puissant troop.
[Enter SIR JOHN SOMERVILLE.]
Say, Somerville, what says my loving son?
And, by thy guess, how nigh is Clarence now?
At Southam I did leave him with his forces
And do expect him here some two hours hence.
Then Clarence is at hand; I hear his drum.
It is not his, my lord; here Southam lies.
The drum your honour hears marcheth from Warwick.
Who should that be? belike, unlook'd-for friends.
They are at hand, and you shall quickly know.
[March. Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, GLOSTER, and Forces.]
Go, trumpet, to the walls and sound a parle.
See how the surly Warwick mans the wall.
O, unbid spite! Is sportful Edward come?
Where slept our scouts, or how are they seduc'd,
That we could hear no news of his repair?
Now, Warwick, wilt thou ope the city gates?
Speak gentle words and humbly bend thy knee,
Call Edward king and at his hands beg mercy?
And he shall pardon thee these outrages.
Nay, rather, wilt thou draw thy forces hence,
Confess who set thee up and pluck'd thee down?
Call Warwick patron and be penitent,
And thou shalt still remain the Duke of York.
I thought, at least, he would have said the king;
Or did he make the jest against his will?
Is not a dukedom, sir, a goodly gift?
Ay, by my faith, for a poor earl to give;
I'll do thee service for so good a gift.
'T was I that gave the kingdom to thy brother.
Why, then, 't is mine, if but by Warwick's gift.
Thou art no Atlas for so great a weight,
And, weakling, Warwick takes his gift again;
And Henry is my king, Warwick his subject.
But Warwick's king is Edward's prisoner;
And, gallant Warwick, do but answer this:
What is the body when the head is off?
Alas! that Warwick had no more forecast,
But, whiles he thought to steal the single ten,
The king was slily finger'd from the deck!
You left poor Henry at the Bishop's palace,
And ten to one, you'll meet him in the Tower.
'T is even so; yet you are Warwick still.
Come, Warwick, take the time; kneel down, kneel down.
Nay, when? strike now, or else the iron cools.
I had rather chop this hand off at a blow,
And with the other fling it at thy face,
Than bear so low a sail, to strike to thee.
Sail how thou canst, have wind and tide thy friend,
This hand, fast wound about thy coal-black hair,
Shall, whiles thy head is warm and new cut off,
Write in the dust this sentence with thy blood,
'Wind-changing Warwick now can change no more.'
[Enter OXFORD, with Forces.]
O cheerful colours! see where Oxford comes.
Oxford, Oxford, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city.]
The gates are open; let us enter too.
So other foes may set upon our backs.
Stand we in good array, for they no doubt
Will issue out again and bid us battle;
If not, the city being but of small defence,
We'll quietly rouse the traitors in the same.
O, welcome, Oxford, for we want thy help.
[Enter MONTAGUE, with Forces.]
Montague, Montague, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city.]
Thou and thy brother both shall buy this treason,
Even with the dearest blood your bodies bear.
The harder match'd, the greater victory;
My mind presageth happy gain and conquest.
[Enter SOMERSET, with forces.]
Somerset, Somerset, for Lancaster!
[He and his forces enter the city.]
Two of thy name, both Dukes of Somerset,
Have sold their lives unto the House of York;
And thou shalt be the third if this sword hold.
[Enter CLARENCE, with Forces.]
And lo, where George of Clarence sweeps along,
Of force enough to bid his brother battle;
With whom an upright zeal to right prevails,
More than the nature of a brother's love!--
[Gloster and Clarence whisper.]
Come, Clarence, come; thou wilt if Warwick call.
Father of Warwick, know you what this means?
[Taking the red rose out of his hat.]
Look here, I throw my infamy at thee;
I will not ruinate my father's house,
Who gave his blood to lime the stones together,
And set up Lancaster. Why, trow'st thou, Warwick,
That Clarence is so harsh, so blunt, unnatural,
To bend the fatal instruments of war
Against his brother and his lawful king?
Perhaps thou wilt object my holy oath;
To keep that oath were more impiety
Than Jephtha's when he sacrific'd his daughter.
I am so sorry for my trespass made
That, to deserve well at my brother's hands,
I here proclaim myself thy mortal foe,
With resolution, whereso'er I meet thee--
As I will meet thee, if thou stir abroad--
To plague thee for thy foul misleading me.
And so, proud-hearted Warwick, I defy thee,
And to my brother turn my blushing cheeks.--
Pardon me, Edward, I will make amends;--
And, Richard, do not frown upon my faults,
For I will henceforth be no more unconstant.
Now, welcome more, and ten times more belov'd,
Than if thou never hadst deserv'd our hate.
Welcome, good Clarence; this is brother-like.
O passing traitor, perjur'd and unjust!
What, Warwick, wilt thou leave the town and fight,
Or shall we beat the stones about thine ears?
Alas! I am not coop'd here for defence;
I will away towards Barnet presently,
And bid thee battle, Edward, if thou dar'st.
Yes, Warwick, Edward dares and leads the way.--
Lords, to the field! Saint George and victory!
SCENE II. A Field of Battle near Barnet.
[Alarum and excursions. Enter KING EDWARD, bringing in
So, lie thou there; die thou, and die our fear,
For Warwick was a bug that fear'd us all.--
Now, Montague, sit fast; I seek for thee,
That Warwick's bones may keep thine company.
Ah! who is nigh? come to me, friend or foe,
And tell me who is victor, York or Warwick.
Why ask I that? my mangled body shows;
My blood, my want of strength, my sick heart shows
That I must yield my body to the earth
And, by my fall, the conquest to my foe.
Thus yields the cedar to the axe's edge,
Whose arms gave shelter to the princely eagle,
Under whose shade the ramping lion slept,
Whose top-branch overpeer'd Jove's spreading tree,
And kept low shrubs from winter's pow'rful wind.
These eyes, that now are dimm'd with death's black veil,
Have been as piercing as the midday sun,
To search the secret treasons of the world;
The wrinkles in my brows, now fill'd with blood,
Were liken'd oft to kingly sepulchres,
For who liv'd king but I could dig his grave?
And who durst smile when Warwick bent his brow?
Lo, now my glory smear'd in dust and blood!
My parks, my walks, my manors that I had,
Even now forsake me, and of all my lands
Is nothing left me but my body's length.
Why, what is pomp, rule, reign, but earth and dust?
And live we how we can, yet die we must.
[Enter OXFORD and SOMERSET.]
Ah, Warwick, Warwick! wert thou as we are,
We might recover all our loss again.
The queen from France hath brought a puissant power;
Even now we heard the news. Ah, couldst thou fly!
Why, then I would not fly.--Ah, Montague!
If thou be there, sweet brother, take my hand
And with thy lips keep in my soul awhile.
Thou lov'st me not; for, brother, if thou did'st,
Thy tears would wash this cold, congealed blood
That glues my lips and will not let me speak.
Come quickly, Montague, or I am dead.
Ah, Warwick, Montague hath breath'd his last,
And to the latest gasp cried out for Warwick,
And said 'Commend me to my valiant brother.'
And more he would have said, and more he spoke,
Which sounded like a clamour in a vault,
That might not be distinguish'd; but at last
I well might hear, delivered with a groan,--
'O farewell, Warwick!'
Sweet rest his soul!--Fly, lords, and save yourselves;
For Warwick bids you all farewell, to meet in heaven.
Away, away, to meet the queen's great power!
[Exeunt bearing off Warwick's body.]
SCENE III. Another Part of the Field
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD in triumph; with CLARENCE, GLOSTER,
and the rest.]
Thus far our fortune keeps an upward course,
And we are grac'd with wreaths of victory.
But, in the midst of this bright-shining day,
I spy a black, suspicious, threatEning cloud,
That will encounter with our glorious sun
Ere he attain his easeful western bed.
I mean, my lords, those powers that the Queen
Hath rais'd in Gallia have arriv'd our coast
And, as we hear, march on to fight with us.
A little gale will soon disperse that cloud
And blow it to the source from whence it came;
Thy very beams will dry those vapours up,
For every cloud engenders not a storm.
The queen is valued thirty thousand strong,
And Somerset, with Oxford, fled to her;
If she have time to breathe, be well assur'd,
Her faction will be full as strong as ours.
We are advertis'd by our loving friends
That they do hold their course toward Tewkesbury.
We, having now the best at Barnet field,
Will thither straight, for willingness rids way;
And, as we march, our strength will be augmented
In every county as we go along.--
Strike up the drum! cry 'Courage!' and away.
SCENE IV. Plains wear Tewkesbury
[March. Enter QUEEN MARGARET, PRINCE EDWARD, SOMERSET,
OXFORD, and Soldiers.]
Great lords, wise men ne'er sit and wail their loss,
But cheerly seek how to redress their harms.
What though the mast be now blown overboard,
The cable broke, the holding-anchor lost,
And half our sailors swallow'd in the flood?
Yet lives our pilot still. Is 't meet that he
Should leave the helm, and like a fearful lad
With tearful eyes add water to the sea,
And give more strength to that which hath too much,
Whiles in his moan the ship splits on the rock,
Which industry and courage might have sav'd?
Ah, what a shame! ah, what a fault were this!
Say Warwick was our anchor; what of that?
And Montague our topmast; what of him?
Our slaught'red friends the tackles; what of these?
Why, is not Oxford here another anchor,
And Somerset another goodly mast?
The friends of France our shrouds and tacklings?
And, though unskilful, why not Ned and I
For once allow'd the skilful pilot's charge?
We will not from the helm to sit and weep,
But keep our course, though the rough wind say no,
From shelves and rocks that threaten us with wrack,
As good to chide the waves as speak them fair.
And what is Edward but a ruthless sea?
What Clarence but a quicksand of deceit?
And Richard but a ragged fatal rock?
All these the enemies to our poor bark?
Say you can swim; alas, 't is but a while!
Tread on the sand; why, there you quickly sink;
Bestride the rock; the tide will wash you off,
Or else you famish,--that's a threefold death.
This speak I, lords, to let you understand,
If case some one of you would fly from us,
That there's no hop'd-for mercy with the brothers
More than with ruthless waves, with sands, and rocks.
Why, courage then! what cannot be avoided
'T were childish weakness to lament or fear.
Methinks, a woman of this valiant spirit
Should, if a coward heard her speak these words,
Infuse his breast with magnanimity,
And make him, naked, foil a man at arms.
I speak not this as doubting any here;
For, did I but suspect a fearful man,
He should have leave to go away betimes,
Lest in our need he might infect another
And make him of the like spirit to himself.
If any such be here--as God forbid!--
Let him depart before we need his help.
Women and children of so high a courage,
And warriors faint! why, 't were perpetual shame.--
O, brave young prince! thy famous grandfather
Doth live again in thee; long mayst thou live
To bear his image and renew his glories!
And he that will not fight for such a hope,
Go home to bed, and like the owl by day,
If he arise, be mock'd and wonder'd at.
Thanks, gentle Somerset.--Sweet Oxford, thanks.
And take his thanks that yet hath nothing else.
[Enter a Messenger.]
Prepare you, lords, for Edward is at hand
Ready to fight; therefore be resolute.
I thought no less; it is his policy
To haste thus fast, to find us unprovided.
But he's deceiv'd; we are in readiness.
This cheers my heart, to see your forwardness.
Here pitch our battle; hence we will not budge.
[Flourish and march. Enter KING EDWARD, CLARENCE,
GLOSTER, and Forces.]
Brave followers, yonder stands the thorny wood
Which, by the heaven's assistance and your strength,
Must by the roots be hewn up yet ere night.
I need not add more fuel to your fire,
For, well I wot, ye blaze to burn them out.
Give signal to the fight, and to it, lords.
Lords, knights, and gentlemen, what I should say,
My tears gainsay; for every word I speak,
Ye see I drink the water of my eyes.
Therefore, no more but this: Henry, your sovereign,
Is prisoner to the foe, his state usurp'd,
His realm a slaughter-house, his subjects slain,
His statutes cancell'd, and his treasure spent;
And yonder is the wolf that makes this spoil.
You fight in justice; then, in God's name, lords,
Be valiant and give signal to the fight.
[Exeunt both armies.]
SCENE V. Another part of the Field.
[Flourish. Enter KING EDWARD, CLARENCE, GLOSTER, and Forces;
With QUEEN MARGARET, OXFORD, and SOMERSET, as prisoners.]
Now, here a period of tumultuous broils.
Away with Oxford to Hames Castle straight;
For Somerset, off with his guilty head.
Go, bear them hence; I will not hear them speak.
For my part, I'll not trouble thee with words.
Nor I, but stoop with patience to my fortune.
[Exeunt Oxford and Somerset, guarded.]
So part we sadly in this troublous world,
To meet with joy in sweet Jerusalem.
Is proclamation made that who finds Edward
Shall have a high reward, and he his life?
It is; and lo, where youthful Edward comes!
[Enter soldiers with PRINCE EDWARD.]
Bring forth the gallant; let us hear him speak.
What! can so young a man begin to prick?--
Edward, what satisfaction canst thou make
For bearing arms, for stirring up my subjects,
And all the trouble thou hast turn'd me to?
Speak like a subject, proud, ambitious York!
Suppose that I am now my father's mouth;
Resign thy chair, and where I stand kneel thou,
Whilst I propose the selfsame words to thee
Which, traitor, thou wouldst have me answer to.
Ah, thy father had been so resolv'd!
That you might still have worn the petticoat,
And ne'er have stol'n the breech from Lancaster.
Let Aesop fable in a winter's night;
His currish riddle sorts not with this place.
By heaven, brat, I'll plague you for that word.
Ay, thou wast born to be a plague to men.
For God's sake, take away this captive scold.
Nay, take away this scolding crook-back rather.
Peace, wilful boy, or I will charm your tongue.
Untutor'd lad, thou art too malapert.
I know my duty; you are all undutiful.
Lascivious Edward,--and thou perjur'd George,--
And thou misshapen Dick,--I tell ye all,
I am your better, traitors as ye are;--
And thou usurp'st my father's right and mine.
Take that, the likeness of this railer here.
Sprawl'st thou? take that, to end thy agony.
And there's for twitting me with perjury.
O, kill me too!
Marry, and shall.
[Offers to kill her.]
Hold, Richard, hold! for we have done to much.
Why should she live to fill the world with words?
What! doth she swoon? use means for her recovery.
Clarence, excuse me to the king, my brother.
I'll hence to London on a serious matter;
Ere ye come there, be sure to hear some news.
The Tower! the Tower!
O Ned! sweet Ned! speak to thy mother, boy.
Canst thou not speak?--O traitors! murtherers!
They that stabb'd Caesar shed no blood at all,
Did not offend, nor were not worthy blame,
If this foul deed were by to equal it.
He was a man: this, in respect, a child,
And men ne'er spend their fury on a child.
What's worse than murtherer, that I may name it?
No, no, my heart will burst, an if I speak;
And I will speak, that so my heart may burst.--
Butchers and villains! bloody cannibals!
How sweet a plant have you untimely cropp'd!
You have no children, butchers! if you had,
The thought of them would have stirr'd up remorse;
But, if you ever chance to have a child,
Look in his youth to have him so cut off
As, deathsmen, you have rid this sweet young prince!
Away with her! go, bear her hence perforce.
Nay, never bear me hence, dispatch me here;
Here sheathe thy sword, I'll pardon thee my death.
What! wilt thou not?--then, Clarence, do it thou.
By heaven, I will not do thee so much ease.
Good Clarence, do; sweet Clarence, do thou do
Didst thou not hear me swear I would not do it?
Ay, but thou usest to forswear thyself;
'T was sin before, but now 't is charity.
What! wilt thou not? where is that devil's butcher,
Hard-favour'd Richard?--Richard, where art thou?
Thou art not here; murther is thy alms-deed,
Petitioners for blood thou ne'er putt'st back.
Away, I say! I charge ye, bear her hence.
So come to you and yours as to this prince!
[She is taken out.]
Where's Richard gone?
To London, all in post, and, as I guess,
To make a bloody supper in the Tower.
He's sudden if a thing comes in his head.
Now march we hence; discharge the common sort
With pay and thanks, and let's away to London,
And see our gentle queen how well she fares.
By this, I hope, she hath a son for me.
SCENE VI. London. The Tower.
[KING HENRY is discovered sitting with a book in his hand, the
Lieutenant attending. Enter GLOSTER.]
Good day, my lord. What! at your book so hard?
Ay, my good lord;--my lord, I should say rather.
'T is sin to flatter; 'good' was little better.
Good Gloster and good devil were alike,
And both preposterous; therefore, not good lord.
Sirrah, leave us to ourselves; we must confer.
So flies the reckless shepherd from the wolf;
So first the harmless sheep doth yield his fleece,
And next his throat unto the butcher's knife.--
What scene of death hath Roscius now to act?
Suspicion always haunts the guilty mind;
The thief doth fear each bush an officer.
The bird that hath been limed in a bush
With trembling wings misdoubteth every bush;
And I, the hapless male to one sweet bird,
Have now the fatal object in my eye
Where my poor young was lim'd, was caught, and kill'd.
Why, what a peevish fool was that of Crete
That taught his son the office of a fowl!
And yet, for all his wings, the fool was drown'd.
I, Daedalus; my poor boy, Icarus;
Thy father, Minos, that denied our course;
The sun that sear'd the wings of my sweet boy,
Thy brother Edward; and thyself, the sea
Whose envious gulf did swallow up his life.
Ah, kill me with thy weapon, not with words!
My breast can better brook thy dagger's point
Than can my ears that tragic history.
But wherefore dost thou come? is 't for my life?
Think'st thou I am an executioner?
A persecutor, I am sure, thou art;
If murdering innocents be executing,
Why, then thou are an executioner.
Thy son I kill'd for his presumption.
Hadst thou been kill'd when first thou didst presume,
Thou hadst not liv'd to kill a son of mine.
And thus I prophesy,--that many a thousand,
Which now mistrust no parcel of my fear,
And many an old man's sigh and many a widow's,
And many an orphan's water-standing eye,--
Men for their sons', wives for their husbands' fate,
And orphans for their parents' timeless death,--
Shall rue the hour that ever thou wast born.
The owl shriek'd at thy birth, an evil sign;
The night-crow cried, aboding luckless time;
Dogs howl'd, and hideous tempest shook down trees;
The raven rook'd her on the chimney's top,
And chatt'ring pies in dismal discord sung.
Thy mother felt more than a mother's pain,
And yet brought forth less than a mother's hope,
An indigested and deformed lump,
Not like the fruit of such a goodly tree.
Teeth hadst thou in thy head when thou wast born,
To signify thou cam'st to bite the world;
And, if the rest be true which I have heard,
I'll hear no more. Die, prophet, in thy speech.
For this, amongst the rest, was I ordain'd.
Ay, and for much more slaughter after this.
O, God forgive my sins, and pardon thee!
What! will the aspiring blood of Lancaster
Sink in the ground? I thought it would have mounted.
See, how my sword weeps for the poor King's death!
O, may such purple tears be always shed
From those that wish the downfall of our house!--
If any spark of life be yet remaining,
Down, down to hell; and say I sent thee thither,
[Stabs him again.]
I, that have neither pity, love, nor fear.
Indeed, 't is true that Henry told me of;
For I have often heard my mother say
I came into the world with my legs forward.
Had I not reason, think ye, to make haste
And seek their ruin that usurp'd our right?
The midwife wonder'd; and the women cried
'O, Jesus bless us, he is born with teeth!'
And so I was, which plainly signified
That I should snarl and bite and play the dog.
Then, since the heavens have shap'd my body so,
Let hell make crook'd my mind to answer it.
I have no brother, I am like no brother,
And this word 'love,' which greybeards call divine,
Be resident in men like one another,
And not in me! I am myself alone.--
Clarence, beware! thou keep'st me from the light;
But I will sort a pitchy day for thee;
For I will buzz abroad such prophecies
That Edward shall be fearful of his life,
And then, to purge his fear, I'll be thy death.
King Henry and the prince his son are gone;
Clarence, thy turn is next, and then the rest,
Counting myself but bad till I be best.
I'll throw thy body in another room,
And triumph, Henry, in thy day of doom.
[Exit with the body.]
SCENE 7. London. The Palace.
[KING EDWARD is discovered sitting on his throne; QUEEN ELIZABETH
with the infant Prince, CLARENCE, Gloster, HASTINGS, and
others, near him.]
Once more we sit in England's royal throne,
Re-purchas'd with the blood of enemies.
What valiant foemen, like to autumn's corn,
Have we mow'd down in tops of all their pride!
Three Dukes of Somerset, threefold renown'd
For hardy and undoubted champions;
Two Cliffords, as the father and the son;
And two Northumberlands,--two braver men
Ne'er spurr'd their coursers at the trumpet's sound;
With them the two brave bears, Warwick and Montague,
That in their chains fetter'd the kingly lion
And made the forest tremble when they roar'd.
Thus have we swept suspicion from our seat
And made our footstool of security.--
Come hither, Bess, and let me kiss my boy.--
Young Ned, for thee thine uncles and myself
Have in our armours watch'd the winter's night,
Went all afoot in summer's scalding heat,
That thou mightst repossess the crown in peace;
And of our labours thou shalt reap the gain.
[Aside.] I'll blast his harvest if your head were laid;
For yet I am not look'd on in the world.
This shoulder was ordain'd so thick to heave;
And heave it shall some weight or break my back.--
Work thou the way,--and that shall execute.
Clarence and Gloster, love my lovely queen;
And kiss your princely nephew, brothers both.
The duty that I owe unto your Majesty
I seal upon the lips of this sweet babe.
Thanks, noble Clarence; worthy brother, thanks.
And, that I love the tree from whence thou sprang'st,
Witness the loving kiss I give the fruit.--
[Aside.] To say the truth, so Judas kiss'd his Master,
And cried, all hail! when as he meant all harm.
Now am I seated as my soul delights;
Having my country's peace and brothers' loves.
What will your Grace have done with Margaret?
Reignier, her father, to the King of France
Hath pawn'd the Sicils and Jerusalem,
And hither have they sent it for her ransom.
Away with her and waft her hence to France.--
And now what rests but that we spend the time
With stately triumphs, mirthful comic shows,
Such as befits the pleasure of the court?
Sound drums and trumpets!--farewell sour annoy!
For here, I hope, begins our lasting joy.