Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

THE THIRD PART OF

KING HENRY VI.

ACT I.

SCENE I. London. The Parliament-house.

Drums. Some Soldiers of YORK's party break in. Then enter the

Duke of YORK, EDWARD, RICHARD, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, WAR-
WICK, and others, with white roses in their hats.
War. I wonder how the king escap'd our hands.

York. While we pursu'd the horsemen of the north,
He slily 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 a-breast,
Charg'd our main battle's front, and, breaking in,
Were by the swords of common soldiers slain.

Edw. Lord Stafford's father, Duke of Buckingham,
Is either slain or wounded dangerous ;(2)
I cleft his beaver with a downright blow :
That this is true, father, behold his blood.

[Showing his bloody sword. Mont. [to York, showing his] And, brother, (3) here's the

Earl of Wiltshire's blood,
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 desery'd of all my sons.But, is your grace dead, my Lord of Somerset?

Norf. Such hap have all the line of John of Gaunt !

Rich. Thus do I hope(s) to shake King Henry's head.

War. 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.

Norf. 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.

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

[The Soldiers 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.

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

War. The bloody parliament shall this be callid,
Unless Plantagenet, duke of York, be king,
And bashful Henry depos'd, whose cowardice
Hath made us by-words to our enemies.

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

War. 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, WEST

MORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red roses in their hats.

K. Hen. 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-
T'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.(6)

North. If I be not, heavens be reveng'd on me!
Clif. The hope thereof makes Clifford mourn in steel.

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

K. Hen. Be patient, gentle Earl of Westmoreland.

Clif. 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.

North. Well hast thou spoken, cousin : be it so.

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

Exe.(8) But when the duke is slain, they'll quickly ily.

K. Hen. 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.

Thou'rt deceiv'd ; I'm thine.
Exe. For shame, come down: he made thee Duke of

York.
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was. (10)
Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.

War. Exeter, thou’rt a traitor to the crown
In following this usurping Henry.

Clif. Whom should he follow but his natural king?
War. True, Clifford ; and(11) that's Richard duke of York.
K. Hen. And shall I stand, and thou sit in my throne?
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 maintain.

War. 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.

North. No,(12) Warwick, I remember 't 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'll have more lives
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.

War. 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.

K. Hen. What title hast thou, traitor, to the crown?
Thy father(18) 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.

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

K. Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I: When I was crown'd I was but nine months old. Rich. You're old enough now, and yet, methinks, you

lose.
Tear the crown, father, 14 from th' usurper's head.

Edw. Sweet father, do so; set it on your head.
Mont. [to York] Good brother, 15) as thou lov'st and hon-

our'st arms,
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.

Rich. Sound drums and trumpets, and the king will fly.
York. Sons, peace!
K. Hen. Peace thou! and give King Henry leave to

speak. (16)

War. Plantagenet shall speak first : hear him, lords ;
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

throne, (17)

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.

War. But(18) prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
K. Hen. Henry the Fourth by conquest got the crown.
York. 'Twas by rebellion against his king.
K. Hen. [aside] 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.

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?

Exe. 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?
Exe. His is the right, and therefore pardon me.
York. Why whisper you, my lords, and answer not?
Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
K. Hen. [aside] All will revolt from me, and turn to him.

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

War. Depos’d he shall be, in despite of all.

North. Thou art deceiv'd : 'tis 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.

Clif. 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!

K. Hen. O Clifford, how thy words revive my heart !

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

War. Do right unto this princely Duke of York

(19)

« VorigeDoorgaan »