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Or I will fill the house with armèd men,
And o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
Write up his title with usurping blood.
[He stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves. K. Hen. My Lord of Warwick, hear me but one
word :-(20) Let me for this my life-time reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me and to mine heirs, And thou shalt reign in quiet while thou liv'st.
K. Hen. I am content: Richard Plantagenet,
Enjoy the kingdom after my decease.
Clif. What wrong is this unto the prince your son !
War. What good is this to England and himself!
West. Base, fearful, and despairing Henry!
Clif. How hast thou injur'd both thyself and us !
West. I cannot stay to hear these articles.
North. Nor I.
Clif. Come, cousin, let us tell the queen these news.
West. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king,
In whose cold blood no spark of honour 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 despis'd !
[Exeunt Northumberland, Clifford, and Westmoreland.
War. Turn this way, Henry, and regard them not.
Exe. They seek revenge, and therefore will not yield.
K. Hen. Ah, Exeter!
Why should you sigh, my lord ?
K. Hen. Not for myself, Lord Warwick, (21) 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.
War. Long live King Henry!—Plantagenet, embrace him.
K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons !
York. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd.
Exe. 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.
War. And I'll keep London with my soldiers.
Norf. And I to Norfolk with my followers.
Mont. And I unto the sea, from whence I came.
[Exeunt York and his Sons, Warwick, Norfolk,
Montague, Soldiers, and Attendants.
K. Hen. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the court.
Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her
anger : I'll steal away.
[Going. K. Hen.
Exeter, so will I.(22) [Going.
Enter Queen MARGARET and the Prince of Wales.
Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee.
K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay.
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 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 ?
K. Hen. Pardon me, Margaret;—pardon me, sweet son :The Earl of Warwick and the duke enforc'd me.
Q. Mar. 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.
T 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 environèd 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 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's ready; come, we'll after them.
K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
Q. Mar. Thou hast spoke too much already; get thee gone.
K. Hen. Gentle son Edward, thou wilt stay with(23) me?
Q. Mar. Ay, to be murder'd by his enemies.
Prince. When I return with victory from(24) the field,
I'll see your grace : till then I'll follow her.
Q. Mar. Come, son, away; we may not linger thus.
[Exeunt Queen Margaret and the Prince.
K. Hen. 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(25) 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.
Exe. And I, I hope, shall reconcile them all. [Exeunt.
SCENE II. A room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield,
Enter EDWARD, RICHARD, and MONTAGUE.
Rich. Brother, though I be youngest, give me leave.
Edw. No, I can better play the orator.
Mont. But I have reasons strong and forcible.
York. Why, how now, sons and brother !(26) at a strife ?
What is your quarrel ? how began it first ?
Edw. No quarrel, but a slight27) contention.
York. About what?
Rich. 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.
Rich. Your right depends not on his life or death.
Edw. 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.
Edw. But, for a kingdom, an 28) oath may be broken : I'd break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
Rich. No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.
York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not took
Before a true and lawful magistrate,
That hath authority o'er him that swears :
Henry had none, but did usurp the place ;
Then, seeing 'twas 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 dy'd
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 unto(29) the Duke of Norfolk,
And tell him privily of our intent.
You, Edward, shall unto my Lord of (30) Cobham,
With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise :
In them I trust; for they are soldiers,
Witty, courteous, (31) 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 sach post ?
Mess. The queen with all the northern earls and lords
Intend(82) 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.
Mont. Brother, I go; I'll win them, fear it not:
And thus most humbly I do take my leave.
Enter Sir JOHN and Sir Hugh MORTIMER.
York. Sir John and Sir Hugh Mortimer, mine uncles !
You're 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 ?
Rich. Ay, with five hundred, father, for a need :