Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

SCENE II. A room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield,

in Yorkshire.

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.

Enter YORK.

)

()

York. Why, how now, sons and brother !(26) at a strife ? What is your quarrel ? how began it first ?

Edw. No quarrel, but a slight(27) 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 ?

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Enter a Messenger.
But, stay: what news ?—Why com'st thou in such post ?

Mess. The queen with all the northern earls and lords
Intend (32) 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.

[Exit.

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 :

A woman's general ; what should we fear ?

[A march afar off. Edw. 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, (33) 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 ? [Exeunt.

SCENE III. Plains near Sandal Castle.

Alarums. Enter RUTLAND and his Tutor.
Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to scape their hands?
Ah, tutor, look where bloody Clifford comes !

Enter CLIFFORD and Soldiers.
Clif. Chaplain, away! thy priesthood saves thy life.
As for the brat of this accursèd duke,
Whose father slew my father,-he shall die.

Tut. And I, my lord, will bear him company.
Clif. Soldiers, away with him!

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

[Exit, forced off by Soldiers. Clif. How now! is he dead already ? or is't fear That makes him close his eyes ?—I'll open them.

Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch
That trembles under his devouring paws ;(34)
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 threatening 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.

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

Rut. Then let my father's blood open't again :
He is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him.

Clif. 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 accursèd line,
And leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore-

[Lifting his hand. Rut. 0, let me pray before I take my death !To thee I pray; sweet Clifford, pity me!

Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
Rut. I never did thee harm : why wilt thou slay me?
Clif. Thy father hath.
Rut.

But 'twas 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.

Clif. No cause!
Thy father slew my father; therefore, die. [Stabs him.

Rut. Di faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuæ !* [Dies.
Clif. Plantagenet ! I come, Plantagenet !

I
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.

Di faciant, laudis summa sit ista tuæ.] Ovid, -Epist. Her., Phyllis Demophoonti, 66.

SCENE IV. Another part of the plains near Sandal Castle.

Alarums. 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-starvèd 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 encounter'd him :
And when the hardiest warriors did retire,
Richard cried, “ Charge ! and give no foot of ground !"
And cried, (35) “A crown, or else a glorious tomb !
A sceptre, or an earthly sepulchre !"
With this, we charg'd again : but, out, alas !
We bodg'd again ;36) as I have seen a swan
With bootless labour swim against the tide,
And spend her strength with over-matching 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.

[ocr errors]

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.

North. Yield to our mercy, proud Plantagenet.
Clif. Ay, to such mercy as his ruthless arm,

« VorigeDoorgaan »