Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

SO.

On him, his sons, his favourites, and his friends.

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

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

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

I am thine. Exe. For shame! come down : he made thee duke

of York. York. ’T was my inheritance, as the earldom' was. Exe. Thy father was a traitor to the crown.

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

Clif. Whom should he follow, but his natural king ? War. True, Clifford ; that is 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

1 The "True Tragedy of Richard, Duke of York,” the old play on which this drama was founded, has kingdom.

March'd through the city to the palace gates.

North. Yes, Warwick, I remember it 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 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 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 are old enough now, and yet, methinks,

you lose.

Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.

Edw. Sweet father, do so : set it on your head.
Mont. Good brother, [To YORK,] as thou lov'st and

honour'st arms, Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus. [fly.

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

speak.
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, 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. Prove it, Henry, and thou shalt be king.
K. Hen. Henry the fourth by conquest got the

crown.

York. ’T was by rebellion against his king. K. Hen. I know not what to say : my title 's weak.

(Aside. 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, 't were 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. 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 : '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.

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 my crown.What mutter you, or what conspire you, lords ?

War. Do right unto this princely duke of York,
Or I will fill the house with armed 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.
1 Not in f. e.

2 thy: in f. e. Vol. V.-16

2

K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word. 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 may'st 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 ! War.

Why should you sigh, my lord ? K. Hen. 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; (To YORK. 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, em

brace 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.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

him once,

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.
Enter Queen MARGARET and the Prince of WALES.
Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her

anger;
I'll steal away.
K. Hen. Exeter, so will I.

(Going
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 di
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 Faulconbridge 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,

« ÎnapoiContinuați »