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Flourish. Enter King Henry, CLIFFORD, NORTHUMBERLAND, WESTMORELAND, EXETER, and others, with red Roses in their Huts.
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),
North. If I be not, heavens, be reveng'd on me! Cliff. 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. Cliff. Patience is for poltroons, and 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. 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.
Thou art deceiv'd, I am thine. Exe. For shame, come down; he made thee duke of
York. "Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.
In following this usurping Henry.
Cliff. Whom should he follow, but his natural king?
War. True, Clifford ; and 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. 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. Cliff. 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:
Who made the dauphin and the French to stoop,
War. Talk not of France, sith thou hast lost it all.
Father, tear the crown from the usurper's head.
Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus. [fly.
War. Plantagenet shall speak first :-hear him, lords; And be you silent and attentive too,
For he, that interrupts him, shall not live.
[throne, K. Hen. Think'st thou, that I will leave my kingly 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 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. 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. 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.
Which makes thee thus presumptuous and proud,—
Cliff. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
May that ground gape, and swallow me alive,
And, o'er the chair of state, where now he sits,
[He Stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves. 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,
Cliff. What wrong is this unto the prince your son?
North. Nor I.
Cliff. 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!
Cliff. In dreadful war may'st thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandon'd, and despis'd!
[Exeunt North. Cliff. and West. 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, 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 cease this civil war, and, whilst I live,
To honour me as thy king and sovereign;
him. [sons! K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward York. Now York and Lancaster are reconcil'd. Exe. Accurs'd be he, that seeks to make them foes! [Senet. 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.
Exeter, so will I.
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 I'll steal away. [anger: K. Hen. [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 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 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
The earl of Warwick, and the duke, enforc'd me.