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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 art deceived; I am thine.
Exe. For shame, come down; he made thee duke of York.
York. 'Twas my inheritance, as the earldom was.1
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; and that's Richard, duke of York.
4 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 arejihose, which chased you from the field, And slewr your fathers, and with colors spread Marched 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, Pll have more lives, Than drops of blood were in my father's veins.
6 Clif. Urge it no more; lest that, instead of words,
1 The old play reads "as the kingdom is." Why Shakspeare altered it, it is not easy to say; for the new line only exhibits the same meaning more obscurely. York means that the dukedom was his inheritance from his father, as the earldom of March was his inheritance from his mother. His title to the crown was not as duke of York, but as earl of March, and by naming that he covertly asserts his right to the crown.
I send thee, Warwick, such a messenger,
'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 seized upon their towns and provinces.
War. Talk not of France, sith2 thou hast lost it all.
K. Hen. The lord protector lost it, and not I; When I was crowned, 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 honor'st arms, Let's fight it out, and not stand cavilling thus.
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.
4 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 colors—often borne in France,
1 Another mistake of the author of the old play. York's father was earl of Cambridge, and was beheaded in the lifetime of his elder brother, Edward duke of York.
2 Since. A contraction of sithence.
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrow— Shall be my winding-sheet.—Why faint you, lords? 6 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?
4 K. Hen. An if he may, then am I lawful king. 'For Richard, in the view of many lords, Resigned 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 unconstrained, Think you 'twere prejudicial to his crown ? *
Exe. No; for he could not so resign his crown, Rut 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 deposed.
'War. Deposed he shall be, in despite of all.
North. Thou art deceived. '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,
1 i. e. detrimental to the general rights of hereditary royalty.
c K.Hen. 0, Clifford, how thy words revive my heart!
York. Henry of Lancaster, resign thy crown.—
War. Do right unto this princely duke of York;
[He stampsy ancl the Soldiers show themselves.
i K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one word;— 'Let me, for this my, lifetime reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs, And thou .shall reign in quiet whilst 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!
c Clif. How hast thou injured 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.
* Wesp. Farewell, faint-hearted and degenerate king, * In whose cold blood no spark of honor bides.
North. Be thou a prey unto the house of York, 6 And die in bands for this unmanly deed!
Clif. In dreadful war mayst thou be overcome! Or live in peace, abandoned, and despised!
[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
Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit. Vol. iv. 56
But be it as it may:—I here entail
* 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. 4 K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy forward sons! York. Now York and Lancaster are reconciled. Exe. Accursed be he that seeks to make them foes! [Senet. The Lords come forward. < York. Farewell, my gracious lord; Pll to my
[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 (/wales.
Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray her anger. Pll steal away.
K. Hen. Exeter, so will I. [Going.
4 Q. Mar. Nay, go not from me; I will follow thee. K. Hen. Be patient, gentle queen, and I will stay. 4 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,
i Sandal castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.