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* Seeing thou hast proved so unnatural a father!
* Hath he deserved to lose his birthright thus?
* Hadst thou but loved him half so well as I,
* Or felt that pain which I did for him once;
* Or nourished him, as I did with my blood; *Thou wouldst have left thy dearest heart-blood
* 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, enforced me.
Q. Mar. Enforced thee! Art thou king, and wilt be forced? 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.
* To 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;
6 And yet shalt thou be safe? *Such safety finds
* The trembling lamb, environed with wolves. 'Had I been there, which am a silly woman,
< The soldiers should have tossed me on their pikes,
1 The person here meant was Thomas Nevil, bastard son to the lord Faulconbridge, "a man (says Hall) of no lesse corage than audacitie, who for his cruel condicions was such an apte person, that a more meter could not be chosen to set all the world in a broyle, and to put the estate of the realme on an ill hazard." He had been appointed by Warwick, vice-admiral of the sea, and had in charge so to keep the passage between Dover and Calais, that none which either favored king Henry or his friends, should escape untaken or undrowned; such, at least, were his instructions with respect to the friends and favorers of king Edward after the rupture between him and Warwick. On Warwick's death, he fell into poverty, and robbed, both by sea and land, as well friends as enemies. After roving on the sea some little time longer, he ventured to land at Southampton, where he was taken and beheaded. See Hall and Holinshed.—Ritson.
* Before I would have granted to that act.
'Both from thy table, Henry, and thy bed,
'Until that act of parliament be repealed,
'Whereby my son is disinherited.
The northern lords, that have forsworn thy colors,
Will follow mine, if once they see them spread.
< And spread they shall be; to thy foul disgrace, 6 And utter ruin of the house of York.
< Thus do I leave thee.—Come, son, let's away; c 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
me? Q. Mar. Ay, to be murdered by his enemies. Prince. When I return with victory from 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, 6 Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
< Revenged may she be on that hateful duke;
* Whose haughty spirit, winged with desire,
* Will coast1 my crown, and, like an empty eagle,
* Tire3 on the flesh of me, and of my son!
*The loss of those three lords3 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.
1 To coast is, apparently, to pursue, to hover about any thing. The old form of the word appears to have been costoye, or costoie, from the French costoyer, to pursue a course alongside an object, to watch it.
2 To tire is to tear; to feed like a bird of prey.
3 i. e. of Northumberland, Westmoreland, and Clifford, who had left him in disgust.
SCENE II. A Room in Sandal Castle, near Wakefield in Yorkshire.
Enter Edward, Richard, and Montague.
6 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.
4 York. Why, how now, sons and brother,1 at a strife? 4 What is your quarrel? How began it first? 4 Edw. No quarrel, but a slight contention. 4 York. About what?
4 Rich. About that which concerns your grace and us; 4 The crown of England, father, which is yours. 4 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.
4 York. I took an oath that he should quietly reign.
4 Edw. But, for a kingdom, any oath may be broken; 4 Pd break a thousand oaths to reign one year.
4 Rich. No; God forbid your grace should be forsworn.
4 York. I shall be, if I claim by open war.
4 Rich. I'll prove the contrary, if you'll hear me speak.
4 York. Thou canst not, son; it is impossible.
4 Rich. An oath is of no moment, being not took
i Shakspeare seems to have thought York and Montague brothers-inlaw. But Montague was brother to Warwick; Warwick's daughter was married to a son of York, but not during the life of York.
4 Before a true and lawful magistrate,
4 That hath authority over him that swears.
4 Henry had none, but did usurp the place;
4 Then, seeing 'twas he that made you to depose,
4 Your oath, my lord, is vain and frivolous.
4 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 dyed
* Even in the lukewarm blood of Henry's heart.
4 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 the duke of Norfolk, And tell him privily of our intent.— You, Edward, shall unto my lord Cobham, With whom the Kentishmen will willingly rise. In them I trust; for they are soldiers, Witty,1 courteous, liberal, full of spirit.— While you are thus employed, 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.2
4 But, stay—what news? Why com'st thou in such post? 4 Mess. The queen, with all the northern earls and lords, 4 Intend here to besiege you in your castle. 4 She is hard by with twenty thousand men; 4 And therefore fortify your hold, my lord.
*York. Ay, with my sword. What! think'st thou that we fear them?—
1 Of sound judgment
2 The folio reads "Enter Gabriel." It was the name of the actor, probably Gabriel Singer, who played this insignificant part The emendation is from the old play, and was made by Theobald.
4 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 are 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. 4 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; 4 And issue forth, and bid them battle straight.
'York. Five men to twenty!—though the odds be great, 'I doubt not, uncle, of our victory. 'Many a battle have I won in France,
* When as the enemy hath been ten to one;
'Why should I not now have the like success?
SCENE III. Plains near Sandal Castle.
Alarums: Excursions. Enter Rutland, and his
4 Rut. Ah, whither shall I fly to 'scape their hands? Ah, tutor! look, where bloody Clifford comes!
l "A priest called sir Robert Aspall."-—Hall, fo. 99.