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War. Ten days ago I drown'd these news in tears: And now, to add more measure to your woes, I come to tell you things since then befall'n. After the bloody fray at Wakefield fought, Where brave father breath'd his latest gasp,
Tidings, as swiftly as the posts could run,
Were brought me of your loss, and his depart.
I then in London, keeper of the king,
Muster'd my soldiers, gather'd flocks of friends,
And very well appointed, as I thought,
March'd towards Saint Alban's to intercept the queen,
Bearing the king in my behalf along :
For by my scouts I was advértised,
That she was coming with a full intent
To dash our late decree in parliament,
Touching king Henry's oath, and your succession.
Short tale to make,—we at Saint Alban's met,
Our battles join'd, and both sides fiercely fought:
But, whether 'twas the coldness of the king,
Who look'd full gently on his warlike queen,
That robb'd my soldiers of their hated spleen;
Or whether 'twas report of her success;
Or more than common fear of Clifford's rigour,
Who thunders to his captives-blood and death,
I cannot judge: but, to conclude with truth,
Their weapons like to lightning came and went;
Our soldiers'-like the night-owl's lazy flight,
'Or like a lazy thrasher with a flail,-
Fell gently down, as if they struck their friends.
I cheer'd them up with justice of our cause,
With promise of high pay, and great rewards:
But all in vain; they had no heart to fight,
And we, in them, no hope to win the day,
So that we fled; the king, unto the queen ;
Lord George your brother, Norfolk, and myself,
In haste, post-haste, are come to join with you;
For in the marches here, we heard, you were,
Making another head to fight again.
Edw. Where is the duke of Norfolk, gentle Warwick?
And when came George from Burgundy to England? War. Some six miles off the duke is with the
And for your brother, he was lately sent From your kind aunt, duchess of Burgundy, "With aid of soldiers to this needful war.
Rich. 'Twas odds, belike, when valiant Warwick
Oft have I heard his praises in pursuit,
But ne'er, till now, his scandal of retire.
War. Nor now my scandal, Richard, dost thou
For thou shalt know, this strong right hand of mine Can pluck the diadem from faint Henry's head,
And wring the awful scepter from his fist;
Were he as famous and as bold in war,
As he is fam'd for mildness, peace, and prayer.
Rich. I know it well, lord Warwick: blame me
'Tis love, I bear thy glories, makes me speak.
But, in this troublous time, what's to be done?
Shall we go throw away our coats of steel,
And wrap our bodies in black mourning gowns,
Numb'ring our Ave-Maries with our beads?
Or shall we on the helmets of our foes
Tell our devotion with revengeful arms?
If for the last, say-Ay, and to it, lords.
War. Why, therefore Warwick came to seek you
And therefore comes my brother Montague.
Attend me, lords. The proud insulting queen,
With Clifford, and the haught5 Northumberland,
And of their feather, many more proud birds,
Have wrought the easy-melting king like wax.
He swore consent to your succession,
His oath enrolled in the parliament;
And now to London all the crew are gone,
To frustrate both his oath, and what beside
May make against the house of Lancaster.
Their power, I think, is thirty thousand strong:
Now, if the help of Norfolk, and myself,
With all the friends that thou, brave earl of March,
Amongst the loving Welshmen canst procure,
• Will but amount to five and twenty thousand,
Why, Via! to London will we march amain;
And once again bestride our foaming steeds,
'And once again cry-Charge upon our foes!
But never once again turn back, and fly.
Rich. Ay, now, methinks, I hear great Warwick speak :
Ne'er may he live to see a sunshine day,
That cries-Retire, if Warwick bid him stay.
Edw. Lord Warwick, on thy shoulder will I lean;
And when thou fall'st, (as God forbid the hour!)
Must Edward fall, which peril heaven forefend!
War. No longer earl of March, but duke of York; "The next degree is, England's royal throne: For king of England shalt thou be proclaim'd In every borough as we pass along; And he that throws not up his cap for joy,
'Shall for the fault make forfeit of his head. King Edward,-valiant Richard,-Montague,Stay we no longer dreaming of renown, 'But sound the trumpets, and about our task. Rich. Then, Clifford, were thy heart as hard as steel,
* (As thou hast shown it flinty by thy deeds) * I come to pierce it, or to give thee mine.
* Edw. Then strike up, drums;-God, and Saint George, for us!
War. How now? what news?
Mess. The duke of Norfolk sends you word by
The queen is coming with a puissant host;
And craves your company for speedy counsel.
War. Why then it sorts," brave warriors: Let's
Why then things are as they should be.
Enter King HENRY, Queen MARGARET, the Prince of Wales, CLIFFORD, and NORTHUMBERLAND,
Q. Mar. Welcome, my lord, to this brave town of York.
Yonder's the head of that arch-enemy,
That sought to be encompass'd with your crown:
• Doth not the object cheer your heart, my lord?
'K. Hen. Ay, as the rocks cheer them that fear
their wreck ;-
To see this sight, it irks my very soul.-
Withhold revenge, dear God! 'tis not my fault,
Not wittingly have I infring'd my vow.
Clif. My gracious liege, this too much lenity
And harmful pity, must be laid aside.
To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
Whose hand is that the forest bear doth lick?
Not his, that spoils her young before her face.
Who 'scapes the lurking serpent's mortal sting?
Not he, that sets his foot upon her back.
The smallest worm will turn, being trodden on;
And doves will peck, in safeguard of their brood.
Ambitious York did level at thy crown,
Thou smiling, while he knit his angry brows:
He, but a duke, would have his son a king,
And raise his issue, like a loving sire;