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Thou, being a king, bless’d with a goodly son,
K. Hen. Full well hath Clifford play'd the orator, Inferring arguments of mighty force.
But, Clifford, tell me, didst thou never hear,
As brings a thousand-fold more care to keep, * Than in possession any jot of pleasure.
Ah, cousin York! 'would thy best friends did know, • How it doth grieve me that thy head is here! Q. Mur. My lord, cheer up your spirits ; our
foes are nigh, . And this soft courage makes your followers faint.
You promis'd knighthood to our forward son ; • Unsheath your sword, and dub him presentlyEdward, kneel down.
K. Hen. Edward Plantagenet, arise a knight; And learn this lesson,-Draw thy sword in right.
Prince. My gracious father, by your kingly leave, I'll draw it as apparent to the crown, And in that quarrel use it to the death. Clif. Why, that is spoken like a toward prince.
Enter a Messenger. Mess. Royal commanders, be in readiness: · For, with a band of thirty thousand men, Comes Warwick, backing of the duke of York; And, in the towns as they do march along, Proclaims him king, and many fly to him: * Darraign your battle,8 for they are at hand.
Clif. I would, your highness would depart the
The hath best success when you are absent. Q. Mar. Ay, good my lord, and leave us to our
fortune. K. Hen. Why, that's my fortune too; therefore
North. Be it with resolution then to fight.
8 1. c. Arrange your host, put your host in order.
And hearten those that fight in your
defence: Unsheath your sword, good father; cry, Saint George!
March. Enter EDWARD, GEORGE, RICHARD,
WARWICK, NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, and Soldiers.
Edw. Now, perjur'd Henry! wilt thou kneel
• And set thy diadem upon my head ; * Or bide the mortal fortune of the field? Q. Mar. Go, rate thy minions, proud insulting
boy! • Becomes it thee to be thus bold in terms, Before thy sovereign, and thy lawful king?
Edw. I am his king, and he should bow his knee; I was adopted heir by his consent: Since when, his oath is broke; for, as I hear, You—that are king, though he do wear the crown,Have caus’d him, by new act of parliament, 'To blot out me, and put his own son in.
Clif. And reason too; Who should succeed the father, but the son? 'Rich. Are you there, butcher?-O, I cannot
speak! *Clif. Ay, crook-back; here I stand, to answer
thee, Or any he the proudest of thy sort. Rich. 'Twas you that kill'd young Rutland, was
it not? Clif. Ay, and old York, and yet not satisfied. Rich. For God's sake, lords, give signal to the fight.
War. What say'st thou, Henry, wilt thou yield
the crown? *Q. Mar. Why, how now, long-tongu'd War
wick? dare you speak? When
and I met at Saint Alban's last, Your legs did better service than
hands. War. Then 'twas my turn to ily, and now 'tis
thine. Clif. You said so much before, and yet you fled. War. 'Twas not your valour, Clifford, drove me
thence. • North. No, nor your manhood, that durst make
you stay. Rich. Northumberland, I hold thee reverently; Break off the parle; for scarce I can refrain The execution of my big-swoln heart Upon that Clifford, that cruel child-killer.
Clif. I slew thy father : Call'st thou him a child?
Rich. Ay, like a dastard, and a treacherous coward, As thou didst kill our tender brother Rutland; But, ere sun-set, I'll make thee curse the deed. K. Hen. Have done with words, my lords, and
hear me speak. Q. Mar. Defy them then, or else hold close thy
lips. K. Hen. I prythee, give no limits to my tongue; I am a king, and privileg'd to speak. Clif. My liege, the wound, that bred this meeting
here, Cannot be cur'd by words; therefore be still.
Rich. Then, executioner, unsheath thy sword: By him that made us all, I am resoly’d, 9
9 It is my firm persuasion.
• That Clifford's manhood lies upon his tongue.
• Edw. Say, Henry, shall I have my right, or no? A thousand men have broke their fasts to-day, That ne'er shall dine, unless thou yield the crown.
War. If thou deny, their blood upon thy head; For York in justice puts his armour on. • Prince. If that be right, which Warwick says is
right, There is no wrong, but every thing is right.
Rich. Whoever got thee, there thy mother stands ; For, well I wot, thou hast thy mother's tongue. Q. Mar. But thou art neither like thy sire, nor
dam; But like a foul misshapen stigmatick, Mark'd by the destinies' to be avoided, * As venom toads, or lizards' dreadful stings.
Rich. Iron of Naples, bid with English gilt, a Whose father bears the title of a king, (As if a channels should be call’d the sea,) 'Sham’st thou not, knowing whence thou art ex
traught, * To let thy tongue detect thy base-born heart?4 Edw. A wisp of straw were worth a thousand
1 One branded by nature.
3 Kennel was then pronounced channel. 4 To show thy meanness of birth by thy indecent railing. 5 Drab.
6i, e, A cuckold.