« PreviousContinue »
And now in England, to our heart's great sorrowShall 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 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, 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? 1
Exe. No; for he could not so resign his crown,
K. Hen. Art thou against us, duke of Exeter?
Exe. My conscience tells me he is lawful king.
North. Plantagenet, for all the claim thou lay'st
• War. Deposed he shall be, in despite of all. North. Thou art deceived. 'Tis not thy southern
Clif. King Henry, be thy title right or wrong,
1 i. e. detrimental to the general rights of hereditary royalty.
• K. Hen. O, Clifford, how thy words revive my
War. Do right unto this princely duke of York;
[He stamps, and the Soldiers show themselves. · K. Hen. My lord of Warwick, hear me but one
· Let me, for this my lifetime reign as king.
York. Confirm the crown to me, and to mine heirs, And thou shalt 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 !
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. * West. 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, • 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 son, Whom I unnaturally shall disinherit.
But be it as it may :-1 here entail • The crown to thee, and to thine heirs forever; Conditionally, that here thou take an oath, To cease this civil war, and, whilst I live, To honor me as thy king and sovereign; * 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, em
brace him. · K. Hen. And long live thou, and these thy for
ward 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 ; I'll to my
[Exeunt YORK, and his Sons, WARWICK,
NORFOLK, MONTAGUE, Soldiers, and
Attendants. * K. Hen. And I, with grief and sorrow, to the
Enter Queen MARGARET and the PRINCE of WALES. Exe. Here comes the queen, whose looks bewray
her anger. I'll steal away. K. Hen. Exeter, so will I.
[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,
1 Sandal castle, near Wakefield, in Yorkshire.
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
there, * 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; • 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.
K. Hen. Stay, gentle Margaret, and hear me speak.
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
· Hath made her break out into terms of rage!
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.